WHY THE 2016 PRESIDENTIAL ELECTION IS SO CRITICAL FOR AMERICAN CHRISTIANS
As November approaches, the 2016 Presidential Election looks sure to be a train wreck for the American people. At this stage in the electoral process, options for American citizens are extremely bleak. In particular, American Christians find themselves stuck between a rock and a hard place for their collective vote.
The Republican Party presents Donald Trump, a candidate who is brash, arrogant, insensitive, erratic, immoral, offensive, lacking character, and filled with hate.
The Democratic Party offers Hillary Clinton, a candidate who is corrupt, dishonest, restrictive to religious liberties, favors a liberal agenda, and promotes the mass slaughtering of unborn babies.
Clearly, neither candidate closely resembles anything remotely close to Christian morality. And clearly neither candidate can possibly be fully embraced by Christians without some concessions. Voting for a third-party or write-in candidate might provide relief for personal convictions, but realistically will likely not positively impact the future of the presidential office.
As a result, Christians find themselves choosing between the lesser of two evils. Ultimately, Christians must decide if Donald Trump can be trusted in any capacity and is worth the risk in order to potentially defend religious liberty and actively fight against abortion or whether they should strictly follow their conscience by voting for a third-party or write-in candidate while ceding their opportunity to positively impact the results of the election.
A great number of opinions have been written on this political season, including several from many respected pastors, church leaders, and theologians. Some endorse Donald Trump. Others endorse write-in votes. Some suggest that abortion is the critical issue. Others argue that the open Supreme Court seat should guide Christian voters.
I do not have the answer to this problem for Christians. It is a very complex and morally compromising situation, and every potential solution can be met with an array of arguments against it.
On the surface, Christians do not have much hope during this election season.
However, despite this bleak outlook for Christians, there is a critical component to this election season that should not be overlooked. Although American Christians are divided on the direction of their collective vote in November, there is an unlikely optimism to be discovered.
This election has the potential to be very good for the future of American Christians.
Because in this election, perhaps more than any other, Christians can finally begin to understand in a dramatic way that there is no hope in a particular candidate or a particular political party.
The Republican Party is not designed to represent God’s chosen people in this nation. More importantly, the next president of the United States is not going to be a savior for American Christians. This has always been true, but it has never been so blatantly clear in our nation.
The Bible is abundantly and specifically clear about the problem of trusting in men, and even political leaders:
- “Put not your trust in princes, in a son of man, in whom there is no salvation.” – Psalm 146:3
- “It is better to take refuge in the LORD than to trust in man. It is better to take refuge in the LORD than to trust in princes.” – Psalm 118:8-9
- “Thus says the LORD: “Cursed is the man who trusts in man and makes flesh his strength, whose heart turns away from the LORD.” – Jeremiah 17:5
Placing our faith in the next president of the United States will only leave us in the exact same situation four years from now, regardless of who ends up in the White House. Instead, American Christians must turn to the sovereign creator of the universe. While our presidential nominees are inherently flawed, filled with hate, or supportive of killing innocent unborn babies, our God is inherently perfect, filled with love, and values every single life on the earth.
Man (or woman) will only disappoint.
God, on the other hand, never fails.
God alone is the source of our hope. God alone truly reigns. God alone is truly in control.
Hopefully now more than ever, American Christians will turn away from their TV screen and turn towards the sovereign God of the universe.
Hopefully now more than ever, American Christians will be less concerned with foreign policy or economic plans and more concerned with worshiping the God of the Bible.
Hopefully now more than ever, American Christians will long less for a new presidential candidate and will long more for the final establishment of the kingdom of God where he will be seated on his throne forever.
On that day, everyone will recognize and submit to God as the king over all the earth (Zechariah 14:9). The heavens will be glad and the earth will rejoice as the nations say, “The LORD reigns!” (1 Chronicles 16:31).
As the election approaches, may the cry of American Christians acknowledge the only ruler who can fulfill every promise and provide a reason for hope.
“God reigns over the nations; God sits on his holy throne.” (Psalm 47:8)