“My kingdom is not of this world,” Jesus said (John 18:36). Since we believe in Christ, our kingdom should be like his, for he is our Lord and the only sovereign King (1 Timothy 6:15). Furthermore, we are God’s children, hoping for the revelation of the kingdom that is to come. We are ambassadors of Christ (2Corinthians 5:20); sojourners while on earth (1 Peter 2:11).
Do the above realities for the child of God bear on one’s responsibility to take part in a national election?
The scriptures quoted above have the primary aim to instruct us to shun this world’s evil mindset, embracing in its stead the mindset of the kingdom we truly belong to–a kingdom ruled in purity, justice and equality. We are to pursue these virtues, seeking to see God’s kingdom come and God’s will done on earth as it is in heaven (Matthew 6:10). Whatsoever would contradict God’s will as revealed in his word, that we ought to shun.
Why Many Boycot Voting
Christian or not, a number of those who shy from taking part in elective exercises do so mainly out of indifference. The middle class is especially guilty. These care primarily about their individual comfort, often persuaded their livelihoods are secure regardless of who is in power.
The ‘deep state’ rhetoric, whether real or not, is another reason for election boycott. Many are convinced that elections are predetermined by an elitist gang who go the lengths to ensure their preferred candidate gets into power to safeguard their interests. In addition, election officials are known to carry out their responsibility with bias.
Moreover, for believers, an over spiritualization of life has often led to political disinterest, dismissing politics as having no significant bearing on a Christian’s walk of faith. If anything, politics is ‘a dirty game’ whose outcomes are more likely to be negative, hence worth steering clear of.
Why Still Should a Christian Vote?
- Because God is in control – ‘Deep State’, ‘Democracy’, and such like terms all reek of human influence, but while man plays a vital role in who ascends to power, the Bible asserts that no authority exists that is not the result of God’s sovereign will (Romans 13:1). Paul believed the Emperor of his time and one of history’s worst tyrannical leaders, Nero Agustus, rose to power and prominence by the will of God. So was Prophet Daniel’s persuasion regarding kings Nebuchadnezzar and Darius, who both worshipped pagan gods and enslaved the Israelites (Daniel 2:21). God is sovereign over elections. Though we vote, the outcome rests squarely in his hands (Proverbs 16:13).
- Because we love God – Love for God is seen primarily in our obedience to him (John 14:21). Part of his commands to us is to be obedient to our earthly authorities insofar as that does not violate our godly conscience. Kenyan law stipulates that upon turning eighteen, one becomes eligible for voting. Statistics currently place Kenya’s population at 48 million, 60% of whom are eligible to vote. But, quite sadly, only 39% have registered as voters. A staggering 21% live in disobedience to the authority and, subsequently, to God!
- Because it keeps with a patriotic spirit – Patriotism may be defined as undying devotion to one’s country. The Bible is not short of examples. David could not stomach the Philistine Goliath’s insults toward his nation and God, risking his life for their honour (1 Samuel 17). Nehemiah could not bear the news of his people’s struggle and shame, so he prayed earnestly and acted (Nehemiah 2:1-8). Our country’s plummeting economy, injustice, etcetera, might all be bad enough to get us wishing we called a different nation home. But such wishing is not for patriots. Patriots fight to turn things around, and the ballot is one crucial means for doing so. We owe ourselves not just the duty to vote but the love that expresses itself in no other way. It is a love that gifts fellow citizens good leaders, who in turn will dispense justice and equity, thwarting any chance that some will suffer hunger and thirst while others enjoy looted wealth.
- Because Godly, reasonable voting prevents suffering – It is on account of bad leaders that a nation suffers (Proverbs 28:12). King Ahab’s wickedness and influence unto sin brought drought upon the land of Israel for three years. He was so evil that he allowed child sacrifice to Molech (2 Kings 16:3)! A nation will at other times suffer not as a direct consequence of its leadership’s sins but as a consequence of its incompetencies. Cattle rustling and its associated deaths, lack of access to education, high unemployment, etc., can all be undone by putting competent, God-fearing leaders in power.
- Because wrong leadership choices displease God (Hosea 8:8-10) – It pleases God that there be a leadership that promotes humanity’s peaceful and prosperous existence (1 Timothy 2:2). In saying they wanted a king like other nations, Israel rejected God as king over them (1 Samuel 8:7). We similarly reject God’s reign over us by choosing men who, instead of working to bring about God’s good purposes for humanity, attempt to thwart them. Such choosing can be done both by casting a vote in favour of an evil man, or boycotting to vote altogether.
The Guide for Christian Voting
A Christian should vote in a way that aims to bring glory to God. We should neither accept nor reject a man because of his tribe, but rightly evaluate his character. Is he an honourable man? Does he love and care for his neighbours? Is he innocent of corruption? Ultimately, are his policies championing what accords with the will of God or not?
We Must Repent
Where we’ve erred, especially by being indifferent, we ought to repent. The opportunity to do so is just around the bend. God forbid that we would be like the Laodicean Christians who were of no refreshing influence on their society. They were indifferent to the community’s needs. They were lukewarm (Revelations 3:14-22).
It is unthinkable that Christians, who know the will of God best and are called to pursue it, should leave the crucial matter of a nation’s leadership in the hands of heathen men. God cares about who becomes our leader, and so should we–and actively so.