John Piper gave a chapel message at Bethlehem College & Seminary in Minneapolis, MN yesterday entitled “Sons of Liberty and Joy: How a Christian Relates to the State” and he addressed the issue of whether Christians are bound to vote specifically addressing 1 Peter 2:13. He says they are free not to vote. This is similar to an article I wrote last week about whether we as Christians “called to choose.” I also said no.
Piper makes a more eloquent argument than I did however.
Below is the relevant video excerpt of the message and my transcription.
The right to vote, therefore, in America is not a binding duty for Christians in every election without regard to other factors.
The children are free! Free from human institutions. As citizens of heaven, we are not bound in every situation to participate in the processes of human government. We are not bound! This is not our homeland! We vote — if we vote — because the Lord of our homeland commissions us to vote, and he does not absolutize this act above all other considerations of Christian witness!
In this election, with the flagrant wickedness of both party candidates, the logic – listen carefully -the logic that moves from “Be subject for the Lord’s sake to every human institution” to the binding obligation always to vote is blind to three things:
- Number one, it is blind, that logic is blind to the radical meaning of the words, “for the Lord’s sake,” and how it relativizes all human authority and brings to bear many, many other considerations;
- Number two, the radical freedom of the children of God from the inherent authority of human processes and government and institutions; and
- three, it is blind to the aim of every citizen of heaven in all their human engagements to display our allegiance to the values of another world.
I am not saying we are bound not to vote. I am saying that the children of God are free, free to hear the voice of their Master about the best way to witness to His supremacy! I will vote, but not for these two candidates unless a supernatural intervention of cataclyismic proportions happens in the next seven days with profound transformation. Then I might consider it.