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FIRST-PERSON: Voting for the family

EULESS, Texas (BP)–November is right around the corner. Do you know how your family will vote? As Christians, this question is one of utmost importance. Scriptures teach us that Christians should be actively engaging the culture around us with the light of Jesus Christ.

And voting provides us an active channel to voice the Gospel message. When we talk of voting for the family, we immediately think of the onslaught against traditional marriage between a man and woman. We see issues on the table like the Federal Marriage Amendment, states issuing same-sex “marriage” licenses and rogue judges challenging the very definition of marriage.

Christians across the board have rallied to preserve the sanctity of biblically defined marriage: one man and one woman forever. This is good and positive. We need to let this message go forth.

But I fear, more than anything, that the biblical message is compromised not by antagonistic groups, not by rogue judges and not by the radical left. The Biblical message on marriage is compromised by Christians’ failure to adhere to and live up to the ideals of the Scripture.

I have read that divorce is rampant in Christian churches. Among those who call themselves churchgoers, divorce is as common, perhaps even more common, than among those who don’t go to church.

The proliferation of divorce is a tragedy, and it is one symptom of many that reveal Christ’s church is not living as closely to Him as we need to be. When we fail in our devotion to Christ in marriage, God does forgive and redeem. We find comfort in this. But the reality remains that the widespread failure in issues such as marriage opens the door for Satan to attack God’s church and the scriptural truths on which the church stands.

I believe one of the main reasons why the moral truths of Scripture are attacked today is not only because Satan wishes for the destruction of God’s church but also because the church has been negligent in her duty to loyally serve Jesus in every facet of her life.

This is a harsh critique, but one in which Peter the apostle refused to shirk. Peter says to the church, “… but as He who called you is holy, you also be holy in all your conduct….” (1 Peter 1:15). If we refuse holiness, which literally means “being worthy of God,” then we offer room for contesting worldviews to gain a foothold in our culture. By citing Christian “hypocrisy” and by citing Christian failure in marriage, they pronounce the death of the Christian worldview.

And they have reason for such claims. First, the divorce rate in the church as compared to outside the church. In their eyes, it’s hypocritical for a Christian to preach about what’s right and wrong in marriage when Christian marriages are crashing and burning. Second, these competing worldviews see both failure and abuse in the church and refuse Christianity out of hand. Does “Catholic Priest Child Abuse” scandal ring a bell?

In conclusion, I would like to say two things. First, I agree with Dr. Russell Moore of Southern Seminary when he says, “The Scriptures tell us that God has ordained the governing authorities to rule justly. In a democratic society, the people are these structures. If the government is unjust, we [as Christians] are responsible before God” (“Political engagement seen as key facet of biblical faith,” Baptist Press, Aug. 5). Because I believe this, we must vote and make the Gospel heard with our political engagement. We must teach our families to be active participants in our governmental system.

Second, because I agree with Dr. Moore’s statement and because I agree with Peter’s admonition to be holy, I would argue that the church today must be humbled and convicted. We must strengthen our devotion to Christ. Divorce must decline and end in the church. Christian husbands and wives ought to be the model of Christ’s sacrificial love to other married couples. We must be more loving and caring to those in need and those who are hurting. Compassion should reign on our lips and our actions should be bathed in Christ’s sacrifice.

Along with the Christian responsibility of voting, we must live out the moral teachings of the Scripture with single-minded devotion that will change both our lives and the culture around us. November is right around the corner. Live out your vote and start today.
Claude Thomas is pastor of First Baptist Church in Euless, Texas. For more resources from Dr. Thomas, visit www.LifePoints.org.

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  • Claude Thomas