It is painfully obvious that it is election year. Never is the division in this country more evident than when we are leading up to vote for the next POTUS. This year’s elections however have been revealing for conservatives, but particularly for the church. I write this for the church. This is in fact an issue in the church. I also write this understanding the risk. One potential consequence of this is that I will be on the receiving end of insults and petty bickering- none of which I will engage in. More than that, I run the risk of having my name slandered and my faith questioned. This gets to the heart of why I’m willing to engage with this topic. I believe for far too long the church has struggled with the idolatry of nationalism. The church has allowed the identity, American to become greater than the identity, Christian. The church somewhere along the way, began to use the Republican party interchangeably with our identity as followers of Christ.
Now I believe that the gospel touches everything. And our vote for the next POTUS is not off limits from our identity and calling as believers. Consider our identity for a moment:
“Therefore if you have been raised up with Christ, keep seeking things above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. Set your mind on the things above, not on the things that are on earth. For you have died and your life is hidden with Christ in God.” (Colossians 3:1-3 NASB).
“For those whom He foreknew, He also predestined to become conformed to the image of His Son, so that He would be the firstborn among many brethren; and these whom He predestined, He also called; and these whom He called, He also justified; and these whom He justified, He also glorified.” (Romans 8:29-30 NASB).
I could go on and on with passages reminding you of who you are in Christ Jesus, but my point is that by God’s grace you are different. Because you are different you grow to love and cherish the things God loves; “love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control” (Galatians 5:22-23) and hate the things God hates; immorality, impurity, sensuality, idolatry, sorcery, enmities, strife, jealousy, outburst of anger, disputes, dissensions, factions, envying, drunkenness, carousing…” (Galatians 5:20-21).
These should be important to believers and we cannot isolate their importance with the God-given opportunity we have to vote. Every single thing you do is a reflection about what you believe regarding the gospel of Jesus Christ. Now, you’re probably wondering when I’m going to get to my point and here it is: We cannot abandon our calling to be salt and light and ambassadors for our King, Jesus in this year’s election. Neither candidate demonstrates the integrity or morality a believer should look for in a Commander-in-Chief. I have been extremely disappointed by how quickly we have neglected our responsibility to hold our government accountable to be God’s servant for our good (Romans 13:4). We have lied to ourselves and justified supporting Mr. Donald Trump as a Republican candidate by telling ourselves the lie that he is actually a better candidate (put positively) or a lesser evil (put negatively) than Hillary Clinton. I have heard the rhetoric that we so easily buy in to: “a vote for a third party is a vote for Hillary.” This is simply preposterous and totally ignores the call that God has given us to be good stewards. Yes, stewardship extends even to the voting booth. Even if voting for a 3rd party meant voting for Hillary, what is your God-given vote worth to you? Does character matter for one of the most powerful jobs in the world? Christians for years have bemoaned the state of our government and the blatant immorality forced on American citizens. It is interesting that we so quickly seek to exchange one immorality for another. Donald Trump is asking us to hire him to represent us. Let me say that another way. Donald Trump is asking you as a Christian to vote for him so that he can speak on your behalf. Is this really what you want? This is a man who doesn’t value freedom of speech. This is a man who says that he will force department stores to say Merry Christmas. This is a man who doesn’t ask for forgiveness because he doesn’t make mistakes. This is a man who takes fidelity lightly. This is a man who has flip flopped on abortion more times than I can remember. This is a man who is heavily invested in pornography. This is a man who isn’t ashamed or bashful about adultery or incestuous desires. He has stated multiple times that he will kill the families of terrorists revealing further his low value for life. Donald Trump is a man who says what he has to say to get the vote. He is the biggest politician of them all. He is hot-headed, petty and insulting and he asks us to vote for him and allow him to negotiate on the world stage. Furthermore these blatant character issues seem to be ignored by Christians at best or celebrated as being “politically incorrect” (a phrase I still don’t understand) at worst. I have heard the catchy phrase, “I’m not electing a pastor”. That is true. At the very least though I am electing a deacon whose charge is to promote morality according to Romans 13.
God, in His grace and mercy has revealed one of our idols. We are so quick to compromise our gospel convictions in a futile effort to “win” America back to however we think it should be. Our hopes are sorely misplaced. We must have a higher aim. Our aim should be to promote the supremacy of God over all things. We must not allow our allegiance to a political party to cast a shadow over the primary calling to be ambassadors for the one who has authority in heaven and on earth. What good is it if Christians set aside convictions in order to win an election? I’m becoming more and more convinced that God is concerned about process. Not just the beginning and end, but the process. Are we honoring God in our process by voting for a man who is the antithesis of everything Christians stand for and believe?
For further reading you can check out Dr. Albert Mohler’s post on the importance of character for the next POTUS.