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Wednesday, Aug. 31, 2016

A Christian's vote -- the text inferred

Posted Monday, October 29, 2012, at 9:36 AM

Infer: To derive by reasoning; conclude or judge from premises or evidence: 'They inferred his displeasure from his cool tone of voice.' 2. (Of facts, circumstances, statements, etc.) to indicate or involve as a conclusion; lead to. (Dictionary.com)

As opinionated in my previous blog, I see no direct Scriptural implication Christians are required to vote; only that said Christians support those elected -- whether that Christian voted or not, whether their guy won or lost.

Which begs the question, for who must the Christian vote if he votes at all? Is there clear leading from the written text which ought to control the electoral lever? Some seem to think so, I don't know.

I do know it is a tenuous thing to proclaim "thus says the Lord," and saying it imposes on the speaker, not relieves him from, tremendous responsibility. What follows therefore, speaking as one who claims to be a Christian, are opinions based on my own inference, and not put forward as the necessarily implied by a word of God.

First, it is not about being on the "right" side, or who the polls say is popular. It is especially not about doing what we have always done (like voting Republican since Goldwater!). Although I have yet to understand all the text implies, my mother made me memorize Romans 12.2: "And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God" (KJV). From this I have inferred there is a higher accountability for the Christian than following the crowds.

Second, shy of divine intervention no human can solve all the problems of man's creation. I get perturbed at commercials which complain how an incumbent did not solve a given problem (which could not be solved by man or beast). And I'm equally uptight at the claim of a candidate saying he can solve a problem which has plagued America for generations. If it could be solved by now it would have been by now. As Billy Graham once said, every solution we impose creates two new problems we would not have had if we hadn't solved the first problem.

Third, one issue does not a litmus test make. My vote cannot be solely based on a candidate's agreement with me on "X", "Y", or "Z." I may miss God's man or woman of the hour for a reason which is ultimately inconsequential to the need of the whole. The inference I was taught was to seek the whole counsel of God. My "X", "Y", or "Z" may even be an issue over which the office in question has no control. As teacher-evangelist Bob Mumford once said, "I'll let God defend Himself."

What should I infer from the Bible as to for whom I should vote? I speak for neither God nor man and give only an inference found by one individual with no "proof text" to proffer. This I infer from Scripture: The very best we can do is judge each candidate by whether we ourselves believe that -- in regard to the sum total of what the office encompasses -- will this vote best do the work of the Lord on earth? Having thus inferred what a Christian ought to do, I propose to infer letting God be God.

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My view from the back pew
David L. Lewis
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