Have you ever considered not going to the polls on Election Day?
We might wonder if our individual vote matters, just as some Christians might wonder why we’re fighting the cultural battle since God has already won the war. But we have a mandate to be proactive when it comes to sharing the Gospel. Witnessing is one way God chose to save. We’re commissioned to go into the world and make disciples. We’re to be salt and light, preserving the world from evil and enhancing, or flavoring, the world through the Holy Spirit.
In that regard, Christians can and should try to shape the country in the right way and elect people whose values match our own. We don’t live in a theocracy and probably won’t ever see the “ideal” Christian run for office. I would vote for a conservative atheist over a liberal Christian, because I think the atheist’s policies on issues like abortion and marriage would align closer with biblical teachings. Ironic. We have to do our best with what we’ve got.
The late Chuck Colson, founder of Breakpoint, wrote about Christians and voting. While he wouldn’t endorse a candidate, he encouraged Christians to cast their ballots:
After weeks of hearing about the campaign nonstop, it’s not surprising some people suffer from Election Fatigue. I do. But it’s the duty of every citizen to study the issues and cast an informed vote. Think of all the Americans today who are in harm’s way right now, bringing freedom to the Iraqis so they can vote for their own leaders. Think of the ten million Afghans who just voted, some of them young women who had never had any rights before. If freedom is worth dying for, it is certainly worth voting for.
And Christians need to remember that voting is not only an act of good citizenship, it’s also our biblical duty. We all know that Christians are to submit themselves to the governing authorities (Romans 13). What we forget is that God uses His people as agents to help determine who the governing authorities will be. Just as in the Old Testament He sent Samuel out to pick his leaders, so He calls us in a free democratic society to choose, by our votes, the leaders He then ordains.
I vote because so many people before me sacrificed to make sure I could vote. I also I feel it’s my duty as a citizen and a Christian to participate, even if it’s just one little vote. I gladly submit to the idea, illusion or not, that I can make a difference.