How Would Jesus Vote?
© 10.25.10 By D. Eric Williams
This article appeared in the October 28 edition of the Cottonwood Chronicle
Its been awhile since I've seen a WWJD bracelet. They used to be ubiquitous, worn by men women and children from a broad spectrum of society. I can't say the fad had any real impact - except perhaps on the bank account of whoever came up with the idea in the first place. It's too bad more people didn't take the inquiry to heart. After all, it is a good question to ask – often. Including the moment we step into the voting booth.
There are folks who get hot under the collar when someone suggests Jesus is concerned with how we vote. Yet, only people who don't know much about the Bible say Jesus doesn't care about politics. For instance, Paul told the church in Rome the governing authorities are appointed by God and are his ministers (diakonos, often translated as deacon), called to commend law abiding citizens and execute judgment on malefactors (Romans 13:1-7). As ministers of God and the Christ, civil authorities are bound to submit to the Lord. If not, He who sits in the heavens shall laugh; The LORD shall hold them in derision. Then He shall speak to them in His wrath, And distress them in His deep displeasure (Psalms 2:4-5).
Christians need to keep these things in mind when casting their vote. As Believers, we must vote for the candidate who best exemplifies a life submitted to Christ. Granted, we are often limited to choosing between the lesser of two evils, but there are certain things we cannot ignore when preparing to put our mark on the ballot.
For instance, no Christian should endorse a candidate who supports abortion. He may claim he is personally against the practice, but if he represents a political party that promotes pro-death policy, then he is not someone a Christian can back (cf. Proverbs 24:10-12 and so on).
Additionally, a disciple of the Christ should always vote for candidates who advocate individual freedom and responsibility. There are legitimate functions of civil government that limit personal liberty to some degree, but the biblical norm is self government under God (cf. 1 Kings 4:25, Micah 4:4, Romans 14:4, James 4:11-12 and so on). A political philosophy that seeks to circumscribe the freedom and duty of the individual must not enjoy the support of Christians.
But what about our obligation to the poor and downtrodden? Shouldn't Christians throw their weight behind candidates who recommend government programs that spread the wealth around? Actually, the Bible says otherwise. Scripture instructs us to perform charitable acts as individuals or as voluntary corporate organizations. There is no biblical support for the view civil government should care for indigent members of society. One piece of evidence supporting individual initiative in welfare is the absence of biblically mandated civil sanctions for the failure to be charitable (cf. Exodus 22:25-27, Leviticus 25:35-38, Deuteronomy 15:7-15).
The bottom line is, all authority in heaven and on earth is in the hands of Jesus the Christ (Matthew 28:18-20). Therefore, Believers are supposed to do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, heartily, as to the Lord and not to men (Colossians 3:17, 23). And all things includes how we vote.