28 October, 2010

A Reformed Voter's Guide

Sadly, the Christian Church has drunk the Koolaid (no offense, Koolaid Man). Many Christians today will rally around a Republican ticket and make claims such as, "This is the most important election of our life time!" Or, "We have got to win back the keys to Washington!"

What many fail to realize is that the Republican party is not the party of Jesus Christ. For that matter, the Democratic Party is not the party of Jesus Christ. Both parties fail to recognize Jesus Christ as the supreme head of the state, the ruler of men, the savior of mankind. Now, of course, there are those within both parties that are Christians; but that does not mean that what is being promoted by either party is working towards Reformation or towards the Biblical View of the State.

So what is a Reformed voter to do? Do we have a "biblical duty" to vote for the candidate that will wreck the ship later rather than sooner? Do we have to vote for a man or woman who does not understand biblical civil government? Rest assured, dear reader, there are principles that we should consider before voting for a Democrat or a Republican (or 3rd party and independent for that matter).

The Reformed Presbyterian Church has a chapter in her Testimony that attempts to articulate a biblical view of the State as well as sets out principles for voting. As you consider voting this Tuesday in what many will undoubtedly call "the most important race of your lifetime" please remember these principles and vote only according to our Christian standards.

And don't drink the Koolaid- Jesus is King.

Excerpts from the Reformed Presbyterian Testimony on the Civil Magistrate

God has given the exercise of all authority to the Lord Jesus Christ. Christ is the Divine Lawgiver, Governor and Judge. His will concerning the purpose of civil government and the principles regarding its functions and operation are revealed in the written Word of God. The Holy Spirit enables even unregenerate rulers to fulfill their proper functions. A true recognition of the authority and law of Christ in national life can only be the fruit of the Spirit’s regenerating power in the lives of individuals.
Deut. 4:39; Dan. 4:25, 32, 35; Matt. 28:18; Phil. 2:10; Eph. 1:22; Isa. 33: 22; Deut. 17:18-19; Isa. 45:1-7; Ezek. 36:27.

Every nation ought to recognize the Divine institution of civil government, the sovereignty of God exercised by Jesus Christ, and its duty to rule the civil affairs of men in accordance with the will of God. It should enter into covenant with Christ and serve to advance His Kingdom on earth. The negligence of civil government in any of these particulars is sinful, makes the nation liable to the wrath of God, and threatens the continued existence of the government and nation.

We reject the view that nations have no corporate responsibility for acknowledging and obeying Christ.

It is the duty of every Christian citizen to labor and pray for his nation’s official and explicit recognition of the authority and law of Jesus Christ, Preserver and Ruler of nations, and for the conduct of all governmental affairs in harmony with the written Word of God.
1 Tim. 2:1-2; Phil. 2:9-10; Acts 2:1-39; Ps. 2:8-12; Esther 4:14.

We deny that constitutional recognition of Jesus Christ means union of church and state.

We reject the teaching that Christians should not seek the establishment of Christian civil government.

No particular form of civil government is commanded in the Scriptures. Any form of civil government which observes the duties and limitations set upon it by God in His revealed Word is acceptable to God.
Ex. 18:21-24; Prov. 29:14; Deut. 1: 16-17.

We deny that simply having a democratic or republican form of government insures God’s approval and blessing.

The Christian, when such action involves no disloyalty to Christ, ought to be involved in the selection of and to vote for civil rulers who fear God, love truth and justice, hate evil, and are publicly committed to scriptural principles of civil government.
Ex. 18:21; Deut. 16:18; 2 Sam. 23:3; Rom. 13:3.

It is sinful for a Christian to take an oath which compromises his supreme allegiance to Jesus Christ. It is also sinful to vote for officials who are required to take an oath which a Christian himself could not take in good conscience. Voting involves the voter in responsibility for any act required of the official as a condition of holding his office.
Deut. 10:20; Isa. 45:22-23; 2 John 1: 11; 1 Tim. 5:22.

The Christian must profess publicly and the Church must witness, that Christ is the Ruler of every nation. Whatever the official action of the civil government of a nation may be, the Christian in his civil actions must always exhibit his loyalty to Christ. The Christian must relinquish every right or privilege of citizenship which involves him in silence about, or denial of the supreme authority of Jesus Christ.
Matt. 5:13-14; Prov. 3:5-6; Ps. 37:7; Matt. 22:21; John 17:14-15; Mark 13:9.

When participating in political elections, the Christian should sup- port and vote only for such men as are publicly committed to scriptural principles of civil government. Should the Christian seek civil office by political election, he must openly inform those whose support he seeks of his adherence to Christian principles of civil government.
1 Chron. 16:31; 2 Cor. 6:14-18; 2 Chron. 19:6-7; Dan. 2:48; Eph. 4:25.

4 comments:

Pastor Brad Johnston said...

Good work, Nathan! Thanks for the reminders. The debates always go back and forth between the "idealists" and the "incrementalists" -- but our Testimony gives solid guidelines for those engaged in wrestling with public polity.

Adam Kuehner said...

Amen!

Bryan said...

Excellent... and you don't happen to hear anything in the tone of that "lesser of two evils" tripe I so often hear thrown around during elections.

Patrick Whalen said...

Thanks for the enlightenment! Our current partisan political environment can be make it difficult to rightly discern just what the Christian's political duties are. We are driven to uphold Christ's righteousness, but to do so in a manner that "imposes" our will upon the populace seems rather "anti-grace."