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.

5 comments
  1. I like the last line the best and feel the same way … “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.”

    Since I’ve already voted, I guess that won’t even make me vote for the two candidates.

  2. You are free to be pietistic and uninvolved in the process – built on Biblical principles, by those fleeing centuries of persecution, bought with blood – and thus see the finishing of a re-instantiation of the Beast. Yes, the Kingdom will survive, but you will have no one to blame for the persecution of your children but yourselves. This is not just a Presidential election, but of many offices; and there are other valid choices for the office of President as well.

    If there are not candidates to suit you, we are free to raise up others (in future elections, as we should have soon after 1973’s Roe v Wade opinion). It may be that the Lord is showing us who we are, and the real hindrances.

    1. I think the Lord is revealing our priorities, but not in the way that you probably think.

      He said he was voting as am I, even at the top of the ticket, but I won’t for either of the major party candidates.

  3. There is a good alternative for men and women of faith and others of good will. Check out Evan McMullin at wwwww.evanmcmullin.com.He is a deeply principled conservative with a strong commitment to the sanctity of all human life, freedom, a strong national defense, the marketplace economy, equality of all of God”s created persons, traditional marriage and compassion for the needy. He is a true c compassionate conservative with a stellar record in the CIA and later as Chief Policy Director the the Republicans House of representatives. Like a lot of us, heven was appalled at the choices open to us and decided he needed to take a stand. He and his running mate Mindy Finn could be the first non Republican candidates to ever win the stare on Utah. If they are successful and neither Clinton or Trump get 270 vot3sin the electoral college, a situation that is llooking increasingly possible, McMullin could be our next President. While that would take a minor miracle, this is a chance to vote your conscience and to send a message about the character of candidates we want to see heading up our national parties and our country. As Even says, “It is never too late to do the rright thing”.

  4. “I would not, however, say to any persons here present, despise the privilege which you have as citizens. Far be it from me to do it. When we become Christians we do not leave off being Englishmen; when we become professors of religion we do not cease to have the rights and privileges which citizenship has bestowed on us. Let us, whenever we shall have the opportunity of using the right of voting, use it as in the sight of Almighty God, knowing that for everything we shall be brought into account, and for that amongst the rest, seeing that we are entrusted with it. And let us remember that we are our own governors, to a great degree, and that if at the next election we should choose wrong governors we shall have nobody to blame but ourselves, however wrongly they may afterwards act, unless we exercise all prudence and prayer to Almighty God to direct our hearts to a right choice in this matter. May God so help us, and may the result be for his glory, however unexpected that result may be to any of us!” – Charles Spurgeon, Particular Election (Sermon).

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