I finished my post yesterday like this;
So there are the options. Sort of ‘pro-life’, ‘pro-abortion’, and Pastor. What is a Christian to do with his vote? Y’all discuss this for a while. Meanwhile, I’ve got some more stuff to consider that I’ll tell you about later…like Scripture.
So…here it is. As Christians in a country that gives us the privilege to elect our leaders, how should we elect those leaders? In answering this question I want to make sure that I am as clear as Scripture is. So while I am going to tell you how to vote, I am not going to tell you who to vote for.
The first Scripture I think we need to remember, as reflected by the title of these posts, is;
So, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God. (1Corinthians 10:31) ESV
That’s a pretty broad statement. What it means is, no matter where you are or what you are doing, you should do whatever it is that you do for God’s glory. Obviously this applies to Christians in the United States casting their ballots for President.
So the question then becomes, “How do I, as a Christian, vote for God’s glory?” Let me assure you, there will be no option on your ballot marked, “God’s Glory”. And yet we are told that even this action of going into the voting booth on our part must be conducted in such a way as to reflect, promote, and offer up glory to God.
I think looking at what Scripture has to say about government might be a good place to start. The most obvious place to look in Scripture is Romans;
Let every person be subject to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and those that exist have been instituted by God. Therefore whoever resists the authorities resists what God has appointed, and those who resist will incur judgment. For rulers are not a terror to good conduct, but to bad. Would you have no fear of the one who is in authority? Then do what is good, and you will receive his approval, for he is God’s servant for your good. But if you do wrong, be afraid, for he does not bear the sword in vain. For he is the servant of God, an avenger who carries out God’s wrath on the wrongdoer. Therefore one must be in subjection, not only to avoid God’s wrath but also for the sake of conscience. For the same reason you also pay taxes, for the authorities are ministers of God, attending to this very thing. Pay to all what is owed to them: taxes to whom taxes are owed, revenue to whom revenue is owed, respect to whom respect is owed, honor to whom honor is owed. (Romans 13:1-7) ESV
Here Paul very clearly tells us that government is instituted by God for our good. Interesting side note here, Paul is saying that government is ordained by God for our good and that there is nothing to fear from government if we do what is right. Then government chopped his head off. Government is ordained by God, but that does not mean government is always right. But even when government is corrupt and comes to the point of persecuting Christians, Christians are to submit to government as our friend. But this can only happen if we remember what Paul has already said in the previous chapter;
Beloved, never avenge yourselves, but leave it to the wrath of God, for it is written, “Vengeance is mine, I will repay, says the Lord.” (Romans 12:19) ESV
Taken in this context, Paul is telling us first, that God uses government to exact His wrath on the unjust, and second, that government to is subject to the wrath of God when it acts unjustly, especially against His saints.
But the fact remains, government is instituted by God to protect and provide justice to those under it’s authority. So when we are looking at a Presidential candidate we must remember that a clear sense of justice is a requirement in governing authorities.
A second Scripture to look at is;
The words of King Lemuel. An oracle that his mother taught him: What are you doing, my son? What are you doing, son of my womb? What are you doing, son of my vows? Do not give your strength to women, your ways to those who destroy kings. It is not for kings, O Lemuel, it is not for kings to drink wine, or for rulers to take strong drink, lest they drink and forget what has been decreed and pervert the rights of all the afflicted. Give strong drink to the one who is perishing, and wine to those in bitter distress; let them drink and forget their poverty and remember their misery no more. Open your mouth for the mute, for the rights of all who are destitute. Open your mouth, judge righteously, defend the rights of the poor and needy. (Proverbs 31:1-9) ESV
Here again we see this issue of justice as a requirement for King Lemuel. But there are other considerations here as well.
First is the man’s character. He is not give away his strength to women, or be involved in adulterous relationships. This conduct will destroy a ‘King’, not only in his own house, but in the execution of his authority. Adultery is injustice. When a ‘King’ is unjust he has perverted his office of administrator of justice. Instead he is to be faithful to his own wife, showing that he will be faithful to administer justice to his people.
Second is the man’s self-control. He is not to be a drunkard. Drunkenness impairs judgment, and impaired judgment leads to injustice. Instead he is to be a sober man, able to make correct judgments whenever necessary.
Third is the man’s compassion. He is to ‘give strong drink’, or, comfort, to the perishing and those in bitter distress. That is, he should be able to discern and care for the needy in their trouble.
Fourth is the man’s conscience. He is to speak on behalf of those who have no voice. He is to come to the aid of the innocent when they are accused and sentenced to death. Let me take a moment and talk about abortion here. If there was ever a description of the unborn it is that they are voiceless. Even in our free society where we have freedom of speech, their voice will not be heard unless we speak up for them. They are the truly innocent who in far too many cases have been sentenced to death for no good reason. I simply cannot, indeed will not ever, for any reason cast a ballot for anyone who refuses to speak up for the unborn. This in my mind is probably the greatest injustice in our world today, and second only in history to the murder of Jesus Christ by the hands of sinful man.
Finally, the man’s convictions. He must be a man who is not afraid to speak up against the rich when they have oppressed the poor. Larry Norman wrote a song titled, “The Great American Novel”. This song at one point asked the question, “You say all men are equal, all men are brothers, well, why are the rich more equal than others?”, or something to that effect. While I certainly do not believe that the majority of the rich are actively seeking the oppression of the poor, I would be a fool to deny that it happens. And when it does, the man that we elect must be a man who doesn’t mind refusing bribes or remaining certain in his convictions when he speaks up for the oppressed.
In short, the God-glorifying way to vote is to vote for the man who most clearly embodies these characteristics. It is to vote for the man who protects the citizens and embodies the good judgment to give justice to those who most need it. These are the reasons God gave government, and the way that God will be glorified through your vote is for you to vote your conscience on these issues. Look at the policies, whether foreign policy, domestic policy, financial policy, education policy, etc., and vote for the man whose policies are colored by a clear sense of justice as evidenced also by his character, self-control, compassion, conscience, and conviction.
But recognize this as well, there is only one Just Ruler, and He will be faithful and compassionate to His saints and avenge them of their oppressors.