Should Christians really be voting Republican? Many evangelicals appear to believe that Donald Trump is a messianic-like politician who has arrived on the scene to save the United States from certain despair. They believe that God appointed him for such a time as this and is reigning in the spirit of Biblical King Cyrus. To many, he can do no wrong, and the wrongs he does commit are dismissed in light of his God-appointed position.
Before Donald Trump though, a large population of evangelicals believed that the Republican party was God’s chosen party. Their decision lies mainly in the fight against abortion. All other values and political talking points are completely irrelevant. The vote should always be “pro-life” regardless of the position taken on the rest of the platform.
The question is: should a Christian, someone who is following Jesus Christ, vote straight Republican?
Jesus said that we can only serve one master. We can’t divide our loyalty.
Luke 16:13 “No servant can serve two masters; for either he will hate the one and love the other, or else he will be loyal to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and mammon.”
In this passage, Jesus was talking about either serving God or money. However, the principle holds true in a number of other scenarios and is applicable in this discussion as well. One can serve either God or the Republican party. They can’t serve both. When Jesus walked the earth as a man, his disciples had similar political questions. They viewed Jesus as a political messiah. One who would deliver the Jews from the evil rule of the Romans. One who would raise up a resistance, and lead the rebellion to overthrow an oppressive political system. One who would restore the glory of Israel. And from the allusion of his message, they believed this to be their master’s goals as well. After all, everywhere He went he proclaimed that the Kingdom of God was at hand.
One day they put the question to their would-be deliverer directly.
“Lord, will You at this time restore the kingdom to Israel?”
His answer was a classic Jesus response. He said, “The Father alone has the authority to set those dates and times, and they are not for you to know.” He once again reminded them that their eyes were on the wrong thing. They were still looking to the geopolitical kingdom of Israel, and missing the whole point of Jesus’s message – “Repent! For the Kingdom of God is at hand.” Jesus didn’t come to restore the Kingdom of Israel, and perhaps this is one of the primary reasons He was never accepted by the state. His mission was to restore the Kingdom of God on earth as it is in heaven. He wasn’t interested in the least to mount a resistance against Caesar. He wasn’t worried about expanding Israel’s borders or jurisdiction.
It reminds me of the time the Lord of heaven’s armies came to Joshua. Joshua wanted to know if the commander was for or against them. The angel answered, “Neither. I am for the Lord.” God has not picked a side in the battle. He is His own side. He fights for His own cause. His glory is His main concern.
So again, we are back to the question: “Should Christians really vote Republican?” Is democracy God’s chosen form of government on earth? Has God shifted His affection from Israel as His chosen people to America and the Republican party?
In the beginning, God’s chosen form of government was a theocracy. One where He alone was sovereign and men were his friends. Man’s sin ended this reign as God cannot have fellowship with sin. Years later, God made a promise to Abraham, that through him God would bless every family of the earth. Through the lineage of Abraham, God was going to raise up a king that would once again establish God’s Kingdom on earth. That promise was passed from Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob who later became Israel. Israel was to be God’s chosen people. They were to live in a theocracy once again. Yet again, we see that man rebelled and they cried out to live in a monarchy just like the nations that surrounded them. God resisted their plea knowing full well that their desire for a king would bring them into bondage. However, in the end, He capitulated to their incessant whining and gave them a king reminding them of the sorrow this would bring and of the messiah who was still to come.
God’s chosen form of government always has been and always will be a theocracy. A monarchy where God is crowned king and alone sits on the throne. This is the kingdom of peace that Jesus established during His time on earth. The kingdom that shall know no end. The kingdom that knows no jurisdictional or geopolitical bounds. It is above and over all.
What Jesus offered the Jews of His day was an opportunity to enter into that kingdom. A kingdom that was not subject to Caesar. A kingdom wherein peace was always available in every circumstance and every storm life could offer. Even in the face of intense persecution, the King promised to be with His citizens whom He would call brothers, sisters, and friends. To everyone who believed on His name, they were given the right to be called the sons of God. The politics of Israel and Rome grew dim in light of the glory of the Kingdom of God. It’s citizens lived by the deep conviction that no matter what injustices they faced in this world, this world was not their home. They were strangers and foreigners in a strange land just as their ancestor Abraham had once been. Their home was the eternal city that Abraham was promised and longed to see. They no longer lived in fear of men who could kill their bodies alone. They lived in fear of the one who created them. The one who loved them so much that He gave His only son to take upon himself their punishment while offering His reward.
The early Christians understood that the Kingdom Jesus proclaimed at hand was not a geopolitical state. It was so much bigger than that. It’s rule reached so much further than the borders of Israel and even those of the Roman Empire. They sought not places of power. They forbid new converts from joining the army. They refused to pay taxes that swore to the lordship of Caesar. They recognized but one sovereign. They had but one king. And it was for this crime that many of them were put to death. In early accounts of trials against the citizens of Heaven, when one of them was convicted to death, many others voluntarily came forward to meet the same fate. They outed themselves as followers of Jesus in the middle of a court case knowing full well that the end would be their gruesome death.
These ideas are so foreign to American Christians. We cannot comprehend persecution. It has no place in our theology because of the “inalienable rights” we’ve enjoyed bestowed on us by this great Constitution. We believe God has chosen the United States of America to once again display His glory in the earth. A new chosen people. We believe that the sacred duty of this new chosen people is voting.
As I was listening to Christian Talk Radio the other day, I heard the host state that one of the greatest sins that one could commit today would be to NOT vote. He went on to say that God gave us this great privilege to vote in this country and to neglect that honor and privilege was one of the greatest sins that men could commit. What was strange about this seemingly mortal sin though was the limited population that could actually be guilty of it. Many around the world have no opportunity to ever engage in this kind of sin. This sin was for the privileged alone and not equal opportunity.
So the real question is not whether or not a Christian should vote Republican. The real question is should a Christian vote? It’s not our government. By voting are we condoning the lawlessness that both parties perpetuate on the people of the earth in the name of American Patriotism? Sure we could make a case for voting Republican because they are “against abortion,” but how many of them voted for other gross violations of God’s law that also ended in the destruction of another’s life, liberty, or property? Neither Republicans nor Democrats come to the table with clean hands. Both parties have blood in their records. Should we believe that voting for the lesser evil is God’s desire? And how do we weigh sin to understand which ones the Father (the King over All) is focused on during this time?
When these questions and thoughts first started stirring in me, I thought I was disillusioned. I had never heard of anyone holding a similar belief. I knew of no denominations that believed that the Church was subject to the Kingdom of God first and foremost and that we should not participate in temporal powers. It was not until I read Dostyesky’s “The Kingdom of God is Within You” that I realized that all throughout history there have been followers of Christ who not only believed the same but who dared to actually live by those convictions.
Should Christians vote Republican?
Should Christians vote Democrat?
SHOULD CHRISTIANS VOTE?
I realize that even asking this question seems absurd to the masses. I realize too with some trepidation that if Christians do not vote that our country would be at the mercy of evil-doers. I also realize that unpacking this question and its answer is too great a subject to cover in one article.
For now, if you’re offended by the question, I encourage you to go to scripture and allow the Holy Spirit to solidify your foundation – whatever He might choose that to be.