The Bible distinguishes knowledge and wisdom. Knowledge is the ideas taught in Scripture either by direct statement or by implication. Wisdom, on the other hand, is the correct application of knowledge to the particular men and circumstances that we encounter in our lives.
As a way of getting them to apply their knowledge, John Robbins sometimes would tell people they needed to decide what is more important, what is less important, and what is not important at all. This approach can be a helpful way for Christians to think through a host of different issues, including the decision how to vote in elections.
And given the stakes inherent in any presidential election, maybe especially this election, it is important for Christians to have a Biblical framework for evaluating the candidates.
For my part, I have struggled with the election more than any other. There are numerous reason why I would never consider voting for Hillary Clinton. Some of them I have outlined below.
On the other hand, the thought of voting for Trump presents challenges as well.
One Christian writer, put off as he is by the release of a video with Trump making lewd sexual remarks, has equated support for Trump with idolatry and a decision that harms our witness for Christ, “Enthusiasm for a candidate like Trump gives our neighbors ample reason to doubt that we believe Jesus is Lord” (Andy Crouch, Speak Truth to Trump).
Over at World, Marvin Olasky penned Unfit for power, an editorial calling for Trump to step aside as Republican nominee.
One suspects that the arguments put forth by both these writers reflect the thoughts of many Christians. And it is not hard to understand their agreement with Crouch and Olasky.
My view is different. As I shall argue, I believe both these gentlemen miss the mark with their commentaries. Given the circumstances, In my opinion a vote for Trump, rather than being idolatry, may very well be an act of good judgment.
Concerning the call for Trump to step down, it’s worth asking whether there have been any calls from World for Mrs. Clinton to step aside for her many, blatant and serious crimes, not to mention several other significant problems that make her unfit for office.
Before presenting my argument, there are a few points I would like to make.
First, what I say in this post is an opinion. I do not offer it up as a necessary deduction from Scripture. I do not claim it as knowledge. As one who’s spent more than a year struggling with what to think about Trump, and to some extent avoiding commentary on the subject, I can appreciate Crouch’s and Olasky’s concerns and do not doubt their good intentions.
Further, there are many good brothers and sisters in Christ who, as a matter of conscience believe they cannot vote for Trump. This post is not aimed at them. If someone believes voting for Trump is wrong, he should by no means go against his conscious. To do so would be sin.
Third, I acknowledge my own biases, sinfulness and ignorance and realize that all of these shortcomings color any analysis that I do. A Hillary Clinton administration will be, in my view, a heavy burden upon the American people. Perhaps my own intense dislike for her has unfairly colored by assessment of Trump. In light of this, it is possible that I am wrong and those who oppose a Trump presidency are right. That I will leave for others to decide.
Fourth, I write what I do in good faith in the hope that the body of Christ may find it edifying. It is not my intention to castigate those who come to conclusions that are at odds with mine. And if I’ve made errors in my reasoning, perhaps at least some of what I’ve set forth will stimulate thought concerning the election choice facing the nation.