To Trump or Not to TrumpTo Trump or Never Trump

Division in the Body of Christ

To Trump or Not to Trump, that is the question many good conservative Christians are asking themselves today.

Whether ‘tis nobler in the eyes of God to suffer the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune brought on by a violently anti-Christian Clinton administration, or take arms against that sea of troubles by voting for an immoral man for president in opposition to electing Jezebel as queen.

This is the quandary confronting all sincere Bible believing Christians in America today.

Some have already taken a strong stand for Trump; others vehemently oppose him.  And many are still wavering, wanting to oppose Hillary, but finding it difficult to support such an ungodly man.

There is no definite right and wrong in these “doubtful disputations”

While I too find this choice greatly disturbing, I am more concerned about the division it is causing within the body of Christ and its effect on unbelievers.  The ridicule and ill will Christians are directing at other believers serves Satan more than Christ, and gives “occasion to the enemies of the LORD to blaspheme” (2 Sam. 12:14).

God already knows what the outcome of this election will be, and it will be as He decrees.  I believe He is more concerned with His children bringing Him glory by their conduct and words than He is in how they vote.

Doubtful Disputations

I believe the ‘to Trump or Never Trump’ controversy is a “doubtful disputation” (Rom. 14:1) similar to the question as to whether one can eat meat offered to idols discussed in Romans 14 and 1 Corinthians 8.

Some strong believers, knowing that idols are nothing, saw nothing wrong with eating the cheap meat that had been offered to idols in pagan worship.  But others with less confidence would have sinned against God by eating the same meat because it would have violated their weaker consciences.

Paul did not decide the issue by saying the weak should eat the meat or by forbidding the strong to do so.  He was more concerned about Christians upholding each other in love than in whether or not they ate meat. He wanted them to stop arguing and acting uncharitably toward each other.

Paul admonished them to be fully persuaded in their own minds (Rom. 14:5), and to stop judging each other (Rom. 14:13).

God looks on your heart and will judge you based on the motive for your choice more than on the choice itself.  “Every one of us shall give account of himself to God” (Rom. 14:12).

Both sides make some good points, and both use some weak arguments.  There is no definite right and wrong in these “doubtful disputations.”

Try as you might, you will not find a clear “Thus saith the LORD” telling you how to vote in this election.

Hillary Clinton has clearly articulated her ungodly agenda.  She has demonstrated her lack of concern for national security and the safety of our military fighting men.  She has sold us out to enrich the Clinton Foundation many times.  She values the right to immoral sex and to murder any unwanted consequences far more than traditional religious freedoms.

Hillary would continue and possibly accelerate the current moral decline and anti-Christian biases in America.  So it is understandable that many Christians believe her to be evil and look for any other alternative.

Try as you might, you will not find a clear “Thus saith the LORD” telling you how to vote in this election.

The Lesser Evil

Trump supporters say he is the less objectionable alternative.  While this may be true, it is disturbing that this is the best America could do.  It is also hardly a ringing endorsement.

I can understand those who want to vote for Trump as the least objectionable choice, but please stop excusing his sin.  There is no excuse.  Christians should not rush to defend Trump’s outrageous words and immoral conduct.  That is embarrassing.

Those against Trump have piously replied to the above argument quoting these words of Charles Spurgeon, ‘Of two evils, choose neither.”  The problem with this philosophy is that in our sin cursed world, we are sometimes forced to choose between evils.

If we take that quote to its logical conclusion in regards to voting, then Christians could never vote for anyone because:

  • “As it is written, There is none righteous, no, not one:” (Rom. 3:10)
  • “For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God;” (Rom 3:23)
  • “The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked:” (Jer. 17:9)
  • “There is not a just man upon earth, that doeth good, and sinneth not” (Eccl. 7:20)
  • Jesus said . . . “Why callest thou Me good? there is none good but one, that is, God” (Mk. 10:18; Mt. 19:17)

The above verses are not intended to excuse “the Donald” for his gross conduct and immorality.  They merely highlight that we never have a truly good person to vote for because we are all sinners.

In every election, we vote for the candidate we believe to be the better choice (even if it is only because they are less objectionable).

Of course, this does not explain how Trump was nominated as the Republican candidate in the first place.  There were many more qualified, and more godly candidates during the primaries.  If everyone had voted for the lesser evil during the presidential primaries, then Trump would have never been nominated.  God knows how that happened.

But the primaries are history.  Regardless of how we got here, we have a choice to make.

Voting for a 3rd Party Candidate

Some good people just cannot bring themselves to vote for Trump, so they are considering voting for a 3rd party candidate.  Some make statements like “God is not limited, one of these 3rd party candidates could win if He so wills it.

This is of course true.  God can do anything.  But then He could have caused someone else to win the Republican primary as well.

History also argues against this.  No 3rd party candidate has ever won a US presidential election.  The effect is more likely to draw votes away from the most similar candidate, which can skew the election, causing the less similar candidate to win.

The reason Bill Clinton won the presidential elections in 1992 and 1996 is largely because Ross Perot drew large numbers of conservatives away from the Republican candidate.  Perot received 18.91% of the popular vote in 1992, most of whom would have probably voted for Bush had Perot not been running.  Clinton only received 43% of the popular vote vs 37.5% for Bush.  So without Perot, Bush could have won.

Even Theodore Roosevelt failed to win his bid for re-election when he ran as an independent against the Republican incumbent, William Howard Taft.  All he succeeded in doing was splitting the Republican party so Woodrow Wilson won the election with only 41.8% of the popular vote.  Roosevelt received 27.4% and Taft got 23.2% of the vote.

While voting against Trump for a 3rd party candidate may make a statement and feel good, it mainly increases the odds of Hillary winning.

So what is a godly Christian to do?  That is between God and you.

In Matthew 5:33-37, Jesus said that we should not make oaths.  “But I say unto you, Swear not at all” (Mt. 5:34).  But if you joined the “Never Trump” movement and made a vow to God that you would never vote for Trump, then you are bound by your vow.  You must keep your vow.

Certainly the rest of us should pray and follow our conscience.  You do not need to say who you vote for.  God will know.  No one else matters.

Let us not be carnal like the contentious Corinthians by dividing over politics

But let’s keep our discussion civil.  We need to love and respect our brothers and sisters in Christ.  We must not judge.  We need to maintain a godly, Christ like testimony to non-believers.  “Let not your good be spoken evil of” (Rom. 14:16).

Most importantly, let us not be carnal like the contentious Corinthians by dividing over politics. “Is Christ divided?” Was Trump crucified for you?  Were you baptized in the name of America or the Republican party? (1 Cor. 1:11-13)

Remember: Pleasing God, maintaining a good testimony for Christ, and winning souls are more important than who wins this election.

We will all answer to God (Rom. 14:12), so be fully persuaded in your own mind (Rom. 14:5).  “Hast thou faith? Have it to thyself before God.  Happy is he that condemneth not himself in that thing which he alloweth” (Rom. 14:22), or in the way he votes.

And may God have mercy on the United States of America.

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