Voting exercises one’s opinion and choice of support for one side of an issue, or the election of an individual, group, or entity for specific appointments. An individual’s associations (I Corinthians 15:33) and actions (Luke 6:44) can give a good indication about what he supports with his votes. Consider a person who gambles. It makes logical sense he would likely vote to enable more gambling. If a person hangs around bookies and casinos, the likeliness of him voting in support of a gambling related measure would be high. Also consider a person who overtly supports drug use. Others observed him using drugs in the past on numerous occasions. How likely would it be that he would vote to legalize drug use? Quickly drawn conclusions come from lifestyle behaviors of individuals. Inversely, based on the way an individual votes, assumptions are often made about the voter’s lifestyle and morality. Since Christians strive not to be conformed to the world, but individuals transformed (Romans 12:1-2), light bearers (Matthew 5:16), and watchmen (I Thessalonians 5:4-6), the way they cast their votes should be done with great discernment knowing that the Will of God stands as their priority (Matthew 6:33). Christians want to look to the scriptures on how they should vote so they can vote with the authority of God and not strengthen the hand of evil doers (Jeremiah 23:14).
Moral issue voting typically stands most simple for a Christian to engage in according to God’s authority. Abortion, homosexuality, drug and alcohol legislation, gambling, prostitution: the verdict from God clearly says they cannot be supported. Not that all moral issues represent clear cut decisions. Debates involving the topic of capital punishment, military service, home defense, and others continue to involve significant energy by Christians. A more confounding situation relates to the election of representatives for the people. A representative serves to represent the values of the people who elect him. Representatives campaign prior to their election about what they will accomplish if voted into the offices they desire. Their associations, actions, and voting record typically come under close scrutiny. Christians acknowledge the fact they the potential representatives, like themselves, have engaged or will engage in sinful behavior (Romans 3:23). Like any office or position that someone undertakes, the greater the relationship to their sinful behavior and the position the more of a concern it represents. For instance, in filling the position of county assayer, a man’s support of abortion has no bearing on his function. He cannot unilaterally or by leadership enact legislation furthering the practice of abortion. Quite the opposite, if the same man desires to fill the position of President of the United States, the impact represents a great concern. Barack Hussein Obama’s record made it clear he supported abortion when running for President of the United States in 2008. Many Christians voted for him knowing this. His first month in office he forced tax payers to pay a portion of 457 million dollars to support abortions in other nations. Thousands of babies died horribly with full foreknowledge of American Christians. The question at hand in this article relates to whether or not Christians commit any sin at all when voting for a representative they believe can and will through the otherwise unavailable power of their position act without the authority of God. Remember, a vote for something or someone by definition represents support.
First, the faithful of God serve as watchmen to others. This principle can be seen in Ezekiel 33:7-8: “So thou, O son of man, I have set thee a watchman unto the house of Israel; therefore thou shalt hear the word at my mouth, and warn them from me. When I say unto the wicked, O wicked man, thou shalt surely die; if thou dost not speak to warn the wicked from his way, that wicked man shall die in his iniquity; but his blood will I require at thine hand.” This concept repeats in passages like Jude 1:23 in the New Testament. As an obligation, Christians must share the truth of the gospel to the world (Matthew 28:18-20). Sometimes this means encouragement, other times, it means admonishment. Whatever the situation, the worst action is no action. The Corinthian Christians did this in I Corinthians 5 allowing sin to go on without warning. The Laodicean Christians also did nothing (Revelation 3:14-22). At the current state in time, America boasts two leading candidates for the office of President. They represent two parties, but not all the parties. When Election Day comes they will not be the only candidates for whom to vote. Yet, many Christians find themselves afraid of the future. They currently identify the man in the White House (Barack Hussein Obama – one of the two leading candidates) as using his power for sin. They loudly proclaim this. The leading second candidate, Mitt Romney, boasts a record full of support for abortion, homosexuality, homosexual adoption, transgenderism, stem cell research, rejecting the defense of Marriage Act, and has refused on occasions to be identified with pro-life groups or as pro-life. While Romney declares he has changed his mind on some of the positions, voters show concern over his associations, actions, and voting record. Unfortunately, many Christians currently choose not to sound the warning trumpet. James 4:17, “Therefore, to one who knows the right thing to do, and does not do it, to him it is sin.” Not by opinion, but by the Word of God, the authority of scripture says these Christians commit sin by their inaction. Consider this: If a watchmen trumpets a warning, does he then support the enemy by opening the gates for them? Why would a Christian who should be sounding a warning open the gate for abuse of the power God gave government officials? Can such a Christian not be held culpable?
Second, regarding earthly choices remember a spiritual option always exists. Frequently in politics as in life, when a decision must be made, two options are said to exist: “Pepsi or Coke”, “Steak or Ground Beef”, “Peas or broccoli”. Yet, other options exist: 7-Up, chicken, corn or no thank you. Media and others attempt to frame America’s presidential race into a must choose between one of two options framework though other options will always exist. The common statement usually stated: “You must choose between the lesser of two evils”. Scriptural authority does not exist for such an idea. All knees will bow before Jesus (Philippians 2:10). They will be judged by His Word (John 12:48). Since the Words of Jesus are the only option for action hear Jesus declare Matthew 6:23-24 –“But if thine eye be evil, thy whole body shall be full of darkness. If therefore the light that is in thee be darkness, how great is that darkness! No man can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and mammon.” No room exists for any acceptance of evil. Christians have one master not two. When only supporting evil with your vote exists, look harder, and you will see the righteousness of God towering over it in other forms. Sarai when she shared her husband with another woman thought she had no other option. Saul when he offered up the sacrifice without Saul thought he had no other option. Uzzah when he reached out and grabbed the ark thought he had no other option. The best option always stands as God’s authorized option, faithful adherence to His Word. “Hate evil love good!” (Amos 5:15) Serving God is not a matter of situational ethics where accepting evil can be good at times.
Third, a Christian’s duty from God demands he do good things and avoid the appearance of evil (I Thessalonians 5:22). What is evil, but the opposite of good. Micah 6:8, “He hath shewed thee, O man, what is good; and what doth the LORD require of thee, but to do justly, and to love mercy, and to walk humbly with thy God?” Walking with God means obeying His Will and stands as good. Thus, evil equates to man not doing God’s will. The Thessalonian passage instructs man not to act in a way that would appear contrary to what God directs. When a Christian supports a candidate who will likely use his power to increase sin, others attribute their behavior as acceptable to God. Their inclination then becomes to support the same sin in all situations. The Christian brushing up with sin misrepresents God’s designed intention for him and he cheapens the image of God in the eyes of those who may not be Christians. The American Presidential election of 2008 opened many divisions between Christians because many chose to vote for race instead of godly obedience. To this day, confusion exists over how a Christian could support someone with the record of legislative abuse that Barack Obama brought to the table. Though many asked for repentance, recognizing their choice of man over God, clearly not everyone heeded their example. When Christians do not avoid the appearance of evil they act without the authority of God. God’s face is hidden from those associating with evil (Isaiah 59:1-2). Those who bid the sinful candidate God speed by voting for them become guilty as a partaker of the transgressor’s deeds. 2 John 1:9-11 – “Whosoever transgresseth, and abideth not in the doctrine of Christ, hath not God. He that abideth in the doctrine of Christ, he hath both the Father and the Son. If there come any unto you, and bring not this doctrine, receive him not into your house, neither bid him God speed: For he that biddeth him God speed is partaker of his evil deeds.” What will people believe about a Christian if he votes for a ballot supporting sin or a candidate with a track record of legislating sin? He loses his credibility. He is seen as part of the world.
Fourth, Christians following the Word of God avoid acting as stumbling blocks (I John 2:10). A stumbling block causes a person to fall from his course. Christians becomes stumbling blocks when their actions cause others to stray from the Word of God. “Romney is the best candidate out there!” Christians call Romney good instead of identifying his associations, actions, and voting record as evil. Isaiah spoke of men who would “call evil good and good evil” Isaiah 5:20. He wasn’t mentioning this to flatter. When Christians do this, they lead others headlong into sin. Did Christ every support something sinful? No, of course not! Would he choose the lesser evil today? No again! Christians, who do not know any better and Christians with a weak conscience, follow the stumbling block in support of a candidate who will enact sinful legislation resulting in struggling souls and a weakened Church. The light on a hill soon becomes one hidden under a blanket due to shame and the darkness of sin. Why? They choose not to make the choice with Biblical authority and rather relied on man’s opinion on what to do.
Finally, what if the individual demonstrated a track record of specific behaviors then out of the blue said he would no longer behave that way? Would you immediately believe him? Jesus warned, “Behold, I send you forth as sheep in the midst of wolves: be ye therefore wise as serpents, and harmless as doves.” (Matthew 10:16) In other words, Jesus knew the track record of the world and did not want his disciples to blindly trust those identified with evil. Paul warned of folks with a track record of evil in Philippians 3:2-3 and Peter did the same in 2 Peter 3:17. Consider the episode of Penn State. Many years ago they had a defensive coordinator for their football team who had been witnessed as someone potentially involved with child molestation. The coach of the football team, Joe Paterno, upon receiving a report of the allegation reported to his superiors and did nothing more. The defensive coordinator kept access to the school and youth. When everything finally came to a climax years later Joe Paterno lost his job. Why? He was seen as culpable for enabling someone to engage in sinful behavior based on the power of a position. His character ended up being frowned upon by others. How different would it be for a Christian who voted for someone with a track record of sinful legislation? Christians must be wise with their decisions. When they blindly trust despite obvious signs that their trust will not be kept, individuals and the Church as a whole can be hurt. When Christians ignore evil, they act without Biblical authority.
The support individuals receive from a vote does not go unnoticed in society. Votes are recorded. Party stances become attributed to the individual. Society draws conclusions about the association, actions, and voting patterns of others. Christians need to act with authority behind their voting behavior. God set the Church up to be seen by the world. He set the Church up so it would be distinct and not conformed to worldly practices. Christians as watchmen have the duty to call out the sinful behavior of political candidates and warn others, but when they embrace candidates despite warning signs sin occurs. Situational ethics do not dictate the voting behavior of Christians. The written word of God provides perfect knowledge in every situation (2 Peter 1:1-3). No room exists for choosing evil. In regard to evil, Christians are to avoid the appearance of it and make certain they do not cause others to stumble in their faith. While God commands Christians to forgive, he also instructs them to be wise. Wisdom dictates the voter pay attention to the signs of sin. When Christians follow God and not the opinions of man, they will act according to Biblical authority. Biblical authority clearly condemns voting for candidates who will use their power to engage society in sin.