Virginia VOICE May 2016
Released: Friday, June 03, 2016
Register today for our ONE Voice for Liberties Conference, September 15-16 at Landmark Baptist Church in Richmond!
The majority of this letter is focused on upcoming primaries (June 14) and elections (November 8). Before I get to that, let me give another push for the ONE Voice for Liberties Conference, September 15-16. Go online (vaib.org) for a complete schedule, list of speakers and political guests, and lodging opportunities with conference pricing.
The transgender “bathroom” issue continues to be in the headlines. In Virginia, we are still awaiting a new court case to hear the Gloucester school matter. Like other states, Virginia has been threatened with loss of federal education funds if we fail to follow the Department of Justice’s guidelines but no law has changed. Pray as I continue to monitor and be engaged in these matters.
Upcoming Primaries and Elections in Virginia
Many of you are wondering how to vote in upcoming primaries and elections in Virginia. Some are even considering not voting. With time winding down, you want to vote “correctly.” You want your vote to matter. Then you hear the commentators and candidates and wonder what to do.
On a practical level, let’s remember that God is still God. I believe He is wanting to bless our nation but waiting to see our nation turn to Him (Proverbs 14:34).
- Take time to pray for the leaders of our nation, state, and locality.
- Take a deep breath and be calm. Anger is not the solution, nor does it allow for civil debate.
- Determine you will be a part of the solution. Too few Christians are involved in the political process; determine to be involved.
I understand the frustration, so let me offer some advice. Since 2010, my position has given me great opportunity to be in touch with elected officials in both parties, to be in “behind the scenes meetings” related to the political process, and to have direct access to those running for office. You might not know it, but there are some strong similarities to campaigns and elections in our country’s past to what is happening today.
The comments I offer are a compilation of those I have read and heard over the past months, and some come from advice given me by my predecessor, Dr. Jack Knapp, which have helped me not be anxious over the seeming chaos in our political scene.
- Politics is a process. Like making sausage, it can be messy and watching it can make you sick. But the end product can be very enjoyable (metaphorically speaking), especially if you like sausage. Even if you don’t, I think you understand the comparision.
- Christians must vote if we want to possibly see a good result. This does not mean every election will be exactly what we want. But if Christians do not vote, it allows others to control the results who typically have positions which oppose godly values.
- Vote for a candidate with values which most closely align with godly values and has good leadership qualities. You need to know where the candidates stand on social values as well as other areas. We need good leaders. Not every “saved” person running for office is a good leader. There are ample biblical examples and modern-day examples of government leaders who were not saved but had good qualities which suited them well for public service. Don’t be misled by opinions which would ask to vote only for Christians or as if you were voting for a pastor.
- Pray for elected officials. These men and women have families and personal issues besides the responsibilities of his or her elected office. You want elected officials to do what is in the best interest of your locality while holding to godly principles.
“My vote doesn’t matter!” Oh, really?
Every vote matters! Every election matters! I believe we are where we are because too many Christians decided to quit voting and quit being involved in politics.
The only way you can make your vote ineffective is:
- By not voting. You usually help the candidate you dislike the most.
- By voting for a third-party candidate. This is especially important in national elections, like for a US President, Senator, or Congressman. Our country has developed into a two-party system. You and I will not agree on everything each party stands for, but hopefully you will consider voting for a major party candidate. Look through the history of our country and you will find NO successful third-party candidate for US President. Every third party candidate has been a spoiler.
VAIB does not endorse candidates or a political party. Yet, expedience shows that our vote is most effective if we vote for a major candidate.
You can say you are “making a statement” by voting for a “third party” candidate, but your statement will not be heard if you consider who you may be helping to win. And please don’t call or email me with your explanations. I truly understand. Again, I am simply providing my take.
Finally, I don’t believe you are being unfaithful to your values even if you vote for someone you don’t like. You are simply doing your civic duty by voting for the person you believe will do the best job as compared to the other candidates.
Your voice for Christian liberties!