Back in the nineties, I argued that Christians shouldn't vote. We had been saved out of this world, we should not therefore concern ourselves with its administration. In the same way, my total lack of interest in and non-membership of my local golf club accounted for why I took no interest in its selection of president. Likewise, the world is under Satan's thumb; its continual descent into moral chaos was inevitable.
I have since revised my position, acknowledging that I was wrong. Democracy is not the best form of government, but it's the best that fallen humans can operate. We should use our vote to bring about change, or to preserve good things which are endangered. In Jeremiah 29, God tells the Jewish captives
5 Build houses and dwell in them; plant gardens and eat their fruit. 6 Take wives and beget sons and daughters; and take wives for your sons and give your daughters to husbands, so that they may bear sons and daughters—that you may be increased there, and not diminished. 7 And seek the peace of the city where I have caused you to be carried away captive, and pray to the Lord for it; for in its peace you will have peace.
Our nation is indeed under the influence and sway of the 'god of this world' and yet we Christians remain its salt and light. Let us therefore contribute to it in a positive way, doing good where we can and while we can, seeking its peace as we offer it witness to Christ.
But for which party do we vote? In our first-past-the-post system, we often vote for the candidate rather than the party. Nevertheless, here are some thoughts on the parties we may vote for.
Pros Traditionally stands for family values like marriage; often seems the least antagonistic to Christians.
Cons Has a reputation for helping the rich with tax breaks whilst squeezing the poor with cuts.
Pros Cares for our God-given planet.
Cons Very liberal when it comes to morality; its leader at the time of the 2015 General Election promoted the possibility of three-way marriages.
Pros Traditionally the party that stands for the poor and vulnerable.
Cons Sometimes opposed to traditional Christian values in the name of equality.
Pros Led by a Christian; traditionally concerned about inequality and environmental damage.
Cons Seems very opposed to traditional values at times.
Pros Believes in traditional values like marriage.
Cons Some of its policies come close, some would argue, to nationalism and xenophobia.
So which would I recommend? All and none. As Christians in a democracy, voting is both a privilege and a responsibility. We must each consider the parties and candidates before casting our ballot. But cast it we should.