To vote for President or not (2)

30 07 2016

As I pondered who I should vote for come November, I was struck with the number of compromises of character and morality I would have to condone to vote for either Clinton or Trump. As much as I value the right to cast my vote for the Presidency, and as much as I dislike withholding it, I began to wonder if exercising the right to vote outweighs my troubled soul.

Voting is one important way of influencing my country – one way I have been given a voice. But it is not my only voice. I can write and express my opinion and, in this one contest, my words will take the place of my vote. Here is why: Americans have chosen two Presidential candidates that are so raunchy that my commitment to Jesus Christ leads me to vocally reject them both. In what I “know” of their personal character and certain of their issues, both candidates are so out of sync with the eternal kingdom values I embrace, that I conclude it is better to not support either of them.

I am deeply thankful to be an American citizen. Both my parents defended its freedom in WW2. My U.S. passport has opened doors of opportunity in several countries. So I truly wish that our citizenry had chosen at least one candidate worthy of American virtues.isa 41.10

In this series of protestations, I head toward the question, “What Would Jesus Do?” My belief is that He would abstain from the Presidential vote. As I  aim toward articulating an answer, I am reviewing some of the writings of those whom Jesus looked to, and built upon.

isaiahConsider Isaiah. Prophets like Isaiah were not called to be popular. Isaiah, if living today, might have 16 Facebook friends beefed up with 7 Twitter followers. Prophets received biting revelations from God, expressing how disappointed and downright angry God was at His people Israel. Prophets castigated God’s people for idolatry, intermarriage, adultery, sabbath-breaking, and taking better care of their homes than God’s worship center.

America would not receive a rebuke from God if it suddenly appeared on every computer monitor and TV screen. Evangelicals either. Just look at the way brothers and sisters are compromising character to support the lesser of two evils.

For this post, I’ve chosen some of the kindest words out of Isaiah’s mouth (Isa. 40:15,23-24). I like the positive perspective they give us at this time:

Behold, the nations are as a drop in a bucket, and are counted as the small dust on the scales;

He brings the princes to nothing; He makes the judges of the earth useless. Scarcely shall they be planted, scarcely shall they be sown, scarcely shall their stock take root in the earth, When He will also blow on them, and they will wither, and the whirlwind will take them away like stubble.

To my fellow believers who are all in a lather about this election, I remind you isa 43.2that America is not promised perpetual greatness. The effect of a Presidency is short-lived against the swirling winds of centuries. We who have joined the eternal kingdom are strangers passing through this place. God will still be God when the next century has come and gone.

When our national citizenship asks us to compromise our Kingdom citizenship, we had better have our wits about us.

Stay tuned. John the Baptist is in the on-deck circle!

Photo credits: (Isa 43.2) nyupperroom.blogspot; (portrait) oca.org

Leave me a comment won’t you. What are your thoughts?

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18 responses

20 09 2016
#WWJD. Abstain! (3) John the Baptist | Robert E Rasmussen.com

[…] prior thoughts on Moses and Isaiah. Next up is […]

5 08 2016
Robert Rasmussen

Andy, I see you wrestling with the utilitarian side of this — not wanting to waste your vote. Yet you also have a problem in your conscience with voting for a 3rd party candidate who supports social issues you disagree with. Your heart is in the right place, and I don’t think you can go wrong with that. We can rest in the sovereignty of God to accomplish His purposes for the USA and the world. Isa 40. He raises up leaders and takes them out.

5 08 2016
Robert Rasmussen

Hey Cat, I think you have articulated something important. As confused as this election is, one positive is that these conversations are exposing the difference between the kingdom of God and the citizenship of this great country, the USA. In the discussions I’m tracking, many believers seem to be waking up to the fact that we need to examine, each of us, where our allegiance and dependence lies. Good word!

5 08 2016
Robert Rasmussen

Hi Peppi. Well, I am glad that you have been encouraged and your thinking clarified. It’s a process for sure. Thanks for such a nice comment. Your heart is in the right place, and God looks on the heart — even more than whether or not we make the right choice. Also I am encouraged to hear of your heart for the nations; God is up to something big as He moves people around this globe. Not sure if you went over to our ministry website, which is http://www.nearfrontiers.org. Have a great day.

4 08 2016
Peppi Garrett

I am one in that number of people also, to the detriment of my popularity with many of my conservative brothers and sisters. I cannot align myself with Trump right now, and voting for Hillary is out of the question. Your articles will really help me articulate my reasons why I cannot side with either, to those who think I’m “spitting on the graves of every veteran who fought for my right to vote.” Yes, that’s what I was told by a fellow church member.

I discovered you when you followed me on Twitter tonight. Thank you for that follow, because for the past hour and a half I’ve been reading your tweets, FB posts and blogs. not to stalk you, but because I so desperately needed to hear that as a Christian, it’s okay NOT to vote. Not only that, but my convictions about why I just couldn’t choose a worthy candidate have been validated tonight. I continue to pray that God would do something drastic to change the course of this election by working in the hearts of His people. That’s where it has to begin. Thanks so much!

P.S. I was also interested in your ministry, as God has really turned my heart to the nations He’s bringing here to the US. That in itself was a huge miracle, because this heart was once very fearful, and in that fear I did, and said, some things that were very unbecoming to a child of God. Praise God He got my attention. I pray many more of His children’s eyes, ears and hearts are opened soon to God’s heart for the nations. I am a Christian comedian. Challenging congregations to live life on mission, and reaching the nations here in America, is one of the messages I give at the end of my shows (depending on the audience). It’s not a popular message, especially among conservative, southern churches, but God uses the comedy to tear down walls, so audiences are more receptive to the message.

4 08 2016
Cat P

I have been thinking that evangelicals have married the Republican party and we are being shown in this election how foolish that is. We would elect a fool as President! We are taking polotical matters into our own hands, using our own strength. If, instead, we choose to vote for a man or woman of character and principals then the rest belongs to God. It’s not about winning. It’s about doing the right thing. Salvation then belongs to our God. We trust Him to deliver us while we go on about our business serving the needs of those in our communities. Let God be the deliverer – as if Trump or Clinton could do so. It’s not our political power; it’s our prayer power and principles that are important.

4 08 2016
Andy Sodestrom

Thanks for your thoughts Bob. I truly wish that the idea if a 3rd or 4th party candidate wasn’t so easily ignored or dismissed. I am in full agreement with your choice to not vote for either the DNC or RNC candidate. I can’t vote for them either. May I suggest that a vote for a 3rd party is a vote for change in the current system that produces such troublesome choices? I have looked carefully at Gary Johnson and even though I can’t fully buy into his social agenda he comes across as a reasonable decent adult. Perhaps a “non vote” could be better used as a vote for a challenge to the current broken system. If everyone who is dissatisfied with the major candidates would reject both, the numbers say we could have real change.

2 08 2016
Robert Rasmussen

Indeed!

2 08 2016
Robert Rasmussen

Good to see you are voting for someone named “Thump”; got a laugh out of that.

1 08 2016
Debi

So glad you and Skip reconnected. He needs all the Christian friends he can get. Living in SF is difficult as a believer.

1 08 2016
Susan peterson

I agree with Scott not thrilled about either candidate but by voting for thump we don’t give a vote to Hillary who is a lier and does not valve human life by not voting we just give our vote to Hillary and by not voting we can’t complain who becomes president and I really hope trump wins in the end maybe he is what this country needs for now!

1 08 2016
Bob ie Robert

Thanks for your comment Scott. The Republican primary process clearly showed the deep frustration of Americans with status quo politics, such that an extreme outsider Trump survived. Many watched in disbelief as he emerged as the R candidate. The achilles heal of our democracy is the freedom of the people to overreact and bring about very unpredictable change. May God’s grace be evident in coming years!

1 08 2016
Bob

Hi Debi, it has been good to see you on FB a lot over recent months, after so many years of being “away.” I even connect with Skip there. Thanks for your thoughts. My purpose is not to convince people to abstain, but to see this election cycle as a season to reflect on our kingdom citizenship in an increasingly ungodly culture. Let me hear from you again before long.

1 08 2016
Bob

Thanks Kathleen for your input. I have really been encouraged to see the number of people like yourself who are really seeking out God’s heart at this time in our country!

1 08 2016
Scott M.

I’m not thrilled about either one…. So- this time…. It boils down to simply voting “against” a candidate. When I pull the lever for Donald – I will be VOTING AGAINST >> CROOKED HILLARY. All that stuff Trump promises – is background noise. Hillary and Obama had real time video of the events in Benghazi. They didn’t do a DAMN thing to send in help. For that alone she should NEVER be Commander in Chief. The email scandal is just another blow to her credibility. The Clinton Foundation should be fully audited…. Just Saying….

31 07 2016
Kathleen Stevens

Bob – love your thoughts and agree that neither candidate is worthy, but we are called to vote and have been given that right by living under our God given Constitution. There are places to write in people without having to vote for the two main candidates. I always hated those bracelets that were going around with WWJD – this seems like it gives a person the right to guess, not saying you do this, but ‘What Did Jesus Do’ seems more accurate, hence making people accountable to God’s Word.

31 07 2016
Debi Gick

I, too have been agonizing about this election. Your article helped me tremendously and has freedom me to NOT vote this election. I have been reading Isaiah these past few weeks and see America as a mirror image of Israel in their rebellion and refusing to follow God. All that to say, thank you

30 07 2016
What Would Jesus Do? Abstain! (1) | Robert E Rasmussen.com

[…] Is there hope? What do we do?  Stay tuned… next up is Isaiah … […]

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