People are beginning to align themselves with a political candidate to serve as the President of the United States. Many are passionate in their loyalty. But how should a Christian vote and for whom shall he/she vote? I cannot answer those questions for anyone other than myself.
The first question: “Should a Christian vote?”
Some followers of Christ have argued that if one cannot agree with either of the final two major candidates, then it would be better not to vote. While I understand the logic, I disagree. I believe voting is a right in our nation that people have fought to protect. I also believe it is a responsibility indicated indirectly by Jesus in Matthew 22:21. I plan on voting and I trust that you are as well. If you are eligible to vote in terms of age and citizenship, it is vital to make sure you’re registered before the deadline.
With every election, especially involving the selection of a president, there is a lot at stake from the national to the local issues. We must pay attention to it all and be informed.
The second question: “For whom shall I vote?”
I am convinced that I cannot vote without sufficient information nor can I vote with blind party loyalty. My vote is very important and with my vote I share the decisions of the candidates if they are elected – whether good or bad.
The Bible does not directly tell me how to vote, I have put together a list of biblical values that are important to me and will guide me as I prayerfully make a decision. I am indebted to Dr. Erwin Lutzer, pastor of Moody Church in Chicago, for some points on this list that he posted prior to the 2012 election.
1. Does the candidate have character and integrity (Proverbs 10:9, 12:22)?
2. Does the candidate have a strong belief in a fair judicial system that honors all people (James 2:1-5, Proverbs 16:11, Romans 2:11)?
3. Will the candidate protect religious liberties and freedoms that were guaranteed in the Constitution (Acts 4:18-20)?
4. Does the candidate have compassion and a plan to address the needs of the poor and disadvantaged (Proverbs 14:31, 19:17)?
5. Does the candidate have a strong commitment to the value and sanctity of human life from the womb to the tomb (Psalm 139:13)?
6. Is the candidate committed to racial equality (Acts 17:26)?
7. If the candidate committed to protect our country from attacks, from terrorism and crippling debt (Nehemiah 4:8-9, Proverbs 22:7, Nehemiah 5:4-5)?
8. To what degree does the candidate embrace or respect the biblical values of marriage and the significance of the church and its mission (Genesis 2)?
9. Does the candidate understand that he/she is placed by God as a minister for good and therefore acknowledge the need to seek God for wisdom and strength (Romans 13)?
This is my list; yours may be longer or shorter. But as Christ followers we must have a starting point that will guide us in these important decisions. And of course – we must pray for our selection and then we must pray for ever is elected (1 Timothy 2:1-4).
Two final thoughts. First, good Christians may disagree on political candidates, but that should not be the basis for disunity or bad behavior. We are one in Christ. Second, the real hope for our nation is not found in any political leader or party, is found in Christ, making the church and the message of the Gospel so much more transformative than any political party, person, or legislative or judicial body. Let’s be the church!
“Lord, help us to vote biblically and wisely!”