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Should Christians Vote?

I have often wondered what to make of my involvement in politics as a Christian and a citizen of heaven (Phil 3:20), while living in a country and constitutional republic government that gives me the ability to vote. Should Christians vote?

I am a Christian. I am a citizen of heaven, and I also happen to be an American. I am extremely grateful to live in a nation that affords me the opportunity to vote and be a part of shaping what this country is, and I'm thankful for all the sacrifices that have happened along the way to make it so. However, I do not exercise my right to vote; I believe that my place in the political arena is prayer.

Before you pick up rocks to stone me, hear me out. This seems so controversial, especially to mainstream Christian culture here in America, in which I hear all the time that it is my God given responsibility to vote (or you can enter any rights argument here; such as civil rights or feminists rights for example), typically followed by which way I should vote or which candidate I should vote for. But when I read of Jesus and his involvement in the political arena of His day (which was undoubtedly just as corrupt for there is nothing new under the sun - Ecc 1:9), he didn't seem to be directly involved. Except to pay taxes and to be obedient to the governing authority (c.f. Rom 13), Jesus himself refused to become a political leader even when others tried to force Him to do so (Mat 22:15-22; Jn 6:14-15).

So why is it that as Jesus’ followers, we try to primarily enact change through people in office to execute the will and morality of God, especially without prayer, when Jesus who claimed to be THE truth (Jn 14:6) and was said to be God’s exact representation (Heb 1:3), didn’t choose that method? Certainly to set up a kingdom, couldn't Jesus have been more "successful" if he used the governmental and political systems of his day? But he didn't come to set up a kingdom of man, much to the chagrin of some of his followers (Jn 18:36). Instead he chose a method of love and self-sacrifice. A method that left a relatively small number of followers at his life’s end, but followers that were so dedicated, so moved, that they in turn changed the world. And so it is today. Don't mistake me here, there is nothing inherently wrong with being involved in the political arena as a Christian or voting (and I applaud those who do so in a way that is glorifying to Christ [Col 3:17] - but that is probably more rare than we think unfortunately). I will say however that being involved in politics can be fraught with the dangers of slander, selfish ambition, back biting, and deception - things that do not represent Christ. If you are involved in the political arena, or get involved, please do so in a way that displays Christ, since you bear his name as a Christian. And if you decide to vote (or get involved in politics to whatever degree), will you first follow the scriptures (1 Tim 2:1-2) and pray before you do so?

Ask yourself: do you truly trust God to put those in authority that he wants (Rom 13:1-7) for his own glory, or deep down do you think he is asleep at the wheel and not overseeing the process? Are you willing to rely on the only true power he has given you as a Christian, the power of prayer (Jam 5:16)? (Of course you can utilize lesser powers that God has allowed you to have as well, such as voting, through the political process if you should so choose). Christians have a civic responsibility to culture and society for sure, to show God's heart to the world around us through a myriad of avenues (cf. Mat 5:14), but as Christians let us not place our hope, power, and influence in the world over the Lord, for ALL authority in heaven and on earth has been given to him alone (cf. Mat 28:18).

1 Comment

Alberto Schirmer
Alberto Schirmer
Jan 23, 2020

Thank you Jon. This is a very timely reminder of where our hearts and allegiance should be.

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