In Ephesians 5:8 we are told to walk as children of light and in verse 12 we are told that it is a shame to speak of things done in secret. My main concern is the secret part. Would these and other verses of similar context apply to voting secretly in the church?
Ephesians 5:8-12 deals with the Christian’s holy walk. The Holy Spirit through Paul is telling us to walk as children of light. The passage tells us that light symbolizes “goodness, righteousness and truth.”
. . . for you were formerly darkness, but now you are light in the Lord; walk as children of light (for the fruit of the light consists in all goodness and righteousness and truth), trying to learn what is pleasing to the Lord. And do not participate in the unfruitful deeds of darkness, but instead even expose them; for it is disgraceful even to speak of the things which are done by them in secret. (NASB) Ephesians 5:8-12
Our walk is to please the Lord. We will please the Lord when we walk in light, that is, our lives are characterized by goodness, righteousness and truth. We are not to walk in darkness, that is, to walk as children of darkness – walking in sin – the opposite of goodness, righteousness and truth. The Holy Spirit makes a point to us who watch television, rent video, and go to movies. We should avoid sin. We should avoid speaking of evil done in secret. Today, this would also apply to seeing evil that occurs in secret. One such example is pornography. That is the point of the passage. This passage is not about voting in secret. It is not about secretly buying gifts or surprising someone. It is not about keeping your bank account balance secret or protecting a password. The Holy Spirit is calling us to flee sins – to not even talk about sins done in secret.
If your leadership has done something in secret and violated church bylaws without the permission of the membership, then they are in sin because they are guilty of lording it over the congregation (1 Peter. 5:3). If this is the case, the congregation needs to remove these sinning leaders.
. . . nor yet as lording it over those allotted to your charge, but proving to be examples to the flock. (NASB) 1 Peter 5:3
If a group within the church is secretly maneuvering and doing something without authorization from the church leaders, the church leaders need to take action and be godly examples. Otherwise,
. . . be subject to your elders; and all of you, clothe yourselves with humility toward one another, for GOD IS OPPOSED TO THE PROUD, BUT GIVES GRACE TO THE HUMBLE. (NASB) 1 Peter 5:5