Why should I vote?
Here in America there are a number of government leaders that we get to elect into office. In 7 days of this post Ohio will have its Primary and for many positions the person from each party will be chosen to face each other in the November election.
I know there are more, but here are two resources to see who is on the ballot for Ohio:
Medina County Board of Elections: Look up your name under "Voter Information." After you submit your name, you will see where you are registered to vote. Click on "Sample Ballot" to see what persons and issues will be decided by voters on Tuesday May 3 in your precinct.
American Policy Roundtable is a Christian organization that is non-partisan. They have a page here with all the Congressional and Statewide candidates and each picture has a link to the candidates website for you to read. You will need to click on the sate of Ohio to see the candidates. (iVoters.com is not affiliated with iVoterguide).
As a pastor, I do not see it as my role to tell you who to vote for. So, I will not recommend any particular candidate, though you are welcome to ask me personally who I am voting for and why.
However, I see it as part of my pastoral role to point to the principles of being a Jesus follower and how they play a part in making Christ-centered decisions when it comes to voting in the state of Ohio. In this post, I want to answer the question: Why should I vote?
A short answer is: following Jesus affects every aspect life, from brushing one's teeth to taking the good news of Jesus to distant lands. We are to abide in Jesus (John 15:5) and live for Him (2Corinthians 5:15) in ALL things. So, because following Jesus pertains to ALL of life right now, not just in eternity, and voting is a part of living now in being a citizen of the USA, then voting is a part of following Jesus. Thus, one ought to seek to reflect Jesus (abiding in and living for) in how one votes and what they vote for.
There are some Christian viewpoints that conclude we should not vote or be concerned about voting because these are temporal matters and we should be living for eternity. See, for example, John 18:36 where Jesus tells Pilate that His kingdom is not of this world. If it were of this world, then Jesus' servants would be fighting. Since Christ-followers belong to Christ's Kingdom and His kingdom is not of this world, then we do not need to be concerned with the things of this world, like elections and their results. Though I am only going to mention one verse, I want you to know that much more could be said from Scripture to support this position.
In response, my short answer above, I think, demonstrates that the Bible teaches not that we should completely withdraw from the world but be engaged in it. Jesus came to redeem and restore this world and, under His authority, He has sent us into the world to redeem and restore in the name of Jesus. In that work of extending God's redemption and restoration in Jesus, we are called to love and seek the good, to do good and to encourage one another to do good. Good things may be accomplished through the voting process. Therefore, Christ-followers ought to be engaged and involved on some level and not be ignorant of what is going on around them.
One final thought for why a Christ-follower should vote. Voting is a means of preventing, not all, but some evil. Any reduction of evil in this world is a good thing and something God wants. It pushes back the kingdom of the enemy. Assuming a fair Russian election when Putin was last up for re-election, if someone else had won, would it have prevented Putin from invading Ukraine? The answer is yes. Putin would not have had the means to carry out his invasion. So, good is able to be accomplished and evil is able to be prevented or reduced through the means of voting and as Christ-followers, that is something we should be a part of.