Ira Combs, Jackson, MI — Our church participates in voter education. Saints are obligated to be involved if the candidates running are worthy of their votes. If a saint has knowledge that he or she is supporting a candidate whose policies are contrary to the scriptures and an affront to God, that person is in violation of the Word of God.
John the Baptist was very vocal against Herod. It left an indelible record in history, that if indeed we are to be servants of Christ we are to take a position — even if it costs us our lives.
Thomas Davis, Kent, WA — The Word of God gives us directives as to what our rights and mandates are. It is important that we have a voice and be able to declare what is right and also what is wrong; and to do it in a way that God is glorified. I have that voice more-so with the Democratic party.
I try not to involve the church because you get into a lot of problems. I don’t even share it from the pulpit. I step out of the pulpit to talk about politics and encourage people to vote.
Sherwood Bradford, Moss Point, MS — Holiness churches make a great mistake by not being involved. We learned a great lesson here on the Gulf Coast when Hurricane Katrina hit. Because we hadn’t been involved, we missed out on a lot of things for our people because the other denominations that were politically involved had the connections.
Paul always went to the council. Jesus was a great politician. Isaiah said the government would be on His shoulders. Jesus was the only person who could convince that many folks to follow Him.
I mention voting every Sunday. Voting is Biblical. Faith without works is dead. We should be more vocal, and we should educate our people because most of them are going to vote. The question is, do you want them voting ignorantly or do you want them voting with knowledge?
It would be a sin to support a candidate who supports anti-Christian values. If you put your hand to the plow with that man, you are a partaker of his sins.
Getting involved with the IRS and the 501’s might have been a bad road to take. Now they can threaten you with that. But if you are preaching the Gospel, you can preach without it. If they take it, you were a church before you acquired 501 status. Only those tied in with that feel threatened. If you feel that it is important to your ministry, you have sold out to the government. If anybody controls your pulpit, you have sold out to them.
Rick Lovall, Sikeston, MO — I strongly encourage our people to vote their convictions, but I don’t tell anybody who to vote for, not even my wife.
We need to represent our faith and our values and make sure that we don’t compromise. I never support one party over another. I only vote for the person that lines up with my convictions. I believe it is wrong to enable sin, so I believe it is wrong to vote for someone who I know is going to function in capacities I believe are sinful.
Richard A. Gifford, Waycross, GA — I have had some candidates to come in and speak if they share the same core values we do. I would not necessarily say it was sin to vote for someone who didn’t share the same values, though.
In a private conversation, I think it’s wise for a pastor to endorse a candidate; but it’s unwise to do it from the pulpit. As a pastor, you have to identify the people in your church who have influence and then privately influence them. Without you saying anything, they in turn influence others.
Ben Smith, Richmond, IN — The church needs a voice. If we are going to lay claim to being the moral compass of society, we need to bring our voice to the table. Voting lets us have somewhat of a voice.
The closest I could come to saying it is sin to support a candidate whose views are contrary to scripture is “to him that knoweth to do good and doeth it not, to him it is sin.” Still, I cannot in good conscience say that how a person votes is a sin. Sin is a heavy word.
Roger Roth, Gig Harbor, WA — I try to research which candidates are doing what, but one thing I’m finding out is that they are all the same. I cannot even vote straight Republican anymore. I don’t think party line is worth twenty cents anymore. If Republicans stood for what they say they stand for, then President Obama would not be able to do what he has done. They sat back and allowed him to make statements like, “I have a phone, and I have a pen.”
I think it would be a sin to support candidates who support same-sex marriage or abortion, but if you try to vote based on the candidate, you’re still going to find that there’s something in the candidate’s record you’re against as a Christian. A lot of that has to do with us not having term limits. All they’re trying to do is spend the first two years of the term trying to find out what they are supposed to do and the next two years trying to get re-elected. Not that I’m afraid of it, but I don’t know that I would endorse a candidate from the pulpit. For me, it’s not really about IRS or federal authority; it’s more about what the sanctuary is really for. I’d rather preach with anointing and let the Holy Ghost work on the Christians in the congregation. I would then tell them, “When you vote, vote with knowledge. Use some intelligence. It doesn’t take that long. Vote responsibly.”