Faith and Voting
John D. Telgren

Many people understandably do not like to mix politics and religion. I happen to be one of them. But does that mean the Bible has nothing to do with government or politics? Does the Bible have anything to say about government and politics? If not, then the charge that the Bible is irrelevant to real life has something to it.

However, the Bible is relevant and has solid principles for all of life, which includes voting. Here are two principles to remember this voting season.

1. When we have the ability to have input as to who is in authority, we should choose those who are righteous and just.

"You shall appoint for yourself judges and officers … and they shall judge the people with righteous judgment. You shall not distort justice; you shall not be partial, and you shall not take a bribe, for a bribe blinds the eyes of the wise and perverts the words of the righteous. Justice, {and only} justice, you shall pursue, that you may live and possess the land which the LORD your God is giving you (Dt 16:18-20 NASB)”.

Justice and possession of the land went hand in hand. If they wanted to keep it, they need to appoint righteous people. Notice what happens when there are not just people in authority.

“When the righteous are in authority, the people rejoice, But when the wicked rule, the people groan (Prov 29:2 NRSV).”

2. Our ability to vote is a stewardship.

We have the wonderful privilege to live in a country where the people can choose in authority. The parable of the Talents in Matt 25:14ff show that God entrusts various opportunities to us and expects us to use them for his glory. As stewards, we should make use of it for the glory of God and not bury it in the ground.

True we are not of this world. However, we are not commanded to completely remove ourselves from public life (1 Cor 5:10). We are the salt of the earth and the light of the world (Matt 5:13-16). That means we are to have a positive influence in the world. We are instructed to be good citizens (Rom 13:1-7). So there is no warrant for being totally divorced from public life. The saying, “in the world but not of the world” is truly a Biblical principle.

If we do not exercise wise stewardship of our vote, it may become increasingly difficult to be light and salt. I read a statistic that less than one in four Christians vote. Is it any wonder that the small special interest groups are making a big impact at the voting booth?

3. Your one vote counts.

Don't think that because you are only one person you don't matter. Remember that Gideon defeated a whole army with 300 men. Young David killed a 9 1/2 foot veteran warrior. A nation of slaves left Egypt and won battles against people such as the Amelekites in the wilderness. The list goes on and on. One man + and God = makes a majority.

Your one vote counts. This is not really a Biblical principle, but just a statement of fact. Texas was admitted to the union by one vote. Hitler won leadership of Nazi Party by one vote. The US House of Representatives elected Thomas Jefferson as President by one vote. One vote per precinct passed women’s suffrage in California. The Selective Service Act was saved by one vote just weeks before Pearl Harbor was attacked. John F. Kennedy won the presidency by less than one vote per precinct nationwide.

Will you take your one vote to the voting booth on voting day or bury it in the ground?