I would see it from a different perspective. I would say the main problem isn't because Christians don't vote, but because Christians don't evangelize. (EDIT: I know you agree that evangelism is important, brother, I just make that as a general statement.) The only type of "political" Christians I have a problem with are the ones who spend hours in political matters, but don't care enough to hand out a Gospel tract.
Absolutely! I agree 100%. I had mixed feelings about Jerry Falwell because of just that, but then I didnt know him personally. I always felt he and Pat Robertson were both too far into the political scene.
Billy Graham ventured a little too close to the fire w/ Nixon... got burned, and never got that close to politics again. He got near presidents, but not politics.
We should do both... we should evangelize, pray [b]and[/b] let our voices be heard... especially where abortion is concerned. If Christians sit silently and do nothing, not even vote, then the innocent blood of millions is on their hands. There is no two ways about it.
Bad things happend when good men do nothing.
| 2007/5/23 16:54|
Quote:Well, America may never have been a "Christian" nation, but it certainly was the first nation that allowed "Christians" to practice their faith -- regardless of doctrinal persuasion -- without fear of life or limb.
America never was a "Christian nation."
I believe that we have a responsibility to our family. When a politician, political party, legislature or judge can change the fabric of our lives in such a profound way -- they I believe that it is our responsibility to vote. There are persecuted believers in other countries who dream of such a right! After all, a "vote" is merely a "voice." My wife, my family. the Church -- and yes, my country -- mean far too much to me to squander such a "voice."
There are examples in the Scriptures where government was used by believers (such as Paul the Apostle's "appeal unto Caesar"). For anyone who DOESN'T vote, they need to remember such "silence" when matters do not go well for family, community, Church, or nation.
| 2007/5/23 17:29||Profile|
I'm sure many won't agree with this but I'll post an article that shows some of the principles of my thinking. I'm sure I don't agree with everything on the website it's on, maybe not even everything on the article...
Separation of Church and State
by Joseph Keener
published by Rod and Staff Publishers, Inc.
"My kingdom is not of this world: if my kingdom were of this world, then would my servants fight, that I should not be delivered to the Jews: but now is my kingdom not from hence" (John 18:36)
In this explanation Jesus makes it clear that there is a definite separation between His kingdom and the kingdoms of this world. The fact that Jesus had not allowed His disciples to defend Him was evidence enough of this fact. Christ's kingdom is heavenly and seeks the reconciliation of the sinner to God, but civil and world governments are of this earth and seek for power and supremacy.
The separation of church and state is also taught in 2 Corinthians 5:20 where the Christian is referred to as an ambassador - "Now then we are ambassadors for Christ." An ambassador is one who represents one country to another. He does not become involved in the government of the other country but seeks the welfare of his own. Likewise, the Christian does not become involved in the affairs of earthly governments but represents the heavenly kingdom to them. He is in this world but is not of this world (John 17:16). His work is spiritual, not political. His responsibility is to help the people of this world to give their allegiance to the heavenly kingdom of Christ.
A key passage of Scripture in helping us to understand the relationship of the church to the state is Romans 13. It is significant that in this chapter there is no instruction given to the Christian concerning his involvement in the affairs of the state. Neither is there any teaching given to the state for the Christian to follow. This Scripture is solely given to the believer to instruct him in his obligation to and his attitude toward the civil authorities over him. He is taught to pay taxes, to honor, and to obey.
The purpose of the state, as taught in Romans 13, is seen to be in conflict with the teachings of Jesus to His disciples. In verse 4 we read, "For he beareth not the sword in vain: for he is the minister of God, a revenger to execute wrath upon him that doeth evil." In contrast, Jesus told His disciples, "Put up again thy sword into his place: for all they that take the sword shall perish with the sword" (Matthew 26:52). When the soldiers came to John the Baptist and inquired concerning what they must do to repent, he said, "Do violence to no man" (Luke 3:14). In Romans 12:19 we read, "Dearly beloved, avenge not yourselves, but rather give place unto wrath: for it is written, Vengeance is mine; I will repay, saith the Lord." With purposes so diverse, it is impossible to be consistent while serving in both capacities. God is calling the church to be separate from the state.
[b]The separation of church and state is not an Old Testament doctrine. God separated Abraham from his own people to make of him a great nation (Genesis 12:2). As a nation, God gave His people laws concerning the restraining of evil and the punishment of the evildoer. He placed a sword in their hand and commanded them to use it in bringing judgment upon other ungodly nations (Deuteronomy 20:17). Israel's civil law demanded life for life, an eye for an eye, and a tooth for a tooth (Deuteronomy 19:21). God also charged Israel with a spiritual ministry. He worked through them to reconcile other peoples to Himself. In this sense, the Jewish nation embodied both the responsibility of an earthly kingdom and the responsibility of the heavenly kingdom.
In the change of covenants the role of church and state have been separated. No longer is it the responsibility of God's people to wield God's sword of vengeance against His enemies. No longer is it the responsibility of the state to be the standard bearer of truth. There are now two entities with diverse goals and interests. Failure to see this difference between the two covenants leads to confusion and misapplication of this vital New Testament doctrine.
The separation of church and state reaches into the practical expressions of everyday life. For example: Should the Christian participate in the military when Jesus has commanded him to love his enemies? Should he be an officer of the law when he is commanded not to resist evil? Should a Christian hold political offices and vote when he is an ambassador of another country? Should the Christian seek to coerce his government for rights by lobbying or various forms of protest when his concern is the salvation of souls? The consistent answer is no. "Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you, and will be a Father unto you, and ye shall be my sons and daughters, saith the Lord Almighty" (2 Corinthians 6:17, 18).
God Establishes and Overrules in Governments
God establishes governments. "Let every soul be subject unto the higher powers. For there is no power but of God: the powers that be are ordained of God" (Romans 13:1).
Civil power is God-given. "Then saith Pilate unto him, Speakest thou not unto me? knowest thou not that I have power to crucify thee, and have power to release thee? Jesus answered, Thou couldest have no power at all against me, except it were given thee from above: therefore he that delivered me unto thee hath the greater sin" (John 19:10, 11).
Men in government are placed there by God. "This matter is by the decree of the watchers, and the demand by the word of the holy ones: to the intent that the living may know that the most High ruleth in the kingdom of men, and giveth it to whomsoever he will, and setteth up over it the basest of men" (Daniel 4:17). Also see Daniel 4:25, 32.
The Lord directs the decisions of civil leaders. "The king's heart is in the hand of the Lord, as the rivers of water: he turneth it whithersoever he will" (Proverbs 21:1).
The Work of Government
Government is established to keep order in society. "For he is the minister of God to thee for good. But if thou do that which is evil, be afraid; for he beareth not the sword in vain: for he is the minister of God, a revenger to execute wrath upon him that doeth evil" (Romans 13:4).
Collecting taxes is a God-given right. "For for this cause pay ye tribute also: for they are God's ministers, attending continually upon this very thing. Render therefore to all their dues: tribute to whom tribute is due; custom to whom custom; fear to whom fear; honour to whom honour" (Romans 13:6, 7).
"And they send unto him certain of the Pharisees and of the Herodians, to catch him in his words. And when they were come, they say unto him, Master, we know that thou art true, and carest for no man: for thou regardest not the person of men, but teachest the way of God in truth: Is it lawful to give tribute to Caesar, or not? Shall we give, or shall we not give? But he, knowing their hypocrisy, said unto them, Why tempt ye me? bring me a penny, that I may see it. And they brought it. And he saith unto them, Whose is this image and superscription? And they said unto him, Caesar's. And Jesus answering said unto them, Render to Caesar the things that are Caesar's and to God the things that are God's. And they marvelled at him" (Mark 12:13-17).
Our Duty to the Government
We should respect our leaders. "Honour the king" (1 Peter 2:17).
We should pray for our leaders. "I exhort therefore, that, first of all, supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks, be made for all men; for kings, and for all that are in authority; that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and honesty. For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Saviour" (1 Timothy 2:1-3).
We should pay taxes. "And he said unto them, Render therefore unto Caesar the things which be Caesar's and unto God the things which be God's" (Luke 20:25).
We should obey our leaders. "Submit yourselves to every ordinance of man for the Lord's sake: whether it be to the king, as supreme; or unto governors, as unto them that are sent by him for the punishment of evildoers, and for the praise of them that do well. For so is the will of God" (1 Peter 2:13-15).
"Whosoever therefore resisteth the power, resisteth the ordinance of God: and they that resist shall receive to themselves damnation" (Romans 13:2).
God's Intention for the Christian
His nation is a holy nation. "But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should shew forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvellous light" (1 Peter 2:9).
"Who hath delivered us from the power of darkness, and hath translated us into the kingdom of his dear Son" (Colossians 1:13).
He seeks a better country. "These all . . . confessed that they were strangers and pilgrims on the earth. . . . But now they desire a better country, that is, an heavenly" (Hebrews 11:13, 16).
He represents another country. "Now then we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God did beseech you by us: we pray you in Christ's stead, be ye reconciled to God" (2 Corinthians 5:20).
Again, I may not agree with every part of the article, but it should outline my thinking.
| 2007/5/24 10:55||Profile|
If the law is giving us the right to vote, than by all means vote. In other countries, men are appointed, some are self appointed, and the people do not have that luxury to vote, worse, elections are rigged.
But we should be asking the LORD who to vote for. He may tell us not to vote this time around, that's a possiblity that we should leave open.
What do you want to do LORD?
| 2007/5/24 12:00|
Quote:This is probably why we Christians are silent.
Krispy said:If Christians sit silently and do nothing, not even vote, then the innocent blood of millions is on their hands
Quote:When Jezebel was ruling Israel, God had 7,000 men hidden that bowed not the knee to baal.
Proverbs 28:28 When the wicked rise, men hide themselves: but when they perish, the righteous increase.
Something to think about.
| 2007/5/24 18:07|
| Re: Should Christians Vote?|
In general, no. When one feels something is just too important and the context demands it, sure. But identifying myself with any political party? No way.
| 2007/5/24 18:34||Profile|
Interesting insights by everyone. Thanks!
| 2007/5/24 20:02||Profile|
If Christians sit silently and do nothing, not even vote, then the innocent blood of millions is on their hands. There is no two ways about it.
This is a tough situation. The prevailing philosophy is if you vote for pro-life candidates they will be able to reverse Roe v.Wade. But has it happened? You may say "yes, but slowly and that eventually it will be outlawed." But what does reality say? The reality is that the majority of those getting ABs are religious people, even evangelicals. The basic problem with AB is a spiritual one that cannot be remedied with secular laws forbidding it although I wholehardedly approve of them. But it will not happen in a long time, I am afraid, because there are too many politics involved.
Then you have ignorant folks who will take their cues for what is right and wrong by what the laws say: "If the law does not forbid it, it is ok." Really! When I first heard this I was appalled that someone could be so ignorant or dumb. No moral compass beyond the existing secular laws to guide thir behaviors.
So the issue appears: "vote for me because I take this righteous (Biblical) stand on this issue and if elected I will fix it." Has it been accomplished? Since my involvement in the pro-life ministry, I have concluded the solution to the AB problem rests in a conversion experience of the individual, one at a time in which a hatred for sin resides in the heart and mind of the individual.
So what do I do about the children being led to the slaughter? Good question and only one you can answer with the Holy Spirit directing you. It may start by teachng people that repentanace involves the forsaking of immorality in mind and lifestyle instead of justifying it.
I have voted with moral issues in mind and as I grow older, I, too, am questioning the value of voting. Now having said this, I expect my DH to tell me to go vote come election time....
| 2007/5/25 19:11||Profile|
All I can say is thank God men like John Adams didnt have a doubt in their minds about this issue. While people pontificate that really spiritual people dont vote, they fail to remember that God used America as a Christian nation (which it isnt anymore) to reach more people around the world with the gospel of Jesus Christ than any other country in history.
This happened because godly men stood up, took action, and did something to bring America into being... and God blessed it.
We all come to this forum and lament the state of the American culture. I maintain that the reason America is in the shape it is in is because Christians dont voice their views, and dont stand up and say "no", and dont get involved.
Well, go a little farther back in history, and you will find that it was when the church stopped praying, and started to get involved in the Roman government, and voice their views, and force a MORALITY on the heathen country, instead of the "foolish" GOSPEL, the nation fell into pieces, and christianity was mostly perverted, except for the remnant that God preserved...
Also, remember, this nation was not founded on Christianity, it was founded on rebellion... i know; some of you patriots will get on me for that, but it's true... Now, yes, it has had some leaders which were upright men, but many were not. Morality has declined as a whole, not just in "christian" America, but every place, since then. As for God blessing it, remember, He "blessed" (from one point of veiw) the heathen nations that have risen in power (and wickedness) in the centuries gone by- just because it apprears that God's "blessing" is on something doesn't mean that it fully Christian, or godly.
Lest you think i'm unthankful for the way God has allowed this country to be, i'll give my praise for what He has done. His will cannot be disputed.
And, YES, Christians in America are at fault, but not for with-holding their voices, but for not PRAYING!!
Here's something to think about-- When President Bill Clinton was elected, many Christians voted against him for his ungodly ways... and yet God saw fit to "ordain" him to that position of authority... tell me: did those Christians vote against the will of God? i'll leave you all to answer that. It is not the Christian's desision, but God's...
In the end times, when the beast comes, and us Christians are saying " NO! NO! He can't be put into that position!! He's the anti-christ!!" We will be voting against GOD'S WILL, if we take that stand.
You see, God's Kingdom is totally separate, politically, from the kingdom of this world. If it were not separate, God would have Revelation bring a different key note than it does...
Also, in Romans 13, it says to obey them that have the rule over you... there is no law that says you must vote: only the law of opinion, and patriotism, which, a Christian, i believe should not be patriotic, for they are divided in their allegence.
My thoughts, along with a blessing
| 2007/5/25 23:00||Profile|
I just wanted to remind you that a "vote" is simply a "voice." There are many people that I know who take stands against "voting" but are quick to share their "voice" on the same issues that cause many to vote. It has far less to do with "patriotism" than it has to do for caring enough to let your voice be heard on behalf of your wife, children, family, community, church, state and the morality of this nation.
Again, there are many nations in this world where believers are praying for such an unpunished "voice." I suggest that individuals who do not understand this should listen to the messages of Richard Wurmbrand (of [i]Voice of the Martyrs[/i]). His ministry, born out of the torture he endured at the hand of the Soviets, caused him to use the governmental entities of the United States to bring greater religious freedom to people behind the Iron and Bamboo Curtains. This is similar to the use of the Roman political system by Paul the Apostle to "appeal unto Caesar" and bring the Gospel to the "house of Caesar" in Rome.
| 2007/5/25 23:46||Profile|