Christians and the Right to Vote

Many Christians are loath to participate in the political process. Some write it off, espousing the notion that voting is a fruitless waste of time. Others say it’s all in the Lord’s hands. What will be, will be. I leave it with Him.

Rising above these camps is Jesus’ admonition, “Render therefore to Caesar” our obligation to secular governments (Mt. 22:21). Furthermore, Romans 13 specifically instructs believers on their responsibilities to secular powers “appointed by God” (v. 1):

Therefore you must be subject, not only because of wrath but also for conscience’ sake. For because of this you also pay taxes, for they are God’s ministers attending continually to this very thing. Render therefore to all their due: taxes to whom taxes are due, customs to whom customs, fear to whom fear, honor to whom honor (vv. 5–7).

High on the list of blessings God has bestowed on free societies is the right to participate in government. We have a say in how we are governed and by whom, which gives us an ability to influence our culture.

In scores of countries, such is not the case. Rulers dictate, and the ruled obey—or else. America is different. However, the country’s problems of the hour—an intoxication with affluence and a preoccupation with self-gratification—have led to an abdication of responsibility.

Consequently, the void created by indifference and neglect in both Christian and responsible secular circles has been filled by radical minorities that have imposed (often through laws) onerous, destructive practices threatening the survival of freedom, morality, and a just social order.

Yet throwing up our hands and opting out are not options. Whether we like it or not, we are already in. The only question is how we will be counted.

Perhaps you haven’t noticed, but the forces that oppose everything we stand for have already dragged us into a war of their creation. Bible believers—or, if you wish, evangelicals—have been tagged and targeted as the disruptive drag that must be removed from the scene because it hinders progress toward social liberation and radicalized government.

Indeed, the current anti-Christian crusade is one of the most blatant political bullying campaigns in the nation’s history. If you like being depicted as the most despicable species of vermin on the planet, do nothing—opt out. But remember that in so doing, your non-vote is a yes to those who oppose our freedom to exercise our faith in a nation that is still “under God.”

The phrase for God and country is often associated with patriots who, in the words of President Abraham Lincoln at Gettysburg, “gave the last full measure of devotion.” Theirs was given to preserve our fundamental right as Americans “to Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness,” as stated in the U.S. Declaration of Independence. These are not expressions that were intended to be fodder for ridicule or for snickering, late-night comedians’ tasteless diatribes. They are words imbued with self-sacrifice, devotion, and conviction. We have been gifted as none before us with a nation worth dying for.

Politicians may inspire, disappoint, or make promises they have no power or intent to deliver. But in the end, good or bad, that fact is beside the point. We have the ultimate weapon in the arsenal of the free: the right to vote.

It is the people who patiently stand in lines to cast their ballots who will shape the future for us, our children, and all who follow. In a way, it is our personal “full measure of devotion” for whom and what we love. Your appearance at the polls is a privilege and solemn obligation. Vote!

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