As the morning news flashes on the muted television during my devotional time today, many are gathering on the campus of Belmont University, the site of tonight's presidential debate. Some hold signs indicating their political choices, campaign slogans, and well wishes. Many are pinning their hopes and dreams on the outcome of this election. Sadly, many have little knowledge of the true hope and eternal salvation.
Godly enough, a scripture in my daily Bible reading had already captivated my thoughts: And whatever you say or do, let it be as a representative of the Lord Jesus, all the while giving thanks through him to God the Father (Col 3:17 NLT). As Christians, what signs are we waving in our daily lives? The i.d. badges on our shirts and around our necks say "Christ's Ambassador" yet the signs we carry may show no true reflection of His presence and manifestation of His Spirit. Instead of love, grace, mercy and forgiveness our signs sometimes proclaim anger, bitterness, bigotry, impatience, unloving and unforgiving.
Our last Sunday school lesson was a study in the New Testament Day of Pentecost and the birth of the church. The coming of the Holy Spirit placed within each and every believer the ability to receive God's plan of salvation; to pray, having the Spirit as our intercessor; to fellowship with one another; and to tell the world the Good News. The Spirit came to join us together, making our spiritual lives the joint, tissue and marrow that operates in the secular world--woven together, not divided. The Spirit did not come upon us with denominations and labels (Baptist, Methodist, Pentecostal, Church of Christ, Evangelical, Fundamentalist, Conservative), but united as one body in Christ.
Surely, then, our choices of and participation in the election of our officials, from the county courthouse to the White House, should not be without the influence of our spiritual consciousness. The responsibility to make informed choices that best reflect our beliefs is tasked to each of us. I have failed in times past to take this responsibility seriously enough. I encourage you to watch prayerfully tonight's debate, obtain as much accurate information as possible about the positions of each candidate, then vote according to your convictions. While at one time I might have elected not to vote at all, that is no longer the right choice for me. It is time that we take responsibility for voting our convictions as Christians, just as many other others who have beliefs contrary to ours have so vigorously pursued having their voices heard in our governments.