"[T]o vote or use the civil power is to use force and carnal weapons. Christians cannot use these. To do so is to do evil that good may come. This is specially forbidden to Christians. To do so is to fight God’s battles with the weapons of the evil one. To do so is to distrust God. The effective way for Christians to promote morality in a community, is, to stand aloof from the political strifes and conflicts, and maintain a pure and true faith in God, which is the only basis of true morality, and is as a leaven in society, to keep alive an active sense of right. To go into political strife is to admit the leaven of evil into the church."
David Lipscomb, from the Church of Christ, on Voting
-Rev. Melissa Fain-
I, Melissa Fain, of sound mind and body, fully believe this is my one and only political post. If anyone plans to ask my opinion on [insert current election here], I will point them to this post as my only public opinion on the subject. To sum up my opinion, nothing good can come from publicly expressing where I am casting my vote. David Lipscomb, a person within the Campbell-Stone tradition thought this meant not to vote at all. I disagree, but agree with his reasoning. Let me expand below:
My job, as a minister, is two-fold. First, I'm called to be a shepherd to a flock. Politically speaking, we are split fairly evenly as a country. Voting is something our country is strongly convicted about. We get up in arms about those people we are voting for. If I were to stand for one representative over another, I wouldn't really change anyone's mind, and all I would do is ostracize half my flock.
Secondly, I am called to educate God's Word in the world today. Now, there are ministers who believe that a certain political ideology somehow best describes biblical points of view. (And yes, multiple sides do it.) I don't. I disagree so strongly, I refused to endorse a congressman within my own congregation. I'll basically tell you what I told him:
" I don't believe in endorsing anyone because I don't want a person to vote for someone because I said I was voting for that person."
While choosing your candidate based on your faith leader's preference is lazy, I also believe it abuses the power of the pulpit. Now, I know how offensive that could be, especially for my ordained brothers and sisters who feel an obligation to speak their political choice. The pulpit, or in my case the internet, is a very strong megaphone. In ordination it is a burden we must wear. It can be used for great good, and it can be used for great evil. We must speak the truth, and only the truth. Anything else tarnishes our call to God. This truth must be spoken at all costs, no matter what the costs. Those truths might help someone vote, but that will be their choice, not mine.
Now to get to the above quote. Is voting a weapon? I see voting much like a see knives. I use knives, and often. I use knives in cooking to cut up food. I use knives as a den leader to teach the boys life skills. I'm a very crafty person and will use knives to help make costume pieces, or something for a birthday party. Knives have a time and a place. They are tools, and sadly they are weapons. Like knives, there is a time and a place for politics. Politics can be a useful tool, but in the wrong arena it can become a weapon. Politics in church is a great example of a weaponized tool. It splits the flock, weakens the choice of the voter, and misuses the pulpit.
So vote, just don't ask me who I'm voting for. That tool will not be entering this church.