Q Why do you teach that a Christian should not vote in governmental elections?


A In the context of this booklet, we need to understand that the issues of jury duty and voting for the government are both connected with the issue of military service and war.

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 Kingdom of God – while at the same time serving on a jury or voting in governmental elections. For instance, in the United States, the President is also the Commander-in-Chief, having both the right and the obligation under the Constitution, in certain circumstances, to declare war. How can one refuse to participate in war, while voting for a person who has the right and the obligation to declare war? In the past, people were disqualified as conscientious objectors because they did not refuse to serve on a jury or to vote in governmental elections. It was ruled that such an obvious inconsistency in position showed evidence for non-sincerity of the applicant.

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, supposedly choosing “the lesser evil.” Following that kind of reasoning, one still would vote for “an evil,” which a Christian should not do (compare 1 Thessalonians 5:22). Somebody might want to vote for candidate X, as that candidate might reject abortion. However, the
same candidate might support the tobacco industry or pollution of the environment. A Christian could not support a candidate who might be right on one issue, but who would still be wrong on other issues. In addition, as stated above, every candidate in the
United States would support his right as the future president or leader of his nation to declare war on other nations.

Another reason why a Christian is not to vote for a candidate in governmental or local council elections is because he understands the truth about this being Satan’s world at the present time. It is Satan who, with the general permission of God, places candidates into governmental offices. 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 ensure 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? It is obvious that our vote would 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 Roman Empire – the “beast” – will soon arise in Europe. According to God’s prophetic plan, this person will be placed in office in the very last days, wreaking total havoc on this planet. It is Satan, with God’s permission, who will give his power and authority to this person (Revelation 13:4-5). A Christian could not and should not vote for this person, of course, as he will persecute and kill many of the “saints” (Revelation 13:7), and he will even attempt to fight the returning Jesus Christ (Revelation 19:19). Neither should a Christian have voted for Adolph Hitler, although it is clear now that Hitler came to power, as prophesied, to bring about the ninth resurrection of the Roman Empire. This is to say that God allowed Hitler to become ruler over Germany so that prophecy could be fulfilled.

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. For example, God allowed ancient Pharaoh, at the time of the Exodus, to be ruler over Egypt for a very specific reason – “that [God] may show [His] power in [him], and that [God’s] name may be declared in all the earth” (Exodus 9:16).

And finally, in regard to voting in governmental elections, we human beings are incapable of looking into the heart of a person. 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 presently rules this world (2 Corinthians 4:4), 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, unless it is in direct conflict with Christ’s teachings. 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.

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