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Voting as a Christian in America

As Christian Americans we are obligated to vote based on God's commands.

The US Constitution

The Preamble of the US Constitution states, “We the people of the United States, in order to form a more perfect union…” This opening statement establishes the purpose of the Constitution of the United States:

1) to establish justice, in light of the injustices brought about by the British government;

2) to insure domestic tranquility, to live in peace with government leaders and with citizens;

3) to provide for the common defense that protects our people and our nation;

4) and to secure the blessings of liberty for ourselves and for our posterity, to have and to experience the blessings of being a free people.

Through the years, the Constitution was amended, though at times with bitter arguments and fighting, to give all adult citizens (18 years of age or older) the right to vote (15th, 19th, 24th Amendments) for elected officials.

Historical context

The US Constitution established the first Republic of its kind in history, giving citizens the right to elect its head of state and all its elected representatives. It’s important to remember the United States was formed as a Republic in which officials are elected to represent its citizens, and in which all citizens’ rights are protected. This contrasts with a pure Democracy which places the majority in absolute power, and places those outside of the majority having their rights unprotected.

Returning to Biblical times, people did not have the right to vote if they were not Roman citizens. The Jewish people were captives, not Roman citizens. This meant they were under Roman rule, required to pay Roman taxes in addition to Jewish religious taxes, without the rights afforded to Roman citizens.

Jesus taught to “render to Caesar what is Caesar’s and unto God, what is God’s” (Mark 12:17), and to love one’s enemies (Matthew 5:44–45a). He also instructed people to “go the extra mile” (Matthew 5:41) when a Roman soldier commanded them to carry his pack. The Apostle Paul further instructed believers to obey those who ruled over them (Romans 13:1).

What does this have to do with voting?

Believers are to be in submission to those who rule over them. But, in the United States of America, a Christian has the authority, the right, and yes, the obligation, to influence his or her government through the power of the vote. God does not instruct believers to overthrow any government, as the heart of the king is in the hand of the Lord (Proverbs 21:1). Believers are to submit to the authority that God has placed over the people (I Peter 2:13; Romans 13:4; Daniel 2:21).

In addition to praying for our leaders (I Timothy 2:1–3), God has blessed American citizens with the ability to select leaders who more closely align with God’s ways.

What, not who!

No one should instruct another person on who to vote for. We must remember, however, that as believers, we have been bought with a price (I Corinthians 6:20) and we belong to Jesus (Ephesians 2:13), as His ambassadors (II Corinthians 5:20).

Because we have the right to vote, we also have the obligation, as ambassadors of Christ, to vote to influence the direction of our government and not simply ignore or fall prey to it. A believer’s obligation is to vote on issues that involve conflict with Scripture. A believer does not have the right to merely vote his or her own conscience because it may be biased due to our sin nature. As Jesus’ ambassador, a believer is obligated to vote on His behalf.

We are not to blindly vote “party lines.” We are not to vote for or against someone based on “liking” or “not liking” the person. We certainly are not to vote for a person who is opposed to God’s word.

A believer’s responsibility and obligation to vote is not based on whether a person claims to be a Christian. The responsibility is based on whether the person stands for Biblical truth and Godly morals and values. The fact that polls continue to show people who are “unsure” or “undecided” on who they will vote for is simply bizarre! No Christian should be in that position when looking at clear differences in candidates’ stances on Biblical issues.

Here are some topical examples:

· Pro-life/sanctity of life vs pro-abortion (Exodus 21:22–25; Psalm 139:15; Psalm 127:3; Jeremiah 1:4–5; Galatians 1:15)

· Traditional marriage vs gay marriage (Leviticus 20:13; Hebrews 13:4)

· Morality vs perversion (Leviticus 18:22; I Corinthians 6:9–10; I Timothy 1:10; Romans 1:26–27

· God-given gender vs transgender (Deuteronomy 22:5; I Timothy 2:9)

· Government defends and protects its people vs unvetted, open borders (Romans 13:3–7)

· Fiscal responsibility vs uncontrolled spending, debt (Proverbs 22:7; Luke 14:28; Psalm 37:21; Proverbs 6:1–5)

Based on these principles, a believer must look at the actions of candidates. Politicians have become known for lying lips, saying what they know a person wants to hear. But their actions, indeed, speak louder than words. God says that you are what you think (Proverbs 4:23; 23:7). One candidate may say that he or she is a believer, yet actions directly conflict with God’s ways.

Summary

No one is the perfect candidate, and no one can suggest he or she can find a perfect candidate. God says no one is righteous (Romans 3:10) and we have all sinned and come short of God’s standard (Romans 3:23). A believer can only vote for one who is running for office and, therefore, must decide based on God’s standard, not his own.

In the United States, a believer cannot exercise the choice to stay home when there is a choice of casting a vote for one candidate that more closely represents God’s standard. As a citizen of the United States, you have the right to vote. As a citizen of Heaven and as an ambassador of Christ, you have an obligation to vote — not your conscience but representing God.

The Challenge

A final note to consider: if you claim to be a Christian, you must vote as a Christian. I attended a Christian concert in which the singer laid out this challenge. He asked those in the audience who were not proclaiming to be Christians to stand, stating that a person should never be ashamed of who they are. The point was double-edged. If you claim to be a Christian yet are ashamed to be one, why claim to be one?

A “Christian” who supports anti-Biblical agendas is not acting like a Christian and puts his or her entire testimony as a Christian in question. Your choice is simple: become a Christian, start living like one, or stop claiming to be one!


AuthorRandy DeVaul | BCWorldview.org 

Salvation – Eternal Life in Less Than 150 Words

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