The Upcoming Election: Should Christians Vote?
[The following article is an excellent answer to the question: "Should Christians vote? And if so, for whom should they vote?" It is written by Pastor George Zeller of the Middletown Bible Church in Middletown, CT.]
I have always considered voting in America a wonderful privilege. The citizenry is allowed to choose its own leaders. People in many countries are enslaved by totalitarian regimes and are not able to vote or have any say in deciding who governs. We still enjoy this freedom, a freedom paid for by the blood of thousands of soldiers who breathed their last on battlefields. To me, not voting is making light of their great sacrifice.
So taking part in the voting process is my right and duty as a citizen. Yet I recognize that there are some Christians who refuse to vote for reasons that they claim are Biblical. I classify such people into two groups:
1) There is no reason to vote because God is going to place into office the leaders He wants.
Every person in power is there because he (or she) is “ordained of God.” God is the One who removes kings and sets up kings (Daniel 2:21). We don’t do this; God does. “God is the Judge: He putteth down one and setteth up another” (Psalm 75:7). Jesus once told Pilate, “Thou couldest have no power at all against Me, except it were given thee from above” (John 19:11).
All of these things are true, and how thankful we should be that God is ultimately in control of the world and who its leaders are, but this is no reason not to vote. We must never lose the balance between God’s sovereignty (God puts men into office and removes them) and man’s responsibility (Americans are responsible to vote). The one does not offset the other. We should do our duty knowing that in the end, God will do what is best for His overall plan. Even when the wrong people get elected (even people who are corrupt and crooked), it is so encouraging to know that God is still in control and He puts people into office for His reasons, and our Father knows best. Sometimes He gives people the kind of leaders they deserve.
What if we use this same reasoning with the preaching of the gospel? Pioneer missionary William Carey met such an extremist when he proposed his missionary work. His name was Mr. Ryland Sr., and he rebuked Carey with these words: "Young man, sit down! You are an enthusiast. When God pleases to convert the heathen He’ll do it without consulting you or me." God is sovereign. God will elect certain men to salvation. So why should we witness? Why should we pray? The argument on not voting is the same: God will put certain men into office, so why vote? The point missed is that God in the sovereign outworking of His plan takes into account our witnessing, our praying, our voting, and everything else we do.
A very extreme Calvinist position would deny that a believer has a responsibility to the lost: "If God does the electing then I need do nothing. If God wants them saved, He will save them. Either God will bring them to faith in Christ or He will not. It's totally God's work whether we do anything or not." The Bible answer to this is best expressed by the apostle Paul himself: "Therefore I endure all things for the elect's sakes, that they may also obtain the salvation which is in Christ Jesus with eternal glory" (2 Tim. 2:10). Yes, Paul labored for the lost, prayed for the lost, preached to the lost, suffered for the lost and poured out his energy for the lost. Why? "that the elect may also obtain the salvation which is in Christ Jesus with eternal glory." Paul knew that God's sovereignty did not interfere with man's responsibility. Paul knew that God would do His part. Paul also know that he must do his part: "woe is unto me, if I preach not the gospel" (1 Cor. 9:16). The same principle is true when it comes to voting. May we do our part, knowing that God will work out all things for His glory, in His time and way.
2) Believers should not vote because they are citizens of heaven and are to be separated from the world.
This apparently is the old Plymouth Brethren position, a view held by men that I greatly respect and whose writings I highly value (Darby, Kelly, Mackintosh, etc.). They also hold that believers should not hold public office. I differ with them on these matters.
Though we are not of the world, our Lord told us we are in the world (Phil. 2:15) and have been sent into the world (John 17:18), to represent our living Head (2 Cor. 5:20). We interact with the world all the time by working, shopping, traveling, etc. What belongs to Caesar we are to give back to Caesar; what belongs to God we are to give back to God (Mark 12:17).
If all believers were to follow this policy, then all the votes would be cast only by the ungodly and we would be ruled only by the ungodly. If believers can be businessmen, shop owners, factory workers, teachers, doctors, nurses, accountants, etc. and shine for Christ in these professions, why can’t they be employed in governmental positions? In the history of our great country, so many of our leaders were also dedicated servants of Christ, and our country was the better for it.
Conclusion: Claim the right and privilege you have as an American and vote.
How Should I Vote in This Election?
Both Presidential candidates are morally corrupt, even though the main media focuses only upon the corruption of one of them. People may argue about which one is the most corrupt, but I don’t see much profit in that.
So it is really a matter of policy.
- Which candidate would appoint justices to the Supreme Court who respect the Constitution and uphold the law (rather than legislate from the bench)?
- Which candidate would be better at preventing the slaughter of the unborn, even those that are nearly born?
- Which candidate would not have open borders and not allow illegal immigrants to enter our country freely? [And many such people hold views which are contrary to our American way of life.]
- Which candidate would apply good business sense to the problems that plague our economy, including our immense national debt?
- Which candidate would label Islamic terrorism for what it really is?
- Which candidate would do the best in promoting or at least allowing religious freedom?
- Which candidate would respect law and order and support the police?
- Which candidate would be the best commander of our military and take care of the Veterans?
There are also many other important issues. It is sad to have to go into the voting booth and have serious reservations about one’s candidate of choice, but that might be necessary this year.