Saturday, February 23, 2008

Voting and the Bible

In this year in which we are to vote for a new president I have been increasingly concerned by the way many professing Christians decide on whom to vote for.  This is not a liberal or conservative issue as I see professing Christians from both viewpoints seeking out wisdom from everywhere but scripture, or at the least not giving supremacy to scripture.  It seems for some Christians the top priority is for a particular candidate not to win so they will vote for anyone to stop that candidate.  For others the top priority is some social issues and they will vote for that candidate no matter what their views are on such issues as abortion.  What I see from this is that there is a severe lack of trust in seeking scripture for an answer and then trusting in the answer that God gives through His word. 

Now I am not saying that these professing Christians do not claim to use scripture but even if they are close to the correct interpretation there often does not seem to be an issue if a particular candidate does not meet biblical criteria.  Yes, for believers we do need to vote for candidates that meet biblical criteria.  If a particular candidate sees no issue with the killing of innocent life but has good economic principles and even if they can help some disadvantaged people they would be disqualified from a biblical standard for ones vote.  While I may or may not see us as being a Christian nation it would be unconscionable for me not to vote so as that to be an outcome if God so deems it.  By the way, everyone in some manner votes to have their values upheld so why would not Christians do the same.

At the heart of the matter for many Christians is an apparent fear.  This is a fear that a particular candidate may win so many Christians speak of voting for a lesser of two evils.  When did it ever become OK to vote for any evil?  If there are no candidates that meet the biblical criteria then the call would be not to vote for any of the available candidates.  At the end of the day it is better for the church to have a clear conscience before God, a clear conscience based on His word and not subjective feeling, than to have voted for a candidate that God has said is not qualified.

So the question then seems to be what qualifies a candidate.  Well it is not perfection but scripture does give qualifications that believers need to pay attention to when it comes to choosing our leaders.  In the coming weeks, as time permits, I will mention some of these qualifications but the first would be that they are a brother in Christ.  Yes I said a Christian should be voting for a Christian.  Why, as Doug Phillips says in the CD set mentioned below, for starters scripture says that the beginning of wisdom is the fear of the Lord (Prov 1:7) thus it would sure seem wise to vote for one that is not a fool.  Thus voting for one that is not a Christian is not an option no matter their other views. 

The bottom line is we are not to be fearful and toss out scripture simply because we think the worst thing that can happen is a certain candidate would win.  Actually the worse thing that can happen is we have to stand before God and answer as to why we voted for a candidate that God says was not qualified.   Let us hold firm to our confidence in God and follow His guidelines and not some pragmatic plan that in the end denies the sufficiency of scripture and the sufficiency of God in the voting process.

For a sound biblical look at this topic I recommend a CD set by Doug Phillips:  Biblical Principles of the Ballot Box.  He gives a good overview on how we need to decide on whom we vote for.  

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