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.

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