Being a Christian – Citizen part 1: The responsibility to vote.
God is in control, but he gives us choices which have consequences.
I am going to post two part series over the next day or so regarding our as citizens in this great nation of ours, and why it matters.
While it is true that God is sovereign and ultimately in control – he does give us choices with consequences, just as he did Isreal.
In that vein I would like to present an article written by John Revell which discusses how God holds us accountable for who we elect to office, and what is acceptable behavior and what we should look for in our public servants. This goes beyond the traditional, moral issues which should weight on our hearts heavily.
Isaiah revealed their wickedness in 1:17, where he declared that the nation had failed to “seek justice, encourage the oppressed. Defend the cause of the fatherless, plead the case of the widow.” Isaiah continued the indictment in verse 23, where he proclaimed: “Your rulers are rebels, companions of thieves; they all love bribes and chase after gifts. They do not defend the cause of the fatherless; the widow’s case does not come before them.”
This alarming indictment was because of Judah’s civil sin. The national leadership had failed miserably in key areas of civil responsibility: justice, deliverance from oppression and protection for the helpless. They had also allowed their rulings and policies to be influenced by bribes and “gifts.” God explicitly identified this failure as “evil” in Isaiah 1:16, and equated these civil sins with the depravity of Sodom and Gomorrah in 1:10.
This applies to both parties.
Democrats seeking to remove the right of secret ballot of workers in an effort to force increased unionization and therefore pad their coffers is one example. Republicans taking money from “big business” lobbyist is a form of another.
Lets be clear though, seeking justice and defending the cause of the fatherless and case of the widow is not adhearing to Marxist belief in wealth redistribution and taxing everyone into poverty to empower the government. It is a claim of protecting the weak and re-enforces the notion that everyone should be equal under the law with no exception.
The larger point Revell makes, though, is that God ultimately holds us accountable for electing bad (immoral) leadership.
In Isaiah’s day, God not only held the leaders accountable for their civil immorality, He held the people accountable for their actions as well.
The principle we draw from this passage is this: When the citizens have a voice in the selection and direction of their civil leaders, God holds both the leaders and the citizens accountable for the civil sins of their government.
It was true of Judah, but is it fair to suggest that God applies this standard to us today? Consider the following:
The citizens of the United States elect the leaders of our nation — leaders who set civil and social policies for our nation, including policies on moral issues such as abortion, “gay marriage,” euthanasia, assisted suicide, and more. The decisions of these leaders directly impact the moral direction of our nation. Therefore, the people’s vote (or failure to vote) ultimately determines our nation’s civil, social and moral direction.
Furthermore, the president is responsible for appointing members of the federal judiciary. These judges interpret laws and make legal decisions that affect the entire nation. Therefore, the citizen’s role in each election directly impacts every level of government.
Because the American system is a representative form of government, there is an obvious relationship between an elected leader’s actions and the citizens who elected the leader — or who allowed his election by not voting.
It logically follows that God holds the citizens accountable for immoral governmental policies.
The truth is that God is not to be put aside as we enter the voting booth. As will all decisions in our lives, we should seek out what is right as defined in the Bible, not by man. To ingore those standards which God himself put into place is asking for trouble.
To believe that its okay if America elects leaders from either party who believe and entrench our society in immoral behavior while we Christians sit on our hands is irresponsible. The Bible is clear, dont expect for things to be “okay.”
God has established universal standards of justice that He expects all nations to uphold and enforce — and the United States is not exempt from these standards. If our government refuses to uphold and enforce them, we shouldn’t be surprised at the judgment that is certain to follow. But even more sobering is the reality that when the citizens choose their leaders, He holds the citizens corporately accountable for the actions of their leaders.
Our vote — or failure to vote — has a direct bearing on not only the election, but on how the Lord will deal with our land. If we fail to vote for candidates that most closely reflect God’s standards — or if we fail to vote — we should not expect to escape the consequences.