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Mixing Faith and Politics

Updated on August 16, 2016

There are those whose faith permeates every aspect of their lives. For these people, evaluating the candidates based on their world-view is an essential aspect of the voting process. However, no consensus exists on what the right way to vote is, even among those who share the same faith. These variations in opinion concerning politics can be frustrating sometimes, especially for those who do not share what seems to be the main stream idea about what is correct. How can we know who is right on the matter? Should the majority-opinion dynamic win the day? Or is there something greater we can look to, to faithfully guide us in the decisions we make, including those in the political world?

Discussion Relevant to Topic begins at 6:30

The variety of political view points among Christians is perfectly demonstrated by the divide between those who are planning to vote for Donald Trump in the up-coming election, and those who are not. For example, one camp has stated that not only do we have to vote for Trump, but if we do not we would be sinning. The thought process behind this bold claim goes something like this:

  1. Hillary Clinton has very bad intentions for America, and is hostile to religious people and their values
  2. Because we know that she is so bad, we cannot vote for her.
  3. The only person capable of beating Mrs. Clinton is Donald Trump.
  4. Because only Trump can win, we must give him our support whether or not he is actually a good candidate for President.
  5. Now that we know that this is the right thing to do, if we do not do it, we are sinning.

Isaiah 41
Isaiah 41

Unfortunately, that thought process is very simplistic, and seems to be born purely out of fear of a Clinton presidency. It pays no attention to Trump's character at all. What would a Trump presidency actually be like? This is the thought process that lies behind the opposing opinion camp. Many Christians oppose him, not because they want a Hillary presidency, but because they see a President Trump as an equal threat to the freedoms we enjoy in America. Their thoughts echo sentiments such as:

  1. How can I support a man who has no scruples bribing politicians, but has the audacity to present himself as better and able to fix a system he helped corrupt?
  2. How can I support a man who supported extreme leftist policies up until he was pressured to say something different by potential supporters?
  3. How can I trust a man who lies and flip flops on positions as fast as the wind changes direction?
  4. How can I vote for someone who advocated commiting war crimes, says horrible things about women, condemns whole people groups as criminals, praises dictators, both persons and literary authors?
  5. How can I actively put my safety in the hands of a man who demonstrates poor understanding of national relationships?
  6. How can I trust a man to be a good leader who is vindictive, calls people names, and threatens to take away free speech?
  7. Another important question is whether or not we should exhibit blind loyalty to a party platform, or if we should be evaluating each candidate as individuals. After all, he may wear the letter R next to his name, but he will bring all of the habits that reflect his inner character with him into office.

This list could go on and on. It would seem to demonstrate that those who would oppose Trump have a very different idea of what the right thing to do is. How can one decide who is correct? Is one side sinning in their choices? Is there room for different interpretations of the right thing to do in this case?

  1. Is the Candidate a man of good character?
  2. Does he exhibit humility or pride?
  3. Does he love truth, or is he prone to lying?
  4. Does he boast of bribery?
  5. Is he kind or does he mock others?

So, is there a guiding light that Christians can look to for help in making political decisions? Can we know who to vote for when the Bible doesn't give us a prophetic list of who that person should be? It would be logical to conclude that, while the Bible doesn't give us specific names, we can still use the same principles that we use in our every day lives to evaluate the presidential candidates.

  • Is the candidate a man of good character? Galatians 5:22-23 "But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law." Does this person reflect these attributes, or does he reflect attributes more like these: Romans 3:13-18 "Their throat is an open grave; they use their tongues to deceive. The venom of asps is no their lips. Their mouth is full of curses and bitterness. Their feet are swift to shed blood; in their paths are ruin and misery, and the way of peace they have not known. There is no fear of God before their eyes."
  • Does he exhibit humility, or pride? Phillipians 2:3 "Do nothing from selfishness or empty conceit, but with humility of mind regard others as more important than yourselves;" Proverbs 16:18 "Pride goes before destruction, a haughty spirit before a fall."
  • Does he love the truth, or does he frequently lie? Exodus 18:20 "Furthermore, you shall select out of all the people able men who fear God, men of truth, those who hate dishonest gain; and you shall place these over them as leaders of thousands, of hundreds, of fifties and of tens"
  • Does he run his businesses honestly, or does he boast of bribery? Proverbs 29:4 "The king gives stability to the land by justice, But a man who takes bribes overthrows it."
  • Is he kind to others, or is he prone to mocking them? Proverbs 17:5 "Whoever mocks the poor insults his Maker; he who is glad at calamity will not go unpunished."

Do you think Trump will be a wise leader?

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It is likely wise for those who would like people to vote for Donald Trump based on the reasoning shared above to consider some more things. It seems as though this reasoning is based solely out of fear. There are even those who would like us to believe that Donald Trump is going to save us from destruction. Have these individuals considered the fate of the Israelites when they turned to Egypt for help instead of to God? Perhaps it would be a good idea to do that.

Isaiah 31:1-7 "Woe to those who go down to Egypt for help and rely on horses, who trust in chariots because they are many and in horsemen because they are very strong, but do not look to the Holy One of Israel or consult the Lord! And yet he is wise and brings disaster; he does not call back his words, but will arise against the house of the evildoers and against the helpers of those who work iniquity. The Egyptians are man, and not God, and their horses are flesh, and not spirit. When the Lord stretches out his hand, the helper will stumble, and he who is helped will fall, and they will all perish together. For thus the Lord said to me, “As a lion or a young lion growls over his prey, and when a band of shepherds is called out against him he is not terrified by their shouting or daunted at their noise, so the Lord of hosts will come down to fight on Mount Zion and on its hill. Like birds hovering, so the Lord of hosts will protect Jerusalem; he will protect and deliver it; he will spare and rescue it.” Turn to him from whom people have deeply revolted, O children of Israel. For in that day everyone shall cast away his idols of silver and his idols of gold, which your hands have sinfully made for you."

In the end, we are each going to have to decide on our own how we will conduct ourselves in the political world. As frustrating as it may be, these decisions are not easy, and not everyone is going to agree. There needs to be room for other people to decide to do things differently than we do. However, there are certainly guiding Scriptures and principles we can apply to this occasion. I would encourage everyone to do just that. Our nation depends on voters choosing wisely.


“Now more than ever before, the people are responsible for the character of their Congress. If that body be ignorant, reckless and corrupt, it is because the people tolerate ignorance, recklessness and corruption. If it be intelligent, brave and pure, it is because the people demand these high qualities to represent them in the national legislature … If the next centennial does not find us a great nation…it will be because those who represent the enterprise, the culture, and the morality of the nation do not aid in controlling the political forces.”
-James Garfield


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    • Dr CHE Sadaphal profile image

      CH Elijah Sadaphal 7 months ago from New York, NY

      Faith and politics are diametrically opposed. Faith seeks ultimate truth and compels believers to glorify God. Politics seeks to glorify man at the expense of the truth.

      The first political smear campaign was initiated by the serpent in the Garden of Eden. It ran on the platform that God was holding back on Adam and Eve and that they could do better. His first debate began with the question, "Did God really say ... ?" (Gen 3:1). The end result of that campaign was disastrous.

    • AshleyWright835 profile image

      AshleyWright835 7 months ago

      I am not sure that politics *must* seek to glorify man at the expense of the truth, but it certainly would appear to work that way in our fallen world.

      Still, we should seek to participate and vote in a way that would honor God.

    • FitnezzJim profile image

      FitnezzJim 7 months ago from Fredericksburg, Virginia

      In the video, I skipped to the part at 6:30. The part at 8:30 contains the gist of where, in my opinion, we need to be. I would add for consideration that both the 'world view' and the 'long view' need to be considered. It took a really long time to mess up American governance as badly as it has been messed up. It will also take a long time to correct it.

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