Living in a democratic republic as a Christian American has a unique set of challenges. At times, we are misunderstood by Christians living in other countries, whose form of government is more of a dictatorship. Christians in these kinds of countries quote Romans 13:1, which says, “Let every soul be subject to the governing authorities.” We are told to be more submissive as faithful Christians. However, our country is unique. Here, we have certain freedoms and responsibilities enshrined in our Declaration of Independence, the U.S. Constitution, and the Bill of Rights.
Christians living in our specific time and history should realize that there are cultural and societal differences between America in the 21st century and the Roman Empire of the 1st century, under dictatorships. That was not a democracy.
We should be submissive as law-abiding, Christian Americans, but we should also be informed and involved in our civic responsibilities.
For instance, citizens in other countries may not get to vote on who will lead their country. We not only can vote in America, we should vote, and we should be active in the process. Citizens in other countries may not have the freedom of religion or the freedom of speech like Americans have. With those freedoms, Christians in America have a right and a responsibility to do what is possible to help shape the country in which we live. We have the privilege of being a voice in the marketplace of ideas. Unlike non-democratic settings, we are not merely submissive but actively engage in self-governance—of the people, by the people, and for the people. We must embrace the responsibility of sharing our thoughts, ideas, and convictions. Our vote matters. Our voice matters.
Proverbs 29:2 reads, "When the righteous are in authority, the people rejoice; But when a wicked man rules, the people groan."
Americans choose to vote for a candidate based on what issues they perceive are essential versus non-essential. There are substance issues to consider and style issues to consider. Substance should be more important than style, but style is not unimportant. The choice between two parties or two candidates may be very difficult. You may not prefer either platform, party or candidate, but to not choose is a choice. Christians must prayerfully think through what is essential and what is non-essential in making their political choices.
Pray, be informed, and vote your Biblical convictions!