I've been thinking about the title phrase lately. Is it a Christian's duty to vote?
One might think that no candidate best embodies whole Christian virtues. The Christian who is convinced of his mandatory suffrage would vote for the lesser of two evils. However, I am not convinced of mandatory suffrage lest-ye-be-cast-into-the-eternal-flame. I do not believe the Constitution says that U.S. citizens MUST vote; they have the right to vote. A right does not necessarily have to be exercised.
When you vote for a political candidate, you vote for his platform. There are some things on his platform with which you might not agree. If you vote for him in spite of these things, is this not compromising your beliefs? In some areas, a compromise might be fine. But there are other clear cut areas where I will not compromise my Bible-derived beliefs.
Googling for the phrases "Christian vote lesser evil" and "Christian duty to vote" return lots of results. You will find writers on both sides of the issue. Some go as far as saying it is sinful for a Christian not to vote. If you're going to make a strong statement like that, you need to have a very strong scriptural case, which I believe this guy does NOT have.
I found what I perceive to be a good argument in favor of abstaining suffrage here. I'll quote the section here, because I think the author states it well. I have added emphasis myself, as well as links (because I'm nice).
Those that are in Christ are supposed to be a new creation, not part of this world’s system. "Now then we are ambassadors for Christ," II Corinthians 5:17-20. The analogy is given that we are just like a nation’s ambassador. How valid is this analogy?
The United States ambassador to Moscow is not a communist. He does not regard the U.S.S.R. as his government, because it is mortally opposed to his government. The Ambassador does not enter Soviet politics nor attempt to mitigate the evils in its system. He doesn’t vote in Soviet elections nor join its army to fight for its cause. Nor is he allowed to do these things. Yet the American ambassador is subject to, and must abide by, Russian laws and rules.
This analogy is almost, but not entirely, the same as a true believer in his native country. Wherever you live, your government is basically against the Bible and those who follow it. You are to be an ambassador, a government representative, of the Messianic Kingdom. No man can serve two masters, two opposing government systems, Matthew 6:33, 24. The Messianic Kingdom is diametrically opposed to the Babylonish governments of this world. Our spiritual citizenship is reserved in Heaven, I Peter 1:4, Ephesians 2:19.
BUT, we are, in effect, also physical citizens of our respective countries as well. And, under the laws of Western democracies, we have the right to vote. The American ambassador to Moscow doesn’t have the right to vote in Soviet elections.
We have other rights, such as the right to appeal to the courts for redress of wrongs. As followers of the Messiah, we may carefully and under the right circumstances, exercise these rights. As we have seen, Paul exercised his rights as a Roman citizen when he was personally affected in an important matter.
I have not yet exercised my right to vote. I don't know if I ever will. Perhaps I will exercise it in referendums where there is a clear right and wrong. When you vote for a political candidate, you vote for his package of political beliefs; in a referendum, it's sort of a la carte. So what am I to do in the mean time? Pray. I pray and I try to increase my faith that God hears my prayers for this world and considers them.
I leave with this; I do not believe the Bible says "Thou shalt vote," nor do I believe there are enough smatterings of "Thou shalt vote"-like teachings in the Bible for me to conclude that, in fact, "Thou shalt vote." In other words, I believe it to be a Biblically disputable matter. Thus, although my presence at the voting booth will be rare, I do not condemn other Christians for voting for who they believe is best. I'm not totally convinced on the matter, although I lean very heavily towards not voting...if a fellow Christian has a good case for why I should vote, let's retire to the comment page and discuss it over tea. I like green tea with brown rice, with nothing else added, thank you.
P.S. - Call me a shallow voter, fundamentalist, or woman hater, but abortion is the make-or-break issue for me. I never intend to vote for anyone who is pro-abortion, no matter how good their platform is.