Is it your Christian duty to vote?
Well, with the American election coming on November 2, 2010, according to various evangelical and Protestant preachers on American television, it is.
Is that what the Bible teaches?
What would Jesus do?
The world is a complicated place with many types of problems. In the world’s so-called democracies, politicians campaign to persuade us to vote for them so that they can help solve these problems. In the U.S.A., election issues and problems usually include the economy, environment, crime, international leadership, defense, and a host of social concerns. Community leaders with different ideas wish to persuade us that their group’s choice is the one that will be best for the country.
Many of these leaders bring religion into the campaign.
The Bible teaches that Christians should follow Jesus’ example (Philippians 2:5). So if Jesus was an American citizen, would He vote?
Some seem to think that Jesus would vote for members of the Democratic party, because Democrats are perceived by some to be more compassionate than Republicans. Others feel certain that Jesus would vote for Republicans because Republicans are perceived by some to be more “pro-life” (anti-abortion) than Democrats. Some others, noting hypocrisy in both major parties, feel that Jesus would vote for the candidates offered by the smaller political parties due to their personalities or views on different subjects.
Democracy is Not New
Democracy was known before the time of Christ. In ancient Greece, all the male citizens were expected to vote on the the issues facing their society. The Greeks introduced the concept of democracy to the Romans. The Romans (who were somewhat skeptical of the Greek model) set up a modified form of democracy called a republic. In a republic, elected representatives are supposed to vote for their interpretation of the will of the people. The U.S., other “democracies” of the world (with Switzerland as perhaps the most notable exception as it is more patterned after the Greek model), and even many churches are patterned after the Roman model.
Most people in western societies seem to feel that some form of democracy is the best form of government. Would God agree? The Bible warns us, “there is a way that seems right to a man, But its end is the way of death” (Proverbs 16:25). It also warns us, “It is not in man who walks to direct his own steps” (Jeremiah 10:23).
In Genesis 2:17 God warned Adam and Eve to not partake of the fruit of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. But Adam and Eve did not listen to God. After listening to Satan, they decided that they did not need to listen to God but that they should decide for themselves (Genesis 3:1-6). This is the first recorded act of human democracy in action.
Nowhere in the entire Bible do we see God sanctioning democracy.
Jesus told the apostles that they would be rulers over the twelve tribes of Israel in his kingdom (Luke 22:30). Jesus chose the disciples, they did not get their positions from any form of democracy (John 15:16; 6:70). God, not man, chose David to be king over Israel originally (Acts 13:22) and has also chosen him to be king over all Israel in the world ahead (Jeremiah 30:9).
By the way, Jesus said that God the Father has reserved who will have certain positions of authority in the kingdom of God (Mat 20:23). The rewards in the kingdom will be Jesus’ to give (Rev 22:12); they will not be for the people to take for themselves.
Democracy will not be God’s form of government in His kingdom.
One of the many problems of voting is that no human thinks the way God does.
‘For My thoughts are not your thoughts, Nor are your ways My ways’, says the LORD (Is 55:8).
When Jesus was on Earth he proclaimed the gospel of the kingdom of God and told people to repent (Mark 1:14-15). Jesus refused to participate in even the most elementary governmental decisions while he was on the earth (Luke 12:13-14).
Although Jesus taught that we were to pay taxes (Mat 22:17-21), He also taught that His kingdom was not of this world (John 18:36). Jesus taught His disciples to go into the world and preach the gospel to everyone (Matthew 28:19,20). Jesus said that His disciples were to be in the world, but not of it (John 17:16).
No, Jesus would not vote. He did not encourage His followers to do anything like voting while He was on the earth, and hence for any to suggest it is the duty of Christians to vote is not basing that opinion on what the Bible teaches.
Neither the Republicans nor the Democrats will solve the problems that the USA is facing. Only national repentance can, and that no longer appears likely. But individual repentance remains possible even though the nation as a whole shows no interest in that direction.
Should a Christian vote?
Christians are not to be part of this world (Revelation 18:1-4), but are to be ambassadors for Christ (II Corinthians 5:20). True Christians “keep the commandments of God and have the testimony of Jesus Christ” (Revelation 12:17).
Jesus did not vote while He was on this earth. A Christian ambassador should follow the leadership of Jesus Christ and the Bible and not vote. Neither will I.
Those truly concerned about the leadership of their countries should pray (and if safely possible fast) for “The will of the Lord be done” (Acts 21:14).
Three articles of possible interest may include:
Should a Christian Vote? This article gives more of the Biblical rationale on this subject. Would Jesus vote for president? Is voting in the Bible? This is a subject Christians need to understand.
The Gospel of the Kingdom of God was the Emphasis of Jesus and the Early Church Did you know that? Do you even know what the gospel of the kingdom is all about? True religion should be based upon the true gospel.
Are You Saved? Do You Love Jesus? What is a True Christian? What is the Gospel? Evangelist Richard Ames answers those important questions.