Unless you have been living on a deserted island somewhere, you are very aware that an election is coming up soon. Televised debates, multiple millions of dollars in advertising, rallies, newscasts, etc. – all focused on the upcoming election. I’ve included some resources at the bottom of this post that could be helpful about the election in particular and politics in general. I’ve learned something from all the resources listed and would recommend them to you, particularly if you are a Christ-follower.
For this blog, most of my comments will be regarding the presidential election even though there are many other important elections taking place November 8th.
It is obvious that a Christ-follower should try to have a Christian worldview, including when it comes to policies, politics, and politicians. We need to think biblically, but with all the mud-slinging misinformation, as well as complicated policies, Christians are often confused or disagree with each other about what to do. Let me try to summarize three general views of evangelicals, then give some action steps we should all take heed to.
Who do Evangelicals Plan to Vote for?
According to a mid-October poll, 45% of “evangelicals” plan to vote for Trump, 31% for Clinton, 8% for Gary Johnson and 15% are undecided. Let me try to frame the three basic views first:
-Some will vote for Donald Trump
While some are excited about Mr. Trump, many will vote for him because they consider him the “lesser of two evils.” They simply see Hillary Clinton and her stated agenda of the lifting of all abortion restrictions, anti-religious liberty, liberal supreme court justice appointments, etc., as very damaging to our country. In addition to her policy views, her “extremely careless” decisions regarding classified emails, Clinton foundation investigations, and the way she treated Bill’s accusers are an indictment of her judgment and character. This view also sees ‘sitting the election out’ for conscience sake to be complicit in electing Clinton and the damage that will do. They understand they are not voting for a Bible study leader, but a politician.
-Less will vote for Hillary Clinton
This group of evangelicals sees her as a better choice due to a wider range of issues – most of which are anti-Trump. They see Trump’s misogynistic comments, lack of self-control, etc., as a bridge too far to cross. Before you say, ‘he apologized for those comments,’ read this article by James McDonald – Is Donald Trump Truly Repentant and Does It Even Matter? Some of them see voting for Clinton as kind of a ‘punt’ until we can have better candidates in four years.
-Others will not vote or will vote third party
They refuse to vote or will vote third party/write-in because voting for either Trump or Clinton would violate their conscience. With Trump, they might agree with some of his policies but think that Trump does not truly embrace the policies himself (like pro-life or religious liberty). And, even if he does, his character deficit is too great for them to vote for him. With Clinton, it’s her policies, maybe more than her person, that make it impossible for most evangelicals to vote for her. Of particular importance, is the protection of unborn babies.
What should I do?
- Pray – James 1:5 and 1 Timothy 2:1-3
- Vote – There are hugely important issues in the Presidential election, as well as many ‘down ballot’ elections that need your voice. As the ‘salt and light’ of the world, we should exercise our right to vote for the good of others and the glory of God.
- Know the Issues – Read, watch, get informed about the key issues (religious liberty, immigration, foreign policy, etc.) The paramount issue is pro-life. I could not vote for someone I believe would take any action that would expand the murder of unborn babies. Romans 13: 3-4 makes it clear that central to the government’s responsibility is the protection of the weak and vulnerable. The most vulnerable group in our society are the unborn babies.
- Show grace to those who disagree with you about the election
Politics are important, but they are not ultimate. When you “go off” on people who come to a different conclusion than you, you are acting like the election is ultimate. My friend J.D. Greear makes a great point when he notes that two of Jesus’ disciples were Simon the Zealot and Matthew the Tax Collector. They had vastly different political viewpoints. “But at the end of the day, they found in their love for Jesus, a unity greater than the political questions that divided them.”
- Know that “God is stronger”
Our ultimate hope is not in an election, justices, policy, or politicians. It’s in the reality that Christ defeated sin and death on the cross. In January 2017, regardless of who is inaugurated as President of the United States, God will still be on His throne. As Chuck Colson said, “Salvation does not come riding in on Air Force One”.