Freedom: A Two-Way Street


If we are going to have freedom for ourselves, we have to extend freedom to others.

Program Transcript


It’s a wonderful blessing to live in a country that values freedom. Freedom,
of course, is a two way street. If we are going to have freedom for ourselves,
we have to extend freedom to others. And that means tolerating the opinions of
others, even if we don’t agree with them. One of the ideals the United States
was founded upon is the Christian virtue of respecting the right of others to
disagree with us. Jesus even taught that we are to love our enemies.

In Matthew 5:43-47 he said,

“You have heard that it was said, ‘Love your neighbor and hate your
enemy.’ But I tell you: Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute
you, that you may be sons of your Father in heaven. He causes his sun to rise
on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous.
If you love those who love you, what reward will you get? …And if you greet
only your brothers, what are you doing more than others? Do not even pagans do
that?”

It won’t be long before election campaigning will get under way again for
senate seats, governorships, and other elected offices, as well as for new laws
and taxes. Viewpoints will vary widely and both sides on any given issue or
candidate will try to bury its opponents in rhetoric, half-truths, innuendo and
often blatant accusations.

What is a Christian to do on Election Day, when he or she wants to reflect
Christ in every aspect of their lives? Christians and politics — it’s been
thorny relationship throughout history. One thing we know: God does not have a
“favorite” political party nor some “divinely chosen” candidate out there
somewhere.

The truth is, none of the political parties or candidates is going to solve
all the national, state or local problems they promise they’re going to solve.
Nor are any of us voters going to solve them by voting for the perfect
candidate, because there is no perfect candidate.

At election time, our job is simply to become as knowledgeable about the
issues and candidates as we can and then vote as wisely as we can. And when it’s
over, regardless of who wins, our job is to pray that the winners will promote
peace, justice and freedom.

It’s such a blessing to have the right to vote. But it has little value
unless we exercise it. The Bible teaches us to be responsible citizens, and in
our democracies, part of being a responsible citizen is to exercise our right to
vote. The right to vote goes hand in hand with freedom, as well as helps ensure
another cherished right, our right to worship as we see fit.

So we vote as wisely and we can and hope for the best. But regardless of who
we vote for and regardless of the job the winner does, our ultimate trust is in
our Savior, who in the end makes all things right.

I’m Joseph Tkach, speaking of LIFE.

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