6 Non-Partisan Principles To Guide Christians On How We Vote
It's often said that the two topics that should never be brought up at dinner or when meeting someone for the first time are religion and politics. Combine the two, and people start shutting you out immediately because you've automatically started to offend them. The opinions people hold on both of those topics stem from how they see the world, and once two people begin to talk about those topics, differences in their perception of the world can become painfully evident.
So then, if two people claim faith in Christ, they should share the same worldview and thus should agree on their political perspectives, right? Wrong. Sadly most people who claim to have faith in Jesus the Messiah are actually believing in an idol - a god they created to suit their sins who has nothing to do with the Jesus of the Bible and everything to do with what they think God should be like. But, of course, that wouldn’t be any of my dear readers. ;-)
So, what are the key ideas that should drive how we vote? The same key ideas that drive how we live. Knowing that:
1. God is real, all-good, holy, all-powerful, all-present, and worthy of our devotion, worship, love and obedience.
2. All of humanity is fallen, evil, despicably depraved and deserving of the wrath of God.
3. In His love, God provided the only means of salvation - repentance from sin and faith in the work of Jesus Christ on the cross, His deity, humanity, virgin birth, death, burial, resurrection and ability to reconcile us to God.
4. The whole of Scripture is infallible and we should base our whole lives on the instruction found in the Bible.
5. Jesus’ commands always promoted personal responsibility for both our sinful and righteous actions without providing us a means of deference of responsibility except through faith in Him. Even then, all followers of Christ are held personally responsible for carrying out His commands on the earth, without attempting to put that responsibility on others who are not a part of the Church.
6. Jesus is coming back and He will judge us bringing to light every idle word spoken and every action we’ve ever done.
It is important to know that most of the founding fathers of our nation believed some version of most of these ideas. It is especially because of principles 2 and 4 (human depravity and the trustworthiness of Scripture), that most of the architects of our national constitution believed quite strongly that national governments should be given as little power as possible. This is also why many of them believed that governments should keep the laws of Scripture as the basis by which they govern.
This is because a government is not a nebulous institution, but a collection of people who, as principle #2 explains, should not be trusted with power. Government is trusted with some power for the sake of providing order, maintaining rule of law and providing for the defense of the nation, but little else beyond the explicit commands of Scripture regarding governmental responsibility. Though a government could be given greater power to do good in the world, once that work has been accomplished that same government would be unlikely to give up it’s newly acquired power. This is because most of fallen humanity prefers to acquire as much power as possible. It would just be a matter of time before that government would begin to abuse it’s power and seek out even more.
Principle #5 (personal responsibility), means that so long as a nation stays “Christianized” in its culture, social justice issues involving medical care, caring for the poor, etc. will be easily entrusted to individuals in the community and the church community overall. Sadly, most people in the American church have forgotten principle #3 (temporal and eternal salvation found only in Christ), and have begun to look to government instead of Christ for their temporal salvation. This has been directly connected with the loss of holding Principle #5 (personal responsibility), as a core value as our national culture has begun to embrace the philosophy of deferred responsibility and the victim mentality such that even the most privileged of people in our nation (the most privileged nation in the world), claim to be victims, refusing to take personal responsibility for their actions.
Most of the political philosophies of our day completely reject principle #1 (God’s goodness, power and presence), at their core, or re-define that principle in a way that best serves sinful fleshly desires instead of relying upon the truth of principle #4 (trustworthiness of Scripture). The return of Jesus Christ (principle #6) and His forthcoming judgement of the nations and all people living and dead should always be at the forefront of our minds. Jesus will surely bring up our voting records among our works that will be brought out into the open on the day of judgement.
Thus, as Christians, as we examine the Scriptures and apply what they teach in the voting booth, we should eventually find a government that does little good, but little evil as well. This is because that government would have little power but to enforce certain parts of Biblically inspired rule of law and order in our land (such as protecting the lives of the unborn and punishing the sexual exploitation of women and children), while protecting us from foreign powers that mean us harm. So much else that is currently entrusted to the government and is considered a “right” of all peoples everywhere would, if the Church were to wake from her slumber once again, be provided by individuals and organizations within the Church.
The reality we face however, is that most who identify themselves as part of the American church will continue to defer responsibility, refuse to love in the ways Jesus commanded, and ask the government to just tax them more to do the work they should have been doing themselves. As this continues, our freedoms will gradually wash away in the flood of enthusiasm for humanistic government, the Lordship of God will be replaced by the "lordship" of man, and tyranny will soon reign over us once again. This mentality will be part of how the anti-Christ will gain power over the world in the time immediately preceding Jesus’ earthly return and reign.
This does not need to happen yet. It starts with faith in Christ, moves onward into His Church living out His commands through lives of prayer, love and service, and should eventually be reflected through our choices in the voting booth.
Please, join me this year in praying, living and voting in such a way that reflects the belief that Christ is our only Savior, not the government.