I believe the Christian should abstain from voting in political elections. I leave in the hands of our sovereign God the setting up and taking down of political leaders.
I have Christian friends, though, who believe that voting is our part in God exercising His sovereignty over the affairs of men. One of them wrote to me in a Facebook comment:
Though I see the point, a significant distinction exists between (1) being as God’s hands in helping others and (2) being as God’s hands in helping Him in the exercise of His sovereignty.
the former, not the latter.
The New Testament commands me to show God’s love to the needy:
“But whoso hath this world’s good, and seeth his brother have need, and shutteth up his bowels of compassion from him, how dwelleth the love of God in him?” (1 John 3:17).
On the other hand, I don’t know of any New Testament teaching that says God needs any political help from me in His exercise of sovereignty.
When He connects His sovereignty and my involvement in civil affairs, He says:
“Let every soul be subject unto the higher powers. For there is no power but of God: the powers that be are ordained of God. Whosoever therefore resisteth the power, resisteth the ordinance of God: and they that resist shall receive to themselves damnation” (Romans 13:1,2).
This doesn’t sound to me like a call to wield political power, but to yield to it (as unto God and within the confines of His laws).
I have no interest in helping God exercise His sovereignty at this stage of human history, even if it is only by voting. I just don’t see such a calling for God’s people in the New Testament.
To help God, pray. That’s more Biblical than voting. And certainly has far more potential to be far more effective.
Does this mean I claim a neutral stance with regards to politics? Not at all. Anyone with a Biblical worldview can see easily enough that not all political practices and policies are of equal morality and rightness. However, having that discernment does not require that I take sides politically. Rather than claim (or feign) neutrality, I strive for non-participation since my allegiance is to a kingdom not of this world.
Do I “de-Christianize” any Christian who does vote? Of course not. That’s not in my place either.
Well, this post is the first in my The Voting Christian series that I hope will include at least three more posts:
- Render to Caesar
- Defeat Evil
- Love Your Neighbor
I’ll close out this post by quoting pieces of several other articles I’ve written.
I am a native-born resident of Oregon and citizen of the United States. I am also a born-again citizen of Christ’s heavenly kingdom. What effect does such dual citizenship have on my loyalties? My loyalty is to Christ. I pledge allegiance to no other kingdom.
My primary citizenship makes me (or should, anyway) a model citizen in my secondary citizenship. But my first loyalty is to Christ and His kingdom. By His grace, I will not violate that loyalty and citizenship in the living out of my American citizenship.
Christ, to whom I pledge obedient allegiance and to whose kingdom I belong, stated clearly that, in the present dispensation, “My kingdom is not of this world: if my kingdom were of this world, then would my servants fight…but now is my kingdom not from hence” (John 18:36).
“The most High ruleth in the kingdom of men, and giveth it to whomsoever he will, and setteth up over it the basest of men” (Daniel 4:17).
This verse has always been true. And this verse will always be true as long as there is human government. Sometimes God sets up the best (King Solomon, for instance); sometimes He chooses from among the worst (Adolph Hitler comes to mind).
Oh, I assure you my personal sense of right and justice gets pretty incensed at some of these goings on! But I am satisfied leaving it all in the hands of the Blessed Controller of all things.