Do American Christians Have a Responsibility to Vote?
Ruth J Smith
The upcoming election has created a great deal of discussion among Christians, including some extreme statements. Recently someone posted a question on the Pilgrim Institute Facebook page asking whether their eternal destiny would be determined by whether or how they voted in this election. As Christians, we realize that our eternal destiny is only determined by whether or not we accept the salvation offered through faith in Jesus Christ, who died on the cross for us. An election in any nation will have no effect upon our eternal home.
The Word of God does indicate that we will be rewarded upon our faithfulness to His Word and our stewardship of what God has given us in this world. This is what we must examine.
America has known the greatest liberty of any nation in the world. The question which must be answered is what is the source of that liberty? Liberty only comes through Christ and Christianity. There is no other source for liberty. No man, king or ruler can give us liberty.
History reveals that as a people studied the Word of God and understood there were Biblical principles of government and first applied these principles in their own lives, they realized internal spiritual liberty. This soon brought them to look further into the Word of God and realize that even as the first century churches were independent, self governing churches, that there should be religious liberty. But this demanded a people who had to stand against the civil government of their time and even their homeland and brought a congregation eventually to the New World.
When faced with the reality that they had no civil government, they applied these same principles of government to the civil sphere and we had the first document of civil government based upon Biblical principles – the Mayflower Compact. From that small beginning, a seed was planted which eventually spread throughout thirteen colonies, eventually establishing a constitution built upon these Biblical principles of government.
One historian wrote of the idea that the power was flowing from the people. What was this power? According to the Word of God, all power comes from God. So this means that the sovereign power of God was working through the people. How could this happen? This only occurs through the people having the power and opportunity to delegate that authority to someone by electing them to rule over them, at that time a unique idea in all of the world.
Christians for the past several generations have failed to recognize that Christ is the source of liberty in America and have failed to give God the glory for what He has done. For that we will be held accountable. If America falls totally into a socialistic state (on which it is on a slippery slope), it is because American Christians have failed to learn and teach the Biblical principles of government found in the Word of God. For that we will be held accountable. The joy of this is that it begins not in Washington, DC, but in the homes of Christians and in the local churches as we assume our responsibility to reclaim and restore! That is the hope we have.
However, if by failing to vote or voting for someone who leads our nation to take away our religious liberty, we will not have the opportunity to restore what has been eaten away in our nation. I believe we will be held accountable by God for such actions. I pray that God will see fit to find a people who are worthy of having the time for restoration.