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Home Opinion How to Vote as a Christian

by Emily Sievert


No matter who is up for election, there will be no perfect option. However, this election in particular has given Christians a dilemma: How can I vote as a Christian if the choices may not be reflective of Christian values? Faced with this conflict, many may choose to shirk their duty as a voter, assuming no decision is better than being a part of the incorrect decision. Many may decide that, since no candidate is perfect, we can look past the blatant misdeeds of a candidate. Still others may forgo any internal dilemma by waiting for their party to decide for them.

Our vocation is multifaceted. Apathy forsakes our responsibility as citizens (1 Peter 2:13-17 and Matthew 17:24-27). Ignorance forsakes our responsibility as Christians (Ephesians 5:11-17 and 2 Timothy 3:1-5). You are first and foremost a Christian, not a Republican, Democrat or Libertarian (Philippians 3:20).

So what now? What do we do with all the different policies and contrasting ideas?

Most importantly, the Christian should consult Scripture. Ultimately, God is our judge, our lawgiver and king (Isaiah 33:22). God’s Word should be the guiding principle for everything in our lives, especially the tough choices (Proverbs 2:6; 3:5-6).In light of the issues, a Christian can then look at how a candidate’s plans and policies reflect God’s plan for a Christian life. While a candidate may not be a paragon of Christianity, we can still look at how his or her plans help us fulfill the vocation to which God has called us.

It is important to keep in mind that not all issues are created equal. Where Scripture is silent, we cannot cite Scripture as our motivation or justification. Yet the Word abundantly provides us with examples and statutes that we can apply to the ballot: God’s Word about life (Jeremiah 1:5 and Luke 12:6-7), caring for widows and children (Isaiah 1:17 and Psalms 82:3), humbling ourselves (Ephesians 4:2, Philippians 2:3 and Proverbs 11:2), serving others (Galatians 5:13 and Matthew 23:11) and responsible use of resources (Ecclesiastes 5:10, 1 Peter 4:10 and Ephesians 4:28).

Of course. it is also important to look at the financial and economic implications of each candidate, but this too can be informed by Scripture. Does the candidate represent plans for greed, abuse of funds and irresponsible spending? (Proverbs 13:11, Luke 3:14, 1 Timothy 6:17-19, Proverbs 10:4 and Titus 1:7-9)

Even with this approach, the task of voting can be daunting. Is there one right choice?

Again, we return to Scripture for other moments of uncertainty and turmoil: Israel as slaves in Egypt (Exodus 1:11), Israel demanding another king (1 Samuel 8), Israel scattered in the Babylonian exile (1 Chronicles 9:1) and Christ condemned to die on a cross.

Through all these events and through all history, God’s plan for salvation never wavered. God led the Israelites out of Egypt. He worked through kings both righteous and evil to bless his people. He brought his people back together and gave the hope of the Messiah.

Ultimately, no grave, no evil, no bad leaders and no chains could hold Christ down. The evil of the world will never be enough to strip us of our Savior. He reigns above “all rule and authority, power and dominion, and every name that is invoked” (Ephesians 1:21). All authority is given by God (Romans 13:1). While He does not sanction evil, He can work through all things to bring good, as He promises (Romans 8:28).

If we looked to the candidates for salvation, our future would indeed be grim. But as we approach this election, Christians can be comforted knowing who truly holds our future in His hands (John 10:28).

“In this world you will have trouble, but take heart! For I have overcome the world” (John 16:33).


More in our coverage of the 2016 presidential election:

Why I’m Voting for Donald Trump

Why I’m Voting for Hillary Clinton

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