Many Christians are feeling angst regarding who to vote for in the upcoming presidential election. That’s no surprise given that both major parties nominated candidates who are morally unqualified to lead our country. Nevertheless, voting is an important privilege as Americans. Here are three principles for Christians to employ as they head to the polls.
1. Pray for wisdom.
James says if we lack wisdom we should ask for it. If there was ever a presidential vote that required wisdom, it’s this one. I have yet to see a sound, historically faithful, exegetically derived argument showing that Christians must vote. Especially in a situation like this with two very amoral candidates. We are right to demand integrity of our leaders and we need not feel obligated to support candidates that make us uncomfortable. Scripture never calls us to condone or willingly lend our support to those who dismiss or deny what is evil. Yet legitimate, peaceful voting is such an incredible privilege that abstaining should be an absolute last resort. We need wisdom to know how to vote.
2. Listen to your conscience.*
This one comes with an asterisk right up front. Our conscience is not perfect. It is not an infallible guide. But when the infallible word of God informs and shapes our conscience, it becomes an important means by which the Holy Spirit guides us. So if our biblically informed conscience tells us that life ought to be defended from conception to death and that how we treat others – particularly women – is important, then we dare not ignore that. Justifying a vote based on “the lesser of two evils” or “the courts” is not only flawed logic (one that cannot be carried to it’s moral end), it in no way excuses turning a blind eye to troubling truths. Justifying a vote for a candidate who is “more qualified” yet supports the barbaric murder of the unborn (all the while claiming to value life) is equally as lacking in sound judgment. If your conscience is telling you no for reasons like these, listen to it!
3. Rest in God’s sovereignty.
Both the Old and New Testaments consistently attest to the fact that God is sovereignly behind the rise and fall of all who are in power. No matter who wins, he or she will be a footnote in the grand story authored by a God whose will cannot be thwarted. And so it will be with all who come to power from now until return of Jesus Christ.
Until that glorious day, get out and vote.