By: Madeleine Jomolca
Many–a-Christian has sooner or later asked if “as a Christian should we involve ourselves in politics and vote”? Does God give us instructions on what kind of people to vote for? I will attempt to answer these questions in the scope of this article. Should a Christian vote?
Some Christian individuals and in fact some entire denominations believe that Christians shouldn’t vote or get involved with politics. They’ll say “well I’m waiting for Jesus to return and set up his kingdom” or “The bible says to have no part of the world” and it’s true, we are to expect Jesus to return at any time as a thief in the night, but he did give us civil duties as well as spiritual ones. We are not supposed to just bide time and wait until the Lord returns, he told us our job was to occupy until he comes (Luke 19:13).
“Occupy” means more than just take up space, we are to preach the gospel in the entire earth, and that should be our focus, however how will we be able to do that if our government continues getting more and more hostile towards Christianity. Already we have several states trying to ban the church from speaking against homosexuality. The government has no business in the church according to the 1st amendment. Jesus told us specifically to “Render therefore unto Caesar the things which are Caesar’s; and unto God the things that are God’s. ” (Mat 22:21). He expects us to carry out our spiritual duty but also our civil duties.
The Bible tells us that God appoints all leaders, well in the United States God has set it up so that the government depends on the people’s free will to vote. God has people that he desires to be in office, but he will not buck the human spirit. He doesn’t buck the human will to save us even though the bible tells us it’s His will that all be saved. (2 Peter 3:9). That means that it is up to us to vote in Godly people into office, the kind of people that will stand up for righteousness. They aren’t going to make it in if we don’t vote because he has given us the power to do so.
Now that we have established the fact that Christians should vote, on what things should we base our votes? Biblically can we vote for anyone we want? I believe there are 4 major points we should consider when voting, especially for the president.
What Kind of Judges will he/she appoint? The bible tells us in Isaiah 1:26 that judges shall restore righteousness to the city of Jerusalem. You may think that doesn’t apply to our government today but what we have to realize is that our system of government was set up by the principles laid out in the bible and the position our judges hold now is very much the same as it was then. Think of this it was our judges that deemed abortion was OK and legal, and it was our judges that misuse the term separation of church and state which is not even in the constitution. If we had been electing righteous judges then we wouldn’t have abortions legal in America. As Christians we want judges who will uphold the constitution as it is written and not put their own interpretation onto it. These judges are called strict constructionists.
Where does he/she stand on God’s Moral Law? Why is this important, and how do I know if a particular candidate respects God’s Moral Law? That’s easy look at their position on protecting marriage as a single man + single woman couple. It is one of the main issues of the day and every candidate will deal with the topic. (Lev.20:13).
Where do they stand on inalienable rights? Our founding fathers believed that we all had certain rights endowed by our creator, if we want a righteous nation we have to respect those rights and it’s very easy to see where a candidate stands on this issue as well. Look at their position on abortion. If they don’t protect life which is the first inalienable right, then they won’t protect our right to private property or any of our other rights for that matter.
Where does he/she stand on religious liberties? This tells me if they are going to make my job (to preach the gospel around the world) more easy or more difficult. If they won’t support a persons’ right to voluntarily pray in a public forum it won’t be long until they are trying to tell the pastor what he can and can’t preach.
The biblical standards for choosing civil magistrates, needs to be applied today in the following manner:
The only men who are truly qualified for civil office are those who meet the standards set down in the Word of God. God is sovereign over civil government, and the sole prerogative to establish what kind of men can and ought to serve as magistrates belongs to Him. Men who do not meet the biblical standards are not fully fit to serve as rulers.
These standards instruct citizens who have the liberty of choosing their civil magistrates on how to carry out their duty in accord with the will of God. It is God’s revealed will that His ministers in the civil sphere be men who fear Him. God’s blessings are on the people who choose men of ability, character, and spiritual maturity.
Christians should support with their time, money, and vote those men who meet the biblical qualifications. In all that he does the Christian is to seek to glorify God and promote the kingdom of our Lord Jesus Christ. When the Christian gives his full support to men who meet the biblical standards for civil magistrates, he is doing these very things. If we are to have righteous civil government, then we must have righteous men as rulers. If we are to have a civil government that honors Christ, then we must have men who honor Jesus Christ as civil leaders.
Voting for a biblically qualified candidate who appears to have no chance of winning is not the waste of a vote, it is obedience to God. Obedience to God is never a waste of time or effort, but the compromise of biblical truth always is. Compromise sacrifices victory in the long run for the sake of immediate “success” or “peace,” while godly obedience sacrifices immediate gratification for the sake of ultimate victory. Christians often complain that there are no godly men to vote for, but when one does appear, they don’t vote for him anyway because, they reason, “he can’t win.” Can we expect the Lord to give us qualified men as candidates for civil office if Christians are not committed in principle to supporting them in obedience to biblical law?
The church must labor to raise up men who will meet the biblical standards for magistrates. Where will men come from who are qualified for civil office if not from the covenant people? If there are no men qualified for a particular office, it is because the church has failed; it is not because the biblical standards are unworkable in the present context. The goal of the church should be to have a biblically qualified man running for every civil office in the land. We are a long way from reaching this goal. But the church must begin by equipping men to serve as magistrates and challenging them to glorify God as His minister in the civil sphere. Race by race, office by office, the church needs to take dominion over politics by raising up biblically qualified men.
The biblical standards for choosing magistrates apply even in non-covenanted nations. This would seem evident when Christians have a biblically qualified candidate to vote for, i.e., God’s law commands them to vote for the man who meets the biblical standards even though they are in a nation not formally in covenant with God. But how does the biblical teaching on choosing magistrates apply in instances where there are no candidates who meet the biblical standards? This is debated among Christians. Some advocate strict compliance with the biblical standards at all times and all places. Others argue that strict compliance is only fully possible in a covenant nation (which is the goal); in the meantime, we should use our vote to support men of ability and integrity who are generally in agreement with biblical standards of law and justice.
In a true Christian nation, the biblical standards for choosing magistrates will be part of constitutional law. A nation that is in covenant with God through Christ will express this by means of a national confession of submission to God and His law, and by a religious test for office that is based on the biblical qualifications for civil rulers.
The biblical standards for choosing civil magistrates also provides a benchmark for men already in office and for men seeking the office. Every Christian in political office should evaluate himself in light of these standards; this is the kind of man he is to be. For those Christian men who are contemplating political office those are the standards that they should aspire to.
As we’ve witnessed and experienced within the last four years of this current administration, simply because someone proclaims Christianity does not make him so. A true Christian and leader of sound biblical principles and standards neither deceives, or covets, or supports the homicide of the unborn. A true man of virtue would do anything and everything in his power to uphold the institution of marriage between a man and a woman, as set in place by our Creator, biologically and legitimately, and despite opposition from confused voters.
In conclusion, a true, virtuous and morally correct leader, is one whom will live to apply and uphold the highest biblical standards with his nations best interests in account, as per verses found in Scripture, particularly (but not exclusively) those found in Exodus 18:21 and Deuteronomy 1:13 which establish that such a leaser must possess: 1. Natural Ability -must be intelligent and have the natural skills to lead others; 2. Personal Integrity- must be of the highest personal character, an example of righteous living, charges with enforcing God’s law in the civil sphere, whilst keeping all aspects of God’s moral law(s); 3. Spiritual Maturity- as ministers of God, these individuals must be God-fearing and of spiritual attainment, and biblical wisdom, thus, being knowledgeable of God’s law and establishing justice thereby in the courts and legislature of the land.
In 2008, (as in previous elections) wave of confusion blanketed the nation, as many, Christians and non- Christians, alike, blindly navigated their way to the polls on a false sense and interpretation of a promise for “change” and “hope”… Let us not make that same error in 2012. Let us not cast our ballot and choices in the wind, with the rationale that “God is in control”, but rather make a sound, first-rate selection based on the knowledge that we are, each and every one of us, going to be held accountable for how we choose to stand (or fall over) for God.
Even if you disagree with me on who to vote for I would encourage you to stand up and be counted! Let your voice be heard! Take it to the polls and Vote in 2012!
About the Editor- Madeleine Jomolca: https://inspiredmagazine.org/about/about-the-editor/