Should a Christian voluntarily vote?

Should a Christian voluntarily vote?

This has probably never been more relevant than now. Evangelical leaders are insisting that Christians vote. They purport to teach this from the Bible. This is different from assembly teaching in the past, so respect and wisdom ask, "What has changed?"

Two suggestions may help us regain our perspective. First, the history of democracy in North America has roots in Christian principles, thus the designation, "Christian countries." A "mixed multitude" formed without a clear gospel has produced a constituency that makes the political world appear friendly to God. Pluralism and humanism, however, now threaten this "Christian government." Evangelicals see a "good world" becoming corrupted. More biblically, the world is removing its mask. Christian principles had weight in the past because of the gospel’s spiritual impact on society, not because the world had changed. Being "the salt of the earth" does not require Christian involvement in the world. The Christian preserves the culture by the truth he represents and presents. The world needs the gospel that grants life, rather than laws that guide living.

Second, evangelicalism’s present emphasis on political involvement appears to result from a shift of understanding and emphasis regarding future events. A growing part of evangelicalism no longer understands that the Lord’s coming precedes the tribulation and the millennium. This places a greater emphasis on improving the present world. It also blurs the distinction between God’s dealings in the past with an earthly people Israel and in the present with a heavenly people. The citation of Old Testament passages to support political involvement witnesses to this. Even evangelicals who believe in a pre-tribulation Rapture have been unduly influenced by those with wrong views of future events. Added to this is the danger that prosperity has historically made Christians more at home in this world. Rather than looking for the imminent coming of Christ, we become increasingly involved in the world.

The past teaching that Christians should not voluntarily vote is based on sound biblical principles. Christians are separate from a world system which is opposed to God and is not redeemable apart from the coming of Christ. Christians are not directed to improve the world, but to proclaim the gospel that condemns it and offers salvation from it.

D. Oliver