Some people have asked me what my political leanings are for the upcoming elections and who I am voting for. One of the greatest parts about living in a democratic society as a Christian who believes in the sovereign authority and righteousness of God, is that I can cast my vote that affords me a clear conscience and then trust God to do as he so desires. I don’t have to worry about “elect-ability” “Lesser of two evils” or other such things. Because I believe that God is intimately involved in governmental affairs, I can be obedient to my Biblically informed conscience and trust him for the rest.
And this is my chief principle. I will not cast a vote based upon who I think will win, or who will defeat another candidate, but I will cast a vote based upon whom I believe in my conscience will fulfill the task God has given civil authorities according to Biblical principles with ethics and morality. Whether my candidate wins or loses, I want to lay my head on my pillow knowing that I did not go against conscience (which is not safe or prudent). Indeed if everyone in the country simply voted their conscience after observing the character and hearing the values of each candidate, all these political games would not need to be played. But alas, people are most concerned with “beating the other side” and advancing a political agenda than they are with simply voting for that candidate who they believe will do the best job.
Having said that these are my principles for casting any vote in order of priority.
1. HUMILITY–whatever the candidate promises, whether conservative or not, arrogance will destroy a nation. Don’t tell me that you will restore the land, make America great, solve the poverty crisis, or bring an end to injustice and fear. Don’t say it because you can’t do it and it reveals that you have an exaggerated opinion of yourself. Pride is dangerous.
2. HONESTY–I know this is hard to find with politicians (as is the first), but to some degree, I would rather see “my guy” lose than to see him win at all unethical costs. Campaign promises are a big test to me. Is the candidates promises realistic, if not, he is not an honest person. I don’t want a liar-in-chief. I want an honest leader.
3. LIFE–I want someone to lead me who values all life, from the life found at conception to the life of the octogenarian. As the one whom God says carries the sword, a pacifist or timid candidate will not do, but when there must be war and punishment, I want him to do execute it reluctantly and soberly. Though necessary that he must defend the nation, he must have no taste for violence, especially violence of those in the womb. But this means that he will not politicize human lives. To use mass murder as a political tool to move an agenda. He must value life.
4. RESPONSIBILITY–This means that the officials I vote for I hope have some level of where their job descriptions and responsibilities lie. Promises to make america great or restore Christian power are ridiculous. If we are speaking of the President, those things are not his responsibility–don’t promise me something you are not supposed to give me, whether it is the promise of jobs or wealth (mine or someone elses). According to Scripture, your job is to praise the good and punish the evil, to allow people to work for their food, to not hinder the advancement of human flourishing. Your job is to judge justly. It is my responsibility to care for myself and for my family, not an elected official, I cannot vote for you if you are promising to do my job for me. It is however, your responsibility to secure our national safety, while it is my responsibility to protect my personal safety
5. PEACE–The candidate I vote for, must promote peace. Whether it is peace among other nations (which can sometimes be only achieved with a sword), peace among our fellow countrymen, or peace within government. Do not mistake this for pacifism or softness. Good leaders do what is necessary to achieve peace, even if that means that they must break some bones in the process. You are given by God to restrain and control men and thus promoting peace-making.
So what will I do if none of the candidates possess these qualities? First, I am not looking for perfection, they are men (or women) who will fail in all these areas. However, I am looking at the candidates who appear to trend in these areas in a good direction. But if indeed, none of the candidates seem to have these qualities, or at least none of the front-runners have these qualities? I will follow my conscience and either vote for the one who does or vote for none. But a non-vote is a vote for the other candidate. Nonsense. a non-vote is a non-vote. I will lay my head in peace at night because my God is sovereign, he only seeks that I glorify him and obey his Word, and this includes my vote.