Christians and Voting
Let me begin by saying upfront, this is not an article to tell you who to vote for, or what party to vote for in the next federal election. Rather this has been written by request to give some Biblical help in fulfilling such an important purpose: electing those who will rule over us, make laws, and stand on guard against enemies at home and abroad.
Some people don’t know or may even ignore the facts of History that show the importance of the Christian faith in the founding of Canada. The founders of this country built Canada on the Word of God, as can be seen in many examples. The name “Dominion of Canada”, the motto of Canada, “He shall have dominion from sea to sea” and the phrase on Canada’s coat of arms, “A mari usque ad mare” (Latin for: “From sea to sea”) are taken from Psalm 72:8.
When in 1866, the fathers of Confederation were assembled to discuss the terms for uniting the Canadian provinces, Leonard Tilley, premier of New Brunswick, suggested the word “Dominion” from Psalm 72 for the new country. A letter signed by John A. MacDonald, Canada’s first prime minister, explained to Queen Victoria that the name was “a tribute to the principles they earnestly desired to uphold.” The last province to join Canada was Newfoundland, whose motto is “Seek ye first the kingdom of God” (Matthew 6:33). (Christian Assemblies International)
Though this did not mean being Canadian meant being a Christian, it did put the new nation on a firm course teaching the truth of who all governments, peoples and nations are subject to. Canada has in its past declared the supremacy of God.
Colossians 1:15 He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation. 16 For by him all things were created, in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities—all things were created through him and for him. 17 And he is before all things, and in him all things hold together.
One of the blessings we have experienced in Canada is the freedom to vote for those we desire to rule over us. Yet, in our voting, we are reminded that all authorities are from God and that He is over them all and created them for Himself.
In Romans 13, the Holy Spirit inspired the Apostle Paul to write, “Let every person be subject to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and those that exist have been instituted by God.”
It is the Sovereign Ruler of heaven and earth, the everlasting God who raises up leaders and also disposes of them. He has raised them up for His purpose, which further in Romans 13, is to lift up the sword against the evil doer and to show honour to those who do good.
Though it is God who is ultimately in control over the government, He has chosen various means by which they are raised or taken out of power. In Canada, He has chosen the means in our country to be primarily through the democratic process of every adult citizen casting his or her vote on election day.
I might add that in the last federal election (2011) only 60 percent of eligible voters did get out to vote. That is a sad statement concerning the God ordained freedoms we enjoy that many people in the world do not have.
The question for Christians, like ourselves, is not necessarily, should we vote, (there are places in the Bible that show certain forms of voting or the people choosing leaders, and there are also no statements for or against). The question for us as Christians living in Canada is for whom should I vote and why? What should be the standard I follow to make the proper decision? Should I just vote for the party or the person my relatives have voted for over the years. Should I vote in a certain way or for a certain person because I live in a predominantly ______________ (you choose the party) neighbourhood? Do I vote on the basis of one or two issues or do I vote the lesser evil? Do I vote because I like the particular person’s personality, the way he or she presents themselves on tv? These are among hundreds of questions people have concerning for whom and why they vote.
As Christians, the first and foremost reason why we should vote and who we should vote for is our desire to have leaders who promote Christian principles. This is becoming more of a need then ever before as our nation moves further away from the founding principles upon which our country was built. God has been good to Canada and she has turned away with an ungrateful heart.
For Moses to better lead the nation of Israel, he was given good instruction on choosing others to help in such a great work. Exodus 18:21 Furthermore, you shall select out of all the people able men who fear God, men of truth, those who hate dishonest gain; and you shall place these over them as leaders of thousands, of hundreds, of fifties and of tens.
Note that the standard began with their fear of God, their love for truth and their honest trustworthy character. Would this not be something we would desire to see in our leaders today. So much of what we see and hear in the public square is void of these things. Who can we trust, and who will be faithful in their administration?
Though there is only one nation whose God is the Lord, the Church, we are called to be in the world that we might be light and salt. This begins with being gospel preaching people but also moves out into the world where we are gospel living people. As we preach and live the gospel we are given the responsibility to be a Godly influence in every spectrum of life, family, employment, government, etc.
Where then shall we start? It starts long before we enter the voting centre to cast our vote. To begin with, in order to seek out Godly people with honest and truthful character, we must first be that ourselves. One of the sad truths mentioned in a poll down in the USA is that the evangelicals are the strongest voting block. But a great number of those claiming to be evangelical are so worldly that they don’t have a strong Biblical worldview. Due to this there are many lacking a fear of God and a love for the truth nor have a high honest and godly character. How then can they vote for people based on what they are lacking in themselves. So then the place to start is with oneself. To make a wise godly choice one must be submitted to Christ and the truth of His Word. Walking in the light as He is in the light.
The next step is prayer. The Lord has commanded us to pray for our leaders. 1 Timothy 2:1 First of all, then, I urge that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and thanksgivings be made for all people, 2for kings and all who are in high positions, that we may lead a peaceful and quiet life, godly and dignified in every way. 3This is good, and it is pleasing in the sight of God our Savior, 4who desires all people to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth.
Pray for the Lord to raise up leaders, and pray for those already in place that they would be converted, that they would be God fearing, and that they would be truthful and honest, of good character holding their office with honour. Why? Because He desires all people to be saved and come to the knowledge of the truth. This includes those who rule over us.
In terms of politics and leadership, there is evidence in Scripture that God has been displeased with peoples choices of leadership at times. Hosea 8:3 Israel has rejected the good; The enemy will pursue him. 4 They have set up kings, but not by Me; They have appointed princes, but I did not know it. With their silver and gold they have made idols for themselves, that they might be cut off.
The evidence of sin’s grip on this world is everywhere. Much of the suffering on earth is because of godless leadership. Proverbs 28:12 When the righteous triumph, there is great glory, but when the wicked rise, people hide themselves.
Scripture gives Christians instructions to obey legitimate laws. (Romans 13:1-7), but when it is in contradiction to the Lord’s commands, we are called to take a stand. (Acts 5:27-29). In our country one way to take a stand is to vote for those who are not promoting those laws and acts that are in opposition to the Word of God.
As born-again believers, as we pray we ought to strive to choose leaders who will be themselves led by God, knowing that we along with the country will feel the results of wicked decisions.
1 Samuel 12:13And now behold the king whom you have chosen, for whom you have asked; behold, the LORD has set a king over you. 14If you will fear the LORD and serve him and obey his voice and not rebel against the commandment of the LORD, and if both you and the king who reigns over you will follow the LORD your God, it will be well. 15But if you will not obey the voice of the LORD, but rebel against the commandment of the LORD, then the hand of the LORD will be against you and your king
Candidates or proposals that violate the Bible’s commands for life, family, marriage, or faith should never be supported. Proverbs 14:33 Wisdom rests in the heart of a man of understanding, but it makes itself known even in the midst of fools.34Righteousness exalts a nation, but sin is a reproach to any people. 35A servant who deals wisely has the king’s favor, but his wrath falls on one who acts shamefully.
In short, after prayer and supplication to the Lord,
-vote with a heart submitted to the Word of God:
-Vote for those who live and uphold what is good.
-Vote for those who uphold the value of life, who seek a culture of life and not death.
-Vote for those who are honest and trustworthy.
-Vote for those who call evil, evil and good, good.
-Vote for those who seek to punish the wrongdoer and speak well of those who do good.
-Vote for those whose purpose is to protect her people.
-Vote for those who value the dignity of all people whether rich or poor, in the womb or born, young and old, male or female.
-Vote for those who seek the best and highest for our nation.
-Vote for those who not only talk but walk uprightly and pursue biblical morality.
-Vote for those who fear God and uphold what is written in the opening of the constitution Act 1982,
“Whereas Canada is founded upon principles that recognize the supremacy of God and the rule of law.”
Christians should vote as led through prayer and study of God’s Word. Put these first as you look then at the realities of the choices on the ballot. Christians in many countries in this world are oppressed and persecuted. They suffer under governments they are powerless to change and governments that hate their faith and silence their voices. These believers preach the gospel of Jesus Christ at risk of their own lives. In Canada, Christians have been blessed with the right to speak about and choose their leaders, without fearing for themselves or their families. Pray that we would have leaders who will continue to support these freedoms including the freedom of religion, freedom to worship, and freedom of conscience.
“God has commanded us (as aliens and exiles on the earth): “Seek the welfare of the city where I have sent you into exile, and pray to the Lord on its behalf, for in its welfare you will find your welfare” (Jeremiah 29:7). We are citizens of two kingdoms: the kingdom of God, our ultimate allegiance, and the country in which we live. The ambiguities are many. The complexities are great. The possibility of political miscalculation is real. Until all things old vanish away and at the coming of the Lord only one nation remains, the church. Let us give to Caesar that which is Caesar’s and give to God what is God’s.” (Author Unknown)
Verse four of
Ruler supreme, who hearest humble prayer,
Hold our Dominion, in thy loving care.
Help us to find, O God, in thee,
A lasting rich reward.
As waiting for the better day,
We ever stand on guard.
God keep our land, glorious and free.
O Canada, we stand on guard for thee!
O Canada, we stand on guard for thee!