How You Should Vote

voteDeciding who to vote for can be a real challenge. We hear many different opinions, listen to debates, read the mail outs, and watch the television ads. For the national elections we probably feel like we get more information than we really want. But for local elections it is sometimes difficult to find out much detail about the candidates. Can the Bible be any help in determining how you should vote? Absolutely.

First, let’s consider what Deuteronomy 1:13 says about this. Moses said, “Choose wise and discerning and experienced men from your tribes, and I will appoint them as your heads.”

This verse not only tells us that we should vote, but it also gives some qualifications that need to be considered. We see here that the person we vote for should have shown that they have wisdom and are discerning. So their record shows that they know how to make good and godly decisions. They should also be experienced. In other words they need to have the sufficient skill and ability to carry out the office for which they are running.

In a parallel passage in Exodus 18:21 Moses says that they are also to be God-fearing people. This means that they recognize they will give an account to God for their life and also for the way they perform their duties as a civil magistrate. You can see that these biblical qualifications are really not that stringent. But the sad reality is that many of the candidates of our day do not even measure up to these basic requirements. In speaking of these verses, Rev. Thomas Hooker said in 1638, “The privilege of election the people have, must not be exercised according to their whims but by the will and law of God.” So these things should not be ignored.

But we also have to consider a second reality. We see in multiple places in Scripture that if God’s judgment is on a nation it will be seen in part in the fact that there will be many immoral and incompetent leaders in all realms of society. This will make voting even more challenging. In Isaiah 32 for example Isaiah speaks of leaders that he calls rogues or fools. He says they speaks nonsense, their heart inclines toward wickedness, they practice ungodliness, and they speak error against the Lord. These rogues also devise wicked schemes and destroy the afflicted with slander. And to make matters worse, in times of God’s judgment, the people will consider these fools to be noble. They might even make them candidates for office.

So if there are biblically qualified candidates give them your vote and your support. If you really don’t have enough information to make that judgment then there are other factors to consider. Look at their stands on issues that are pertinent to the office for which they are running and use that as a guide to help you vote. You may also come to the conclusion that neither of the candidates of the two major parties is worthy of your vote. In that case I think you should consider voting for a third party or even making a write-in vote. Don’t allow your dissatisfaction with the major candidates keep you from voting.

Obviously people are going to come to different conclusions about who they will vote for. Paul gives us some principles to consider in these kinds of issues. In Romans 14 he speaks of areas in which Christians may disagree as to what is best. First he says be aware that we must each give an account to God for the choice we make so be fully convinced in your own mind. Seek to honor Him above all. Secondly he warns against judging one another when you come to different conclusions. This is important. For example, a major argument against voting for a third party is that merely equals a vote for Clinton or for Trump. What we do, we do to honor God first and foremost. So be careful about making that kind of judgment about a friends voting decision. The point is not that all your friends are voting for the same person, but that they are seeking to honor God with their vote. That is how we should vote.

I don’t know what the Lord has for our nation. I am encouraged however that even in difficult days it is a fact that “the Lord will be the stability of your times, a wealth of salvation, wisdom and knowledge.” (Isaiah 33:6)