We have been told from all parts of society that we should not mix politics and religion, the Church and the state. However, for Christians, faith is meant to be instructive to them in their relationships, their careers and all aspects of their lives.
So, why should we cordon off politics from our faith? The truth of the matter is many Christians today don’t know how their faith affects their vote.
Instead of shying away from the issue, I would like to tell you how I think all Christians should vote. No, I’m not going to come out and say vote Republican or vote Democrat. That would be too easy … and too polarizing.
Instead, I will outline the principles by which I believe all Christians should vote.
Vote For Citizens
In some ways, Christians have a unique place in our society, because we have dual-citizenship. We are commanded to be “aliens and strangers” in this world because our “citizenship is in heaven” (I Peter 2:11, Philippians 3:20).
However, at the same time, we are nevertheless citizens of the towns, states and country in which we reside. Voting for Citizens means we should not simply vote for what we think is best for people in the Church, but rather as a citizen of Ft. Lee, or New Jersey or the United States.
“Seek the peace and prosperity of the city to which I have carried you. Pray to the LORD for it, because if it prospers, you too will prosper.” ~ Jeremiah 29:7
The other aspect of Voting for Citizens means we are not trying to usher in a church-state. We are not trying to legislate Christianity. That didn’t work for Constantine, nor for the Crusades. And it won’t work today.
Any attempt to moralize society with Christian ethics is not only impractical but also impossible. It may not only be deceitful but also destructive. We should not force people to follow morals without faith. Those are what we call hypocrites. In fact, Jesus’ harshest judgements were reserved for the most morally upright in society (Matthew 23), because their “righteousness” was not based on faith. We don’t want a society full of Pharisees and professional moralists.
It is precisely this acknowledgement that is at the center of our understanding of the Gospel. It is our admission we are not good enough or morally upright enough to be considered righteous that is at the core of our believing the Gospel. It’s not that we live a life “good” enough, it’s precisely that we cannot. And we turn to Jesus for salvation.