Guest Commentary: As a Christian, Why I Vote

October 22, 2014

Commentary

Vote LetterpressRomans 13:1 commands,

“Let everyone be subject to the governing authorities.”

It asks in verse 3,

“do you want to be free from fear of the one in authority?”

And demands in verse 5,

“it is necessary to submit to the authorities, not only because of possible punishment but also as a matter of conscience.”

What does this have to do with voting and the upcoming election? First, while our government does not command we vote it invites our vote and is dependent upon our vote for its selection of our various rulers. If no one voted our system would shut down or worse, be run in perpetuity by those currently in power. Part of being in subjection to the governing authorities, to me, means accepting their invitation which they have further determined to be my responsibility as a citizen to vote for our leaders.

Second, I am voting because I answer affirmatively the question posed by the Apostle concerning the desire to be free from fear of the one in authority. There are certain men who wish to rule whose ideology is counterproductive to a healthy, moral and free society – at least in my mind. I want to ensure doing everything I can do to make possible the best leaders for guaranteeing my freedom to worship, speak, bear arms and pursue happiness. Failing to vote leaves my welfare in the hands of others; I am not willing to do that.

Paul further writes in the same chapter beginning with verse 6

“this is also why you pay taxes, for the authorities are God’s servants, who give their full time to governing,”

and verse 7,

“give to everyone what you owe them: If you owe taxes, pay taxes; if revenue, then revenue; if respect, then respect; if honor, then honor.”

At the risk of repeating myself I owe the government my vote because my government is calling for me to vote, failure to comply is failure to pay my due. Like honor, voting can’t really be commanded but it can be given. It is my duty to vote.

Much of the world covets the freedom and opportunity we enjoy so naturally in this country. While this privilege remains, I will continue to exercise my right and responsibility to vote for leaders I believe will foster the best opportunity this nation has for obtaining God’s blessing as a nation that places God as Lord!

Mike WinterMike has been married to his wife Kim for more than 25 years. They are the parents of ten children, ages 4 to 22 years. Mike met his wife while attending Hope College where he received his BA in Religion. Since college, Mike has worked as an associate pastor, insurance agent, and insurance company manager but has served for the past ten years with CBMC as a spiritual coach for business and professional men. Mike’s weekly blog can be accessed at knowgodcoach.com
The opinions of guest columnists do not necessarily reflect the views of Citizens for Traditional Values.

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One Response to “Guest Commentary: As a Christian, Why I Vote”

  1. Terry Applegate Says:

    Great conclusion…vote but, the route used to arrive at it is off-radar in one aspect. I mean, c’mon, ‘accept..invitation’ from our leaders to vote? So, if they stop inviting us, we’ll no longer be able to vote? Huh? “Our government” doesn’t invite us to vote instead, we vote to create the government. America’s supreme source of governmental authority lies in the people, not our elected officials. We invite ourselves to vote. If we don’t, we abrogate our responsibility and duty as citizens; this was well said by the author. But there is no way that we vote because it is an act of obedience to those in authority.
    Regarding Romans 13, it is true that Christians are to obey those in authority but, Paul also says that those authorities “hold no terror for those who do right, but for those who do wrong.” Paul is speaking of the normative case. Unfortunately, today in America the government is becoming a terror to those who do right and is providing cover for those who do wrong. Consequently, it is becoming necessary to disobey our government, just ask the pastors in Houston as the city is demanding that they provide their sermons to or, the pastors in Idaho who just might be going to jail for failing to marry two queers. As John R. W. Stott says: “The disciples of Jesus are to respect the state, and within limits submit to it, but they will neither worship it, nor give it the uncritical support it covets. Consequently, discipleship sometimes calls for disobedience. Indeed, civil disobedience is a biblical doctrine, for there are four or five notable examples of it in Scripture.”
    Unfortunately, it is our misfortune (looked at humanly) or, privilege (looked at spiritually) to live in times when government thumbs its nose at its God-given authority to act as his agent and decides it can damn-well do as it pleases. There is no place for unquestioned allegiance to the state during such times. Christians must discern when civil dis-obedience is called for and have the courage to say “no” to government and “yes” to God at such times. One of our last lines of defense against ungodly government is to our exercise our right to vote for godly candidates. Thank you, author, for making this point!