Please read first, in regard to this question, our special tribute to Herbert W. Armstrong and the excerpts from his 1984 article, titled, “How Would Jesus Vote for President?”, which are published in this issue of the Update. The tribute and excerpts give an overview regarding the problems for a Christian being involved in voting in governmental elections. We need to understand that the issues of jury duty and voting for the government are connected with the issue of military service and war. We have addressed the problems regarding Christian participation in jury duty and joining the military in previous Q&A sections of these Updates (compare Issues #66 and #67, dated November 8 and 15, 2002).
It is inconsistent to take the position that one cannot join the military, because one is an ambassador of Jesus Christ and a citizen of another government — the
In addition, when one votes for a particular political candidate, one votes for the “totality” of the person. Some have argued that one needs to vote for candidate X, rather than candidate Z, as constituting “the lesser evil.” Following that kind of reasoning, one still would vote for an “evil,” which a Christian could not do (compare 1 Thessalonians
Another reason why a Christian should not vote in governmental elections is the truth that this is Satan’s world. It is Satan, with the permission of God, who places candidates into governmental office. If we were to vote, we might involve ourselves quite directly in Satan’s system. Hosea 8:4 gives us God’s warning in this regard:”‘They set up kings, but not by Me; they made princes, but I did not acknowledge them.'”
Sometimes, in order to insure that certain aspects of His plan are fulfilled, God Himself might intervene to see to it that the person best (or perhaps worst) suited for the job at that time gets the job (compare Daniel 4:17). How would God look at us when He intervenes directly to place a specific person into office, while we did not vote for that person, but rather for someone whom God does not want to see in charge at that time? Wouldn’t our vote be found to be in opposition to God’s Will?
To give a prophetic and an historical example, Biblical prophecy reveals that a final political leader of the resurrected
The Bible shows that God sometimes appoints directly, or permits Satan to place into office, strong or weak leaders, depending on the situation, in order to insure that God’s purpose will be carried out. God allowed ancient Pharaoh at the time of the Exodus to be ruler over
Further, we cannot look at the heart of a person, in any event. When God wanted king Saul to be replaced, He had Samuel anoint David as the new king. If it had been left to Samuel, he would have appointed one of David’s brothers (compare 1 Samuel 16:6-13).
Participating in voting for governmental elections shows a lack of appreciation for the Will of God. It also shows a misunderstanding of the fact that Satan rules this world, and that Christians are ambassadors of Christ, called to come out of this world to be separate.
As Christians, we are in no way to resist our leaders whom God has allowed to be placed over us. Rather, we are to be thankful for whatever good they provide for us, and we are to pray for them so that we can lead a quiet and peaceable life (1 Timothy 2:2) and fulfill our God-given job to preach the Gospel and to feed the flock (compare Q&A section on