So, I don’t know if you know, but Election Day is coming soon.
A little further away now that we’ve had to set our clocks back, but as a Christian, or better worded, as a follower of Christ, it’s important to know what we are voting for the fast approaching November 6th.
But, what does the Bible say to us about voting?
Now, some of you, I’m sure, think the pulpit is no place to discuss political questions or voting, but actually, the Bible touches upon this subject a good deal more than we might think. Many say that faith and politics just don’t mix, but actually, that little anecdote is not in the Bible.
To be fair, I too believe that a pastor or church leader should always respect differences of opinion within the church and the Christian community, especially in political matters, as opposed to taking advantage of his place of leadership to endorse a particular political candidate. This, however, does not mean that we do not have obligations as Christians in regard to politics.
As the election approaches, here are several Biblical principles for Christian voters:
1. Pray about it.
Paul urges us that, “… prayers… be made for everyone – for kings and all those in authority, that we may live peaceful and quiet lives in all godliness and holiness.” We are to pray for leaders, no matter who they are, as long as they allow us to follow Christ and be holy. I don’t know a President so far that has not allowed me to do this. Do you? Okay, so pray for your President.
From studying scriptures, it is clear that God raises up leaders and deposes them according to his pleasure and according to their own morality. “He sets up kings and deposes them.” (Daniel 2:21) And God listens especially to the prayers of his children and grants their requests whenever they can be reconciled with his will.
I know that my church, and thousands of other churches are praying about this election. We are all asking God to help us elect moral and godly leaders. At least we should be. God has better judgment on such matters of leadership than we do, so we should seek his help in choosing our leader.
2. Get out there and vote!
I mean, aside from the obvious reason that we should take action in this National Election, here’s why: Jesus says, “Render unto Caesar the things that are Caesar’s”. We give to government what it requires (as long it is not in violation of God’s will).
We live in a republic whose form of government requires the involvement of its citizens for its success. So part of our Christian obligation to Caesar as citizens of the USA is that we participate in the political process, at least by voting for the candidates we think will be best for our country.
I know… sometimes it’s easy to get discouraged. Especially in an Election where bad-mouthing occurs, and it’s hard to tell who is telling lies at what time. But keep in mind that there never have been or will be any perfect candidates for office. Even the Kings that God appointed in the Bible are all flawed in their own way. David slept with another man’s wife, then had him killed in battle because he got her pregnant. Solomon put Hugh Hefner and his Playboy Bunnies to shame with the size of his Herem (and here we thought Clinton’s leadership scandal was outrageous!).
We vote for who we prayerfully consider to be the best man for the job, and as Christians, we have an extremely important job as voters. Jesus says to his disciples, “You are the salt of the earth, the light of the world.” It is we Christians who especially act as salt to our culture, preserving it from rot and decay.
John Adams, one of the signers of the Constitution and one of our early Presidents, wrote, “We have no government armed in power capable of contending with humans passions unbridled by morality and religion…Our constitution was made only for a moral people.”
George Washington asserted, “Of all the dispositions and habits which lead to a political prosperity, religion and morality are indispensable supports.”
The founding Fathers of our country recognized that morality and religion… I like the term “faith” better than “religion”, but nonetheless, both of these are necessary supports to the success of our government.
3. Choose wisely and Biblically.
It’s easy to just say, “Well, God’s got it under control, so I’ll just take a back seat here and vote for whoever. God’ll work it to good; He always does.”
Well yeah, you dummy, but then you’re not being an instrument in His plan! You might as well not even be a Christian if you’re not going to allow yourself to be used by God, and to be used by God, you’ve got to be wise in your decisions.
Besides, it’s true what they say; our leaders are to some extent a reflection of the people. But it is also true that the people oftentimes become a reflection of their leaders. Remember King Ahab, arguably the worst king in the history of Israel, and God said that Ahab “provoked me (God) to anger and caused Israel to sin.” (1 Kings 21:20-22)
Make no mistake, whoever we choose as our leaders will have a dramatic impact and influence on the country as a whole. So Christians must choose wisely, starting with taking a look at what the Bible says about the hot-topic issues in the Election.
WARNING!! Some of these issues may be controversial to the modern day reader. They may make some upset and angry. And another warning: I’m not going to apologize for it.
This is what the Bible, the Book of Truth, says about these issues, and if you are a Christian, as I am, you should believe what the Bible tells us.
So….. Here it is. Don’t say I didn’t warn you:
- We need a leader who will encourage, accommodate, tolerate the Christian religion, not hinder or prohibit it. There is now a hate crime legislation which may eventually make it illegal to preach against homosexuality or abortion.
- This is what I was warning you about ….. Okay, there is a Biblical family structure. “So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them. God intended marriage to be between a man and a woman. I’m not saying that gay marriage HAS to be illegal, but I’m saying our leader should also respect the Christian beliefs about marriage.
- We need a leader who will value human life from conception till death. God is the God of life, Jesus is life and both are very much against the taking of human life, especially when it did not do anything to deserve death. In short, you’re not God, so don’t play God.
- We need a leader who places a value on justice and fairness for the oppressed and the poor, both of which get plenty of attention in scripture. Jesus says feed the poor at your table, give to those who ask, and take care of the sick and homeless.
- At the same time… we need someone to lead us who will encourage personally responsibility for one’s life, for the willingness to work and take care of one’s self as one is able. Thesselonians tells us that if a man won’t work, then neither shall he eat.
- The writher of Proverbs tells us that, “when the righteous rule, the people rejoice; when the wicked rule, the people groan”. We need to choose a righteous leader.
We need to consider these issues when listening to the debates. We need to consider them when walking to the polls…. but if you notice, all of these issues in the Bible do not point to one specific candidate. Republican are pro-life, but they aren’t real into helping the poor. Democrats are all about providing for those who need it, but they also say it’s discrimination to preach against homosexuality. Other parties have their own views… none of them align exactly with Christ.
That’s why we have to pray and consider wisely. It is not an easy choice.
4. Put God’s Kingdom First.
Salvation from sin will never be found in human politics; it will only be found in God’s kingdom. This is simply to say that any of our society’s problems will never be solved by electing new legislators or passing new laws. The human heart must be changed, and only God is capable of that.
So yes, we do have political and civic responsibilities as Christians! But our primary work is to spread the gospel of Jesus Christ.
Christ is the only cure for sin and all the ills that come from sin: poverty, perversion, crime, greed, lust, sloth, and yes, even extreme and irresponsible debt.
Most of you who read my blog are citizen of the US, but i do know some readers hail from other parts of the world. Our citizenship of God’s kingdom is what unites us all, for it is eternal and the benefits of being a citizen in that kingdom are literally out of this world.
We can’t change the course of our human history, Jesus already did that for us and He’ll be the one to do it again. What we can do, is pray, vote, consider wisely the current issues, and put His Kingdom first. We can be instruments of God’s righteousness and impact our country.