First it needs to be said that this article will not favor one political candidate or party over another but instead favor what is expressed in holy scripture allowing the reader to apply what is revealed to their life. For election years, this issue is important. This article will address voting, candidate support, questions to ask the candidates, and ultimately, who would Jesus vote for.
Should Christians Vote?
To better understand this question we should first ask, are Christians commanded by God to vote? Part of evangelism and pursuing those who need to hear the message of The Gospel is taking an active role in the culture and society. Jesus tells us to give what is Caesars and give God what is God’s (Matthew 22:21). Voting is not necessarily Caesars (the government) because it is a freedom, not a mandatory obligation by law. If voting was required by law, then of course, we need to be obedient and do so; but in democracies, that is not the case. So in accordance with Jesus and being obedient to both the government and God (Acts 5:27-29; Romans 13:1-7); voting is not specifically an obligation and not commanded. But we come back to Should Christians vote?
If God gave you the free option to support an individual who better reflected his will, why would not you not want to support them? Voting is a democratic form of absolute support. We see in scripture that God is not pleased with who the culture and society props up and supports those who lead them (Hosea 8:4). And leaders who do not seek Gods will or reflect God’s will, because of their slavery to sin (Proverbs 14:34), cause problems in the society (Proverbs 28:12). Due to the hardening of the hearts of the nations leaders, God brings judgement on the nation. Looking at Egypt, the Pharaoh made decisions against God’s will, and everyone in Egypt suffered for it. Some times it is also the collective heart of the nation that God hands them over to in judgement (Romans 1).
Essentially, through voting, you show your absolute support for God’s Will or vicariously your own self seeking will. Voting is a God granted opportunity to show your support for what you desire most. So should Christians vote? Yes. Are Christians commanded to? No.
What makes Christian voting unique?
God grants his people an exceedingly amount of mercy, kindness, patients, and opportunities to seek God’s will through the leaders they choose. When they seek God and not their own personal desires and agendas, God gives them the leaders they need (1 Samuel 12:13-25). It is the genuine Christian vote that is seeking God’s will for the nation and nothing can be better for a nation than seeking God (Matthew 6:33).
What if All candidates oppose God?
First and foremost we need to understand that it is God whom allows and appoints leaders of nations (Daniel 2:21; 4:17). Whether you vote or not, there will be a leader appointed, good or bad (Daniel 4:34-35). Christians have two options here. Either vote for the better one or not vote at all. Keep in mind, Moses was not perfect, David was not perfect, Peter was not perfect, and leaders of the church are not perfect. We do not find the perfection in people but the fruit that the individual produces (Matthew 7:16). The fruit are the characteristics of God. Mercy, grace, forgiveness, selfless love, absolute truth, goodness, kindness, justice, what is right and so on (1 Peter 2:13-15). Atheist candidates may display and support some of these characteristics more than some christian candidates. There may be a field where there are no christian candidates at all.
When all the candidates oppose God, it is not advised to show absolute support for them. Because voting is a freedom and not commanded, not voting is also a right, just as much as voting is. If all the candidates/leaders oppose God, God is bringing judgement down on a that nation, and your vote wont stop God’s judgement. At that point Christians need to have faith that God will protect them through his judgement like the Jews in Egypt during the plagues. The end result of God’s judgement is always good, for those who have faith (Romans 8:28).
The Government Does Not Save
A big misconception is that we should vote for a government that will heal our nation and make us prosperous. This is a lie. The Government does not bring about any of this; but God alone does. Our focus is on God. We vote and obey the governments, for God as service to God. We seek godly leadership and support godly leadership for God’s glory (Romans 13:1-8). Our government is not the light of the world but Jesus Christ is. We reflect Christ’s light and glorify God (Matthew 5:16). Our identity is not in our political affiliation or nationality but in Christ and his commands.
Questions to ask about the Candidates;
- Do they attend a gospel centered bible teaching church?
- Do they have integrity?
- Do they avoid talking about Jesus?
- Do they actively support the Christian faith in public policy?
- Do they support the truth, that our bodies are not our own but are for God’s use (1 Cor 6:19-20)?
- Do they actively support godly charities and act as servants?
- Do they openly stand against what scripture condemns and support godly qualities?
Applying these questions to each candidate, and doing research on the candidates can help narrow down which candidate is for God’s will for the nation and which is not for God’s Will for the nation.
The grand questions is: Who would Jesus vote for?
The simplistic answer is; he would vote for his father in heaven. He could careless about republicans, democrats, or libertarian affiliations. In Jesus’ day there were political parties, none of which he was affiliated with. Given his perceived stature of Rabbi and teacher, he could have exerted political influence in his culture (kinda like voting), but he did not. In stead, he was completely focused on The Father’s will (John 6:38) and proclaiming the Good News instead of politics (Mark 1:15). To say that Jesus would be a republican, democrat, liberal, or conservative is to belittle Jesus Christ and apply worldly identities on God himself; none of which he declared.
Given the uniqueness of our ordained position in a culture that offers the freedom to vote or not to vote; we should have the same focus; God’s will and proclaiming the Gospel even through voting if possible. The end desired result is God’s Glory and everyone’s’ access to hearing the gospel message; not a specific political ideological advancement. This all boils down to seeing politics and voting from the worldly standpoint or a kingdom of heaven standpoint.
Also read God and The Government
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