(BP)-Scripture provides guidance for Christians in deciding which candidate to support on Election Day, Texas pastor Ed Young Jr. told his congregation Oct. 19. The pastor of Fellowship Church in Grapevine gave five categories believers should examine about each political candidate.

“Once we ask ourselves these five questions and once we answer them, then we’ll be ready to vote for the right person,” he said.

The five categories are:

_ Character.

“Everything begins with character,” said Young, pointing to Proverbs 29:2: “. . . If we elect righteous leaders, our government will be righteous, and if our government is righteous then the laws will be righteous.”

Christians should take a political candidate’s private conduct seriously, Young said.

“Character can be defined as who you are when no one’s looking,” he said. ” . . . For a long, long time, people have said, ‘Who you are in private does not really affect who you area in public office.’ . . . That’s absolutely, friends, nuts, because who you are in private is who you are.”

_ Conviction.

Reading from Proverbs 28:1-which says the “righteous are bold as a lion”-Young said, “We need to elect lionesses and lions in this day-people who are not politicians, but people who are statesmen, people who are leaders.” That conviction, he said, must be based on God’s Word.

He said the “gay agenda” is one area where society is moving away from scriptural teachings.

“God has told us there is only one context where sex should be enjoyed and practiced and celebrated-marriage. . . . The Bible tells me and it tells you that during the end of time . . . what is right (will be viewed as) wrong and (what is) wrong (will be viewed as) right.”

Referencing those who compare the homosexual movement to the civil rights movement, Young said, “I’ve known a lot of former homosexuals but I’ve never met a former African American.”

_ Courage.

“Does this candidate display courage?” Young asked. “Can you look at this candidate’s life-and say, ‘You know what? He stood up for courage there. She stood up for courage.’ . . Courage is the God-given ability to stand . . . . Conviction is belief. Courage is behavior.”

Pointing to Proverbs 11:3, Young said, “The other day I heard a candidate being interviewed, and here’s the response the candidate made to a question on morality, . . . ‘Well, for me as a Christian.’ . . . That was a relativistic answer. . . . The relativist says, ‘What’s right for you is true for you and what’s true for you is true for you.'”

Giving an example of the absurdity of relativism, Young said one could say, as part of the relativistic worldview, “What’s true for me is to fly airliners into the sides of skyscrapers and kill hundreds and hundreds of people.”

_ Compassion.

Giving the biblical definition of compassion, Young read from Proverbs 31:8-9, which says, “Speak up for those who cannot speak for themselves, for the rights of all who are destitute. Speak up and judge fairly; defend the rights of the poor and needy.” He also read from Proverbs 24:11, “Rescue those being led away to death; hold back those staggering toward slaughter.”

Abortion, Young said, is an issue where a political candidate must show compassion.

“We’re taking the lives, of . . . 3,200 babies a day-taking the lives of developing babies -when you’ll get thrown in prison and pay an astronomical fine if you disturb the eggs of developing sea turtles,” he said. “What’s right is wrong and (what’s) wrong is right.”

_ Constituency.

Young said examining who supports and opposes the candidate can help determine who to support.

“I can meet your friends, without even meeting you, and tell you what kind of a person you are,” Young said. “Who applauds this potential candidate and who opposes them? If the mainstream secular media supports a candidate or an issue, there is a great chance that something is sideways, (and) you better look at that one very, very closely.