Refusing to Vote: A Daniel or a Pharisee?

In my last post, I described a revelation I received in the middle of the night…that some Christians may choose not to vote for any presidential candidate because, for them, it has become a spiritual test. And, if they do, that is fine and no “brother” or “sister” should look down on them for it. I also shared how I believe, living in a two party Republic like ours, Christians should feel free to vote without it being a spiritual test. BUT what about the Christian who seeks political office in a party yet refuses to vote because they feel it is a spiritual test for them. I contend there is a difference between the citizen’s choice and the decision of an office holder.

The Christian who makes voting a spiritual choice may look at themselves as a Daniel–someone who takes a stand for right against the crowd. But Daniel’s actions affected him alone while voting or not voting affects the nation. Ezekiel 14:12-14 “Then the word of the Lord came to me saying, 13 ‘Son of man, if a country sins against Me by committing unfaithfulness, and I stretch out My hand against it, destroy its supply of bread, send famine against it and cut off from it both man and beast, 14 even though these three men, Noah, Daniel and Job were in its midst, by their own righteousness they could only deliver themselves,’ declares the Lord God.” So, in this sense, choosing not to vote does not make someone a Daniel.

But what about where it says “if a country sins against me”? Again, “Render therefore unto Caesar the things which are Caesar’s; and unto God the things that are God’s.” Voting is Caesar’s. What a nation will be judged on is not votes, but action…the killing of the unborn, the worship of idols, calling evil good and good evil. These come about by not voting for the party that opposes these things.

A Pharisee was a religious leader of the Jewish people. Nicodemus (a Pharisee) and Joseph of Arimathea (a prominent member of the council) were followers of Jesus. So, not all Pharisees or rulers of the people were lumped into our Lord’s spoken condemnations. Matthew 23:13 But woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites, because you shut off the kingdom of heaven from people; for you do not enter in yourselves, nor do you allow those who are entering to go in.

The condemnation of the Pharisees was not based on the position of Pharisee, but on the fulfillment of their office. They were to lead the people into the kingdom of heaven yet “you do not enter in yourselves, nor do you allow those who are entering to go in.” As a leader at some level in a political party, that person is the face of the party. They are to fulfill that role, whether easy or not, and lead others to do the same. Fulfilling that role means supporting its nominees. Yet some leaders today say, “I can not vote for so and so, because of such and such.” They do not fulfill their role and lead others to do the same.

I submit such a person is more a Pharisee than a Daniel.

To Vote or Not To Vote

I sometimes get angry at people, but usually I can control myself and not let it show. However, last week I displayed it for all to see. We had our caucuses in Colorado. When the head of our party in our precinct said he would not vote for a candidate he didn’t like, I lost it. In a two party system, EVERYONE should vote, and it should be a party vote not a person vote! AT LEAST THAT’S WHAT I THOUGHT.

On the way home, my wife reminded me that God is sovereign and in control. Nothing happens outside of His will. Then, at 2 a.m., that bit of wisdom woke me up. What does scripture say about voting? This missive will focus on two scriptures that struck me in the middle of the night.

In his dedication to Parliament at the front of “Ill Newes From New England,” John Clarke states the Lord Jesus has been given all power in Earth and has chosen to wield that power by a “two fold administration of power suitable to the two fold state or being of man.” Baptists at that time used Matthew 22:21 (Render unto Caesar…) to support this position. We live in a world that has both a “Caesar” side and a “spiritual” side. In a Republic like ours, voting is in the former. So, a Christian should be able to vote using good sense. In fact, God puts in place governments and our participation is a responsibility. Ah-ha! Support for my contention.

BUT, not so fast. Romans 14 came to mind. So, turned a few pages further on and read verses 2-14: One person has faith that he may eat all things, but he who is weak eats vegetables only. The one who eats is not to regard with contempt the one who does not eat, and the one who does not eat is not to judge the one who eats, for God has accepted him….One person regards one day above another, another regards every day alike. Each person must be fully convinced in his own mind. He who observes the day, observes it for the Lord, and he who eats, does so for the Lord, for he gives thanks to God; and he who eats not, for the Lord he does not eat, and gives thanks to God….13 Therefore let us not judge one another anymore, but rather determine this—not to put an obstacle or a stumbling block in a brother’s way. 14 I know and am convinced in the Lord Jesus that nothing is unclean in itself; but to him who thinks anything to be unclean, to him it is unclean.

I submit that eating or observance of days can be extrapolated to voting.

  1. In a party-based system, every vote counts. A Republican or Democrat that refuses to vote because they don’t like the candidate has cast a vote FOR the opposing party.
  2. Someone who has made his/her vote a test of their faith should stand firm if they choose not to vote.
  3. However, such a person should not participate in the leadership of the political process and refuse to vote. (In my next post I will address the question, “Is he/she a Daniel or a Pharisee”?

As always, feedback is welcomed.

Save a Whale

When Ann was tracking down the man who “ruined” her, whales were being hunted and killed. (She pictured sticking him to the deck with one of those killing lances.) Now we go to great lengths to save them. Whales and fishing nets don’t go together. Here is a video of a rescue of a Humpback whale in the Sea of Cortez. Someone sent this to me in one of those chain emails that I seldom open. The title of this one caught my attention.

Write Your Novel

The kids’ Write Your Novel class at the library had 12 students show up…and only one had fluttering eyes by the time it ended. The adult class had 22. In both presentations, everyone had a great time. Attendees learned about structure and plot and how to use structure as like directions to build their story.

WYN_Titile

The kids’ Write Your Novel class at the library had 12 students show up…and only one had fluttering eyes by the time it ended. The adult class had 22. In both presentations, everyone had a great time. You can see a video of the class on YouTube. The Publish for Free class will be on April 19.