Every election cycle someone says, “This is the most important election in the history of our nation,” or some variation of this statement. There is no doubt that elections have consequences and this is a significant time in our nation’s history. I also believe it is not too soon to begin considering some of the issues of the day. With the 2024 presidential race underway, it is incumbent upon us as Georgia Baptists to engage responsibly and thoughtfully in the political process. We are citizens of heaven, certainly, but also stewards of the earthly realm, and it is in this dual citizenship that our challenge lies.
There are a number of issues that will arise during the course of the campaign. Add to the discussion additional candidates announcing their entry into and, for most, their eventual exits from the race leaving us with much to consider in the months ahead. Georgia Baptists will first let their voices be heard during the primaries, then again on Nov. 5, 2024, when the nation will go to the polls to elect the next President of the United States. As the presidential race heats up, there are a few topics we should seek clarity on from the candidates.
Firstly, religious liberty. The ability to worship freely and live according to our beliefs, both in private and in public, is an issue at the heart of who we are as Baptists, as well as Americans. It is of utmost importance that we cast our votes for leaders who understand the importance of religious liberty and who will protect this fundamental right.
The state of the economy is a perennial topic of debate. Candidates present different visions for economic growth, taxation, and the many and varied social programs of the federal government. As responsible citizens, we need to discern the implications of these policies. Let's remember the parable of the talents (Matthew 25:14-30), as we navigate the complexities of economic policy and consider which candidates align with our biblically-informed understanding of stewardship and responsibility.
Next is the sanctity of human life, a core belief of our faith. Roe v Wade has been overturned—something I thought I would never see in my lifetime—and Georgia’s H.B. 481, better known as the heartbeat bill, banning abortions after detection of the fetal heartbeat has been upheld, and yet these victories are not the end of this particular issue. Rather, these victories are the end of the beginning. We must ensure that our leaders value every life, from conception to natural death. As believers, we must engage in dialogues that affirm the sanctity of life, and align our vote with candidates who are committed to protecting life at every stage.
Education policy is another crucial issue. As we shape the minds and hearts of future generations, we must ensure that our leaders prioritize education, specifically, in ways that protect the rights of parents and families, uphold the truth, and facilitate the moral and intellectual development of our children. Parents are the primary educators of their children and candidates should openly acknowledge this.
Lastly, foreign policy and national security are imperative topics to consider. We need leaders who will work towards peace, protect the vulnerable, and maintain a principled stance on international human rights issues, echoing the words of the prophet Micah: "He has told you, O man, what is good; and what does the Lord require of you but to do justice, to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God." (Micah 6:8).
I encourage you to pray fervently and ask for wisdom as we approach the 2024 elections. We must take our responsibility as Christian citizens seriously. Engage in respectful discussions, strive for understanding, and seek out the truth in a spirit of love and humility. Let our actions and decisions reflect our faith in the Sovereign Lord and our commitment to serve Him faithfully.
May God guide us as we engage in this important process. In the midst of these uncertain times, let us remember that our ultimate trust lies not in earthly leaders, but in the unchanging, ever-faithful Lord of all.
Christopher Sanchez, Ph.D. is the Executive Pastor of Flat Creek Baptist Church in Fayetteville, Ga., serves Truett McConnell University as an adjunct professor in the Hans Hut School of Business, and as a trustee for the Georgia Baptist Foundation.
No comments on this item Please log in to comment by clicking here