Whether You Eat Drink or Vote
And that does indeed mean everything...including how you vote. (1 Corinthians 10:31) To the average Christian this Biblical truth may seem rudimentary or somewhat of a "no, duh" doctrine. But unfortunately for many American Christians today, including myself, I'm not sure this reality has fully settled in our hearts and minds. We have become gnostic, in both our thinking and our living. In other words, the American church body at large has come to inaccurately understand that the only means of glorifying God is to intentionally engage in 'religious' activity such as prayer, Scripture reading, church services, fasting etc. And He is indeed glorified in those aspects of the Christian life, but He is not merely glorified by those things. As A.W. Tozer puts it,
“It is not what a man does that determines whether his work is sacred or secular; it is why he does it. The motive is everything. Let a man sanctify the Lord God in his heart and he can thereafter do no common act. All he does is good and acceptable to God through Jesus Christ. For such a man, living itself will be sacramental and the whole world a sanctuary. His entire life will be a priestly ministration. As he performs his never-so-simple task, he will hear the voice of the seraphim saying, Holy, holy, holy, is the LORD of the hosts; the whole earth is full of his glory.” (The Pursuit of God)
Every aspect of our lives is intended to bring glory and honor to our King, "for from him and through him and to him are all things." (Romans 11:36). In fact, everything we do must be done unto His glory if we are truly regenerated. As the larger catechism of the Westminster Confession of Faith says, "Man's chief and highest end is to glorify God and enjoy Him forever." So by doing the dishes, enjoying dinner with our friends, raising children, going to work and casting our ballot this November we are attaining, our chief and highest end [which] is to glorify God and enjoy Him forever.
With that truth in mind, that leaves us with the question, "Well then, who exactly am I supposed to vote for?". We must first know that obviously the Scriptures do not tell us explicitly who to vote for in the 2020 American presidential election. And praise God for that! This means that the Bible maintains its validity to inform our Christian life by transcending time, culture and geographical boundaries. On the other hand, the Scriptures do give us very explicit answers to some of the main issues that our government is facing today. A few explicit issues that are clearly defined in the Word of God and have immeasurable weight in this election are the issues of justice, marriage, murder and law.
God not only created this world and everything in it, He also instituted government. And He has given us the Word of God to define how His creation is to operate within His world according to His standards and His governance. When we understand this, our vote simply becomes an act of obedience. We act in obedience as image bearers of God and heralds of the truth, joyfully singing "on earth as it is in Heaven" all the way to and fro the polls.
So, with your Bible in hand, testing all things against the Word of God (Acts 17:11), check out some of these resources that shed light on how to cast your vote in such a manner that glorifies God, and Him alone:
I recommend starting with reading "Christians, Politics and the Upcoming Election", written by Dr. Gary DeMar on The American Vision. This article identifies and disputes, from a Biblical perspective, 11 different "lies, myths and half-truths" that Christians often confront when dealing with politics.
Although this is a longer listen, I encourage you to check out episode #093 of the Just Thinking Podcast by Darrell Harrison and Virgil Walker as they unpack what the true role of government is and what part Christianity plays in it.
For a resource that specifically confronts controversial issues between the Democratic and Republican parties, I recommend Relatable by Allie Beth Stuckey. Every Monday until the election Allie is addressing main topics of debate between the two parties by comparing the presidential candidates' stances on each issue. So far she has addressed: abortion, religious liberty (Ep 292), justice (Ep 295), immigration (Ep 300), foreign policy (Ep 303) and the economy (Ep 309). I have linked episode 289 which is her first discussion comparing parties on the critical topic of abortion.
I also cannot recommend enough The Mission of God: A Manifesto of Hope for Society by Joseph Boot. It is a challenging read as well as a great resource to have on the shelf for reference. If the size of this book seems daunting, he has also published two smaller books For Mission: The Need for Scriptural Cultural Theology and For Government: Toward a Christian View of Authority. These "mini books" or pamphlets are condensed versions of topics that he addresses in the larger book.
This last resource is not for the faint of heart. But for those of you that dare, be encouraged by the words of Pastor Doug Wilson as he addresses "7 Reasons Why It Is Possible for Christians to Vote for Trump in 2020 Without Getting a Defiled Conscience and/or Losing Their Soul". When it makes you angry do NOT hit stop. Listen all the way through to the end, because that last bit is where the gold is.
Lastly, I leave you with the words of Daniel 2:20-22:
“Blessed be the name of God forever and ever,
to whom belong wisdom and might.
He changes times and seasons;
he removes kings and sets up kings;
he gives wisdom to the wise
and knowledge to those who have understanding;
he reveals deep and hidden things;
he knows what is in the darkness,
and the light dwells with him.”