…Can evangelicals support a candidate who is politically conservative but not an evangelical Christian? Yes, certainly. In fact, it would demonstrate the falsehood of the liberal accusation that evangelicals are just trying to make this a “Christian nation” and only want evangelical Christians in office. For evangelicals to support a Mormon candidate would be similar to supporting a conservative Jewish candidate—someone we don’t consider a Christian but who comes from a religious tradition that believes in absolute moral values very similar to those that Christians learn from the Bible. Here in Arizona a few years ago I voted for Matt Salmon, a Mormon candidate for governor. He lost, but his policies would have been much more conservative than those of Janet Napolitano, who has now vetoed dozens of pro-life, pro-family bills.
Or have we come to the point where evangelicals will only vote for people they consider Christians? I hope not, for nothing in the Bible says that people have to be born again Christians before they can be governmental authorities who are used greatly by God to advance his purposes. God used Pharaoh, King of Egypt, to raise Joseph to a position of authority over the whole country, so he could save his people from famine (Genesis 41:37–57). God used Nebuchadnezzar, King of Babylon, to protect and raise up Daniel and his Jewish friends to positions of high authority over Babylon (Daniel 2:46–49). God used Cyrus, King of Persia, to restore the Jewish exiles to their homeland (Isaiah 45:16; Ezra 1:1–4), and used Darius, King of Persia, to protect the Jewish people as they rebuilt the temple in Jerusalem (Ezra 6:1–12). God used Ahashuerus, King of Persia, to raise up Esther as Queen and to give Mordecai high authority and honor in his kingdom (Esther 6:10–11; 8:1–2, 7–15). In the New Testament age, God used the peace enforced by the secular Roman Empire, the Pax Romana, to enable the early Christians to travel freely and spread the Gospel throughout the Mediterranean world.
Here in the United States, God used not only Founding Fathers who were strong Christians, but also Deists such as Benjamin Franklin and Thomas Jefferson, to build the foundation of our nation. Jefferson even became our third President in 1801, a demonstration of the wisdom of Article 6 of the Constitution, which says, “no religious test shall ever be required as a qualification to any office or public trust under the United States.”
The Bible tells us to pray not just for Christians who happen to have government offices, but “for kings and all who are in high positions, that we may lead a peaceful and quiet life, godly and dignified in every way” (1 Timothy 2:2). It is not just Christians in government but all governing authorities who are “instituted by God” (Romans 13:1) and whom Paul can call “God’s servant for your good” (Romans 13:4)..