Should Christians vote?

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Does the Bible allow Christians to VOTE? On the other hand, should they just sit on the sidelines and not become involved? Does God allow believers to become active participants in the political affairs of where they live in order to make a better world? Do their responsibilities as those who are called and chosen include arranging protests, campaigning for others, organizing for or against a particular law, and so on?

A realistic way Christians can always judge whether they should do something, such as deciding to vote or not, is to ask what Jesus would do. The apostle John once wrote, "Anyone who claims to dwell in Him (Jesus Christ) is obligating himself also to walk even as He Himself walked" (1John 2:6, HBFV throughout). The "what would Jesus do" admonishment is solidly based on Scripture.

So, would Jesus vote? Moreover, if He did, whom would He choose? Would he choose a CHRISTIAN? Would He be willing to choose the "lesser evil" of whoever is running for office, since no political candidate or party is perfect? Can we imagine Him taking sides on the myriad of contentious issues that drive the politics of most nations? On the other hand, would He stand apart from the world and proclaim a different way?

On trial for His life, Jesus told Roman Prefect Pontius Pilate the following when asked whether he was the King of the Jews.

"My kingdom is not of this world. If My kingdom were of this world, then would My servants fight, so that I might not be delivered up to the Jews. However, My kingdom is not of this world" (John 18:36, HBFV)

Since Jesus proclaimed that His followers would not fight to save Him from an unjust execution because His kingdom (God's government) was not derived from this world, then why should Christians be so eager to get involved in politics such as trying to vote? This world is clearly deceived by Satan and lies under his power at least for the time being (Revelation 12:9, 1John 5:19, see also Matthew 4:8 where he offers Jesus the kingdoms of the world).  

How can believers become mature Christians?
Could Paul vote in Roman elections?
What exactly is the kingdom of God?

Human governments cannot get rid of evil human nature, Satan's influence, or the corruption of this world's deceived civilizations. At his Second Coming, however, Christ will set up the kingdom of God on earth that will solve all the problems that human governments are incapable of resolving.

Here is something to ponder regarding the debate on whether to vote or not. Why is the Roman Catholic Church pictured as a great harlot "with whom the kings of the earth have committed fornication" (Revelation 17:2)? Medieval Europe experienced the union of church and state (professing Christians becoming intertwined with Europe's governments). Such a cooperative venture ended up corrupting both of them. Do believers think they can get involved in this world's politics without becoming contaminated by it?

Do believers have dual citizenship?

Those who argue that Christians should vote and that they have a "dual citizenship" in both heaven and earth ignore the implications of what the Bible says in Hebrews 11.

13. All these (Old Testament believers) died in faith, not having  received the promises, but having seen  them from afar, and having been persuaded  of them, and having embraced  them, and having confessed that they were strangers and sojourners on the earth . . . 

15. And if, on the one hand, they had let  their minds dwell fondly on the place  where they came from, they might have  had opportunity to return.  16. But now, on the other hand, they are  aspiring to a more excellent country -   that is, a heavenly one (Hebrews 11:13, 15-16, HBFV)

We are simply not full "citizens" of this world if we really believe that the next life is far more important than this one. In addition, if God considers us spiritually to be "legal aliens" in our nations in any sense that becomes literal, not just metaphorical, then we are not full citizens of earthly nations. A believer's citizenship is in heaven (Philippians 3:20), hence, our national loyalty is strictly secondary to our religious identity as ambassadors for Christ (2Corinthians 5:20).

How are leaders chosen?

We should not believe that the duties or rights of earthly citizenship require Christians to participate in the political process such as choosing who rules a nation or sets its laws. In spite of what the world believes, our vote does not bring certain people to power. It is God who sets up and removes leaders (Daniel 2:20). When He made Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon insane for seven years, the reason given for the punishment was the following.

. . . so that the living may  know that the Most High rules in the kingdom of men, and gives it to whomever He will, and sets up over it the basest of men (Daniel 4:17).

What can we do?

Some politically related activity could be fine, such as writing letters to the editor of a newspaper condemning sinful activities or voicing our opinion on laws that would censor true believers. If a church is being publicly persecuted, it would be good for its members to protest those unjust laws publicly, such as when a government jails a church's ministers or members for obeying God instead of men (Acts 4:19, 5:29). Instead, however, of trying to change politics through a vote, Christians should have these goals.

Should Christians vote? Believers ought not to waste their time and energies on trying to fix a dying world through the ballot box. God wants His people to dedicate themselves exclusively to worshipping Him in spirit and truth, instead of incrementally trying to improve a system Satan dominates (2Corinthians 4:4). We need to proclaim to the world what are God's solutions to man's problems.

Additional Study Materials
How should we treat illegal aliens?
How can disagreements be handled among Christians?
Who gave their vote to condemn Jesus?
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