Here is the question I propose as we determine our voting privileges, is it purpose or principles that guide us? A pastor friend of mine (and a dear one at that) was expressing his views on the election. In his estimation it is our responsibility to vote for Donald Trump, of which I disagree. I remained quite as he made his argument, as I stated before, a silent vote this election is very tempting. The argument goes something like this; not voting for Trump is a vote for Clinton, if the Christian community chooses not to support Trump, Clinton will be elected and that will be a disaster from the Christian perspective. The issue of the Supreme court appointees will fall to her, it will turn the balance to liberal agendas and our progress on abortion and marriage will be utterly destroyed.
It is pointed out that a vote for Trump will strengthen these positions, uphold support for religious freedom and our 2nd Amendment rights. The question is posed, what about our children, don't we want to preserve our traditional values and freedoms for them? If Clinton wins and turns the court, it will take their lifetime if ever to turn it back, the consequences of a Clinton Presidency are enormous for the Christian community. After all, it is always a decision of the lessor of two evils, we just have to make our choice based upon the best available candidate. My pastor friend gave this example:
(If you were traveling through a town and your car broke down, there were only two mechanics in town, both were immoral and of questionable character. Would you refuse to allow them to fix your car and put you on the road again? Of course not, you would pick the one who could fix you up the quickest and do the best you could to watch that he does not cheat you.)
My friend added he did not like the things Mr. Trump said, agreed they were wrong and did not condone his conduct or his language, but still insisted in spite of his character or lack thereof, we should still support him.
Now, all these things above are true, I don't deny that any of them do not warrant and carry a heavy weight of consideration. For an excellent article supporting the view that Christians should support Mr. Trump is here at this link by Tony Perkins.
So I fully understand this argument, and quite simply find I am drawn to it greatly. I like many of the things Mr. Trump says, I am glad he has apologized for the things that have been brought to light, grace is available to those who seek it, but does that qualify him for office? It is a noble purpose to strive to preserve our Supreme Court, to work toward filling it's positions with people who support and uphold our values and a strict Constitutional interpretation. It is a noble cause to work toward legislation that will discourage abortion and uphold traditional marriage. This is all a noble purpose, but what about principle? What if the only apparent path to doing these things involve endorsing an individual of questionable, very questionable character and aligning ourselves with them to bring them to office? Do we hold with principle or go with purpose?
What if we loose the Supreme Court? Loose all legislation that restricts abortion, and traditional marriage fades into the sunset. What if we deliver to our children and grandchildren a world of sin and corruption? What if their chances of prosperity and success is lost for their life time? Would we have left them with less than most of the human race has always had?
What if the country goes the other way, all prosper, success abounds for all who want it, yet one day our posterity ask us who we voted for during this election, and our answer demonstrates that purpose is more important than principle? Though the purpose be noble, I propose that principle is greater. I would ask you to consider this when placing your mark on the ballot. I submit that a choice to not vote is a valid choice of principle, and one should not be shamed into thinking they must be a supporter of someone deemed by their conscience swayed by scripture, of questionable character. For my own part, I will choose to abstain from the Presidential ballot or either write in a Candidate of which my conscience can support faithfully. I will exercise my privilege to vote, and I will vote for other offices and positions that will restrain the lessor elected officials which want personal character. If one day I am ever asked why I did so, I will simply answer, "principle".
2Sa 23:3 The God of Israel said, the Rock of Israel spake to me, He that ruleth over men must be just, ruling in the fear of God.
Matthew Henry (1662-1714) commenting on this verse states:
"They must rule in the fear of God, that is, they must themselves be possessed with a fear of God, by which they will be effectually restrained from all acts of injustice and oppression."
"They must also endeavor to promote the fear of God (that is, the practice of religion) among those over whom they rule." ~ Matthew Henry
"When you become entitled to exercise the right of voting for public officers, let it be impressed on your mind that God commands you to choose for rulers, "just men who will rule in the fear of God." The preservation of government depends on the faithful discharge of this duty; if the citizens neglect their duty and place unprincipled men in office, the government will soon be corrupted; laws will be made, not for the public good so much as for selfish or local purposes; corrupt or incompetent men will be appointed to execute the laws; the public revenues will be squandered on unworthy men; and the rights of the citizens will be violated or disregarded. If a republican government fails to secure public prosperity and happiness, it must be because the citizens neglect the divine commands, and elect bad men to make and administer the laws." ~ Noah Webster. [History of the United States (New Haven: Durrie & Peck, 1832), pp. 336-337, ï¿½49.]