Oct 31, 2012 2:22 PM
Voting as an Act of Stewardship for Faith Driven Consumers
We’re hearing a lot about voting our values these days. Some say Christians shouldn’t get involved in the political process because Jesus is neither a Democrat nor a Republican. They see the 6 billion dollars spent on this election cycle as fostering a corrupt process and conclude that when faced with the choice between the “lesser of two evils,” it’s best to simply abstain.
Similarly, some say that God ordains the election results and gives us the leadership we deserve. Therefore, believers have little impact on the outcome and should focus instead on winning hearts to Jesus one by one – and transforming the culture in the process.
In contrast to these views, many Bible-believing Christians see voting as an act of stewardship. Like any other good gift entrusted to us by God, we are called to steward the vote well and participate in a civic process bestowed upon us by our Founding Fathers through the Constitution. Indeed, comparatively few people groups in the history of the world have been as blessed as Americans are today with the opportunity to regularly select its leaders and peacefully transition from one government to the next.
From this perspective, our vote is a good gift from God – a privilege to be cherished and stewarded well, and to which we will be held accountable as seen in the parables of the Talents (Matthew 25:14-30) and the Good Steward. (Luke 16:10-12)
And for those who see the Bible as being reliable, trustworthy and true, surely St. Paul’s teaching in Romans 13 helps inform us about God’s view on government. Here, we see that earthly governmental authorities are established by God and that we are to submit to the laws of our land.
While this can sometimes be challenging to navigate when laws are passed that we disagree with, how wonderful it is that God has entrusted to us Americans a vote in the establishment of who will lead our governments at the local, state and national levels.
Given that God establishes our rulers and authorities, and that we in America are privileged to participate in the selection of our governing leaders, then several questions arise: Does God really care about how you vote? And if so, what factors should we use to determine how best to steward our vote?
Here, an understanding of the call to be “ambassadors of Christ” may resonate with biblically orthodox Christians:
“We are therefore Christ’s ambassadors, as though God were making his appeal through us.” (2 Cor. 5:20)
Being an Ambassador for Christ
Historically, to be an ambassador meant that one was sent by the king to another country to represent him and his interests there. In the case of Christians, we are sent by our heavenly king, Jesus, to be His ambassadors in our temporary, earthly country – to be in the world but not of it, and to represent Him and His interests here in this realm.
Given this, how do we discern what the interests of King Jesus are here in America – the country to which we’ve been called to represent Him? How do we know His heart on the matters before us and then act accordingly – as ambassadors – as we steward well the vote we’ve been entrusted?
Fortunately, there are many great resources available to help us as Christians learn about the various ballot issues and candidates before us at the local, state and national levels.
By researching the issues and candidates – and then prayerfully seeking God’s heart on the issues before us – we Christians can serve as an ambassador of Christ in the voting booth and do our best to reflect His heart and mind on Election Day.
Here are a number of resources to help you steward well the gift of the vote to which you’ve been entrusted. As an ambassador of Christ here in America, God does care about how you vote.