Several weeks ago I published a column explaining why as a Christian, I could not in good conscience vote for either of the ungodly candidates for president being offered by the two major political clubs in our country. I expected that it would generate some negative response from folks typically inclined to agree with me on matters of culture and politics; and I was right. But given the high degree of respect I have for many of those whom I seemed to disappoint with my column, and the high regard in which I hold several Christian leaders who are opposed to such appeals to conscience, I want to take the time to respond to their concerns.
There is, quite logically, an overriding anxiety that if Christians don’t vote for Donald Trump, it will ensure that one of the most contemptible candidates for public office the United States has ever seen, Hillary Clinton, will be victorious in her pursuit of executive power. While there is certainly no guarantee that an ungodly man like Donald Trump (who has spent his entire life warring against Christian values) would be better, there is no doubt a Clinton presidency would be catastrophic for the country.
If I were voting simply on the basis of what is best for me or my country, I would agree that Donald Trump is a better option than Hillary Clinton. But I am not voting for my own best interest, the best interest of my children, or for the good of any earthly kingdom. I signified my willingness to sacrifice those priorities when I surrendered my life to Jesus. From that moment, I am voting to honor God, trusting that if I do that, He will provide for me and take care of those I love. Such has always been the call placed on His followers throughout history: put faithfulness above self-interest.
For Abraham, honoring God meant being willing to sacrifice his own son. For Gideon, honoring God meant being willing to risk his own safety and that of his people by reducing his already outnumbered army to just 300 in their battle against the Midianite army of 135,000.
And most instructive, for Jesus Himself, honoring God meant voluntarily setting aside His own glory, contentment, safety and security for the will of His Father. If I am to walk in His footsteps that surely means being willing to sacrifice rights, privileges, pleasures, possessions, goods, comfort, convenience and everything else when clinging to them would require me to dishonor Him.
So please understand, I don’t need to be convinced that it would be in my best interest to support the candidate who (though he has already predictably waffled on his strategy for Court appointments) at least seems to be saying things that line up with my personal politics, even if he has spent his career opposing them. That is where nearly everyone who disagreed with me tended to focus – telling me all the reasons why my personal interest is best served by voting for Trump.
But that is not where my reservation lies. I simply cannot reconcile my first obligation to honor God in all things with offering my support to a man who:
- Brags about institutions that kill God’s innocent creations for profit,
- Joins in the mockery of God’s design for marriage,
- Applauds the sexual confusion and bathroom absurdities of the transgender movement and blasts those who oppose them,
- Brags repeatedly about his repeated adultery,
- Lies consistently and without shame,
- Swindles honest people and laughs at their plight,
- Unapologetically mocks disabled and handicapped people,
- Makes outlandishly offensive sexual remarks that demonstrate chauvinistic sexism.
Compare those realities with this passage of Proverbs:
“There are six things the Lord hates, seven that are detestable to him: haughty eyes, a lying tongue, hands that shed innocent blood, a heart that devises wicked schemes, feet that are quick to rush into evil, a false witness who pours out lies and a person who stirs up conflict in the community.” (Proverbs 6: 16-19)
We are told in 2 Timothy to have “nothing to do with such people” (3:5). That is the source of my decision to not offer my vote and affirmation to Donald Trump.
This isn’t about me looking for a man who agrees with my theology or doctrine. I’m not looking to elect a preacher. It is about me looking for a man with character and integrity. The same reasons I opposed Bill Clinton I oppose Donald Trump.
Now, I should hasten to add that not one of those things listed above that define the character of Donald Trump is an unpardonable offense. Christianity teaches that there is redemption from such a hurtful, prideful, evil and immoral lifestyle. But repentance is necessary, and earnest attempts to make things right are necessary. That is what pains me about seeing Christian leaders I trust and respect, most of all Franklin Graham, reference God’s compassionate forgiveness for biblical heroes like Abraham, Moses, and David – all of whom sat broken and repentant before God – in advocating political support for Trump. Without self-evident repentance, this is a dangerous and outrageous twisting of the truth.
I hope and pray that Donald Trump experiences a Saul-to-Paul, road to Damascus conversion. Not for the sake of my own desire to support the Republican nominee, but for the sake of his eternal soul. Donald Trump needs Jesus as we all do.
And when you have Jesus, you live in Him. In Him you, “live and move and have [y]our being (Acts 17:28).” When that is the case, you fear the Lord and shun what is evil (Proverbs 3:7); not fear a disastrous Democrat administration and therefore support what is evil.
I do not want to see what Hillary Clinton will do to this country. It’s why I worked diligently to see the Republican Party choose someone who Christians could enthusiastically support in defeating her. They chose not to. And should Hillary be elected as a consequence, I will do all I can to thwart and expose her contemptible policies that threaten to speed our collapse as an earthly civilization.
But I will not let my fear of her worldly power compel me into violating my highest Christian priority, which is to love God, abhor what is evil, and cling to what is good (Romans 12:9).
I trust that those who disagree are earnestly seeking to do the same.
The opinions expressed by columnists are their own and do not necessarily represent the views of Barb Wire.