I have an honest question. This isn’t something I would necessarily talk about in church, because I believe the pulpit is set apart for preaching the Bible. I try not to mix in too many of my political opinions there. This is just as a Christian friend.
We all hate what this election season has done among our friends and churches. Has politics always been this ugly? Maybe so. I struggled with this post because I really don’t want to contribute to the division. The easiest way is probably just to be quiet, and avoid anything that might be controversial. No doubt there’s a lot of wisdom in that.
Proverbs 10:19 “In the multitude of words there wanteth not sin: but he that refraineth his lips is wise.” But that same book of wisdom also says, “Open rebuke is better than secret love. Faithful are the wounds of a friend; but the kisses of an enemy are deceitful.” Proverbs 27:5-6
I feel like Job’s young friend Elihu:
“I said, Days should speak, and multitude of years should teach wisdom. But there is a spirit in man: and the inspiration of the Almighty giveth them understanding. Great men are not always wise: neither do the aged understand judgment. Therefore I said, Hearken to me; I also will shew mine opinion…For I am full of matter, the spirit within me constraineth me. Behold, my belly is as wine which hath no vent; it is ready to burst like new bottles. I will speak, that I may be refreshed: I will open my lips and answer.” Job 32:7-20
Here is my question for my Christian friends who are either reluctantly or enthusiastically voting for Donald Trump: Is there anything he could do, or that could be revealed he has done, that would change your mind? Is there any limit to his depravity, to where you would say, “I know the stakes, but I simply cannot vote for this man”?
If you’re voting for him against Hillary Clinton, I get that. But is there even theoretically a point at which he could become equally as bad a choice?
To be fair, some of my friends and family might be supporting Hillary. I disagree with that decision, but it is your own, and I promise to respect your choice. This particular question, though, goes to the Trump supporters.
I know the Clinton years weren’t the best. Economically things were better, but it was a sad departure from the golden years of conservatism under Ronald Reagan. In my opinion, the Clintons are probably some of the most wicked and slimy politicians our country has ever produced.
I know for many of you, the bitter taste of those years hasn’t gone away. In fact, knowing just how bad they are makes you willing to vote for almost anybody else. Almost anybody.
I was young teenager when Bill Clinton was impeached. Maybe I was too young to absorb the bitterness of those years that some of you had to endure. Maybe my parents did a good job shielding my brother and me from burdens we didn’t yet need to bear. But I learned a couple of lessons from all of my Christian leaders and mentors during that time:
1. Character matters.
2. Leaders are examples to others, and should be held to a higher standard.
That was a very formative time in my life. I saw Christians everywhere united against an immoral, lying, prideful politician. It was a sad time for our nation, but our churches had total clarity on where to stand. They stood for Bible morality. They stood for Bible truth. They stood for Bible principle.
The Bill Clinton presidency is a distant and faded memory in my mind today. But the principles I gained through that time have become woven into my conscience. They are a part of the very bedrock upon which my life is built. I still believe that character matters. And I still believe that leaders should be held to a higher standard.
I am a leader – admittedly not of very many. But I know at least four (my wife and kids) who look to me for guidance. Therefore I know my character matters, and being true to my principles matters. I will be held accountable for my decisions and my words – not just by men, but by God! It’s not that I’m trying to be “holier than thou,” or a “self-righteous Pharisee,” or anything like that. I’m trying to be the man many of you taught me to be during that time – a man of character, a man of principle.
I know the Clintons are terrible. I know they hold up wicked principles we abhor. I know they seem contrary to our conservative vision of what America should be. But at some point down this slippery slope, couldn’t it possibly become a reality that the Republican candidate is just as bad? What is that line for you? Is there even that possibility?
Is it immigration? If Trump reversed his position and said he would instead promote amnesty instead of a wall and deportation, would that make you change?
Is it the sanctity of life? If Trump said that now he’s actually more pro-choice, like he was just a couple of years ago, would that make you change your mind?
He’s already openly against all our Biblical positions on gay marriage, transgender, etc. You don’t even have a candidate with a clear difference anymore, on those issues that used to really matter to Christians.
Perhaps Donald Trump was right when he said, “I could stand in the middle of 5th Avenue and shoot somebody and I wouldn’t lose voters.” What is your “red line” – that point at which you would honestly have to say, “There is no lesser evils here”?
Vote for whomever you like. I’m not even trying to change your mind. I will respect you and continue to be your friend long after this is over. I just really want to understand. I want to know what has so changed for us since 1999? Or maybe I was just too young and naive back then, and all that outcry from Christians wasn’t really about principles at all – it was just about politics, and we haven’t changed a bit.