‘An Evangelical Voters Guide, Six Weeks Out’
That’s the title of a useful post written by Asbury Theological Seminary professor, Ben Witherington, on his blog. It may surprise those fed on a regular diet of wrong impressions created by some who claim to speak for all evangelicals or disinformation spooned out by some in the media regarding evangelicals, other Christians, and all theists. Witherington’s advice breaks stereotypes and is non-partisan. One might even call it moderate.
His main pieces of advice to evangelical Christians contemplating the upcoming election:
- Do your homework
- Plan on voting even if you are frustrated
- Do not be a one-issue voter
- Think about how much character should weigh in who you vote for
- Prioritize what you, in good conscience, think are the most crucial issues–and evaluate the candidates on the bases of those priorities
- Be smart enough to see when a candidate is not being honest or forthright about his or her views
- Don’t just vote on gut instinct. Think, evaluate, discuss, pray before pulling the lever.
I think that this is a good list not just for evangelical Christians, but all Christians, and really, for anyone who takes their citizenship seriously. Read the whole thing.
In 2007, I wrote a series of posts on How Christians Might Think About the 2008 Presidential Election. Some of the points I made there dovetail with Witherington’s, although my goal was to present a series of lenses or prisms through which Christians might consider the election process, including how they themselves participated not only as voters, but as folks standing around the water cooler reacting to the latest negative ad or the most recent news from Wall Street. The links to that series are:
I particularly like two pieces of advice Witherington gives in his post. The first is to avoid being one-issue voters. The second is to be smart enough to discern dishonesty in candidates. The latter reminds me of something Jesus told his followers: “See, I am sending you out like sheep into the midst of wolves; so be wise as serpents and innocent as doves” (Matthew 10:16).
Would that we all were as wise as serpents and as innocent as doves…including our candidates.
[This has been cross-posted at my personal blog.]