Why Most Youth Did Not Vote in the 2014 Election and How We Can Change That for 2019

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Disillusioned and Disinterested
According to the IEC 2014 National Election Report, only a staggering 39% of youth between the ages of 20 and 29 years old (out of about just over 10 million people of this age group) actually voted in the 2014 national elections! The IEC Voter Population Survey conducted nationally in 2013 found that 71% of South Africans that were not intending to vote said their main reason for not intending to vote in the 2014 election was “disinterest and disillusionment”. The next main reason given by 49% was “not interested/don’t care about politics”, followed by 8% who said “my vote would not make a difference”. Actually, as most people eligible to vote either do not register to vote, or do not turn up to vote, if they registered and voted they could make a big difference!

 

You Can Make a Difference
These statistics may seem discouraging, yet there are many ways you can change these results for the 2019 elections. In 2019, South Africans who have registered to vote will have the responsibility of electing a party to represent their interests in Parliament and in their Provincial legislature. How you exercise this right and responsibility of voting will have far reaching consequences for almost every area of your life. What can be done to inspire Christian youth to register to vote, then actually vote on Election Day and to be salt and light in the political arena?

 

Countering Corruption
It is easy to understand how so many people are disillusioned by the insidious corruption and incompetence in every level of government. The needs and problems can seem overwhelming. We have probably all asked the questions: Why should I bother? What difference can one vote make? Is there any hope for the future of this country?

All That is Necessary for Evil to Triumph is for Good People to Do Nothing
Questions of corruption in the election results are a valid concern, yet, if we stand by and do nothing, corruption will continue to get worse. We need a tidal wave of God-fearing voters to vote on Election Day and overwhelm any attempts at rigging or tampering with the results. We also need Christians to get involved in being observers at their local voting station.

Inspiring Hope in the Midst of Disillusionment and Disinterest
Firstly, youth need to first have their minds and hearts transformed by the Gospel - the only rock-solid foundation worth building on – Jesus Christ.

Many youth are also confused. They are torn by historical and racial questions, yet many do see the need to make a positive difference, to be part of the solution.

We need fresh, bold and Biblical insights and solutions to the urgent challenges that we are facing as a country. The Bible has the answers! In fact, 70% of the Bible deals with socio-political issues and only 30% to do with our personal relationship with God.

Understanding a Biblical Worldview
Compounding the disinterest and disillusionment with politics, is the fact that very few Christians in South Africa have a comprehensive Biblical Worldview. Few have studied what the Bible teaches on education, economics, civil government, and media. Everyone has a “worldview”, a way of interpreting everything that happens in the world. The Bible has an explanation for the universe, but so do Secular Humanists, Evolutionists, Marxists and New Agers. Each of these worldviews are founded on ideas. Ideas have far-reaching consequences.

The Great Commission
Jesus said in the Great Commission found in Matthew 28:18-20, that ALL Authority in Heaven and on earth has been given to Him. We are THEREFORE to go and make disciples of all nations, baptising them, or bringing them under the Authority of the Triune God. The Triune God is the perfect example of all four kinds of government – self, family, church and civil government. We are to teach ALL things that our Lord has commanded, including principles we can draw from Old Testament Case Law. Our disciple making should therefore transform every area of life, including civil government. Furthermore, Jesus said he will be with us in this process until the “end of the age”. The Lord who gave the Great Commission, will see that the Great Commission is fulfilled!

His Law Will Not Pass Away
Jesus said in Matthew 5:17-19 that “not one jot or one tittle” [little aspect of His Law] “will by no means pass from the Law till all is fulfilled. Whoever therefore breaks one of the least of these Commandments, and teaches men so, shall be called least in the Kingdom of Heaven; but whoever does and teaches them, he shall be called great in the Kingdom of Heaven.”

The Case Laws in the Old Testament are all an application of at least one of the Ten Commandments. The Ten Commandments and Civil Case Laws, should be the foundation for all law in a nation. The way we apply and implement them will be different to how the nation of Israel in the Old Testament was expected to apply them, yet they are foundational for Biblical Principles for government.

Examples of Excellence
Studying examples of excellence of Christians who were involved in politics, such as William Wilberforce who successfully campaigned to abolish the slave trade, can also inspire youth that they too can make a positive difference.

Understand HIS Story
Understanding a Providential view of History – that History is HIS Story, can also help to end confusion, guilt manipulation and bring hope. The Kingdom of God will triumph over sin, satan and death. We can also study how these Biblical principles have transformed other countries when they have been implemented. For example, the decentralised Cantons (provinces) of Switzerland have helped to maintain a free, prosperous and productive society for hundreds of years. “Select capable men from all the people - men who fear God; trustworthy men who hate dishonest gain - and appoint them as officials...” Exodus 18:21

Your Biblical Duty to Vote
As responsible citizens, Christians must strive to honour God in all areas of life (Matthew 5:14-20). We are to oppose evil (Isaiah 59) and work for righteousness. Christians therefore have a Biblical duty to vote.

“Righteousness exalts a nation, but sin is a disgrace to any people” Proverbs 14:34

Amidst all the electioneering, unrealistic promises, media performances, slogan shouting and empty rhetoric, it is very difficult to maintain an objective perspective on reality. Many even find it difficult to discern between what is right and what is wrong during election campaigns. “See to it that no-one takes you captive through hollow and deceptive philosophy which depends on human tradition and the basic principles of this world rather than on Christ” Colossians 2:8

Be careful to not merely listen to what is said, but to observe what is done. Cut through the vast volume of verbiage and evaluate each party and candidate on the crucial Biblical issues. To help you do this Africa Christian Action has developed the Biblical Issues Voters Guide. The 2019 Biblical Issues Voters’ Guide – detailing the positions of 7 political parties on 8 key Biblical issues - is now available from www.SAvotersguide.org. (The website has two additional parties and one additional issue).Download and email, or distribute quantities to your congregation, community and colleagues.

Salt and Light
We see much of the world becoming worse because the Church is not practically involved. We need to be the salt of the earth and the light of the world. We need to show the world that the Christian Faith makes a positive difference in every area of life. Politics is dirty, messy and controversial – that’s why Christians need to be the salt and light! “You are the salt of the earth. But if salt loses its saltiness, how can it be made salty again? It is no longer good for anything, except to be thrown out and trampled by men.” Matthew 5:13

It is time to reclaim our Christian heritage and to demonstrate to the world that the Bible has the best answers to society’s most pressing problems.

To do this, we need to understand the times in which we live and learn to effectively defend, and clearly communicate, the Gospel to a needy world.“…who had understanding of the times, to know what Israel ought to do…” 1 Chronicles 12:32

Biblical Worldview
Since 1991, Frontline Fellowship has been conducting Biblical Worldview Seminars and Summits in South Africa, Zambia, Namibia, Malawi, Nigeria, Romania, Congo, Sudan, Zimbabwe and the USA. The Biblical Worldview Manual has gone through 8 revisions and is in demand on 5 continents. The next Biblical Worldview Summit is from 4-9 January 2019, and will be held at Amana Conference Centre near Hermanus, Western Cape. “Do not conform any longer to the patterns of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind.” Romans 12:2

The Biblical Worldview Summit helps you realise your God-given potential to take positive action to change your world for Christ. This is accomplished through a unique programme of: guest lecturers, international speakers, authors and key leaders in their fields, special film presentations from all over the world, discussion groups, practicals, outreaches, outdoor activities, projects and interaction with others determined to make an impact on the world for Christ. Detailed manuals, textbooks and lecture notes are provided as part of the course.

Click here for more details, or contact: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. ; 021-689-4480.

See video highlights from the 2018 camp here.

Download leaflet, with application form HERE

Register to Vote! Last Voter Registration Weekend – 26-27 January 2019
If you have never voted before, or if you have moved residence, you need to register to vote at your closest polling station.The country’s 22 932 voting stations will open from 08h00 to 17h00 on Saturday 26 January and Sunday 27 January 2019 to allow new voters to register and existing voters to update and to check their registration details.Registered voters can visit the Electoral Commission website (www.elections.org.za) to check their current registration details and voting station location. You can also SMS your ID number to 32810 to receive an SMS containing the address of your voting station (charged at R1).

If you miss this registration weekend, you can still register by phoning your local IEC office and making an appointment.

Become a Truth Ambassador – Inspire Youth to Vote
There is more good news! In research conducted at Stellenbosch and UWC campuses in 2018, of those youth that said they did intend to vote in 2019, they would do so because they “want change” and because they “want to choose future leaders”. You can become a “Truth Ambassador” and become part of a programme to promote voting and educate voters and potential voters. To do this sign up here.The programme allows you to use already prepared short messages to send your friends via Whatsapp or other messaging apps to encourage them to register to vote and then to get out there and actually vote on Election Day. The messages merely encourage people to vote, not who to vote for. Sign up here.

Use Your Social Media to Encourage Voting According to Biblical Principles
Use your social media to encourage your friends to vote their values! Along with our jpeg one-page picture versions of the Biblical Issues Voters Guide, available in English, Afrikaans, Xhosa and Zulu, Africa Christian Action has developed a number of Voter Education graphics for social media, as well as many other Voter Education resources. See www.SAvotersguide.org. Be prepared for some healthy debate! Be polite, but firm. Take courage and stand on the Authority of Scripture.

"Who will rise up for Me against the evildoers? Who will stand up for Me against the workers of iniquity?" Psalm 94:16

See also:

God and Government articles

God, Government and the Ten Commandments

Biblical Principles for Using Your Vote

Biblical Principles for Africa book.

Africa Christian Action
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