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The Christian Vote: How Should Christians Vote?

Updated on November 9, 2012

Should Christians Vote Republican, Democrat or Third Party?

Every two years in America, we have the privilege to vote to elect leaders who will shape the direction our country takes on many important issues. For Christians, the decisions made when voting are impacted, or should be, by the teachings of the Bible. Some issues are not cut and dry, and some are those on which the Bible provides clear direction.

This lens will focus on the question of how Christians should vote and includes information presented during a recent sermon by my pastor. I believe he gave sound Biblical counsel and presented facts objectively. If you as a Christian reader disagree, I would encourage you to open your Bible for further study and ask the Lord to speak to your heart on the topic.

[Photo used under Creative Commons by League of Women Voters of California]

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Vote Based on Biblical Values, Not Republican, Democrat, or Other Political Party

I used to affiliate with a particular political party, until this election. I have seen how the two major parties have their problems and decided it best to identify myself as Independent.

When my pastor preached on this topic, he stated that our allegiance as Christians is to God, not a political party. Therefore, it was his opinion and recommendation that Christians be Independent and not focus on party, but on the issues and which party platform and candidate stance most closely aligns with your Biblical values.

"You were bought at a price; do not become slaves of human beings." 1 Corinthians 7:23

The Foundation

Before getting into the issues, we must understand as a foundation what is at stake when we vote. The Bible says, "Blessed is the nation whose God is the Lord, the people he chose for his inheritance." America has been abundantly blessed by God.

The Bible also says, "If at any time I announce that a nation or kingdom is to be uprooted, torn down and destroyed, and if that nation I warned repents of its evil, then I will relent and not inflict on it the disaster I had planned. And if at another time I announce that a nation or kingdom is to be built up and planted, and if it does evil in my sight and does not obey me, then I will reconsider the good I had intended to do for it."

We know our country is suffering, probably across the board on every front: spiritually, morally, economically and relationally. This could be our warning from the Lord.

Proverbs 29:2 tells us, "When the righteous increase, the people rejoice, but when the wicked rule, the people groan." And from Isaiah 9:15-17, we read about wicked leaders and preachers leading the people astray, resulting in God turning his back on the nation:

"the elder and honored man is the head, and the prophet who teaches lies is the tail; for those who guide this people have been leading them astray, and those who are guided by them are swallowed up. Therefore the Lord does not rejoice over their young men, and has no compassion on their fatherless and widows, for everyone is godless and an evildoer, and every mouth speaks folly. For all this his anger has not turned away, and his hand is stretched out still."

While we have a strong, godly heritage in our founding, through the years we have allowed ourselves to be led astray, as influences have chipped away at the very things that have made us a strong and blessed nation. To print "In God we trust," but to allow leaders of our country to enact policies that suggest otherwise is hypocrisy. "The Lord says: 'These people come near to me with their mouth and honor me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me. Their worship of me is based on merely human rules they have been taught.'" (Isaiah 29:13)

Every two years, we have a choice as to which direction America will take, based on which leaders we elect to help lead us and shape the legislation in our country. With the depth of troubles we are facing, it could always be our last chance before we invite God's judgment.

The Issues

People consider a wide array of issues when voting in elections. It has been said that the economy is the issue that will ultimately decide this election. With recent chaos in the Middle East and problems over what happened in Benghazi, one must wonder how much of a role foreign policy will end up playing at the ballot box.

While many issues pertinent to the politics in our country aren't necessarily "black and white" issues when it comes to what the Bible has to say about them, there are two that God is clear with us about in Scripture:

The Sanctity of Life and Marriage.

Proverbs 6:16-17 says, "There are six things that the Lord hates, seven that are an abomination to him: haughty eyes, a lying tongue, and hands that shed innocent blood..." And then Exodus 21:22-25 says, "When men strive together and hit a pregnant woman, so that her children come out, but there is no harm, the one who hit her shall surely be fined, as the woman's husband shall impose on him, and he shall pay as the judges determine. But if there is harm, then you shall pay life for life, eye for eye, tooth for tooth, hand for hand, foot for foot, burn for burn, wound for wound, stripe for stripe."

And regarding marriage, we read in Romans 1:18-27: "The wrath of God is being revealed from heaven against all the godlessness and wickedness of people, who suppress the truth by their wickedness, since what may be known about God is plain to them, because God has made it plain to them. For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature—have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that people are without excuse.

For although they knew God, they neither glorified him as God nor gave thanks to him, but their thinking became futile and their foolish hearts were darkened. Although they claimed to be wise, they became fools and exchanged the glory of the immortal God for images made to look like a mortal human being and birds and animals and reptiles.

Therefore God gave them over in the sinful desires of their hearts to sexual impurity for the degrading of their bodies with one another. They exchanged the truth about God for a lie, and worshiped and served created things rather than the Creator—who is forever praised. Amen.

Because of this, God gave them over to shameful lusts. Even their women exchanged natural sexual relations for unnatural ones. In the same way the men also abandoned natural relations with women and were inflamed with lust for one another. Men committed shameful acts with other men, and received in themselves the due penalty for their error."

Even though 38 states have fetal homicide laws, every day babies' lives are being taken during abortions, and we know there is an effort by activists to legalize gay marriage, thus redefining it forever.

Proverbs 14:34 tells us, "Righteousness exalts a nation, but sin condemns any people." We are heading for condemnation if we do not adjust our course.

Where do the candidates stand on these two issues?

Whether the next election focuses on Congressional, Presidential or local races, it is always a good idea to familiarize yourself with where they stand on the issues. I believe the best way to do this is through their websites, and if they have been serving in public office to check their voting record. It is important to find the actual voting records rather than listening to what is being said by the candidates, pundits or the media.

I find some of the language and political jargon difficult to understand at times, and when this happens, I go to people in my life who I respect and who have the same values I do to get clarification.

Don't just vote; Get involved!

The earlier you can decide which candidate you want to support, the more time you will have to get involved with their campaign, if you so choose. I know that a lot of people shy away from involvement in politics at any level for a variety of reasons.

I am not here to criticize that decision or preference, but I would ask you, if you are one of those, to think about the kind of country America might become if everyone felt this way. Our future would be left only to those who with political ambition, whether for good or evil. And as we know, even those who may have good intentions are not necessarily best to lead us.

I have much more to say and resources to offer on this topic, but it is leading away from the topic on which this particular lens focuses. So I will be publishing a lens with more information on how you can get involved at various levels in politics in the near future. America needs more of her citizens invested in her future.

[Image used under Creative Commons by mrsdkrebs]

But Should Christians Vote for a Mormon?

If our goal as Christians is to have our nation governed by Biblical principles, wouldn't we want to vote for a Christian leader? This is a natural assumption and question that has been discussed, particular during the 2012 election cycle.

With strict regard to faith alone, we know that President Obama has said he is a Christian. We also know that Governor Romney ran in the most recent Presidential race in 2012 as a Mormon.

The problem with President Obama's profession that he is a Christian is that, clearly, his policies, as stated on his website, www.barackobama.com, on the issues of life and marriage do not align with what the Bible teaches.

We can see that while Governor Romney is a Mormon, identified by Christian leaders and many in the Christian faith as a cult, his platform regarding the issues of life and marriage, which had been set forth to shape his policies as President, aligned with Christian values.

I understand there are many other issues that can be discussed and debated, but for the sake of this discussion, we are focusing on those two issues, since they are cut and dry as to what the Bible teaches.

In closing, I will share the illustration my pastor used to bring clarity and perspective to the contrast in choice between the two main candidates who ran for President in 2012. He asked us to imagine that he had just learned from his doctor that he had cancer. Surgery was being recommended as a part of the treatment. When considering his options in selecting a surgeon, he said his first thought would not be, "I'm going to find a Christian surgeon," but rather, "I'm going to find the best surgeon." He pointed out the surgeon might be of a different faith, but if his skills and practices in the medial profession were of highest standards, he would be praying for God's guidance and direction over the operation. On the flip side, if he was a professing Christian surgeon with a history of malpractice, the faith he associates himself with doesn't mean a whole lot for the patient who needs surgery.

Personally, I see a lot of similarities between that illustration and the choice voters faced at the voting booth in November 2012. I agree wholeheartedly with what my pastor said about being very glad in 2008 that America made history in showing the world that race is not a barrier in electing our President. Our country has come a long way. But at each election we must evaluate where the country stands and who is best to lead us into the next four years.

I pray that we as Christians make wise voting choices and humble ourselves before God in true repentance individually and corporately.

Psalm 111:10 says, "The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom; all who follow his precepts have good understanding."

"If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you." James 1:5

"... if my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin and will heal their land." 2 Chronicles 7:14

Our land desperately needs healing.

It's your turn to share, respectfully, please, your thoughts!

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    • TheChefsWife profile image
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      TheChefsWife 5 years ago

      @PatriciaLogan: I agree with you, PatriciaLogan. People get so caught up in the emotion and sometimes say things that, as believers, should not be said. I do think that the passion they have for the country and disgust with the way things have been going also take over. We absolutely need to continue praying, most of all, trusting in God and staying involved as much as possible.

    • profile image

      PatriciaLogan 5 years ago

      I love the way that you put the contents of this lens, and could not agree more. What I am having a problem with after the election is when Christians who disagree with the results call the winner names like son of Satan (just read that on FB). Now is not the time to call names but pray that God will give The President wisdom to make the right decisions for this country. I would have to say when a Christian say things like that, they are are just as bad as the non-believer. You are not brings souls to Christ with attitude like that.

    • TheChefsWife profile image
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      TheChefsWife 5 years ago

      @DeboraR: Thank you, DeboraR. Absolutely... I agree with you 100% that the only wasted vote is not-voting at all. I am not liking the stats coming out of the election of the numbers of registered voters who did not vote, and we know the issue of the number of Americans registered to vote. We really need to work on this in this country!

    • TheChefsWife profile image
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      TheChefsWife 5 years ago

      @LornsA178: Thanks for your thoughts on this. I just updated the lens now that, as you say, the election is indeed over. A lot of the information will be applicable in every election cycle, so I hope this lens will be helpful far into the future.

    • DeboraR profile image

      DeboraR 5 years ago

      I couldn't agree more with the contents and intent of this lens! I know some Christians who've lost perception during this election. I've never known so many to base their choice of candidate on their spiritual state. Now that the election is over, it is what it is, we are to still put our trust in God and not man. I was asked after the election if I'd wasted my vote, to which I answered, "My vote would've been wasted had I not voted at all."

    • LornsA178 profile image

      LornsA178 5 years ago

      The election is over with, I voted bearing my values in mind. Christian should vote according to what the Bible teaches. I love your Pastor's Illustration on choosing a candidate. I wish our church was bold enough to tackle this issue. The "Christian" president took office again, now our role is to pray for him fervently that God will change his heart. What a great lens to have here. Thanks!

    • TheChefsWife profile image
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      TheChefsWife 5 years ago

      @PaigSr: Definitely important to vote and it's such a shame that so many Americans do not appreciate and exercise!

    • PaigSr profile image

      PaigSr 5 years ago from State of Confussion

      Its not so much who you should vote for as you should get out there and vote. My saying is Think - Pray - Vote

    • TheChefsWife profile image
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      TheChefsWife 5 years ago

      @Wakerra LM: Thank you for sharing your thoughts! I enjoy hearing what other people think even on controversial topics and even if I disagree. But it is always nice to converse with those of like-mind.

    • Wakerra LM profile image

      Wakerra LM 5 years ago

      Modern English bible references I see! very nice. I guess I've just gotten used to the classic olde English feel of things.

      I whole heartedly agree, it shouldn't be about sides, red vs blue colors, or fancy titles that decide who we support, but it should be about values and experience. I like your pastors analogy, that was really clever! I'll have to share that around