When you step into the voting booth, what issues matter most? What do you look for in a political candidate?

Assuming all the candidates are highly qualified and meet the vast majority of your requirements, would you vote for a candidate from your political party that claimed to be a professing Christian but supports abortion?

Would you vote for a candidate from your political party who is a member of a false religion but was pro-life?

Better yet, would you vote for a candidate who is a Christian, pro-life but not from your political party?

Although hypothetical, the options presented might very well become the only options available by November of 2008. What is a voter to do?

May we be so bold as to suggest that our readers spend time in prayer asking God which of the candidates is most suited to lead our government based on the issues?

The political party system has served our nation well, but our loyalty to political parties must never stand in the way of our accountability to our Heavenly Father.

Throughout this past year, the Baptist Messenger has experienced all too candidly the ugliness that can present itself when the judgment of well-meaning people is clouded by political pandering.

We have heard it equally from both sides. Republicans have contacted us upset when we cover a Baptist in the news who also happens to be a Democrat. Likewise, we have heard from Democrats who get upset when they think we are too hard on someone in their political party who failed to stand strong on a moral issue.

The circumstances and names may change between parties, but one thing is for certain, the whiners from both parties would do better to quit claiming the Baptist Messenger is the unofficial rag for the opposing party. Their time would be better spent providing voters with candidates who believe in and support Christian values. The Baptist Messenger beholds to no political party.

Let’s set the record straight. The Baptist Messenger has not and will not endorse political candidates, but we will do our very best to provide our readers with insight on the issues from a biblical worldview. We will not bow to the pressures of political correctness. It is our duty to stand strong by informing our readers regarding moral and ethical issues important to a Christian life.

With the election year just a few days away, readers of the Baptist Messenger can expect fair, honest and reliable news and information certain to provide insight on critical issues facing our nation. We will not compromise the truth. We will be kind in our presentation of the facts, but we will not cave to political heat from either party. Forget it! It’s not going to happen. Don’t bother making the call.

This said, we always welcome your letters, e-mails and involvement in the process. And as we often say around here, “An informed mind makes the best decision.” We will do our best to keep you informed and on top of the issues during what is certain to become one of the most interesting political seasons in recent history.