Monday, November 07, 2022

A Time to Choose---A Time to Vote

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With one of the most important midterm elections in recent history looming, tomorrow America will a direction that will lead toward restoration or, God forbid, the dustbin of forgotten history.

Everything that has moral relevance to our culture is in one way or another, on the ballot.

Here's the concern: A new study by George Barna reveals that "less than one-third of Americans believe the Bible should serve as the foundation for determining right and wrong."

Yet, according to Barna, "most people express support for traditional moral values."

How are we deciding what is right and what is wrong?

Be informed, not misled.

The fourth installment of  "America’s Values Study," released by the Cultural Research Center at Arizona Christian University last Tuesday, asked respondents for their thoughts on traditional moral values and what they would like to see as “America’s foundation for determining right and wrong.” 

How are we choosing what is "right" and "wrong?"

Overall, when asked to identify what they viewed as the primary determinant of right and wrong in the U.S.---this was the response: 

  • What you feel in your heart--42%.
  • An additional 29% cited majority rule as their desired method for determining right and wrong--"democracy."
  • Only 29% expressed a belief that the principles laid out in the Bible should determine the understanding of right and wrong in the U.S.


That figure rose to 66% among Spiritually Active, Governance Engaged Conservative Christians. The only other demographic subgroups where at least a plurality of respondents indicated a desire for the Bible to serve as the determinant of right and wrong in the U.S. were respondents who attend an evangelical church (62%), self-described Republicans (57%), theologically defined born-again Christians (54%), self-identified conservatives (49%), those who are at least 50 years of age (39%), members of all Protestant congregations (39%), self-identified Christians (38%) and those who attend mainline Protestant churches (36%). 

Secular humanism and relativism inform many regarding morality.

By contrast, an outright majority of respondents who do not identify with a particular faith at all (53%), along with half of LGBT respondents (50%), self-described moderates (47%), political independents (47%), Democrats (46%), self-described liberals (46%) and Catholic Church attendees (46%) maintained that “what you feel in your heart” should form the foundation of what Americans view as right and wrong.

What you feel in your heart?

The Bible says in  Jeremiah 17:9, "The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it?"

Scripture defines a time of chaos and lawlessness in human history as a time when "men did what was right in their own eyes."

Barna's lament.

In conclusion, Barna notes, regrettably that while people generally want moral principles to guide our nation, they are deeply divided on the source of those moral principles.

Here's an overview

Ninety-one percent of adults who identified the Bible as their source of moral guidance espouse traditional moral values, as do 74% of those who primarily seek moral guidance from society, 71% of respondents who rely on their family as their primary source of moral guidance, 67% of those who turn to themselves for such guidance and 50% of those who point to science as their source of morality.

Support for traditional moral values also extended across all age groups. However, support for traditional moral values was measured at 76% among those aged 30 and older and just 56% among respondents between the ages of 18 and 29. 

“Three-quarters of Americans maintain that people are basically good, and less than half of all Americans believe in God or that the Bible is God’s true, relevant and reliable words to humanity,” said George Barna, the director of research at the Cultural Research Center, in response to the survey's findings.

“Consequently, Americans have become comfortable with the idea of being the arbiters of morality. In the same way that most Americans contend there is no absolute moral truth, they now believe that there is no divine guidance required or even available to define right and wrong,” Barna said, lamenting that most Americans “are now more likely to take their moral cues from government laws and policies than from church teachings about biblical principles.” 

He added: “Americans have historically said when they elect a president that they choose a president they are choosing a chief executive, not a pastor-in-chief, but that distinction appears to be passe. One could reasonably argue that the nation’s ideas about right and wrong are now more likely to come from the White House and the halls of Congress, than from our houses of worship.” 

How do we decide between imperfect candidates? 

What should determine our voting choices when no political party is in complete harmony with the will and purpose of God? 

An article published by the Capstone Report on July 31, 2018, made this excellent point: “What is an election? An election is not the place for witnessing to the lost or showing the world how awesomely you live your Christianity. Elections determine the direction of public policy for a state. For Christians, we should approach an election as an opportunity to help the state to do its job—its God-given job."

What is the state’s God-given job? Protecting life and religious liberty for starters.

The state cannot ever become the arbiter of what is morally right and wrong.

Our political choices should also be fueled by our gospel values, not in terms of confusing the two realms but rather of recognizing what each realm does.

Let’s vote for the best people to make the best choices so that the gospel can flourish and citizens can live in freedom. 

But whoever we vote for will be flawed, and they, in turn, will serve in flawed parties working within a flawed system that exists within a flawed state and country.

All have sinned and come short, Scripture tells us. 


"One could reasonably argue that the nation’s ideas about right and wrong are now more likely to come from the White House and the halls of Congress, than from our houses of worship," Barna concludes.

James Dobson has said, "I think it is a disgrace that half the Christians in America aren't even registered to vote, and of those who are, only half go to the polls...when we withhold our influence and participation, we yield by default to those who promote immoral and destructive policies."

Be Informed. Be Vigilant. Be Discerning. Be Engaged. Be Prayerful.