If neither candidate is a person of good character, would Jesus want us not to vote or to vote on policies rather than character?
- JimLv 74 years agoFavorite Answer
Peter Marshall, in his book “The Light and the Glory”, was responsible for reigniting the great passion and pride in America's Christian roots when it was published in the late 1970's. The book details Christopher Columbus' sense of calling for the spread of Christianity, the Pilgrims sense of mission to establish a Christian colony in coming to the new world, and the founder's sense of Providence in forming a new nation.
Perhaps one of the unintended consequences of this resurgence of interest in our Christian roots was the misunderstanding of the idea of America being a “Christian nation” as opposed to being a “nation of Christians”. The notion of a Christian nation implies some semblance of a theocracy where the political is to some degree wedded to the religious.
Without a doubt the early Puritans did try to establish a distinctly Christian social and political community. While such a notion sounds ideal in the early stages when everyone in the small community is a true blue believer, the problems come years later when the passion wanes and the growing presence of unbelievers makes the experiment untenable. The reason is that it is impossible to legislate true spiritual conversion, which accounts for the power to live in and sustain a true Christian community.
By the time America had gained its independence, the founders realized the practical need for the separation of church and state. The genius of this idea was that the “wheat and tares” could grow together without the “tares” choking out the “wheat” by corrupting the church. The church, for its part, could remain pure and the state could still maintain law and order without imposing religion upon the unwilling.
It was expected that a “nation of Christians” would be able to form a large enough consensus to legislate a Judeo-Chritian sense of morals into our laws without enforcing Christian doctrine. That is, as long as we were a nation of Christians. When that was no longer a reality, then all bets would be off.
We've reached that point now, and so the bets are off. Yet those who are still infatuated with the notion that we were founded as a “Christian nation” cannot seem to let go of it. To compound the problem, these folks also tend to conflate the OT political economy of Israel with the NT economy where the church has no mandate to exercise official authority over the state. I've talked to MANY people of this persuasion. The danger of this is that when our secular leaders do not conform to the OT standards for the theocracy of Israel, then these folks feel that they cannot support anyone, and thus drop out. And so now with so many good moral people on the sidelines, no longer participating in the process, the result is that the worst possible candidate always prevails. That is what gave us two terms of Obama. In the case of a "character vacuum", we should then vote for the best policies rather than abdicating to the worst possible outcome.
Good theology understands that the OT economy is separate from the New. Theocracy was the norm for God's people then, but is no longer the case in this age. The key to a resurgence of biblical moral values will come from the bottom up in this nation, and not the top down, as the church impacts society and culture and Christian citizens once again take their place in the ranks of our civil leaders and voters. But as long as we have a bad theological understanding of NT civil government and conflate it with OT expectations, then we will continue to have good people abandoning the process because they think they can support no one. And when that happens, we can only expect the worst possible results.
Getting your theology right matters . . . .
- 4 years ago
Neither. The question is a false dilemma.
Jesus would have us vote. But He would not have us vote "on policies" for a wicked candidate.
As citizens in a self-governing nation, it is the citizen's duty to participate in the selection of leaders and in all other, reasonable ways that citizens can participate in government.
The sense of Jewish law under which Jesus operated was that good Jews should pursue the best interests of the nation in which they find themselves, so long as they can do so in good conscience. The Christian Apostles agreed, and said so explicitly. One example occurs in Paul's first letter to Timothy, the second chapter, in which he calls for prayers for government leaders. Consequently, Christians in America should participate in government as well as they can. That means they should vote, among other things.
However, Christians represent the Kingdom of God, and stand for God's righteousness. To participate in corrupt government simply because there does not seem to be a choice is to shirk our responsibility to produce sound government. It is our responsibility to model righteousness in every way possible. That would include, in this instance, voting for candidates who represent decency and sound governance. So we cannot vote for wicked candidates.
Voting on "policies" is only one of many possible ways to assess the dilemma of bad candidates, and frankly, it constitutes a denial of vital truth. There is no separation between policy and character. The relevant truth is that bad men do not produce good policy. The character of a leader is what determines how that leader executes policy choices. If we really do believe that character matters, then voting for policy is nothing more than allowing oneself to be fooled by public relations claims, marketing slogans that will have no real bearing on the actual conduct of government. It's like choosing to eat at McDonald's because if we do, we'll be "lovin' it." We should be smarter than to permit ourselves to be taken in by marketing slogans.
Jesus would want us to embrace candidates of good character, and to invite as many people as possible to join us. By doing so, we would have the greatest possible impact for the Kingdom of God.
- CajunboyLv 74 years ago
Would you like to be the first to throw the first stone at them? . Or are you as willing as I am to admit that we each fall short of HIS GLORY? . Let me ask you this... What if one of the two candidates can really turn this country around? . What if the actions and hard work of the next candidate can point and refocus our country back towards God? . What if God sent one of these ppl. To serve Him in the office of POTUS? .
- 4 years ago
Why does Trump not have good character? Give me cited reasons. On the other hand we KNOW Hillary does not have good character.
One of Hillary Clinton's donors has been caught on a hidden camera saying that the Democrat Party, which he supports, is trying to eliminate all Blacks in America! It really is disgusting!
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- sylvia cLv 74 years ago
you vote for the one you feel would care more for the people and the country and then pray to give the candidate wisdom to rule your country well.
- AlyLv 64 years ago
Jesus did not get involved in politicos and would not want us to be putting so much hope and faith in our politicians
- ThemLv 74 years ago
Jesus doesn't exist - and if he did he wouldn't know Good Character if it walked up and kicked him in the butt.
Ever think before you parrot your FOX lie?