Trump and Voting
The problem with voting for any presidential candidate that has a chance of winning is encapsulated in the phrase “voting for the lesser evil.” Since when should a follower of Christ be supporting anyone who is evil? The kingdoms of this world belong to Satan and by their nature states are basically gangs of thieves writ large. Only the most ruthless of people can ascend to the top. Not only that, but the gang vets anyone who would be its leader, so the choice boils down to one of the candidates chosen by the gang. What therefore is the point of voting for a presidential candidate? The charade of voting only seeks to pacify the populace and for the Christian, at the least, it is nothing but a distraction from the work of the gospel, at worst, it is working to build the kingdom of the enemy of Christ. While Paul admonishes to pray for our rulers that we may live peaceably, he never advocates involvement in the affairs of Rome. It boils down to what kingdom do we belong to? What kingdom should we be building? The great struggle of history is not one of good vs. evil, but God’s kingdom vs. man’s/Satan’s. I could go on regarding the corruption of politics on the pro-life movement, etc., but don’t want to distract from the main message—God’s kingdom is not of this world, nor are we citizens of this world. Why should we be entangled in its affairs? Surely, this teaching is plainly taught by Paul. Mr. Wilson, I welcome your comments on this topic.
Scott, thanks for the input. Your position has a long legacy within Christianity, and you articulate it well. But you speak of the corruption of the pro-life movement. Given your premises, should there even be a pro-life movement?
I believe that you are assuming that Trump is not a godly man. Yet this president has shown every sign of having been converted to Christianity. He has restored the weekly Bible study to the White House, and meets frequently with pastors for prayer. He loves the nation of Israel, and is passing laws to protect the unborn [defunding the pure evil planned parenthood]. That’s good enough evidence for many Christians.
Karen, you are right in that I assuming Trump is still unconverted. But I also see conversation as a prospect and a possibility.
Interesting article. I believe you could have also stated that God knew the cancer had been in full attack prior to the 2016 election, and he said enough. My flawed man Donald J. Trump is my chosen vessel for righting the Ship of State. Without His intervention we would never have known the depth of corruption. The Plan, after all, was for Hillary to cover Obama’s tracks, her own, Comey, Brennan et al. But God changed that on November 8, 2016. Trump is making America great again and the recent coup attempt will result in a number of the “power players” ending up in the slammer. MAGA to 2024!!
Edward, thanks for sharing.
I had no qualms about voting for Trump. It’s just like I would have no qualms about killing an intruder trying to take my kids. Trump is not a good man but I don’t really expect a President to be so anymore. Trump’s a fighter and those Dems are crazy lunatics (trying to take my kids). The last election was the first one of my 17-year marriage that my husband and I voted for the same person. He usually votes some random Constitutional party or something but I am a realist and we live in an area where we feel the crazy most acutely. I begged him to see it my way for the sake of the Supreme Court at least. What an absolute mic drop to see my blue-ish state swing red in the middle of that fateful night. I was glad I worked hard to convince people to hold their noses and take their medicine. Self-preservation in 2016 and self-preservation in 2020. This is no time for conscientious objectors.
I think you are tracking well with my and others thoughts who voted for Trump. I mean, I know he’s ridiculous and it was a risk. He may very well have run left of what he was on the campaign trail. I was willing to take that risk because as we can all see now Hillary was/is the deep state (which is quite real). My conscience was and is clean with voting for him. Frankly, I think many evangelicals who rejected Trump have been going off the rails for a while concerning their understanding of being both a citizen of heaven and of this world (not including you of course). Trump is despicable in a certain way, but not like Hillary. There are times I shake my head and say “not again, Donald,” but you and I know that after two years of frequent juvenile tweets and maddening sound bytes he’s not just a bit better than Hillary, but vastly better than her. He is like the crazy uncle, but better that than a power-mad Hillary running the show. Next on my reading list The Case for Trump.
Ron, yes. And one of the things we must distinguish is voting as decision-making and voting as secular sacrament.
Let me say from the outset that I did not like Trump prior to voting for him, nor do I like him now. He is a louse who has had three wives, takes to his Twitter account at all times of the day and night and has orange hair—yuk! Plus, have you seen the gaudy decor in his NYC penthouse? I mean, really? Whew, now that I have established my Christian credibility, I can say what I want to. Which is this; do any of us agonize and pray for godly repentance from sin in this country nearly as much as we get worked up over who to vote for? Why must we constantly state our loathing of this man before we cheer for his governance? At some point, can’t we get over the need to polish our own reputations first and just go for it? I don’t need to tell you all how righteous I am before I tell you that I love Donald Trump more than any president in my lifetime. He is not my pastor (I’ve got a fantastic one, btw).
Melody, you have proven yourself fully.
On the chemo metaphor, who is the wise Doctor that is doing the drug administration and tailoring the chemo (DJT) to discriminate against the disease; and not the healthy parts of the body? Can this chemo be restrained/tailored if we authorize another 4 year dose?
Jess, for some time now I have looked at the Trump administration and wondered more what God is doing than what Trump is doing. I think that if we devised such a chemo plan, it would be reckless and ill-advised. But if God determined it, then at some point in the process I think we are responsible to see it and be grateful. So my thesis is that God is the doctor overseeing this gaudy grace.
My thoughts on Trump are perhaps best expressed by a quote from Erasmus about his sparring partner Luther: “God has sent in this latter age a violent physician on account of the magnitude of the existing disorders.”
Joseph, thank you.
Hansen’s book is excellent. If you want to know what the other side thinks, read this: The only true thing about this book is that IT is dangerous. God specializes in using unqualified people. Fortunately the Doctor who ordered the chemo is trustworthy, though it is still uncertain if the patient will survive.
Re: “I say this as I have come to the decision that—if things remain largely the same as they are now—I will be voting for the president.” Whew! I wrote last October about my decision to vote for President Trump in the next election (I too did not vote for him in 2016), and have been sweating ever since. Even though you had hinted you might be heading this way, it is uncomfortable stepping out from under the cover of your wise counsel, if even for a few months. I feel much better now. Thank you.
Bill, thanks for the compliment. But many of you have been ahead of me in figuring this out.
I’m having trouble parsing some of the nuances here. There are two issues that I think are at the core of my confusion. 1. Isn’t Chemotherapy the very definition of “the ends justify the means,” in that you ingest something toxic in order to have a positive outcome afterwards? 2. If “Character matters,” how is Trump qualified in any situation? Assuming the Democrats never nominate a pro-life candidate doesn’t this effectively mean that any Republican nominee will always be the lesser of two evils in comparison? And at what point is character disqualifying? Furthermore, what does nominating the right judges have to do with moral character? To invent a plausible hypothetical, if Trump were found to have encouraged a paramour to have an abortion, would that be disqualifying or would it not be so long as his nominees are all pro-fife?
Paul, I follow your questions. But the actual question is what does a vote mean? Does a vote for Trump mean “yes, I believe he is qualified, and as a magnificent specimen of a man,” or does it mean “I have solid warrant for believing this modestly good state of affairs will be continued”? If the former, we cannot lie at the ballot box. But if the latter, then we can vote on pragmatic grounds, and have our vote accompanied by our “signing statements.” And on whether chemo is the very definition of the “ends justifies the means,” think of it this way: an ungodly man nominating sane judges is what I mean by chemo, and an authoritarian round-up of liberal dissenters to put them in concentration camps would be an evil “ends justifying the means.”
If Kamala Harris wins, I would almost certainly vote for Trump, because Kamala condemns as hateful anyone who does not support transgenderism and abortion (and who is not pro-immigration,) and she dated a married man in the 1990s, and as far as I know has not repented of it, which takes away the question of personal morality. If a decent but misguided candidate such as Jay Inslee or Amy Klobuchar wins, I am unsure if I would vote for anyone. I am not convinced that Trump is really pro-life, let alone pro-marriage, and it is still possible that he will no longer care about it once he is elected to his last term. Also, Trump’s declaration in his state of the Union address that he supports mass immigration—as long as it’s legal—is a concern to me, even though that is not quite a black-and-white issue. The judges are worth considering, but would he appoint another Gorsuch or Kavanaugh if Breyer retired in 2021, and he no longer needed to worry about being reelected? We won’t know until it happens.
James, that is correct. We won’t know. And if we are double-crossed, it won’t be the first time!
It seems more likely that the presidential candidate choices presented to us in 2016—and those likely to be presented to us in 2020—is a judgment on the nation (although one that’s tempered with mercy, per your commentary). I haven’t yet sorted out what submitting to that judgment might look like at the ballot box in 2020. It could end up looking like voting for Trump, but if so, it will be in sackcloth and ashes, rather than with oil to make my face shine.
Blake, yes. Judgment tempered with mercy. Exactly.
I’ve been struggling with this same thing. Voted for my mother and continued to use the #NeverTrump for several months after his inauguration. That said, I have been pleased to have been proven wrong so far. Your assessment is helping me get over myself.
Re: Engaging The Culture: Hi. I was wondering if you are familiar with Brannon Howse. He is now claiming that John Macarthur has surrendered to Social Justice. Any thoughts?
Bruce, no, I don’t believe he has surrendered at all. But I do believe he has recently discovered how far advanced the rot is in his circles. We will see what happens.
More on Prophetic Language
Love this post. One note: MISS Grundy is a contemporary cartoon character; you meant to write MRS Grundy. Keep on.
Kenneth, thanks, and I stand corrected.
On Speaking Prophetically: I loved your explanation for why you described the Lutheran she-pastor unit as a c***. You were not merely digging in your heels; you were making a sound case for why Christians ought to exercise more boldness in their dealings with this insane culture “profligating” all around us. You remind me of a time I never experienced when preachers cared not one whit for what people thought of them but “preached it” anyway . . . and then took up arms to shoot the British. Or the Yankees. Or the Japs. But I have a question. On the one hand, this is a rousing good speech and worthy of emulation. On the other hand, what is a non-preacher (vocationally) like me to do when I use such language in my office building? I know good and well that speaking out against the approved insanity (even with softer, approved words) will get me fired or sent to HR-approved re-education camps, and that the livelihood of my wife and children will come to a screeching halt should I be so bold as you have exampled. I am inspired to add a little prophetic language to my daily conversations in the hopes that I can stave off the cultural cancer just a tad longer or even convince some to remove the scales from their eyes, yet I must admit to fear of the consequences. Advice?
Malachi, this is going to sound trite, but my answer is prayer and Bible study. The Bible has a template for saints in all kinds of situations. Some go in to prophesy to the king, like John the Baptist. They do it with their heads up, and then lose their heads. Others, like Obadiah in the time of Jezebel, work in Ahab’s court, and use their influence to hide and protect prophets of the Lord. It is not all prophesy all the time, and it is not all strong language all the time. Let your speech be gracious, Paul says, seasoned with salt.
Thank you, pastor, for thinking and expressing outside the box of nice to mean. May God continually use you to free the inhabitants of the many Christian thought ghettos.
Paul, thank you.
Re: nature of prophetic language. The satirical twitter account Titania McGrath is doing more to advance Christ’s cause than most Christians in the public eye. The progressive madness is such that there can be no dialogue, only mockery. Her recent crude tweet sums us up as society so appallingly well: “Heterosexual sex is repugnant unless it involves a female penis and a male vagina.”
Ben, yes. And when the reckoning finally comes, those who have bent themselves to accommodate the ridiculous will find themselves . . . ridiculous.
“‘Woe to you Pharisees, because you love the most important seats in the synagogues and respectful greetings in the marketplaces. Woe to you, because you are like unmarked graves, which people walk over without knowing it.’ One of the experts in the law answered him, ‘Teacher, when you say these things, you insult us also.’ Jesus replied, ‘And you experts in the law, woe to you, because you load people down with burdens they can hardly carry, and you yourselves will not lift one finger to help them’ (Luke 11:43-46). “‘Woe to you experts in the law, because you have taken away the key to knowledge. You yourselves have not entered, and you have hindered those who were entering.’ When Jesus went outside, the Pharisees and the teachers of the law began to oppose him fiercely and to besiege him with questions, waiting to catch him in something he might say” (Luke 11:52-54).
And so, Jesus swung “the battle axe of godly and crude expressions of truth.” And the Sanctimonious Slander Sorority, predictably, pitched a hissy fit.
Jason, thank you.
Very grateful for you, Pastor Doug. You have opened my eyes on this whole issue. What is better than a man of God clinging to God’s Word? Very grateful.
Regarding acting as though I see what is happening . . . As a chaplain in a correctional institution, I have developed selective hearing. I’ll hear more cursing outside my office door than in most R-rated movies for any similar length of time. For that matter, I’ll hear close to that in hushed conversations between inmates as they gather for chapel. I tend to ignore it unless it is pointedly addressed to me or it comes up in conversation, since sexual immorality and all sorts of other assorted immorality abounds among my “parishioners,” and I try to preach with that in mind. I guess one way to improve in this area is to lose the selective hearing when we gather to worship. I don’t want to be afraid to address sin, But I work in such a sin-saturated environment that I can’t deal with all of it, all the time. I was going to ask for more specific advice regarding seeing and saying, but I think I answered a bit of that for myself in writing. Thanks.
B, I think you did too. There is a difference between avoiding a difficult topic, on the one hand, and starting with the weightier matters, on the other.
Example of Cognitive Dissonance by Democrats: 1) “The minimum age for voting should be lowered to 16 because they are mature enough to vote.” 2) “The minimum age for owning a firearm should be raised to 21 because of the immaturity of those under 21.”
K, may I call you K? Yes, exactly.
Post Script on Vaccines
Before you read any further, we have vaccinated all our kids. I am decidedly in the vaccinate-your-kids camp. But what do you suppose accounts for the cult-like zeal for optional vaccinations such as the flu shot? I’m seeing the usual members of the PeeCee vanguard cheerleading on this, for example, camera-licious Justin Trudeau doing a flu-glam photo-op. Any time they all agree on something, it triggers me and sets my antennae twitching. And then I see bizarre contrasts like this one: Walgreens and CVS are giving away flu shots for free—and when does Big Pharma “give away” anything?—but when I recently had to renew my tetanus vaccination, they demanded my insurance card, photo ID, and $165 in Federal Reserve notes. I was all like, say wha . . .? Something weird’s afoot here. I just haven’t figured out exactly what it is. So what do you make of all this? Kind regards,
Steve, I just wish there was a vaccine against statist power grabs.