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First of all, then, I urge that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and thanksgivings be made for all people, for kings and all who are in high positions, that we may lead a peaceful and quiet life, godly and dignified in every way. (1 Timothy 2:1-2)

Election Day is next Tuesday, November 8. From coast-to-coast, millions of Americans will cast their votes in local, state, and national races, as well as decide whether or not to approve statewide ballot initiatives.

As we have seen clearly over the last couple of years, the judges and school board members we elect are a critical component of shaping the policies that directly affect our local communities. There are several judges and school board members on the Sacramento County ballot, as is likely the case for all ballots statewide. It is vital that Bible believing Christians step out and participate in this civic endeavor, which is both a duty and a privilege.

Some Christians understandably view politics as corrupt and dirty. That may be. Everything on this planet has been tainted by sin. However, government in and of itself is good. The Bible is clear that civil government was created by God, and we are all subject to it (Romans 13:1).

The Constitution, the founding document of our great nation, opens its preamble with these words: “We the People of the United States…” America was designed to be self-governing! We have a responsibility as citizens of this country to participate in civic affairs such as jury duty, paying taxes, obeying the law and voting. We may not always want to keep these obligations, but they are an integral part of our citizenship.

As Christians, we must be mindful of our citizenship in the Kingdom of God, while at the same time striving to be the best possible citizens of this earthly “kingdom” as well. We are called to be salt and light in this broken world. That cannot happen if we refuse to actively participate in our culture. We are to roll up our sleeves and do what we can as believers to make an impact for Christ. We certainly cannot expect nonbelievers to affect Biblical change!

We may be distressed by the things happening, and even being celebrated, in our culture. But how will those things ever begin to change for the better if Christians refuse to be part of the process? We dare not refuse to participate in this most fundamental vehicle of societal change and then bemoan the outcome!

On this side of heaven, there will never be a perfect candidate. That does not mean that we are released from our civic duty. We may find in a general election that neither candidate represents our position, or stands for anything remotely resembling Biblical values. When faced with such a quandary, we must pray, research to the best of our ability, and make the best choice we can—sometimes choosing what seems to be the lesser of two evils. And then keep on praying for whomever wins office, that their decisions would be honoring to Christ.

Most of us have never seen our freedom truly threatened in our lifetime. However, we must never be cavalier about these matters! In his inaugural address for California governor in 1967, Ronald Reagan spoke these words: “Perhaps you and I have lived too long with this miracle to properly be appreciative. Freedom is a fragile thing and it’s never more than one generation away from extinction. It is not ours by way of inheritance; it must be fought for and defended constantly by each generation, for it comes only once to a people. And those in world history who have known freedom and then lost it have never known it again.”

So what do you do when there is a dearth of good candidates and accusations of corruption abound? You pray for wisdom, research the candidates and issues to the best of your ability, and you vote!

Find voting information here!

Pay to all what is owed to them: taxes to whom taxes are owed, revenue to whom revenue is owed, respect to whom respect is owed, honor to whom honor is owed. (Romans 13:7)