This election cycle is deeply troubling to many Christians to whom I speak. Do they vote or a womanizer who claims to have converted to conservative ways? Do they vote for a woman who has violated the law and been investigated over and over? Many Christians whom I know believe in their heart of hearts that they cannot conscientiously vote for either candidate.
What can you do when you believe you can vote for neither candidate? Well, today, I wish to offer some advice.
What greater act can you perform than to pray?
Pray for the candidates: “First of all, then, I urge that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and thanksgivings be made for all people, for kings and all who are in high positions, that we may lead a peaceful and quiet life, godly and dignified in every way” (1 Tim 2:1-2).
Pray for God’s will to prevail: Even in the most difficult time of his life, our Lord prayed, “Abba, Father, all things are possible for you. Remove this cup from me. Yet not what I will, but what you will” (Mk 14:36). Can you not pray the same?
Pray for those who will vote for one of the two major party candidates. Pray that they do so with a clear conscience.
Two: You can put your trust in God, not princes.
“It is better to take refuge in the Lord than to trust in princes” (Ps 118:9). “Put not your trust in princes, in a son of man, in whom there is no salvation” (Ps 146:3). Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump with both disappoint you. They are making promises they cannot keep—some of which they may not even intend to keep. Not our God. He does not lie (Tit 1:2). Every word he says is true; he will never disappoint.
Three: You can remember that God reigns over the kingdom of men.
“The Most High rules the kingdom of men and gives it to whom he will” (Dan 4:25, 32). It’s the will of God which prevails, not the will of the electorate. I have personally decided to abstain from voting since God reigns in the kingdom of men. I have come to the conclusion that it’s God’s will which prevails, not my own. I don’t personally believe my vote matters one way or the other—God will do what God will do.
Whether or not you agree with me on voting, you can take solace in knowing that it is God who reigns in the kingdom of men.
Four: You can trust in the sovereignty of God.
In a time of great persecution, first-century Christians were reminded, “Hallelujah! For the Lord our God the Almighty reigns” (Rev 19:6). No matter who is elected, no matter how evil s/he is, no matter what policies or laws become effective, God sits upon his throne. Because God sits upon his throne, “The Lamb will conquer [his foes], for he is Lord of lords and King of kings, and those with him are called and chosen and faithful” (Rev 17:14). No matter how evil this world might become, the Lord Jesus Christ will conquer in the end. In that certainty I place my trust.
Five: You can support those who conscience differs from yours.
In the church, too often we expect everyone to agree with us. While I have absolutely no intention of voting, I could never with a clear conscience vote for either Donald Trump or Hillary Clinton; however, many of my fellow believers can. God hasn’t said I must vote, and he hasn’t said I mustn’t vote; he has left that decision up to me. God hasn’t said for whom I must vote; he has left that decision up to me. In the spirit of Christian liberty, I can neither condemn nor condone a brother for purposing in his own heart what he believes is right. “One person esteems one day as better than another, while another esteems all days alike. Each one should be fully convinced in his own mind. The one who observes the day, observes it in honor of the Lord. The one who eats, eats in honor of the Lord, since he gives thanks to God, while the one who abstains, abstains in honor of the Lord and gives thanks to God” (Rom 14:5-6).
My wife and elder son—who turns 18 on Sunday—both plan to vote. We had the most interesting conversation the other day over these very issues. Debate or argument? No. Discussion? Yes. Why were we able to discuss these matters without becoming angry with one another? Because we understand Christian liberty and we are fully convinced in our own minds. It seems to me that as a body of believers we can do no less.
May God bless you, and may he bless the United States of America and all the other nations of the world!