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Who should a Christian vote for in this election?

Mon, 24 Oct 2016 Source: Ransford Kwakye

CHRISTIANS and non-Christians, I salute you all in the name of our dear Lord Jesus Christ who died on the cross, rose on the third day and ascended into heaven and sits at the right side of God, the Father Almighty. Since this article is about who a Christian should vote for, I wish readers answer the question below;

Which is more important to you as a Christian,

Your Eternal Life or Your Political Life?

Everyone residing within the boundaries of a vast area classified as a country has the right and a voice in everything that goes on within those boundaries. Christians within the boundaries of Ghana should therefore not be left out of this year’s elections. Christians are to take seriously their obligations as citizens including exercising their right to vote. Since it is our ultimate aim, as Christians, to love and help everyone in the country especially those afar, it is very necessary to be part of the election process of the country by executing what our Lord and our God, Jesus Christ taught about 2000 years ago. Christians have been advised to seek the welfare of any city they find themselves in (Jeremiah 29:7).

The questions which normally come out from these discussions are; what did Jesus Christ teach? And how should that affect my vote as a Christian? Is the Christian not supposed to act and vote basing on how and what they feel just like most unbelievers?

In order to respond to any of these questions it is very important to understand who a Christian is. A Christian is any individual who BELIEVES that Jesus Christ died on the cross and rose (bodily) again on the third day and ascended to heaven and sits at the right side of God, the Father Almighty. This Christian also believes that there is life after dead and that Jesus Christ is the only one who can give eternal life after this time bound life ends. Once you believe (not pretence) in Jesus Christ, you have automatically changed from your old self to your new self and will then walk in the word of God (no matter how difficult it is). You have automatically joined a holy nation and are now a citizen of the priesthood of Jesus Christ who is our High Priest.

This can be seen in 1 Peter 2:9-10 “But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should shew forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvellous light: Which in time past were not a people, but are now the people of God: which had not obtained mercy, but now have obtained mercy.” It should be noted that there are unbelievers who are always among believers. Matthew 7:20-21 clearly stated this; “Therefore by their fruits you will know them. Not everyone who says to Me, 'Lord, Lord,' shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the Will of My Father in heaven.”

The WILL of the Father was what His Son, Jesus Christ, came to earth to reveal and to fulfil. God is not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance (2 Peter 3:9).

The Son made it clear in John 14:6 that He is the way, the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except by Him (The Son). Everything about his life on earth shows that He is the truth. In fact, truth emerges from Him; that is His nature. He is truthful not because He acts or speaks the truth but He is. There would not be truth without Jesus Christ. Hence, all those who truly believe in the Son, Jesus Christ, will always be led by the TRUTH. Wherever you find yourself, your main objective as a Christian is to tell and act the truth as taught by Jesus Christ. Always following this Truth, no matter what it takes, is what shows one has ETERNAL LIFE. Anything a believer does must be based on the TRUTH including the vote they will cast in this year’s elections.

HOW SHOULD YOUR BELIEVE IN JESUS CHRIST AFFECT YOUR VOTE?

Readers should take note that the purpose of this is not to advice any Christian to vote for Candidate X or Candidate Y but it is to remind Christians who they are and on which BIBLICAL PRINCIPLES they are to vote.

First and Foremost, what every Christian needs to think of before deciding on who to vote for is “who they are as Christians” and “what they stand for”. A Christian does not have to be ignorant about the country they reside. Adequate information needs to be solicited to inform them to enable them make profound decision.

A CHRISTIAN WILL VOTE FOR THE TRUTH

God is a Spirit: and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth (John 4:24).

When a Christian’s vote is not based on the Truth then that person is a liar. If we, Christians, are supposed to follow what is true then our actions and deeds including our votes must be based on the truth. Let us assume, Parliamentary Candidate SAD is not competent for a position and everything shows this but then a Christian voter, due to influences in terms of material things, go on to vote for this candidate then this Christian has not been truthful to him/herself and also has not been truthful to God. Even if this candidate is in his/her party and all evidences show that he/she is not competent compared to the opponent’s candidate, he/she still has to vote for what is true that is vote for the competent candidate in the opposition party.

Imagine our parliamentarians (especially the Christians which on observation are about 60% or more) in parliament vote basing on the truth and not on minority or majority grounds, where do you think our dearest country would be by now? On this, I will advise and encourage all Christians to be led by the Holy Spirit to vote what is true and not on financial or other gains or on party grounds.

Remember, Jesus Christ said he is with us always and everywhere and this includes the voting booth. He is watching you! (Matthew 28:20).

A CHRISTIAN WILL NOT VOTE SELFISHLY

Let each of you look out not only for his own interests, but also for the interests of others (Philippians 2:4).

An individual is selfish when he/she looks after their own desires. They are concerned with their own interests, needs, and wishes while ignoring those of others. In time past Christians, unknowingly, voted selfishly, ignoring the interests, needs and wishes of others especially the poor and the needy who are far off. Some people did not consider the lives and wellbeing of others living elsewhere before casting their votes.

They were mostly concerned about what they have been given or promised by political parties. These includes and not limited to cash promises, vehicle promises, positions in party offices and in governments. It is our responsibility not to only think about the benefits that will come to us but to also think about how others will also benefit from the votes we are going to cast in this and every other elections.

When someone chooses to vote the wrong candidate (due to their selfishness) and goes to your detriment, will you be happy? Do not forget we are supposed to do unto others what we want others to do unto us (Matthew 7:12). Christians should not engage themselves in such behaviours. Let your conscience judge you.

Remember, whoever shuts his ears to the cry of the poor will also cry himself and not be heard (Proverbs 21:13).

A CHRISTIAN WILL VOTE FOR A LEADER WHO IS READY TO SACRIFICE HIS LIFE FOR ALL.

Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends (John 15:13).

Sacrificing one’s life including one’s family, friends and other relations for the purpose of improving the lives of people is what is expected from a leader. Giving up of something valuable or important for somebody or something else considered to be of more value or importance. This kind of sacrifices was witnessed by some Ghanaians in history, specifically during and after our independence. Our founding fathers did not think about what they will get but rather what was right for the country as at that time. Most died during and after the fight for Ghana’s Independence. Can you be sincere and speak same of our leaders today? I understand the person who stirs the soup definitely will try and taste it but then when gluttony sets in, it makes it wickedness.

Thank God for making it possible for us to get background details about most, if not all, of the presidential and parliamentary candidates for this year’s elections (basing on their past records as members of parliaments, government employees/appointees or business men) to easily determine which of them will be able to sacrifice his/her life for the country if given the mandate. If all indications suggest that a candidate finds it very difficult to sacrifice their lives for the people of Ghana then that candidate is not worthy to earn your vote.

Remember, a good shepherd gives His life for the sheep (John 10:11).

A CHRISTIAN WILL VOTE FOR A LEADER WHO BEARS THE FRUIT OF THE HOLY SPIRIT

But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, temperance: (Gal 5:22-23)

Everyone can bear witness that, most candidates mount platforms and exhibits characters that are not from the Holy Spirit. They say they want peace but their actions and especially their words suggest otherwise. Christians are not to condone such attitudes and are to shun them. Politics should not be the reason for any Christian to act contrary to what the word teaches. We need to show love in our deeds and in our words on both political and church platforms. Our actions as Christians do not need to change depending on where we find ourselves. We are to emulate Jesus Christ anywhere we find ourselves, at work places, in our homes, schools, on the streets, at the malls, in the trotros, at the flagstaff house, in parliament and even as president.

Arrogance, pride, unwholesome or corrupt words, hot tempers and so on are not fruit of the Holy Spirit therefore any politician who exhibits any of these is not worthy to earn your vote as a Christian.

There are other categories of so called Christians who go about exhibiting certain characteristics that are not of the Holy Spirit or that are not expected of Christians. These people include;

1. Those who discard or deface posters belonging to other political parties.

2. Those who cover posters belonging to other political parties with their posters.

3. Those who go about deceiving people who are not well informed about national issues thereby making them vote wrongly. Yes, you call it politics but I call it deception.

4. Those who bear false witness against political candidates.

5. And others.

What is actually driving you, brothers and sisters in Christ, to do all these things? What is your purpose in life? Have you lost your grounds on why you are Christians?

Remember, let no corrupt word proceed out of your mouth, but what is good for necessary edification, that it may impart grace to the hearers (Ephesians 4:29).

A CHRISTIAN WILL VOTE FOR A LEADER WHO CAN HOLD PEOPLE ACCOUNTABLE.

But I say unto you, that every idle word that men shall speak, they shall give account thereof in the Day of Judgment. (Matthew 12:36)

Since we are created in God’s image and have been sent by him, everyone will give an account to Him (Romans 14:12). A leader who does not hold people accountable does not have the nation at heart. When people are put in offices to aid this leader to rule the nation, these people need to account for everything they have been entrusted with from day one of their induction into office to the last day of their ‘deduction’ from office. A leader who does not hold people accountable but let them go free is not a just leader.

If really such a leader has the nation at heart he will. Every penny entrusted to people in power must be accounted for. We have all read about the Parable of the Talents in Luke 19:11-27. In the parable, the rich man made each servant account for what he gave them before he journeyed far off and it was seen that those who did not make any gain with what they were entrusted with were taken from them and given to those who had the ability to.

Every creature will account to God on how they lived their lives whiles on earth. Therefore, if accountability is very important why won’t a Christian vote for someone who can equally hold people accountable for what has been assigned to them?

Remember, and I saw the dead, small and great, standing before God, and books were opened. And another book was opened, which is the Book of Life. And the dead were judged according to their works, by the things which were written in the books (Revelation 20:12).

A CHRISTIAN WILL VOTE FOR TRANSPARENCY.

Wherefore putting away lying, speak every man truth with his neighbour: for we are members one of another (Ephesians 4:25).

A CHRISTIAN WILL VOTE FOR A LEADER WHO HAS A CLEAR ARTICULATED VISION AND MISSION.

For which of you, intending to build a tower, does not sit down first and count the cost, whether he has enough to finish it (Luke 14:28).

ABOVE ALL PRAY FOR GUIDANCE FROM THE HOLY SPIRIT.

It is written “Trust in the LORD with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct your paths (Proverbs 3:5-6)”. It is important to understand as Christians that, the Holy Spirit guides us to exercise our rights according to the will of God. Therefore, having observed all these, let us not forget to pray with open hearts to hear clearly what God has instructed us to do.

If you go and vote for what is wrong knowingly after praying, then it is better you did not pray at the first place. We violate God’s will if we do not do the right thing expected of us to do as Christians and thereby suffer the consequences. Therefore, if we know whole heartedly what is right as per the guidance of the Holy Spirit, then let us go and do it not only in this elections but anywhere we find ourselves.

Remember, but when He, the Spirit of truth, comes, He will guide you into all the truth; for He will not speak on His own initiative, but whatever He hears, He will speak; and He will disclose to you what is to come (John 16:13).

ARE CHRISTIANS TO VOTE FOR LESSER OF TWO EVILS? NO, THAT’S NOT WHAT I MEAN…!

“For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God;” Romans 3:23

Apart from our Lord and our God, Jesus Christ who died on the cross about 2000 years ago, no one has ever lived a sinless life. Glancing through all the founders of other faiths (religions) you will not find anyone who lived a meaningful righteous life apart from our Saviour Jesus Christ.

Therefore, I am not asking you to go to the polls with the mind of voting for the lesser evil among these candidates. They are not heavenly beings without sin or a nature to go against God’s laws or will. By the standard of God’s law, everyone is a lair (Romans 3:4); this doesn’t mean we should vote for a person we know has a pattern of lying or a habitual liar; or a pattern of misrepresenting the truth; or a pattern of caring less about the country and more about themselves, their families, friends or associates.

Remember, “I am sending you out like sheep surrounded by wolves, so be wise as serpents and innocent as doves (Matthew 10:16).

WHAT ELSE SHOULD WE KNOW BEFORE CASTING OUR VOTES?

It should also be noted that, when Christians vote, they are delegating their rights to rule and execute JUSTICE to another person in a Democratic Republic like Ghana. You need to be involved in the delegation process. We should know that this system cannot save or redeem us but it will ultimately execute GOD’S JUSTICE by rewarding good and punishing evil. So if you do not take part in this delegation process then do not complain if GOD’S JUSTICE is not executed by the person who is finally elected.

The bible says “rulers are not a terror to good works, but to evil. Do you want to be unafraid of the authority? Do what is good, and you will have praise from the same. For he is God's minister to you for good. But if you do evil, be afraid; for he does not bear the sword in vain; for he is God's minister, an avenger to execute wrath on him who practices evil (Romans 13:3-4)”. “Therefore submit yourselves to every ordinance of man for the Lord's sake, whether to the king as supreme, or to governors, as to those who are sent by him for the punishment of evildoers and for the praise of those who do good (1 Peter 2:13-14)”.

From these quotations we can all agree that, not every candidate is a potential minister of God to execute JUSTICE (Matthew 7:16). Those that are only determined to execute justice are those that Christians can call God’s Ministers. Woe betide anyone who sits on the seat of governance and does not execute justice for when the time is due the JUDGE of all judges will do what is right (Genesis 18:25). And woe betide any person who knows that truth and do not vote for it but rather vote otherwise (James 4:17).

If we want murderers, liars, selfish, power hungry, self-centred people to be our leaders or to rule us then that’s what we are going to get. If you vote someone into office who you know wilfully practices consistent selfish activities then it means you are in approval of their conducts. Remember, for who, knowing the righteous judgment of God, that those who practice such things are deserving of death, not only do the same but also approve of those who practice them (Romans 1:32).

If you truly believe Jesus Christ and that this world is not your home but you are just passing through, then please take heed to this, think through thoroughly and ask yourself whether it is morally right to just vote for anyone who does not represent you. How different are you if you do not heed to the word of God but heed to the practices of unbelievers? If we do not live according to the biblical principles revealed to us by God through His Son, Jesus Christ, then we do not have any business doing with him hence we do not have the right to call ourselves CHRISTIANS.

Columnist: Ransford Kwakye