This commentary was condensed from the original that appeared on AFA’s blog at afa.net/the-stand.
September 2018 – Since Donald Trump ran for president, Christians have debated if we should vote for an imperfect candidate. To state the obvious, there is no perfect candidate. However, the discussion is based on a false premise: that voting for a person is an endorsement of every action the candidate has taken and every decision he or she has made throughout life. This kind of thinking leads to frivolous debates among ourselves as to whether our witness is damaged by voting for a less than perfect candidate.
Because politicians, like the rest of us, are human, they will sin and fall short of the glory of God. That said, when a Christian with excellent character runs for office, we should support his or her candidacy. In the 2016 Republican presidential primary, there were several candidates I viewed as Christ followers with a biblical worldview and high level of integrity.
You might ask, what about Democrats? Well, there are some “deal breaking” issues for me. Abortion is at the top of the list. Any candidate who advocates for the murder of babies in the womb will not get my vote. What would I do if both candidates on the ballot advocated for abortion? Well, we’d be in big trouble. Christians would either vote for a third party or write-in candidate.
Another deal breaker is a candidate who advocates for sexual deviancy, including the transgender and homosexual “rights” agenda. Those who promote such are often in favor of the demonization of Christians because of our biblical view of human sexuality. This is a common view among Democrats.
I believe that in each election, we have to ask ourselves, “Which candidate’s worldview most closely aligns with the Bible?” That’s the candidate I’m likely to vote for, regardless of whether or not there is a known profession of faith.
What about someone’s past? I mean the factual past, not the rumored past. This question arose when the Access Hollywood tapes came out when then-candidate Trump spoke in a vulgar manner about women. There are two questions we have to ask in this situation. Has the person apologized for past actions? Is he the same person, or has he changed? If the candidate has apologized for past behavior and has become a new person, why would you hold one’s past against him?
If there isn’t a great candidate, then why don’t Christians just stop voting? Well, this might sound like the purest approach, but it is one that would be regretted. Can you imagine if all Christians had stayed home from the polls in 2016? We’d have a president who approves of abortion and homosexuality. We’d have a president who would appoint judges who completely disregard the Constitution. We’d have a president who would likely still be using her private foundation to funnel money from foreign governments in exchange for diplomatic favors.
This sounds like a nightmare, right? Yet that would be the presidency we’d have if it weren’t for Christians voting in 2016.
Voting is not a clear-cut moral choice as we’d like, but I’m thankful to God that America still gets to elect her leaders. Many people live under a dictator with little or no freedom.
There’s a fair amount of friendly fire going on within the Christian community regarding this issue. To assume that 86% of evangelical voters are somehow morally bankrupt because we voted for the Republican nominee in 2016 is completely false. We might hold fundamentally different worldviews when it comes to voting and politics, but the last thing we need to do is shoot at each other while Satan, the true enemy, advances on our position.
Unity is imperative if we Christians are to be the salt and light God calls us to be.