I didn't want to bother you about the 2008 US Presidential election, but I believe my conscience is seared right now. I'll get right to the point: I support the Republican candidate because I think this is an issue of values more than policies, and I have made that very clear to the people around me. I have spent a lot of time researching the candidates, even down to viewing each of their voting records in the Senate and relating everything to biblical principles. Many disciples in my state are voting for the Democratic candidate, and I'm really struggling with this because I believe the economy (secular issues) are trumping morality. I know I'm being overzealous and judgmental, so I only ask that you help me to get some perspective -- a reality check. God is ultimately in control, but I still feel we should use our vote to stand for what most closely matches our spiritual convictions. I respect your insight and knowledge and how you have devoted your life to teaching God's Word all over the world. That is why I ask: What do you think? -- S.P.

Here are my thoughts, for what they're worth:

1. Entering into the political arena, we are putting hope in a realm Jesus and the early church paid no attention to. Moreover, the consistent message of the O.T. is not to place confidence in alliances, treaties, worldly power.

2. Some Christians I know feel it is a sin to vote. Others that it is a sin not to vote. Others that you cannot be a Democrat and a Christian… or a Republican and a Christian… etc. A divisive issue indeed, and hardly worth drawing lines over.

3. This is impossible to regulate anyway!

4. Interestingly, if I told people how to vote – or if any church did, for that matter – we would endanger our tax-exempt status. Not to say that financial considerations are more important than truth, but remember that Jesus’ kingdom is not of this world (Luke 17:20-21; John 18:36).

5. So act according to your convictions, whether that means voting or abstaining, backing this party or that one, or even a candidate you know has no chance to win. After all, who would have “voted” for Jesus in 30 AD? Since he wasn’t going to win any popularity contest, wouldn’t it have been more "prudent" to back Pilate, or Herod, or Caiaphas? You get the drift…

For more, see the very short article on women in politics, the short piece on indoctrination, or the slightly longer one on political involvement. Hope this helps!