I, like many (probably most) of you am highly opinionated. For those of you curious, I am planning to vote for Mr. Trump. I agree with the majority of his stance’s on policy. I also believe he has what it takes to help our country, and he is surrounding himself with people I respect. In addition, I do not believe he is a monster or hateful, as the media is suggesting. I believe our country is in dire need of reform, and I believe politicians who receive large donations from special interest groups and corporations do not have the best interest of the American people in their heart. In addition, I believe that voting third party will, in essence, be a vote for Mrs. Clinton. I believe that me voting according to my conscience is bigger than just looking at myself and how I feel: It’s looking at the nation my sons are going to live in, and it’s thinking about the bigger picture than the next four years under a President. I’m thinking of the Supreme Court justices who will reign many years to come. I’m thinking of the immoral leaders God used throughout the Bible for his purposes. I’m thinking of Hillary’s America film and what I learned from watching it. I also strongly oppose forced vaccines, and Mr. Trump is the only candidate I’m aware of not endorsing mandatory vaccinations.
I could go on and on. I could give quotes, articles, opinions, facts, and arguments for why I believe what I believe. I have read countless arguments, and I have searched my heart and prayed through it all. But this blog entry is not to prove a point. It is not intended to change your mind or your vote. That, I believe, is not my job.
My job is to love well. Yes. I just jumped there. My job is to love Hillary Clinton, Donald Trump, Jill Stein, Gary Johnson, and each of their supporters. My job is to love my neighbor as myself. My job is to turn the other cheek and think of others as more important than myself. My job is to love those who make mean comments toward me because of my beliefs. My job is to refrain from making mean comments in retaliation. My job is to put myself in others’ shoes and try to understand where they are coming from.
I am called to be a warrior. I am called to pray. Prayer is an ambiguous word that is often thrown around passively. We tell each other we will pray for needs all the time. We say we need to pray for our nation. But how many of us actually DO it? How many of us humble ourselves before the Lord and seek his face with our whole hearts? How are we in listening? How are we in interceding on behalf of this great nation? Are we more focused on proving a point, or are we aware of our desperate dependence on God Almighty in making tough choices? Is our pride and ego hurt when people disagree? Or is our heart broken over the state of many Christians who are divisive during this election process?
The reality is that Christians have disagreed on much more eternally important matters for many centuries. I lean toward Calvinism, personally. I strongly believe that the only reason I love God is because he first loved me and lovingly pursued my heart until I loved him back. But there are very godly individuals who don’t see eye to eye with me. They believe in the importance of individuals having freewill and the ability to decide for themselves if they want to receive or reject God’s plan of salvation through Christ. I understand both sides of this debate, having been on both sides at different times in my life.
The reality is that I have a few people in my life who are also followers of Jesus who plan to vote for Mrs. Clinton. It is hard for me to understand their reasons and put myself if their shoes. But they feel the same way about me. I believe I am right and they are deceived. But I am sure many feel this way about me. One thing I do know, is that the people I’m thinking of right now are also followers of Jesus, which means they have God’s Spirit abiding within them.
I also know of many Christians who are planning to vote for a third party candidate. This is hard for me to understand. In my perspective, this is a foolish choice, as I do not believe our country is at a point at which a third party candidate is a viable option. (I think our country should be different in this regard, as I think its two party system is a very bad setup, but I don’t believe this will change until our political scene changes.) I have listened to and dialogued with one person in particular who comes to mind on this subject. She is a lady I deeply respect, and I think she actually follows Jesus more closely than I do in many respects. And yet, I can not wrap my head around why she would unashamedly vote for a third party candidate. I just don’t understand her reasoning. And guess what? She has a hard time understanding mine.
This leaves me with one more category of people I’ve heard from. I have heard from some Christians who plan to not vote at all. This I do not think is a wise or responsible choice, but I will leave it between each person who is a Christ-follower and the Spirit of God within him/her. My view is that to whom much is given (A. K. A. the privilege to vote), much is required. To be able to vote is not the norm throughout history. Many gave their lives for me to have this privilege and duty. And to be a woman who is able to vote is a rare treat, as most women have not been given this great opportunity, historically and culturally speaking. God has called us to live quiet and peaceable lives, but he has also called us to be a light and ambassadors for him. I strongly believe it is immoral to not vote. But again, some who follow Jesus would disagree with me.
So where does this leave us? I have wrestled and prayed over this. How can the people who are genuine followers of Jesus come to such different conclusions? Here is what I think:
*I think some of us are guided by pride more than the Spirit. I think we must each examine our hearts and ask the Lord to show us if we are blinded by pride.
*I think that some of us are ignorant. We have pieces of information, but not in its full context. I believe we should all do our best to get to the truth on all topics pertaining to this election.
*I think that some of us are being guided by emotions more than logic. I believe as we follow the Spirit of God and his prompting, he will lead us more and more into truth. Emotions are a beautiful thing. But sometimes they can get in the way.
*I think that we each have different life experiences, and we therefore have different priorities when it comes to our values. We need to demonstrate compassion. It is likely that we are weak in some areas and strong in others. Let’s strive to exhibit compassion toward others who are weaker in areas we believe ourselves to be stronger.
*I think the Bible makes it clear that now we see in part. God is a mysterious God who cannot be contained. His greatness is so magnificent that we cannot even try to fathom it. We should press in to know him and understand him. But we will never fully know his heart, this side of eternity.
I believe that it is time for the Body of Christ—God’s ambassadors on earth, whom he has called to be instruments of reconciliation—to humble ourselves. If we will lift high the name of Jesus, he will draw all men unto himself. May we unify and humbly accept that we may respectfully agree to disagree on political issues. We may not understand the other side, but we can show great humility, love, and honor to those with whom we disagree. I believe with all my heart THIS is how we will change the world!!!
I leave you with these verses to consider as you go in to vote for 2016 Election:
“Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.
And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the Lord’s people. Pray also for me, that whenever I speak, words may be given me so that I will fearlessly make known the mystery of the gospel… “(Ephesians 6:10-19)