November 8th, 2016 – a day that has captivated our country’s attention for the better part of a year – is right around the corner. And while every major election attracts the gaze of our nation, this one is just different. It seems like every day there is some piece of news that leads us to further question the character and qualifications of the candidates. It’s caused all of us to ask questions we’ve never had to ask before about politics, voting, and how to live as follower of Jesus in this governmental structure.
Some have asked us as pastors for thoughts about how to approach the ballot box next week. Instead of writing something up ourselves, we’ve decided to link to some posts by people we respect who have helped us think through some of these challenging questions. Hopefully you find them beneficial as you consider what to do with your vote next Tuesday. As always, if you would like talk with one of us or have questions, we’d be happy to talk.
What follows are links to some of those articles (with small excerpts or explanations of each one):
“Why (and How) Christians Should Still Vote” by J.D. Greear – Part One of a Two-Part Series
“Most political discussions these days begin with the question, ‘Who should I vote for?’ This matters, as we’ll see tomorrow. But first I want to highlight a few important issues we ought to consider in every election, and that are especially pertinent in this one.”
“Who Should We Vote for in November?” by J.D. Greear – Part Two of a Two-Part Series
In this post, Greear lays out the rationale used by Christians who feel compelled to vote for Trump, Christians who feel compelled to vote for Clinton, and Christians who feel compelled to say “Never Clinton, Never Trump.”
“Shall We Endorse Evil That Good May Result?” by Jared Wilson
“Should we support a morally repugnant and unqualified person if we suspect some good may result from it?”
“On Loving My Neighbor With My Vote” by Jared Wilson
“We definitely should think of how our votes (or non-votes) affect our neighbors. As Christians, we ought to think how our postures toward politics and the electoral process demonstrate love for our neighbor.”
“Is a disciple of Jesus forced to vote for the less offensive candidate? I don’t think so… Thoughtful Christians will come to different conclusions on this, but it is clear in Scripture that God’s people often do what is right and leave the results to the Lord of history… Christians may vote for Trump or Clinton or neither. We serve the sovereign Lord of history. We may do what we judge right, and leave the consequences to him.”
What Am I Doing When I Vote? by Kevin DeYoung (from the 2012 election cycle)
“My topic in this series is to think through a philosophy of voting. As with all these posts, my aim is not to tell you whom to vote for or even how to think about every issue, but rather to put in place some foundational ideas that will help us approach politics intelligently and wisely.”
“How To Turn This Election Into a Gospel Tract” by Erik Raymond
“The Bible says a lot about humanity. And with these candidates under the microscope, we have many samples of human behavior to examine in light of Scripture. So let’s see how the Bible can equip us to talk in light of this election with unbelieving friends and family.”
So much to think and pray about before Tuesday, November 8th comes around. One thing we must remember, however, is that Wednesday, November 9th is coming too. And while some things will be new – we will have a new president-elect, and other new or newly re-elected representatives – many things will remain the same. And those things that do not change are the ones of highest importance.
We will have the same King. The resurrected Jesus will still be on His throne, ruling with unquestioned authority over every earthly power (Psalm 2; Ephesians 1:20-21). So let us resolve not to lack of faith in our resurrected King by either despairing the results of the election or acting as if our savior has been elected.
We will have the same obligation to pray for, obey, and honor our political leaders whether we voted for them or not (Romans 13; 1 Peter 2:17). So let us resolve to pray for our elected officials and leaders more than we criticize them.
We will have the same mission. As citizens of His Kingdom, we will still be called to make disciples of all nations and to love our neighbors (no matter who they voted for). So let us resolve not to damage our witness through cutting and divisive speech, but to highlight the greatness of the King who came not to be served, but to serve and give His life as a ransom for many (Mark 10:45).
So let us continue on in faith by trusting our King more than we fear the future.