Nope, I didn’t vote in “Super Tuesday,” and I have absolutely no intention of voting in November. Some will strongly avow that I absolutely must go and vote my Christian principles; I appreciate your viewpoint (and I would sincerely ask you to appreciate mine), but I cannot find a single verse of Scripture that tells me I must vote. Nor can I find a verse that tells me it’s a sin to vote. David Lipscomb believed voting and holding elective office to be sinful; I do not.
What I do find sinful is the binding of opinion on others. “As for the one who is weak in faith, welcome him, but not to quarrel over opinions. One person believes he may eat anything, while the weak person eats only vegetables. Let not the one who eats despise the one who abstains, and let not the one who abstains pass judgment on the one who eats, for God has welcomed him. Who are you to pass judgment on the servant of another? It is before his own master that he stands or falls. And he will be upheld, for the Lord is able to make him stand. One person esteems one day as better than another, while another esteems all days alike. Each one should be fully convinced in his own mind. The one who observes the day, observes it in honor of the Lord. The one who eats, eats in honor of the Lord, since he gives thanks to God, while the one who abstains, abstains in honor of the Lord and gives thanks to God” (Rom 14:1-6). If you want to vote, I can’t find a single verse in all of Scripture which says you can’t. If you choose to abstain from voting, I can’t find a single verse in all of Scripture which says you can’t. But, don’t pass judgment on another servant of God – I can find that in Scripture.
My wife and I have deeply different convictions on this point. She voted on Tuesday; I did not. We have discussed the reasons why we feel differently, and there’s absolutely no animosity between us. There has been no argument and no debate – only discussion. We respect each other’s opinions, and we do not bicker and fight. If you disagree with me, I ask that you do so in the spirit of Christian liberty and love.
Let me give you a few reasons I abstain from voting:
God raises and lowers kingdoms.
“The Most High rules the kingdom of men and gives it to whom he will” (Dan 4:32)
“O king, the Most High God gave Nebuchadnezzar your father kingship and greatness and glory and majesty. And because of the greatness that he gave him, all peoples, nations, and languages trembled and feared before him. Whom he would, he killed, and whom he would, he kept alive; whom he would, he raised up, and whom he would, he humbled. But when his heart was lifted up and his spirit was hardened so that he dealt proudly, he was brought down from his kingly throne, and his glory was taken from him. He was driven from among the children of mankind, and his mind was made like that of a beast, and his dwelling was with the wild donkeys. He was fed grass like an ox, and his body was wet with the dew of heaven, until he knew that the Most High God rules the kingdom of mankind and sets over it whom he will” (Dan 5:18-21)
“There is no authority except from God, and those that exist have been instituted by God” (Rom 13:1)
God raises leaders. I don’t. My vote at the ballot box means nil if God has made the decision. I believe there is one vote which counts: God’s. Why should I then bother with a vote?
Politicians don’t do what they promise.
As a general rule, I’m disgusted with politics. Not all, but many politicians pander to special interest groups – Christians included – and they fail to carry through with their promises. I have voted for the pro-life candidate in every single election since I could vote; abortion is still legal. I’ve voted for the candidate who upheld biblical marriage; homosexual marriage is legal across the land. You see, voting for the moral candidate has made me feel good leaving my precinct, but it has accomplished nothing else.
I’m asked to vote for candidates which disgusts me.
I will often hear people say that I need to vote for the “lesser of two evils.” With all due respect, admitting to voting for the “lesser of two evils” is an admission that I’m voting for evil. I choose not to do so.
Voting detracts me from my heavenly home.
Jesus’ kingdom “is not of this world” (Jn 18:36)
“Our citizenship is in heaven, and from it we await a Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ, who will transform our lowly body to be like his glorious body, by the power that enables him even to subject all things to himself” (Phil 3:20-21)
“Let us be grateful for receiving a kingdom that cannot be shaken” (Heb 12:28)
The kingdom for which I am striving is not the United States of America; it is the kingdom of God. “We need to save this country” – No, we need to save the world from the everlasting judgment of a holy God. This country will not survive in eternity, but the souls of men will.
I fear that all too often we have allowed America to influence the church instead of allowing the church to influence America. If you want to see idolatry alive and well in our own day, enter many churches on the Fourth of July; people are all too happy to worship this nation, not the God who has raised it up. I once had a lady tell me about a worship service on the Fourth of July; she told me, “Justin, when I left that service I was so proud to be an American.” What?!?! We ought not leave the assembly proud to be Americans – we should leave the assembly grateful for our God in heaven and prepared to serve Him and our fellow man.
Voting divides brethren.
I have seen churches just about split over politics. I once had a gentleman make a very political statement in a class I was teaching, and many members of that class (myself included) were offended. “Let us pursue what makes for peace and for mutual upbuilding” (Rom 14:19). Voting often does the exact opposite of pursuing peace.
I don’t want to bellyache.
People say, “If you don’t vote, you can’t complain.” That’s okay – God doesn’t want me complaining anyway. “Do all things without grumbling or disputing, that you may be blameless and innocent, children of God without blemish in the midst of a crooked and twisted generation, among whom you shine as lights in the world” (Phil 2:14-15). Surely “all things” includes living in this nation; I’m going to commit to not complaining regardless of who wins in November.
The Bible nowhere condemns voting, and I, therefore, cannot condemn voting. The Bible nowhere commands voting, and no one, therefore, can tell me I’m not being faithful to God by abstaining from voting. And, abstaining from voting is precisely what I’ve chosen to do.
God has indeed blessed me to live in a free land, but He has given me a far greater blessing by allowing me to live in His kingdom. What a great God I serve!