I would be lying if I said I’ve never had a moment in Tennessee where I’ve found myself thinking, “Was all of this really worth it?” Every street we drive down is strange. Everyone I meet, with the exception of just a few families, is a new face with whom I have no history (which is why I highly recommend taking your people with you! http://redstateramblings.com/have-to-move-take-your-people-with-you/). All of the newness can be exciting but also exhausting at times and I look back and long for things that are familiar.
All of us, even if we’ve never moved, at one time or another have thought the same.
Maybe this is why Scripture says:
Say not, “Why were the former days better than these?”
For it is not from wisdom that you ask this.Ecclesiastes 7:10
But sometimes, God graciously gives us a glimpse into something that reminds us why we are here and we’re encouraged.
Our first time voting in our new state was one of those moments! (Check out Lindsey’s post here about voting in Idaho! http://redstateramblings.com/the-oregon-trail-in-reverse/)
Candidates Who are Real People
Over the last several months at something called “First Friday” in our town square, candidates running for office have spent many hours talking with concerned citizens and asking for their votes. At the last First Friday, my husband had a great chat with a candidate running for mayor. He was able to share our story and felt genuinely heard.
The humanity of the candidates is on full display. If you spend just a few short moments chatting with a neighbor or one of the many friendly people out and about, it’s very likely you will meet someone who knows a candidate personally.
There’s something about that that just makes the voting process sweeter. Our children get to see that you don’t have to be one of the rich elite to be involved in politics.
Secure Voting Procedures
I was shocked at how simple, efficient and even a little bit fun the voting process was! We were greeted by a long line of candidates’ smiling faces as we drove up, parked our car right in front and were warmly welcomed in by a kind woman. I was asked to take my driver’s license out of my wallet so it could be carefully inspected. A signature page was printed out for me to sign and I was moved down the line. Thankfully, because my husband had taken the time to print out this voting guide for us: https://craighuey.com/maury-county/, I wasn’t totally confused about which candidates aligned with our worldview. I got my cute little sticker and was done in under ten minutes!
Why Voting Matters
There are many wonderful, godly homes in California with men and women who value things like protecting the most vulnerable and sacrificial service to our fellow man and country, but because of some very bad ideas, (you can read more about them here: http://redstateramblings.com/hollywood-lies-paradise-lost/) those wonderful, godly homes are made to feel their views are antiquated, hateful even and not worthy of being heard. Progressive pastors who encourage their congregations to shut up and sit down when it comes to politics hurt the situation even more. (You can read more about my thoughts on Christians handling tyrants in the home and in our country here: https://tennesseeconservativenews.com/making-peace-with-evil-how-california-went-crazy-op-ed/.)
American Christians would be wise to remember that we are living in this place at this time. We are free to read God’s Word, vote according to our convictions and publicly proclaim and defend truth in whatever spheres the Lord places us. We are not being martyred. We are not having to meet underground to gather with other believers. We are right here, right now. God is still on the throne, as He has always been and sin is still deceiving as it always has. Our Christian duty is still our joy and made possible because of Jesus Christ’s finished work on the cross and His grace working in us day by day.
“Throughout Scripture we see that God is a God of order, boundaries, definitions, instructions, hierarchies, processes, truth and clarity. Satan is an agent of disorder, lawlessness, confusion and chaos. Understanding this will help you categorize what’s good and what’s evil today.”Allie Beth Stuckey, Relatable
One of the greatest joys we have as Christians is to be part of God’s work bringing order out of chaos. This is why I vote.
I do not vote because I believe there is a candidate who is pure like my Savior. All are fallen sinners like me.
I do not vote because I believe utopia is possible. Heaven is my ultimate home.
I vote because, as a Christian, I care. I’ve been given a great privilege living in a country whose founders decided I ought to have a voice. My voice is small and insignificant but when combined with many others all across the country, it has the power to deter evil. And we need to remember there are indeed, evil policies being promoted by many left leaning politicians.
Calling the mutilation of children anything other than evil perpetuates abuse and mental illness.
Calling abortion anything other than evil promotes the murder of human babies.
Calling Critical Race Theory anything other than evil promotes racism.
When I thought it Didn’t Matter
As a new Christian twenty years ago, I remember feeling very proud of myself for not aligning with any political party. I would argue with my husband that the left was more compassionate and ultimately, felt convinced it wasn’t wise or helpful for Christians to be vocal about anything other than the gospel.
As I continued to mature in faith and in life (and after experiencing the effects of bad policy during the pandemic), I changed my tune. Although I understand and appreciate that not every Christian will choose to be vocal about politics and that may be the best thing in their situation, I also believe that Christians must do what my kids learned in third grade when they read “The Medallion” by Dawn L. Watkins at school. A true king must:
- learn what is true
- believe the truth
- act on that belief
If we know there is something we can do to protect the vulnerable, help the weak, defend the proclamation of truth, have a clean conscience before the Lord, uphold justice and punish wickedness, it is incumbent on us as Christians to do that thing!
“Do not withhold good from those to whom it is due, when it is in your power to do it.”Proverbs 3:27
Voting is an opportunity to do something good. While perfect candidates upholding perfect policy do not exist, we cannot stick our heads in the sand and pretend there isn’t a difference between bad, good, better and best. We need to be thinking Christians, willing to learn and willing to do something with what we know.
We may differ on many things, even in the church, but we shouldn’t be in conflict with each other on things Scripture plainly teaches.
It’s not bad to call evil evil. It doesn’t distract from the gospel. It’s because of the gospel we are able to be bold!
It’s not bad to live as a citizen of this kingdom and to care for it deeply. It’s because of our citizenship to another kingdom we are able to truly care for this one!
It’s not bad to enjoy the freedoms we have available to us in America. It’s because of our founders’ belief in the imago Dei that we have them!
We truly do live in the Greatest Great Nation! (And on that note, go buy our friend’s new book by that title here: https://www.amazon.com/Greatest-Great-Nation-Erik-Meyers/dp/0578284170/ref=sr_1_4?crid=168MNOTG6HNJO&keywords=the+greatest+great+nation&qid=1659193309&s=books&sprefix=the+greatest+great+nation%2Cstripbooks%2C78&sr=1-4. It was just released today and I can vouch for the beautiful truths it teaches kids about the incredible country we are living in.)
If you frequently find yourself in a state of debilitating despair when you consider the future of our nation, I want to encourage you to throw that off. It is only a distraction to actually doing something. It’s a distraction to enjoying, working, loving, feeling, helping, planning, changing…
We are not living in a dystopian novel. This is our Father’s world and He has given us so much good to do. Let’s get busy doing it! Wisdom tells us to stop looking back. God will take us where He wills. May we occupy our hearts with happy work in the process.
Tell the school board about the bad book you found at your kid’s school: https://fox17.com/news/local/nashville-tennessee-country-music-john-rich-compares-obscene-books-in-tennessee-schools-to-predators-grooming-politics-usa-news
Teach your kids the virtue of patriotism: https://www.amazon.com/Greatest-Great-Nation-Erik-Meyers/dp/0578284170/ref=sr_1_4?crid=168MNOTG6HNJO&keywords=the+greatest+great+nation&qid=1659193309&s=books&sprefix=the+greatest+great+nation%2Cstripbooks%2C78&sr=1-4
Cast your vote!