How Shall We Then Vote?
By David R. Barnhart
Volume 31 Spring 2016 Issue 2
“Our nation’s greatest problem is not the economy, nor is it immigration, terrorism, or national security, as serious as all these are. Our greatest problem is our broken relationship with God, and we either fix it or we die!”
In the last issue of The Vine and Branches, I emphasized the importance of Christians voting in this year’s elections, believing these elections may be the most critical in our nation’s history. Few issues facing us are more important than the appointment of justices to the Supreme Court who will uphold the biblical values and interpret the Constitution as it was written. A liberal shift in the Supreme Court will bring disaster on the land. Because so many Christians failed to vote in past elections, we are now being led by persons whose values are nowhere close to the biblical foundation upon which this nation was founded. Consequently, our nation is on the road to ruin.
In the last Vine and Branches, I stated— “Our nation’s greatest problem is not the economy, nor is it immigration, terrorism, or national security, as serious as all these are. Our greatest problem is our
broken relationship with God, and we either fix it or we die!”
A few weeks ago, I received an inquiry from a couple in Alabama in response to these statements. They asked, “How can we in good conscience vote if the only choice we have is the lesser of two evils?” Their letter went on to say, “When given the choice between two evils, we must not side with either. It’s better to suffer affliction than to commit even one sin.”
I agree! Because voting for the “lesser of two evils” is a conundrum for many Christians in 2016, I am responding to their concerns here, in the hope others who are wrestling with the same issue will be helped.
In a recent interview with CBN News, Franklin Graham addressed this subject. He stated, “There are left move- ments within the evangelical community that are telling people, ‘If so-and-so wins or this or that person wins, don’t vote.’ I’m saying, I don’t care who wins and who’s out there, you have to vote. And I’m not going to tell people who to vote for, I’m not going to do that,” he said. “You may have to hold your nose, you may have to decide which is the least heathen of the two heathen.” He also com- mented, “If we just stay home, we’re going to lose this country, and we will only have ourselves to blame.”
Immediately prior to this interview, Graham had spoken to a gathering of over 5,000 people in Denver, telling them to “get out and vote your biblical principles.” But herein lies the great conundrum for all voting Christians— What do we do if none of the candidates on the ballot, especially those running for the office of the presidency, comes close to reflecting our values or biblical principles?
Greg Laurie, pastor of the Harvest Christian Fellowship in Riverside, California, in a recent article in The Blaze, also urged all Christians to cast their votes in accordance with the Bible. He added that choosing God’s role in America is even more important than electing a president.
But again, what is a Christian supposed to do when neither candidate for president upholds these values? As a citizen of the United States of America, I know it is my duty to vote, and that I will do. But first, I will look for the candidate who supports biblical values as well as a strict interpretation of the Constitution of the United States. These conditions being met, I will gladly cast my ballot for such a person. However, for me, voting for those who espouse evil while “holding my nose” hardly seems the wise or prudent way to go about it.
Years ago, I vowed never to vote for anyone who is pro- abortion. In more recent times, I have vowed never to vote for anyone who endorses same-sex marriage, as that also erodes the basic foundations of our society. These vows are based on my conviction that Christians should “vote their biblical principles.” Like Martin Luther, I too believe that “to go against conscience is neither right nor safe. Here I stand, I can do no other.”
Therefore, when I go to the polling place, if necessary, I will write in the name of a person most likely to uphold these vital principles without compromise. Candidates whose ethics and morals permit them to advocate, promote or tolerate abortion, same-sex marriage or any other evil condemned by Scripture are beyond being supported, even through “nose holding.” As I understand Scripture, there are no lesser evils when it comes to obedience to God’s Word. What will we accomplish if we vote for a candidate who espouses evil, even if we believe him or her to be a “lesser evil”?
Our role as Christians is to be salt and light to the nation. I believe the only way our nation can be turned around is through the 2 Chronicles 7:14 principle: “If My people who are called by My name humble themselves and pray and seek My face and turn from their wicked ways, then will I hear from heaven, will forgive their sin and will heal their land.”