How to Vote as a Christian

What a time to be alive!  This is the closest I have ever followed an election.  Now that I am a parent of young kids, a family pastor, and starting to fit in my big boy slacks…I’ve been following this election season pretty carefully.  Although it has brought anxiousness and frustration, I’ve sat through the debates, followed articles on Twitter, and even read numerous postings from all the “experts” on Facebook.  In the end, sometimes I feel like this…201603_2000_hfcfd_smUntil now, I have bit my tongue in the social media world.  There have been numerous times when I have had to type out responses…and then delete them just so I could move on.  It was my therapy.  And it also saved me from saying things I would regret, cause division, and embarrass others.  This election has already taught me humility, self-restraint, and a whole lotta trust in my Sovereign God…a whole lotta.

As a pastor, I get asked this from time to time.  How should I vote in this election?  It seems like this election, for obvious reasons, has been the most highly debated among Christian circles.  My response was never “Vote for _______”, end of story, check please.  Instead, I was able to present the issues in the lens of a Biblical worldview, trying my best not to influence or push my biased opinion.  Here are some of my points that may help you vote as a Christian this coming election…

What’s the Bible Say?

Can’t I just read a Bible verse that will tell me what to do?  Well, you could try Ecclesiastes 10:2 (ESV).  Nice try, but I don’t think the application would be very accurate…clever…but not the original intent of the passage.

The best article I have come across for a Biblical approach is found here.  I encourage you to read it.  In fact, I’d rather you read that article than my blog.  Yes, there is a candidate leaning in this article, but the principles cannot be ignored.  But bear in mind this is written by a man whose theological books are used in most conservative Christian universities.  And when I did a poll last year with youth pastors about what theology book they use, it was Mr. Wayne Grudem’s.  It is well worth your time.

Social Issues That Make You Grab the Tissues.

Here’s where I have the most difficulty.  Abortion.  How could you vote for that?  Yes, it is just one issue, but the magnitude of that one issue is indescribable.  Truly, there are no words.  To think of someone who can defend a partial birth/late-term abortion.  It breaks your heart, and should not even be a discussion point…but sadly it is.  Why not just take the baby early?  Give that beating heart a chance.  I’ve seen an ultrasounds of my kids, and it is unimaginable.  I’ve been there when you are searching for  heartbeat.  Your vote can be a voice to all those little ones that do not have a voice.

Never Say Never.

I really needed to come to the election box with an open mind.  Sure, you can see some bias in my writing.  But the #never______ hashtags on social media don’t help anyone.   If you do, make sure your reasons are not just media or campaign fabrications.  You say I will never vote for Trump because of how he made fun of those with disabilities (proven to be a lie) or what he said about Hispanics all being rapists (slight exaggeration).  Or you could say believe the lies about Hillary’s tax plans where Trump may be stretching the truth (seen here).

The point is, do your research beyond watching character attacking commercials and the playground arguments that we call Presidential debates these days.  Take a look at the facts yourself from independent sites, watch the actual footage of accusations, and dig a little deeper.  It’s muddy water for sure, but I think you can still go fishing and catch what you need to make dinner (did that illustration help anyone?).

You’re Not Voting on Your Pastor.

It would be nice if we could just vote for our pastor to be a candidate.  A man who follows Scripture, lives a godly lifestyle, treats others and even their enemies with love and respect.  But you’re not voting on a pastor.  You’re voting on a presidential candidate.  This is a politician we are talking about here.  And remember, you are voting on their policies…and possibly even more bigly, who they will choose on the Supreme Court (this might make this the most important election of our lifetime).  These are very flawed candidates, and that is what is making this decision difficult, I get that.  Both candidates must have frog collections, because they each have warts galore!  Each have actions in the present and the past that cannot that are indefensible.  That can’t be denied, but we also must remember this is not a church vote for a pastoral candidate either.  I’m not condoning behavior, just providing a reality check.

Prayer.

Last but certainly not least, pray.  People we need to pray.  Pray for wisdom.   Pray for our leaders.  Pray for those voting.  Pray for unity among believers.  Pray for our nation.  Whoever you vote for, I encourage you to take the advice of Vice Presidential candidate Mike Pence…

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