Position of Adventist Church Regarding National Elections

On Monday, May 7, 2012 Bahamians from all walks of life went to the polls to cast their ballots to elect 38 persons to represent them in the new Bahamian parliament. Many Adventists were among the 88 percent of the registered voters who turned out to participate in this process. After the ballots were counted, 29 of the Progressive Liberal Party’s candidates and 9 of the Free National Movement’s candidates were successful. It appears that everyone is satisfied that the process was peaceful.

Seventh-day Adventists Congratulate New Government
As expected following an election, there will be persons who will rejoice while others would be disappointed. Notwithstanding the outcome, “as Christians, Seventh-day Adventists recognize the legitimate role of organized government in society” and the right of all people to vote freely. Accordingly, the Seventh-day Adventist Church congratulates and expresses support for the government of the day. In keeping with this practice, as Union President, I made several calls to the new prime minister on Tuesday, May 8, 2012 but was unable to reach him. However, the following day, Wednesday, May 9, I spoke with Prime Minister Christie. Also it was my privilege to pray with him on behalf of the Adventist community. Additionally, I wrote applauding him on the significant success experienced by his party at the polls. I assured him of the support and continued prayers of the Adventists for him, his family and the government.

Reaching the Former Leader
Also, I took the time to call the former prime minister, Hubert Ingraham, and offered commendation for his service to the Bahamian people and especially his support for the Adventist Church. This was followed by a prayer for him and his family. In addition, a letter expressing these sentiments was sent to him. A letter was also sent to The Democratic National Alliance Leader, Brenville Mc Cartney, to commend him for the involvement of his party in the electoral process.

Reaffirming the Church’s Position
I am mindful that there are some members who believe that it is wrong for Christians to participate in national elections, because they consider elections secular. However, it should be noted that the Adventist Church does not support this position. Instead, the church believes that “we should participate in the voting process available to us when it is possible to do so in good conscience and should share the responsibility of building our communities.” However, it should be noted that, “Adventists should not … become preoccupied with politics, or utilize the pulpit or our publications to advance political theories.” Furthermore, the official statement of the Seventh-day Adventist Church says, “The people of God will recognize human government as an ordinance of divine appointment and will teach obedience to it as a sacred duty within its legitimate sphere.”
We give God all the praise and the glory for an orderly, free and fair election. Adventist Christians must now lead the way in building a united, safe and prosperous Bahamas.