Weighing heavily on my mind has been the topic of voting and how it relates to faith. I will give some principles from my American and christian perspective. Not all countries have even have the right to vote but there are still principles that can apply.
Never before has it seemed that voting on election day is as daunting a task for Christians as now. Amidst the seemingly constant stream of mud slinging, there often seems to be no clear cut likeable candidate that personally holds Christian values. So should Christians stay home and not vote? God forbid.
We as Americans happen to live in a nation were men have fought and died to give the freedom and privilege to vote to its citizens. No matter how we feel personally toward any of the candidates, we still can take a look at the issues at hand and decide which is most conducive to a Biblical worldview and Biblical principles. So let’s consider some key issues and ask ourselves which candidate best fit what we desire.
Supreme Court – Which candidate will be more likely to appoint justices that will uphold the constitution and not legislate from the bench for political pet causes? Which is more likely to appoint conservative minded judges?
Abortion – Which candidate is more likely to support life? Which will put life below the concerns of women?
National Security – Which candidate will offer the best chance to secure our borders and enforce our laws? Which will send undesirables out and which will draw them in?
Economy – Which person will be most conducive to wise handling of money nationally? Which one will treat money as an abstract concept in theory?
Foreign Policy – Which one will provide leadership around the world? Which one will build a strong military for our protection? Which one will continue current policy?
Veterans – Which one will be more likely to take care of our veterans?
Party Platform – Which party platform has the policies that you would rather see implemented?
Faith – Which one will take less offense to those that stand for the Christian faith?
I believe that these are sufficient for any American believer to consider and decide whom to vote for at the upcoming election. There is no need to spend hours debating, listening to gossip, conspiracy theories, past dirty rags, media spin, and so forth. Elections are primarily always about the issues. The dilemma many face is that the top candidates, especially this year, don’t have the “good guy” facade. I don’t personally know if any President has actually been a believer while in office but we shouldn’t be surprised when we find ourselves with unsaved leadership. Vote for the one that will make policy decisions that will be more in line with Biblical principles than the other candidates.
1) It is better to not vote at all.
(Try telling this to a person in a country where they are not allowed. Try telling this to a survivor of someone who lost a loved one in the line of service for your country. God has given us the opportunity as believers in America to vote for our representation. Why not use that opportunity as good steward of that gift?)
2) The election is rigged so I shouldn’t bother.
(All people eligible should use the opportunity to vote.)
3) My candidate is going to win overall so my vote is not needed.
(All vote are needed.)
4) My candidate is going to lose in my state anyway.
(We don’t know who will win. Vote anyway.)
5) I’m to busy to vote.
(There are no excuses. Plenty of people could have made excuses when it came to defending our freedom to vote but are you glad they didn’t.)
6) I want a Pastor in chief.
(This is not the Biblical idea.
7) I can’t vote for someone if they have ever done or said anything awful.
8) I can’t vote for a non-Christian.
9) We are in the last days so just let the unsaved decide for us.
10) If we keep picking the lesser of two evils then we will continually get more of the same.
I have been on the left and on the right, and I am now coming from the right. To those who say that God is not a Republican, I would say that I agree, and that there are dangerous ideas on both sides. On the left, there is marxism and liberation theology. Also, abortion is murder, and gay marriage and transgenderism tear at the fabric of society. On the right, there is dominionism, theocratic ideas, and sometimes antisemitism that goes along with isolationism and denial of the holocaust. I used to associate these things with fringe elements, but lately the rise of dominionists seems a realistic possibility, and they might try to ride Trump to dominance. The ones who are LS are going to be like, take back America for a false gospel. Now I am not lashing out against Trump. He is our next President, and God willing, he will succeed in rolling back some atrocious policies from the left. Yet I could not in good conscience vote for either of the two candidates, since I had heard enough bad stuff about both.
Thanks RAS for stopping by and commenting. Yeah, it has been a crazy election season. I have never seen the media this desperate.
To be sure believers are believers regardless of a mistake at the voting booth. Leave it to a lordshipper type to add that as another indication of lost/saved status. I’ve even heard grace type believers suggesting that a vote for one candidate was akin to losing your testimony before the lost. Well, is it better to have a criminal in chief? Or is it better to have the testimony before the lost that you won’t use your privilege to vote? OF course not. The lack of discernment has made my head spin almost as much as the candidates themselves.
As for Rom 13 and the constitution, I think for us the constitution does play a part. It is the base of our laws. Of course in Paul’s day they didn’t have elected leaders like we have. They had Roman emperors and Roman laws and governors. Whether it is the rule of one like a monarch or the rule of many with laws in place I think the principle is the same. Though I do think it makes a difference in who the leader is and if they want to actually enforce the laws or appoint judges that will strictly interpret the constitution diligently. I mean just consider what this current administration has done to allow things to be the way they are now. This country seems to love to make new laws but not to enforce all of them, only the ones the current administration likes best or are currently beneficial to their objectives. I guess what I am saying is that law is useless without those to enforce it as well but I am sure you know that already.
BTW I did not mean to imply an inspirational equivalence between Scripture and the US Constitution. I was speaking only to national authority. God did not breathe the Constitution; I do believe He ordained it.
I have not commented on your site before but I have visited in the past. Thank you for your efforts Jim this is a great article.
This election cycle has been more divisive than any I have ever witnessed. There has been an incredible amount pulpit banging from denominational organizations and discernment sites regarding who “true” Christians must or must not vote for. I even know of one famous Christian “leader” who during the primaries insisted that Christians may not be Christians if they were to support a certain candidate. Guess what…that candidate won the nomination and that Christian “leader” is now on that candidate’s “spiritual advisory board” and openly campaigning for said candidate…
Crazy times indeed.
My take on the power ordained by God (Rom 13) for the USA—it is the Constitution—it is not the POTUS. The degree to which the Constitution is upheld in large degree depends upon the POTUS because of the SCOTUS appointees. But neither the POTUS nor the SCOTUS are really the authority. They are under the law too. Just like Israel was under the Mosaic Law (scripture that their leaders twisted) America and therefore American Christians, are under the Constitution (being twisted). So until the coup and God replaces the Constitution with a Caesar (could happen) I will vote for the candidate and platform I believe to be most in line with a plain reading of the Constitution—even if that candidate has a foul mouth or is guilty of any of the other dirty dozen sins. Especially when running against a criminal.
Thanks again for your blog and allowing discussion.
Thanks John, yes, I believe that is correct. It is similar in a way to the decision to believe the gospel. God knows what we will choose but does not make the decision for us. The American people will decide and God can use that person as in the ch 13. Though it is weird to think of a certain person in the position to enforce laws.
Jim, I think that right now, in the US, we have free will in electing leaders, just as we do in other choices we make. So, I don’t think Romans 13 can be construed to mean that God actually determines what our choice is going to be, only that He has ordained that our choice is ratified by Him.
believer people have tendency to want a Theocracy as when Christ Jesus will have His Kingdom here on earth..
also need to keep in mind our postion in Christ is our Vocation and what we do for a living is our Advocation