Should Christians Vote?
WHAT DOES THE BIBLE SAY ABOUT OUR CITIZENSHIP ON EARTH?
While living in exile, God encouraged the Israelites to be active participants in their community.
Jeremiah 29 “4 Thus says the Lord of hosts, the God of Israel, to all who were carried away captive, whom I have caused to be carried away from Jerusalem to Babylon: 5 Build houses and dwell in them; plant gardens and eat their fruit. 6 Take wives and beget sons and daughters; and take wives for your sons and give your daughters to husbands, so that they may bear sons and daughters—that you may be increased there, and not diminished. 7 And seek the peace of the city where I have caused you to be carried away captive, and pray to the Lord for it; for in its peace you will have peace.”
The New Testament reaffirms that we are to participate in the civil affairs of society and to enjoy our God-given liberties responsibly. Moreover, all government is ordained by God.
Romans 13:1 Let everyone be subject to the governing authorities, for there is no authority except that which God has established…
1 Peter 2:11 Beloved, I beg you as sojourners and pilgrims, abstain from fleshly lusts which war against the soul, 12 having your conduct honorable among the Gentiles, that when they speak against you as evildoers, they may, by your good works which they observe, glorify God in the day of visitation. 13 Therefore submit yourselves to every ordinance of man for the Lord’s sake, whether to the king as supreme, 14 or to governors, as to those who are sent by him for the punishment of evildoers and for the praise of those who do good. 15 For this is the will of God, that by doing good you may put to silence the ignorance of foolish men— 16 Live as free, yet not using liberty as a cloak for vice, but as bondservants of God. 17 Honor all people. Love the brotherhood. Fear God. Honor the king.
The notion that Christians are to distance themselves from government simply cannot be found in scripture. In fact, the apostle Paul invoked his rights as a Roman citizen in order to escape unlawful punishment.
Acts 22:25 And as they bound him with thongs, Paul said to the centurion who stood by, “Is it lawful for you to scourge a man who is a Roman, and uncondemned?” 26 When the centurion heard that, he went and told the commander, saying, “Take care what you do, for this man is a Roman.” 27 Then the commander came and said to him, “Tell me, are you a Roman?” He said, “Yes.” 28 The commander answered, “With a large sum I obtained this citizenship.”And Paul said, “But I was born a citizen.” 29 Then immediately those who were about to examine him withdrew from him; and the commander was also afraid after he found out that he was a Roman, and because he had bound him.
The framers of our nation also recognized that government is ordained by God and the rights of the citizens come from the Creator — That is American Exceptionalism and it makes all the difference…
WHAT MAKES AMERICA EXCEPTIONAL?
Many believe that American Exceptionalism describes the spectacular uniqueness of our nation in the annals of history. This is certainly true! However, American Exceptionalism represents a shift in thought by our nation’s founders. In most other forms of government, rights are bestowed by the government to its citizens. By contrast, American Exceptionalism acknowledges that the rights of citizens come from God — not man. This is clearly asserted in our founding documents which compel us to protect the blessing of liberty.
The Declaration of Independence: We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness.
The US Constitution: We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defence, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.
STEWARDSHIP OF OUR COUNTRY
Inextricably woven into the concept of American Exceptionalism is the fact that you and I are owners and stakeholders in our government. It is a gift that God has entrusted us with each in varying measure — from the simple right to vote to the seats of the highest offices in the land.
Having been given stewardship of our nation, what follows is accountability. As believers, we will one day be called to give an account of that which was entrusted to us (2 Cor 5:10). Jesus Himself made this clear in the Parable of the Talents.
To the servant who put his talents to work and returned an increase the master said, “Well done, good and faithful servant; you were faithful over a few things, I will make you ruler over many things. Enter into the joy of your lord” (Matthew 25:21).
To the servant who did nothing with his talent, and hid it away he was scolded saying, “You wicked and lazy servant” (Matthew 25:26).
Although our permanent citizenship is in heaven, we are called to be participants in society. Moreover, we are stakeholders in our nation — a government ordained by God whose citizens are endowed by the Creator. Therefore, as stewards of our government, we are accountable to the measure that we have been entrusted. Is the servant who buried their talent any different than the believer who refuses to vote? My fellow brothers and patriots, we are called to walk in the paths He has prepared for us. That simply cannot be done by sitting on the sidelines and avoiding the station God has placed before us.
“Blessed is the nation whose God is the LORD”