I know, I know. It’s very likely that you have no desire to read a political piece on a Christian blog.
If that’s the case, feel free to skip this post.
The title is no accident, by the way. If you’re not a Christian, this post probably isn’t for you. (But if you’re curious about Christianity, this one may be just what you’re looking for.)
Likewise, if you’re a Christian who is already convinced that you’re voting for Donald Trump in just a few days, this post is probably not for you either. I affirm you as my brother or sister in Christ by virtue of your faith in His death, burial, and resurrection as an atonement for your sins, no matter how you’re voting in the election. And I also want you to know that I understand the reasons why some Christians are voting for Trump. This post is not intended to persuade you away from a decision to which I can only assume God led you.
So with that introduction out of the way, I’ll start for real now.
Dear Christian who really doesn’t want to vote for Donald Trump,
You don’t have to.
Need me to say it again?
You really don’t have to.
There are a lot of conservative voices saying that voting for Donald Trump in order to stop Hillary Clinton’s pursuit of the presidency is the moral choice.
(Notice I said the moral choice–as in the one and only–not just a moral choice, which would allow room for other moral choices, as well.)
I want to tell you today, in no uncertain terms, that those voices are wrong.
I know some Christians – some of whom are pastors and writers and leaders that you and I have respected and trusted for many years – are making it seem like it’s the sole good and true choice, and even the sole Christian choice in this election season. (*cringe*)
But they’re mistaken.
If you’re like this conservative Christian who has voted Republican her whole life, you don’t have a problem with Christians who are voting for Trump in order to stop what is perceived to be the massively destructive alternative. You understand where these Christians are coming from.
It’s Trump we’re talking about here.
Since there’s a plethora of information available about Donald Trump, I won’t rehash the details about why voting for him is distasteful at best, and likely impossible for many of you who are still reading. (You can find more discussion on that topic by following the links to related articles at the end of this post.) Suffice it to say he is a man who is thoroughly foolish, immoral, and wicked.
My only goal today is to come close to your ear, whispering under the shouting voices to let you know that you don’t have to vote for Donald Trump unless you are confident that God is leading you to do so.
If you choose differently from other evangelicals, it will be okay.
You might get bullied about it.
You might be browbeaten for it.
You might even be blamed for the fallout if Hillary is elected.
But I hope you can be at peace knowing that your decision, as it’s centered in Scripture and guided by the Holy Spirit, is honorable to the only One who matters – the Master who gave you the freedom to cast your vote in the first place, and the One to whom you’ll answer for stewarding it well.
You don’t have to vote for Trump, because you have a higher purpose.
Ecclesiastes 12:13 teaches us that the conclusion of the whole matter – the ultimate conclusion of all the things we might pursue in this great big world – is that the whole duty of mankind is to fear God and keep His commandments.
And you are completely able to fulfill that duty without voting for Donald Trump.
You don’t have to vote for Trump, because you have a higher Master.
You are free from the compulsion to live as a people-pleaser.
You are free from the bonds of slavery to how things have always been done.
You are free from carrying the weight of political and religious opinion.
Your only Master is your Savior, the One who died for you and rose again.
And you are completely able to serve that Master without voting for Donald Trump.
You don’t have to vote for Trump, because you have a higher identity.
You are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for His own possession.
Not so you can proclaim the excellencies of the Republican party or the American dream or the nobility of patriotism.
But so that you may proclaim the excellencies of Him who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light. (I Peter 2:9)
And you are completely able to live out your identity as a Christ-follower without voting for Donald Trump.
You don’t have to vote for Trump, because you have a higher priority.
Your God-given priority is that the whole earth would be filled with the glory of God. (Psalm 72:19)
Your God-given priority is that the gospel would reach the ends of the earth. (Matthew 28:19-20)
Your God-given priority is the gospel would be alive and well in your life, exhibited by your passionate love for God and your active love for others. (Matthew 22:37-39)
Your God-given priority is taking up your cross and following Jesus. (Matthew 16:24)
And your God-given priority is representing the King in the public square by living a life that is characterized by faith, hope, love, righteousness, truth, and the fruit of the Spirit.
And you are completely able to fulfill those priorities without voting for Donald Trump.
You don’t have to vote for Trump, because you have a higher security.
I don’t want to seem without concern for Hillary Clinton’s potential threats to a Christian view of justice, particularly in regard to our religious freedom.
I’m attentive to those concerns, and you probably are, too.
But we need not fear or worry or harbor the least bit of anxiety.
Our security is not brokered by political system or guaranteed by a political party.
The freedom of a Christian is one that can never, ever be taken away by anyone.
And contrary to popular belief, the Church is not on the brink of ruin.
After all, our Lord Himself said that the gates of hell would not prevail against the Church. (Matthew 16:18) So I suspect that we give Hillary Clinton far too much credit to believe that she can.
And you are completely able to exhibit trust in your higher Security without voting for Donald Trump.
Dear Christian who really doesn’t want to vote for Donald Trump…
Seek the Lord. Ask Him for wisdom. Search the Scriptures. Look for godly counsel.
And if God doesn’t lead you to vote for Donald Trump, then you don’t have to.
No matter what anyone else says about it.
Over the last several months, I have read many political articles by Christian writers with differing opinions. Below you’ll find some of the articles that have helped shape my views, though that does not mean I agree with everything presented by the writers, only that they have made points I’ve found worth considering:
Why Evangelicals Are Divided Over Trump by Joe Carter
Seeking Clarity in This Confusing Election Season: Ten Thoughts by Kevin DeYoung
Character and Political Office by Dr. Albert Mohler and Dr. Russell Moore
Why I Don’t Think You Must Vote for the Lesser of Two Evils by Dan Doriani
Situational Ethics and Voting by Michael Farris
The Supreme Court as a Basis for Voting for Trump by Michael Farris
Why I’m Willing to “Waste” My Vote by Stephen Altrogge
The Scandal of Election 2016 by Beth Moore
God’s Sovereignty Vetoes a Nation’s Idolatry by Christi Gee
How Not to Waste Your Vote: A Mathematical Analysis by Stephen Weese
*My focus in this article is on Donald Trump because my readership is primarily comprised of evangelical Christians, most of whom already do not see Hillary Clinton as a viable option for the presidency. I am not in any way encouraging Christians to vote for any particular candidate, only to challenge the notion that there is a single correct way for a Christian to vote.