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We’re in quite the season, aren’t we? I know that most of us feel the political tension and feel the weight of the decisions in which we’re called to participate. As we all look for good information regarding candidates and issues, several folks have reached out with questions about everything from amendments to judges to the presidential race. So, here’s what I hope will be an encouragement, a help and perhaps a challenge in this election season. Folks, if you’re a Christian, this doesn’t have to be stressful.
1. We vote according to biblical principle
2. We trust in a sovereign God who raises up and puts down both kings and nations to accomplish HIS good plan.
As John Quincy Adams so succinctly put it, “duty is ours, results are His.”
Of course for many of us, the confusion is over the MANY decisions that we’re called to make in this moment. Some of that is exactly the problem; there are decisions that are put before the electorate that really shouldn’t be….but that’s a class for another day : )
Nevertheless, here we are, with ballot in hand and in need of solid guidance. I have a valuable source. If you need help in voting on whether to retain judges, Florida Family Policy Council has done extensive research and provides an endorsement guide HERE. They’ve done the same for US House, Florida Senate and House AND the proposed amendments to the Florida Constitution. As to the amendments, I TOTALLY agree with the FFPC positions but if you’d like further explanation on any of those positions, please be in touch! There are very good, principled reasons to vote as they suggest.
Now, if it’s the presidential choice that has you flustered, well don’t be. Let me tackle head-on the first objection that I’ve been hearing.
Does Donald Trump’s character disqualify him? Many of you have taken classes with me and you’ll recall the Hugo Grotius quote that we discuss that talks about qualities of leaders…. It starts with “a man knows not how to rule a kingdom unless he knows how to manage a province. . .all the way down to his family . . .and ultimately that a man should be ruled by reason, with reason ruled by God and obedient to Him.” Clearly, this is the ideal for which we should strive…levels of proven leadership built on a foundation of self-government. The character of our leaders DOES matter and we should seek out the best candidates possible. Now, I’d like to offer three thoughts on that front:
First, I agree with noted seminary professor and author Wayne Grudem that the president is sometimes “egotistical, bombastic, and brash. He often lacks nuance in his statements. Sometimes he blurts out mistaken ideas … that he later must abandon. He insults people. He can be vindictive when people attack him.” (Grudem’s Letter to an Anti-Trump Christian Friend). Of course, none of these are preferred qualities in a leader. But they’re not disqualifying factors either.
At the same time, our alternative, the former Vice President, has been repeatedly linked to international corruption endangering the safety of the nation, been plausibly accused of gross sexual misconduct, has maintained friendships with avowed racists and himself made offensive statements to and about the black community.