In this last US presidential election, the Left promoted arguably the most corrupt candidate to ever run for office; the Right offered us (so it seemed) a brash, lying, womanizer promoting conservative values for the first time in his life; the third-party trampled basic Christian morality (pro abortion, sodomy, etc.) and consistently polled below 15%. To say there was mass confusion among US Christians about how to vote, or whether to vote at all, is an understatement; at the voting booth I was still struggling. But I think now I have an insight to guide me next time around.
The essence of loving our neighbors as ourselves is seeking their welfare; God tells us to use every opportunity to do good unto all (Ga 6:10); living otherwise is actually sinful. (Ja 4:17)
So if we have an opportunity to vote, we also have a moral obligation to cast our vote such that it will promote the most good (or minimize evil). This might be different than voting for who we like more (or dislike less). Voting for one with no realistic chance of winning is effectively the same as not voting; practically, it does about as much good. Yet the best choice, the one that does the most good, may not be obvious.
Voting for someone doesn’t necessarily mean we like them, or that we agree with everything they say and do. In a choice between a demon and the devil himself, when a choice is going to be made and we have a voice, doing good means trying to choose the lesser of the two evils.
The enemy is as a roaring lion seeking whom he may devour (1Pe 5:8); the father of lies leverages every means at his disposal, including politics, to take us down. Through passivity, failing to resist him, neglecting opportunities to do good, we hand him real victories; we must be continually speaking and praying and living to promote the best way … God’s way.
So let’s do good by praying for this new president (1Ti 2:1-3), that God will give him holy wisdom and fierce strength to renounce and expose corruption, and to encourage righteousness and justice in our world. (Is 59:4) Let’s be aware and informed, looking past the media propaganda, willing to get the facts and both admit when he fails and defend him when he does well.
And let’s pray for those who’re thinking differently than we are, or not thinking at all … for those who didn’t vote, or didn’t vote for the collective good. Let’s listen carefully to them and try to understand their point of view in its strongest form. Let’s learn from them, yet also gently challenge them with facts, with reason, prompting them to reconsider. Let’s question them, unsettle them, and encourage them to take a step toward God.
Being wise as serpents yet harmless as doves (Ma 10:16), let’s buy the truth; let’s be informed, understanding the issues facing our nation and our world, in meekness and godly fear ready and more than willing to identify, learn from and answer every divergent point of view. (1Pe 3:15) Let’s promote the kingdom of God, one soul at a time. (Ja 5:19-20)