With all the talk about Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton, one would think these two were the only ones running for president. Of course, they are the two high profile candidates of which one will most likely to be elected. Never mind the fact that we live in a democratic republic that offers several choices and other nominees. One only needs to “google” all the candidates running for president to see that there are a surprising number of individuals of various parties offered as alternatives.
The point that there are more than two possible candidates to vote for president on election day is one that escapes most people. That’s because so-called third party candidates are typically labeled spoilers. And generally they are spoilers for the Republican candidate given the strong support the Democrat alternative typically has among its base. (Which is really sad if you think about it.) So if anyone votes for someone other than Republican, it supposedly means that the vote will carry the same weight as voting Democrat. This, of course, ignores the obvious leaning of the Republican party toward liberal ideas in recent days. One could argue the two parties have merged into one. But I digress.
Sadly, the election process has become so usurped by these two major political entities that no other opposition has nearly any chance of success. Whether it’s because of powerful and wealthy donors, Super PACs, celebrities, or whatever other major influence, the only two parties with any prospects are labeled “R” or “D”. The reality is that politics is heavily influenced by those with the most money, which actually leaves little say among the poor and less fortunate. By browsing through the website, OpenSececrets.org, one could get discouraged at how politics truly works. With political machines operating to keep the minions under their thumb, there’s very little chance a third party candidate would have against the muscle of the rich and powerful. With all the resources at their disposal (read main-stream media), they are adept at manipulating the population into following their wishes and desires. It is psychological warfare used against a populace that is lazy and complacent.
Unfortunately, Christians have fallen prey to this mindset. Christians listen to the political powers that say they have no alternatives other than the ones handed to them. And although Christians like to quote “Be in the world but not of the world”, they still blindly follow the world in voting for the “lesser of two evils” forced on us by this faulty, but effective, system. Take for example Sandy Rios in the Morning on American Family Radio. Listening to her, it seems her opinion falls in line with the stance the American Family Association has taken: “The contest for the presidency is down to two choices: Donald Trump or Hillary Clinton.” The argument seems to be that if we don’t acquiesce and vote for Trump then we lose on the Supreme Court nomination battle and the immigration issue.
The question that obviously escapes this thinking, that Trump will somehow do what is right for America, is how people believe in a man who is changing his position as often as one changes their underwear. (This is assuming hygienic individuals who care about such things.) Think about this. What is the definition of demagogue? Demagogue, as defined by The Free Dictionary, is a political leader who seeks support by appealing to popular desires and prejudices rather than by using rational argument. Trump is such a person. He doesn’t use logic; he appeals to preferences, or whatever is popular at the moment, using his charisma and charm (I guess). Whichever way the winds of change are blowing, Trump’s positions will change along with it. He is not anchored by logic, reason, or taking a position based on principles. Trust Trump? Not likely. Fortunately, some people are actually paying attention and are calling him out on his lies and distortions.
Sadly, there are many Christians today who are lamenting that if we (Christians presumably) do not get behind Trump and vote for him, then we are throwing our votes away and giving the election over to Clinton. The same is apparently true if we choose not to vote, that by doing so we are indirectly responsible for giving our vote over to Clinton. Ironically, they echo the same talking points as the Trumpsters who seem determined to castigate non-Trump supporters, whether they’re of the Democrat ilk or not.
Astonishingly, so-called Christians are making false claims that Trump is God’s choice. They say that he could somehow be the instrument God uses to stave off demonic attacks on the U.S. Televangelist James Robinson said in an interview, “that if Trump loses to a Democrat, America will be given over to Satan”. This kind of deductive reasoning is dangerous. This assumes that if Clinton is evil and bad for this country then Trump must be righteous and good for it. Where is the logic in this argument? What is the basis for arriving at this conclusion?
From the human perspective, one could easily understand how the “lesser of two evils” argument makes sense in some cases. But what if the two choices were Adolf Hitler or Joseph Stalin? Of course comparing Hitler and Stalin to Trump and Clinton is hyperbole. But is it? When Hitler and Stalin started off early in their careers, did their actions show signs of how devastating their rise to power would be? Students of history could probably answer this question more intelligently. However, with what we know about Trump and Clinton, one could argue the disastrous implications of electing known flawed characteristics that blatantly exhibit narcissism and treachery.
Christians have somehow forgot who the true sovereign power is over the affairs of man. What if Christians instead acted by faith and not by sight? What if we trusted in a Sovereign God instead of trying to take matters into our own hands? What if we voted our consciences and voted for a man or woman of godly and moral character rather than just the two choices presented to us by the world? Obviously, this means voting for someone who isn’t mainstream or likely be elected. But, do we truly believe that God establishes the authorities over the nations or that it’s mankind’s doing?
Interestingly, the last question presented has been used by Christian leaders as their argument that we should vote for Trump. Somehow they believe that God has already ordained Trump as the leader of the free world. And because God has already appointed Trump that it is our duty to obey Trump and be subject to his authority. It may be just me, but at what point did that happen already? When did God anoint Trump as king? The last time I looked there was still an undecided election taking place.
There are a few remnant Christians that hold to Biblical values, even when selecting a person that has little or no chance of being elected. Steve Deace is one such person. He makes an excellent case against going along with the sellouts in electing a demagogue such as Trump. He argues the Biblical and moral case separately in which he clearly demonstrates that no Christ-following believer should act against their conscience in voting for Trump. Read the article for yourself. Unless, of course, you are opposed to critical thinking. But then he asks two questions that I would like to reiterate here:
- Do you really believe you could look Jesus in the eye at your judgment and justify supporting such a man for the most powerful office in the world?
- If you do support him, must we then apologize to the Clintons for the stones we threw at their immorality, as well as to others whose sin we have rightly lobbied against in the past since we’re now excusing it from Trump?
These are important questions we all should be asking ourselves. How can we as Christians justify our support for Trump especially knowing the character of the man? Unfortunately, Christians will listen to men like Robert Jeffries who says the #NeverTrump people are fools according to the Bible and that we are “being motivated by pride rather than principle and…it would be a shame for people to allow Hillary Clinton four or eight years in the White House”. Even Phil Robertson, a Christian man who profusely excoriated Trump during the primaries, is now jumping on the bandwagon and declaring his allegiance to Trump and the Republican party. He now says, “I’ll be enthusiastically behind him”. Question. At what point did the Republican party or Donald Trump earn such loyalty from Christian men and women?
Obviously, by questioning Christians about their support for Trump, someone will wrongly assume some kind of loyalty to Clinton. Hillary Clinton is by far the worse candidate and that should go without saying. Someone who has perpetrated illegal activities for decades and has evaded persecution for her crimes is someone who should deserve no one’s support. Her conduct is one of corrupt moral and ethical character that screams guilty. And yet somehow, she eludes justice. It almost seems she would sell her soul to the devil if that would gain her more political power and leverage. Maybe she already has.
The question should not be Trump or Clinton. And for goodness sake, Bernie Sanders should never even be in the conversation. Rather, the question should be “What should Christians do with their vote?” It seems that Steve Deace has already answered that question in his article with the Conservative Review. To be fair, God provided the solution and Deace is only proclaiming it with Scripture:
Moreover, look for able men from all the people, men who fear God, who are trustworthy and hate a bribe, and place such men over the people as chiefs of thousands, of hundreds, of fifties, and of tens.
What if all Christians, men and women, from all walks of life, race, ethnicity, and social and economic backgrounds, all acted according to their faith and conscience? Could a man or woman of godly character rise above the fray and receive the support and votes necessary to become president? Would the nation be better off with someone they could trust to make the most important decisions that affect our economy, international relations, and social issues our country faces?
Ultimately, all Christians can do is follow their conscience and let God handle the details. If God wants Trump or Clinton to be appointed president, then one of them will be elected president. But that’s God’s sovereign discretion. It may be that He appoints one of them because of judgment upon this nation. Maybe because the nation has turned its back on Him that He is giving us exactly what we are asking for. Is there a similar situation in the Bible we could relate to here? Could it be what happened with Israel and King Saul is what’s happening in America today? In one article, a writer points out that Saul happened because “we know that it was the Lord who brought all of this about because the people had forsaken Him and served other gods”.
Maybe some of these Christian leaders are right. Maybe because it is the Lord who is bringing judgment on this nation that we should go along with electing Trump because we deserve him. But somehow that seems doubtful. That would assume we know God’s will and His final decision. For Christians, it is our responsibility to do the right thing for the right reasons. We shouldn’t assume that our blatant disregard for God’s standards in voting for Trump is somehow a means to a just end.
There is another point that as Christians we should consider. How are our actions being judged by the world? In other words, what is our witness to Christ when we make the decision to elect a man like Trump? If Trump has already said that he doesn’t need forgiveness and we lift him up as a standard for our next president, aren’t we conveying that a broken and contrite heart is not important to God? Is that what we want to tell the world? First, Romans 3:23 explicitly states, “for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God”. So when Trump says he doesn’t need forgiveness, are Christians agreeing with him and not God? Instead, maybe we should agree with Scripture, inform Trump of his error, and follow the instructions God had laid out for us in His Word:
You do not delight in sacrifice, or I would bring it; you do not take pleasure in burnt offerings. My sacrifice, O God, is a broken spirit; a broken and contrite heart you, God, will not despise.
Lastly, by lifting Trump up as the standard bearer for Christians, we should be careful that we are not found guilty of idolatry. Think about it. What we are saying by voting for Trump is that we put our faith and trust in man, not God. We’re going ahead with a decision knowing full well, as Steve Deace has already alluded, that is contrary and dishonoring to God. In the words of Joshua, the prophet, Christians should heed what was spoken long ago: “But if serving the Lord seems undesirable to you, then choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve…But as for me and my household, we will serve the Lord.” Or maybe you prefer another opinion. How about when Elijah said these words? “How long will you waver between two opinions? If the Lord is God, follow him; but if Baal is God, follow him.” Of course both of these men were referring to false gods of that day. Today we have Trump. Tomorrow, there will be someone else. But God is constant. But, you get the point.