The topic of whether or not Christians should vote recently came up in the comment thread of this post that originally asked the question of whether or not Christians should vote for a Mormon (i.e. Mitt Romney). However, the predominant question that emerged from the comment thread was: Should a Christian vote for the lesser of two evils?
Now, if a truly blood-bought, born-again, child of God was running for political office, the debate would be moot. But let’s face it, we will probably never be given that option (at least not on the presidential ticket). Any genuine Christian with presidential aspirations would be facing an insurmountable obstacle of opposition because the world would hate him because it hated Christ first (and no pupil or Christian presidential candidate is above His master).
The unfortunate truth is, gaining the approval of the voting populace would require compromising one’s faith and morals in order to be accepted and in order to procure the votes needed to win. The Christian candidate would have no choice but to assimilate to the world in order to garner the approval of the world. (To see how successful that pragmatic approach is just look at the result of years of pastors pandering to the world while their sheep are dying of starvation. There’s a reason why God warned us not to mix light with darkness.)
So, with all that said, my current position is that true Christians should not have to vote if they first have to sit down and estimate which candidate is the lesser of two evils.
Although I cannot (and will not) dictate to others whether they should vote or not, my conscience tells me that voting for the lesser of two evils is still voting for evil.
Now, I know that there are many who will respectfully disagree with my position, and even suggest that it’s our duty as Americans and our obligation as Christians to vote for someone . . . anyone! So, for the furtherance of this discussion, I present the following four questions for your consideration:
1). What happens when both candidates are pro-abortion, pro-homosexual, anti-Christian, big government socialists?
The way things are going, we’re not too far from that scenario now (and some might even argue that that’s what we already have every election cycle; just one candidate hides it better than the other).
If/when this scenario occurs do we flip a coin, or is voter abstinence permissible then? If you say the latter, then you must concede that those Christians who refuse to vote now because neither of the candidates are genuinely a Christian or a conservative (even though one may claim to be for election purposes) are actually doing the right thing.
And once the tide of Americans’ opinions breach that 51% mark of being pro-homosexual, pro-abortion, pro-cradle-to-grave government dependence, then you can expect to see less (if any) viable presidential candidates running on a conservative platform because politicians will always cater to the majority in order to win votes. (A rather ominous conundrum democracy inevitably births which is why democracies are always temporary.)
2). What exactly are you hoping to accomplish by voting for the lesser of two evils?
Do you vote for the lesser of two evils in the hopes to either have a little morality pumped back into society or at least to slow the rapid descent of moral decline? Those are commendable ambitions, but can you really rely on worldly means (e.g. presidential candidate, political process, government, etc.) to accomplish such lofty and noble spiritual goals? And to what end? What is the logical conclusion of that expectation? Do you hope to see a moralistic utopia where no one steals, lies, or spits on the sidewalk, but where most people still go to Hell because they are self-righteous and believe that they’re morally good enough to earn God’s approval? This may not be your intended outcome, but you know that it is the inevitable result when any worldly government attempts to legislate morality sans Christ.
To put that much stock in (and ultimately, that much responsibility on) a government or on the shoulders of a president is to forget how depraved the human heart really is. If your theory was possible, then to fix the ills of the world God could have made Noah president instead of covering it with water.
In the past 30 years we’ve had pro-life presidents in office on several occasions, but abortions are still legal and still going strong. In the past 30 years we’ve had conservative presidents in office on several occasions, yet we’re not too far off from homosexual marriage being legal. And for the past 30 years every president we’ve had has been a professing Christian (even our current one) yet, the government is still growing bigger and the runaway train of moral depravity continues to barrel down the greased tracks unabated.
By voting for the lesser of the two evils are you expecting to see a few less homosexual unions? A few less abortions? A few less of this moral ill or that moral ill?
Do you really think that an unregenerate man or woman elected to a worldly political office is going to stem the tide of sin’s downward spiral in this nation? When you compare the current state of our once great country with the road to wrath in Romans, you may come to the conclusion, as John MacArthur has, that this nation has already been abandoned by God.
3). What is our example from those in the New Testament Church concerning our involvement in politics?
Are we supposed to be more concerned with spiritual matters or earthly matters?
As a Roman citizen, can you honestly envision the Apostle Paul “voting” for the lesser of two evils; which Caesar he thought would be more moral than another? (Yes, I know, Rome wasn’t a democracy, but you get my point.)
It is becoming increasingly apparent (to me at least) that Christians in America are too caught up, are too distracted, and are too preoccupied with worldly political matters, and all of this is at the expense of the sharing of the gospel.
Perhaps we need to get more serious about the souls that are perishing all around us. Christ didn’t command us to elect politicians, but He did command us to make disciples. And how much more difficult that task becomes when–before a word is ever spoken–we alienate others by the political bumper stickers that placard our cars and the campaign signs that litter our yards.
The gospel we live and die for should be the stumbling block to our family, friends, and neighbors, not our political leanings and affiliations. Unfortunately too many of us are known more by our politics than by our Christianity.
How many opportunities have been lost over arguing politics with someone when that person needed to hear about Christ? I have been so guilty of this, and I painfully regret those many lost opportunities that can never be recovered.
4). Is getting an immoral, socialist, anti-Christian president a bad thing?
As American Christians we’ve become accustomed to our prosperous and secure lifestyle, a lifestyle foreign to Christians throughout church history (and equally foreign to those Christians today who don’t live in the West) but so commonly taken for granted by us.
Do you vote for the candidate that will best help you to achieve the American dream or preserve your current prosperous economic status? If so, I have to ask a serious question of you: Has the American dream been a help or a hindrance to your faith?
We would do good to remember this lesson from history:
Beware that you do not forget the LORD your God by not keeping His commandments and His ordinances and His statutes which I am commanding you today; otherwise, when you have eaten and are satisfied, and have built good houses and lived in them, and when your herds and your flocks multiply, and your silver and gold multiply, and all that you have multiplies, then your heart will become proud and you will forget the LORD your God who brought you out from the land of Egypt, out of the house of slavery. – Deuteronomy 8:11-14
If our true passion is to see souls come into the Kingdom, then we should be less concerned with achieving the American dream, increasing our financial prosperity, and righting the moral ills in the world, and instead we should be more focused on devoting our lives fully to preaching Christ and Him crucified.
If making disciples is one of our primary purposes for existence, then why are we so preoccupied with building a happy, safe, comfortable, economically prosperous life, and exerting so much time and effort in electing men and women to political positions that will assist us in maintaining our desired lifestyles?
You may argue: “But if a really evil president gets elected and outlaws Christianity, then what?” Well, if he were to outlaw what has come to be known as “Christianity” in America (better known as Churchianity or Moralistic Therapeutic Deism), then how is that a bad thing?
“But what if true Christians begin getting persecuted?” you ask.
When we look at the explosive growth of the underground churches in countries like China, Vietnam, Iraq, Cuba, etc. and then compare that to the current state of the visible mile-wide, inch-deep, man-centered, program-driven church in America, then I have to suggest that maybe, just maybe, a president that is bad for the country might actually be good for the church. (And I won’t even delve into the fact that God gives nations the leaders they deserve; that’s another whole issue.)
The inconvenient truth is that the church suffers when its people get comfortable, but it flourishes under pressure, trials, and persecution. The more intense the persecution is, the better the health of the church is. And if the blood of the martyrs is the seed of the church, then the luxury and security of the churchgoer is certainly the death of it.