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Does It Really Matter If Christians Vote? A Pastoral Response

First, it demonstrates love for your neighbor. Jesus told us in Matthew 22 the second greatest commandment is to “love your neighbor as yourself.” Using our voice and our vote as Christians to influence the political landscape of our country is one way we can show love to our neighbor (Galatians 6:10).

Second, Christians must bring the influence of faith into all aspects of life. James 2:26 says, “As the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without deeds is dead.” As we act on our faith, living out biblical principles in every area of our lives, we become a source for good in our communities and our nation. The purpose of voting is not to advance one political party’s ideology; the objective is to use our vote to advance biblical truth for the good of our communities (Jeremiah 29:7).

Related article: David Platt on the Problems with Saying ‘You can’t be a Christian and vote for…’

I conclude my answer by addressing the often-used and somewhat trendy argument that goes something like this: “You can’t legislate morality.” A simple response to that is this: Someone’s morality is being legislated. The question is ‘whose?’ How can freedom survive without moral restraints? Look at nations in the world where women are subjugated and abused. There are countries where it is acceptable to sell children for sex. Read the history of recent Europe and look at what happened when Christians did not stand against injustice and tyranny? By that I mean Germany in the 1930’s and the unwillingness of the Church in Germany to speak out against Hitler. Bonhoeffer seemed to be the lone voice “crying in the wilderness,” but there was no opportunity to vote then. I’ll say it again: voting is a gift. It is a good thing.

“Churches do not have to endorse candidates or political parties (God doesn’t ride on the backs of elephants or donkeys), but the church must have a voice at the voting booth to stand for biblical values.”

As Americans, we are allowed the unique opportunity to influence our laws. If we, as Christians, begin to remove ourselves from politics, this opens the door for moral decay and culture shift, inevitably changing the direction of a government that honors God.

And so, as promised earlier in my response, we go to the Bible in James 4:17 and read, “So whoever knows the right thing to do and fails to do it, for him it is sin.” That is sobering.