Who should I vote for? In the previous post, I attempted to establish that a follower of Jesus has the privilege and responsibility to carry out his/her civic responsibility to vote. But, are there specific biblical principles that should govern our thinking in voting for specific political candidates? I believe the Bible gives us some guidelines that should govern our thinking when evaluating political candidates.
Yesterday was Super Tuesday, and people in our country went to the polls to vote. The front-runner for each party is looking more and more clear. But, this doesn’t mean our choice is any clearer. Given the field of candidates in the presidential race, as a follower of Jesus, who should I vote for?
Before I attempt to answer this question, there are two foundational thoughts we must embrace. Whether voters or candidates acknowledge it or not, all government is instituted by God and all elected officials are servants and representatives of God (Romans 13:1-4). So, no matter who is elected into office, God is still sovereign King.
We want to carry out our responsibility to vote. But, what do we do when candidates won’t acknowledge God as sovereign king, that all government is instituted by God, and they are servants of God? What should we do if the candidates don’t have our distinct gospel values? What should we look for in a political candidate?
Are there biblical principles that should inform our thinking in voting for a specific political candidate?
I can’t tell for whom to vote. However, I believe there are a number of biblical principles and filters that can inform our thinking regarding specific candidates. There are a number of passages that we can use, but there are two passages, Exodus 18:21-22 and Daniel 6:3-4, that serve as a springboard for our thinking regarding specific candidates. These passages and others highlight specific things we should look for in a candidate.
When the people overwhelmed Moses with disputes and inquiries, his father-in-law, Jethro, advised him as to how he could govern the people more efficiently. He advised him to choose certain individuals to help him govern the people. He should choose individuals with certain attributes. Likewise, Darius, a pagan king, chose individuals with certain attributes to help him govern the people of Babylon, of which Daniel was one.
When choosing a candidate to carry out the responsibility of governing people in this country, we, too, should look for certain attributes.
- Is the person qualified and able to serve in this political office? Exodus 18:21; Daniel 6:3-4
- Do they have the experience, knowledge, and wisdom to serve in this capacity? – Exodus 18:21; Proverbs 28:2
- Is the person trustworthy? Exodus 18:21; Proverbs 6:16-17;
- Does the person have an honest character? Proverbs 12:22; Daniel 6:3-4
- Are the moral and mental features in the candidate good or evil? Daniel 6:3-4
- What are their personal moral beliefs? Does the person fear God? Exodus 18:21; Psalms 105:16-22; Daniel 2:48 (Joseph and Daniel were godly rulers placed in key government positions in an ungodly nation)
- What will inform their thinking on freedom, especially the freedom to practice our faith? 1 Timothy 2:1-4
- What will inform their thinking of human life – from conception to death? Genesis 2:7; Acts 3:15
- What will inform their thinking on justice – issues of the poor, the elderly, the marginalized, the invisible, etc. in our society? Proverbs 16:12-13; Micah 6:8
Who should we vote for? I can’t tell you who to vote for. That is your choice. Whereas there are no perfect candidates, I believe these are four filters should inform and govern our thinking as we prepare to vote for a specific political candidate. These candidates are vying for our precious votes, and we have a responsibility to elect people who are competent, honest, moral and humble. Let’s research each candidate, understand who they are, and in good conscience, determine which one will be the best servant of God as they carry out their duties.
Turn Your Minutes into Moments
What are some other attributes you think are important in evaluating a candidate?
Which attributes, listed above, are most important to you when evaluating a political candidate?