A Pastor Speaks: Decide to Vote, as if Your Life Depends Upon It
In 1938 Supreme Court Justice George Sutherland penned these words, “The saddest epitaph which can be carved in memory of a vanished liberty is that it was lost because its possessors failed to stretch forth a saving hand while yet there was time.”
Those words are just as true in this century as they were in the last. Injustice is not a new concept, and oppression is not an invention of our modern society.
Neither is sin. Neither is evil.
I believe this election is the most important election we have faced in modern history. In the last four years, we have watched as the Supreme Court legalized gay marriage, despite being banned in 31 state constitutions by popular vote, and countless other assaults on religious liberty in this country. That decision alone is second only to Roe v. Wade in its devastating effects on the moral compass of our nation.
As a result we have watched as Christian business owners and Catholic hospitals have been sued for not providing services that were contrary to their deeply held religious beliefs. Courts have also mandated that a person can determine their own sex and choose which bathroom they want to use based upon how they feel at that moment.
America is changing, and it’s changing because 25 million registered Christians chose not to vote in 2012. We are getting the government we deserve by our apathy, but in 2016 we have an opportunity to stop this assault on our religious liberty.
There is a Bible story in Judges 19:22-30 that is rarely preached. It is the story of a Levite who found his wife dead, clinging to the threshold of his house after being raped and beaten repeatedly by evil men. She was left for dead.
The husband’s grief turned to outrage at the depravity that had come to his nation. He determined that he had to take action … drastic action … and he sent one piece of her body to each tribe of Israel saying, “Consider this, take counsel, and take action! This is what we have become!” The nation was reviled and then united to speak up and take action that changed the course of their history.
As we look at the pervasive attacks on religious freedom, we find the hands of Lady Liberty are on the threshold of the church.
These are the hands of millions of unemployed Americans, the unborn, alcoholics and drug addicts, law abiding citizens living in cities with escalating crime rates, racial division and its next generation facing an uncertain future. We stand today at what Franklin Graham refers to as “The intersection of history as we know it.”
Over the last 10 years, it has become fashionable in the church to feel like we are “above it all.” We leave all that “government stuff” to the “government people.” I disagree with those too high and lofty to engage in the political process.
I agree with Christian evangelist/speaker James Robison, “We must reject the thought that the spiritual is to be separated from the governmental. Transformed people transform the culture while standing up for what is right. Jesus said believers are the ‘salt of the earth.’ Salt protects and preserves the precious. He went on to say ‘If we lose that effect, then we are good for nothing but to be trampled under the feet of men.’ And so it is in our day.”
It’s time to unify. It’s time for Baptists, Methodists, Pentecostals, Presbyterians, Catholics, Charismatics, and anyone else that calls Jesus Christ their Savior and Lord, to put down their arguments on the places where we differ and join forces on the issues we have in common.
Otherwise, we will not overcome the spiritual wickedness gripping our nation.
There are no perfect candidates in any election. However, as Christians, we have to ask ourselves which candidate aligns closest to what the Bible teaches about the sanctity of life, religious liberty, conservative Supreme Court Justices, the rule of law and the support of Israel.
I say this with no hesitation: it’s time for the church to speak up and take a stand. We must take this stand, whatever the consequences.
I am asking the church to stand up and be counted … to let our prayers be heard in heaven, and our vote recorded on earth.
I am asking for four very specific calls to action, because “faith without works is dead!”
- Register to vote NOW!
- Pray as if the survival of our culture and this great nation depended on it NOW!
- Fast with us, and others all over the world, November 6th-8th
- Vote to make your voice known
The hands of a dying nation are on the threshold of the church.
Consider it. Take counsel. Speak up … and slumber no more.
There is still time.
Every vote matters.
Jentezen Franklin is the Senior Pastor of Free Chapel, a multi-campus church with a global reach. His messages impact generations through various outreaches and his televised broadcast, Kingdom Connection. Jentezen Franklin is also a New York Times best-selling author and he speaks at conferences worldwide. www.jentezenfranklin.org