Friday, July 27, 2007

Is It Okay For Christians To Vote?

Thanks for the question Paige B.

This question can bring up some very strong political feelings, so rather than cover the political aspects of this question, we'll stick to the Christian principles. And to extend the question beyond just voting, let's also consider the question of running for political office.

Some Christians feel that there are specific lines that should not be crossed, specifically Christianity crossing into politics. However, no area of life should be regarded as secular, that is, divorced from God. The government is not a secular island that is free from the claims of Christ. Governments as well as all other institutions in the world are responsible to God. Some Christians believe that to be pure in spirit they must withdraw into their "private world," free of any political or social involvement.

What does God's Holy Bible teach us about being involved politically and socially? There are five* Biblical principles that clearly teach that a faithful Christian must be involved.

1) Rule the Earth for the Glory of God
"God blessed them and said to them, 'Be fruitful and increase in number; fill the earth and subdue it. Rule over the fish of the sea and the birds of the air and over every living creature that moves on the ground."
Genesis 1:28

This mandate extends to all functions of government.

2) God Demands an Accounting
"And for your lifeblood I will surely demand an accounting. I will demand an accounting from every animal. And from each man, too, I will demand an accounting for the life of his fellow man. 'Whoever sheds the blood of man, by man shall his blood be shed; for in the image of God has God made man.'"
Genesis 9:5-6

This accounting is the beginning of a capital punishment system put in place to curb the violence. From this establishment, all other powers of government flow.

3) Godly Rulers Reigned and Prophets Warned the Government/Nation to Repent
Most every Old Testament saint was politically involved in the government. Moses was raised in Pharaoh's palace. Joseph, son of Jacob (Israel), became second in command behind Pharaoh. King Saul was continuously warned by Samuel about his unrighteous deeds. David was a King after God's own heart. Daniel counseled Nebuchadnezzar and interpreted two of his dreams. There are many examples in the Bible of Godly rulers and prophets that influenced political leaders.

4) Jesus Did Not Demand Men to Leave Military and Political Activity
"Tax collectors also came to be baptized. 'Teacher,' they asked, 'what should we do?' 'Don't collect any more than you are required to,' he told them. Then some soldiers asked him, 'And what should we do?' He replied, 'Don't extort money and don't accuse people falsely -- be content with your pay.'"
Luke 3:12-14

While these activities are necessary, those in charge of the activities should conduct themselves in a just and righteous manner. Be honest!

5) Governments are Established by God
"Everyone must submit himself to the governing authorities, for there is no authority except that which God has established. The authorities that exist have been established by God. . . ."
Romans 13:1-7

Based on the above passage, we conclude that government cannot be considered inherently evil since God has established them. We should consider voting and/or political involvement as required service to God. In the United States, we have been enabled to control and direct our nation through the ballot and/or running for political office. We should do all we can to have our nation ruled by Christian principles.

A final note to consider is that if every American were a Christian, we would have no choice but to have Christians involved in every aspect of the political spectrum, from city and county governments, state governments, federal governments, and even international governmental bodies such as the United Nations. Otherwise, our system would fall apart. With the majority of Americans identifying themselves as Christians, being silent is really not an option.

* Ideas from Dr. James Kennedy's The Gates of Hell Shall Not Prevail.

No comments: