Alan Keyes
'Christian relativism' in voting is oxymoronic
By Alan Keyes
September 6, 2016

When people apply Christ's injunction to "seek first the kingdom of God and His justice" (Matthew 6:33, Luke 12:31), they often construe it without regard for the context. So they reason as if His words are meant to establish temporal priority (do this first, then that, then that, etc., in sequence). However, considered in its entirety, this is plainly not the case. For Christ goes on to say "and all other things will be added unto you." Simply put, everything else is fitly taken care of once you tend to God's rule.

This is precisely in accord with Christ's examples of the lilies of the field, or the birds of the air, for whom God makes provision in creating the cosmos (the orderly existence of His creation). The provisions of God's rule are comprehensive. Therefore, the priority Christ gives to God's authority is exclusionary, not merely temporal.

This invalidates the whole argument of "relative good or evil" many self-professed Christians use, in some form, to justify exercising their share of the sovereign power of the people to elect people to government office who reject or fail to observe God's rule. The conformity to God's will is the whole and only standard of good. Nothing is, therefore, relatively good that is not so in relation to God's standard, which constitutes the measure of all things. Once the term "relative" is used in relation to some other standard, we are neglecting the priority Christ's instruction gives exclusively to God. We are, therefore, no longer acting as Christ did with respect to God's will, preferring His judgment to our own no matter what the cost.

Put simply, a person either represents God's will, as Christ did, or not. If they represent God, and in all things seek to do His will, they represent the mind of Christ. Representing the mind of Christ, and the exclusive priority Christ gives to God, they are fit to represent those who let Christ's mind be in them, informing and transforming their own. If a Christian person casts a ballot for someone who does not represent this same priority, either their vote is false (i.e., it doesn't represent them) or their profession of faith in Jesus Christ is false. If their vote is false, then the election is false (i.e., it doesn't produce a truly representative result). If the election is false, then the requirement that government derive its just powers from the consent of the governed has not been satisfied.

Elections falsified in this way by votes that do not truly represent the mind of the people who cast them are phony elections. But since government powers must be derived from the consent of the governed if those powers are to be just (that is, lawful according to the right standard of law), government whose powers are derived from votes that are falsely cast, as described, is not lawful; nor is such government legitimate; and though it may command power, that government does not wield lawful authority.

Thus, Christians who cast their vote in a way that fails to give exclusive priority to God contravene the instruction of Christ. They are, therefore, either turning away from their faith in Christ, or else destroying the legitimacy of the government that derives its just powers from a true expression of the mind of the people. In practice, the end result is a government of the sort now expanding in the United States – a government in which the laws defy what Christian people know to be just on account of their good conscience (i.e., conscience informed by God), laws which aim to force conscientious souls to do or declare what they know to be false and unjust.

If, as they profess, Christians first of all seek to be citizens of the Kingdom of God, as Christ exemplified, their choice to support for government office those who do not give that same priority to God's rule is not good faith and cannot be good government. As this behavior prevails, Christians should not be surprised to find, by harsh experience, that they have lost both good faith and good government.

To see more articles by Dr. Keyes, visit his blog at and his commentary at and

© Alan Keyes


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Alan Keyes

Dr. Keyes holds the distinction of being the only person ever to run against Barack Obama in a truly contested election – featuring authentic moral conservatism vs. progressive liberalism – when they challenged each other for the open U.S. Senate seat from Illinois in 2004... (more)


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