Do Christians have to vote Republican?

Ashley Worley

The goal of this article isn’t to tell you how to vote, but to give you a framework for how to know what Jesus is guiding you to do. Ultimately, what truly matters is to listen to Jesus and do what He says.

Tell people you’re a Christian, and many assume you vote Republican, which in the 2016 presidential election means Donald Trump. But what if you don’t agree with that party’s candidate or politics? Is it OK for an evangelical Christian to vote for the Democrat — Hillary Clinton in this election — or a third party candidate?

So, how do you know what Jesus is guiding you to do?

1.  Consider your convictions. 

Ask yourself: What do I believe? What does the Bible say? Seek Scripture daily, multiple times a day if necessary. Proverbs 3:6 says, “in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight.” When you seek to submit to Jesus and His Word, He will give you wisdom. It’s a promise He stands by.

2. Educate yourself. 

Do a little research. Find out what each candidate believes and what he or she actually stands for.  Look at prior voting records, watch interviews, and consider different sources. As you do so, ask the Holy Spirit for wisdom on who to vote for instead of relying on the media. It works in the same way that you make many other decisions throughout your life.  “For to one is given the word of wisdom through the Spirit, and to another the word of knowledge according to the same Spirit” (1 Corinthians 12:8).

3. What seems logical?

Just because you love Jesus and live a seemingly radical, God-centered life in the world’s eyes doesn’t mean you’ve lost the ability to use common sense and God’s discernment. Looking at the situation, what logically makes sense to you and to those around you who also love and follow Jesus?

4. Seek godly counsel. 

What do other smart people who love Jesus say? Seek the counsel of others who are seeking Jesus and submitting to His Word: pastors, Bible study leaders, mentors who demonstrate the heart and actions of Jesus in their lives. “The way of fools seems right to them, but the wise listen to advice” (Proverbs 12:15).

5. Pray. 

Ask God to show you what’s best and listen to what He says. It may seem too simple, but have you asked God to show you how to make your decisions? James 1:5​ says, “If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you." Be expectant when you pray. God is a good Father who wants to answer His children by nature of His character.

What ultimately matters in making any decision is following Jesus, the Father, and the Holy Spirit, with wise counsel of the Bible and others you trust. God knows who will be elected, and he or she will ultimately be accountable under His authority. 

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