Donald Trump or Hillary Clinton: How should a Christian vote?
HONOLULU, November 7, 2016 – Finally, after two years of the most politically brutal and culturally bizarre campaign season American voters have seen in decades, Election Day 2016 is but hours away. By now, most American voters have already made up their minds about which candidates and/or parties they support, and many have already cast their ballots in early voting. It is estimated that only two percent of remaining likely voters are still completely undecided about their choice for president, and even that number may be highly suspect due to a statistical phenomenon known as nonresponse bias.
Still, there are millions of American likely voters who, this late in the season, have not yet settled their minds on who to vote for. Within Christian circles, particularly among evangelicals, there are a number of voters who look at the candidates and sincerely wonder which one “is the will of God” for their vote and America. Some of these individuals turn to prayer, others consult their friends, many inquire of their pastors, and even more rely on the advice of purportedly “Christian” political or media personalities to find some revelation regarding just what they should do.
In charismatic Christian circles, it isn’t uncommon to hear people issuing prophecies about the candidate that God wills to be the next president of the United States. This can complicate matters even further, as it adds a layer of spiritual pressure to a political process that is already overwhelmingly morally complex and divisive.
As a born again Christian believer, a 2016 Republican alternate delegate, and an elected Republican district chairman, over the years I have seen spiritual peer pressure applied many times for countless candidates of varying offices, and I know all too well how confusing this can be. Most of the allegedly “anointed” local and national candidates pushed on us over the various cycles turned out, in reality, to be RINOs and reprobate sinners who were defeated by unabashed Democrats. But fear not. If you’re an undecided Christian voter and you’re looking to find the will of God in this election, this article will help you navigate your way through the minefield that is modern politics.
Hearing “God wills it!” is the red flag for false prophecy.
The first thing any Christian seeking truth should do is to remember well the Apostle Paul’s words in Romans 3:4 which tell us “let God be true and every man a liar.” Proceeding forward from the understanding that the default credibility level of all human beings is that of an untrustworthy liar, Christians should never automatically accept any statement – no matter the human source – as being “truth” without comparing it against the absolute truth that is the Bible.
1 John 4:1 says “do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, because many false prophets have gone out into the world.” Many Christians innocently and wrongly believe that false prophets are found only in dark alleys, whorehouses, and satanic temples where human sacrifices are being offered. In reality, the preferred residence of the spirit of false prophecy and all its vassels is in places of Christian fellowship.
In Jesus’ Parable of the Weeds (Matthew 13:24-30), the Scripture speaks of an “enemy” sowing weed seeds among wheat seeds. Later in the same chapter, we see the Parable of the Net, in which fishermen collect “all kinds of fish,” both good, and bad alike. Christianity attracts false prophets and well-meaning (but ultimately deceived) false converts like a magnet draws iron fillings. If one is not careful, Christians can find themselves following false teaching, deceptive philosophies and hollow fundraising schemes taught by these individuals rather than the true Word of God. Believe me, when it comes to election season, every false prophet loves to prophecy about what will surely happen on Tuesday.
Whenever someone tells me that a particular political candidate is “anointed of God” or that “God wills so-and-so” to be the winner in an election, red flags go off in my mind. The reason these statements are dangerous is because they assign the integrity and personhood of God to fallen individuals. Even unbelievers, though they may hate Christendom or doubt the existence of God, are discerning enough to recognize that someone labeled as an “anointed” personality has to be flawless… and they are correct.
In the New Testament, God’s seal of approval rests exclusively on the Anointed, that is, Christ. God doesn’t need Democrats or Republicans to get things done. He already accomplished the work on the Cross through His Son, Jesus. This is why John 6:27-29 says “Do not work for food that spoils, but for food that endures to eternal life, which the Son of Man will give you. On him God the Father has placed his seal of approval.”
It’s not as simple as Team Red vs. Team Blue vs. Freak Third Parties
Voting may be your civic duty, but it has absolutely no impact on God’s plan for your life. In fact, I dare say that politics is a distraction from the actual will of God, which operates beyond earthly governments and is a matter of faith in Jesus rather than faith in people. Let me be the first to tell you that God can do everything and anything He wants to accomplish without you so much as stepping into a polling site.
I won’t address the spiritual pitfalls of the Democratic Party, because it should be apparently clear to everyone by now that Democrats are, in most cases, the worst of the worst when it comes to matters of faith. The clear advantage, however, of the Democrats and liberals or progressives is that you already know what they are at face value.
Because the Democrats are completely without blush and so brazen in their agendas, we shouldn’t need Wikileaks to reveal to us what we should already know from simple observation. It’s one thing to fall for an infiltrating wolf in a sheep’s clothing. It’s quite another thing to see a ravenous, drooling wolf before us and claim that wolf is a shepherd.
As a side note, I find it ironic that many of the people who today are calling Hillary Clinton “Corrupt Hillary” or “Killary” were, in the 1990s, the exact same people who voted for her husband’s re-election in spite of all that happened during his first term and and the man who later claimed “It’s just sex!” when his affair with Monica Lewinski was revealed. You don’t get to be outraged at Wikileaks if you weren’t outraged by Linda Tripp’s tapes or Monica Lewinski’s blue dress.
By contrast, the Republican Party, which has a significant social/Christian conservative voting base, routinely uses spiritual-sounding messaging to promote candidates. It’s no secret that the first place Republicans look to get votes are America’s churches. Further, because Republicans in general take friendly positions toward Israel, prayer in public schools, pro-life causes, and abstinence education over sex education, one can speciously argue that many Republicans are Christians and that their platform is a “Christian” set of values.
If that were purely the standard for God’s approval – the notion of sounding like an observant Jew or mimicking a Christian – then we could easily say God loves Republicans and wants you to vote 100 percent Republican. And I’m sure the RNC, not to mention my state’s executive committee, wouldn’t argue with that proposition, especially now.
But anyone who has any real insider experience in politics can tell you that many of the people who purport to be for “family values” or even “traditional American values” are either closet homosexuals who hypocritically attack homosexuals in public to gain public attention; are cheating on their wives; or are engaged in one or more shady deals that defraud someone else.
I can already hear an army of political Christian apologists shouting in outrage, “But voting is about positions, not personalities. We’re not electing saints. This is about the [fill your niche issue in the blank here]!” Ok, sure. But if someone can’t be trusted in his or her personal life to implement the values he or she campaigns on, why should such an individual be expected to be reliable when voting on those same values? Hint: They’re not, and they won’t. And if they did what they said they would do, we wouldn’t have any incumbent “bums” to throw out of office.
“Repeal and replace Obamacare”? Abolish the Federal Reserve? World peace where everyone pays tribute to the United States? Give me a break. That will never happen by purposeful political action — only by catastrophic economic failure. Men are weak, my friends. Never put your trust in any man.
1 Corinthians 4:20 tells us that the kingdom of Heaven is not a matter of talk, but of power. The true measure proving that an individual has the power or moral courage to implement the will of God is that such an individual has implemented it in his or her own life first.
James 3:14 says “Such ‘wisdom’ does not come down from heaven but is earthly, unspiritual, demonic. For where you have envy and selfish ambition, there you find disorder and every evil practice. But the wisdom that comes from heaven is first of all pure; then peace-loving, considerate, submissive, full of mercy and good fruit, impartial and sincere. Peacemakers who sow in peace reap a harvest of righteousness.”
Hear me in my best Keanu Reeves impression reacting to that verse: “Whoa!”
Oscar Wilde famously said that patriotism is the virtue of the vicious, but the Bible takes it a notch higher and says failure to practice what we preach, walking in selfish ambition, and showing partiality to certain groups of people is demonic. Wow, looks like the Bible just described 99.9 percent of all elected incumbents and candidates for office.
Now that we’ve revealed the fact that everyone – politicians especially – is to some measure walking in rebellion to God (Romans 11:32) or under demonic guidance (Ephesians 2:2), I think we can safely throw away forever any delusions of grandeur that a particular candidate is the “anointed of God.” None of them are. Jesus didn’t come to earth to save governments. He came to save individuals. If Jesus wanted to redeem governments, his ministry would have began in Rome rather than Cana in Galilee.
Fellow Christians, don’t let anyone tell you that God “commands” you to vote Democrat or Republican. We know this because the Bible says in 1 Corinthians 4:6 “learn from us the meaning of the saying, ‘Do not go beyond what is written.’ Then you will not be puffed up in being a follower of one of us over against the other.”
God is a God of divine law and order. Like any good judge or lawyer, everything He does is based on prior precedent rooted in written law. Everything that Jesus said during his earthly ministry mirrors a prophetic or historical statement made somewhere in the Old Testament. In the same manner, the New Testament repeats the exact same things said in the Gospels and the Old Testament. It’s a 100 percent safe assumption to say that anything God has to say to you or me today has to already be somewhere in the pages of the Bible.
Last time I checked, I didn’t see “Vote for Hillary Clinton” or “Vote for Donald Trump” written anywhere in the Scripture. And why would it be there?
Ladies and gentlemen, if it’s not written, it’s not real. I love what Deuteronomy 29:29 says: “The secret things belong to the LORD our God, but the things revealed belong to us and our children forever, that we may follow all the words of this law.”
This isn’t hard. Wherever there is no explicit statement on what action one should take, there is no law. Wherever there is no law, there is freedom to make one’s choice (see Romans 4:15). God has given you the freedom to vote for whoever you want because it doesn’t really matter. Otherwise He would have said something about it. So don’t put someone else into bondage by saying “God commands you to vote for so-and-so.”
The most important person in this election
This might come as a surprise to some, but the most important person in this election isn’t Hillary Clinton or Donald Trump, but you as an individual believer in Jesus Christ. When you pray in faith for sick people in your church or in your community, you’re healing more people than a government healthcare policy could ever reach. When you donate or give gifts to friends in need, domestic abuse victims, homeless shelters, or even the elderly widow down the street from you, you’re dynamically empowering more people than a congressional appropriation or executive order could ever hope to touch.
You can ask your senator or representative in Congress to vote yes or no on a pet project of yours, and you’ll get a letter in the mail with a couple of talking points and a photocopied news article of all the things he or she has done already on that topic. Meh. Maybe if you’re lucky, you can write a letter to the White House and get an autographed photo or a signed letter from the president on official stationary. But not one of these men or women have the power to accomplish what your faith in Jesus can do.
I believe with all my heart that Jesus Christ is Lord. For some, that’s a nice way of saying “I’m a Christian.” For me, it’s a statement of agreement that I believe 100 percent that when it comes to Jesus, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age” (Matthew 28:18-20).
Notice we baptize people in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. Not in the name of Republicans and Democrats or conservatives and liberals.
If there is anything that Hillary Clinton or Donald Trump can do, my God can do it better through Jesus Christ who has authority in all things. If I need the economy in my city improved, I can pray to God to bless my city and things will change. Rid yourself of the concept that God needs people to get things done. He doesn’t! No man was present when God said “let there be light” at the creation of the universe, and yet, God created the universe. No man raised Jesus from the dead, the Holy Spirit alone accomplished that.
Christians: no matter who wins on Tuesday, God’s Word is still “yes” and “amen.” Heaven and earth will pass away, but God’s Word is forever. This is why I do not encapsulate and assign my faith to political personalities or political movements. Jesus, when confronted with whether one should pay taxes, asked for a denarius and said, “Who’s face is this?” to which people responded “Caesar’s.” Jesus as we all know said “Render unto Caesar that which is Caesar’s and unto God that which is God’s.” Think about that. Caesar was created in God’s image, so Jesus effectively said the coin belongs to the person who’s face is on it. But Caesar the man belongs to God who created him. That’s true power.
“In my cycle …”
As a Christian, I’ve heard many purported “prophecies” over the years since I got first got born again some sixteen years ago. I remember shortly after the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, the leader of a Christian group I participated in “prophesied” that the end of the world was upon us, and that Alexander Lebed was going to rise up as the Antichrist and start a global nuclear war, just like some people are claiming that electing Hillary Clinton will trigger nuclear war with Russia.
A number of Christians in the group took the “prophecy” to heart. But, being one to have actually read the Bible, I rebuked the group leader and told him his prophecy was in error because Lebed met none of the conditions for being the Antichrist; and further, the end times could not be upon us because a number of prerequisite events written in the Bible hadn’t been fulfilled yet.
I was scorned and subject to peer pressure for my rejection of that prophecy, and the leader of the group went into hiding with his family in the woods, believing that the Great Tribulation was about to begin. Many Christians in that group, however, were convinced the leader was correct.
On April 28, 2002, Lebed died in a helicopter crash. Can we say “L-O-L” or what? I sent a rather sarcastic but still scriptural e-mail to the “prophet” in exile with the following challenge: “Tell you what. If Lebed comes back to life in three days, then he’s the Antichrist, and you were right all along. But I can tell you with absolute certainty, he’s not. Now come out of the woods and get back to work, God needs you and your family in the world, not in hiding in the woods!”
As we all know, Lebed did not come back to life. (And how could he, seriously?) The “prophecy” that had swayed so many turned out to be false. But I was not deceived to begin with. In like manner, I would encourage every Christian reading this article to approach with suspicion every supposed modern prophecy about Hillary Clinton or Donald Trump. I don’t care if you heard it on the radio from a notable Christian, saw it in a dream, or heard it prophesied from a person with a prophetic office in your church.
Trust me, those of us who were told “prophecies” about the election outcome will all be laughing on Wednesday morning (Job 5:22). How can I be so sure of this, having not seen the future and the election returns? Isaiah 44:25 says God will frustrate and foil the signs of false prophets, and Ephesians 5:11 says further, “Do not participate in the worthless and unproductive deeds of darkness, but instead expose them by exemplifying personal integrity, moral courage, and godly character.” God desires above all else that we follow and implement the pattern of His Word, not make political promises based on matters outside of our control.
For the believer, real prophecy is always found inside the pages of the Bible and confirmed in your heart through the Holy Spirit (1 John 4:6). Remember that, and no purported prophet, dreamer, or special messenger will ever lead you as a Christian astray.
Oops! I guess we did it again
“Stronger Together”? “Make America Great Again”? Give me a break. Hollow promises. You want real prophecy? I’ll give you one. It’s safe to say that whoever gets elected on Tuesday will fail to accomplish those grandiose promises of sweeping reform. Hence they’ll ask you for four more years in 2020 to “finish the work we started together four years ago.” That’s right, Hillary Clinton or Donald Trump will do a terrible job in office.
So vote for whomever you want. It doesn’t matter. How do we know that? Because those of you who have studied Biblical eschatology know that the United States is curiously absent from end times prophecy.
The Bible references an Asian confederacy, numerous Middle Eastern, African, and European powers in the end times, but the United States and more to the point, North America in general, doesn’t appear to be a major player in the end times.
Read the book! If the United States is a greater superpower in the end times than what she is now – thanks to the fulfilled promises of Donald Trump, who is smarter than the generals, or thanks to Hillary Clinton, who is the world’s most qualified woman – how is it possible that Israel will be invaded and Jerusalem surrounded by enemies on all sides (Luke 21:20, Zechariah 14:1-3)? You’d think we’d launch nuclear weapons to prevent something like that happening, given the platform of both the Republican and Democratic Party platforms.
I’m a Republican, so let’s examine our own party. Donald Trump says that he wants to negotiate a better deal for America. Okay. Fair enough. But if he gets elected, and America has all these awesome new trade deals, tributes exacted on South Korea, Japan, Germany, the UK, et cetera, and we’re winning so much that we get tired of winning, then how is it possible that the Antichrist will create a ten-kingdom confederacy to rule the planet, complete with a common biometric currency system? There’s no way a “great” America will ever allow that.
Here’s another one I’m sure the Democrats will love. Say Donald Trump does get elected and he “builds the wall.” Sorry, but, there’s a prophecy for that too. Ezekiel 38:20 says “The mountains will be overturned, the cliffs will crumble and every wall will fall to the ground.” All those taxpayer dollars (or Mexican pesos, if Trump is as good as he says he is) spent on building a wall that sure prophecy says will be knocked down? I’d say all your reasons for spiritualizing this election are seeing diminishing returns, fellow Christians.
The election results will be whatever they turn out to be. Leave it at that. If you have to vote for your favorite candidate, then vote for your favorite candidate. But please, don’t say God told you to do that. God is more concerned with the matters explicitly outlined in Scripture than matters of politics which are loosely enumerated in the Bible. We as Christians make a mockery of ourselves and assign the Name of Jesus to a state of falsehood among unbelievers when we spiritualize things that have no business being attached to the integrity and character of the Holy Spirit.
Yes friends, it doesn’t matter who you vote for in this cycle. The end of the book still turns out the same. Thanks to the political-media complex, the only thing you’re really voting for is which cable TV network gets boasting rights to torment the minority party and their supporters for the next four years. That problem is easily remedied. Just turn off the TV, sign out of Twitter, and do like we used to do in the 20th Century: Read a book, walk your dog, and refrain from arguing about politics over dinner.
Stop posting ridiculous memes on Instagram. Stop arguing on Facebook. If you’re a born again believer, you shouldn’t be lowering yourself to the kinds of things that unbelievers do. Just go and vote already, or don’t. “It does not depend on human will or exertion, but on God, who has mercy” (Romans 9:16). “Some trust in chariots and some in horses.” Others on rally sizes, frequency of Facebook interactions, poll numbers, Wikileaks messages, Breitbart and HuffPo smear articles and so on… “but we trust in the name of the LORD our God” (Psalm 20:7).
All of these purported “prophets” telling us either Hillary Clinton or Donald Trump are “anointed” need to re-examine their faith. If God really relied on democratic action to get things done, nothing would ever get done. And if God really wants Hillary Clinton or Donald Trump in office, He doesn’t need your help to get them there (see Luke 19:12-15, Matthew 21:42).
Again, who should you vote for? Whomever you want! Christopher Columbus purportedly discovered the New World by reading the apocryphal text of Esdras, so I think it is only fitting that we conclude our quest for a newer America by quoting the words of 2 Esdras 6:1-6:
“At the beginning of the circle of the earth, before the portals of the world were in place, and before the assembled winds blew, and before the rumblings of thunder sounded, and before the flashes of lightning shone, and before the foundations of paradise were laid, and before the beautiful flowers were seen, and before the powers of movements were established, and before the innumerable hosts of angels were gathered together, and before the heights of the air were lifted up, and before the measures of the firmaments were named, and before the footstool of Zion was established, and before the present years were reckoned and before the imaginations of those who now sin were estranged, and before those who stored up treasures of faith were sealed— then I planned these things, and they were made through me alone and not through another; just as the end shall come through me alone and not through another.”
Undecided Christian voter, it’s more important that you decide to serve God rather than decide who to vote for. Both major parties use us as their disposable renta-mobs come election time, promising big things but never delivering. Isn’t it time you voted for yourself rather than voting for the false prophets? We preach Christ crucified (1 Corinthians 1:23), not Hillary Clinton or Donald Trump elected.
A man can only serve one master. He will love one and hate the other. So long as you rely on a political party or a political candidate to be your earthly salvation, Jesus the true Savior will always be a distant second in your life. Think about that. We are not like the unbelievers who only know earthly things. Those of us who say Jesus is Lord should start acting like it. If you need an “anointed” political candidate, then you have a confidence problem. Push your personal faith with Jesus. That’s our job as born again believers. But the choice is all yours.
God bless, and see you Tuesday night.