In 37 days the UK will go to the polls in one of the most hotly contested elections in living memory. Yet many Christians are ambivalent about it. Some people think that politics and faith don't mix, but I would say that misunderstands God's nature. If your God is not interested in politics then you are not worshipping the God of the Bible. Take the Lord's Prayer for example. In it we pray that God's Kingdom would come - that is a politically loaded prayer. It is asking that the reign of God would come to fruition here on earth as it is currently in heaven. We pray not that souls would escape up to heaven, but for God's kingly reign to invade our world. Of course, politics is far more than voting in general elections. We seek God's reign for every second of our Christian lives, not just for one day every five years. So in one sense voting is the very least we can do. It is us, as believers, playing our part in the democratic process that we have been invited to participate in.
Here are 10 reasons why Christians should vote.
1. Voting publicly recognises that we submit to the authority of the political system in our nation as established by God. (Romans 13:1-7)
2. Voting recognises the equality of all people and their right to speak and be heard. (Deuteronomy 10:17-19)
3. It is one way that we can obey God's command to seek the good of those around us and our nation as a whole. (Jeremiah 29:5-6)
4. It shows that we care deeply about who our leaders are as we are urged to offer prayer and intercession on their behalf. (1 Timothy 2:1,2)
5. It is a simple yet significant way we can do something about politics in our nation. 'All that is required for evil to prevail is for good men to do nothing', Edmund Burke. (Psalms 34:14)
6. It makes a difference the way a grain of salt makes a difference, and that is how we are to influence our society for good. (Matthew 5:13)
7. It is a privilege not to be taken for granted. Those of us who reap the benefits of living in a democracy should play a part in upholding democracy.
8. Not voting is a form of voting, as it will influence the outcome. We need to take responsibility for our actions, as well as our lack of actions. (Luke 10:25-37)
9. Voting has biblical precedence for example Acts 14:23 describes that the early Christians elected elders by voting.
10. Voting is part of our stewardship to use all the resources we have been given in ways that honor God; to waste a vote is to squander a gift.
Register to vote before 20 April.
Dr Krish Kandiah is President of London School of Theology, founder of the fostering and adoption charity Home for Good and a contributing editor to Christian Today.