This month we will (or have already, depending on when you are reading this) vote for the future leadership of our country. We all know it’s a very important election and many of us will vote based on our position related to a single issue that is important to us. Maybe it’s the war, maybe it’s the economy, maybe it’s the culture; there’s something that will animate and motivate us to get out there and cast our vote for one person or another. All of us prioritize the issues; some things are more important to us than others. That’s probably a good thing, because no one candidate agrees with us on ALL of the issues. So we prioritize and do the best we can to vote for the candidate who agrees with us on the issues that we think are most important. But what issues ought to be most important?
As a Christian, there are many issues that are important to me. I am concerned about the sanctity of life, the veneration of marriage, the reality of poverty and disease, issues of global injustice and war; there is so much that concerns me as a Christian. How can any of us possibly begin to prioritize? Well, let me offer a little analogy.
I have been involved with inner city ministry on occasion for several years now. We have partnered with a small urban church in the “Skid Row” area of Los Angeles and we often get involved in efforts to reach out to those who are homeless. Imagine that you have joined me in this effort and that both of us are working a food line, feeding those in need. As we begin serving, we observe that the line of homeless adults and children is growing and is now more than 100 people long. With great joy, we continue to serve meals and care for those in need. We’re able to talk to these folks about their needs and concerns and we are able to share the gospel and pray with them. We are joyfully able to serve in one area of concern to us.
But now imagine that we hear a loud gunshot. After flinching, we look down at the end of the food line and observe that someone has pulled out a handgun and is beginning to kill people who are standing in line. We hear another gunshot and see another innocent victim fall to the ground. What should we do? Should we continue to feed the homeless and pass out food? You and I both know what we must do. No matter how we feel about feeding people and solving the problem of poverty, hunger or homelessness, we’re now going to have to change our priority. If we ignore the threat to life at the end of the line, it won’t be long before we won’t have anyone to feed at the front of the line! At that very moment, there are clearly several critical issues of concern in the room. People are hungry, people are homeless, and people are being killed. Which critical issue should we address first? You and I both know the answer.
So as we approach this critical election and try to decide which of our many “critical issues” should most shape the direction of our vote, let’s try to keep the same priorities in mind. One candidate or the other has addressed the issue of the economy to our satisfaction, one candidate or the other has addressed the issue of national defense to our satisfaction, and if you do a little research, you’ll find that one candidate or the other has addressed the sanctity of life issue to our satisfaction as well. In the end, nothing matters more than the issue of life. For this reason, the issue of abortion ought to prioritize our thinking. Every year we allow an incredible number of unborn children to be killed here in our country. Science, philosophy and theology agree that these human lives begin at the point of conception (more on this HERE). As a result, every abortion is the termination of a life. If we have our priorities straight as Christians, we simply must prioritize the sanctity of life as our first concern.
Where does your candidate stand on the issue of abortion? How has he or she voted in the past? Have you even examined your candidate’s position? Before we cast our votes as Christians, let’s remember what’s most important and find the candidate that best represents our concerns and priorities.