I may be a citizen of the Kingdom of God, but the precinct where God has me live and vote is here in Virginia.
Because of my citizenship in Christ’s Kingdom…
Because the Lord rose triumphantly from the grave and declared that “all authority on heaven and earth has been given to me”…
And because of His concurrent command in Matt. 28 to therefore go transform all “nations” (the Greek word is “ethne”, which actually means cultures)…
I take the time to understand the issues and the candidates – and then vote.
Unfortunately, there are those within the Christian community who discourage us from extending the blessing of Christ’s Kingdom into in the civic life of our nation.
They have embraced post-modern isolationism, and think the Kingdom of God is some insular enclave of believers who should just focus on “spiritual” matters and each other.
Some have even gone so far as to rebuke us if we don’t join in their retreat from Christ’s command that we become transformationally engaged in our nation and culture.
I don’t know about them, but the Jesus I know and love – and whose passion courses through my veins – is big enough to embrace all of life. He calls me to bring illuminating light to my culture and flavoring salt to my nation.
In essence, the Christian isolationists of our day deny Christ’s comprehensive Lordship over all creation and all spheres of human endeavor.
Lord of All
In contrast, Scripture makes it clear that the institution of civil government – as imperfect as it may be today and as imperfect as it was when the Roman Empire ruled the Mediterranean world of the New Testament – is ordained by God.
That doesn’t mean God ordains the evil of abusive government power, but it does mean that civil government nonetheless is an essential component of God’s intended order – and, when it operates properly as He intended, it is a good thing and becomes blessing.
Likewise, the Lord says that governing officials – even those who were part of Roman’s domination – are to be “ministers of God“. (See, e.g., Rom. 13:1-7)
In that same passage, He tells us that government and government officials have a proper role to play in His providence: To uphold justice, protect the innocent, and restrain evil.
I want to see justice upheld, the innocent protected, and evil restrained – and therefore refuse to surrender my delegated authority as a citizen of God’s Kingdom those who want to use government for other agendas.
And so I vote.
The Lord also admonishes us that: “When the righteous increase, the people rejoice, but when the wicked rule, the people groan.” (Prov. 29:2)
I want to see people rejoice by supporting righteous (even if not perfect) governance, and I care enough to want to stop the burden of wicked rule.
And so I vote.
Regardless of who you support, and regardless of the fact that there are never perfect choices, it is time to stop groaning and to start bringing the blessings of God into the civic life of our nation by caring enough to vote.
If your Jesus is fractured and thus not Lord of all…
If He is indifferent to government and its proper function, despite saying otherwise in scripture…
If He has called you to retreat into post-modern isolationism…
If your faith is too small to believe that God can impact civil government as He people affirm His providence even there…
Then by all means, don’t vote. That just means my vote will count all the more.
But for me, I affirm the radical proclamation of His Lordship over all things – including civil government.
And I love Him and those around me enough to want His intended blessings of righteousness even in the civil arena.
As an act of love, I therefore will do my part by voting even when our choices are imperfect (as they always will be short of His return) – and trust God for the rest.
My Jesus is yet sovereign over history and the course of nations!
If that’s the Jesus you know, love and serve, then please join me – as a citizen of God’s Kingdom in the precinct where He’s placed you – by voting your values and voting your faith.
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For a related blog, see The Growing Idolatry of Civil Government.