Honestly Thinking

Honestly thinking (& rethinking) about God, the universe, and everything in between

Why This Christian Won’t Be Plugging His Nose and Voting for Trump or Clinton

Photo courtesy of DonkeyHotey

Image courtesy of DonkeyHotey

The nomad and his wife made their journey toward a dangerous foreign land.  Behind them a severe famine threatened to overtake them. Before them resided a people with a deadly reputation.

The man had heard stories before of their barbaric acts; he knew that if they found out this beautiful woman with him was his wife they would likely kill him in order to take her as their own.

To stay behind meant certain death by starvation for both. To move forward and tell the truth would seal his fate by sword.

Fearful of the consequences, Abram and his wife Sarai determined one small act of deception might serve to spare their lives.

What other choice did they have? It was the practical thing to do.

After all, these were desperate times.

And desperate times often call for desperate measures….and a little bit of compromise, right?

One of the things I’ve come to learn as a Christian is that many moral decisions are not always as clear cut as I would hope or as straightforward as the church would often have you believe.

The current political season is no exception in terms of complexity.

As the selection of final candidates winds down to two individuals whose rhetoric, behaviors and values often seem to contradict the message of Christ, many of my fellow Christians are asking what to do.

Many have responded that, though they would not be happy about it, to not vote for one would be a vote for the other.  We must choose between the “lesser of two evils.”

Out of fear of the damage that four years by the opposition party could do to our country, they state they would simply have to “plug their noses” and vote for ………… because “anyone but …………”

For them, though their candidate is not ideal, it is a practical or pragmatic decision.  They are desperate for change from the destructive path our nation is headed and they feel they don’t really have any other choice.

But is “practical” really always the best way to go when faced with a desperate situation?  Is it really our only choice?

Abram (later known as Abraham) made a practical decision when he decided, as they entered Egypt, that they should lie and pretend Sarai was not his wife (Gen 12:10-20). And in many ways it actually paid off. Not only was Abram’s life spared but they gained many riches as a result.

Yet, few Christians would argue that it was the right thing to do.

Many others suffered (with sores and wounds) at the hands of Abram’s dishonesty – not to mention what it likely did to Sarai’s heart after she was taken into Pharaoh’s house and more or less raped.

Furthermore, what kind of testimony about the character of God was it to the people of Egypt if His representative was known to compromise righteousness and truth?

Shouldn’t God’s promise to Abram that he would make him into a great nation have been enough for him to trust that he could tell the truth and still live?

This was not the only compromised choice that Abram and Sarai made.  Desperate to help create the great nation God promised and fearful that without a child that dream would never be realized, they made the practical decision for Abram to get their servant Hagar pregnant.

The result was the child Ishmael, an ancestor to Muhammed and, thus, the birth of Islam, with which the Jewish people still have enmity today – a pretty big cost for one small compromise.

Scripture is full of stories of individuals making “practical” decisions:
  • Jacob’s decision to trick his brother and then his father in order to inherit the blessing (Gen 25:27-34, 27:1-40)
  • Moses’s murder of an Egyptian who had beaten a fellow Israelite (Exo 2:11-15)
  • Israel’s call for a king to rule over them rather than be led by a prophet (1 Sam 8:10-22)
  • Saul’s decision to offer a sacrifice without waiting for Samuel (1 Sam 13:8-14)

The list could go on with each presenting an overriding theme: when you resort to merely “practical” means you are often ultimately relying more on yourself than God and the results are never good. 

This is especially true when the practical causes you to compromise righteousness and truth and act in contradiction to the very character of God.

On the reverse end, scripture is also full of people acting in faith and doing very “impractical” things:
  • Noah building a boat where there was not water (Gen 6).
  • Abraham being willing to sacrifice his son when it was the only true heir he had (Gen 22).
  • Moses leading the people to a sea that cannot be crossed (Exo 14).
  • David refusing to kill Saul when he had the chance (1 Sam 24, 26).
  • Esther approaching her king at risk of losing her head (Est 5).
  • Fishermen casting a net one more time into the water after a night of no success (Luke 5).
  • Paul and Silas singing praise songs in prison and choosing not to leave when they could easily escape (Acts 16).
  • Jesus allowing himself to die when he could have easily called on angels or men with swords (Matt 16:51-53).

All of these were able to escape the practical by seeing and being willing to make seemingly “impossible” choices.

Is it possible many Christians are willing to compromise on the character of a candidate because they are looking to their own understanding rather than God’s?

Could it be they are acting out of desperation for change and fear for what might happen, while failing to see that God could still do the impossible when they act on righteousness and truth?

I and several other Christians have alternatively stated that, as it stands, we will not be able to vote for either Trump or Clinton. Because I strongly advocate that it is everyone’s moral responsibility to at least vote, for me that would mean a third party or write-in vote.

In response, I have heard many arguments disagreeing with such a stance.  Many come from friends, colleagues and even mentors whom I highly respect and take seriously.

However, as I listen to the counter-arguments I cannot help but think that they simply sound “practical.”  But are they done in faith?

Here’s a look at a few of those arguments:

1) We are voting for a commander-in-chief, not a pastor-in-chief.

This is true but since when did non-pastors become unaccountable to God?

As I shared in my article Must Our President Be Christian? What Even Evangelicals Get Wrong About Separation of Church and State, it is true that the presidency serves a different function than the pastorate; however, both are still subject to the same rules under our Christ-created universe.

Such rules include the need to show love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control in order to be most effective. To believe these rules do not apply to everyone is to be guilty of compartmentalizing God into a false separation of secular verses religious.

Even though Saul and David served different functions over Israel than Samuel (after the people demanded out of practicality they be led by a “commander-in-chief” king rather than “pastor-in-chief” prophet), when these commanders stepped out of obedience to God the people suffered greatly.

2) It is our responsibility to be like Joseph and Daniel, who honored and respected even wicked leaders and, thus, gained prominent positions of godly influence.

It is correct that we have an absolute responsibility to honor our leaders no matter who they are.  Too often in the past Christians have tended to spend more time vilifying elected officials rather than treating them with love and respect, consequently losing their place of witness and influence.

However, there are three things wrong with the above argument.

First, we live in a democratic society and not a monarchy.  Joseph did not choose Potiphar or Pharaoh and Daniel did not choose Nebuchadnezzar nor the other Babylonian kings that followed.  They respected their leaders but they did not “buy” their place of influence by choosing them.

And will God not hold us accountable for the leaders we do freely choose?

Second, in their desire to serve with respect and in their rise of influence, Joseph and Daniel never sacrificed character.  Joseph chose to disobey the authority of Potiphar’s wife and Daniel refused both to eat the king’s food and to stop praying to God.  None of these were “practical” choices, with Joseph suffering as a result and Daniel nearly dying, but it was God who gave them favor and influence and not their own doing.

Would they have achieved their same level of influence if they had sacrificed their character?

Third, the argument operates under the assumption that there is a good “wicked” leader and a bad “wicked” leader – as though the Nebuchadnezzar of one political party (that you vote for) is redeemable but the Nebuchadnezzar of another is not.

Some are willing to vote for one political candidate with hopes and beliefs that the person can still be radically redeemed and changed.  But is that not very much like a Christian marrying a non-Christian, hoping they can still be saved?

And what about the other candidate?  What makes one candidate worthy of your choice of miraculous redemption and not the other?

3) We must vote for the lesser of two evils, or the least “heathen.”

How do you choose which one is the least heathen?  By determining that one has only 8 false gods instead of 10 and, therefore, at least you’ll end up with 2 less?

Are there certain false gods that are at least acceptable and worth putting up with, while others are not?

Scripture is pretty clear that the number of acceptable false gods is none (Exo 20:3-4).

Furthermore, if you are voting for the lesser of two evils, that means you are still voting for evil.

If you are having to plug your nose when voting, that’s an indication you recognize you are choosing something contradictory to your own values (and to God).

Christians are called to do everything with joy and peace.  If you are doing God’s will and yet are doing it with dread, anxiety and shame, could it be that something’s not right?

4) We cannot expect a perfect candidate.  No one is perfect.

This is very true and it is why we must continually offer grace to everyone, including candidates and elected officials.  But since when did we change the standard?

For Christians, the standard has always been Christ, who was and is perfect, and the goal is to seek to be like him.  When someone falls short, others should be quick to offer forgiveness and grace, especially to those who humbly seek it.

Do either of our candidates humbly seek to be like Christ? Do they admit the need for forgiveness and grace?  Or have they settled into a lifestyle where unapologetic arrogance, divisiveness, and deception are a regular part of who they are?

5) Too much is at stake to let the other candidate win.

Many are concerned about the consequences that even a 4-year term could bring if the opposing candidate is in office.  They state that in just 4 years that person could cause irreparable damage to our country, while simultaneously arguing, ironically, that we should not be too concerned about the “lesser evil” candidate because it is “only 4 years.”

Many of the concerns are valid.  However, we need to also consider the irreparable damage of the messages we send when supporting a still “evil” candidate as well as ask ourselves what it truly means to “win.”

Christianity has been much maligned over the last several years.  Many have accused Christians of being full of hypocrisy, bigotry, hate, and deception as well as of being more interested in power than principle.

If Christians choose to align themselves with messages that could further reinforce those perceptions the damages could be irreparable.

You may or may not win the election, but your influence on individual people could be lost for good and your desire to “change the nation” could actually be reversed.

And if, as shown by all the biblical examples, in your desire for the practical you end up ignoring God and compromising your character, it’s guaranteed you lose every time.  The cost is too great.

On the reverse end, if people see you standing for truth and righteousness at the sacrifice of worldly power, there’s no telling how much of a difference that can make.

6) To choose not to vote for one of the two candidates is a throwaway vote; or not voting for ………. is a vote for the other candidate.

To accuse those who choose to vote either third party or write-in of throwing away their vote, misses the point.  Everyone who votes is voting for something…even if it is just principle.

Scripture tells us “we are not contending against flesh and blood, but against the principalities, against the powers, against the world rulers of this present darkness” (Eph 6:12, RSV).

There is power in fighting with principles.

Additionally, stating that not voting for candidate A is a vote for candidate B makes (ironically) no practical sense.  Why is it not just as much a vote for candidate A?

To be honest, intended or not, the statement comes across as a manipulative effort to align those who are voting on principle with an “evil” vote – therefore, getting them to vote for candidate A out of fear or guilt.

Also, let’s face the fact.  While it is important for everyone to participate and together we can make a difference, rarely does one person’s vote on its own alter an entire national election.  In that sense, most anyone who shows up at the ballot is voting on principle.

But your one single vote by itself will not eliminate abortion, racism, intolerance, debt, or whatever issue is most important to you.

However, scripture does say this: “The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much.” (James 5:16).

Prayer by a single righteous person has the power to change any one of these issues.  If we compromise our righteousness by making a practical vote instead, do we miss out on the power of prayer?

While practical can still be a good thing, in our pursuit of it have we lost our faith to believe God can move mountains and change a nation by his own power?

In our fear and desperation have we, like Abram and Sarai, taken it upon ourselves to make things happen?

It is true that prayer also has the power to change either candidate; that is why we should pray for them as well.

While I have stated that I cannot vote for either candidate as it stands, I must be prepared for God to be able to do the miraculous between now and the election.

And in avoidance of sounding hypocritical, I also must make sure my own decision to not vote for Trump or Clinton is not purely “practical.”  What God specifically directs me to do must take precedence.

However, as of now, I simply cannot reconcile my faith or my values with either of the candidates’ messages.  While each has some positives I could support, it would be too much of a compromise for me to take those along with the negatives, and God has not directed me differently.

I would not be able to vote for either candidate without having to plug my nose and it would not be done with joy and peace.  In the end I must rest on righteousness and truth and believe that God can do the seemingly impossible from there.

One More Example.

There is one more biblical example I have not brought up.

Just prior to Jesus’ crucifixion, Pontius Pilate gave the people a choice: he would release the notorious prisoner named Barabbas or he could release Christ.

Barabbas was a wild man, an insurrectionist, guilty of terrible things. Many historians have interpreted that he was likely a revolutionary – one who resorted to whatever means necessary in order to defeat the establishment Roman government.

Jesus, on the other hand, was righteous but would not give the people the kind of physical revolution that they wanted.

Barabbas was the practical means for change.  Jesus stood on principles alone.

Interestingly, everyone around them made decisions based on feeling they had no other choice.

The chief priests and elders felt, as Caiaphas had prophesied, that Jesus death was the only way to save their nation (and their power).  Though, Barabbas was a vile person, they were willing to choose him because “anyone but Jesus.”

Pilate, as part of the establishment government, actually recognized Jesus’s innocence and would have preferred to release him over Barabbas; but he feared an insurrection if he did not respond to the mob.

Peter, the faithful follower, terrified of his own persecution, responded practically by denying the very person he swore he would never leave.

And the people, swayed by the cries of everyone else around them and tired of waiting on Jesus to be the change, chose the wild revolutionary while literally calling for the sacrifice of righteousness and truth.

The only one who really knew he had a choice that day was Christ…who instead of the practical chose the will of the Father and self-sacrifice.

And fortunately, the God of grace called for a revolution of his own – one that involved new life and a revolution of the heart.

Today, we do have a choice because we know that we serve a God who can do the impossible, even when it seems most impractical.

But what or who is your practical that you’re tempted to choose instead?  Who is your Barabbas?  Is it Trump?  Clinton?  Third party candidate? Staying home?

What greater time do we have than now to stand as witnesses to the world and show we believe in the impossible instead?

We can continue to compromise, sacrificing righteousness and truth in favor of the practical.

Or we can stand in faith in the miraculous and show to the world what God can do.

Who do you choose, Church…Barabbas or Christ?

13 Comments

  1. Not sure if we necessarily agree with you on this. Unless some Independent runs who is liked by us and a large majority in the US, we would rather vote for Hillary than take any chance of having Trump.

  2. Appreciate this. The danger I see with Trump is his willingness to turn people against people. I am letting those go who mock and accuse me. There’s something truly evil in his following. As for Clinton, I believe her to be dangerously corrupt. The love of power has replaced the love of service of others in our nation, and it is a very dark time. I entirely agree with your call to prayer. I don’t think we can tell each other how to vote, but we are free to make individual decisions for the glory of God. Maybe that’s what the church needs to get back to: loving the Lord and hating evil.

  3. Socialism. You know…if he’d said the words “Democratic Realist”, we wouldn’t be having this discussion at all. No one seems to have a problem with the idea of breaking up the big banks, or forcing multi billion dollar corporations to pay their f****n taxes. No one is saying “Screw the environment”…well, except your politicians, and the billion dollar corporations that don’t pay their f*****n taxes. No one seems to think taking care of our veterans is a bad idea, or that affordable healthcare, and reasonably priced prescriptions isn’t important. Everyone agrees that the tax system is broken as f***, and the people who COULD make the laws to change it, are in the pockets of the billionaires exploiting those loopholes. We’re being conned in a game we think we’re in on. When the secretary pays more takes than the CEO?…c’mon. So everyone agrees with those ideas. Everyone thinks that our veterans, children, education, healthcare, and the environment are important to our future. Everyone knows we have a broken tax system and lobbyist money buys influence and screws you every time, yes? Everyone is pissed when CEO’s walk away with $100 million dollar bonuses, and your family loses its home overnight, right? And they’ve got us hung up on a damn word. A WORD!! Should’ve said “Realist” man…seriously.

    Now Hillary? That ones pretty obvious. Hillary is quite literally, business as usual. Big money equals big favors. I don’t care what they say. It does…or the rich wouldn’t be giving it to them! Nothing gets done unless it benefits the $$$ backing the play. You and I don’t count. We seriously just…don’t. We know this, we’ve ALWAYS known it, and pretty much just dealt with it because…well, shame on us. Seriously.

    So then…there’s Trump. Self made billionaire, gonna build a wall, etc., right? Ok. Except he’s one of the guys we’re talking about! He says he can’t be influenced by lobbyist $. He HIMSELF is a lobbyist. He has paid for favors from the very government he is calling corrupt! He is exactly the guy who, if he wasn’t running for president, would have donated to Hillary’s campaign. He knows it, I know it, you know it…but as long as he keeps saying wild sh*t, everyone takes their eyes off the 600 lb. gorilla in the room. It’s distraction 101. He’s a con artist. He doesn’t know how to get anything we NEED done…done. Period. But, the beauty of the con? He’s admitted it. “I’ll know more by my first day…”, “I’m going to hire the best and the brightest…”, He’s got people convinced that there ARE people who CAN get it done, but only HE knows who they are, and only he can get them to do those things for him. In the meantime, he gets to play with the things that go boom, and you had best believe he will. People WILL die. He’s said it, he’ll do it, and he’ll say YOU told him to when you voted for him…and he’ll be right, or wrong. At that point it won’t matter. That’s where I think your whole Revelations, doomsday, armegeddon, etc. comes into play. I’ve read the bibles. New and Old Testament. Religion is fascinating, and so is science. I do believe that our existence is in jeopardy. Between what we’re doing to this planet, and each other? Ha! We’re pretty much screwing the pooch as a species. We’re in a big old truck carrying a load of extremely dangerous, yet precious material. It’s called our future. We need to drive it from here…to there. We’re all in this ride together, and I guess I just never expected to see us about to hand the keys to a four year old. Not looking to pick a fight, just pointing out what I see. A dirty word…business as usual…and a four year old brat who kicks puppies.

    • Steve Baldwin

      May 8, 2016 at 11:19 pm

      Kudos, Matt, for making me crack up with “four year old brat who kicks puppies.” After getting punched around on Facebook by a lot of folks who haven’t even bothered to read the article, I needed the laugh. Thanks.

      And thanks for reading. 🙂

      • Hey brother, you’re welcome. It’s usually pretty obvious who does/doesn’t take the time to read something all the way through. Ignore those who claim to have opinions on things you’ve said that they haven’t read. Do I agree with your ideas? Maybe, maybe not. I wouldn’t know, since you made an effort to not throw your glance in any particular direction. I think I have an idea…which is just that, an idea. That’s kind of what this election is all about. An idea. I see AMAZINGLY similar components to the Trump and Sanders campaigns. They one thing that Trump and Sanders have exposed is how fed up the American people are with a government that has done ZERO in regards to our countries best interests in 50 years. Seriously. The only time I can get all of my congressman and senators in a room together; is when we’re discussing which athletes shot steroids, fought dogs, or deflated their balls? It’s either that or who can marry whom, or which bathroom someone pisses in? THAT is the extent of our representation? So yeah…Trump & Sanders have pointed that out. The difference is razor thin between the two campaigns. The difference is racism/xenophobia/…and hypocrisy.

        You cannot claim that Mexico and China have been “ripping us off”, when you were part of the deals that made that happen. I mean, he’s literally doing it, and telling us right to our face that’s what he did…but he does have first hand knowledge of it, and … Wait…why would you change the laws that made you billions? Ummm…

        “So, Bernie is the savior Matt? Bernie’s gonna change world with ‘Free’ stuff, right Matt?”.

        Nope. The POTUS is not an elected king, (unless you ask Donald). The reality is; no one person, or ideology, can change a nation, state, or territory…let alone a species.
        …it is getting more and more difficult to convince the intergalactic council that your species shouldn’t be subjugated (or worse, eradicated). These last few months however, have left me with little more explanation than a shoulder shrug. Tread lightly human.

  4. I agree that we are being dealt a hand that poses a dilemma in the upcoming General Election, especially for Christians. Our first action should be to fall on our knees and take the choices we are presented with to Him in prayer. He made us and He controls those who are in control (Rom. 13:1-7). I have made this election a matter of prayer for some time.

    We need to stand up and be counted. There are many examples of those who stood on their principles and spoken up. When Nebuchadnezzar demanded that ALL his counselors tell him what he had dreamed and then interpret the dream or they would all be killed (Daniel 2), Daniel stood up to him and asked for more time. The king’s demand was insane from every perspective and yet Daniel had faith in Jehovah and gathered his friends and they prayed. God came through in a BIG way! Peter and John were thrown into prison for preaching the Gospel and when they were released and told to stop, they said, “Whether it’s right in the sight of God for us to listen to you rather than to God, you decide; for we are unable to stop speaking about what we have seen and heard.” Acts 4:19-20

    We must not ignore the bigger picture by limiting the view to just one person when indeed the real Presidential prize is an entire bureaucracy including a host of advisors from the cabinet to the department and agency heads. Currently we have many Muslims in these powerful positions. In a Clinton presidency, this structure could remain essentially intact. We not only need a change at the top but we need to consider whom they might bring into these key positions as well. I believe that Trump would make sweeping changes in these powerful administration and advisory positions. When this is carefully considered my choice gains some clarity, even though I dislike Trump as a person.

    What must be accomplished is not just a single pull of the voting lever or a mark on a ballot, but it is in fact a collective move toward God in our entire Nation that is needed. However, every vote counts. The election is the result of earning of the trust of the nation by the total sum of votes for one candidate vs. the others – adjusted to the electoral system we have by law. A write-in vote or an abstention has NO CHANCE of impacting the election in a positive way. It is a “vote” that says ‘whomever everyone else likes, I’m OK with that.’ It’s opting out of the process. It’s opting out of the responsibility of expressing the will of the people.

    America has been given precious few races where there was a godly man running in the General Election. When we elected them, there have been mixed results; Carter and Reagan are examples.

    Our responsibility (mine too) is that when these candidates throw their name in the hat, we don’t do our homework. Once we see their true colors, we then need to go out and take a stand and help our man. Getting a godly candidate safely through the nomination process to run for president in the General election takes work. All of us have just become lazy.

    When this campaign started, there were really a surprising number of Christian Republican candidates, and this encouraged me. Now, the people or the campaign dollars seem to have spoken and the General Election is looming large even before the conventions. People, we still don’t have a nominee yet but we do have presumptive nominees.

    So the position of “voting while our holding our noses” is really a result of our own laziness and lack of commitment to the electoral process. We failed to get off our recliners and take up the cause of righteousness. If we had done the work of promoting the righteous candidate, the evangelical vote would have meaning again.

    In spite of all the negative similarities you described that fit more or less both candidates, the two paths are distinct. One leads to socialism and the other to capitalism. In my view, my choice for Trump, should he win the nomination, becomes clearer yet.

    Much is at stake especially in light of the lifetime appointments to the Supreme Court. In the context of casting your one vote, you have to look well past the term(s) our next president will serve. In the larger context of living your life righteously and in a self-sacrificing, other-centric manner as Christ did, I’m all in. But I cannot abandon my responsibility to the democratic process regardless of how others may perceive me.

    My point is that as Americans – and Christians (again Rom. 13) – we are responsible to do our part to keep this country free, growing and sharing with the world – a Republic. If we opt out of the process, we give that control to those who don’t. The accusation of being “full of hypocrisy, bigotry, hate, and deception as well as of being more interested in power than principle.” is because we have not been true to our calling to live as Christ did.

    Evangelical Christians as a voting block are not split evenly between liberals and conservatives. Thus if Christians opt out or write in a candidate who has really no chance to win, removes a conservatively weighted vote from the contest. This only helps the liberal candidate.
    We all have to take a step back and do our homework. After much prayer and gathering all the information we can about what is really at stake, then by God’s leading, we make our choice.

    Spiritualizing casting our vote simply is not productive. The reality is that one path – liberal or conservative, socialistic or capitalistic will be chosen by the election. We need to stand up and work for the nominee who best will keep this country free, growing and sharing with the world – a Republic and a beacon of light for freedom and an example of righteousness and holiness.

    I am not so naïve to think that one person can do all this but we need to realize that just as we did not fall this far in one day or one year, we do need to make the effort to change the trajectory of this nation even if it is just by a nudge. Please?

    • Steve Baldwin

      May 10, 2016 at 4:42 pm

      Thanks, Jack. Those are some very wise and well thought out words. I have no doubt that you are seeking the Lord in this and truly seeking to do what is righteous as well. Though you are thinking pragmatic it is clearly under submission to God.

      My main concern with others I have talked to is that their default position is to think pragmatic first and assume it’s right without at least consulting God 1st. But I don’t think that applies to you.

      Probably the main difference between you and me is that the differences between the candidates are not as clear cut to me as they are to you. For me Trump brings every bit as much “evil” to the table as Clinton. It’s in different forms, but both equally damaging to the entire future of our nation in their different ways.

      No need for us to go over those differences as we are both in agreement concerning what got us here and how we need to be on our knees. No doubt that is why God has allowed this to happen.

      I have total respect for your position and think everyone reading this should consider your words, too. And I will be on my knees with you.

  5. How many past presidents could line up to your observations? Cannot God use an imperfect man as president to do His will? Are not all of us who are used by God, in one way or another, imperfect in many ways? You forget the person who might be Vice President, plus all other appointies might be men (or women) of God and a great help and guide to Trump. God is still in control and it is He who puts kings and presidents in place.

    • Steve Baldwin

      May 10, 2016 at 10:26 pm

      Thanks for reading and for your input, Carol. You are correct in that no one is perfect and that God can certainly use imperfect people.

      I’m not quite sure what you mean by lining up to my observations, though. I don’t know that I really even discussed any specific requirements in this particular article or mentioned that they had to be perfect. But mainly just addressed how to respond if you personally feel that both candidates meet the level of “evil” and, therefore, feel it would violate your conscience to vote for them.

      As I discuss in the post, the fact that we can’t expect them to be perfect does not mean we should not still have standards that we expect them to work towards. I would hope that anyone I stand behind, as imperfect as they are, would at least humbly seek to attain to a higher standard (as we all should) – seeking forgiveness and reconciliation where needed. I just don’t know that I see that in the 2 existing candidates as of yet.

      You are correct that hopefully God will surround whomever ends up in the office with men and women of God. And I do take reassurance like you in knowing that God is still in control and He is the one who puts kings and presidents in place – regardless if I myself make the wrong choice in my vote. That also gives me comfort and peace in knowing that even if someone I didn’t personally want to be in the office ended up there, whether that is Trump or Clinton, I don’t have to panic because God is the one who ultimately put him or her there. He must have a purpose in it.

  6. Jenna McBurney

    May 11, 2016 at 1:24 pm

    I appreciate and agree with your article, but for one point. I do not believe God allowed anyone to rape or lie with Sarai.

    • Steve Baldwin

      May 11, 2016 at 1:50 pm

      Thanks, Jenna. You bring up an interesting point. While obviously God does allow bad things (never causes but also for various reasons beyond my comprehension doesn’t always stop it) to happen to even his followers (I know many godly women who have been the victims of rape), the text does not explicitly state that Sarai was raped or that the king lied with her.

      I made the assumption that he did because he said, “took her for my wife” which often is interpreted that he lied with her.

      But at the same time I’m a huge proponent of making sure we look at what the text actually says, and you are correct that it doesn’t explicitly say it.

      Thanks for pointing that out.

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