I’m not seriously calling for the abolition of voting among churches, just a severe reduction in the practice. I’m a strong believer in the autonomy of the local church, but I’m the first to admit, I don’t like church “business.”
I was once the Pastor of a church in central Arkansas that had battled years of political scheming and the resulting resentment. We once moved an old metal desk out of the auditorium into a side room and I got in huge trouble because the moving of the desk wasn’t voted on! On the basis of this and dozens of other frustrating experiences, here are some reasons I think we should vote not to vote on so much stuff…
- Voting never brings unity, it actually calls for division. Who is for and who is against?
- Voting is democratic – government by the people. Church should be theocratic – government by the Holy Spirit.
- Voting plays right to the flesh and personal preferences. We typically vote what we want or prefer, regardless of what God wants or what leaders are leading us to do.
- Voting gives equal weight to every member, regardless of investment in ministry.
- Voting leads us to believe that the majority must be right. According to some presidential elections, that obviously isn’t true (I’ll leave you to sort out which ones make my case).
- Voting gives the impression that a plurality of approval is the same as unity. It’s not. One deeply hurt family prevents real “unity.”
- Voting supersedes God’s intended order of leadership within the structure of the local church.
- Voting risks friendships needlessly.
- Voting equals leadership by polls. Since when did Jesus ever ask the audience their opinion? Even with His shepherd’s heart, Jesus never polled the sheep to find out which direction to go.
- Voting doesn’t work too well for Congress!
- Voting is man-made, there isn’t a single scriptural example. And Mattathias is not an example (Acts 1).
- Voting keeps us business-minded, not ministry-minded.
- Voting suggests the church has a political side. It’s the only time we really see power plays within God’s family.
- Voting is governed by rules but church is governed by relationships.
- Voting creates confusion and invites the opinions of 15, or 150, or 1500 viewpoints. No real problems are ever solved.
- Hanging chads.
- People were pretty much unanimous to crucify Jesus.
You’ve got to admit, I have at least a dozen good points, right? What’s your vote?