Tomorrow is Election Day. Voters will flood the booths to nominate the 45th President of the United States. While there are various third-party and independent candidates, attention has been fixed all year on the race between Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump.
Many feel obligated to vote. They view it as their duty, and a way to directly influence our government. This sense of obligation holds sway over many Christians as well. But are we required to vote? Is it something we must do?
Should I Vote?
Some say voting is our “civic and Christian duty.” In other words, we are obligated to vote as citizens of America and believers in Jesus Christ. But voting is not a duty; it is a right. And rights may be exercised at our discretion. Nothing in the law requires us to vote.
Nothing in the Bible requires us to vote either. The Bible commands us to pay taxes (Matthew 21:21; Romans 13:6), submit to the government (Romans 13:1; 1 Peter 2:13), and pray for government officials (1 Timothy 2:1-2). But it never tells us to vote or be involved in political activities.
Voting gives us a small measure of influence. But ultimately, it does nothing to improve the moral and spiritual climate of our country. If you truly want to “make America great again,” devote yourself to holiness. Be the “salt” and “light” Jesus expects you to be (Matthew 5:13-16).
A single act of obedience to Jesus is far more powerful than a single vote.
How Should I Vote?
As Christians and citizens, voting is our choice. You may vote or not vote at your own discretion. And you should not let anyone pressure you to vote or not vote. If it seems good and your conscience allows it, vote; if not, don’t. If you choose to vote, keep these suggestions in mind:
First, consider all the issues. Many Christians consider only two issues: abortion and gay marriage. This is foolish because neither of these issues is going away. It is also foolish because there are many other issues facing our country. Your vote should be based on a consideration of all the relevant issues, not just these two.
Second, promote the gospel. Many vote in order to advance their personal kingdoms. As Christians, we must vote to advance the kingdom of God. Which candidate offers a platform most conducive to the promotion of the gospel? Which candidate’s presidency will make our country likeliest to realize its need for Jesus?
Third, don’t put your hope in worldly politicians. In every election, America seeks a Savior – someone to solve our problems, defeat our enemies, and procure our happiness. It is foolish to hope in worldly politicians. The only One who can truly, permanently improve our country is He who rules at the right hand of God – King Jesus.
Why I Don’t Vote
During each election, I choose not to vote. One reason is my conscience won’t allow it. I’m not informed enough about the candidates or their platforms to endorse any of them in good conscience. It seems impossible to find information that is objective and unbiased.
Another reason is my convictions don’t require it. I will submit to the next President no matter who they are. And I pledge allegiance to another kingdom, a heavenly one that cannot be shaken by worldly affairs. I will fight for the expansion of that kingdom no matter what the political situation might be.
Do you think Christians should vote? How do you reconcile voting with your faith? Leave your thoughts by sharing a comment below!
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