As a Christian, you likely want to make voting decisions that align with biblical values and principles. But what exactly does the Bible say about politics and voting? There’s no straightforward command stating “thou shalt vote this way.” However, Scripture provides timeless truths that can guide us.
- Christians have a duty to participate in civil affairs and try to influence society for good.
- We should vote for candidates who will promote justice, protect life, and pursue moral policies.
- Scripture warns against complacency, corruption, oppression of the poor, and other social ills.
- Christians should thoughtfully weigh all issues rather than automatically voting for one party.
- Our ultimate hope is in Christ and His kingdom, not any political leader or party.
In this comprehensive guide, we’ll explore relevant biblical principles, examples, and warnings that can inform our approach to politics and voting as Christians today.
Christians Have a Duty to Participate in Civil Affairs
The Bible makes it clear that Christians have a responsibility to participate in civil affairs and try to influence society for good. In Jeremiah 29:7, God tells the exiled Israelites in Babylon: “And seek the peace of the city where I have caused you to be carried away captive, and pray to the Lord for it; for in its peace you will have peace.” They were to settle down and actively work for the welfare of the pagan city where God had placed them.
Likewise, we are called to work for the good of the communities where God has situated us, even if the prevailing culture opposes our values. We should strive to be engaged citizens promoting biblical principles in the public square.
The Apostle Paul affirms this in Romans 13:1-7, urging Christians to submit to governing authorities since they are established by God for our good. He calls us to conscientiously pay taxes and honor those in power. He also says rulers are God’s servants who bear the sword to execute wrath on wrongdoers. Clearly, Paul sees government as part of God’s plan and believers as needing to thoughtfully participate in society under its auspices.
Elsewhere, Paul urges prayers “for kings and all who are in authority, that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and reverence” (1 Timothy 2:2). He knew our quality of life depends on the character of civil leaders we help install through political participation.
Finally, Jesus says Christians are “the salt of the earth” and “the light of the world” (Matthew 5:13-16). Just as salt preserves food and light dispels darkness, the church must season society and illuminate it with godly virtues. Doing so includes advocating biblical principles in government. Sitting out of politics entirely disregards our societal influence.
We Should Support Candidates Who Promote Justice, Protect Life, and Pursue Moral Policies
Specific Bible passages shed light on the kinds of leaders and policies Christians should champion. For example, Proverbs 29:2 says, “When the righteous are in authority, the people rejoice.” We are called to uphold and elect qualified leaders devoted to just governance that allows citizens to flourish.
Similarly, Proverbs 29:4 states, “By justice a king gives a country stability.” Those in power are to enact fair and moral laws that produce an upright and stable nation. Therefore, Christians should vote for candidates who will best establish justice and order.
Elsewhere, Scripture calls civil authorities to protect innocent life. Romans 13:4 describes rulers as bearing the sword to bring punishment on wrongdoers. In a democratic republic like America, “rulers” are ultimately the elected officials voters install in office. Lawmakers enact policies that either condemn or condone practices like abortion which takes innocent life. Christians must vote pro-life.
Finally, 1 Timothy 2:1-2 tells us to pray for leaders who will allow a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and reverence. This implies voting for candidates who will promote conditions helping believers live out their faith and create a moral, principled culture honoring to God. We must elect leaders who will uphold biblical values.
Consider biblical accounts of leaders like Moses, Josiah, or David who strove for just and moral governance. Recall the unrighteous rules whose poor policies incurred God’s judgment. Israelites suffered when their kings fell into idolatry and corrupt rule. The Bible underscores how vital righteous rulers are for society.
Scripture Warns Against Complacency, Corruption, Oppression, and Other Social Ills
Beyond general principles of justice and morality, Scripture condemns specific societal sins and problems that should inform our politics. For example:
Complacency: “Curse those who do the Lord’s work negligently. Curse those who prevent justice in the courts” (Jeremiah 48:10). As citizens, we must be vigilant against government negligence and indifference.
Corruption: “When the godly are in authority, the people rejoice. But when the wicked are in power, they groan” (Proverbs 29:2). We must oppose electing unrighteous leaders who will abuse their office.
Oppression: “Open your mouth, judge righteously, and plead the cause of the poor and needy” (Proverbs 31:9). We cannot be indifferent to economic and social injustice. Rather, we must battle against forces oppressing the helpless.
Sexual Immorality: Scripture consistently condemns sexual sins like homosexuality (Leviticus 18:22; Romans 1:26-27), adultery (Exodus 20:14), and fornication (1 Corinthians 6:9-10). Laws allowing or promoting immorality violate timeless biblical standards of purity.
Abortion: God ordains all human life as sacred from conception (Psalm 139:13-16). Laws permitting abortion fail to protect the most vulnerable and innocent.
This list is not exhaustive but highlights prominent blind spots that can develop in our politics if we are not guided by biblical values. Christians must vote to promote godly agendas benefiting society.
Weigh All Issues Thoughtfully Rather Than Automatically Voting for One Party
With so many moral issues to weigh, Christian voters can fall into the trap of automatically supporting one party’s platform over another. However, we must carefully consider how all policies align with biblical values.
For example, a party may take commendable stances on abortion and religious liberty but also promote unbiblical positions on poverty or racial justice. Another party may display compassion toward the poor but support abortion rights and other immoral policies. We must look at the full spectrum of issues and how each candidate weighs them rather than simply voting our usual party affiliation.
Scripture warns us: “The prudent sees danger and hides himself, but the simple go on and suffer for it” (Proverbs 27:12). Ignorantly clinging to one side without weighing the merits of policies on each moral issue is foolishness. We must exercise biblical discernment and not be “simple” voters automatically supporting one camp. Carefully weigh whether each side’s stances – and a given candidate’s character and record – align with Scripture.
Our Ultimate Hope is in Christ and His Kingdom, Not Any Political Leader
It’s important to remember politics is not the panacea. During the earthly reign of evil kings like Manasseh and Ahab, God preserved the faithful. When believers like Daniel found themselves under ungodly rulers, they continued obeying God – even when it conflicted with the law.
No matter how righteous or corrupt society becomes, our calling remains the same: “But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness” (Matthew 6:33). The church’s mission is unchanged no matter who is in office. While we seek to influence society for good, we must keep our eyes fixed on advancing Christ’s Kingdom. The church has often thrived amidst persecution and turmoil. Our hope rests in the Lord, not shifting political circumstances.
Paul writes to Timothy: “I urge, first of all, that petitions, prayers, intercession and thanksgiving be made for all people – for kings and all those in authority, that we may live peaceful and quiet lives in all godliness and holiness” (1 Timothy 2:1-2). We can live quiet and peaceable lives even under flawed leaders. God remains in control. Our primary energy must focus on honorable living and gospel witness rather than obsessing over politics as the answer to society’s woes.
Yes, our leaders’ character and policies matter greatly. That’s why responsible Christian citizenship includes advocating for righteousness in the public square and electing officials who will best uphold justice and morality. However, we must never lose sight of the bigger picture. Our confidence is in Christ to sustain the church and hold all earthly rulers accountable. Keep politics in perspective even as you conscientiously fulfill your civic duties.
So in summary, what should you – as an Evangelical Christian – consider regarding politics and voting? Strive to elect leaders who will promote the justice, life, and moral policies reflective of biblical values. Yet also keep first things first by remembering our ultimate hope rests in Christ establishing His righteous Kingdom. Vote faithfully while living faithfully.