I Am Going to Vote

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Having read several articles by people who don’t plan to vote in the presidential election, my conclusion is: I’m going to vote. It seems to me that the good that can be done, presumably by the protest of not voting, is mainly done by talking about not voting rather than by not voting. Then it […]

Having read several articles by people who don’t plan to vote in the presidential election, my conclusion is: I’m going to vote.

It seems to me that the good that can be done, presumably by the protest of not voting, is mainly done by talking about not voting rather than by not voting. Then it also seems that this same good would be accomplished if those who thought they would not vote did all that talking, but then voted.

This wouldn’t be duplicitous if the main point of the talk is not mainly, “I am not going to vote,” but is mainly that the system or the parties or the platforms or the candidates or the views are so flawed. So why not let the blogs roll down like rivers against the defects of it all, and then take a few minutes to vote anyway? Do the right talking and the risky walking.

Here’s my reasoning. Barring catastrophe, Obama or Romney will be president (yes, I know you may see it as a catastrophe even if either does get elected). The likelihood that both presidencies will be identical in the good and evil they do is infinitesimal. One will very probably do more good amid the bad, even if only a little.

We can be part of that guess, or sit it out. God promises wisdom to those who seek it. So the likelihood that prayed-up, Bible-shaped Christians will tip the scales toward the incrementally worse regime is small. Therefore, the likelihood that we will waste our time voting seems small.

Not a very inspiring rationale. I just find it compelling in a fallen world that is not my home.

So my suggestion to all who wonder if they should vote is: Tell as many people as you can the good reasons why you are disaffected with the whole thing; then go to the polls and take a burden-bearing, pro-active risk rather than staying home and taking a burden-dropping, reactive risk.

John Piper John Piper is the Pastor for Preaching at Bethlehem Baptist Church in Minneapolis, Minnesota. He grew up in Greenville, South Carolina, and studied at Wheaton College, where he first sensed God's call to enter the ministry. For 6 years he taught Biblical Studies at Bethel College in St. Paul, Minnesota, and in 1980 accepted the call to serve as pastor at Bethlehem. John is the author of more than 30 books and more than 25 years of his preaching and teaching is available free at desiringGod.org. John and his wife, Noel, have four sons, one daughter, and an increasing number of grandchildren. (By John Piper. © Desiring God. Website: DesiringGod.org)

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