A third option for president: Abstention

Campaign 2016 | Christians are not morally obligated to vote in this year’s presidential election
by Anthony Bradley
Posted on Friday, November 4, 2016, at 2:11 pm

Back in March, Russell Moore, president of the Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission of the Southern Baptist Convention, attempted to help Christians navigate the difficulties we now face in choosing between “two morally problematic” presidential candidates. Moore raised excellent questions for Christians to consider when voting for “the lesser of two evils.” While his commentary is helpful, the truth is that believers are not bound to settle for just one of the two options on the ballot.

There is a third option: Christians do not have to vote at all.

In fact, the Bible doesn’t instruct God’s people that they have an obligation, moral duty, or compulsion to vote in any particular election in a secular democratic republic like the United States. It is unhelpful, and potentially misleading, to bind the consciences of Christians to make them feel that they have such obligations or duties to participate in government activities not commanded in the Bible.

The Bible doesn’t instruct God’s people that they have an obligation, moral duty, or compulsion to vote in any particular election in a secular democratic republic like the United States.

When a person’s conscience is torn between two options, in American political thought and practice, voters have an opportunity to abstain. To abstain from choosing a presidential candidate in this year’s election is to fully participate in the process as one whose conscience is unsettled and conflicted. By contrast, it is profoundly unethical to use the power of the state—or the guilt manipulations of religious leaders—to compel anyone to participate in a political process against his or her will. Because Americans are not legally bound to vote in presidential elections, like North Koreans and Australians are, Christians, with a clear conscience, can make the willful choice to abstain.

Historically, Protestants have never compelled Christians to vote in democratic elections. In Chapter 23 of the Presbyterian tradition’s Westminster Confession of Faith, the Divines believed that Christians were obligated only to “pray for magistrates, to honor their persons, to pay them tribute or other dues, to obey their lawful commands, and to be subject to their authority, for conscience’ sake.” Article 37 of the 1801 edition of the Anglican Thirty-nine Articles of Religion urges Christians only to “pay respectful obedience to the Civil Authority.” Article 16 of the Lutheran Augsburg Confession, teaches only that Christians have an obligation “to obey their own magistrates and laws save only when commanded to sin.” That is, unless Christians are commanded to vote for a president in the Bible or by law, those Christians whose consciences are torn between choosing either Donald Trump or Hillary Clinton are morally free to make the volitional, participatory decision to abstain from voting for a president at all.

Civic engagement does not mean that, as a Christian, I am compelled to vote in every election during my lifetime. Civic engagement means I am free to participate in making society better in ways I believe are most helpful. Voting, therefore, is not a moral ought, and we are sinning against people when we present it as if the Bible teaches this when it does not.

ADDENDUM (3:58 p.m.): Seeking the welfare of the city in the Jeremiah 29 sense suggests voting in local elections, and Christian are free and encouraged to participate in those ways to bring about effective change, although the Bible does not require it.

Anthony Bradley

Anthony is associate professor of religious studies at The King's College in New York and a research fellow at the Acton Institute for the Study of Religion and Liberty.

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  • AR
    Posted: Sat, 11/05/2016 02:57 pm

    In the movie Hacksaw Ridge, one soldier saved 75 other men by risking his own life. We have the opportunity to save millions of lives with one vote.... upon another, upon another. And that vote is for life. God asks us to band together to do just that, to set the future for many who will otherwise perish if we do nothing. There will be no tomorrows for them. Won't you reconsider if you are leaning on not voting and instead, take a stand for those that can't? May God's gift of life be revealed by our actions this election.

  • infohighwy
    Posted: Sat, 11/05/2016 03:31 pm

    If yet-to-be-born babies who were subsequently aborted could have voted, I suspect that many elections in this country would have turned out differently. President Reagan hit the nail on the head when he confirmed that 100% of all people who are pro-choice have already been born. I have never known any pro-choice fetuses!

  • infohighwy
    Posted: Sat, 11/05/2016 01:42 pm

    In a live interview with Franklin Graham today, host Tucker Carlson on Fox News Channel's Fox and Friends Saturday told Franklin that some Christians are not voting for either one.

    Franklin's answer was "No, they're wrong. Absolutely wrong. In the Bible we see that when Paul was arrested he was a Roman citizen and he used his rights as a Roman citizen to appeal to Caesar. And I'm just asking Americans...we have a right to vote. So let's exercise that right and let's vote because we can make a change. God can use His people to bring about change. He used His people in the Scriptures to bring change. And the Christian voice needs to be heard in America. 'Cause we're losing our rights as a nation. In the last election they say between 25 to maybe 35 million Evangelical Christians stayed away from the polls. And I'm trying to wake the church up and tell them we have a responsibility, let's go to the polls and vote. And of course I've been asking Christians to vote for candidates that stand for Biblical principles. That's so important."

  • TXfamily
    Posted: Sat, 11/05/2016 03:07 pm

    I totally agree with not voting for Trump or Hillary.  They are both dishonest, greedy scumbags with no regard for basic human liberty or rights.  Even Bernie Sanders might be better; even though I think he is wrong about everything, he is honest about what he believes and doesn't keep switching sides.

    But that doesn't mean we shouldn't vote.  We don't have to be stuck with the two established parties.  Even if the Libertarians don't win the election, if they get lots of votes and recognition this year, next election season they will have a better chance.  Same goes for the Constition Party.  And if a third party wins just one state, Trump or Hillary may not be able to get a large enough plurality in the electoral college to actually become president (I think thats the right way to say it, but I'm little confused about the way the electoral system works :-| )

    -Seth, age 17

  • infohighwy
    Posted: Sat, 11/05/2016 02:53 pm

    In 1992, H Ross Perot won 19% of the popular vote, but no states, and some said therefore no effect on the election. However, I read some studies back then that projected that if Perot had not run, several more states would have tilted to Bush with their electoral votes, enough to win the election over Clinton. Of course no one knows for sure how or if those Perot voters would have behaved if he had not run, but compelling arguments have been made by statisticians that Perot's presence threw the election to Clinton due to siphoning enough votes in enough states to push the election to Clinton.

    With 19% of the votes, we all thought that a third party was inevitable and credible in future elections, perhaps winning many seats in the House or Senate by 2000. But alas, it was never to be. Many Perot voters who were pro-life and somewhat conservative I knew back then kicked themselves when they realized they had fallen for the "law of unintended consequences" which always reigns supreme. Had most of them voted for Bush, he likely would have won, and the makeup of the Supreme court and other events would have no doubt been seen even to today.

    If Perot could not sustain a realistic path for third party candidates in 1992 with one out of five voters in his column, it is highly doubtful that will happen anytime in the future. The 2000 election may have been decided in Bush's favor because the 2.74% of the votes that Ralph Nader got very well could have pushed the razor thin election to Gore. Many statisticians have insisted that had Nader not been there, than Gore would almost certainly have won, since Nader was more in Gore's corner than Bush's, and thus likely siphoned more votes from Gore than Bush, tossing the election to Gore had Nader's votes gone primarily to Gore.

    Bottom line is that without a way to give parity to third parties (like provisional votes that don't "waste" the vote), they will continue to only be "spoilers" to the two major parties, but not likely to be a major factor in your lifetime. It's been 24 years since 1992, and third parties have never done as well as then if my memory is correct. So the "third party snowball" melted completely in the summer of 1993, so to speak, not to be seen again in our lifetime.

  • TXfamily
    Posted: Sat, 11/05/2016 04:44 pm

    I see your point about third parties, and I appreciate all the details you provided.  I had no idea Perot got so much of the popular vote.  From what I've read about what happened then (I wasn't born yet) Perot was taking away Bush voters, not Clinton voters, like you observed.  But this election, so many people loathe both mainline candidates that I would guess Gary Johnson is taking equal parts of Democrats and Republicans. 

    If the main ticket was Hillary vs Marco Rubio, I would say vote for Rubio, just to keep Hillary out.  (Although I would still prefer a Libertarian president over a 'conservative' like Rubio, the possibility of that occuring would be remote).  But with Trump, I don't know how much better he is than Hillary.  Even if I agreed with everything he says (I don't) how could I trust him to keep his word?  In this case, I think voting third party is very denfensible, no matter how low the probability of a third party candidate winning the presidency is.  But you're right, I don't think there is a chance of anyone besides Trump or Hillary being the next president.

  • infohighwy
    Posted: Sun, 11/06/2016 01:35 am

    You are correct in that none of us knows for sure that if Trump is elected, he will keep his word, especially with regard to the Supreme Court nominees. The bad news is that I'm positive (based on 25 years of experience she has) that Hillary WILL keep her word. That scares the daylights out of me! She will support abortions until the day of birth, appoint liberal Supreme Court judges who will eventually hog-tie the 2nd amendment to disarm all citizens, fight school vouchers and other things that would dramatically help minorities get a decent chance for a good education, encourage open borders to all without any screening, and if history is of any value, she will support global trade agreements as she has for the past 25 years, in conjunction with her husband/former president who strongly supported NAFTA. That will reward companies that move jobs offshore, like has been happening for many years now. None of this is secret, she has talked about this for quite some time. She is also likely to appease those who voted her into office by promoting prosecuting any clergy who speak out against any progressive ideals, like has happened in may parts of the US and the world already.

    So yes, Trump is an unknown. But the bad news is that Hillary is quite the "known known". Everyone has to choose whether he/she will vote or not on Tuesday. I am choosing to take the less certain path when the certain path will guarantee unfettered abortion of millions more babies. Obama has clearly been an opponent of pro-life causes, and that will absolutely continue in the third term of Obama, this time with Hillary on the bridge of the ship of state.

  • ML
    Posted: Sat, 11/05/2016 03:14 pm

    It has been 60 years for my believing the "lie" concerning the Christian's duty to vote-----at last I have been freed and I have confessed to my Real King for misunderstanding  His Word.          It took this election year for the Holy Spirit to open my eyes to His Truth concerning my duty.  I have had a very cleared conscience to abstain from voting for the president spot (and others).    Mr. Bradley, I am thanking our Sovereign God for allowing me to read your article which has served as confirmation in my thinking.    MLM

  •  Neil Evans's picture
    Neil Evans
    Posted: Sat, 11/05/2016 03:44 pm

    To either actively or passively (vote 3rd party or not vote) participate in this election only contributes to the liberal progressive agendas of abortion and all the attendant opposition to Biblical values; and only hastens the day when Biblical Christians will be legislated out of the political process.  Thinking that a protest vote (or non-vote) will send a message is very nieve.  The are not listening to the people.  They expect the people to listen to them.

  • infohighwy
    Posted: Sat, 11/05/2016 04:17 pm

    I have a close relative overseas, and when I was stressed out about the whole political season, he did not make anything better by stating the obvious: "we will always get the government we choose, and not voiting is always a choice, one that may not be what we wanted." Somehow that did not give me the warm fuzzy I was looking for, because I felt we deserved better, but because of rampant apathy and ignorance, we will actually end up with the government we choose by our actions or inactions. (As a citizen, he has voted in this election to set a good example for me.)

    I think the Bible is full of examples where God allowed people to be the victims of their own corruption, ignorance, and self-love. Imagine the taunting and ridicule that Noah had to put up with for many years as he carried out God's commands! History has a way of repeating itself, especially when lessons of the past are forgotten, which has also happened many times in the Bible.

    I voted because to me it's all about the Supreme Court. Without God-fearing men and women on the Supreme court, we're a country that may never see it's 300th birthday in one piece. I won't be around then, but many of you young people may be, and I want you to glorify God as you view the 300 candles on that celebration cake in 2076. The ballot box, as imperfect as it may be, is the only way to get there in one piece outside of the incredible power of prayer and revival. The Church should not be sleeping as Rome burns and Nero fiddles!

  • Carleton
    Posted: Sat, 11/05/2016 04:35 pm

    Dietrich Bonhoeffer said it best, 'Silence in the face of evil is itself evil; God will not hold us guiltless. Not to speak, not to act, is to act.

  • MTJanet
    Posted: Sun, 11/06/2016 12:24 pm

    Thank you.  That is exactly what I was looking for - a concise description of what we will get if we remain silent i.e. do not vote.  

  • jorgy
    Posted: Sat, 11/05/2016 04:58 pm

    I disagree that Christians have the option of not voting. God is omnipitent and fully in control. In the past he has used corrupt, sinful people to be leaders in order to carry out His plan for His creation. David would be an example. In our democratic republic the leader is chosen by our votes, so by not voting we are chosing to not be God's instrument in chosing our next president. We must pray for submission to God's spirit in us to vote for the person of His choice, and we must vote.

  • Kimon Nicolaides III's picture
    Kimon Nicolaides III
    Posted: Sat, 11/05/2016 05:22 pm

    I am profoundly disappointed that world magazine would give lip service to such an unbiblical perspective. The only reason the Bible does not command believers to fully participate in the Democratic process is because those to whom it was initially written had no such options, paid for by the way with the blood of an innumerable host since then.

    It is also extremely dissapointing to read that they would encourage believers to passively accept whatever may be the outcome of the electoral process when there is such a very clear and radically different choice between the only currenly likely candidates for good or for evil. If they cannot see that it can only be due to a blindness incurred from a very highly excessive degree of self righteousness. I am not nearly as concerned about the crudity of a potential leaders language as I am with the defilement of our land with the blood of millions of innocent children. Anyone who does get out of bed and go to the polls and vote for Trump on Tuesday will have it on their hands.

  • infohighwy
    Posted: Sat, 11/05/2016 05:40 pm

    I see you updated your last sentence in a subsequent post. Thanks!

  • Kimon Nicolaides III's picture
    Kimon Nicolaides III
    Posted: Sat, 11/05/2016 05:36 pm

    I am profoundly disappointed that World Magazine would give lip service to such an unbiblical perspective. The only reason the Bible does not command believers to fully particiapte the democratic process is because those to whom it was initially written had no such options available to them at the time, which has since been bought at the extravagantly high cost of the blood of an innumerable host.

    I am also extremely disappointed that they would encourage its readership to passively accept whatever may be the outcome of this electoral process when there is available to them such a very clear and radically different choice between the only likely candidates either for good of for evil. I can only imagine their blindness on this issue is due to an excessively high degree of self righteousness. I am not nearly so concerned about the crudity of our elected leaders choice of language as I am with the defilement of our land with the blood of millions of unborn innocents. Those who choose to sit back this season will have it on their hands.

  • infohighwy
    Posted: Sat, 11/05/2016 06:13 pm

    I sure hope that their official recommendation is NOT to NOT vote (sorry for the double negative!). As I mentioned on an earlier post about Franklin Graham's appearance on Fox News this morning, where he said that Paul used his Roman citizenship as a means to come before Caesar, I would hope that World, if they were advising Paul, would not discourage his appeal to Caesar because we all know that Caesar is one of the most evil people who ever lived, and Paul should have nothing to do with him. Caesar was actually caught on video tape dissing Christians, women and Jews, after all, and is a hugely evil person, of course. But apparently, Paul, if he got that advice, did not heed it as the Bible clearly demonstrates. Paul probably did not vote for Caesar, not that he had the chance, but at Jesus’ command, did at least “render to him.”

    Let's just hope this is an anomaly and that World is not selling out to the progressives. We can always pray, after all, that such is not the case, for Biblical journalism is becoming something of a rarity in this country these days! I cannot think of one election in my lifetime where there was not something negative about each candidate. Even the best of Biblical publications can err once in a while. Let’s just hope and pray this is not a trend!

  • Nick Stuart's picture
    Nick Stuart
    Posted: Sat, 11/05/2016 07:13 pm

    Don't vote? Then don't complain.

  • Bill Taylor
    Posted: Sat, 11/05/2016 08:52 pm

    "Third-Party Delusion " http://www.scragged.com/articles/the-third-party-delusion points out that if they're on the ballot or people do not vote, this will split the conservative vote even more. The Democrats won't have to cheat as hard to to lie as much as they do now.

  • MT
    Posted: Sat, 11/05/2016 09:38 pm

    Before you sit out this election I recommend reading through the party platforms.  We aren't just voting for one individual - we're voting for  policies on abortion and marriage and religious rights and the future of our military,  as well as several thousand political appointees and the future of the Constitution through the Supreme Court nominees. 

  • infohighwy
    Posted: Sun, 11/06/2016 01:33 am

    Well stated!

  •  Brendan Bossard's picture
    Brendan Bossard
    Posted: Sat, 11/05/2016 10:07 pm

    To those who believe that anyone who does not vote for Trump has the blood of the aborted on their hands:  I understand and sympathize with your passion about the matter--as does every other Christian who does not plan to vote for Trump.  I would gladly have voted for any of the other Republicans who ran in the primaries, had one of them won.  If your conscience indicates that you must vote for Trump, then by all means do so!  My conscience simply does not permit me to vote for Trump at this time.  So you are demanding that I vote for Trump when I believe that God is telling me to do otherwise.  I am accountable to God, not you.  So please talk to God about it, instead of trying to brow-beat us with a borderline blood libel.

    To those who believe that staying home is an option:  I believe that you are free to do so, if your conscience allows you to do it.  I would ask that you consider the fact that the second and third branches of government are just as important as the presidency.  Staying home means that you cannot vote for other people who may be able to help to counter-balance whoever wins the presidency.

    To all:  each of us would do well to look in the mirror each morning and ask God to remove scales from his spiritual eyes.  I know that I can be blinded by bitterness.  I must not slander good public servants by lumping them in the same group with bad ones.  When I enter the booth, I must leave fear and anger behind.  When I exit the booth, I must leave it behind.  At all times, I must treat my neighbor with the highest regard due to a bearer of God's image.

  •  Deb O's picture
    Deb O
    Posted: Sat, 11/05/2016 10:51 pm

    Thank you, brother.  I love all who sought to comment and change minds in these controversial articles.  You have stretched and enlightened me.  

    In some of these comments, good people have acknowledged how God can work through an imperfect Trump.  Can He not work through whoever is in office to direct providence as He so chooses?  Was He actively directing His sovereign will through the Bush years and yet sat passively silent during the last eight?  No.  So if Trump or Clinton emerges victorious on Wednesday, God's will is not thwarted.  And we will pray for whoever is in office (possibly more than ever before) that God's will be done.

  •  Brendan Bossard's picture
    Brendan Bossard
    Posted: Sun, 11/06/2016 02:12 pm

    Thank you, Deb O.  It's been hard.  I'll be glad when Wednesday morning rolls around.  Lawsuits may abound if it is a close election, but at least we will have done our duty.

  • D J Duran
    Posted: Mon, 11/07/2016 09:00 am

    Thank you, Brendan. I wish more Christians would read Romans 14, because I feel myself in the place of the "weaker brother" who would violate conscience by voting for either of them. (To me, the options feel like Sauron versus Saruman!) Just because some feel no hindrance in their conscience to vote for Trump does not mean they should tear down their brothers and sisters in Christ who do.

    But of course I'm getting out to vote the rest of the ticket. The other races are also important.

  • Eileen's picture
    Eileen
    Posted: Mon, 11/07/2016 09:59 pm

    Thanks so much, Brendan, for your many very good comments and responses here.  They have been very insightful and helpful to me.

  •  HeJets's picture
    HeJets
    Posted: Sun, 11/06/2016 08:35 am

    My goodness. We are where we precisely BECAUSE of our passiveness. Standing on the sidelines for generations, we have watched our government grow to the enormous, corrupt beast that it is today. History won't remember a patriot who "sits it out."

  • infohighwy
    Posted: Sun, 11/06/2016 02:13 pm

    Good reminder! Every Independence Day (July 4) I always try and pause and actually reflect on those who gave up a comfortable life with all its trappings in those early days of this country to create this nation that allows me to be more free than 99.9% of all humans who have ever lived on Earth (my best guess, at least). It is wholly sad but true that humans take freedom for granted until they lose it, and as we saw in the 20th century, there was much freedom that was lost, and some of it regained by huge worldwide wars. Has anyone besides me thought how weird it was to have not one, but TWO world wars in the same century? How could people be so forgetful so soon? So many have died so that I can vote in a system we all know is imperfect. But as Winston Churchill so eloquently said, Democracy is the worst form of government, except for all the others that have been tried. That is why I choose to vote. Because, thankfully, I can.

  • infohighwy
    Posted: Sun, 11/06/2016 02:20 pm

    So many have been standing on the sidelines for so long that we now have a country where people choose (and have the freedom) to sit on the sidelines during the national anthem. The one thing about freedom that I'm 100% sure of, and that it's not free!

  • BR
    Posted: Sun, 11/06/2016 06:17 pm

    I am disappointed, and sad, and somewhat in disbelief at this column. God has placed us at this time, in this country, and as citizens of this country we do have an obligation to vote. Would you say that because we are citizens of heaven we are not obligated to show up for jury duty? But only to pray for our magistrates and pay taxes? Many others have said much more eloquent things that I agree with. For instance, our duty to defend the weak, the innocent, to seek justice and righteousness. 

    So sorry World magazine, but I believe you got this one wrong. 

  •  HeJets's picture
    HeJets
    Posted: Mon, 11/07/2016 12:00 am

    If a persons position is that no candidate is, I dunno, noble or worthy or holy enough(?), what happens the day after the election? One could argue that, now that one of the heathens IS in the White House, a non-voter would/should continue to obstain from participating in US citizenship under the same, continuing principles.

    All the while, claiming Christ as the reason. And JUST LIKE TODAY, terrorist nations and our other enemies are unafraid, unabated and emboldened as they carry out their tasks against us and believers and unbelievers, alike, around the world. It will be those who abstain and rejected being that "light on a hill" who will ask with the rest of the world, "How did we get here? How did things get so bad?" The patriots out on the field will point to the sidelines.

  • Just Me 999
    Posted: Mon, 11/07/2016 07:08 am

    I am very disappointed in World with this election.

    First, Olasky's article on Trump should have been more balanced instead of putting the only focus on Trump. Yes, he has many issues, but he is not an abortionist, a pro homosexual, crooked politician. How could ANY moral human being be in favor of partial birth abortion? To say that you could not recommend him when you didn't consider the alternative was quite disheartening. 

    Second, the article titled "Controversy overshadows Trump debate performance" only seized on the media circus made point about "his refusal to accept the election results." Again, I'm not pro-Trump, but this is hardly what he said - nowhere in the article did you try to consider this but instead seized on the Rupert Murdoch style article title.

    Third, this article. How is abstention even a serious choice? Yes we have pitiful choices, but they are hardly in the same league. To vote for someone other than a viable candidate means that you indirectly support the selection of Hillary as leader of the land. We all know the natural end to this - this isn't even that hard a decision.

    Vote against Hillary by voting for Trump. We must defeat evil - how could anyone stand on nationwide TV and say that partial birth abortion is the mothers choice when that baby is just seconds away from birth! Don't waste your vote on making a useless point - vote AGAINST evil.

  •  Brendan Bossard's picture
    Brendan Bossard
    Posted: Mon, 11/07/2016 07:25 am

    Some of us believe that Clinton and Trump are moral equals, each manifesting his immorality differently.  Therefore, if Clinton is evil, Trump is evil--just a different kind.  But, truly, if either one of them is evil, what do we call ISIS?  Beyond evil?  I believe that we should avoid this type of inflated rhetoric.

  • Just Me 999
    Posted: Mon, 11/07/2016 08:16 am

    Brendan Bossard - how can you say both are evil when one has stated on national TV her stand on partial birth abortion and Trump states he is against it? How can anything be so clear? I am not a trump fan at all - but we are asked to vote our conscience. Remember that how we deal with the widow, the orphan and the poor is the hallmark of a Christian. 

  • Just Me 999
    Posted: Mon, 11/07/2016 08:32 am

    Brendan Bossard - don't you think everyone should have the ability to make a comment without their opinion being labeled as "inflated rhetoric?"

  •  Brendan Bossard's picture
    Brendan Bossard
    Posted: Mon, 11/07/2016 02:38 pm

    I did not intend to slap you down or insult you by calling your assertion that Clinton is evil, inflated rhetoric.  I was merely trying to make a point:  when we call people like Clinton evil, we dilute the meaning of the term to the extent that it becomes meaningless when applied to people like Dr. Kermit Gosnell.  Gosnell is evil.  He performed partial-birth abortions and placed failures on gurneys for them to die.  His actions show that he has that emptiness of soul that we can truly call evil.  When Clinton shows that she can actually witness a partial-birth abortion without barfing in a bucket and crying out for it to stop, then allow it to happen by the multitudes, then we can truly place her in the same category.

    As for comparing her with Trump, I believe that we are weighing them with unequal scales if we say that Trump is morally better than she.  His immorality appears different, but weighs the same.  It is like comparing loads of firewood and granite.  An inexperienced eye says that a full truckload of firewood is much heavier than a half-truckload of granite.  Experience shows that the truck can handle the firewood, no problem--but the half-truckload of granite would kill its suspension.  Please do not be fooled by appearances.  Trump has proven that he will say anything that will buy him votes.

    So if you feel morally compelled to vote for Trump, please do so.  I understand that, and I believe that God does, too.  After all, He presented us with this choice.  However, please do not enter that voting booth thinking that you are voting for a better candidate, because you are not.

  • Just Me 999
    Posted: Mon, 11/07/2016 05:12 pm

    Okay

  • Keith L
    Posted: Mon, 11/07/2016 07:50 am

    A low Christian turnout could help the Democrats gain control of the Senate.  That would make things worse.  Christians need to vote.

  • DB's picture
    DB
    Posted: Mon, 11/07/2016 10:26 am

    A very refreshing article. It's horrible to feel under pressure from anyone to vote.  Thank you Anthony Bradley!!

  • Joseph Van Carmichael's picture
    Joseph Van Carmichael
    Posted: Mon, 11/07/2016 11:41 am

    Bradley and Moore have become "two problematic" loudmouths and though I previously would have practically called them heroic, I think they are totally wimping out when it comes to this election. And they may perhaps be seeking to bind consciences themselves.

  •  Brendan Bossard's picture
    Brendan Bossard
    Posted: Mon, 11/07/2016 02:54 pm

    Was Jeremiah being a "loudmouth" and "wimping out" when he told Zedekiah and the inhabitants of Jerusalem to surrender to Babylon?  How did his Judaean brethren treat him after he said this?  How were they treated after they disregarded his advice?

    While Bradley and Moore are not telling us to surrender to a foreign invader, they are certainly trying to speak from the Word of God.  How have they suddenly become anti-heroic in your eyes simply because they do not tickle your fancy?

  • standforTRUTH
    Posted: Mon, 11/07/2016 12:24 pm

    "I solemnly charge you in the presence of God and of Christ Jesus, who is to judge the living and the dead, and by His appearing and His kingdom:  preach the word, be ready in season and out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort, with great patience and instruction. For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but wanting to have their ears tickled, they wil accumulate for themselves teachers in accordance to their own desires; and will turn away their ears from the truth, and will turn aside to myths."2 Timothy 4:1-4

    I believe that time has come.  I would also pose a challenging question here to those who call themselves "Christian": Have we become like those  Paul warned Timothy about? "...holding to a form of godliness, although they have denied its power.."2 Timothy 3:5

    i submit to you, that if you enjoy the freedom you currently have to choose to abstain from participating in this process; don't give in to those who want to take the pressure off and give you a pass to sit on your hands.  This is a spiritual battle and we need all hands on deck!  Vote for the platform behind the candidate that supports Biblical principles.  Choose life.  It is precisely because Christians have been lazy and not actively taken a stand to influence the culture around them that we find ourselves in this mess.  Don't be distracted.Pray!! Then go exercise your freedom by voting for the candidate who has a Biblical platform that could actually win.  May God extend His mercy to this country!

  • BA
    Posted: Mon, 11/07/2016 01:19 pm

    I respectfully disagree.  When you have a candidate supporting the murder of the unborn so fiercely Christians must take a stand against such a person.  When she wants to limit our 1st Amendment rights and possibly take away our 2nd Amendment rights we must take a stand against her.  When she states our freedom of religion is "freedom to worship privately", we must take a stand against her.  When Christians know the next president will choose at least 2 judges for the Supreme Court we have a duty to try and get a candidate elected to the Presidency that is in line with conservative choices.  When Christians take the easy way out and say "I just won't vote this year" they are voting and the liberals are counting on it.  We must take a stand against the "above the law" attitude.  There is never going to be a leader until the return of the Lord Jesus Christ that Christians can completely follow or agree with.

    Respectfully, B. Adams

  • Gregory P
    Posted: Mon, 11/07/2016 02:41 pm

    A major problem in the major media is promoting the idea that the choice is only between two candiates for President.  People in many states have other choices.  There may be 100 million people of voting age who are self professed Christians in this country (probably more professing, and fewer actually believing in Christ alone as Savior and Lord for their salvation).  Nevertheless if half those people voted for another candidate that stood for the values on which this country was founded, that person would have a good chance of winning.  See http://faithtrumpsfear.com for other choices for President, some listed on the ballot in some states and available for write in others.  

  • Marilyn Jean
    Posted: Mon, 11/07/2016 05:11 pm

    Excuse me, but this point of view negates all of Christ's commands to be engaged - to be salt and light.  We know that God is Sovereign, but he uses His people to reflect His light and glory.  How can sticking our head in the sand glorify Him?  God has handed us choices, and if we hide in our self-righteous indignation, how can we be an influence on our culture?  The future of our religious freedoms and the Supreme Court Justices to be chosen should make every Christian desirious to be part of the decision on who we chose for President.

  • Allen Johnson
    Posted: Mon, 11/07/2016 08:20 pm

    "I conclude before my God that worldly power is not needed in the Kingdom of Christ."
    (Pilgram Marpeck, 1532, Strasbourg)

    Christians of the first two centuries refused to participate in many government functions including the military and magistrate offices, that is, anything that bore a sword.
    Jesus refused Satan's offer of the power of ALL worldly kingdoms.

    I should also note that many conservative anabaptist churches do not vote.

     

  •  Brendan Bossard's picture
    Brendan Bossard
    Posted: Tue, 11/08/2016 01:52 pm

    Can you refer me to a good book or article on this topic?  I am skeptical that Christians did not participate in governmental functions.

  •  Paul B. Taylor's picture
    Paul B. Taylor
    Posted: Tue, 11/08/2016 12:20 pm

    The problem for Christians is that we have to choose the lesser of two evils.   Hillary is apparently guilty of criminal activity when considering the email/server scandle.  Mr. Trump has shown very questionnable character flaws, yet he is still conservative and will, I believe, show brilliance in the work of turning back the tide of socialism brought upon us by President Obama.  This is problematic because many Christians will abstain from voting and that might lead to the election of Mrs. Clinton.  Her presidency could start a tidal wave of socialism that will result in what may be close to a completely state run economy.  My fear, thus, when pondering the future with Hillary is that persecution of Christians will start in full force, especially if she is in the Oval Office for two terms.  This makes voting for Trump an absolute necessity.  Conservative evangelicals have to wake up to the terrible danger we will face with a Clinton presidency.  What frightens me more is something that was demonstrated in the Democratic National Convention when Hillary was speaking about political issues as though she would be a proxy president for Mr. Sanders, and he is a real socialist who wanted to bring upon us a "political revolution."  That means that Mrs. Clinton will do the same, following the Sander's boast to make an America with a socialist economy.  If Christians stay away from the voting booths, we will unleash the devil as those will be votes lost from Trump's candidacy, making Hillary the one who will give an inauguration speech which will spell out our doom.   My conclusion is that we must vote for Mr. Trump or face the possible destruction of liberty in our lost Democracy.  If we want to keep a free and properous America, we cannot afford to elect Mrs. Clinton.  Christians must vote or face the possible end of freedom and the beginning of a war of independence from a government that seeks to destroy the Word of God. 

  • KK
    Posted: Tue, 11/08/2016 01:23 pm

    I would suggest that Christians vote for a platform, instead of a person. This would allow you to exercise your FREEDOM to vote. Abstentia could possibly allow a candidate into office that believes contrary to your moral beliefs and supports policies that are un-Biblial. I am not a Christian because of my pastor or any other Christian. I am a Christian because I love God and want to serve Him. My position as a Christian started at salvation, but I live out the life of a Christian because of Christ, not the personality of any man. Let's think clearly at this important time in our country. Vote Biblically.

  •  phillipW's picture
    phillipW
    Posted: Tue, 11/08/2016 02:58 pm

    Or you could vote for Darrell Castle from the Constitution Party.  Morally sound from a Christian perspective in my mind.  I love what the Constitution Party stands for as well.

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