Values-based voting transcends politics, geography, Land says
KANSAS CITY, Mo. (BP)--Calling the fact that more than half of Americans don’t vote a “disgrace,” Richard Land, president of the Southern Baptist Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission, addressed a full chapel at Midwestern Baptist Theological Seminary’s fall convocation Aug. 17.
“We are honored to have Dr. Land speak to us about the biblical mandate of Christ to be a moral preservative in a decaying and lost world,” MBTS President R. Philip Roberts said in introducing Land.
Land kicked off Christian Citizenship Week at the Kansas City, Mo., campus, focusing on the Christian’s responsibility to participate in and support the nation’s government and political process.
“Every American who is eligible to vote should be registered to vote. And every American who is registered to vote should be informed about the issues,” Land said. “And then every American who is registered and informed about the issues should then cast their ballot based on their values, their beliefs and their convictions.”
Land noted that voter registration and education is the purpose of the ERLC’s “iVoteValues.com” initiative, kicked off this summer with a national tour by a tractor-trailer mobile resource center.
Reflecting on how his parents voted for many years, Land said they cast their ballots strictly according to different political parties and regularly cancelled each other out.
“They were both wrong, because they didn’t disagree on their core values,” Land said. “They were voting their region of the country and their family tradition.”
His parents’ strict loyalty to political parties was misdirected, Land said.
“Our loyalty does not belong to any party. Our loyalty does not belong to our family tradition. Our loyalty does not belong to any region of the country,” he said. “Our loyalty belongs to the Lord Jesus Christ.”
Christians should not endorse political candidates, Land said, but rather they should see which candidates endorse their beliefs.
“God is not a Democrat. God is not a Republican,” said Land, emphasizing the need for issue-related, convictions-based voting.
“But He is pro-life.”
Quoting from Matthew 5, Land explained what it means to be salt and light in America.
“Salt does not bring light. All salt does is stop the rot and stop the decay. And Jesus has commanded us to go out into society and stop decay,” Land said. “We are to be moral disinfectant in society.
“Light brings life. Light is life-giving. Without light, there is no life. And we’re not to hide our light under a bushel,” Land said.
In order to impact the culture, he said, “We’ve got to get close enough to the world that they can see the light and feel the heat.”
Past Midwestern chapel services, including Land’s speech, can be heard online at: http://www.mbts.edu/s7_chapel_resources.asp.