In case you missed the memo (and by memo I mean the thousands of ads, the news coverage, and the rallies), or you are one of my foreign country readers, we have an election coming up in this country. So the next few days I want to discuss voting on this site. Not just voting in general, but voting from a Christian perspective. I really want to hear your thoughts on the issue so feel free to leave comments.
The normal objections to a Christian voting might be as followed (if you have others feel free to share them and then give your opinion on their legitimacy):
1. Christians cannot provide support to evil. The basic argument is that since no candidate or party platform is perfect, then voting is choosing the lesser of two evils. And by definition the lesser of two evils, still has some evil, therefore the Christian is endorsing evil.
Here are some problems I have with this reasoning. First, what if a truly moral candidate is presented. Second, the argument seems to go too far. Providing support for a nation through taxes allows nations to do activities that could be considered evil. Rome did not live up to Christian moral standards but Jesus told people to pay their taxes. Finally, what about voting on amendments and propositions.
2. It doesn’t matter because God appoints leaders. This means there is no need for us to vote.
The problem I see with this argument is that it is too simplistic. For instance it leaves out the fact that God can use a leader as a judgment on the people’s sinfulness or apathy. Second, just because God is in control does not mean we are removed from responsibility. God is the one who gives the increase in evangelism, but it does not mean that we have no responsibility to spread the Word.
3. Christians are not of the kingdom of this world. This argument I believe is no longer as strong as it used to be. But the argument basically goes that our concern is not with the here and now, but with the future world.
I think a new emphasis within Christianity, concerning our responsibility to live for Christ now, has diminished this argument. God is still concerned about the now. Also this fails to recognize that Christians should seek to have a government that is most aligned with areas that make the Christian faith possible and the spreading of the gospel accessible.
On the positive side, Why should we vote?
1. We have the ability to limit evil in this world. Let’s be honest there is evil in our world. Let’s also be honest that voting CAN have the ability to limit that evil through electing people who pass legislation which places limits on evil.
2. We have the ability to cultivate proper soil for evangelism. When you study the parable of the sower, you are left with a stunning conclusion (read my thoughts here). That conclusion is soil (i.e. the person) matters in the reception of the gospel. If we can vote in such a way that leads the nation down a path that makes individuals more receptive to the gospel, then I think we should vote.
Okay, I want to turn it over to you. Why do you, or why do you not vote?
Don’t forget to check out the other posts from the last few days. Also check back tomorrow for part 2.