Monday, May 16, 2016
Should Christians Vote For Trump?
This presidential election is, by all accounts, the most important election in our lifetime---probably in the last century.
At least 3, maybe 5 Supreme Court Justices will be replaced in the next 4-6 years, our economy is stagnant at best, homeland security worrisome, particularly under Obama's globalistic open borders migration policies---policies that threaten the very sovereignty of this nation.
American exceptionalism has been trampled under the feet of far left professors, a generation of their students, and during the past 8 years, under feet of the President of the United States himself.
And religious freedom---our beliefs in the most fundamental aspects of life, liberty, family and marriage---are under sustained attack.
Should a Christian vote for Trump?
Should a Christian vote for Hillary?
Is it okay for a Christian to skip the vote altogether?
This is a watershed moment in America. Here is some straight talk to think about.
Todd Starnes, a Christian radio talk show host and correspondent for Fox News, has been brutally open about his feelings regarding this election, and in particular Donald Trump.
I respect Starnes, and know above all else he loves and serves the Lord, to the best of his ability.
After strongly and vocally supporting Ted Cruz, Starnes has written an article titled, "Should Christians Vote for Donald Trump?"
In it he quotes from several trusted leaders within the Christian community.
Albert Mohler, President of the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, said on March 4, "Conservative Christians in America are going to be facing a 'fundamental re-thinking' about the government if the choice for president in November is between Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton."
He said, "We are going to have to be thinking through and praying through how Christian faithfulness, biblical fidelity, gospel faithfulness can be channeled into very real but finite political choices that are going to be presented..."
Mohler, who served on Marco Rubio's advisory board, said in March such head to head confrontation represented in a Hillary-Trump election "is going to raise a host of new worldview issues with incredible urgency for confessing Christians."
Starnes, also a Southern Baptist, says "a popular quote by the renowned pastor Charles Spurgeon has been trending on popular social networking sites: 'Of two evils, choose none'."
"But is that really our best and only option," Starnes says---"to throw in the towel? Do Christians claim the moral high ground by electing Hillary?"
Samuel Rodriquez, president of the National Hispanic Christian Leadership Conference, says, "The idea of not voting---you're sacrificing your Christian worldview on the altar of political expediency"--- "It is silly to talk about not voting for either candidate. Every single Christian should vote."
Franklin Graham is saying Christians have got to take a stand.
He says, "You don't just stay home and not vote---you vote. Vote for candidates that best support Biblical truth and Biblical values."
But what if neither candidate represents those values in my mind?
Franklin Graham says, "You may have to hold your nose and choose of the two."
Four years ago, I recall hearing many evangelical Christians say with a degree of pride or conviction (not sure which), that they would not vote for Romney because he is a Mormon. I identified with that sentiment, but disagreed with sitting it out.
That thinking, along with a very weak candidate, gave us another 4 years of Barack Obama, a man who has single-handedly, as president, done more harm to Christian values in America than any president in the history of this nation.
Mike Huckabee, a well known successful politician, former pastor and solid Christian, told Starnes he supports Trump---now that he is personally out of the race---much like Ben Carson has chosen to do.
Huckabee told Starnes, "Christians should vote for Trump."
He says, "I'm not going to try and suggest that Donald Trump is in any way the reincarnation of the Apostle Paul. But he's been very open to not only dialog with---but listen to and understand where many people in the faith community are coming from."
Huckabee says, "Trump could well be a great president for those of us who are evangelicals---he could well have a very strong relationship with evangelicals."
And he reminded us that the Republicans have nominated people who are far more contemptuous of the evangelical community, noting John McCain who called pro-life, pro-marriage Christian activists "agents of intolerance," even telling the New York Times some of the religious right were "divisive and un-American."
He doesn't see that happening with Trump.
Mark Tooley, an evangelical leader and life long Methodist, says, "After 33 years, since age 18..." he has voted every year and voted Republican.
This year, he says "will be the exception if Donald Trump is the nominee."
Tooley makes a strong case against Trump, but says, "I will not support Clinton. But I think during her presidency opposition to her policies would be strong and mobilizing. A Trump presidency likely would be corrupt, enervate and discredit conservative Christian political witness, and therefore would ultimately be more socially destructive"---concluding, but "some conservative Christians disagree."
While Matt Barber and other respected evangelical voices agree with Tooley regarding Trump and the possibility of not voting in the presidential election--- Tooley's right---other respected evangelicals disagree with him as well.
Two of the strongest voices of disagreement to Tooley's beliefs are Jerry Falwell, Jr., President of Liberty University, founded by his father Jerry Falwell, and Southern Baptist Pastor Robert Jeffress of the 12,000 member First Baptist Church in Dallas Texas.
Falwell has participated at some of Trump's rallies, along with Sarah Palin, and now Ben Carson.
However, many in his circle have spoken out against Falwell supporting Trump.
In March, Falwell's wife spoke out defending her husband's support of Trump. This linked story gives you insight into Fawell's thinking on the matter, and why, he says, his father would support Trump today if he were still living---noting that his father received the same kind of pushback for "supporting Ronald Reagan, a twice married Hollywood actor" over fellow Baptist Jimmy Carter.
Pastor Jeffress has been forceful in his support for Trump, and more forceful in opposing the idea of not voting at all.
He says, "It's absolutely foolish to do anything that would allow Hillary Clinton to be come the next president of the United States...at least Donald Trump has voiced a belief in a pro-life movement, he has at least talked about religious liberty as he did last Friday, you don't hear either things coming from Hillary Clinton's lips."
Pastor Jeffress says, "I believe any Christian who would sit at home and not vote for the Republican nominee...that person is being motivated by pride rather than principle and I think it would be a shame for people to allow Hillary Clinton four to eight years in the White House."
Tony Perkins, head of Family Research Counsel, was initially a strong Ted Cruz supporter.
Last week, Perkins laid out the reasons he opposes a "third party" attempt, and why he is now "open" to voting for Trump.
His reasoning is built around Supreme Court nominees, the absolute opposition to a Clinton or Sander's presidency and the possibility that Trump will take counsel from evangelical leaders on social values.
Perkins says, "Trump could go a long way....by picking a strong vice-presidential running mate who holds many of the same beliefs that staunch conservatives do."
He is now saying, "I am open to Donald Trump if he is open to working to gain the support of the evangelical community."
Trump said in March he would seek advice on his list of potential Supreme Court nominees from the Heritage Foundation.
Former Senator Jim DeMint, now President of Heritage, said last week, "We don't endorse candidates at Heritage but we endorse ideas and promote them. And so, his campaign has shown an openness to work with us, and hopefully we can fill his campaign with the right ideas."
So, what should a good Christian do about this?
"Pray," says Franklin Graham. "not voting is not an option for biblical Christians."
Dr. Richard Land, president of Southern Evangelical Seminary, was asked, "Should Christians vote for Donald Trump?"
He said, "I would say, yes," but, "that's a decision each Christian must make on his or her own."
He says, "I'm perturbed---deeply perturbed that I'm pressed with such a lousy choice but that's who the American people have selected."
"I suspect I am not alone among my fellow Americans in saying that I will cast my vote with no joy," he said, "but that's the key---actually voting on election day."
Todd Starnes says, "And for all you folks quoting Spurgeon---I would offer this rebuttal: not to vote is to vote."
Be Prayerful. Be Discerning. Vote.