Most evangelical Christians in America see involvement in the electoral process as a moral/spiritual obligation. So, what is an American Christian to do when presented with a choice between two prominent presidential candidates where choosing either is morally problematic?
Many of us have been prayerfully asking ourselves that question. And we’ve been seeking wise counsel. In today’s post, I’ve collated online counsel that can be helpful to us as we seek to address the issue of Trump, Clinton, and the Evangelical Christian Voter.
1. Should Christians Vote for the Lesser of Two Evils?
In a widely-read Christianity Today article, Russell Moore asks and answers the question, Should Christians Vote for the Lesser of Two Evils? Moore begins with these prophetic words:
For years, I have urged Christians to take seriously their obligations as citizens, starting with exercising the right to vote. In the public square and at the ballot box, we must be more engaged, not less. But what happens in a race where Christians are faced with two morally problematic choices? Should voters cast a ballot for the lesser of two evils?
After a well-reasoned presentation, Moore concludes:
Given these moral convictions, there have been times when I’ve faced two candidates, both of whom were morally disqualified. In one case, one candidate was pro-life but a race-baiter, running against a candidate who was pro-choice. I could not in good conscience put my name on either candidate. I wrote in the name of another leader. Other times, I’ve voted for a minor party candidate. In the cases when I’ve voted for an independent or written in a candidate, I didn’t necessarily expect that candidate to win—my main objective was to participate in the process without endorsing moral evil. As Christians, we are not responsible for the reality of our two-party system or for the way others exercise their citizenship, but we will give an account for how we delegate our authority.
Our primary concern is not the election night victory party, but the Judgment Seat of Christ.
When Christians face two clearly immoral options, we cannot rationalize a vote for immorality or injustice just because we deem the alternative to be worse. The Bible tells us we will be held accountable not only for the evil deeds we do but also when we “give approval to those who practice them” (Rom. 1:32). This side of the New Jerusalem, we will never have a perfect candidate. But we cannot vote for evil, even if it’s our only option.
2. Trump, Clinton, or Neither: How Evangelicals Are Expected to Vote
Christianity Today highlights the issue: with the two major parties likely running candidates that many Evangelicals could not endorse, what does the Evangelical Christian do? According to CT:
Half of the 81 “evangelical insiders” surveyed by World magazine in March said that if faced with a Clinton/Trump ballot in November, they would vote for a third-party candidate even if that candidate had no chance to win (51%). More than a quarter more said they’d vote for a viable third-party candidate (29%).
Read the entire CT article here: Trump, Clinton, or Neither: How Evangelicals Are Expected to Vote.
3. Crisis in American Democracy
After a broad-based reflection on the state of democracy in the US, Al Mohler refuses to mince words:
To put the matter bluntly, we are now confronted with the reality that, in November, Hillary Clinton will likely be the Democratic nominee and Donald Trump the Republican nominee. This poses a significant problem for many Christians who believe they cannot, in good conscience, vote for either candidate. As a result, Christians are going to need a lot of careful political reflection in order to steward their vote and their political responsibility in this election cycle.
Read Dr. Mohler’s entire post here: Crisis in American Democracy.
Read the other points here.