Sunday, November 13, 2016

PARTICIPATION IS A PRIVILEGE: VOTING

When we look across human history, we see Kings and Dictators ruling over nations. Passed on from father to son, the people had no say.

In 1 Samuel 8, the people said, "Give us a king to judge us." v5.

The people in so doing rejected the rule of God over their lives, v7.
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This is the history of man to reject the rule of God to instead be ruled over by men.



Now God gave them a king. He gave the people Saul and then God gave to them David. God said in that selection, "man looks at the outward appearance, but the LORD looks at the heart." 1 Sam 16:7.

As Solomon said, there is nothing new under the sun, so too even today men look at the outward appearance for their leaders, but God looks at the heart. This is God's desire for leaders to be spiritually inclined.

Now we live in a dispensation that is spiritual so that Christ is the King. God has made His selection for who will will rule over His people. He is "the blessed and only potentat, the King of kings, and Lord of lords." 1 Tim. 6:15.

So being under the rule of Christ, where does that leave the Christian in relation to human governments?

Well, human authorities are of God. "Be subject to them" says Paul because "there is no authority except from God, and the authorities that exist are appointed by God." vv1,2. Paul adds, "For he is God's minister to you for good. But if you do evil, be afraid; for he does not bear the sword in vain; for he is God's minister, an avenger to execute wrath on him who practices evil." v4.

It doesn't matter if you are talking about the government of the United States of the Dictatorship of North Korea. The authority they possess is granted from God. It is to be wielded with justice to punish those who are evil and to the praise of those who do right, 1 Pt 2:14.

There is nothing in the Scriptures to suggest that the ruler be a Christian. We can and should pray for that, 1 Timothy 2:1ff, but that's not the requirement for the authority. What is the requirement is that he uphold law and order so that Christians "may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and reverence."

Which kind of government is the best? The world is filled with many kinds of government. Some are oppressive and hinder the free will of citizens to seek and serve Yahweh. Others kinds accommodate the man's natural affinity to worship God and do not hinder that.

When it comes to the question of voting, the interesting thing about the United States is something unique in most all of the world. Citizens in a Constitutional Republic do not live under a king. Instead citizens of the United States get to pick the President, who serves and only for a limited time. The entire system in United States is set up to hinder the rule of a potentate over the citizens.

Which would be better? Since all governments get their authority from God, the dictator and the President, which one is best for the Christian to live a holy life that proclaims the excellencies of Christ. Well that answer is easy.

So what are we looking for when we vote? A Christian? That would be nice if the choice was available, but only one time in America's history was the candidate an actualy member of the body of Christ. No, we don't have that option most of the time. But we do have the option to vote in this system and we vote for the best candidate.

Voting for President ought to be a moral action. Choose the one who is most likely to do what God expects from all authorities: punish evildoers and give praise to those who do what is right.

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