Well, the month of the referendum has finally come, and there is still just over a week left to go to the actual event. One issue I hear very little off is that of not voting in the referendum. I feel it is something that the Christian should seriously consider. I have previously stated some of the arguments in this document for the 2015 General Election. However, I further wnat to engage with the issue given the impending referendum.
The accepted consensus among Christians appears to be that you must vote in any election because in doing so you are exercising a privilege (dare I say right) that God has ordained that you would have. Moreover I know that there are strong arguments for voting. It somewhat galls me, though, that Christians seem not to consider any countervailing arguments that would present the case for not participating in the voting process.
Pilgrims. The whole godly predisposition for Christians to be strangers and pilgrims on this earth is not considered at all. Let us consider the implications of this Scripture concerning Abraham that By faith he made his home in the promised land like a stranger in a foreign country; he lived in tents, as did Isaac and Jacob, who were heirs with him of the same promise. For he was looking forward to the city with foundations, whose architect and builder is God (Heb. 11:9-10). Further we read that All these people were still living by faith when they died. They did not receive the things promised; they only saw them and welcomed them from a distance, admitting that they were foreigners and strangers on earth (Heb. 11:13). It does seem more in line with the pilgrims and strangers ethos that we refrain from getting involved in the voting process. After all this is not our home, we have another home.
Entanglement. Paul says to Timothy Join with me in suffering, like a good soldier of Christ Jesus. No one serving as a soldier gets entangled in civilian affairs, but rather tries to please his commanding officer (2 Tim. 2:3-4). Although it can be argued that this particularly applies to Timothy as regards his pastoral calling surely there is a principle for all Christians here. Entanglement in civilian affairs seems to accurately reflect so much of what is going on in the Christian community concerning the referendum at the moment. There seems something not right (dare I say unseemly) about that.
Looking At Jesus. Let us consider this Scripture Another disciple said to him, ‘Lord, first let me go and bury my father.’ But Jesus told him, ‘Follow me, and let the dead bury their own dead.’ (Matt. 8:21-22). The full meaning of our Lord’s retort here is perhaps hard to establish. However, it does seem to strike a strong note against being overly concerned with resolving issues appertaining to the affairs of this world. It is sobering to ponder upon how much mental energy is being devoted to deliberating upon how to vote in the referendum. If only people were so concerned about deliberating about how they can help other Christians grow in Christ and how they can reach the lost masses around us.
So I want to urge towards some thinking here. I think there is a strong argument for not voting in the referendum (and elections generally).