by Martin G. Collins
There may be as much controversy over whether a Christian should vote as over whom to vote for. All the same, the decision to vote or not vote is ultimately an issue of faith. When confronted by a choice that is not directly addressed in Scripture, Christians must ask, “What would Jesus Christ do in this situation?” We do this because, in John 13, Jesus taught His disciples an essential spiritual principle that covers the broad spectrum of righteous living: “For I have given you an example, that you should do as I have done to you” (John 13:15).
First, though, we must realize that, from its foundation until now, the world’s governments have not modeled themselves on God’s governance. Dictatorship, constitutional monarchy, democracy, republicanism, socialism, communism, fascism—none is God’s form of government. They are governments of the god of this world, Satan (II Corinthians 4:4). God will not alter or adjust them to conform to His will; He will totally destroy and replace them with His own divine government headed by His Son, Jesus Christ. This is the true perspective, despite most people’s tendency to view politics from the standpoint of this present world.
1. What is the post-Flood origin of human government?
Comment: After the Flood, human society apart from God began when Nimrod, a grandson of Ham, organized the first secular government in the city of Babel (Genesis 10:8-10) and expanded it to Nineveh and other cities (Micah 5:5-6). He instituted a system whereby one or a few at the top profit from the labor of the majority under them. Soon there were many cities, each ruled by a self-willed king. Not content with one city, ambitious rulers, seeking greater wealth and power, armed a portion of their manpower and by aggression subjugated adjoining cities. Thus nations were born and then empires.
This grasping, enslaving principle of government, intertwined with economic manipulation, has dominated the world ever since. Whatever form human governments take, they display the same Babylonian style of rule. Governments have risen and fallen, but their basic principles have remained—competition and strife based on greed and pride (Psalm 10:2-11).
2. What is this world’s system based on?
Comment: Regardless of form, human government is based on exploitation of people and resources, power, aggression, and deception. The entire system began and continues with the idea of cramming people together into cities. As a world order built on strife and competition, each of the four phases of human civilization—political, economic, religious, and social—has tried to dominate the others. In ancient Rome, politicians ruled over religion, business, and society. After AD 554, the Roman Catholic church dominated the others. In America, where self-rule is enshrined in the Constitution, big business and avaricious politicians have constantly struggled for dominance. Communism, as with all forms of socialism, induces the laboring class to support a suppressive government for the benefit of the elite.
Regardless of the particular form of administration, the civilization that now holds the entire world under its sway is the same Babylonian system initially established by Nimrod. Babylon means “confusion.” Competition and strife have produced confusion throughout the world (James 3:16), but “God is not the author of confusion” (I Corinthians 14:33). Therefore, this world’s system of government is not God’s.
3. How should Christians view this world?
Comment: Many professing Christians view everything from the perspective of this world, blindly assuming it is God’s world. They see certain forces of evil in it, which they feel they must oppose. In this vein, they see the Christian duty as working to make this a better world.
However, this concept does not square with Scripture. The Bible speaks of Christ “deliver[ing] us from this present evil age” (Galatians 1:4). Human society is not of God’s making, but Satan’s, as are its systems of government, basic philosophies, and business and religious practices. All nations are deceived, swayed, manipulated by the Devil (Revelation 12:9; 20:2-3). In other words, our civilization is Satan’s handiwork, not God’s.
God’s Word tells us to flee from the midst of Babylonian society (Isaiah 52:11; II Corinthians 6:17; Revelation 18:4). Speaking to the Jews, Jesus says, “You are from beneath; I am from above. You are of this world; I am not of this world” (John 8:23). Later, when questioned by Pilate about His Kingdom, “Jesus answered, ‘My kingdom is not of this world. If My kingdom were of this world, My servants would fight, so that I should not be delivered to the Jews; but now My kingdom is not from here’” (John 18:36). Although Jesus lived in this world, He clearly saw Himself as a “citizen” of God’s heavenly Kingdom. The same holds true of those who follow Him (Philippians 3:20).
Next time we will see more about Christ’s perspective on the world’s politics.