Archive for October 2020

Should a Christian Vote in this election?

October 28, 2020

I highly respect John Piper, but I disagree with his position on voting in this election. Piper has shared that he doesn’t believe that he can, in good conscience, vote for either candidate. His points are valid about Trump’s publicly known sins, but I believe there are a hierarchy of considerations that must be taken into account as Christian U.S. citizens consider their privilege to vote for their next civil leaders. Among these are: (1) What candidate, based on present knowledge, is most likely to support decisions (in both domestic and foreign policy) to allow us to live quiet and peaceable lives? – which Paul held up as a reasonable desire for us as Christians (1Timothy 2:1-4). (2) What candidate, based on present knowledge, is most likely to support laws which are clearly contrary to the principles of the Word of God? (3) All else being equal, what candidate is likely better capable as a leader to deliver on points number one and two? (4) And this is a very tough one, a tie-breaker only – ALL ELSE BEING EQUAL on points one, two, and three (which is unlikely, but theoretically could happen), What candidate for the civil office most appears to try to live a lifestyle that is in keeping with New Testament teachings?

It must be remembered that a vote for President is not a vote for the next Pastor of a church, or even whether to admit someone as a church member. It is a civil role, where his or her primary responsibility is to govern, not teach Sunday School.

If the candidate also has a good Christian testimony, that is a plus, but I don’t believe that is primary. God used Cyrus and other pagan kings to advance his purposes. He didn’t have them all come bow before his altar first (though some might have worshipped him at some point). Neither do I think that we are necessarily always best served by Christian candidates for office. Sometimes God might use a non-Christian opponent for the office who may be a better leader, and who is in the right place on points one and two above.

The outward, visible life of a person trying to live as a Christian can be seen, and evaluated for consistency, but (a) some “good” moral people can live exemplary lives, and fool many into thinking they are Christians, and (b) the outward visible life of anyone can be a sham, and there could be a world of unchecked wickedness behind his or her closed doors. And (c) one shouldn’t expect unsaved people to live Christlike lifestyles, and (d) all of us are sinners at the core. Therefore, every candidate, from every party, will always be flawed.

For these reasons I don’t believe Trump’s egregious behavior and lifestyle necessarily disqualify him to serve as POTUS, . . . but I’m not going to point to him as a moral role model, or consider him for a leadership position in the church!

A second issue is that it is a dual ticket. We don’t just vote for one president; we also vote for a replacement.  Looking at the candidates with their running mates, I think it would be very wrong to vote to put in place a team with a “batter on deck,” a shoe-in – if something happens to the president – a president and running mate combination who do not compare favorably with their alternative with respect to questions one, two and three above.   And I think it would be wrong for enfranchised believers to acquiesce in this direction by default, if they choose to not vote.

Ultimately, our next POTUS will be the one who God so ordains, but I believe that to the extent that believers have the right to exercise their rights to vote, they should do so with consideration for questions one, two and three above.

First of all, then, I urge that entreaties and prayers, petitions and thanksgivings, be made on behalf of all men, for kings and all who are in authority, so that we may lead a tranquil and quiet life in all godliness and dignity. This is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Savior, who desires all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth.

1Timothy 2:1-4