How Shall We Then Vote?

(The official stand of Warrior of Faith is that we are neutral when it comes to political candidates. That is, we neither endorse or oppose any candidate or political party as an organization. Nothing in the following post should be taken as such. — Curly)

Here in the U.S., we are close to the middle of what looks like is going to be a rather nasty and contentious election cycle. Not only that, but who we elect as President and to Congress will, more than any time in recent history, determine the direction our country will take both domestically and in foreign policy.

Quite literally, who we elect this November will decide whether our country continues to run at top speed away from any semblance of a Constitutional Republic based on a Judeo – Christian worldview, or slow that down to a walk and assess the damage such a direction has and will do to the very fabric of our society.

We, as disciples of Christ, are duty bound not only as citizens of the United States of Americabut as representatives of God’s kingdom to vote, and to do so in such a way that we reflect the values and interest of our Lord and Savior for the common good of Christ’s disciples and unbelievers alike.

A few Christians say that as citizens of God’s kingdom, we have a higher allegiance than that as citizens of the country which we claim as our own and therefore should not vote, but I find that argument not only unconvincing but opposed to the teachings of the Bible.

Both Christ and Paul instruct us to pay taxes and be good citizens. At least in America, a good citizen is expected to vote, and to vote with an informed mind. To neglect our civic duty to vote is ignore God’ call to stand for Him in every aspect of our lives: Spiritual, physical, social AND political.

So then, how should we then vote?

The focus here is on how to choose a candidate for political office; how to decide your vote on issues is a slightly different process.

First, the candidate you vote for must have a record of honesty ( sadly, that eliminates the majority of the candidates at the start). If the candidate has proven to be dishonest in the past – particularly on his or her stand on issues – then none of the other considerations matter. If you can’t trust their word, their words mean nothing.

Second, look at how the candidate views the authority of the Constitution and the way in which the law should be enforced. Are they committed to adhere to and enforce the Constitution and other laws as written, or do they feel free to reinterpret the Constitution and existing law to suit their personal political views and goals?

This transcends political ideology; if the candidate is not willing to uphold the law until and unless that law is changed by legal means, then you are, in effect, voting for lawlessness and a road that ultimately leads to anarchy.

The next thing to examine will require more research, prayer, and intellectual effort than most of us are willing to put into it, but is absolutely necessary. I believe that one of the major factors in the dismal state of government and politics in this country is due to the neglect of the majority of our citizenry to do this: be aware of and have a basic understanding the important issues both domestically and globally that our country and society AND make sure that the candidate you support has demonstrated either a solid understanding and reasonable plan to address at least the most important of these issues or has the ability and willingness to surround him or herself with advisors who are competent to address these issues.

At this point, you should be asking why I haven’t mentioned anything about whether the candidate is a Christian or not. Briefly, the job of a candidate is to best serve their country or community. Everything I’ve talked about so far points toward that goal, and it is quite possible for non Christians to do a very good job of that. I’ve chosen to focus on those abilities and attributes that are not specific to Christians up until now because of that. After having laid that foundation for candidate selection, we’re now ready to look at worldview and discipleship.

At least in the US, almost every major Presidential or Congressional candidate will claim to be Christian. The majority of them will show no evidence of any desire to actually follow Christ in either word or deed. As a Christian voter, you cannot base your vote on a candidate’s declared faith alone; you must be a ‘fruit inspector’.

Having said that, we should be looking for candidates who will at the least uphold Godly values. Given two candidates with equal qualifications overall, we would do very well to vote for the one who most closely follows Christ in public as well as private life. That candidate will most likely be concerned with what God would have them do for the betterment of their country and benefit of it’s citizens.

Isn’t that ultimately what we want of our public officials?

Vote with study, prayer, and confidence that God is in control, and it is not only your privilege, but your duty to vote carefully and prayerfully!