Whether a Christian should vote is a very narrow aspect of life, but the spirit of this question is at the root of many concerns. Consider these question as well:
If God is in control, then should I bother sharing the gospel with my friends?
If God is in control, why should I even pray?
It’s Always Good to Do Good Things
The answer is pretty simple. Yes, even though God is in control, you should still do things that are good, honorable, and right. In fact, the subjects of politics, evangelism, prayer, and God’s will for all people collide in Paul’s exhortation to pray for leaders so that we might lead peaceable lives within the culture.
First of all, then, I urge that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and thanksgivings be made for all people, for kings and all who are in high positions, that we may lead a peaceful and quiet life, godly and dignified in every way. This is good, and it is pleasing in the sight of God our Savior, who desires all people to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth.1 Timothy 2:1-4
It’s always good to do good things. Even though he is in control, God has always expected something of his people. In Paul’s short letter to Titus, the phrase “good works” is used five times to describe the kinds of actions that should characterize God’s people (Titus 2:7, 2;14, 3:1, 3:8, 3:14). As the people of God, we should be looking to impact the world around us by doing good works.
But Is Voting Good, Honorable, and Right?
It’s always good to do good things, right? But this begs the question—is voting even a good thing in the first place?
Scripture never commands the Christian to vote. Since only men who were Roman citizens could vote during the time of the Apostles, the vast majority of Christians in the Roman Empire would not have been eligible to vote. It doesn’t make sense that the Apostles would have given specific commandments concerning voting.
Placing a ballot in a box is not a virtuous thing in and of itself. But in the verses mentioned above, Paul tells the Christians that having the right relationship with government leadership is a good thing. This relationship should be characterized by prayer (1 Timothy 2:1-2) and submission (Titus 3:1). We should also remember that failing to submit to government (when, of course, their requirements do not violate Scripture) and failing to pray for our leadership is a sin.
What we see here is that godly leadership is something that the Scriptures are concerned with. Under the Old Covenant, God commanded Israel to select wise, understanding, and experienced leaders (Deuteronomy 1:13; Proverbs 29:4, 31:4-8). Paul teaches on this subject yet a third time in Romans 13:1-14, telling the believers that the reason they pay taxes is that government leaders are ministers of God.
If our goal is to “lead a peaceful and quiet life, godly and dignified in every way” (1 Timothy 2:2), and if Scripture commends paying taxes for the support of government leaders (Romans 13:6), then it only stands to reason that we use our freedom to vote in order to instill leaders who are people of character and are most likely to pass laws that reflect God’s law.
Voting is not commanded in Scripture, but the blessing of this freedom given to American Christians is a matter of stewardship.
God Has Always Used People to Accomplish His Will
Without a doubt, God is sovereign over all!
The Lord has established his throne in the heavens, and his kingdom rules over all. (Psalm 103:19)
Our God is in the heavens; he does all that he pleases. (Psalm 115:3)
Whatever the Lord pleases, he does, in heaven and on earth, in the seas and all deeps. (Psalm 135:6)
Declaring the end from the beginning and from ancient times things not yet done, saying, ‘My counsel shall stand, and I will accomplish all my purpose,’ (Isaiah 46:10)
But God has always used people to accomplish his will.
- The Scriptures were written by human authors (2 Peter 1:21).
- Christ was born of a woman (Matthew 1:21-23).
- Israel was given as a light to the nations to bring salvation to the ends of the earth (Isaiah 42:6, Isaiah 49:6, Isaiah 52:10, Isaiah 60:3, Acts 13:47).
- The Church has been commanded to bring the gospel to the nations (Matthew 28:19-20), uphold God’s truth (1 Timothy 3:15), and teach and equip the saints (Ephesians 4:11-14).
It is a great mystery that the all-powerful, sovereign God who created this earth has chosen to use people to accomplish His will on earth.
So, should a Christian vote? Whether it is evangelism or prayer—and, yes, even voting—the believer should do good things not because they have the power to change the mind of a God who is in control of all things, but because it is good and pleasing in the sight of God our Savior, who desires all people to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth.