Alan K. Simpson, former Senator from the State of Wyoming, once said, “If you have integrity, nothing else matters. If you don’t have integrity, nothing else matters.” As a former public servant he was referring to how those who are in power should conduct the public’s business. Sadly, it seems that integrity is in short supply in our nation’s capitol.
This shortage of integrity is seen prominently in the public arena of national politics and Christians are increasingly forced to decide between candidates where there is no clear moral choice. For the Christian who takes his convictions into the polling booth it can create a dilemma of conscience about which candidate to vote for.
In the last presidential election, several evangelical leaders were critical of Donald Trump’s supposed Christianity in light of several statements he made. Russell Moore was among them. He took some heat in his own denomination as a result of holding Donald Trump accountable for the things he said, and justly so.
Some thought he was unduly critical of those who supported Trump who was elected with the help of eighty-one percent of evangelicals. Moore clarified his position when he said, “There’s a massive difference between someone who enthusiastically excused immorality and someone who felt conflicted, weighed the options based on biblical convictions, and voted their conscience.”
This may be what the electoral landscape looks like for some time to come. Christians may find themselves conflicted on Election Day with the choices they have.
I believe it is a Christian citizen’s responsibility to be informed on the issues at stake in an election as best as he can, and then vote his convictions at the ballot box. I do not vote for personalities, I vote for those who I think will enact the policies that will best serve the citizens of our nation.
The evangelical voice was influential in this past election and has become a target. There will be those who curry the favor of evangelical voters and others who will try to silence it. As a voting block, evangelicals need to be wary of both possibilities. With the politics at stake and when power is secured by the popular vote many will resort to unscrupulous measures to win our votes.
I am concerned when I see those who are called to fulfill the Great Commission of Christ becoming overly involved in the political arena. We need not sell our spiritual birthright for a mess of political pottage.
We need to remember what Jesus told Pilate, “My kingdom is not of this world,” John 18:36. It was several years ago that Billy Graham commented on the state of things in America, and his words ring true still today. In an interview with Christianity Today, he said, “The central issues of our time aren’t economic or political or social, important as these are. The central issues of our time are moral and spiritual in nature.”
To that I say, Amen!
Gary B. King welcomes comments or questions and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Christian Concepts are archived at gbkcc.com.