What the Bible says about your vote

November 4, 2008 by  
Filed under Politics

How should a Christian vote? It seems to me that, with very few exceptions, there are Christians backing each and every political party and asking others to do so along side them. There are Christians who align themselves with an issue or issues instead of a party. They believe that these issues are important to their Faith and therefore more important then their allegiance to a certain politician or political group. The problem here is that Christians seem to differ greatly in their opinions about which issues should be seen as paramount and also on what the stand on these issues should be. To top it all off there are Christians who believe that we shouldn’t get involved in politics at all. In short, Christians are all over the place regarding politics and how we should vote and in many cases are even opposing one another.

Please allow me to humbly throw my hat into the proverbial ring. However, instead of siding with any party or issue I would like to take a look at what God’s Word says about our vote. There are no scriptures that deal directly with government as we know it, democracy, voting etc. but there are teachings about our response to and responsibilities towards governments that can be applied to our vote today.

Let’s take a look at one of the primary New Testament portions of scripture that deals with church and government, 1 Timothy 2:1 – 4.

I urge, then, first of all, that requests, prayers, intercession and thanksgiving be made for everyone–for kings and all those in authority, that we may live peaceful and quiet lives in all godliness and holiness. This is good, and pleases God our Savior, who wants all men to be saved and to come to a knowledge of the truth. (1 Timothy 2:1 – 4)

I don’t know about you but for years every time I read these verses or heard them preached the words “that we might live peaceful and quiet lives” always bothered me. Didn’t Jesus tell us that we are not to put the things of this life first but to put God’s Kingdom first? Didn’t he tell us that one of the first things we are to pray about is for his Kingdom and also that his will would be done on Earth? Isn’t it true that pretty much all of the New Testament writers and Jesus himself have called us to be witnesses for the Gospel and to endure persecution for doing so? Didn’t Paul, who wrote the above words to Timothy (and us) teach that we are to FIGHT the good fight, run the race to win the heavenly prize, to boldly share our Faith and also to expect persecution?

Perhaps I was misunderstanding the intent of Paul’s words to Timothy because the Bible does not contradict itself. The problem was that I wasn’t trying to understand Paul’s words in their context.

Please allow me to take the liberty of adding some commentary to Paul’s word’s so that I can get right to my point. Here’s what I now believe Paul to be saying in these verses, my words in parenthesis:

I urge, then, first of all, that requests, prayers, intercession and thanksgiving be made for everyone (all people everywhere)–(Also) for kings and all those in authority, that we may live peaceful and quiet lives in all godliness and holiness (So that we can get on with growing in Christ, sharing the Gospel with everyone, and expanding God’s Kingdom everywhere, as unimpeded by Kings and governments as possible.) This is good, and pleases God our Savior, who wants all men to be saved and to come to a knowledge of the truth. (And praying for authorities will help us accomplish this.)

When Paul penned these words the church was being persecuted everywhere. Nero was governing Rome and not too long after these words were written Nero put Paul to death. Paul was letting Timothy and the Church, then and now, know that we should pray for the gospel to be spread to everyone everywhere and that we should pray for the governments everywhere because doing so can help us get the job done. The Christians of that day easily understood Paul’s words because they were attempting to follow the Gospel’s mandates and they were being persecuted and stalled at every turn.

Our focus is to be on the spreading of the Gospel not a quiet and peaceful life. We need the governments to not oppose us and perhaps even cooperate with us so that we can use the resulting peace and quiet to get on with our calling.

So how does this relate to politics, democracies and our votes as Christians today? Well in my estimation understanding Paul’s intent in these verses makes it simple. We are to stick with our Kingdom first purpose and pray for governments to not hinder us and perhaps even help us. Since in a democracy we have a say or a vote, our vote should mirror our purpose and prayer. Simply put we should vote for the person, party government etc who (after prayer and consideration) we believe is most likely to not hinder but to promote our God given purpose, to grow as Christians, to spread the Gospel and to expand God’s Kingdom.

Any vote for any other purpose by a Christian, say for the economy, more tax breaks, more money in our pockets is a misguided vote for a peaceful and quiet life for the sake of personal comfort.

It’s recorded six times in the Gospels that Jesus said that those who deny their lives for the sake of the Gospel will find their lives, but that those who put their lives first will lose them. Let your vote count, vote for those who will be more likely to support God’s agenda for this planet.

I appreciate and welcome your comments.

For help with teaching your children about their Faith, check out The Singing Bible.

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(RICK OSBORNE / Christian Author, Speaker & Dad)

Comments

5 Comments on "What the Bible says about your vote"

  1. Christian on Wed, 5th Nov 2008 9:26 am 

    America has slowly forgotten God. The lack of attendance on Wednesday evening, Sunday school, Sunday morning and evening service proves this. America’s population has grown, while attendance has leveled or dropped. We have taken God out of nearly everything just to appease a few people (a moment of silence instead of a prayer, happy holiday instead of Merry Christmas). Conforming to the offended instead of standing up for what we believe in. If we moved to a foreign land and complained about their beliefs, we would be told to leave or be killed.

  2. What do your older kids think about negative Obama church signs? : Christian Parenting Daily on Wed, 19th Nov 2008 2:20 pm 

    [...] Osborne wrote a blog that more fully explains 1 Timothy 2:1 – 4. If you haven’t read it, we suggest it as a good [...]

  3. Sgt RayRay on Thu, 20th Nov 2008 1:23 pm 

    This article/blog is very well written and presents a very interesting point of view on how someone should vote and how your vote should reflect the need of the bigger picture. But the article does present some undeniable truths about who we are. We are all different people and each and every one of us interprets the scriptures in a different light. We as a people of God cannot expect to push our beliefs on to others just because we believe that we are right, as good God fearing Christians we must also have the flexibility and knowledge to know and recognize that other Christians whom also believe in God might not agree with your view and this is just fine.
    Anyone who has studied religions knows that almost every religion in existence today pretty much preach the same basic principles, if your good when you die you go to a fantastic place and if your bad your soul will burn in hell. They all preach tolerance and understanding, why have some Christian leaders turned religion into something else? Is their goal to divide or put people off from religion, which BTW has lost a lot of popularity here in the U.S., people hardly, attend church anymore. God offers you his hand, it’s up to us to take it, we can’t make anyone take it by force this is called free will.
    One last point I want to make, who told us that we are 100% correct when it comes to religion? What makes us so right and the other religions wrong? I know that the bible states that you will not believe or worship any other Gods than the one true God. But do we honestly know this for a fact? The answer is no, we don’t, we depend on our faith and the teachings of our scriptures to guide us thru a life full of good and bad, ups and downs, etc. We are not perfect, we cannot expect everyone else to be perfect and we have to be understanding and respectful towards other religions.
    Religious background should not disqualify someone for the highest office in this country; we are all Americans from different backgrounds and beliefs. Our differences in religion does not make some lesser or more Americans than others, we are all Americans and we all have on belief, United we stand strong and with the help of our faith we will always stand. What really gets to me are some of these so called religious types who only pick a couple of scriptures here and there to back up their little points of view, when God accepts everyone regardless; not just s few.

    God bless America and enlighten those who preach his words without really understanding them.

  4. Rick Osborne on Thu, 20th Nov 2008 4:05 pm 

    Sgt Rayray, thanks for your comments. I’m a little confused as to whether you are agreeing with my post or taking me to task on several issues. I would like to respond clearly to one thing though. I am not anti Obama and I do not agree with people who are stuck on calling him a Muslim even though he states that he’s a Christian. Even if he was a Muslim though, I don’t believe that fact gives anyone the right to discredit or demean him. He’s the President Elect of the USA and we should be praying for him. My only point in my blog is that when each one of us (as Christians) personally weigh the issues in our hearts before we vote we should consider Jesus’ words, “Seek first the Kingdom of God and His righteousness,”.

  5. ken desjarlais on Sun, 23rd Nov 2008 8:29 am 

    well, i am anti obama, and for good reason.
    if one propogates and favors abortions as well as eliminates funding for crisis centers for unwed pregnant young woman who are confused, then stand up for your beliefs and don’t sugar coat blogs with pontificating fluff. pray for him all we can, but my vote he would not receive.
    btw please keep this entry posted in the future, it shows that you are an openminded tolerant christian with no bias and a regard for opinions, thx rick

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