You Are Responsible to God for Your Political Beliefs, Actions, and Votes, by Zack Strong
It seems to me that the prevailing opinion in society is that politics and religion are two separate things. According to this view, one’s political decisions have no bearing upon one’s faith or standing before the Lord. My article is a refutation of that false notion. I want to impress upon your mind that your political beliefs, actions, and votes are a direct representation of your religious views and moral principles. If this is accurate, then it is true to say that we will be accountable to God for our political choices and attitudes. This fact should cause us to carefully study politics and to never compromise our soul to vote for the “lesser of two evils,” or for a candidate whose views are questionable, but who appears “viable.”
You cannot vote for a man whose views are contrary to your own personal beliefs without compromising your values. If you compromise your values so easily, what do you really believe in? Actions speak louder than words. If you claim to believe in one set of principles, but then vote for a candidate or support a party or program which espouses a different set of principles, logic dictates that you actually believe the latter. In such cases, your verbal profession of belief is disingenuous and you mark yourself, by your actions, as a hypocrite with no fidelity to your espoused principles. At a minimum, you prove that you do not have enough courage to stand for your convictions, but that you are an indecisive person who floats with the political winds and stands for nothing in particular. More candidly, however, you prove that in practice you believe in and advocate the principles and ideas of the person or program you have supported.
It is illogical to vote for a candidate while alleging that you do not agree with them. But, some might rationalize, you will never find someone you agree with 100% of the time, so you have to make compromises and go with the best candidate available. I reject this thought. When considering the relatively inconsequential details of a person’s policies, it may certainly be true that you are not in full agreement. There’s nothing wrong with that. However, it is a different thing entirely to support someone whose core principles do not align with your own, or whose platform contains planks which do not conform to your person beliefs, even if they appear to be the “best” candidate available.
If I see you vote for a person, I automatically assume you believe the same ideas and hold his identical principles. If not, why are you voting for him? If I see you support a Republican, for instance, I will generally assume that you support the Republican Party platform in its entirety unless you, or the individual candidate in question, specifically state otherwise. If you are unaware that a person’s views differ from your own, then it may be said you are acting in willful ignorance, which proves that you haven’t taken your civic duty seriously. It likewise proves your laziness.
Willful ignorance, in our information age, is contemptible. There is no excuse, absolutely no excuse, for feigning ignorance in this era when you hold access to the world’s knowledge in the palm of your hand. Therefore, I am justified in assuming that if you vote for a person, you are in full agreement with his particular set of values and principles. I hope you can see that your political decisions reveal your innermost convictions. If you think this assumption is unfair, change your votes to align with your principles. Otherwise, stand by your choices and cease to complain that they’re not a representation of your true beliefs.
I cannot relate to a person who would compromise their principles and beliefs for the sake of politics or out of a desire to win an election. And I don’t believe God will look favorably upon this either, if Revelation 3:15-16 is to be trusted. This passage states: “I know thy works, that thou art neither cold nor hot: I would thou wert cold or hot. So then because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spue thee out of my mouth.”
I do not believe we will be judged favorably if, when we stand before our Maker, we are compelled to confess that each election year we sold out our principles in order to win, or that we put our support behind a candidate we knew was the “lesser of two evils” in order to stymie another person who was “worse.” Either the Lord will say you have been “lukewarm,” or He will determine that your actions spoke louder than your words. In either case, you stand condemned. The only solution, then, is to establish a set of principles and never deviate – even if it means doing the unpopular thing and voting for an independent candidate or someone you know has no chance in a national election. What is more important, winning or doing what is right? Answer for yourself.
At this juncture, I wish to quote several paragraphs from Hans Verlan Andersen’s book “The Great and Abominable Church of the Devil.” In this work, Andersen tries to convince the reader that he is responsible to God for his actions regarding government, including his votes. Indeed, according to Andersen, our political views accurately reflect who we are on the inside. Let the author explain his reasoning to you:
“A person’s political philosophy is an expression of his moral beliefs because he cannot determine whether he favors or opposes a law without consulting his moral standards. Before he can approve of a law which forbids a certain act he must believe the forbidden act to be wrong or harmful . . .
“Similarly, before one can approve of a law which commands an act, he must believe the act to be good and a failure to perform it as a culpable omission deserving of punishment . . . It is contrary to logic for anyone to espouse a political philosophy which is inconsistent with his moral beliefs. On the other hand that philosophy is a formulation of his moral code.
“A person’s political philosophy not only reflects his moral convictions, but it represents his most intense feelings regarding good and evil. Those acts which are prohibited by the laws he favors are not only regarded by him as evil, but so objectionable are they that he is willing to physically punish anyone who commits them. His feelings are equally intense regarding those acts he thinks he has a moral right to compel others to perform.
“Suppose one were given unlimited power to use force on his fellow man without fear of retaliation, physical punishment, or condemnation by other members of society. Under such circumstances, the manner in which he treated others would be an accurate index of his moral character. The only thing left to restrain him or to determine the good or evil he would do with that force, would be his conscience. This is substantially the position a person would be in if he were given the power to secretly direct the affairs of government. He would have in his hands the supreme physical force in society and could use it to control others without incurring either physical danger or condemnation.
“In a society of self-governing people this is essentially the position the voter occupies. . . .
“Our political desires are an extremely accurate index of what we would do if the Lord made us a king, a judge, or a ruler with power to govern others.”
No elaboration is needed.
While contemplating Andersen’s statements, let me ask you several questions. As a sovereign citizen with the Freedom to choose your representatives, what do you choose? Do you choose to always do the right thing no matter how unpopular? Do you compromise and vote for programs or people which don’t share your same principles, thinking that somehow God will overlook your insincerity because it was seemingly for a good cause? Do you carelessly make your political decisions or do you thoughtfully and prayerfully research and then act? Do you go with the flow or follow the latest trend, or do you stand for something real, fixed, and concrete? Do you know what you believe and are you willing to die for it? Do you separate politics and religion in your mind, or do you approach politics as a religious duty for which you will give an accounting in the hereafter?
Our political actions, most importantly our votes, show who we are inside. They show what we believe in, which morals we cherish, and what our attitude is regarding our God-given Freedom and the equal rights of our fellow man. All Christians should be constantly cognizant of the fact that we will be judged according to our works – yes, all of our works, not just the so-called religious ones (see 1 Peter 1:17; Matthew 7:2,12; Luke 19:22; James 2:10-12,17,26; Revelation 20:12-13; Revelation 22:12). The honest course is to vote and act according to our principles – and to make sure these principles are just, good, true, and virtuous. To do otherwise is shameful.
I hope that I have impressed upon you the necessity of acting in harmony with your personal beliefs. I’m confident that you now see that your political choices are reflections of your religious opinions. I likewise hope that you will never again view politics outside of its religious context. Freedom is a Gospel principle, and our actions toward Freedom reveal the realities of our religious faith. We will each give an accounting to God for all of our actions, including which candidates we voted for, which political parties we favored, and which governmental programs we supported.
Let’s not be compromisers, ladies and gentlemen. Let’s stand for true and correct principles – constitutional principles, moral principles, religious principles. Let’s never be guilty of voting for the “lesser of two evils” – even if it means the hated Democrats win because you “divided” the Republican vote. A vote for the lesser of two evils is still evil and you will give an accounting of it to God no matter your rationalization. Let’s be men and women who prove our faith by our actions. If you will not do so, please abandon your faith and cease to pretend you’re someone you’re not. God help us to see the light of truth and to eschew error and oppose all people, programs, principles, or parties whose views do not uphold individual Freedom, morality, and religion. Never be ashamed of being unpopular. Do the right thing and your conscience will be clear. God help us restore our Liberty!