The Christian’s Vote

During these months of electioneering, this fervent spirit to show the voters that a certain individual and party is the only one to vote for and expect better times, the Christian cannot help but ask himself about his calling to vote in the coming election in November. There are points of interest in politics that even captivate the Christian as citizen. The speeches and events take up part of our conversation. Some of you have seen and heard the conventions last summer and are now listening to the speeches that are being made and the contests for seats in Congress by certain individuals who have been prominent in Washington but must now fight hard to keep their position.

In considering our calling to vote we probably confront ourselves first of all with the question, Shall I vote at all? It may be that, neither one of the nominees for president meets with approval and this decision may be that it is better not to vote. The question may also a rise from a deeper cause. Often I ask myself shall I vote for any of the candidates for office if they cannot assure me of their Christian principles of government may I vote as a Christian? There are some groups of Christians that maintain that as a church principle, that they cannot engage in politics and cannot vote unless there is Christian government. Such a position I consider incorrect although I have much sympathy for it and feel that it is a stand more in harmony with Christian life than the passive take-it-for-granted attitude of many. It seems to me that when we vote we do not have to say that we stand for all the principles of the party and the candidate. That is not implied in the vote. If the candidate is non-Christian our voting for him does not mean that we approve of a non-Christian government. As citizens the right to vote is give us. The parties and candidates are presented and we exercise that right and express what and whom we consider to be the preference of the given.

Another question that confronts us is, How shall I vote? With this question I do not mean to consider the choice it-self, for whom we shall vote? That decision should be left to the individual and is not the main consideration in articles which seek to help make the correct choice. Our concern in this question is with motives and purposes of our vote. Here is the important question, shall I vote for an individual and a party which satisfies my interests? That is the motive and purpose of the American voter today, namely to gain his particular advantage in the American commonwealth. There are the sectional interests, the class interests, the race interests that are struggling for power and recognition today and the parties appeal to them and try to please them all. It ought to be evident that it is not Christian to vote as an American citizen from personal and private interests. It is not Christian to vote for a party that favors the farmer above the laborer, or the labor unions over against the capitalists. We should exercise our vote so that we show preference for justice and fairness in legislation. We should desire a man and a government that rules according to law and justice wisely, and not a government that is ruled by other pressures, it ought to be evident to the discerning mind that such is beyond our present expectation. Probably our vote is made by considering the choice, which pressure group do we consider the preference under the circumstances.

In connection with this motive of satisfying the selfish interest is the motive to seek material prosperity itself. Of all motives that is certainly carnal and not Christian. Our government should not seek to appeal to our bellies in these days of world crises. It seeks to influence other peoples and nations with the American dollar. We are led to seek the wealth of America above all virtue. The luxury that we have and desire for more ease that it stirs up is the cancer that eats at the foundations of our civilization. To vote for a government which appeals to that desire of the people to live at ease and enjoy the “good life” for its own sake is to hasten the day when the travail of the judgments shall come upon us.

What is our expectation of the vote of the people? If we have voted for the better, shall we expect the better to be the choice of God? We must understand that in the will of God’s providence it is not always the better that gains office. His choice is David, Christ who now rules through all rulers. He puts in office to accomplish His will. He put in office Hazael, Caesar, Hitler, Stalin, Roosevelt, Truman and our next president.