A Reformed Christian Voter’s Guide

There has been a number of election-related posts over the past several months here on Gentle Reformation. Some authors have questioned whether we should vote for a Mormon. One has  encouraged us to remember the etymology of “vote.” We have been asked to write in a candidate instead of protesting. There’s been some controversy… but Lord willing, it’s all been in the spirit of gentlemen and churchmen. But the question remains: What should we as Reformed Christians do? What should be our guide?

Whether you choose to vote or not to vote in the upcoming elections, below are some paragraphs from the Reformed Presbyterian Testimony that ought to assist you in making a biblically informed decision in (or outside of) the voting booth.

May these paragraphs encourage you to make a decision that pleases King Jesus, the head of the church and the nation. And as you vote or don’t vote, please remember to pray for those who are in authority over us.

* * *

“God has given the exercise of all authority to the Lord Jesus Christ. Christ is the Divine Lawgiver, Governor and Judge. His will concerning the purpose of civil government and the principles regarding its functions and operation are revealed in the written Word of God. The Holy Spirit enables even unregenerate rulers to fulfill their proper functions. A true recognition of the authority and law of Christ in national life can only be the fruit of the Spirit’s regenerating power in the lives of individuals.” Deut. 4:39; Dan. 4:25, 32, 35; Matt. 28:18; Phil. 2:10; Eph. 1:22; Isa. 33: 22; Deut. 17:18-19; Isa. 45:1-7; Ezek. 36:27.

“Every nation ought to recognize the Divine institution of civil government, the sovereignty of God exercised by Jesus Christ, and its duty to rule the civil affairs of men in accordance with the will of God. It should enter into covenant with Christ and serve to advance His Kingdom on earth. The negligence of civil government in any of these particulars is sinful, makes the nation liable to the wrath of God, and threatens the continued existence of the government and nation.”

“We reject the view that nations have no corporate responsibility for acknowledging and obeying Christ.”

“It is the duty of every Christian citizen to labor and pray for his nation’s official and explicit recognition of the authority and law of Jesus Christ, Preserver and Ruler of nations, and for the conduct of all governmental affairs in harmony with the written Word of God.” 1 Tim. 2:1-2; Phil. 2:9-10; Acts 2:1-39; Ps. 2:8-12; Esther 4:14.

“We deny that constitutional recognition of Jesus Christ means union of church and state.”
“We reject the teaching that Christians should not seek the establishment of Christian civil government.”

“No particular form of civil government is commanded in the Scriptures. Any form of civil government which observes the duties and limitations set upon it by God in His revealed Word is acceptable to God.” Ex. 18:21-24; Prov. 29:14; Deut. 1: 16-17.

“We deny that simply having a democratic or republican form of government insures God’s approval and blessing.”

“The Christian, when such action involves no disloyalty to Christ, ought to be involved in the selection of and to vote for civil rulers who fear God, love truth and justice, hate evil, and are publicly committed to scriptural principles of civil government.” Ex. 18:21; Deut. 16:18; 2 Sam. 23:3; Rom. 13:3.

“It is sinful for a Christian to take an oath which compromises his supreme allegiance to Jesus Christ. It is also sinful to vote for officials who are required to take an oath which a Christian himself could not take in good conscience. Voting involves the voter in responsibility for any act required of the official as a condition of holding his office.” Deut. 10:20; Isa. 45:22-23; 2 John 1: 11; 1 Tim. 5:22.”

“The Christian must profess publicly and the Church must witness, that Christ is the Ruler of every nation. Whatever the official action of the civil government of a nation may be, the Christian in his civil actions must always exhibit his loyalty to Christ. The Christian must relinquish every right or privilege of citizenship which involves him in silence about, or denial of the supreme authority of Jesus Christ.” Matt. 5:13-14; Prov. 3:5-6; Ps. 37:7; Matt. 22:21; John 17:14-15; Mark 13:9.

“When participating in political elections, the Christian should support and vote only for such men as are publicly committed to scriptural principles of civil government. Should the Christian seek civil office by political election, he must openly inform those whose support he seeks of his adherence to Christian principles of civil government.” 1 Chron. 16:31; 2 Cor. 6:14-18; 2 Chron. 19:6-7; Dan. 2:48; Eph. 4:25.

Readers, may you please Jesus with your vote. Happy voting… or not voting.

4 Comments

  1. alcoramdeo October 27, 2012 at 8:33 pm #

    Wisely and graciously presented.
    Thank you, Brother Nate.

  2. Sugel October 31, 2012 at 4:12 pm #

    “Moreover, to kings, princes, rulers, and magistrates , we affirm that chiefly and most principally the conservation and purgation of the religion appertains; so that not only they are appointed for civil policy, but also for maintenance of the true religion, and for suppressing of idolatry and superstition whatsoever: as in David, Jehoshaphat, Hezekiah, Josiah, and others, highly commended for their zeal in that case, may be espied.” The Scottish Confession of Faith (written by John Knox and others), Chapter 24, 1560. “Yet civil government has as its appointed end, so long as we live among men, to cherish and protect the outward worship of God, to defend sound doctrine of piety and the position of the church, to adjust our life to the society of men, to form our social behavior to civil righteousness, to reconcile us with one another, and to promote general peace and tranquility.” – John Calvin , Institutes of the Christian Religion , 4:20:2.

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