Traditionally my fellow Anabaptists made a clear distinction between the kingdoms of this world and the kingdom of the Lord. In fact, historians believe the Anabaptists originated the concepts of separation of church and state, and of freedom of religious conscience.
Coming up with these attitudes was really a no-brainer. In those days the wall of separation between church and state was a prison wall. They noticed that the church was being arrested and the state was holding the jail keys, and they sort of figured things out. And when you teach believer’s baptism at the risk of your life, you understand that belief cannot and should not be forced on anybody.
The early Mennonites, Amish and Hutterites didn’t serve in armies, or juries, or as magistrates. These Anabaptists believe that while the state may be an instrument of God’s wrath, the Church must remain an instrument of God’s mercy. Voting, though, is a matter of conscience, even among the Amish. Most Amish choose not to vote.
I don’t vote because I want to keep a clear conscience. If I vote for one US presidential candidate, I have the blood of pre-born Americans on my hands. If I vote for another, I have the blood of post-born Iraqis on my hands. Being involved in the world system tends to force people to make such choices.
It doesn’t mean I don’t care about who’s President, or whether America is attacked again. It’s just that I don’t want the weapons of my warfare to be carnal. I’ve been there, done that.