WHAT AM I VOTING ON?
Many will go to the voting polls shortly here in New Zealand, to cast their vote for our ongoing government. This year, along with the vote for government, there is a vote for a referendum to legalise cannabis and to legalise euthanasia.
We are not so much involved in the details of the dangers of these two life or death social changes, but a voice to express our concerns of the dangers involved. For a much more detailed account of the dangers of both these topics, we would direct each reader to Family First New Zealand at https://www.familyfirst.org.nz
While we are counseled not to vote for political parties, but we are encouraged to cast our vote on the subject of temperance.
Just one month before the death of James White, Seventh-day Adventists were gathered for camp meeting in Des Moines, Iowa. A proposed action was placed before the delegates which read:
“Resolved that we express our deep interest in the temperance movement now going forward in this state: and that we instruct all our ministers to use their influence among our churches and with the people at large to induce them to put forth every consistent effort, by personal labor, and at a ballot box, in favor of the prohibitory amendment of the Constitution, which the friends of temperance are seeking to secure.” — Review & Herald, July 5, 1881.
Some disagreed with the clause that called for action at ‘the ballot box’ and urged that it be taken out. Ellen White, who was attending this camp meeting, had retired for the night, but she was called to give her counsel. Writing of it at the time, she said, “I dressed and found I was to speak to the point of whether our people should vote for prohibition. I told them, ‘Yes’ and spoke twenty minutes.” - Temperance, p.255
Ellen White never changed that position. In an article written for the Review just a year before her death she re-emphasized the responsibility of every citizen to exercise every influence within his power, including this vote, to work for temperance and virtue:
“While we are in no wise to become involved in political questions, yet it is our privilege to take our stand decidedly on all questions relating to temperance reform... There is a cause for the moral paralysis upon society. Our laws sustain an evil which is sapping their very foundations. Many deplore the wrongs which they know not exist, but consider themselves free from all responsibility in the matter. This cannot be. Every individual exerts an influence in society. In our favored land, every voter has some voice in determining what laws shall control the nation. Should not that influence and that vote be cast on the side of temperance and virtue?” —Review & Herald, October 15, 1914.
Three conclusions seem clear from this historical study:
1) We are always to vote ‘on the side of temperance and virtue.’
2) The decision to vote for candidates is a personal choice. If you vote, ‘keep your voting to yourself. Do not feel if your duty to urge everyone to do as you do.’
3) We are to stand free from political strife and corruption.