All I know is that Americans seemed agitated with how our government has, or has not, been governing and they expressed it on election day. Will this be the moment our elected officials get outside of themselves and learn how to act like grown ups to get the job done they've been elected to do? Only time will tell.
Among the biggest surprises in the election is how close the Virginia Senate race was between incumbent Mark Warner (D) and challenger Ed Gillespie (R). Early polls had Gillespie considerably behind and one week prior to election the polls showed him trailing by 10 percentage points. Well, all that changed on Tuesday and the race has yet to be called as it heads for a recount. Regardless of who wins, there's a lesson here for all of us.
I think there exists this idea that elections are determined prior to the voting booth. The media spins elections in every way imaginable and for many Americans they are left saying to themselves, "Why vote, it has already been decided?" This mindset often leads to voter apathy and indifference. However, nothing could be further from the truth, and this historic election should prove that elections are never won or lost until the people speak with their votes. The examples are widespread to prove this fact in this most recent election. Every vote counted for something!
It was widely reported that in the 2012 Presidential election, only half of Christian voters actually voted. They forfeited their vote and stayed home. In an interview following the election, CBN reporter David Brody discussed the election results with Billy Graham. Graham said, "God is in control, and if Christians are upset, they need to be upset at themselves. We need to do a better job of getting our people — the Church — to vote." Graham chastised the church for not upholding its civic responsibility in the voting booth. How can we complain if we have forsaken a right that was fought for and protected on national and foreign battlefields by our great military men and women?
I have a suggestion for anyone, Christian or non-Christian, who believes voting is not a matter of personal responsibility. I suggest that instead of defending your position to your social media friends, that you visit your local Veterans of Foreign Wars chapter and tell them why you don't vote. Explain yourself while looking into the eyes of a veteran who left his/her home, family and friends to wear a uniform, bearing the American flag, into battle so you could maintain your liberties and freedoms as an American. Or how about sitting beside a WWII veteran who risked his life to defeat a deranged dictator who was committing genocide against the Jews and tell him why you don't participate in elections. Better yet, why not schedule a visit to Walter Reed Military Medical Center and walk among the men and women returning from Afghanistan and let them know about your non-voting position. Or one final suggestion is that you spend a day at Arlington National Cemetery and read every epitaph and speak to every single one of them about why you believe voting is useless. And if after any and all of this, you still hold to your position that voting is a waste of time, then you probably shouldn't be voting anyway, because you really don't understand what America is all about. You see in America, EVERY VOTE COUNTS!
I challenge everyone in HeartLink Network to uphold your civic duty to vote. I recommend that every congregation organize voter registration drives and educate your young people about the importance of voting. Put together a strategy that will mobilize your congregation to be involved in the political process on the local, state and federal level.
The churches of Houston, Texas have given us a great example of what happens when the people of God unite together for the cause of justice in the halls of our government. The pastors and their members confronted the Houston Mayor and as a result she withdrew the five subpoenas issued to area pastors that demanded copies of sermons and all other materials related to their positions on homosexuality. Praise God for the bravery and determination of the "Houston Five" who refused to be bullied by an over zealous government. They stood their ground and I believe a door for change has been established in that city.
Now is not a time for Christians to run for the hills and check out of the political process. No, now is a time for prayer and participation. Maybe God is calling you to run for a local office. Perhaps you are being called to throw your hat into the ring at the state or federal level. We don't have to stop at the voting booth. We can also occupy the offices of government.
We have two years to prepare for the next Presidential election. So let's get to work now, not later. America is still a government "of the people, for the people, by the people."
“Elections belong to the people. It's their decision. If they decide to turn their back on the fire and burn their behinds, then they will just have to sit on their blisters.”