As I have previously written, the current outlook for the Presidential office is dismal. The two leading political parties in our nation elected two very left-of-center candidates to represent their constituents. The Democrats nominated a habitual law breaker who shows no regret for selling political favors or threatening national security, while the Republicans nominated a man who directly conflicts with their own platform and will inevitably drag it further left. If there has ever been a time to speak out against the establishment, it is now.
I have been increasingly outspoken against our current political situation, and my words have been met with many voices of disapproval. The controversy and disagreement over my words were of no surprise. After all, I am blatantly disavowing the political party that has historically anchored my own conservative agenda. What was surprising, though, was the group that voiced their disagreement the loudest – the group I am actually rooted in and shares my values and beliefs – were Christians.
It’s not that they have turned their backs against their beliefs; it’s that political strategy has misguided their efforts and taken their focus off Biblical truths. A perfect example of this is an article I read titled, Never Trumpers: Jesus Opposes You, which is riddled with fallacy and offers no real Biblical defense. The entire basis of its argument rests on Pontius Pilate’s actions as they related to Jesus’ crucifixion. The author argues that Pilate was just as guilty of Jesus’ death as those that demanded it; symbolically washing his hands of guilt made no difference – which I wholeheartedly agree with. The author goes on to compare the actions of #NeverTrumpers, who would vote for a third party or write-in candidate, to that of Pilate. To vote either way in opposition to Trump supposedly makes you just as guilty as Pilate because votes against trump will most assuredly put Hillary in the Oval Office.
The fallacy in this argument should be obvious. It is a false analogy to compare US voters to Pilate. Pilate alone had the authority to spare Jesus, and he chose not to. Instead, he surrendered his authority to the mob, which ironically is what the author is suggesting we do. He is suggesting that we submit our authority as voters to the will of the mob, or in this case, to the Republican minority that put Trump on the ballot.
In light of arguments like this, it is vital that Christians take a close look at what the Bible actually says. So what does the Bible say about our dilemma? Surely the situation is too complex an issue to be spelled out clearly in the Bible, isn’t it? The answer may surprise you as our situation is not without Biblical precedent.
The Sadducees and the Pharisees made up the Sanhedrin, which was the governing body of Israel during the time of Jesus and for a time thereafter. They were two different groups with opposing views that together formed one body of members that governed the people of Israel. The Apostle Paul was once a prominent member of the Pharisees, but upon learning the truth of Jesus he separated himself and became an activist against them. I am not intentionally trying to compare myself or #NeverTrumpers to the Apostle Paul, but the comparison is shockingly similar.
The book of Acts details Paul’s conversion, as well as his interactions with fellow Pharisees and the Sanhedrin. In short, Jesus personally appeared to Paul and instructed him to be His witness, effectively contradicting the orders of Paul’s own party. The Biblical truth is clear. Politics and political strategy are irrelevant as it relates to morality and the absolute truths we believe the Bible presents. Jesus Himself directly opposed the Sadducees and Pharisees. For the Christians in the Bible, including the apostles who stood up against the Sanhedrin, it was never about winning or losing the political battle to gain control, nor was it about compromising their beliefs to win the favor of the Party they most aligned with; it was simply a matter of standing for truth. The goal was to make a name for Christ by standing firm and putting the political battle for control in God’s hands.
We still live in a nation where we are able to elect officials to represent us; to represent our values and beliefs before the governing body of the United States of America. There are other options on the table besides Hillary and Trump, and even a write-in tells those running for office that they are not good enough to earn your vote. If you still have trouble getting past the thought of losing to Hillary, then the box you are trying to fit God into is not big enough. Think of Gideon in the Book of Judges who defeated a vast army with a handful of soldiers. He was terrified, but he trusted the Lord and reaped the victory. We can, too.