On Monday, Canadians go to the polls to elect a new federal government. It has been a long campaign, and filled with more rhetoric and attack than visions and promises.
For followers of Jesus, it would be nice if there were one party with whose platform we completely agreed with, for that would make it easier to cast a vote. But we are not likely to find such a thing. And there are Christians in all parties (as well as people of other faiths, and no faith at all).
So what’s a believer to do?
Really, there are three things we are called to do around an election.
First, learn. We need to go through an election campaign prepared to learn what each party (and candidate) espouses in terms of platform, core values and promises. Try to wade through the propaganda, which is everywhere, and learn what each party and candidate stands for. Then ask yourself, How does this mesh with what I believe?
Second, pray. Once you have learned as much as you can, seek the guidance of the Holy Spirit as you prepare to vote. Don’t just take sixty seconds to pray before you mark your ballot; pray as you learn, and ask the Lord to help you discern what is going to be best for Canada before you get to the polling station.
Third, vote. God appoints a government for a nation through the people who vote. It is both a civic and a Christian responsibility to participate in the democratic process that has the potential to shape the future of the country.
As we approach election day, join me in praying those familiar words of our national anthem: God, keep our land glorious and free!
“Everyone must submit to governing authorities. For all authority comes from God, and those in positions of authority have been placed there by God” (Romans 13.1, NLT).