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Why Don't Christians Vote?

A discussion of why 75% Christians don't vote!

 

According to exit polls and voting records in this country, seventy-five percent (75%) of self-identified Evangelical Christians don’t vote!  Less than fifty percent of Christians in America are registered to vote and only fifty percent of those registered have any voting history.  I am shocked by that statistic! 

One would think, based on Christian doctrine and the most rudimentary understanding of biblical principles, that Christians above all others, would care about the culture, would care about the nation’s direction, and would care about the quality of our leadership.  But voting statistics don’t reflect that.  Why?

Citizens who don’t bother to vote are seen by most voters as irresponsible, immature, and stupid.  This is why a non-voting Christian seems to be such a paradox; because most Christians are not seen in those ways, otherwise.  The New Testament even addresses the Christian’s responsibility to abide by the laws of the land in which he/she resides, in the 13th chapter of the apostle Paul’s letter to Rome.  Christians are doctrinally and traditionally called upon to set a good example for all—to be Christ-like.  Shirking the civic responsibility to maintain our system of government by voting seems, clearly, to be a contradiction of the philosophical and moral code of Christianity!

Many Christians who don’t vote hold strong views about the moral character of those holding political office, for example, when politicians address the abortion issue.  They are glad when professed Christians run for political office, believing them to be better qualified leaders because of their professed adherence to Christianity’s moral code.  Therefore, to not support those candidates, by failing to participate in voting, makes no logical sense.

                           A Clue to Why So Many Christians Don’t Vote

This paradox has kept me awake at night since I first heard these statistics.  Then, recently, an email from my granddaughter, in which she made a casual comment about her Sunday school teacher, suddenly shed some light on the subject.  She wrote, “He also said Christians weren’t here to be too much in politics.”  Her sharing of that teaching was a revelation to me.  I think it is a clue to why so many Christians don’t vote.  Some churches believe and teach that God will “take care of everything” no matter what man does.  The Bible does not support that fatalistic view.  God is certainly sovereign in the outworking of His plan for His creation, but He chooses to work through “means.”  For example, He could save those He intends to save with a word, but He uses other believers to preach the Gospel to them, presumably to give them a chance to participate in the process.  Likewise, He could make America a godly nation by simply speaking, but He chooses to use the means of those He has saved, one life at a time, because He wants us to love Him and obey Him as a choice we make.

Mind you, I don’t think political activism is a substitute for Christianity.  The historical effect of Christianity on society prior to the present post-Christian age and the decline of society since, is testimony to that.  The salvation of souls is permanent, whereas, the improvement of society by one political party can be wiped out by another political party.  But, we live in a nation in which individuals
are supposed to govern themselves. We the people (voters) are the fourth branch of government and because we hold ultimate political power and the responsibility to oversee our elected representatives, we are clearly the most important branch.  In a republic such as ours, the people who work the hardest and vote the most faithfully, are going to have laws that reflect their values.  It’s as simple as that.

Therefore, any teaching in churches that holds that we don’t have a responsibility to 1) remain cognizant of the social and political issues of our nation, 2) strive to nominate and elect godly representatives, and 3) to oversee the work of those representatives, makes those churches enemies of the nation.  For Christians, the interpretation of Scripture they receive in church is one of the most important parts of their lives.  It, therefore, behooves bible teachers to consider seriously how they interpret the Bible and what they teach.

Christian leadership played a decisive role in the birth of this great nation and most of our Founding Fathers were mature Christians.  Wouldn’t it be ironic (yea a sin) if this nation, given birth by the principles of the Bible, were to be destroyed by misinterpretation of those principles?!

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Tammy Osier October 22, 2011 at 12:38 PM
A good reading of the New testament should make a Christian shudder if they DON'T vote. Being salt and light means you are infuencing all around you. Take the salt and light out and what do you have? Think about it, it's not about a "take over" as many erroneously think that Christians want to do. It's a matter of being able to say on judgement day that you did all that you could to show the light of the Lord to all around you and give them the opportunity to choose light over darkness. The American church! Sheesh! It's an American church thing. Not so in other countries. You see miracles everyday there and those people are truly a light to all around them.
Albert Osborn October 22, 2011 at 03:40 PM
Amen Tammy! Let's be salt and light to our brothers and sisters who don't vote, before we lose the right to do so. Al
Tammy Osier October 22, 2011 at 09:20 PM
I don't think it's 75% though. The last election had a large amount of the catholic church backing Obama. The message of helping the poor probably resonated with them. What I had a hard time understanding was that he was clear on his "Partial Birth Abortion" stance, and they voted anyway. Within 2 weeks, he overturned the ban on abortion up until viable birth. I think many were just uninformed and anxious to right some perceived wrongs. I think people are a little more educated on politics this time around, and hopefully will vote for the person (rather than an agenda), doing more thorough research this time. Obama was also supposed to be a "post racial" president, but has kept the racial pot stirred for most of his presidency. I like Herman Cain, and I believe people will see him as the real deal; a competent, wise, and intelligent man. His economic plan includes all American (rich and poor alike). We should use wisdom in all that we do, and that includes voting. Our mistakes in prior voting has hopefully taught us that.
Albert Osborn October 23, 2011 at 01:13 AM
Tammy, The statistic applied to Evangelical Christians, which would not include Roman Catholics. The most worrisome part of the statistic is the 50% that are not even registered. They, apparently, feel no sense of responsibility to participate in the self-governing process. Something has convinced them that the process isn't worth supporting, and I think that "something" is churches that teach a version of God's Sovereignty that doesn't need man to play any role.
Tammy Osier October 23, 2011 at 06:55 PM
Amazing that we are having this conversation. today, in the jail, we had a teaching on "passivity" (from the Joyce Meyer series, "Battlefield of the Mind for Teens". I can send some of the material to you if you'd like. It was very eye opening!
Sharon Swanepoel October 23, 2011 at 07:12 PM
Tammy, as someone who knows you, I feel compelled to add here that if indeed you were in jail today I'm pretty sure it was as a volunteer and not in any other capacity. :)
Tammy Osier October 23, 2011 at 07:20 PM
Looks like I need to stop bragging what a multi-tasker I am! LOLOL. I'm writing several different things today AT THE SAME TIME. I work as a volunteer in jails (Regional Youth Detention Centers, in Georgia). It's something that I've done for so long that it's second nature to me, so I assume people know what I'm talking about - lolol. It's good to have an editor as a friend! :)
Joey carico October 25, 2012 at 11:46 PM
Jesus said before Pilate that His kingdom was not of this world. Christians are told to be of one mind,and not divided.how then can half a congregation vote democrat,half vote republican, and not be of 2 separate mind sets.a house divided cannot stand.christians are to be Christ like.not one example in the new testament is given to tell the first century Christians to vote in a worldly government election.
Wade Hurt December 26, 2013 at 01:12 PM
Sadly, we have lost the value of our vote and until we reassign the value it will continue to be divided. While seeking the Lord He revealed a way to do so. Its simple, full of wisdom and does not require anyone to change party affiliation or criticize current politicians. It is revolutionary! If you want to know the simple plan - just ask me.
Tammy Osier December 26, 2013 at 01:44 PM
Another thought on this....there are sins of "commission" and those of "omission". Many say they will not vote for hte lesser of two evils. But I believe that, christians, by "Omitting" to vote for the lesser evil, thy CONSENT to the greater evil; they become party to that. Just a thought. ================== WH- our Pastor tells us to vote our conscience, and does believe that we have a responsibility to vote in his opinion. I'm reminded that we are to be in the world but not of it. That's where our 'salt and light" comes from. We were created to go forth and subdue the earth (from evil). By doing nothing, we allow evil to overcome the innocent and I believe we are wrong in that area by not voting. We are to "occupy" until He comes. He hasn't set up a perfect kingdom YET- so for now, we are to shine forth any amount of righteousness that we can until the evil is up to the horses bridle and we can do no more (sorry for all the metaphors- lol).

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