Everyone, it seems, has an opinion these days when it comes to political issues. How involved should Christians be in politics and is it the duty of Christians to vote? Politics seems like “dirty business” these days. With attack ads, ethics violations, and scandals, some would prefer to stay out of the drama that sometimes is politics. After all, Christians are citizens of heaven (Philippians 3:20). Jesus said we are not of this world (John 15:19). Even Romans 12:2 says we are not to be conformed to this world but transformed by the renewing of our minds. So does that mean Christians should have nothing to do with the system of Government?
From a common sense perspective I say if you haven’t voted on an issue, for or against a candidate, or even registered to vote then you have lost your right to complain. But that’s my opinion. Biblically, what precedence is there concerning Christians and politics? From the beginning man has been granted the privilege and responsibility of being caretakers of this earth. Adam was charged by God (Genesis 1:28) to, “be fruitful and multiply, fill the earth and subdue it. Rule over it.” Psalm 8:6 echoes that, “You made them rulers over the works of your hands and put everything under their feet.” Jesus said in Matthew 28:18-20 we are to make disciples of every nation, teaching them to obey God in all areas of life. I believe this means politics. Christians should bring their beliefs, wisdom, and character into the polls and offices of Government.
Face it. We live in a world of poverty, disease, hunger and sinful behavior. How will it get better? Government cannot save us from these situations. But God can work through His people through their Government. Government itself isn’t absent of sin. Scandal, ethics violations, poor judgment, corruption, bribery, lying, division, and instability all reflect a sinful world. America was founded as a republic, whose authority and law comes from God. This short devotional does not have the space to cite the thousands of documents with underlying Biblical principles, chiefly the Constitution and the Declaration of Independence, and of the Biblical worldview of hundreds of our nations Christian founders. For over 300 years election sermons were preached by pastors to encourage the people of faith to raise their faith at election time. Christians involving themselves in government and interjecting Biblical truth is what gave us abolition of slavery, sanctity of human life, a justice system, an education system for the common man, hospitals, compassion for the poor, defense for the orphan, protection of the widow, civil liberties, women’s rights, and so much more. These and several other inalienable rights are under attack and must be protected for all mankind. Applying God’s principles brings peace. Ignoring and rejecting them brings destruction. “Blessed is the nation whose God is the Lord” (Psalm 33:12). Christians cannot separate themselves American politics and Christian values. A nation that was founded on Christian principles cannot be void of nor silent on the teachings of Christ. Voting gives us the ability to have a voice and uphold Biblical truth or at least keep those out of office who oppose it.
Paul is clear in Romans 13 we are to be good citizens of our country and obey those in governmental positions because all authority originates from God. Now man can corrupt this authority. In America, the political system works for the people. Better said, the politicians work for the people who vote and engage themselves in the political system. Entitlement says do for me and as I say while I remain irresponsible and inactive. Christians should be neither. We should expect our leaders to reflect our positions but we must make our positions known and remind those in office of our Christian heritage. We have the privilege and responsibility of voting and should exercise it. Christians are a huge influential voting bloc. But sadly, many do not vote. Christians shouldn’t vote based on party or person but upon Biblical principle. God established government as a divine institution which should protect and promote the well-being of the people from evil.
Government was never meant to replace God but to represent Him. Scripture is the Christian’s guide to everything including voting. When issues arise like the life of the unborn, sanctity of marriage, and religious liberty Christians have the right and responsibility to represent God’s kingdom values in a strategic, gracious and loving manner. More Christians with character and integrity should run for political office. Those who value the non-negotiables and unwavering spiritual principles found in Scripture must be heard in these perilous times. Government is not the savior of America – Jesus is. His Government is what will last and be established in the end. We should stand against those who call evil good and good evil (Isaiah 5:20) and we should also pray for our leaders (1 Timothy 2:1-3). It is not only our responsibility and right to vote and be active in Government but also our joy as Christians.
Stephen and his wife Haley have called Arkansas home all of their lives. Stephen has served in several ministry roles over the last 25 years and as a lead pastor for the last 8 years. Stephen attended Williams Baptist College and earned a BA in Biblical Studies from Ouachita Baptist University, an MA, MDiv, and DMin in Christian Leadership and Pastoral Ministries from Liberty University. When not pastoring, Stephen enjoys running, cycling, reading, writing, camping, fishing, and spending time with his family.