Is God Democrat or Republican?

Tony Evans
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Where does God fall on this issue of partisan politics? Is God a Democrat or a Republican? Whose side is He on?

The reason why the answer to that question is compelling is that the answer will affect the way His followers should vote.

As a believer and a child of the King, to consider casting a vote for someone or for something that would go against what God would vote for ought to be out of the question. Knowing God’s viewpoint on important issues —whether it is immigration, taxation, racial disparity, abortion, social justice, or even simply partisan politics— should be one of your primary concerns as you head into any voting season.

In order to determine whose side God is on, we need to turn to a battle that took place under Joshua’s military and governmental leadership. In Joshua chapter 5, Joshua had crossed into the Promised Land and was now serving as the one in charge over the nation of Israel. Although God had declared that He would give the land to the Israelites, His promises needed to be made manifest through certain processes. In other words, what God had promised needed to be actualized through different battles, conquests, and wars.

One of these battles that took place happened at the city of Jericho. Now, when I mention the Battle of Jericho, you can most likely recount certain aspects of the battle, such as the armies marching undefended around the city, the priests blowing the trumpets, and the walls falling down. But there is one critical scenario that took place just near Jericho that is frequently ignored in our Bible lessons, or even in our sermons. And yet this critical scenario sheds a revealing light on how a Christian should vote.

God didn’t come to take sides; He came to take over.

Prior to the battle and like any military leader should, Joshua performed reconnaissance. Facing what appeared to be an impregnable wall and an invisible culture, Joshua set out to determine how best to secure his victory. As Joshua prepared to go to war against the city of Jericho, a representative of God’s army approached him. Joshua then asked him a very practical and strategic question. I’ll paraphrase:

“Whose side are you on? Are you on our side or are you on their side?” Or, as we might phrase it in light of our discussion, “Are you a Democrat or a Republican?”

What happened next is a game-changer. The commander of the Lord’s army gave what is one of the most politically insightful principles in Scripture when he replied, again in the Evans’ translation,

“Neither. I’m not on your side and I’m not on their side. I’m on God’s side.”

We read,

Now it came about when Joshua was by Jericho, that he lifted up his eyes and looked, and behold, a man was standing opposite him with his sword drawn in his hand, and Joshua went to him and said to him, “Are you for us or for our adversaries?” He said, “No; rather I indeed come now as captain of the host of the LORD” (Joshua 5:13, 14).

The captain of the host of the Lord made it clear that he hadn’t come to take sides. He had come to take over. He was not on Joshua’s side, yet neither was he on Jericho’s side. However, Joshua could have easily assumed that he would have sided with him, since Joshua was on the side of the chosen people of God. After all, that would make sense. Yet the captain made it clear: He was on God’s side.

God does not ride the backs of either donkeys or elephants.

He did not align himself with Joshua’s agenda nor with Jericho’s. He aligned himself with a whole other agenda, that of God’s kingdom. Sometimes that would play out in Joshua’s favor, as in the battle at Jericho. Yet sometimes that would not play out in favor of Joshua, as we read just a chapter later in the battle of Ai. The reason the Israelites were defeated at Ai wasn’t because God took the side of Ai. It was, again, that God took His own side—His own kingdom side—and Joshua’s people had gone against it (Joshua 7).

When people ask you how you are going to vote in any upcoming election, your answer shouldn’t be, “I’m going to vote with this side” or “I’m going to vote with that side.” Your answer ought to be, “I’m voting with God because He has His own side. I am going to vote for the party, person, or platform that best represents God’s values to advance His kingdom.” God is not merely a God of Democrats. Nor is He merely a God of Republicans. God does not ride the backs of either donkeys or elephants. Like the captain of the Lord’s army, God didn’t come to take sides; He came to take over.

For Further Reading:

How Should Christians Vote?

by Tony Evans

It is one of our favorite questions: Is God a Republican or a Democrat? “Many, if not most, Christians begin with the wrong question...

book cover for How Should Christians Vote?