Sunday, October 31, 2010

Vote Values this Tuesday

Voting biblical values into office


I don’t know if you’ve noticed, but there’s going to be an election Tuesday. Yes, I know that you are impressed with my observational skills.

While that shocking news is settling in, let me ask a question: What priorities or values will inform how you vote? I mean surely you, like I, look deeper than what letter is beside the candidate’s name — a D, R or I — when choosing which candidates to support. Surely there is something else, something more that informs us when we step into that booth and cast our votes, right?

Below are five priorities that will influence my votes:First, I believe every human is made in God’s image and that the Bible clearly supports choosing life. Thirty-thousand children dying globally each day of preventable hunger and disease, health care, war, genocides, abortion — all of these are life issues. The candidates I plan to support are those who, according to the realistic functions of their desired office, propose to address all the threats to life and dignity. Along the same lines, I will support the candidates who are most likely to protect human rights and human dignity. With sexual and economic slavery increasing around the world, an end to human trafficking must become a top priority. The immigration system needs comprehensive reform, but it must be changed in ways that are consistent with the biblical command to “welcome the stranger.”

Second, as one who values the Bible, which contains more than 2,000 verses about money and sharing God’s resources, I will examine the promises and proposed policies of the candidates about overcoming extreme global poverty and unnecessary domestic poverty in the world’s richest nation. For me, such a central biblical theme cannot be ignored at election time, as too many Christians have done for years. Any solution to the economic crisis that bails out the rich, and even me in the middle class, but ignores those at the bottom is entirely unacceptable.

Third, from the prophets to Jesus, there is the hope of beating our swords into instruments of peace. I will support the candidates who seem to best understand that our security depends upon other people’s security more than upon how high we can build walls or stockpile weapons. I do not expect a pacifist president, now or ever, but I do want one who views military force as a last resort and never as a preferred response to conflict.Fifth, God’s creation is clearly under assault. I will support the candidates who will likely be most faithful in caring for God’s delicate creation. Energy resource dependence, job creation, national security are all unmistakably interconnected.

Finally for now, I am concerned about the values our leaders model. Am I looking for a Pastor in Chief? No, but I will support the candidates that best exemplify and articulate strong family values, using the White House and other offices as bully pulpits to speak of sexual restraint and integrity, marital fidelity and healthy families of all different shapes and formations.

So, there you have it — a portion, at least, of the priorities that will influence my voting this year.

How about you? What are your priorities?Whatever they are, please be sure to exercise the privilege and responsibility of voting!

Wilson pastors First Christian Church, 118 W. Washington St., Shelbyville, blogs at, and reads e-mail sent to

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Step Well, Andalaj, India

The very interesting Step Well in Andalaj, India.