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Monday, November 7, 2011

Vote!

by C.J. Chase
Tomorrow is Election Day in the United States. It's an "off-year" election, which means a lot of people won't bother to vote since the offices to be filled aren't that important. Or are they?

Last year, our family read "Confrontational Politics." My biggest take-away was the importance of our involvement in local and primary elections. Consider the background of our most powerful politicians. Many of them started in lower level elected positions -- on city councils or in state assemblies. My congressman (who happens to be my husband's Sunday School teacher) started his political career as a state delegate. My current state delegate (a member of the same Sunday School class) first held elected office on the city council.

Jimmy Stewart as an honest and idealistic politician fighting corruption in the movie Mr. Smith Goes to Washington
Want to see people of integrity in positions of power? Find and encourage people of integrity to run for local office. Support their candidacies with your time and money. The primary election for a local office may garner only a few thousand or even a few hundred votes. You have the opportunity to make a big difference.

God has entrusted us with an awesome responsibility, the ability to choose the people who govern our countries. People have fought and died for the right to self governance, and yet, how often do we take this right for granted? Sometimes, I fear those of us today are more informed about our American Idol votes than their choices for those who will make decisions for the country.

Have you ever considered that when God led the Israelites out of  Egypt, He gave them precise instructions for sacrifices and offerings , dietary restrictions, ritual cleansings, sabbath regulations, festivals, the Tabernacle, the succession of the priesthood, the penal code, and even the priestly garments. But He didn't give them any kind of national Constitution or set of instructions for the structure of a national government.

Instead, we are told "the Lord raised up judges...Whenever the Lord raised up a judge for them, he was with the judge and saved them out of the hands of their enemies as long as the judge lived...But when the judge died, the people returned to ways even more corrupt thant those of their fathers, following other gods and serving and worshiping them." (Judges 2:16-19)

I find it fascinating that over and over, God gave the Israelites the opportunity to practice self-government -- and over and over, the people failed to regulate their own behavior and follow God's laws. "In those days, Israel had no king; everyone did as he saw fit." (Judges 17: 6 AND Judges 21:25) If only they had immersed themselves in God's Word to the point that what they "saw fit" aligned with God's law. 

As I reflected on this "oversight" I began to wonder if God's ideal isn't for each of us to govern ourselves. Imagine a world where everyone followed the Ten Commandments and the Golden Rule, where everyone loved God and his neighbor. Politicians, lawyers, and police officers would find themselves unemployed.

Unfortunately, as the examples from Judges demonstrate, our sin natures lead us to evil. And it is here we seem the limitations of human government. John Adams said,“Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other.” Even leaders with integrity cannot compel people to want what is right and good.

And so I urge you to become informed and give your responsibility for choosing leaders the consideration it deserves. But in the end, we have to reach people with the Word of God -- because the only way we will effectively change our societies is if people turn their hearts to God.

Do you vote regularly? Do you take the time to become informed about candidates positions on issues? And most of all, have you done your part to turn hearts toward God?


After leaving the corporate world to stay home with her children, C.J. Chase quickly learned she did not possess the housekeeping gene. She decided writing might provide the perfect excuse for letting the dust bunnies accumulate under the furniture. Her procrastination, er, hard work paid off in 2010 when she won the Golden Heart for Best Inspirational Manuscript and sold the novel to Love Inspired Historicals. Redeeming the Rogue is an August, 2011 release. You can visit C.J.'s cyber-home (where the floors are always clean) at cjchasebooks.com


9 comments:

  1. Imagine a world where everyone followed the Ten Commandments and the Golden Rule, where everyone loved God and his neighbor.

    I don't have to imagine it - I saw the Star Trek Next Generation episode. The planet was a utopia. Until Will Wheaton came along and accidently kicked a ball onto a lawn/garden area. That wasn't a crime, but going to get it was. Everything stopped. No one knew what to do because the Star Trek team were visitors. Then the police came and took Will off to a holding cell. An immediate trial was called. Will was charged with breaking the law. The penalty - death.

    Wait a minute, you say. How can someone be put to death for walking on grass/in a garden area? Because the law didn't care what the crime was, only that a crime had been committed. The penalty was for breaking a law period.

    Sin is like that. God doesn't care if the sin is lying or murder, adultery or jealousy. A sin is a sin. He doesn't forgive us on different levels depending on our sin, He forgives our sin period.

    Oh, will you look at me this morning. Sorry for the sermon.

    Yes, I vote in every election if possible.

    Today is Provincial voting day in Saskatchewan where we decide on the Premiere of the province. It's not a set day, but a date the party in power has deemed the best one for being re-elected. At least they thought so 6 wks ago when they called for the election on this date.

    Our candidate, Don Toth, is a Christian we know and trust. He's been elected as our legistative rep for the past few elections and we want to ensure he stays there.

    However, the other big news today is the weather. After the first snowfall of the season Sat night and yesterday, the roads are covered and icy. This will keep many seniors away from voting since they shouldn't be out walking on icy sidewalks. We'll just have to pray God's hand is on the election.

    Great post, CJ. Thanks.

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  2. I always vote.

    As my dad is fond of saying, if you don't vote, you can't complain. ;)

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  3. Anita, I know I've seen all the STNG, but I don't remember that one. I'm sure if I ask the guys, however, they'll be able to name the episode.

    Snow??? But it isn't winter yet.

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  4. Brr, Anita!

    I don't remember that STNG either, for some reason. I think a subscription to netflix is in order... (I don't get STNG on any of my cable channels.)

    But what a powerful point. I'm glad you shared it, Anita.

    Good post, CJ. I vote, too.

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  5. DeAnna, my problem is that I'm usually complaining about politicians that other people voted for. You know, the old, I-hate-congress-but-I-like-MY-congressman.

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  6. Well, there IS that. And, yeah, if you can't possibly vote for or against something, then I guess you can complain. ;)

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  7. Susanne, our library had all the STNG episodes. Of course, they had them on VHS, so that was a few years ago -- which might explain why I don't remember the episode Anita referred to.

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  8. Okay, you Trekkies... I typed this in the google search box: star trek next generation will wheaton death penalty

    And the first item that came up was this:

    Justice (Star Trek: The Next Generation) - Wikipedia, the free ...en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Justice_(Star_Trek:_The_Next_Generation)The episode focuses on the Prime Directive, with Wesley breaking a world's " trivial" law and thus facing the death sentence, and Captain Picard having to deal ...


    It's Season 1, Episode 8.

    Here's the plot: On stardate 41255.6, the USS Enterprise stops at the newly discovered planet of Rubicun III for shore leave.

    The native people, who call themselves the Edo, seem passive and sensual, living in a virtual utopia where they openly express love and affection. However the away team sent down to make contact are astonished by the Edo legal system which has only one punishment for lawbreakers: death.

    Immediately after this the away team learn that Wesley Crusher has been sentenced to death for running into a bed of flowers during a game. The Edo regret the consequences for Wesley but explain that their society was once violent and chaotic and that their new gentler society depends on the inviolability of their draconian laws.


    Come on Inkies... they openly expressed love and affection... what kind of romance writers are you? LOL

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  9. Great post, CJ, and great point, Anita. Food for thought from both of you. I'll be dropping my ballot off at the courthouse in the morning.

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