Elections are never far from the news. Last year proved that, with the UK’s vote to exit the EU and the American Presidential election being the two dominant news stories in that time. And now that we’re on the cusp of a UK General Election, the news is all politics again. The impact of elections can be profound, so this article offers some help in deciding where you should cast your vote. Or, in fact, whether you should vote at all.
We no longer belong to this world’s system, but have been delivered out of it to be part of his kingdom and render faithful service to God
The Scriptures are clear that political power originates with God (Dan. 4:25). He alone has authority to cause nations and governments to rise or fall, according to his purposes. And democracy cannot change that, for
‘there is no authority except from God, and those that exist have been instituted by God’ (Rom. 13:1)
As Christians, you and I have been called to a different kind of politics, for ‘our citizenship is in heaven’ (Phil. 3:20). We are passing through this world as strangers who ‘seek the city that is to come’ (Heb. 13:14; 1 Pet. 2:11). In these verses, ‘city’ and ‘citizenship’ derive from the Greek word polis, from which we get our word ‘politics’. Living and testifying for Christ is now our politics, as his ambassadors bearing the ministry, not of division through political argument, but of reconciliation through the cross (2 Cor. 5:16-21).
When Jesus stood before political authority, he declared ‘My kingdom is not of this world’ (John 18:36); when he was tested with a political question, his answer was to ‘render…to God the things that are God’s’ (Mat. 22:21). We no longer belong to this world’s system (John 17:16), but have been delivered out of it to be part of his kingdom and render faithful service to God (Gal. 1:4). To do so we must set our minds on the things which are high above this world, and strive for peace with everyone (Col. 3:2; Heb. 12:14).
We’ll do our Christian testimony no favours by engaging in the campaigns – or elections – of a worldly system which is directly opposed to the Lord we serve (Col. 2:15). Hard as it might be sometimes, we’ll show ourselves as his by submitting quietly to our leaders, and commending them to God in prayer (1 Tim. 2:1-2), directing those around us to our God by living in the image of his Son (Rom. 8:29).
James Needham, The Church of God in Birmingham