Should Christians Vote!

Discussion in 'Free-For-All Archives' started by pawn raider, Nov 1, 2004.

  1. pawn raider

    pawn raider
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    When I originally posted this some time ago I received somewhat mixed reviews with the worst comming from those that disagreed. I'm posting this again to see if opinion has changed since last time.

    Should Christians Be Politically Active?

    There is apparently some confusion as to whether or not any Christian can or should become involved in politics; be it running for office, campaigning, or anything else connected with the political process. The purpose of this article is to examine whether we, as Christians, may have any part in this worldly function.
    There is a lack of Scriptural precedence to support our taking up of the political sword to accomplish objectives that are better left in God’s hands (Romans 13). Yet there is abundant evidence to support the conclusion that Christians are not to engage in this activity.
    After Gideon led Israel to victory over the Midianites, the Israelites asked Gideon to be king over all of Israel. Gideon’s reply was "I will not rule over you, neither shall my son rule over you: the LORD shall rule over you." (Judges 8:23). Gideon makes it clear that there should be no divided loyalty from Israel.
    In 1 Samuel chapter 8, Israel again asks for a king "to judge us like all the nations" (vs. 5). The Lord relents and finally promises Israel a king and tells the prophet Samuel "Hearken unto the voice of the people in all that they say unto thee: for they have not rejected thee, but they have rejected me, that I should not reign over them" (vs. 7). As a result, Samuel tells them what manner of king they shall have as a consequence of their rejection (vs. 11-18).
    God wanted Israel as a "peculiar people unto himself" (Deut.14:2) but instead Israel wanted to be "like all the nations”. In their desire to be so, Samuel replied "And ye have this day rejected your God, who himself saved you out of all your adversities and your tribulations; and ye have said unto him, Nay, but set a king over us" (1 Samuel 10:19). Not until later did Israel realize "for we have added unto all our sins this evil, to ask us a king" (1 Samuel 12:19).
    Israel openly asked for a king knowing full well that this was against the will of God but, nevertheless, desired one anyway. Was this any different than what is being done today by the active participation of numerous Christians in allying themselves with and joining political organizations, attending political rallies, canvassing neighborhoods on behalf of a office seeker, voting, and whatever else is done in seeking to get their candidate elected? Jesus said, "Ye know that the princes of the Gentiles exercise dominion over them, and they that are great exercise authority upon them. But it shall not be so among you" (Matt. 20:25,26). See also Mark 10:42,43 and Luke 22:25,26.
    When Peter was thrown in jail, the Christians made no appeal to the authorities but replied in a rather unique way many of us would not consider. "Prayer was made without ceasing of the church unto God for him" (Acts 12:5). Where he was soon released from jail with the help of "the angel of the Lord" (vs. 7).
    The Old Testament saints considered themselves nothing more than "strangers and pilgrims" (Hebrews 11:13) who looked for a city whose "builder and maker is God" (vs. 10). Even the apostle Peter implores us to be "strangers and pilgrims" (1 Peter 2:11). Any Christian committed to working in the political arena must ask themselves what government would let foreigners ("strangers and pilgrims") participate in it’s governmental processes? Involving ourselves in a system that is only temporary, and almost certain to invite compromise, could never accomplish what the gospel can and already has. And that is freedom from sin for countless numbers of those who have, and do, and have yet to believe in Jesus Christ as their Lord and Saviour. And it is only He that can provide that salvation and freedom. No amount of legislation can give such assurance.
    The Christian’s proper relationship to government is to pray for those in office: "I exhort therefore, that, first of all, supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks, be made for all men; for kings, and for all that are in authority… For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Saviour" (1 Tim. 2:1-3). And to obey them: "Put them in mind to be subject to principalities and powers, to obey magistrates" (Titus 3:10). This includes paying taxes: "Render therefore unto Caesar the things which are Caesar’s" (Matt. 22:21). "Render therefore to all their dues: tribute to whom tribute is due" (Romans 13:7). If an impasse is ever reached when we must decide whom to obey, God or man. The apostle Peter makes it clear "We ought to obey God rather than man" (Acts 5:29).
    Today, unlike Israel, Christians have no national homeland or "continuing city" instead, we seek one to come (Hebrews 13:14).
    Justification for involving ourselves in man’s affairs is misleading at best. However, justification for not interfering in worldly matters is abundant, " No man that warreth entangleth himself with the affairs of this life; that he may please him who hath chosen him to be a soldier" (2 Tim. 2:4).
    "For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war after the flesh: (For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strong holds)" (2 Cor. 10:3,4). Any questions as to what the weapons of our warfare are, see Ephesians 6:13-17. Particular attention should be given to Eph. 6:12.
    According to Mark 16:15,16 we have been commissioned to preach the gospel, not to champion a particular political ideology. We involve ourselves with politics at the expense of those who have yet to hear the Gospel. "For some have not the knowledge of God: I speak this to your shame." (1 Cor. 15:34).
    I would like to finish by saying that since we are in the world (John 17:15), we are not of the world (John 17:14), and that our affections should be directed accordingly. "Set your affections on things above, not on things on the earth" (Col. 3:2).
     
  2. Monergist

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    There's a ditch on both sides of the road. On one side is the idea that Christians are going to change society through political means, on the other is the idea that Christians should have nothing to do with politics.

    The Christian has a duty to choose a leader who meets the qualifications and standards set forth in God's Word. A Christian should understand that voting for the lesser of two evils is still evil, that pragmatism and expediency are not the methods by which we choose a candidate and its better to vote for something rather than against something,

    --Even if we lose.
     
  3. Hardsheller

    Hardsheller
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    Paul would have never appealed to Caesar and traveled to Rome if your theory is correct. Acts 25:11
     
  4. pawn raider

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    As a citizen of Rome Paul had every right to appeal to Caesar. It did not indicate an approval of him on Paul's part.
     

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