Here it goes: a Christian cannot separate his politics from his faith. There, I said it.
How can I justify such a statement? Jesus told his disciples to “seek first the Kingdom of God and His righteousness” (Matt. 6:33). God must come “first” – no exceptions – in every aspect of life. The apostles declared, “We must obey God rather than man” (Acts 5:29). Indeed, New Testament Christianity must permeate all areas, including how we vote. We no longer belong to ourselves; we are instruments of God’s Will. By divine directive, Paul wrote, “glorify God in your body” (1 Cor. 6:20).
That being said, how should I vote this November 6th, 2012, in the local, state, and national elections? Allow me to give you three principles that will determine who will receive my vote come election time.
1. I must recognize that my citizenship is in heaven (Phil. 3:20)
My home is not of this world, because Christ’s Kingdom is not of this world (Jn. 18:36). Since I have been born of the Spirit (Jn. 3:5), I must keep in step with the Spirit (Gal. 5:25). While I consider myself patriotic to my country, my true allegiance lies somewhere else. Because of this, I don’t vote to make my present world more ‘comfortable,’ but rather I vote with my eyes fixed on the next world.
I’m not concerned about ‘social justice’ (whatever that may be), welfare redistribution, or making sure the rich pay more taxes than the poor. Issues like these seem petty [at best] in light of Ephesians 6:12, which says:
“For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places.”
If I am more concerned about the social gospel, rather than the truth of the gospel, my priorities are dangerously confused. My vote must reflect a loyalty to God and His Word, which brings me to the next point:
2. I must vote for the candidate that will promote Biblical values
When Jethro, Moses’ father-in-law, saw Moses spending all his days judging the Israelites, he wisely warned Moses to select several men to take his place, or else he would surely become exhausted. He told Moses,
“…look for able men from all the people, men who fear God, who are trustworthy and hate a bribe, and place such men over the people as chiefs of thousands, of hundreds, of fifties, and of tens.” (Exodus 18:21)
Moses later told each tribe of Israel,
“Choose for your tribes wise, understanding, and experienced men, and I will appoint them as your heads.” (Deuteronomy 1:13)
Mind you, these were not religious leaders; these were political leaders. They were to be (1) fearful of God, (2) trustworthy, (3) wise and understanding, and (4) experienced. Though we are no longer under the Mosaical system in this New Testament age, I believe the principles for selecting political leaders still apply today. Can a politician “fear God” and be “wise and understanding,” yet promote a homosexual lifestyle, support the murder of unborn children, advance the degradation of property rights through socialism, and foster a culture of intolerance toward religion? I don’t believe it is possible. I cannot vote in favor of such a man. Christians will one day give an account for everything they do, including how they vote (Rom. 14:12).
3. I must vote for the candidate that will help the church glorify God
The purpose of the church is to glorify God (cf. Eph. 3:21). The church fulfills this purpose through several methods, including evangelism (Matt. 28:19; Mark 16:15; etc.), benevolence & compassion (Jas. 1:27; Titus 3:8; etc.), teaching the truth of God’s Word (Titus 2:1-10; 1 Tim. 4:13; 1 Cor. 1:21; etc.), and worshiping Him (Heb. 13:15; Luke 4:8; 1 Pet. 2:5; etc.). Before I cast my vote for a particular person or political platform, I must ask myself, “Will this help or hinder the work of the church?”
Consider how the church must teach the truth of God’s Word. When selecting a leader, which person or platform might potentially make it more difficult to speak out about sin? Consider Canada, which in 2004 passed bill C-250, which made it a hate crime to speak against homosexuality. Churches in that country must now walk a legal tight rope when preaching from passages like Romans 1:26-27 or 1 Corinthians 6:9-10 or Jude 7. I must vote in a way that will protect our freedom to teach truth.
Consider how the church must be benevolent & compassionate. Which candidate is most likely to believe that the government should provide for the social welfare of the populace, rather than the church and the individual Christian? Which political platform will most likely push for higher tax rates, thus lowering the amount of money Christians are able to contribute to the Lord’s work? Which candidate is most likely to push government programs that teach secular values, thus undermining the true morality taught in the Bible?
Since Christians must “seek first the Kingdom of God,” the church must take precedence in how we vote. We must ensure that our vote magnifies the church of Christ, rather than minimizes its influence.
This political season is hot enough to give anyone high blood pressure. Regardless of the outcome of this election – or any election – we need to remember that our citizenship is in Heaven. This world is nothing but a small vapor in comparison to the eternity that awaits us. Though the present religious and moral direction of our country should be alarming to every Christian, we can be assured that “nothing can separate us from the love of God” (Rom. 8:38). Everything we do should be done with the intention of bringing glory to Him (cf. Col. 3:17; 2 Pet. 3:18).