Here in the Philippines, most Filipinos exercised their constitutional right to vote yesterday. There were those who abstained (even Christians) due to the toxicity that the present election brought to some. Nevertheless, we are never dismayed because it is the LORD who ordains our leaders and we are responsible to do what is right under the God-ordained leadership.
Daniel answered and said: “Blessed be the name of God forever and ever, to whom belong wisdom and might. He changes times and seasons; he removes kings and sets up kings; he gives wisdom to the wise and knowledge to those who have understanding; he reveals deep and hidden things; he knows what is in the darkness, and the light dwells with him.Daniel 2:20-22 ESV
And Jesus said to them, “Whose likeness and inscription is this?” They said, “Caesar’s.” Then he said to them, “Therefore render to Caesar the things that are Caesar’s, and to God the things that are God’s.”Matthew 22:20-21 ESV
Let every person be subject to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and those that exist have been instituted by God. Therefore whoever resists the authorities resists what God has appointed, and those who resist will incur judgment. For rulers are not a terror to good conduct, but to bad. Would you have no fear of the one who is in authority? Then do what is good, and you will receive his approval, for he is God’s servant for your good. But if you do wrong, be afraid, for he does not bear the sword in vain. For he is the servant of God, an avenger who carries out God’s wrath on the wrongdoer. Therefore one must be in subjection, not only to avoid God’s wrath but also for the sake of conscience. For because of this you also pay taxes, for the authorities are ministers of God, attending to this very thing.Romans 13:1-6 ESV
First of all, then, I urge that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and thanksgivings be made for all people, for kings and all who are in high positions, that we may lead a peaceful and quiet life, godly and dignified in every way.1 Timothy 2:1-2 ESV
I watched two podcasts from two known Reformed Baptist pastors in the Philippines and here are some helpful quotations from them to help us understand voting and election in light of God’s word. You can watch the entire videos via the links here: Pastor Rene Maramara and Pastor Noel Espinosa.
Pastor Rene Maramara
"Even the best candidate can plunge to ruin our nation and the worst candidate can bless us. God gives us leaders either to bless us or to punish us. Why bother?"
"If God is the ultimate authority behind and above all authority, and we are told by the Lord Himself to render what belongs to Caesar belongs to Caesar, and, if everything is for the fulfillment of God's eternal plan, then WE MUST BE INVOLVED. We must be involved in a way that is TERMINATING IN AND MOTIVATED BY OUR DESIRE TO SERVE CHRIST AND HIS KINGDOM. It must be terminating in and motivated by our desire for the good of the church and ultimately for the GLORY OF CHRIST."
Pastor Noel Espinosa
"Even the worst candidate - if victorious - will not be the Devil; There had been very bad leaders who proved destructive... As a voter, the Christian should not be apathetic to political choices/issues. There can be a misapplication of divine sovereignty that results in apathy. It is often God’s providence that people get the leader that they deserve (as a divine judgment or as a spiritual challenge).
"Even the best candidate - if victorious - will not be the Messiah; Candidates’ platforms and promises are often couched in Messianic terms. But no mere human leader can eradicate all human/social ills; sin remains. The right vote is not for Messianic utopia, but simply for justice in the land."
"Many Christians think that only a Christian president will do good to the country. It confuses between the kingdom of God (Christ) and kingdom of man. It conflates saving grace (gospel and Church) and common grace (justice and state). Government is about safeguarding justice in society; not gospel mission. Church mission is about the gospel and discipling; not political involvement."
"When government adopts gospel mission, it leads to persecution. When the Church is politicized, it has lost its gospel message."
"It is right to work for justice now, but the ultimate hope is Christ; Tit 2:13."
"Political involvement can become so engrossing that it blurs gospel issues."
"Vote your conscience in the election, but put your hope in the gospel."
No matter who the leader is. Jesus is King! He reigns forever!
To God be the glory!