By Lonnie Wilkey
Editor, Baptist and Reflector
Here is a B&R article on the 2016 presidential election that examines which candidates Protestant pastors would vote for if the election were held today. Keep in mind this survey was conducted only of ministers, not the general population, but it’s still revealing.
Pastors were able to provide answers depending on whether they are Republicans or Democrats.
For Republicans, the overwhelming winner was not Ted Cruz, Ben Carson, Marco Rubio, or Donald Trump. The winner by a wide margin was “Undecided” with 39 percent.
Democrats were a little more sure, but not by much. Hillary Clinton garnered 38 percent of the vote, just seven percent ahead of “Undecided,” who apparently has gained a lot of momentum in recent days, but 15 percent more than Bernie Sanders.
Some claim that “Undecided” is better than any of the announced candidates. While there may be some truth to that statement, it’s getting close to the time that all voters need to get off the fence.
When you are “Undecided,” you are ambivalent, doubtful, hesitant, uncertain, unclear, uncommitted, undetermined, and unsure.
And, if that’s not enough, undecided also describes a person who “runs hot and cold,” is tentative, unsettled, “up in the air,” waffling, vague, wavering, and “blows hot and cold.”
What’s more, if you are undecided, you are always on the borderline, on the fence, or in the middle.
Where did I come up with all those descriptions? They all are synonyms for “undecided.” Check with any good English teacher and he or she can come up with several more. The list I cited was not exhaustive.
Simply put, undecided is just not acceptable for voters who will be deciding the fate of our nation in a few short months.
Many pundits are saying this may be the most crucial election in the history of our nation. If that’s true (and I personally think it is), then it’s downright frightening to think that so many people are undecided about who they think should lead the United States of America.
So what do we do between now and the presidential election in November?
SBC President Ronnie Floyd gave some good suggestions in his blog that was posted Feb 1 by Baptist Press.
Floyd suggested that Baptists “keep everything in perspective, be involved in the process, watch what you say and how you say it, refuse to be categorized, and pray for God to raise up His next leader for our nation.”
Getting involved in the process means, most of all, getting registered to vote if you’re not already. Too many people paid the ultimate price (their lives) so Americans could have the right to vote. We must not let their sacrifice be in vain.
Becoming involved also means a little sweat equity may need to be extended. First, examine your heart and determine what you believe are the important issues in the election (the same principle applies to a local, state, or national election). Then, research each of the candidates and find the person you believe most closely matches your beliefs and desired goals. You won’t find a perfect match but you should find someone “in the ballpark.” Look until you do.
In Tennessee, it’s too late to register for the presidential and county primary on March 1, but it’s not too late to vote in the state primary county general election on Aug. 4 (must register by July) or the presidential and state general election on Nov. 8 (must register by Oct. 11). Register at once.
Above all, pray and once again read II Chronicles 7:14, “If My people who are called by My Name will humble themselves, pray and seek My face, and turn from their evil ways, then I will hear from heaven, forgive their sin, and heal their land.”
Undecided won’t cut it this election year. Pray and become involved in the process.