There is a lot of pressure to “do your civic duty” and vote. People will tell you if you don’t vote it’s like throwing away your freedoms. Others say that a non-vote is a vote for the other side—typically whichever side they are not voting for. It is an individual choice on whether or not to vote in the upcoming elections, but for me, the reasons not to get involved outweigh the reasons in favor of it.
Don’t misunderstand me, I do have opinions on the candidates who are running, and I often have to restrain myself so that I don’t get caught up in the racket of it all. Although, that is one of the problems. If I allow myself to get caught up in it, then my attentions are drawn away from where they need to be. We are told to look to Jesus (Hebrews 12:2 Hebrews 12:2Looking to Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.
American King James Version×). It is important to remember that the leadership and Kingdom I seek is not of this world and is unshakable (Hebrews 12:27-28 Hebrews 12:27-28 27 And this word, Yet once more, signifies the removing of those things that are shaken, as of things that are made, that those things which cannot be shaken may remain. 28 Why we receiving a kingdom which cannot be moved, let us have grace, whereby we may serve God acceptably with reverence and godly fear:
American King James Version×). We are told, “But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be given to you” (Matthew 6:33 Matthew 6:33But seek you first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added to you.
American King James Version×Modern English Version throughout).
For every single talking-point I might like, there are always others that are completely against my beliefs. How could I choose someone that would inevitably choose to do things that are in opposition to what God would choose?
Relationships and God’s way
While Christians are often criticized for their beliefs, we can also create more strife by being involved with the political system. People become very emotionally involved, so much so that they have come to blows over differing opinions. Over the years I have found if I side with any candidate’s political stance overall I inevitably upset someone. This can lead to, at the very least, a heated conversation, and at the most, a long-lasting animosity between myself and the other person. Do I want to damage my relationships with others over politics? This can happen with friends, family, and fellow church members. We all have varying views on aspects of life, but we should never strive to create division.
As a Christian, I am taught to love my neighbor as myself (Leviticus 19:18 Leviticus 19:18You shall not avenge, nor bear any grudge against the children of your people, but you shall love your neighbor as yourself: I am the LORD.
American King James Version×, Matthew 23:39 Matthew 23:39For I say to you, You shall not see me from now on, till you shall say, Blessed is he that comes in the name of the Lord.
American King James Version×, Mark 12:31 Mark 12:31And the second is like, namely this, You shall love your neighbor as yourself. There is none other commandment greater than these.
American King James Version×). Although Christians are sometimes attacked for their beliefs, because I am to love my neighbor, I do not want to create any other circumstances that make my relationships more tenuous. Jesus stated the greatest commandments: “’You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your strength, and with all your mind’ and ‘your neighbor as yourself.’” It is difficult to show love to one who is offended (Proverbs 18:17-19 Proverbs 18:17-19 17 He that is first in his own cause seems just; but his neighbor comes and searches him. 18 The lot causes contentions to cease, and parts between the mighty. 19 A brother offended is harder to be won than a strong city: and their contentions are like the bars of a castle.
American King James Version×).
While we may want to vote for the person that most reflects our godly beliefs, there is no earthly person that can fulfill the true need. If we are told to preach the gospel of the Kingdom of God to all people (Matthew 10:7 Matthew 10:7And as you go, preach, saying, The kingdom of heaven is at hand.
American King James Version×, Acts 28:31 Acts 28:31Preaching the kingdom of God, and teaching those things which concern the Lord Jesus Christ, with all confidence, no man forbidding him.
American King James Version×), I cannot in good conscience promote or support a leader of any political party. For every single talking-point I might like, there are always others that are completely against my beliefs. How could I choose someone that would inevitably choose to do things that are in opposition to what God would choose?
We are told that we are ambassadors for Christ (2 Corinthians 5:20 2 Corinthians 5:20Now then we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God did beseech you by us: we pray you in Christ’s stead, be you reconciled to God.
American King James Version×). I cannot be an ambassador for Christ and also represent another leader. I must trust that God knows what is best and pray that His will be done (Matthew 6:10 Matthew 6:10Your kingdom come, Your will be done in earth, as it is in heaven.
American King James Version×). I also have to look at the Bible to guide me. One scripture states, “It is He who changes the times and the seasons; He removes kings and sets up kings; He gives wisdom to the wise and knowledge to those who know understanding” (Daniel 2:21 Daniel 2:21And he changes the times and the seasons: he removes kings, and sets up kings: he gives wisdom to the wise, and knowledge to them that know understanding:
American King James Version×, see also Romans 13:1 Romans 13:1Let every soul be subject to the higher powers. For there is no power but of God: the powers that be are ordained of God.
American King James Version×).
If God sets up leaders according to His will, what makes me think I am any wiser? God’s plan may indeed allow evil leaders to be in higher positions. Scripture shows that it happened in Israel. Bad kings rose and fell according to how little or how much the people were staying on course with God. He allowed evil kings to rise to power or kingdoms to fail. When the people remembered their God He often restored a loving king to lead them.
For me, throwing support behind a government leader is saying that I don’t trust God’s leadership. God says we should be different (Romans 12:2 Romans 12:2And be not conformed to this world: but be you transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.
American King James Version×). We are to be preaching the gospel and being citizens of heaven. “But our citizenship is in heaven, from where also we await for our Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ” (Philippians 3:20 Philippians 3:20For our conversation is in heaven; from where also we look for the Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ:
American King James Version×).