As you may have heard in the first Presidential Debate this past Tuesday evening, voting for the November 3, 2020, election is already underway. If there was any doubt that was true in our area, Wednesday morning someone told me that he had already both received and mailed-in his ballot.
But, there is still time for you to register and vote, and I encourage you to do so! (Voter registration reportedly ends this Monday, and in-person early voting should run October 13-30, but check your county’s elections website for details.)
God’s inspired and therefore inerrant Word does not stipulate a particular form of secular government but tells us, for example, that God has instituted all the governing authorities that exist (Romans 13:1). We may question the original colonists’ throwing off their God-given king, but, for better or worse, the United States now has its representative democracy, at least permitted by God in His unfathomable wisdom (Romans 11:33).
And, God arguably has something to say about how we, under this particular form of government, should vote. Since God wants us both to love Him and to love our neighbor, so we should vote in ways that best serve, not ourselves and our own needs, but our neighbors and their needs. For example, our defenseless neighbors with the most-acute needs, unborn children threatened by abortion and the elderly and others threatened by “mercy killing”, should be our highest priority.
We pray that God guides all voters, that the election is legitimate, and that all people accept its outcome. Already enduring illegal violent demonstrations around the country and a bitter Supreme Court nomination fight, we pray that God works through the governing authorities to carry out His wrath on those who do wrong and to approve of those who do good (Romans 13:3-4).
God does not fatalistically control every aspect of our lives, such as our civil government, but He does work all things together for the good of conforming those who repent and believe to the image of His Son, Who died on the cross for the sins of the world (Romans 8:28-29). And, raised from the dead and enthroned above, that Son rules over all for the benefit of His Church (Ephesians 1:22-23). That Church, through God’s Word and Sacraments, delivers His forgiveness of sins to the fallen world, that it might someday become His Kingdom for all eternity (Revelation 11:15).
The Rev. Dr. Jayson S. Galler is Pastor of Pilgrim Lutheran Church in Kilgore. You can reach him through the congregation’s website: www.pilgrimlc.org.