Should Christians Vote?
“And whatever you do, do it heartily, as to the Lord and not to men, knowing that from the Lord you will receive the reward of the inheritance; for you serve the Lord Christ.”
Colossians 3:23-24 (NKJV)
In a general election year this is a question which some Christians may ask. Should a Christian vote? The answer is simple, but before we get to that let’s just remind ourselves of a few key points.
Churches should be havens of peace and refreshment from the stress and pressures of the world we live in. Christians in church should be guided by the foundational principle of love. So whichever political party you may feel inclined to support it’s important to keep it to yourself. We don’t want to offend other Christians and politics is an area where many people have strong feelings which, if expressed, can cause dissension in a church. It’s very important to remember that God is not involved in politics and no political party is going to reflect biblical views in every area. No earthy government of any persuasion is like God’s government.
It is easy to study the Bible and find scriptures which you could use to support a political party’s position. But the Bible long predates any political party that is canvassing for our votes today. By all means listen to what they say and read what they publish. Consider the position they are espousing from the biblical point of view. It is likely most parties, in a democracy, will have some policies which you feel reflect biblical values in a few areas. So you may wish to consider which party has the most policies that seem to be right in your opinion. It is vitally important that no Christian tries to influence other Christians on whether to vote or not and especially not to vote for a particular party.
So, as Christians, should we be voting in the general election or not? The answer is that it’s up to individual Christians to decide for themselves. The Bible does not command us to vote or not to vote. Some Christians may feel that their understanding of the Bible requires them not to vote or participate in elections. They are right. Some Christians may feel their understanding of the Bible requires them to vote as a responsible citizen. They are right. It is an entirely personal decision as to whether you do or don’t. Whatever your decision it is important that it remains your personal and private one. If other Churches, other denominations, or other Christians start publicly supporting one party or another that’s between them and God. Let them get on with it and ask yourself this question—is it promoting the unity and harmony that God wants to see in each church, denomination and among Christians spoken of in Ephesians 4:1-3?
Loving and gracious Father, give us clear vision and understanding so we do not get drawn into the arguments of this world. Place in power those governments that will allow Christians to live in peace and the gospel to be preached.
Study by Keith Hartrick
Grace Communion – Leeds
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