The Bible and the Ballot Box: A Biblical Case for Voting
The Bible doesn’t talk about voting. Paul wasn’t interested in politics. I’m the citizen of a heavenly kingdom, and my citizenship is not on earth. More than likely, you’ve heard some of these arguments. You may even know people who think this way. Is this a Biblical viewpoint? It sounds convincing, and the Bible (or at least the New Testament) seems to have embarrassingly little to say on the topic of politics. Is there another side to this discussion?
A New Perspective: From Apathy to Attention
Let’s start on common ground. Christians are people who have experienced the life-changing, soul-converting power of God in their lives. This power, found in Jesus Christ, is so impactful that they are never the same again. The transformation is so extreme that we could literally say they are ‘born again’ in the spiritual realm.
Christians now have a new perspective. They move from apathy to attention. It used to be that they did not care about Jesus, and they were apathetic toward Him. This apathy bled over into many areas of life. Now all of this changes. Christ’s followers have a new perspective, one that seeks to bring honor to Jesus. This perspective touches every aspect of life, so that the Christian becomes attentive to every role of life.
I am not saying that the Christian immediately brings complete honor to Jesus in every aspect of life, though this is the goal. Still, the new perspective of honoring Jesus begins to influence every role that the Christian fills: whether husband or wife, parent or child, worker or manager, friend, neighbor, or church member – all of these roles are sanctified. They are imbued with a new zeal to honor Jesus.
Christians as Model Citizens
It isn’t a stretch to see that the role of ‘citizen’ should also be sanctified. It only makes sense! As a Christian citizen, you should be interested and concerned about the country God placed you in. The famous preacher Martin Lloyd-Jones saw this clearly. He said, “So many Christian people today will not touch politics because they say it is a ‘dirty game.’ But what an appalling argument! It is their duty as citizens of the country to be interested and concerned.”
Perhaps I hear objections. We aren’t citizens of this world. This is partly true. Our ultimate citizenship is in heaven. We are only strangers and foreigners here. We have another king. This does not deny the reality of earthly citizenship. It is temporary, but still true.
If you really believe that you don’t have a citizenship here, then tear up your passport and renounce your citizenship before a US diplomatic officer. Or, you could follow the example of Paul. He never renounced his Roman citizenship. He submitted to the Roman court system. He even appealed to his Roman citizenship (Acts 22:25), and urged Christians to honor the government (Romans 13:7). He was a model citizen, as was Jesus, who paid taxes (Matthew 17:25-27). In fact, Jesus never denied Pilate’s authority over him, but simply pointed out that this authority was given by God Himself.
The American System
In the New Testament, the role of the citizen or subject was very simple: obey and pay taxes. Paul and Jesus did exactly that. They were ‘model citizens’ and ‘model subjects.’ They fulfilled all the duties and responsibilities of the role.
The system of today is very different. As a previous article pointed out, America instituted ‘Novus Ordo Seclorum’ – a new order of the ages. This order did not consist of aristocracy and subjects, but of citizens. No longer is the government ‘them.’ It is ‘us.’ The role of the citizen is not only to obey, but also to be involved, and this includes choosing other citizens to represent you in the government (this is the meaning of the word ‘election’ – a ‘choosing!’).
To fulfill the role of a citizen, you need to be involved – the founding fathers were clear about this. This involvement includes voting (assuming, of course, that you are able to). This is not optional if you wish to be the ‘model’ citizen that your Christianity should lead you to. You also need to choose wisely. That is where websites like this come in. Educate yourself. Keep reading! Learn about the foundations of America. Study the challenges of the modern world. Learn about the candidates. Don’t just choose. Choose wisely.
In a few weeks, you will have the opportunity to vote. I want to urge you to do so. Not only because you are an American, but because you are a Christian. Getting involved in the government by voting is one way that you demonstrate Jesus’ influence in your life. It is your opportunity to say, ‘Jesus is also interested in this aspect of my life.’