The Responsibility Of Citizenship According To The Bible - Part I
“Ye are the salt of the earth: but if the salt have lost his savour, wherewith shall it be salted? It is thenceforth good for nothing, but to be cast out, and to be trodden under foot of men. Ye are the light of the world. A city that is set on an hill cannot be hid. Neither do men light a candle, and put it under a bushel, but on a candlestick; and it giveth light unto all that are in the house. Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.” —MATTHEW 5:13-16
The Sermon on the Mount was the greatest sermon ever preached. Matthew 5:3-16 gives us the moral responsibilities of the believer during our lives here on earth.
The moral responsibility of citizenship is not a debate, according to the Bible. While there are many responsibilities, there is one that I want to highlight, and that is voting. Dwight D. Eisenhower said, “The future of this republic is in the hands of the American voter.” Yet the fact is, far too many never vote, or they vote wrong.
As Christians, we have the moral responsibility to vote, and to vote for the person whose platform is the closest to biblical principles. As Christians, there are two issues that we must always oppose, and those two issues are abortion and same-sex marriage.
According to the Bible, abortion is murder, and same sex marriage is an attack upon God’s first institution—the home. You can’t call yourself a Christian and vote for anyone who is pro-abortion and pro same-sex marriage. I know people become very angry when I say this, but I am right. I am right not because of opinion but because my belief is biblical.
I will give you a brief overview of the text, as well as a few other verses, to give you a biblical foundation of our responsibilities as citizens and Christians.
As one reads our text, it becomes obvious that the believer is to be a deterrent to evil and a preservative of righteousness. We are to be a reflection of Jesus Christ in speech and action, hence the Lord’s pronouncement that we are to be “salt” and “light.” Let’s look at these verses.
The Salt Of The Earth
Salt is a preservative, therefore the Lord is telling us that we are to be a preservative of all that is good, holy, and righteous. We are to preserve the truth of God’s Word by living it in public.
Light Of The World
The believer is not only to be a preservative, but also light in the darkness. Of course, we understand that this is light derived solely from Christ. In other words, we are to be a reflection of the one true Light—Jesus Christ. The world sits in darkness, as Matthew 4:16 tells us: “The people which sat in darkness saw great light and to them which sat in the region and shadow of death, light is sprung up.” Not only is the world in spiritual darkness, but also in spiritual death. So in our civic duties, we are to bring light into the darkness by upholding the values of life and the sanctity of marriage.
Neither Do Men Light A Candle, And Put It Under A Bushel
As believers, we are not to hide our light, but boldly let it shine. When you neglect your responsibility to vote, or you vote for people whose platforms are anti-Christian, you are hiding your light and therefore not helping the kingdom of God. Matthew 5:16 actually sums up the entire idea: “Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father who is in heaven.”
I would hope that every believer has enough biblical sense to understand that we are never to condone the murder of the unborn or same-sex marriage. It is sin plain and simple: to not vote, or to vote for those who support such means you are complicit in that sin.
Now I know some say the Bible doesn’t mention voting in particular, and that is true; however voting was not applicable to the world of that day. Times have changed; we have a different process now, but our Christian responsibility has not changed. We are to be salt and light in every aspect of our lives.
I believe we are to vote, and to vote for those who stand for Christian principles even though the individual may not be our definition of a Christian. Never forget: we are not voting for a spiritual leader, but a political leader—a political leader whose platform supports Judeo-Christian principles.
Proverbs 29:2 says: “When the righteous are in authority, the people rejoice: but when the wicked bear rule, the people mourn.” All good government is good because of its recognition of the authority of the Bible. Whenever government upholds biblical principles, freedom and prosperity follow.
In closing, Proverbs 14:34 says: “Righteousness exalteth a nation: but sin is a reproach to any people.” Let every Christian heed these words and stand for righteousness and vote—and vote correctly.
Part II of this article will continue in the March issue of The Evangelist.
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