There are legitimate questions for Christians to ask as they study their Bibles and become active in a church. Some questions are worth pursuing endlessly (questions about the character of Christ, for instance). Others have their limits, particularly when little or nothing is directly said in the Bible about them. As the discussion becomes long and drawn out, it also becomes, well, odd. We become either speculative or dogmatic without substance, since there is little in Scripture that substantiates our arguments. Whether Christians should vote, or did vote in the New Testament times is one of those types of questions. It is legitimate to ask, but limited in its worth. There is only one time in the Bible that Christians are directly said to have voted, where a proper Greek word for “vote” is used (2 Cor. 8:18-19).
Do not take me to mean that church order is unimportant. If you would look in my library at how many books I have on the subject, Church/Church Order, you would immediately understand that I do not take it lightly. There are several themes in the subject of Church Order which I am convinced are worthy of lengthy pursuit. One, for instance is church discipline. Another, the one I want to talk about, is group decision-making among Christians. Taking votes is one way of making a group decision. There are others. From a biblical perspective, the significant idea for churches is not vote-taking, but group decisions.
In my study I have found that the New Testament directly refers to group decision-making by Christians after the resurrection of Christ 16 times (Acts 1:15-16; 6:1-6; 8:14-17; 11:22; 11:30; 13:1-3; 14:21-23; 15:1-3; 15:4-29; 15:22; 15:36-41; 16:9-11; 1 Corinthians 5:1-13 / 2 Corinthians 2:5-11; 1 Corinthians 16:3-4; 2 Corinthians 8:18-19; 1 Thessalonians 3:1-5). No doubt I have overlooked a passage, which eventually someone will point out to me. If there are sixteen times in the Bible in which group decision-making is either described or instructed, it is an important biblical subject.
Of the sixteen, one is made by the core of the Jesus Movement as they awaited the baptism of the Holy Spirit (Acts 1:15-16), one is made by the apostles (Acts 8:14-17), two are made by a missionary team (Acts 16:9-11; 1 Thess. 3:1-5), ten are made by a local church, one is described as a decision of the apostles, elders, and the church and finally, one is hard to specify by exegesis (Acts 13:1-3). I count it as a church example because the NT identifies the first line of accountability afterward as the sending church (Acts 14:26-27).