Listen, Christian. Evangelical elites are lying to you. The Marxism-promoting Gospel Coalition and the mostly irrelevant SBC Voices have published articles excusing Bible-believing Christians from voting in this year’s election. The once-respected John Piper, in all his wisdom, can’t figure out what makes the major parties morally different from each other. Ignoring the blessing God has given us in our ability to affect the direction of our government, these ignorant cowards are unwilling to draw the clearest, most obvious moral distinctions between the two major political parties and take a stand. This is purposefully blind and morally repugnant.
Bible-believing Christians understand that the world is fallen. Our nature is fallen. Our worldly systems are fallen. No politician, government, or (gasp!) even pastor can hold up to God’s standard. Our current president is no exception. His current opponent is similarly sinful. So are you, in case you forgot. But you’ve been given a brain to use in weighing the viable options to determine which is morally preferable. Notice, I did not say which is morally perfect or even morally in the ballpark.
Both options in a given election (yes, there are only two viable options) might be distasteful to your delicate sensibilities. Deal with it. This is America, you are the government, and you must be mature enough to govern. Do you think for a moment that if (instead of the small amount of influence you have) you had much more influence it would be morally acceptable to not govern? To take your ball and go home? The same civically-ignorant evangelical elites, convinced the government could close their churches, are now trying to convince you that you are excused from using it to contend for Godliness.
The Pragmatism of Worldly Governance
A national election is the result of a combination of individual moral and ethical determinations. These decisions are mostly made by lost people. We are always forced to compare two imperfect options. We always decide which is the lesser of two evils. Sometimes this decision is extremely difficult as the two options are similar terrible choices. Fortunately in 2020 this is not the case.
Policy, Not Person
A little refresher on our system of governance: American political leaders do not make unilateral decisions. Even the president must work with congress and within the limitations of our system of federalism. Most notably, elected officials must work within the bounds of the law. This gift from our God-fearing founders means that a morally-compromised politician has limited ability to do grave damage. Things move slow, and (generally) move out in the open. Leaders are forced to develop consensus with others in order to exercise their agenda, which has an effect of minimizing the leader’s individual ethical and moral shortcomings, and maximizing the importance of party policy.
The president’s rhetoric and personal moral failings (while numerous) have little effect on the actions of the government since he is unlikely to find political support for policies that reflect these sins, and he can’t (despite media fearmongering) unilaterally rule over you. On the other side of the aisle, the abject immorality being promoted by Joe Biden enjoys the consensus and support of an entire political party. This kind of consensus has the real ability to do harm. Evangelical elites are drawing a functional equivalency between one man’s personal character and the policy positions of an entire political party. This is a false equivalency – a lie. It is unbecoming of any thinking person (much less supposed leaders), and demonstrates either abject ignorance or malice.
Think about the choices.
On one side, the official platform of the party is basically a direct refutation of biblical morality. Whether it is the murder and mutilation of the unborn, the celebration of radical sexual perversion (including the bodily mutilation of children under the lie of “transgenderism”), or the 8th commandment-violating and government-glorifying policies of income redistribution, the Democratic party platform is basically a list of commandments God told you not to break. No matter what you think of Joe Biden personally, these are the values you are voting for, and these are the policies you are helping to implement.
On the other side, you have a personally offensive, brash, rude, and narcissistic man who, despite these things, just so happens to have promoted and enacted many policies that reflect biblical Christianity. Is he a Christian? Probably not, but Donald Trump has proven himself to be a stalwart friend of religious liberty, individual freedom, and the rights of the unborn. He seems to support the LGBTQ agenda at least in words, but this (at worst) simply neutralizes that issue in terms of who becomes the next president. Overall, with Trump you have a set of policies that are largely in agreement with what you claim to believe scripturally.
The Republican party is for stopping baby murder, for individual religious freedom, and supports smaller government (leaving your family and church more resources to use for the kingdom). Regardless of what the man has done in the past, Trump has largely aligned himself with and enacted policies that support a biblical worldview. This is undeniable, which is Piper has to focus on his “deadly” character. But comparing the theoretical consequences of character to the real-world evidence of the last four years is ridiculous. Trump is certifiably pro-life, pro-family, pro-religion, pro-freedom. No matter what you think of Trump personally, these are the values you are voting for, and these are the policies you are helping to implement.
Your responsibilities as a participant in self-governance:
- Get your emotions out of it. Don’t make a decision based on your feelings – use your brain. Often, doing the right thing doesn’t feel very good.
- Know how your government works. After all, it’s irresponsible for you to be ignorant about something you’re in charge of.
- Know what policies are up for debate, and where the major political parties and politicians stand on the issues.
- Get out your Bible and find out what God has to say about these policies. This may take time, but the Bible is not silent on any issue we currently face.
- Determine which viable candidate or issue is more righteous than the other. It is usually not close. Once you dig into the issues and the scriptures, this determination will become much easier to make.
- Vote, speak out, organize, and contend for righteousness. Push the ball the righteous direction.
As an American, you are the government, and you have been given the ability to affect things in many ways, especially by voting. Your vote affects the direction of the country, if only by a little. You’ve been given a brain with which to draw comparisons between political choices and the values and vision for the country promoted by each. Most importantly, you’ve been gifted the ministry of the Holy Spirit to help judge these imperfect political choices by biblical standards and choose which option is most likely to move the country in a righteous direction. By refusing to vote (or vote for candidate with no shot at actually winning), you choose to not stand up for righteousness. You choose to do nothing when you could do something. You choose not to lead in Christ. Instead, be a light in the world. Know what the Bible says, know how our system works, and make a difference for righteousness.
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