Written by John W. Mauck, J.D. -
Some Christians vote regularly, some vote sporadically, and others believe they should “come out from among them and be separate” 2 Corinthians 6:17 (i.e., not vote at all). Does voting matter to God? Romans 13:1 explains “the authorities that exist have been established by God.” In the United States of America, our Constitution declares:
“We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.”
Consequently, for Americans, the “authorities” to whom Paul refers in Romans, are us! Likewise, Colossians 1:16 tells us:
“For in him all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; all things have been created through him and for him.” (emphasis added)
Proverbs 29:2 tells us:
“When the righteous thrive, the people rejoice; [but] when the wicked rule, the people groan.”
These and other lessons from Scripture are meant to impress upon believers our responsibilities of governance.
However, when we look at the voting patterns of Christians compared to others in our society, it is discouraging to note that often there is not much difference. If indeed Christians and non-Christians vote with the same irregularity, that behavior may indicate sin by believers. Does that behavior tell us we exercise “civic” responsibility at the same level as our neighbors but that we generally ignore our responsibility to God? Is that behavior evidence that our faith has little influence on our duty to love others by supporting godly government? In effect, are many of us are neglecting to exercise God given authority?
This should not be!
If we as “rulers” of our democratic republic are to exercise the authority God has entrusted to us, then voting is implicitly mandated. The men and women who are elected under our form of government are representatives of the people. If we, God’s people, do not put righteous representatives into authority, the nation suffers. Moreover, I believe it becomes harder for people to come to know Jesus when our laws do not reflect God. When laws do not reflect God’s justice, love and mercy, then the people who are in the darkness and confused are hindered in recognizing right and wrong, good and evil. In Romans 7 Paul made clear that the righteousness of the law, in his case one of the Ten Commandments “Thou shalt not covet”, helped him to see his own unrighteousness and consequent need for the Savior.
Thus, Christians voting and participating in government are critical to the enactment—and merciful enforcement—of righteous laws so that people have the opportunity to see their need when they fall short. For example, if we do not recognize unborn children as people under the law, we may confuse mothers with an unplanned pregnancy into the lie that the child is a “disposable inconvenience.” If we vote for or enact unjust laws that don’t protect the smallest people, those who are in prison or those who are handicapped, then society will come to the understanding, expressly or intuitively, that the law is arbitrary and whatever we make it to be, not a reflection of God. When a society reaches that stage many do whatever is right in their own eyes. Consequently, the nation groans and the gospel is obscured.
In summary, voting will help each of us fulfill our God given duty and will help us to bless our neighbors and our nation. Of course, mere voting is not sufficient in itself. Our voting must be informed by humility, love, prayer, consultation with others and careful study.
Posted on Tue, October 23, 2018
by Mauck & Baker