October 2016 – “Registering to vote and voting in the general election on November 8 is critically important,” said AFA president Tim Wildmon. “It is a constitutional privilege, and it is our moral responsibility, when possible, to elect God-fearing men and women.”
If you’re not registered to vote, there’s still time. Many state election laws allow for voter registration as late as 30 days – some even later – prior to the election. This is also important if you have recently moved because your voting precinct is tied to your current residence. (See below.)
While most attention has been on the U.S. presidential race, there are also elections for local, state, and other federal level offices. Voter turnout is especially important this election because of an increasingly antagonistic spirit stemming from the presidential primaries, a reality that many leaders believe puts conservative candidates at greater risk.
Liberty in the balance
Franklin Graham, during his Decision America Tour 2016, has repeatedly said, “I want to challenge Christians to boldly live out their faith and to pray for our nation and its leaders. I want to encourage Christians to get out and vote, and to cast their ballots for candidates who uphold biblical principles.”
America’s constitutional principles are literally hanging in the balance. One of those critical principles is religious liberty. The First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution guarantees the fundamental right to religious liberty. Yet, the politically correct secular agenda is vigorously attempting to redefine the freedom of religious expression as worship only in the confines of a church building, but this limitation is unconstitutional.
Why is this so important? Prior to ratification of the First Amendment in 1791, each colony granted legal standing to only one religion – either Congregational or Anglican. Christians not belonging to the government (colony) sponsored church often encountered severe discrimination.
For example, court records in Virginia describe how Baptists were imprisoned for praying. Their worship services were disrupted by dissenters, and some were beaten or shot for practicing their faith.
Recent Supreme Court rulings have eliminated and eroded religious liberty related to marriage and sanctity of human life. The pendulum of state-sanctioned, religious discrimination is in full swing, returning toward the discriminatory times of early colonial days.
Line up at the polls
The next president will likely nominate at least three justices to serve on the U.S. Supreme Court. Arguably, these justices and other federally appointed judges will shape the judicial landscape for the next 40 years.
Christians need to exercise their religious liberty and influence civil government before it’s too late. Just as Nehemiah appealed to King Artaxerxes of Persia to restore the ruins of Jerusalem and the Temple (Ezra 7), so should people of influence today work with civic leaders to restore righteousness in our nation.
Such a restoration includes identifying and working with leaders who endorse biblical beliefs, values, and convictions – including religious liberty and the sanctity of human life. Could God use a non-believer to restore righteousness to a nation? Yes. King Artaxerxes was a non-believer.
Deciding which candidate to support in an election is a matter between the voter and God. In making that decision, it is essential that Christians pray for wisdom and discernment and let their decision be based on faith because “everything that does not come from faith is sin” (Romans 14:23).
LEARN WHERE, HOW TO REGISTER AND VOTE
▶ Local: Consult your county circuit clerk’s office.
▶ National: usa.gov/voter-registration-deadlines or call 844-872-4681