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Are Christians Commanded to Vote?

Alicia Searl | Contributing Writer | Updated: Jan 16, 2024
Are Christians Commanded to Vote?

Are Christians Commanded to Vote?

It’s that time again. We have reached the mark where we come together as patriots to cast our ballot for who we believe will do their best in leading and guiding this country. A country we love and want to see succeed and prosper. But there is a lot at stake here! Our nation is currently at a crossroads, and everyone feels it. The fate of this nation weighs in the balance, tensions are high, things are rather shaky, and let’s just say the enemy isn’t going to stay silent on this one!

As a matter of fact, I’ve come to wonder if “the people” have forgotten Who is really in charge of this sweet Land of Liberty (Psalm 46:10).

Maybe your heart is heavy like mine. There is no doubt that many Americans are suffering from the aftermath of post-pandemic stress, the high cost of everyday essentials, escalated crime rates, a flailing economic system, concerning healthcare, and sadly the list goes on and on. It isn’t hard to see that our country is hurting and desperate for hope. Maybe this is why it has left so many to ponder the question: Is God still with us? 

Let me first start by reassuring your heart. Yes! We must hold tight to the promise that God is always with His people (Isaiah 41:10). Just as He was with others throughout The Word during trying and uncertain times, He is most certainly with us too, His beloved sons and daughters. However, at the same time, I believe our God must be heartbroken over the many Americans who have turned their backs on His love and shunned His holy name. Unfortunately, some of those who have seemed to turn cold include the politicians desperately trying to play a game with us and earn our vote.

So, as we delve further into this year and all the politicians begin to ramp up those ads and in-our-face fliers, striving to do their best to earn our vote, let’s proceed with caution. Let’s seek to understand and gain clarity of not only who we should vote for, but why we should vote in the first place. Because, let’s be honest, the current trend and mass confusion taking place has many of us coming into this election with lots of concerns and lists of questions, which is fair, valid, and understandable. 

Well, my friend, if you are feeling a bit anxious during these times, you are not alone. So, with that, let's console your nerves a bit and seek to understand what God has to say about this very issue of voting, and how we should proceed as believers.

Voting Is a Civic Responsibility

There is a lot of talk and speculation about whether or not believers should partake in politics and vote for national leaders. This controversial issue has generally taken on two sides. One side claims voting is a sin against God because He is the One who calls and appoints political leaders. While the other side claims voting is a moral obligation, a distinct privilege, and something we are required to do.  

So, which is it? 

First, the Bible does not specifically mention that we are obligated or even commanded to vote, but there is also no verse in the Bible that mentions voting to be sinful. However, what we must understand is that the basic principle of voting itself is a civic responsibility. Not a law, but a responsibility. Now, of course, that does differ from a civic duty which is a requirement that is upheld by the law and something we should follow according to God (Romans 13:2). 

While it's not mandatory for us to vote, as it is in other countries, we are still called to submit to those who have been established by God to be in authority (Romans 13:1-7). So, wouldn’t we want to have a voice in the matter? After all, God gave us the right (and responsibility) to be able to speak up and be heard on who we choose to lead and govern (Deuteronomy 1:13). 

Reasons to Vote

Before we get into the reasons to vote, let’s discuss our identity as Christians a bit. Friend, we are called by God to let His name be known among the nations and to proudly proclaim Who He is (Psalm 105:1) Furthermore, we are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation – God’s special possession granted a purpose to spread light into this dark world (1 Peter 2:9). That is who we are and who we should always claim to be. Not Americans, but Christians first.

Wow, just think on this for a bit! As His beloved sons and daughters, we should be living on a mission – to love God with such a fierce passion that it prompts us to love our country and the people within it, including our leaders (1 Peter 2:17).

That means we should see voting as a way to honor the country that has given us the freedom to love our God freely, love our fellow brothers and sisters, and reach out lovingly to the lost. Essentially, voting is not just a choice, but it is an act of stewardship and a form of “doing good!”

Voting is also our way of recognizing that God is ultimately in authority, yet we should still deeply care about those who serve in office and cry out to God with hearts to protect and care for our nation (Deuteronomy 10:17-19). Casting our vote also shows that we want to make a difference and make an impact in our society (Matthew 5:13), while recognizing that this action is to be taken seriously (Luke 10:25-37).

Serve God First

We may not be commanded to vote, but we are most certainly commanded to pray, honor, and respect our leaders (Acts 5:29, 1 Timothy 2:1-4). But, let’s face it, many of the candidates running for office don’t necessarily have an award-winning track record. Not only that, but several of them seem to blatantly go against God’s Word and hold contrasting views on life, family, marriage, and faith. 

So, how do we honor a government or candidate that goes against everything we hold dear as faithful followers of Christ? 

We remember that we serve God first! Then we act justly, love mercy, and walk humbly with Him. We act justly by loving all people but not accepting sin or sinful choices. We love mercy by embracing forgiveness and extending that to others. And we walk humbly by exalting God and praising His holy name with our actions, words, and deeds.

In the end, we hold tightly to the fact that we serve God by respecting who He places in office and trusting that He knows best (Proverbs 3:5-6). The direction He has planned for this country will ultimately come to be and His purpose will prevail.

That said, as we head into the election we can submit to God in supplication and prayer by seeking His wisdom and discernment. We can ask for Him to grant us peace and give us the strength to abide in Him alone. So, with that, will you pray with me?

A Prayer for Our Nation

Lord, we come to You with humble hearts seeking Your gracious and mighty hand. Our country is at a tipping point and desperately needs You. We need Your fierce love and protection. We need You to ignite our faith and set our country on fire for You once again, aiming to follow Your ways and laws.

As we lift up our hearts, we ask that You be in the midst of this next presidential election. We ask that those seeking office come with a sense of humility, free from any selfish gain or agenda. We ask that You give them the passion and desire to serve You first, then seek to serve the people with dignity, integrity, and grace. 

As the next few months unfold, we earnestly ask for peace and calm during these unsettling and uncertain times. Allow communities to come together in unity and a passion to serve one another with servant hearts. Open our eyes to those who are hurting and in need of Your mercy, love, and grace.

Help us be a light in this world that seems to be growing dim. Give us an urgency to live with passion and purpose for You. Remind us of our royal priesthood as we live in faith rather than in fear and carry out a mission to make Your name known.

Lord, we love You with our whole hearts and pray that You grant us a president and leaders who have a desire to drastically change the course and path that our country is currently headed. Grant them wisdom and discernment to glorify You first and foremost. Give them the will to carry out Your goodness in Your name. 

We ask all of this in Your Holy Name.

Amen.

Photo Credit: ©Getty Images/liveslow

Alicia SearlAlicia Searl is a devotional author, blogger, and speaker that is passionate about pouring out her heart and pointing ladies of all ages back to Jesus. She has an education background and master’s in literacy.  Her favorite people call her Mom, which is why much of her time is spent cheering them on at a softball game or dance class. She is married to her heartthrob (a tall, spiky-haired blond) who can whip up a mean latte. She sips that goodness while writing her heart on a page while her puppy licks her feet. Visit her website at aliciasearl.com and connect with her on Instagram and Facebook.



Are Christians Commanded to Vote?