You have faith and I have works; show me your faith without the works, and I will show you my faith by my works.
—James 2:18

God has called Christians to be salt and light in this decaying and darkening world. One of the most effective ways we have to be a preservative in this culture is through the political process. Now, that goes against the conventional wisdom of our day. People say that Christians should not get involved with politics. But politics is simply the art of governing. And to govern means to direct, control, or influence other people. So when people say Christians should not be involved in politics, they are saying that Christians should not be involved in directing, controlling, or even influencing the direction of our nation. Does anybody really believe that? We have a responsibility to bring a Christian influence into our country. And one of the most powerful ways we have to do that is through elections. When you cast a vote for a candidate, you are voting either for righteousness or unrighteousness.

Last week we began looking at four questions every Christian should ask before they vote. Question number one was this: Is the candidate a Christian? We have a right to demonstrate a preference when we vote, and one of the best preferences to show is for a Christian. Now, being a Christian does not automatically qualify someone for office. Of course we want a leader who is competent as well. But it’s not an either/or choice. Why not strive for someone who is both a competent leader and a committed Christian? That’s the privilege we have in this country.

Another question to ask before you select a candidate to vote for is this: How would this candidate’s faith impact his policies? During the 2004 presidential election there were two candidates from different political parties with very different views about how faith should impact their policies. Senator John Kerry, the Democratic nominee, said he fully intended to practice his religion separately from his public life. On the other hand, the Republican candidate, then President George W. Bush, said that he could not separate his faith from his life. And we saw that in President Bush’s public policy. His personal religious beliefs shaped his policies regarding abortion, same-sex marriage, human rights, stem cell research, and so on.

Frankly, any politician who claims to be the follower of any faith and yet says his faith has no impact on his policies is either dishonest or a shallow follower of his faith. There is no religion in the world that allows you to separate your faith from your behavior. Your faith, whatever it is, is supposed to impact every part of your life. How would you, for example, respond to someone who said, “I’m a Christian, but I keep my faith separate from my decisions about sex”? Why is it any different to say: “I’m a committed believer, but I don’t allow my faith to impact my career as a politician or my policies?” That is ludicrous. Your faith should affect every area of your life, including your public policies.

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Today’s devotion is excerpted from “How a Christian Should Vote ” by Dr. Robert Jeffress, 2011.

Scripture taken from the NEW AMERICAN STANDARD BIBLE®, Copyright © 1960,1962,1963,1968,1971,1972,1973,1975,1977,1995 by The Lockman Foundation. Used by permission.