Tom Elliff
Oklahoma City, OK

After pastoring for forty-two years, Tom Elliff served the International Mission Board, first as Senior Vice President for Spiritual Nurture and Church Relations from 2005-2009, then as President from 2011-2014. Tom served pastorates in Arkansas, Texas, Colorado and Oklahoma and as an IMB missionary in Zimbabwe. Tom also served as president of the SBC Pastor's Conference and two terms as president of the Southern Baptist Convention.

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One Nail…One Vote

By on November 3, 2014

I heard it again at church yesterday. This time it was a slightly different version. “You know, with all the suspicions regarding the corruption of our American voting system, and with many non-citizens apparently being able to vote, I doubt that my one ballot will probably make much of a difference anyway.”

Of course, I always cringe when I hear such asinine reasoning. After all, one sure way of losing anything is to simply not use it. The failure to vigorously utilize our freedom to vote simply assures that, ultimately, we will lose a governing institution that is held accountable by the people it governs. We may be closer to that realty than any of us are willing to admit!

Did you learn that little bit of doggerel as a grade school student? Lets see if I can recall it.

“For the want of a nail, a shoe was lost. For the want of a shoe, a horse was lost. For the want of a horse, a rider was lost. For the want of a rider, a battle was lost. For the want of a battle, a war was lost. And for the want of a war, a nation was lost. All for the want of a nail.”

The idea, of course, is one of personal responsibility, even in matters that may appear small. We each have responsibilities that must be exercised consistently if our United States is to remain a free and democratic republic, a state in which ultimate power is vested in the body of its citizens and a state that is governed by the representatives those citizens elect. It is in this way, noted Lincoln succinctly in his Gettysburg Address, that we maintain a government of the people, by the people and for the people.

 God’s Word urges us on in this matter. Addressing people who, for the most part were suffering under oppressive governments, James wrote “Therefore, to one who knows the right thing to do and does not do it, to him it is sin” (James 4:17).

 It is right for Christians in our nation to exercise the privilege of voting…and it’s a sin not to do so.

 Plain…and simple.

Rejoice evermore!

Tom Elliff

2 Tim 1:12