Some of our readers may remember that back during the election we posted some information about the Christian and the Civil Government and God’s relationship to the Civil Government. I am glad to inform you that much insightful and spirited conversation ensued from that article, perhaps eliciting a greater response than any we have yet put up. In regards to some of the questions and comments I think it good to revisit the issue and establish more firmly some biblical facts.
There are many today who believe that it is not only a Christian’s God given right, or liberty to vote, but that it is a Christian’s responsibility, some even saying that it is a sin NOT to vote! Others believe that it is not only unwise or unnecessary, but even that the it is a sin TO vote! I believe that this alone is reason enough to give the issue some due consideration.
There are few subjects more awesome, mysterious and wonderful that that of God’s providence or, his management and guidance over this universe. While we are insured time and time again of God’s omnipotence, there is not much that we are told of how God works insomuch as this is involved. It seems that the old adage, “the Lord moves in mysterious ways” is very applicable. Even inspired writers were hesitant to label something as definitely being the product of God’s providence. (Esther 4:14; Philemon 1:5) This is a subject which merits a lengthy study in its own right, but for now we consider what if anything, the Bible says about God’s providential control of the Kingdoms of Men.
The Devil and Civil Government
As was said in our last article, it is the belief of the writer that in a most intimate way, the Devil is the Ruler of Earthly Kingdoms. What does that mean? Well, quite simply it means that our President and congress are not making decisions and policies based upon the Bible, which is the sole medium through which God leads men’s actions in the world today. As far as I know there is no nation on this earth who is governed by strict adherence to the scriptures, if there was it wouldn’t be a nation, it would be a congregation of the Lord’s church! And so we have no reason to doubt at least a part of Satan’s statement to Jesus in Luke 4 “for this has been delivered to me…” (verse 6) man kind delivered a measure of the service to their devil when they turned their backs on God as their kings chose to follow after the flesh and carnal desires. Satan continued by claiming to Jesus that he “gives” authority and glory in earthly kingdoms “to whomsoever he wishes.” Well now, that is an interesting thought isn’t it! Here Satan Claims that HE gives out the power in man’s kingdoms! Is that true? Well Jesus did not argue with him, he did not tell him that his words were false. How could it be that Satan gives civil authority? I find no scripture to indicate that Satan has the powers of deity; I don’t believe that he does, but it does seem that sometimes the works of his followers are attributed to him. The world serves the devil, whether knowingly or unknowingly, and the world chooses who is put in office, whether by voting in an election or by violently taking and giving a throne in a civil war or some such thing. The word of God does not lead men to these things, so they are attributed to be works of the Devil.
God and the Civil Government
That being said we must also recognize that the Bible clearly teaches that God rules amidst the kingdoms of men as well. How does he do it? I do not know! The Bible tells us that years ago God “sent” nations here and there to do this and that. He called wicked Gentile kings his “servants” when he “used” them to accomplish some task. In fact in some cases we find were the Bible specifically tells of God raising up a man to set on the throne and striking another king dead for allowing himself to be worshiped. These brief glimpses behind the curtain of mystery which hides God’s providential work from our eyes only arouse our interest and amazement, but they do not answer the question of how. It is this writer’s firm conviction that God has in his power the ability to create and destroy as he wills, and that regardless of the Civil leaders, God is the master of this Universe, but how directly or indirectly does he involve himself? Beyond what the Bible specifically reveals we cannot know!
Does God Use Christians to Vote in His Candidate?
It is really amazing how providence is viewed as ammo for both sides of this issue! Some tell us that God providentially chooses every civil leader and if we vote, and happen to vote for the wrong person we have violated God’s will by voting against His candidate! Others tell us that God providentially uses Christians to put his person in office. To this writer there is still a great question that might never be fully answered as to how involved God is with the election and authority of every civil leader, but lets just say that God did use Christians to vote in his candidate. How would he do it? How would we know who to vote for? God does not highjack the free-will of men and guide them supernaturally, separate and apart from the scripture! If God wanted us to vote he would have told us how to vote in the scripture! He would have given some kind of principles to follow in our civil work, but the Bible still only tells Christians: pay, pray and obey. To just suppose that God wants you to vote and that some how he is going to ensure that you vote for the right person is to make broader, more sweeping assumptions about God’s providence than even the Apostles were willing to make! If there is justification or commandment for a Christian to vote, I do not believe it is to be found here. – CED