A voting booth in Buffalo, New YorkWell, it’s election season once again.  A time when many politicians promise the moon, and we as the electorate have to discern who is telling the truth and who is saying what they feel they need to say to be elected.

And here in Wisconsin, we get a double dose this year as our Governor faces a recall election and we elect congressmen, a Senator and the next president of the United States.  Whether we like it or not, television and radio will be saturated with political ads and everyone and their brother will position themselves as the solution to all that ails us as a nation.

As Christians, we know the only solution to the ills we face as a state and nation is a return to God.  Our nation became powerful not because of our economy or military, but because we honored God as the one who gives true freedom and any rights we have as a people.  But when we vote in the coming months, we are charged with electing representatives who reflect our values and desires.  So how important will our values as Christians be when we cast our votes?  Will we at all consider how God would want us to vote or will we simple vote for the candidate who says what we want to hear?

Will our churches encourage their members to learn about the candidates, perhaps even have them in to our churches so we can discern their true values and convictions?  Or will we just stay disconnected and hope for the best?

No political candidate—progressive or conservative—can save this nation.  But our vote is important.  The leaders we vote for will set the agenda for our state and nation in the coming years—in a time when we face huge decisions.  Historically, progressive churches are more apt to have candidates speak to the congregation than conservative churches, and on that note I want to congratulate Celebration Church for having Rick Santorum in to speak yesterday at their church.  I hope we see more of that as we move through the election process.

There is probably no more valuable right we have as American citizens than our right to vote.  As Christians, we hold a special responsibility:  If we do not vote for candidates who represent God’s values, we lead our nation into some very perilous times.  And unless we take the time to know the candidates, we cannot make wise decisions.

Elections are right around the corner, and our votes as Christians do matter.  If our nation is to come out of the abyss we seem headed into, it will be because we turn from our wicked ways and ask God’s forgiveness.  And part of that is taking our vote seriously, supporting candidates who support the values and principles of the God we worship.  Each of us will make a decision to support a candidate who represents our desires of the flesh or one who understands the fate of our state and nation depends on a return to God.  Educate yourself on the candidates and pray for God’s wisdom to know who to vote for.  If we fail to do so we will get what we deserve as a church and as a nation.