Finally, we’re at the end of political campaign season. Today’s the day for American people to decide their president. The following summary came from a blog on reasons not to vote. I won’t post the blog URL to save the author blushes. There may be some legitimate reasons not to vote in this election, but his scriptural reasoning is less than convincing.
- My vote seriously doesn’t matter because God controls the outcome of the votes anyway. If I do vote against God’s preference then …
- The Bible never tells people to vote. It just tells people to pray for leaders.
- God’s kingdom is not of this world. What’s the point of participating in the governmental structure of this world?
- The Bible never talks about duel citizenship. Christians are only citizens of the kingdom.
- Our job is only to preach and change the world by conversion but not by voting.
Now his post above has a certain kind of logic that “sounds” convincing, but he almost argues entirely from silence. His blog is the perfect example of making scripture do too much. Now, substitute “vote” with “brushing my teeth” and see how the same logic pans out.
1) Brushing my teeth seriously doesn’t matter. God is sovereign. The man/women whom He chooses for brushing his or her teeth will do so. What if I brush and God really didn’t want me to brush on today Am I not potentially brushing against the will of God (no pun intended there).
2) I see no place in scripture where Christians are commanded to brush their teeth (or go to toilet, for that matter). I’m commanded in scripture to work for those who are poor and cannot afford tooth brushes. There’s a difference between between providing tooth brushes for the poor and brushing my own teeth.
3) God’s idea of purity is not of this world. We’ll be pure and become like Christ anyway. What’s the point of brushing our teeth now?
4) Christians are not to groom themselves except for putting on the armor of God (Eph. 6.10-18). There’s no duel grooming (of literally grooming and spiritual clothing) as far as scriptural command is concerned.
5. My agenda and entrustment from the Lord is to preach the gospel (2 Corinthians 5:20, Philippians 1:27, Galatians 6:14, 1 Thess 2:4). That’s the way I handle my mouth. I do not need to brush.
6. This is Dr. Sam, and I approve of this message (sorry, I added this last bit in the spirit of campaign ads).
Sure, scriptures can be used in the weirdest ways to justify almost anything. The silence of scriptures can be used to justify almost all things. The whole logic of “if the Bible doesn’t tell me anything about it, I won’t move” will not do anyone any good. A lot of activities are neutral. When we use scriptures to justify or denounce them, we commit the same logical error. He’s within his own rights to abstain from voting, based on pragmatic reasoning or personal opinion, but scriptures do nothing for him in this case.
If you enjoyed this discussion and want to look at the issue closer, please read the blog of my friend and biblical scholar (PhD candidate at Asbury) Michael Halcomb whose political views and mine have had wide disagreements, but his blog is much more nuanced. http://www.michaelhalcomb.blogspot.com/2012/10/not-voting-christian-perspective-pt-11.html You may also enjoy his book Entering the Fray (Wipf and Stock) where I wrote a recommendation blurb on issues relating to interpreting the Bible.