Normally I stay far away from politics online, especially here. It’s just too volatile a subject, with good people on the opposite sides of some fences.
While differences and their tensions are present every election, I’ve been dismayed this year by comments such as, “I don’t see how any Christian can vote for that candidate.” We don’t need to call each other’s spirituality into question over politics.
I came across a couple of good posts this morning on the subject. Especially now that it looks like the final nominees are not the ones some of us wanted, we have been pondering what to do. In Can You Vote For Trump With a Clear Conscience? Andy Naselli discusses the options, none of which is ideal, but makes the point that believers can vote in totally opposite ways or think in different ways about this and still have a clear conscience. He’s obviously against Trump, but I’m sharing this for his delineation of the different ways a Christian’s conscience might lead him to vote, not necessarily for his views on Trump, even though I agree with many of them. For or against, “fellow Christians who are members of the same church should be able to disagree on these issues and still have close fellowship with each other” – and fellow Christians who don’t go to the same church should be able to do this with disputable matters as well.
Joel Arnold brings out many good points as well in Trump vs. Clinton: The Story of the Great Evangelical Predicament. He notes, “It’s entirely possible that there is not a single ‘right Christian response'” and “red vs. blue isn’t light vs. darkness.” “Don’t call your friend a liberal/heretic/moron because he didn’t agree with you.”
In this arena as well as all others, we need to remember:
- To “Let your speech always be gracious, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how you ought to answer each person” (Colossians 4:8).
- To be “wise as serpents, and harmless as doves” (Matthew 10:16).
- To spend more time praying than arguing over these options.
- Though we do have a responsibility to be aware of issues and vote our conscience, our ultimate hope and the greatest need of any citizen is not in a political candidate.