How Should Christians Vote?

Someone asked one time, Did the Founders ever tell us how we ought to vote?

I answered, Well, I can certainly think of one, offhand, that did, and that was John Jay.

Many people may not know, but John Jay was the first Chief Justice of the first Supreme Court, and he was appointed by George Washington, the Father of our Country. He made this statement, which today would really cause the hair to stand up on the back of some people's necks. He said,

Providence has given to our people the choice of their rulers, and it is the duty, as well as the privilege and interest of our Christian nation to select and prefer Christians for their rulers.

Why, that statement, if made by someone today, would just cause a great deal of outreach. Nevertheless, that is what the first Chief Justice of the Supreme Court said. Continue to pray for our nation.


Why Should Christians Vote for Godly Men and Women?

*   Righteousness exalts our nation, sin brings a reproach.
(Proverbs 6:32-35; 13:5; 4:34; 5:15-23; 12:3)

*   Godly leaders punish those who do wrong and reward those who do right.
(1 Peter 2:13-14; Romans 13:1-5; Proverbs 12:7; 25:5)

*   Policy is made that glorifies God and His will.
(Proverbs 1:7; Chapter 2; 11:14; 17:15; 17:26)

*   Godly leaders value life.
(1 Timothy 5:1-8; Matthew 15:4-9; 19:14; 22:37-40; 23:1-4; Psalm 106:37-38; 112:1-2; 119:73-74; 139:13-17; 8:2; 22:9-10; 71:6; 78:5-8; Proverbs 15:3; 24:11-12; 31:8-9)

*   Godly leaders are role models to all of us in our communities, counties, state, and nation.
(Matthew 7:15-20; 1 Peter 3:8-12; Proverbs 10:32; 11:3-11; Hebrews 13:7-8)

*   Godly leaders are role models to other countries.
(Matthew 5:13-16; Proverbs 10:25; 11:11; 24:24-25)

*   There is less evil in society.
(Proverbs 10:6,9,11; 20:8; 21:15; 28:2; Psalm 112; Romans 1:18-2:11)

*   Leaders strengths and weaknesses trickle down to the people they represent.
(2 Kings chapters 8-25; 2 Kings 10:31; 18:5-7; 21:9; 22:1-2; 23:25; Proverbs chapter 2; Proverbs 20:7; 25:28; 29:2,12)

*   Godly leaders prepare a good future for our children.
(Proverbs 14:26; 24:19-20; 20:7; Proverbs chapter 2; Psalm 78:5-8)

*   Godly leaders bless our country and locale.
(Proverbs 8:32-36; 10:6; 11:11; 12:28; 13:25; 14:11; 29:2; Psalm 122:6-9; 119:1-16)

*   Godly leaders keep the greatest commandment
(Matthew 22:37-40)

*   Godly leaders prayers are answered.
(James 5:16)

These are just a few of the wonderful things that occur when we elect Godly men and women to hold office in our counties, state and nation.

*   (Gal 6:10 NIV)  Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all people, especially to those who belong to the family of believers.

The Truth about Leadership

Many Christians are confused about how we should think of governmental leaders. Can we criticize our leaders? Isn't that showing disrespect? Can we expect righteousness from unbelieving leaders? Does righteousness even matter? Here is what the Bible has to say about governmental leaders:


Can Leaders Be Held Responsible?

*   Proverbs 16:12: It is an abomination for kings to commit wicked acts, For a throne is established on righteousness.

The abandonment of righteousness will weaken the seat of government and the stability and security of the nation.

*   Proverbs 31:4-5: It is not for kings, O Lemuel, It is not for kings to drink wine, Or for rulers to desire strong drink, For they will drink and forget what is decreed, And pervert the rights of all the afflicted.

What a ruler does in private can and does pervert public justice.

*   Proverbs 20:28: Covenant loyalty and truth preserve the king, And he upholds his throne by righteousness.

The United States government is based on a covenant which we call the Constitution. The abandonment of truth and loyalty to covenants undermines the leadership of a ruler.

*   Proverbs 29:12: If a ruler pays attention to falsehood, All his ministers become wicked.

Dishonesty and falsehood corrupts others so that the entire government becomes less reliable.


Should We Submit to Governmental Leaders?

*   Mark 12:17: And Jesus said to them, "Render to Caesar the things that are Caesar's, and to God the things that are God's."

Our first allegiance is to God. We are to worship only God and to be absolutely submissive to Him. We are to be secondarily submissive to human institutions and authorities.

*   Romans 13:1-2: Every person is to be in subjection to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and those which exist are established by God. Therefore whoever resists authority has opposed the ordinance of God; and they who have opposed will receive condemnation upon themselves.

*   1 Peter 2:13-16: Submit yourselves for the Lord's sake to every human institution, whether to a king as the one in authority, or to governors as sent by him for the punishment of evildoers and the praise of those who do right. For such is the will of God that by doing right you may silence the ignorance of foolish men. Live as free men, but do not use your freedom as a cover-up for evil. Live as bond-slaves of God.

When there is a conflict between God and leadership or government always put God first.

*   (Acts 5:26-33 NIV)  At that, the captain went with his officers and brought the apostles. They did not use force, because they feared that the people would stone them. {27} Having brought the apostles, they made them appear before the Sanhedrin to be questioned by the high priest. {28} "We gave you strict orders not to teach in this name," he said. "Yet you have filled Jerusalem with your teaching and are determined to make us guilty of this man's blood." {29} Peter and the other apostles replied: "We must obey God rather than men! {30} The God of our fathers raised Jesus from the dead--whom you had killed by hanging him on a tree. {31} God exalted him to his own right hand as Prince and Savior that he might give repentance and forgiveness of sins to Israel. {32} We are witnesses of these things, and so is the Holy Spirit, whom God has given to those who obey him." {33} When they heard this, they were furious and wanted to put them to death.

Christians are to have a submissive spirit toward authority. But we must ask: "Where does authority lie in a constitutional republic like the United States of America?" The Bible does not deal directly with the responsibilities of Christians in a government such as ours in which officials are elected by "the people" and laws are made by representatives of "the people." In our society submission is primarily to laws and constitutional processes, not persons. The president, senators, and congressmen and women are servants of "the people," not masters of the people.


Biblical submission is a readiness to obey law and uphold the legal order, not an approval or endorsement of all lawmakers absolutely. Christ's absolute supremacy over our lives qualifies the absoluteness of human law (Acts 5:29). There can be a submissive spirit and readiness to obey even where, for the sake of conscience, some laws and lawmakers may have to be resisted.


Can Public Officials Be Criticized?

*   Exodus 22:28: Do not curse the ruler of your people.

Cursing and criticizing are different things.

*   Matthew 14:3-4: Now Herod had arrested John and bound him and put him in prison because of Herodias, his brother Philip's wife, for John had been saying to him: "It is not lawful for you to have her."

John the Baptist's preaching is an example of a proper indictment of government authority. Jesus said of John the Baptist, "Truly I say to you, among those born of women there has not arisen anyone greater than John the Baptist!" Nevertheless, John was beheaded for publicly indicting the ruling authority (Matthew 14:5-11).


Jesus called Herod "a fox" (Luke 13:31-32).

Paul called members of the Sanhedrin, the Jewish Supreme Court, "whitewashed walls" (Acts 23:1-3).

Therefore, opposition to a leader's behavior and public criticism of it is not necessarily inconsistent with a submissive spirit to governing authorities.


What is the Most Important Obligation of the Christian Toward Political Leaders?

*   1 Timothy 2:1-3: First of all, then, I urge that entreaties and prayers, petitions and thanksgivings, be made on behalf of all men, for kings and all who are in authority, so that we may lead a tranquil and quiet life in all godliness and dignity. This is good, and pleases God our Savior, who wants all men to be saved and to come to a knowledge of the truth.

Christians are to pray for the salvation of all in authority. Do you care about the soul of your political leaders? The prayers of Christians also have a "selfish" focus. The conversion of unbelieving political leaders to God will mean the opportunity for us to lead a "tranquil and quiet life." Voting is one of many ways can fulfill the guidance in this scripture.

*   (Gal 6:10 NIV)  Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all people, especially to those who belong to the family of believers.

This oft quoted line is very true and describes what we see happening in our country today.

*   "All that is necessary for evil to triumph is for good men to do nothing."

For a Christian doing nothing is not an option! Do something good; vote.