Editors Note: This article reflects the opinion of the writer, but should not be taken as Radi-Call’s official position. We recognize that this topic is controversial. However, we encourage our writers to give their honest, well thought out opinions. Our desire is not to be controversial, but to begin discussions that encourage our readers to think about what they believe and why.
Last night I watched a movie that upset me. Based on a true story, the main character goes from a Planned Parenthood director to a pro-life advocate. The movie shares an insider’s view of the billion dollar abortion industry that is snuffing out 600,000 babies a year in the United States alone.
By the end of the movie, I was processing many feelings and questions that I have already been thinking about over the past few years. Why am I doing nothing to oppose this horrific injustice that is happening right around me? What would I think about a Christian who lived during Hitler’s time but did nothing to stand against the mass slaughter of millions of Jews?
Participating In A Democratic Society
Over the past few years, I’ve felt a tension growing inside of me. On the one hand, I see how broken and insufficient the world’s systems are at bringing lasting change. On the other hand, I wonder if I’m taking the easy route of completely disengaging from the world’s broken systems. This tension has led me to ask this question: What does it look like for two-kingdom Christians to engage in and show concern for their communities and countries?
We could sit down over coffee and dialogue about the many redemptive ways that might be considered. But for the sake of this blog article, I will be looking at an even narrower question: Should two-kingdom Christians vote?
Although Scripture does not clearly spell out whether voting is right or wrong, we do find principles that provide a framework for this question.
1. The government and the kingdom of God are two different entities and our allegiance must be to God and His kingdom. Jesus said in his trial before Pilate, “My kingdom is not of this world. If My kingdom were of this world, My servants would fight…” (John 18:36). When the apostles were told not to preach and teach in the name of Jesus they replied, “We ought to obey God rather than men” (Acts 5:29).
As two-kingdom Christians, we should place our hope in Christ’s kingdom rather than in any earthly entity or power.
2. We are citizens of an earthly country, which is ruled by a government that we must honor. Paul writes to the church in Rome, “Let every soul be subject to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and the authorities that exist are appointed by God” (Romans 13:1).
As two-kingdom Christians, we recognize that the world’s systems are broken because of sin. But we should willingly submit to the laws of the land as long as they do not directly contradict our higher authority and loyalty to Christ’s kingdom.
3. The government’s God-given role is to punish evil, reward good, and protect its citizens (Romans 13:1-7). It is in our best interest when the government carries out its God-given role and we are commanded to pray for them that we might live peaceable lives (1 Timothy 2:1-3).
As two-kingdom Christians, we should have a healthy interest in the well-being of our government because God uses them to accomplish His purposes.
Social Issues Matter
Social issues are not merely political. They are spiritual. Racism, sexual immorality, abortion, homosexuality, genocide, and world wars are merely symptoms of the plight of mankind. We are lost and in need of a Savior.
But there’s hope! Every social issue is confronted with the life-changing power of the Gospel. As Christians, we are the salt and light as we live out the Gospel in tangible ways. Every physical solution that we offer must be rooted in the good news that only Christ can change lives and transform hearts.
As two-kingdom Christians, we should look for every possible opportunity to engage in society and offer the hope of the Gospel.
The Big Question: Should We Vote?
In summary, we know that Christ’s kingdom is where our hope lies, not in any political system or movement. However, we do see that God has ordained government, although broken, to fulfill His purposes in society.
And in a democratic society where the government is “of the people, by the people, for the people” (Abraham Lincoln), voting is one way for us to make our voice known.
I’ll be honest. I have never voted, but I am prayerfully considering it.
As I pray, I am asking God to give me more boldness to share the Gospel and represent Christ in my community. My concern about the spiritual welfare of my neighbors is first and foremost.
But out of that concern, I am acutely interested in who is leading our government and who is running for office. And I am asking God to show me if my responsibility as a citizen of this earthly country includes voting.
Let Me Clarify
I am not considering political involvement. Actively promoting a party or candidate will alienate me from others, which will reduce my kingdom effectiveness. Who I vote for will be a private issue.
Voting does not mean I wholeheartedly support the candidate’s agendas or policies. Instead, my vote is choosing the best option available given the issues at hand.
Voting should be informed. I will not only listen to what candidates say, but also look at what they actually do. My Faith Votes is a helpful resource for objectively considering where candidates stand on a range of issues.
Voting should be done prayerfully. If voting day comes and I don’t feel at peace about casting my ballot, I don’t feel obligated to do so.
Let’s Continue The Conversation
The movie “Unplanned” still weighs on me. How can I live my life normally while babies are being slaughtered daily in my neighborhood? Abortion reminds me of how broken our society is and how much it needs Christ. It compels me to pray against the evil of abortion and the Satanic forces that are driving the industry.
And yes, it pushes me to thoughtfully consider my stance on voting.
How about you? Have you ever thought about voting? Are you on the fence or have you prayerfully come to a conclusion?
I look forward to reading your comments! After you share, I suggest you check out the results from our recent political survey. I think you will find the results quite interesting as you pray about your position on voting.
|Ian Miller lives in Queens, NY with his wife Marci and young daughter Aliyah. Ian serves in administration for a non-profit organization while working a part-time job and finishing up his college degree. He is passionate about urban, cross-cultural church planting, and verbal, personal evangelism.|