Is a Christian obligated to vote?

With the upcoming elections, there are many people who are arguing about who we should vote for and why for the office of president of the USA. Some people claim that Christians are not to be involved in politics and voting is optional, not an obligation. I would like to take a look at the Word of God and see if a Christian is obligated to vote or not and if the Bible teaches us for whom to cast our votes.

I would like to observe two passages from the New Testament, written by the Apostle Paul. The two passages are Romans 13:1-7 and I Timothy 2:1-4.

I. What we learn about rulers and authorities

This helps us understand for whom we need to cast our vote, or the principles that we vote for (not the party). Let’s make a simple list of what we learn in Romans.

  • the authority that they have comes from God (we are to respect their position because it is a sign of respect to God), v:1
  • God establishes all authority (God allows all leaders to get the position that they have, even the bad ones), v:1
  • their position is an ordinance (law) from God (He is the One who establishes leadership and authority for a society), v:2
  • they are not to cause the people to fear (unless the people do evil, they are to reward good behavior, they are to praise those who do good,), v:3
  • they are to punish evil at all times (those who do evil and break the law should always know that they will be punished by the authorities no matter what they do and how they try to get out of it), v:3
  • they are to praise good behavior, v:3
  • they are to serve God in their positions (they are to be true believers, followers of Jesus Christ in name and deed), v:4
  • they are to do what is good (they are not to be corrupt in any way), v:4
  • they must punish all forms of evil, v:4
  • they bear the sword (that is, they are to carry out punishment, punishing the guilty instead of protecting them), v:4
  • they are to bring wrath upon the one who does evil, (2nd offender rapists should not exist etc.)
    , v:4
  • once again, they are to be servants of God (they are to use their positions as leaders to serve God by serving the people whom they lead), v:6
  • they are to be devoted to serving instead of being served, v:6

Now let’s take a look at I Timothy.

  • they are to help the people whom they serve lead a quiet and tranquil life, v:2
  • they are to promote a lifestyle of godliness and dignity, v:2
  • they are to desire that all people be saved (they are to allow the preaching of the Gospel in the public square), v:4
  • they are to desire and promote the study of the Bible in public (even in public schools), v:4

These are the type of people we are to vote for if we claim to be Christians. Are you a Christian? Do you vote for people like this or do you vote based on other criteria? This is what the Bible teaches and as a believer, we are obligated to vote according to these principles for every election.

II. The believers attitude toward leaders and voting

Now I would like to take a look at the Christian’s obligation to vote and his attitude toward those in power. We will start with Romans again.

  • we are to be subject to those in leadership (we are to respect and obey them), v:1
  • we are to recognize their authority and position as coming from God
  • we are to respect God’s choice of allowing the person to have authority over us (even if we did not vote for that person), v:1
  • we are not to resist their authority, v:2
  • know that there is punishment for disobeying their authority, v:2
  • we are to have good behavior, v:3
  • we are not to fear authority, v:3
  • we are to do what is right, v:3
  • we are to expect praise for doing what is right (that will cause us to want to do good more often), v:3
  • we are to view our leaders as ministers of God, v:4
  • we are to view our leaders as being there for our own good, v:4
  • we are not to do what is evil, v:4
  • we should expect punishment for evil, v:4
  • we must see subjection as a necessity, v:5
  • we must be subject in order to have a clear conscience, v:5
  • we are to pay taxes, v:6
  • we are to honor our leaders, v:7

Now let’s turn to I Timothy.

  • we are to pray for our  leaders (no matter which one wins), v:1
  • we are to vote for the leaders  who will let us lead a tranquil and quiet life, v:2
  • we are to vote for the leaders  who will desire all men to be saved, v:4
  • we are to vote for the ones who desire for all to come to the knowledge of the Truth, v:4

So, in conclusion, we see that God instituted the state with the purpose of protecting the citizens. Those citizens who have good behavior should be praised and protected. The state and leaders is God’s idea so we are obligated to be subject to the state as well as obligated to vote in the upcoming elections. If we follow God’s principles in voting then we will be able to live a quiet and tranquil life, being protected from those who are evil. The evil people within the society will be punished. We should be subject to the people’s choice because the person in position gains his position by the will of God. If we do not vote, then we go against God’s will. He wants us to vote for His principles. We are to vote for those who have good behavior, those who will punish evil, those who will praise good behavior, and protect the innocent. They are to desire that all men be saved. They are to allow the Bible to be taught in the public square. We need to pray for the leaders, no matter who is chosen. Christians cannot vote for people who contradict the Word of God in word or deed. We cannot vote for those who do evil. We cannot vote for those who do not punish evil. Are you ready to vote according to God’s principles?

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2 comments on “Is a Christian obligated to vote?

  1. You point out that Christians cannot vote for people who contradict the Word of God. I know that none of us is perfect, but how can I vote for those who profess NOT to be a Christian?

    • Would a person who is not a Christian desire that all man come to the knowledge of salvation? We are clearly told to vote for those who desire that all men would come to the knowledge of salvation. According to the criteria laid out in Romans and Timothy, it is clear that we are to vote for Christians.

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