Is there biblical support to suggest that it is our Christian duty to vote, or be involved in deciding our governments actions, or to choose a certain party for election, etc...? Is there biblical support to take the opposite stand (ie., not to vote; not to be a voice for any particular party?).

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    Welcome to the site, by the way. This isn't a bad first question. When you get a chance, I recommend to all new visitors that they read How we are different than other sites? to clear up misconceptions about the site. Your question stayed nicely in-bounds, and still remaining relevant and useful. Good question! Jul 18 '13 at 0:54
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    If a Christian were not to engage in politics, then how do you expect that the kings and queens of Europe claimed their power to the thrones?
    – Double U
    Jul 18 '13 at 1:13

This is actually a question I asked at my church during the last election season.

I'll break this down into 2 parts


I don't see any scriptural support for or against it. I reject the notion that it is a sin not to vote, as I haven't heard any sound scriptural evidence. I have heard people use "Pray for your leaders" (1 Tim 2:2) and "Submit to authority (Romans 13). But the reason we pray for our leaders is because "it is pleasing in the sight of God our Savior, who desires all people to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth".

As for submission to authority, until it is illegal to not vote, we are ok.

I see this as a matter of conscience. Romans 14:23b - "For whatever does not proceed from faith is sin." and Romans 14:5 - "Each one should be fully convinced in his own mind."

I think it is good to vote, it is a privilege, but there are times when your conscience will not let you vote for any of the choices, because each person represents something ungodly, that's ok too.

Party Affiliations:

When has any one political party totally held to exclusively biblical view points?

Isn't it hypocritical to vote in a person because they stand for your beliefs but they themselves cheat on their wife? How does this glorify God? We put people in office to uphold a moral standard, but they themselves don't care to keep it. I think this actually does more harm than good.

Romans 2, describes those who are in position to judge others, but they don't do what they demand of others. This is the same complaint Jesus had against the Pharisees. Are we really doing God a service by voting for people that cater to us, when they don't live like us? Rom 2:24 in the context of hypocrisy - "For, as it is written, “The name of God is blasphemed among the Gentiles because of you."

Referring to 1 Tim 2:2, we pray for them not so they can merely act Christian, but so they can be Christian. Can the unsaved be spiritually minded? Can they obey the Spirit(1 Cor 2:14)? They are still slaves to the flesh (Rom 6:15-23). The unsaved will always reject biblically guided laws, because it is foolishness to them.

The greatest way to spread Biblical views is still the great Commission, Matt 28:18-20. My main caution is... yeah let's vote, but let's make sure we don't replace evangelism with political activism.

  • Re hypocrisy: If you wait for a perfect person to come along, who doesn't sin, in order that you can vote for them, you're going to be waiting a long time. Or maybe some sins are more acceptable than others; a slippery slope. I think I see what you're saying, but We have all fallen short. Jul 18 '13 at 6:54
  • @AndrewLeach I totally agree, and I guess I should've clarified that. It is one thing vote for someone who will fall short, I'll vote for the person who is really trying to please God, but comes short. But, it is another thing to vote for a person who is just pandering to the "conservative" crowd to get votes.
    – Darye
    Jul 18 '13 at 7:04
  • @AndrewLeach just to add as a distinction, that is why I said above "they themselves don't care to keep it", not "they themselves aren't able to keep it", because we all fall short.
    – Darye
    Jul 18 '13 at 7:07
  • 9 “ 10 Where is your king, that he may save you? Where are your rulers in all your towns, of whom you said, ‘Give me a king and princes’? 11 So in my anger I gave you a king, and in my wrath I took him away." Hosea 13: 9-11
    – AaronH
    Jul 20 '13 at 2:34
  • @aaronh can u explain why u added that scripture?
    – Darye
    Jul 20 '13 at 2:49

I've never found something that would really suggest we have a Christian obligation to take part in politics, or not to take part. As far as voting, democracy is a relatively recent innovation. To whatever extent there was a sense of civic participation and responsibility, it was generally focused on the local community, not the government.

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    Welcome to C.SE, and when you get the chance, I invite you to check out how we are different than other sites. I appreciate the sentiment, but this answer would be improved by adding scriptural or doctrinal evidences. I know that your thesis is there is no Scripture to this point, but there is a wide body of theology on a Christian's involvement in political affairs. "Kingdoms in Conflict" by Chuck Colson, for example, has a very powerful case for, and "The Fundmentals" by Torrey, et. al. has a strong case against. Jul 18 '13 at 0:56

This is somewhat like asking, should we try to have as rational a spouse as possible? Is it our duty?

Many in history had no choice about what spouse they had. In our age, we do. Similarly, in earlier times we had no choice in who is king/leader, now we do. Why do we need Biblical support for so obvious a question? But, in case you insist:

Voting is a way of fulfilling the idea in 1 Corinth 7:21: Art thou called being a servant? care not for it: but if thou mayest be made free, use it rather. Take "if thou mayest be made free" and apply it to voting out a typical liberal. Made free from oppressive government. Made free from wicked laws. Made free from blood on the land due to foolish anti capital punishment efforts, pro-abortion laws, etc. Art though called being a subject of a dictator? Don't worry about that: but if thou mayest vote him out, use it rather (my paraphrase).

Our nation, for now, actually is set up to allow us to put legs to our prayers "for kings, and for all that are in authority; that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and honesty" 1 Timothy 2:2. Not only can we pray for good leaders, we can act on those prayers by voting good guys in and bad guys out!

Is it our duty? About as much as it is our duty to choose as rational a spouse as possible. It is irrational not to.

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