Reason, responsibility and result of voting

This is my third and final instalment on the subject of elections and voting. As I do so, I reiterate that my presentation has been dealing with a “practising” democracy, where leaders are chosen by the people through the voting process.

Erasmus Makarimayi

It was Greek civilisation that started democracy. I recap here for purposes of context that in Biblical Israel kings were chosen, called and ordained by God. While we respect political leaders, people ordained political leaders are not the anointed of God.

In a democracy, God doesn’t elect leaders, but people do. In choosing we, therefore, have to appreciate the reason, responsibility and result of voting.

In my last instalment and as I do in this piece, I extensively quoted a message titled, Your Vote by Mensa Otabil, general overseer of the International Central Gospel Church in Accra, Ghana.

Voting requires soberness and discretion. Otabil says that in a democracy, no citizen can govern a state unless people surrender their sovereignty to him or her. That is why there must be a vote, because the people have the sovereignty and they have to say, I want to give my sovereignty to support Mr. A or Ms B.

He posited that when people vote they have surrendered their sovereignty, in a way saying that: “this is my vote. I give it to you in expectation that you will do this and that for me. I have given my will, my power, my authority, my sovereignty to you…a nation becomes what its citizen vote for,” he added.

These are the scriptural bases. Proverbs 1:10-15, “[10] My son, if sinners entice thee, consent thou not. [11] If they say, Come with us, let us lay wait for blood, let us lurk privily for the innocent without cause: [12] Let us swallow them up alive as the grave; and whole, as those that go down into the pit: [13] We shall find all precious substance, we shall fill our houses with spoil: [14] Cast in thy lot among us; let us all have one purse: [15] My son, walk not thou in the way with them; refrain thy foot from their path:”

I draw your attention to verse 14, where an invitation to cast in for support is mentioned. While this passage refers to support of an evil idea which is about armed robbers recruiting others to join them through an election, the principle of voting is still clear.

Acts 1:21-26, “[21] Wherefore of these men which have companied with us all the time that the Lord Jesus went in and out among us, [22] Beginning from the baptism of John, unto that same day that he was taken up from us, must one be ordained to be a witness with us of his resurrection. [23] And they appointed two, Joseph called Barsabas, who was surnamed Justus, and Matthias. [24] And they prayed, and said, Thou, Lord, which knowest the hearts of all men, shew whether of these two thou hast chosen, [25] That he may take part of this ministry and apostleship, from which Judas by transgression fell, that he might go to his own place. [26] And they gave forth their lots; and the lot fell upon Matthias; and he was numbered with the eleven apostles. “Matthias defeated Joseph Barsabas (Justus) in a keenly contested election to replace Judas Iscariot, who had committed suicide following his betrayal of Jesus.

Otabil said, “Matthias won but we never heard of him again, so as a matter of fact, someone can win an election and do nothing…Paul wasn’t [elected] but he did so much.”

These are concluding remarks by Otabil.

Reason for voting

Sovereignty, that is self-determination is in the hands of the people. The power in a theocracy is in the hands of God. In a monarchy the power belongs to the king. The power in a democracy is in the hands of the people.

If someone wants to be president, each one of us has to surrender her/his sovereignty. The question you have to ask yourself is, does this person deserve my sovereignty?

Responsibility of voting

Your vote doesn’t belong to a party or person, it belongs to you. It’s a sacred oath/responsibility. It’s an insult to your intelligence to put your vote on autopilot. Your vote is your sacred trust. Please use your vote to express your will.

When voting you’re saying this is what I want in my life. It’s not about winning and losing, it’s what you believe in. Supporting a political party isn’t like supporting a football team.

Politics isn’t entertainment. It’s beyond symbols, emblems or slogans. It goes beyond party names.

The result of voting

The party you support may win or lose. You should demand fulfillment of promises by those you voted for. The winning proposal will shape the destiny of the nation. Your quality of life will be determined by the result of the vote. You can vote for a party that’s insincere. We should pray that citizens make intelligent choices.

What to vote for and whom to vote for

Vote for your dreams and aspirations. Look for the idea which helps you become who you want to be. Vote for your beliefs and values. There are things you don’t compromise such as honesty, purity, integrity. You should vote for the best interest of your country.

Look at the future you want, think about your life and ask which of them will help you. Which idea best fits into your vision? Which of the proposals will help us get to a better place?

Finally search your conscience and ask, does this person or party deserve my sovereignty? Grace and peace be multiplied to you through knowledge.

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