| Advice on how to vote|
By Steve Gregg
I wrote the following to a correspondent who was concerned about how to vote in the upcoming election:
The Christian's allegiance is to the Kingdom of God, not to an earthly nation—and certainly not to a political party. Some Christians interpret this fact as meaning they should ignore worldly politic and simply work on spreading the Kingdom through evangelism, discipleship, prayer and godly living. This is an admirable attitude, and I have promoted it at many times in my life.
On the other hand, "politics" simply means "governing." Though we are Christians, it is incumbent on us, for example, to engage in such mundane tasks as governing our households (1 Tim.3:5). This is because, though mundane, the work of rearing godly children is advantageous to the Kingdom of God. The same applies to the honest conduct of a business, or the management of personal finances. All of these are worldly activities, but they all can be done for the glory of God—and should be (Col.3:22-24). Some might suggest that, since God raises up and brings down rulers, we needn’t concern ourselves with voting. We could as justly argue that, since God provides our daily bread, we needn’t concern ourselves with being employed.
The unique American experiment, into which most of us were born, involves a peculiar arrangement by which the citizens would seem to bear the responsibility of governing themselves, and others, through their selected representatives. The choice of representatives will result in the creation of better or worse laws and policies affecting our neighbors as well as ourselves. Our obligation to love our neighbor might be seen as a duty to exercise our stewardship of governing to select representatives who will do no harm to our neighbor, to our families or to ourselves.
People desire and need both freedom and security. However, the more of the one that the State provides, the more of the other it must take away. More State-provided security means less personal freedom. More personal freedom involves less State-sponsored security. For example, the more the State provides protections against my flight being blown up, the less freedom they will allow me to carry what I wish to have with me on the plane. The State can either provide its citizens more freedom, at the expense of the State's ability to provide security, or the State can provide greater security, at the expense of the citizens' freedoms. It is the choice between these two poles that determines whether one is called a conservative or a liberal.
The difference between conservative and liberal politics can be boiled down to this:
1) In the trade-off between personal freedom and State-provided security, the conservative chooses greater freedom, and is willing to find security elsewhere than in the promises of the State. The conservative believes that basic human rights must not be violated by government; that every individual should have the freedom to follow his own conscience, so long as doing so violates the rights of no other person. Freedom involves risks. There is no condition with fewer risks than being in a straightjacket in a nice, secure, padded cell. But those who hold conservative values would rather have more freedom of movement and to take whatever risk that may incur. Conservatives believe that the needs of the weak and helpless should be provided by the generosity of the private sector, since generosity infringes on no one's rights.
2) The liberal believes that the goal of the State must be to provide total security for its citizens, even at the expense of the rights of some. This means that the State alone should have guns, should care for the jobless, should provide healthcare, etc. For the State to provide these things requires the confiscation of the honest earning of others, and the curtailment of certain freedoms (e.g., the right to self-protection with a weapon). Many are pleased to trade away their freedoms in exchange for governmental promises of security. In many cases, they fear having too much freedom (and with it, too much responsibility) anyway. They don't see why more productive and self-reliant folks should object to having their freedoms curtailed in order to give to those who do not take care of themselves all the things they need and want.
In the present presidential election, there is no candidate in the two major parties that I like. Hillary is evil and, if elected, will destroy the last vestige of our unique freedoms that have been eroded for the past few decades. These freedoms will probably never come back.
Trump seems to have the emotional maturity of a third-grader in elementary school (no offense intended to home-schooled third-graders). While the charges that he is racist and homophobic seem baseless, it is not clear that he has any core values, nor the self-control necessary to command a nation (however, we once had eight years of another man like that in Bill Clinton, and we survived). An advantage of Trump over Bill Clinton is that Trump has some excellent and godly men around him to advise him (if only he would learn to listen to their advice!). He is also, seemingly, going through a conservative "phase" in his life. If he can appoint a few judges to high courts while in this phase, he may do the country some lasting good.
Both Trump and Hillary are advanced in age, and might be suffering ill health. In addition, both have a large part of the country very angry with them. Either Hillary or Trump, if elected, might not be able to serve their full term of office, for some unforeseen reasons. Trump would have Pence as his VP. Pence seems like a good, competent leader, and a true man of God. If anything should happen to Trump, after being elected, Pence would be a real Christian president. Also, if nothing happens to Trump during his time in office, Pence, having been VP under Trump, would be the likely Republican nominee for president in a future election.
One of these two are going to become president. A vote for a better choice in a third party, or simply a refusal to vote at all, would simply amount to a vote for whichever of these two will get the largest general support from the other voters. I, personally, would not wish for that to be Hillary.
You must make your own choice. I will not endorse a candidate.
| 2016/10/24 12:37||Profile|
| Re: Advice on how to vote|
Im not from the USA and have obviously no vote.I have listened to a couple of the debates.For me as a Christian I could only vote for a person who doesnt support Abortion which Trump does not.All other issues including world war 3 are not as important as that one.On that issue alone nothing more does he deserve a vote in my opinion.Maturity matters to the unborn,9 months Maturity!Has their been a better opportuniy than this in a generation to overturn Roe v Wade?
| 2016/10/24 20:09||Profile|
| Re: Advice on voting.|
Simple. Don't vote. We are His ambassadors representing the interests of the Kingdom of the Lord Jesus Christ. Our mission is to spread his gospel and make disciples of all nations.
A U.S. ambassador in a foreign nation does not get involved in the internal affairs of that nation. His mission is simply to represent American interest as regards that nation he is stationed in. The US ambassador is a citizen of the nation that sent him out. He is not a citizen of the nation he is stationed in.
Our citizenship is above. We are citizens of the New Jerusalem. We are citizens of Zion. Our mandate is to represent His interests. His command is to proclaim the Gospel of Jesus Christ calling men and women to repent and come to saving faith and life in Him.
We need to repent of this idolatry of America. We need to repent of this idolatry of Conservative Republican values. And we need to go about the business of preaching the Gospel of Jesus Christ. The Gospel of Jesus Christ is His death burial and Resurrection according to the scriptures.
How to stop this nonsense of voting for the lesser of two evils. Let us stop this nonsense voting for Republican conservative values. And let us get serious about preaching the Gospel of Jesus.
I could say more. And I know that this post will go against the grain of many in this forum. But the hour is urgent. And the truth must be spoken.
Again let us give up on this nonsense of voting. And let us focus more on the kingdom of above. Let us focus more on the Eternal King. Let us focus on living out His reality in our lives. Yes it may very well cost us our life. But then let us fix our eyes on the things that are eternal and not the temporal things of the United States of America.
From the foot of his cross.
Posted by brother Blaine Scogin
| 2016/10/25 8:17|
| Re: |
Bear- I am not sure if you read the article. He gave a pretty good reason why a person should vote; if having a conservative Supreme Court will keep even one child from being aborted, is that not reason enough?
| 2016/10/25 21:01||Profile|
| Re: |
Good article Todd, thanks.
It is a simple matter for me too. I will be voting for the platform and in this case the platform that is prolife and is more inclined to appoint prolife supreme court judges. After listening to the last debate that dealt with this subject there was no question which platform was against abortion.
| 2016/10/25 23:20|
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To me it is a matter of stewardship. We have been given the opportunity/responsibility to influence the government. I think we all understand that the KOG is our only true government; however we live in a country that actually allows it citizens to influence civic government. It would seem to be a tragic squandering of stewardship to waste this opportunity to influence.
There is a lot of complaining about government intrusion into our lives (i.e. home schooling, medical decisions, freedom of religion, etc) so it would seem that if we don't vote we have absolutely zero reason to complain.
| 2016/10/26 6:15||Profile|
| Re: |
I agree, TMK. I wrote a couple of replies to this thread and the "What do we do about Hillary Clinton" thread; however, I ultimately decided against posting them.
Over the course of this election, I keep thinking about the story that Jesus told about the widow who persistently petitioned a "judge which feared not God" (a "judge" being a ruler) in Luke 18:1-8.
The thing that stuck out to me is that the ruler was "unjust" -- obviously not a believer. Yet, through petition and persistence, the widow was able to bother the judge to the point that he granted justice.
In this election, we are stuck with the prospect of two candidates that don't exactly reflect the light of Christ. As many say, it is like choosing between "the lesser of two evils." Some people view this as "choosing evil" in a black-and-white manner -- as though voting for the "less evil" prospect is akin to bowing to Satan anyway. Some have quipped that it is like choosing between a lizard and a rattlesnake.
The biggest issue to me is what you've pointed out -- the ability of the next president to select a judge for the Supreme Court.
Eight years ago, I warned people who refused to vote that there would be repercussions from the election. We've seen those repercussions in the form of abortion written into messy health care legislation, the advancement of LGBT activists' rights above the rights to exercise your faith, lawsuits for not complying to the whims of activists in issues of morality and even the forced acceptance of transgenders into the bathrooms used by children in schools.
There is currently one vacancy on the Supreme Court. The next president may fill that vacancy and several more. While I certainly do not believe that you can "legislate revival," I do believe that you can legislate immorality -- as evidenced by the last eight years -- and that immorality can be unjust to believers.
I believed in 2008 as I do now that your "vote" is merely the voicing of your opinion in a government of the people. We do not have kings born into power here. Rulers and "judges" in America are chosen by the plurality of the votes of people.
I've been thinking about what the Apostle Paul would have done if he lived in America in 2016. Would he vote? He certainly invoked his own Roman citizenship to use the Roman legal system to avoid a flogging and subsequently "appeal unto Caesar." He also used Roman-built roads and even a Roman boat to make his way to Rome.
I know that John the Baptist was quick to speak out to the king about an issue of morality and immorality -- and he lost his head for it. It just reminds me that there are consequences of speaking out, not speaking out, etc. One especially loud form of speech in a democratic republic is the vote.
As a former Clinton campaign advisor once said during a lecture, the goal isn't always to get people to vote FOR a candidate but to deceptively convince some (specifically referring to Christians and Conservatives) to simply NOT VOTE at all.
| 2016/10/27 0:06||Profile|
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Over on our side of the pond we usually get referendums when dominant interest groups (including government) want to bring in "gay rights" etc.The questions are sometimes loaded and everything arm of the state is poured in to bring them accross the line.
My Point:If we ever got the chance American Christians are being offered which is basically:A referendum to get rid off?/or slow down Abortion we'd bite their hand off to get it,
| 2016/10/27 7:56||Profile|
| Re: |
"Eight years ago, I warned people who refused to vote that there would be repercussions from the election. We've seen those repercussions in the form of abortion written into messy health care legislation, the advancement of LGBT activists' rights above the rights to exercise your faith, lawsuits for not complying to the whims of activists in issues of morality and even the forced acceptance of transgenders into the bathrooms used by children in schools."
Yes you did brother and I commend you for that. I guess my problem with the majority of Christians who vote that i have personally met was that a lot of their resources including their time and their energies went into the political system. They somehow believed that if they could just get the right people into office, especially the highest office in the land, then they could change the country. Many of the people that I met who felt like this would not be involved in prayer meetings and so on.
Yet, like our bro Mark from Texas, I agree that if you are a Christian that votes and you heard the first question of the third debate then you could not possibly vote for Hillary. She is an open and avid abortionist. I truly cannot understand those Christians, especially women, who vote, who are having a difficult time deciding who to vote for. It seems to me that the Lord is bringing to light the intent and the motivations of the hearts of all sides in this election. Dark things are being brought into the light. There is an exposing of sorts going on in both sides. There is the corruptness of Hillary on the one side being exposed and on the " Christian, side there is an exposing of hypocrisy. People who say they are against abortion and vote for an abortionist obviously have things that are more important to them than the lives of the most innocent among us. God sees all of us............bro Frank
| 2016/10/27 9:47|
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John 18:36 (NASB)
Jesus answered, “My kingdom is not of this world. If My kingdom were of this world, then My servants would be fighting so that I would not be handed over to the Jews; but as it is, My kingdom is not of this realm.”
The above verse speaks volumes. Jesus tells Pilot that His kingdom is of another realm. His kingdom is a spiritual reality with spiritual values. His kingdom is doctated by a cross. Notice Jesus says if His kongdom were of this world His servants would be fighting vwith carnal weapons to prevent His arrest by the Jews. Peter wanted to defend Jesus with a physical sword. Jesus told him to put it away. His destiny was the cross. The cross that ultimately would defeat demonic powers and give rise to the gospel to save men's souls.
The kingdom of Jesus is spititual with a soiritual dynamuc. The enemies of Jesus sre spititual. Paul writes in Eph. 6:12,
...For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the powers, against the world forces of this Darkness, against the spiritual forces of wickedness in the Heavenly places...
This is a spiritual war we are called to that must be fought with spiritual weapons period again Paul writes in 1st Corinthians 10:3-4,
... for though we walk in the flesh, we do not war according to the flesh, for the weapons of our warfare are not of the flesh, but divinely powerful for the destruction of fortresses...
Our response to evil is not how we vote. For God has called us to come out of the political system. Our response to evil is how we live a crucified Life to reflect the reality of Jesus Christ to a crooked and perverse generation.
Early Christians were not involved in the political system of the day. One did not see a bumper sticker on the back of an ox cart that said "Vote Ccesar". Or another bumper sticker that would say "Down With Rome".
Early Christians saw their involvement with the Roman government is submitting to Caesar'laws provided they did not comflict with the higher law of the gospel. Also the early Christians prayed for those that were governing them. They did this so that their lives will be peaceful and tranquil. They did this so that those in government power would come to know Jesus. Early Believers in Christ were persecuted for their faith when they refused to acknowledge Cesar as god.
The early Anabaptist brethren also reflected this Jesus kingdom reality against the church state hybrid of tveir day. These brethren suffered for the truth that Jesus had called them out to follow a spiritual Kingdom reality of Jesus ruling in their heart.
My stewardship is not how I vote. My stewardship is a cross. My stewardship is to preach the gospel. My stewardship is to make disciples. My stewardship is the kingdom of Christ. It is a spiritual stewardship.
The kingdom of Jesus is a spiritual reality mandated by the cross. We are called to come to the cross and die to ourselves. We must died of this idolitry that we call America. We must die to the ideology that we call conservative values. We must die to this notion that Jesus is going to return and reeign at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue. Jesus is coming to reign in the hearts of people who will humbky embrace Him and His cross. He is coming for a spiritual people.
Simpky my thiughts.
| 2016/10/27 10:01|