As we “enjoy” (should I say “endure”) another election season, several have inquired about Bible principles which might provide guidance during this controversial time. Following are some of my thoughts, for what they are worth, with several passages and applications intended to help us conduct ourselves as God would have us.
First, remember it is a great privilege to live in “the land of the free,” where we can not only consider and discuss these issues openly, but participate in the process at all. Such freedom is a gift from God, and should be used judiciously and with gratitude. “Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights, with whom can be no variation, neither shadow that is cast by turning,” (Jas. 1:17).
Now, someone might say, “Well I don’t intend to vote because I don’t agree with the candidate.” Good, I don’t either. But I doubt whether such reasoning will hold up upon analysis. I am old enough to remember several elections now, and in every one of them the candidates were less than perfect. Suppose candidate X meets 10% of my approval requirements, but Y only merits 5%. Should I “sit out” the election because my candidate is wrong 90% of the time?
Yes, democratic elections are often a matter of choosing the lesser of two evils. If I do not vote for X because I disagree with 90% of what he or she says, can I realistically and conscientiously expect the supporters of Y to do likewise? As he sent them into the world, Jesus said to his disciples, “be wise as serpents harmless as doves,” (Mt. 10:16). Unfortunately, people of the world often behave more “wisely” than Christians, (Lk. 16:8). To borrow the words of James, “these things out not so to be.” Wise up brethren!
Remember also that you and I are not going to get everything we want in a presidential candidate. There are going to be flaws. The trick is to pick the one most aligned with God’s word, and don’t forfeit your vote. Someone says, “Well (s)he is not aligned at all with the Bible.” OK then, pick the one who is the least misaligned! The point is, you have a gift! It is called a vote! Use it! Don’t hand it over to someone who isn’t even concerned enough to ask the right questions!
Well, what about writing in a more godly candidate? Come now, does anyone really think this would be a wisecourse of action for the Christian? Does the person have any chance at all of winning? We all know the answer. That is just another way of throwing away our vote, and allowing the forces of the world to have their way unrestrained.
Christian, you have a unique opportunity in this free land. The right to vote is precious and sacred, and our countrymen have fought and died for it. Much like the steward who was given five talents, it is a tremendous responsibility, (Mt. 25:14ff). Don’t bury it! I suppose the one talent man could have argued that all of his investment options were corrupt. And, if it was anything like today, to some extent they probably were! But sometimes it is a matter of picking the least undesirable option, and making the best of it. Life is full of unpleasant choices. Sometimes the hardest part of such choices is committing to make a choice at all! Do the best you can, but do it! For if you do not vote, you have not the slightest right to utter even a faint whimper of discontent for the next four years. And I know you won’t be able to resist complaining, plus I wouldn’t want you silenced that way even if you could!
-by Robert C. Veil, Jr.