One of my favorite people in the whole world, Adam "MC Till" Hayden, dropped a line on his Downtown James EP that changed my mind on the subject of voting forever. It’s featured on the song "Downtown Music". Drop by his site www.mctill.com and pick it up. The featured line says, "On election years people ask why I don’t vote no more, I tell em’ I do, when I find someone worth voting for. I don’t flow just to flow, so you can best be sure I don’t vote just to vote."
That line made more sense to me than anything I had heard in a long time. I was of the mind-set that viewed voting as necessary, regardless of who one voted for. Obviously, many have given their lives in favor of African Americans having a right to vote in elections and other such political issues. I was always taught that we were disrespecting the memory and sacrifice of those who came before if we didn’t at least take the time to vote for someone. But after hearing MC Till’s line, my eyes were opened to a new perspective. MC Till is not African American, so his statement had to do with more than race. As I examined it further, I indeed found much more than an issue of race in this matter.
A vote is a powerful thing. It is an approval stamp, a choice, an expression of your will and what you want to happen or come about. With this being the case, how can one claim to be doing a good work by ignorantly voting? Voting simply for the sake of voting grants approval to people and issues that one knows nothing about. In all reality, the people and issues that an ignorant person votes for may be the worst possible choice. I would hate to think that something that is outside the will of God would go forth, simply because I voted for it. What if my vote was the vote that made the difference? It’s this thought that led me to abstain from ignorant voting. Not voting itself, but ignorant voting.
Rather than being obligated to those who came before us to "just vote," I would contend that we are obligated to them in the regard of being informed. If we are informed, and know the views and opinions of candidates, as well as the proceedings of issues on the ballot, we can vote confidently for the party that most closely resembles the will of God. One may ask, "What happens when neither side is anywhere near the will of God?" In these cases, I wouldn’t vote. God does not endorse any evil, and in places where I felt as though I was voting between two evils, I would choose neither. Scripture tells us that all authority is appointed by God. Meaning that all who make it into positions of authority have done so because God has permitted it. Because of this, we should not lend ourselves to undue worry in politics. There are those who give much attention to politics, and never once consider God. For the Christian, this should not be. Our first priority and loyalty is to God. Our chief concern ought to be glorifying God by living out His work and will in our own lives, and we can trust that our Lord will take care of us. Enduring the leadership of certain individuals may not be easy, but we ought not complain unnecessarily. Rather, we should pray for our leaders in accordance with Scripture. Moaning, gossiping and the like do well for no one. They only make things worse. Wherever true attention and change is needed, we need not venture outside the will of God to bring it about.
I urge you as we will elect a new president this year, to take time to become informed. Learn the views and stance of each candidate and prayerfully make your decision from there. You don’t need to know EVERYTHING. But there is a big difference in knowing SOME THINGS and knowing NOTHING other than a candidates sex or skin color. Please don’t gamble and risk endorsing wrong because of a desire to simply vote.
Stay in prayer for our leadership, stay informed, and don’t vote just to vote.