By Christopher VanDusen
On Tuesday, the President of the United States, as well as many other government positions, will be elected. If you’re a Christian American citizen who’s registered to vote, then this is an important event. However, there are many Christian teachers who have recently argued that voting in this election isn’t important. The Bible teaches otherwise. There are at least two main reasons why American Christians should vote this Tuesday, and during every other election. First, Scripture at least encourages us to do so, if it doesn’t outright obligate us to. Second, voting is one way in which we can promote the spread of the gospel, and therefore the glory of the Lord Jesus Christ.
Scripture Encourages Voting
One of the main passages of Scripture that forms the basis for Christian voting is 1 Peter 2:13-14, in which the apostle Peter says,
“13 Be subject for the Lord’s sake to every human institution, whether it be to the emperor as supreme, 14 or to governors as sent by him to punish those who do evil and to praise those who do good.” (ESV)
In this passage, Peter commands Christians to submit themselves, because Jesus is the Ruler of them, to “every human institution”. In Peter’s Roman context, that meant “the emperor” and “governors”. However, in the case of those governed by representative governments (republics), the “human institution” that’s over them is “the law of the land”, which institutes that government, and its governors. In the case of a constitutional republic like the U.S., that law is the Constitution. Hence, American Christians have an obligation, based on God’s will expressed in this passage, to submit themselves to the U.S. Constitution.
How does this relate to voting? Since the Constitution requires voting for the governing of the U.S., in order to properly submit to it, Christians ought to somehow participate in the election of their representatives in government. The only way to do this is to vote. But fulfilling this obligation isn’t an end in itself. There’s a good purpose for voting rightly.
Rightly Voting Can Promote the Spread of the Gospel
Christian citizens shouldn’t only vote in order to submit to the authority that God has placed over them, but for the purpose of spreading the gospel. Since voting gives us a say in who can make and enforce laws, we ought to vote for those candidates and policies that are most likely to make and enforce just laws. And what are just laws? As Peter says, they’re laws that require the punishment of evildoers, and bless (or praise) those who do good.
If we’re able to elect politicians and policies that punish evildoers and bless do-gooders, then will serve two main purposes for the spread of the gospel. First, it will prevent more evildoers who are likely to hinder the spread of the gospel from doing so. Second, it will provide for the increased enforcement of religious liberty, providing Christians with more opportunities to share the gospel, and to publicly do good.
If You’re a Registered Christian Voter, then Vote
This coming election is especially important because the two reasonable presidential candidates support policies that are almost exact opposites. On the one hand, President Trump supports religious liberty and the ending of abortion (also known as the murder of the unborn). On the other, Mr. Biden supports religious persecution and the flourishing of abortion. If you’re an American believer in Jesus Christ who’s registered to vote, and haven’t done so, please do it tomorrow. Contrary to what some would say, your vote counts, if for no other reason than it can tell other Americans, and the rest of the world, what we live for, and what we’re willing to do to share it with others. Honor the Constitution and government of the U.S. that God has so graciously placed over us, and in so doing honor the Lord Jesus Christ in this spiritual war to spread His gospel, His kingdom, and His glory.
For an in-depth discussion of the issues at play in this election, please consider listening to one of these podcast episodes:
For the Non-Christian
If you aren’t a Christian, then thank you for reading this article. I’m glad that you’ve read God’s Word, and have learned something about the Lord Jesus Christ. Do you know what the gospel is? It’s the most important message in the entire universe!
The gospel is the good news that God sent His eternal and divine Son to earth to become a man, Jesus of Nazareth. God sent Him to earth to live the perfect life, and to be executed by His enemies on a Roman cross in order to suffer and die as God’s punishment for our rebellion, or sin, against God. When Jesus was suffering on the cross, God was punishing Him for our crimes, or sins, against Him. Two days later, God raised Jesus from the dead, and He appeared to hundreds of people. Then, some of those people witnessed Him go into heaven as the Ruler of the universe. God now commands everyone to change their minds and trust in Jesus as their Ruler and Savior from sin to receive His mercy, forgiveness, and peace. The reason He demands this is He’s going to judge everyone perfectly through Jesus, and punish all of His enemies forever with the torment they’ve earned. Please make sure you’ve repented of your rebellion against God, and are trusting only in Jesus as your Ruler and Savior from God’s wrath. If you’ve done that, then the Lord requires His believers to be baptized in water by another believer as an appeal to God for a good conscience, and a profession of faith.