[I have been doing some political and theological soul searching over the last couple of years. I want to share some of my thoughts with you. I find that forcing myself to write out my thoughts adds clarity, and posting them online adds accountability and feedback.]
I once heard a pastor say that my greatest responsibility as an American who is a follower of Jesus is to vote. His thought was that my vote was the greatest influence I could have on the direction of our nation.
When it comes to the place where my Americanism and my Christianity intersect, the Scriptures are very clear about where my greatest responsibility and greatest amount of influence lie:
“I urge, then, first of all, that petitions, prayers, intercession and thanksgiving be made for all people— for kings and all those in authority, that we may live peaceful and quiet lives in all godliness and holiness.” (1 Timothy 2:1-2 NIV 2011)
We are to pray for those in government. The Bible is clear on that point.
I will confess that I rarely pray for those in government. I don’t pray for them in private. I don’t pray for them with my family. I don’t recall ever praying for the government in church except maybe once or twice. However, the Scriptures tell me that I should pray for them.
Did you catch why? So that we can live a tranquil and quiet life.
We all have witnessed over the last couple of decades as followers of Jesus have tried to influence those in government. I still see it happening today with Christians on the right and on the left who want to see “good” done by their favorite candidate. After all, if we can only elect ________________ then finally __________________ will happen.
And I suppose there might be some truth to that idea. Clearly good has come about in the world at the hands of governments. I see it in America and I see it here in Mozambique. Governments can do good. Governments can help make the world a better place.
However, the purpose of my reflection on voting is not to question whether or not governments can do any good. Even Nero had some effective policies. My question is whether or not I can or should vote as a follower of Jesus.
My conviction is that since I spend little to no time praying for those in government, as a follower of Jesus, I really have no business voting for those in government.
Still to come…
Why I May Not Vote (part 3) – How Can I Vote for This Government While Working for That One?