Traditional Christians face untenable choices this election.
One choice is an amoral man who only said he was pro life when politics demanded it, who hints at incest with his daughter, who puts his wife in porn photo ops, and who can be counted on to launch a new verbal outrage every few days.
What may be worse, this guy can’t take a hit. He can be baited by just about anything. Other world leaders are watching and taking his measure. Can you imagine Mr Trump dealing with President Putin? That would put us all in jeopardy.
The other candidate absolutely supports legal abortion. She leads a party that seems intransigent about attacking religious freedom. Even as I write this, Christian institutions of higher learning in California are facing the choice of possible closure or of kissing Ceasar’s ring by acting against core teachings of their faith.
One candidate is a morally repugnant mess who could easily end up endangering our survival. The other candidate is so beholden to the forces that seek to destroy Christianity that she might end up forfeiting the First Amendment to limit our freedoms.
We must not make the mistake of endorsing either of them. Other people judge Christ by the behavior of Christians. If we endorse either Clinton or Trump, our endorsement is bound to besmirch the name of Christ.
These bad choices in the presidential election are a symptom of the position our issues hold in the larger electorate. It appears that we’ve lost the culture wars. While we were fussing with party platforms and condemning those who opposed us, the other side was using the public schools and the media to convert our culture to nihilism.
We are not just on the defensive. We are not even in retreat. We are being routed from the field and fighting for our basic right to exist without oppression under the law.
Make no mistake about it, our own bad tactics contributed to what has happened. Our first and most important mistake was to vest righteousness in partisan politics. I call this “The Political Heresy” because I believe it is precisely that.
It is heresy to seek righteousness in anything other than following Christ. It is heresy to equate following Christ with partisan politics.
The excesses and ugliness of the political heresy have all but destroyed the authenticity of Christian witness in the eyes of the larger culture. It has damaged our own commitment to Him and made us self-righteous and mean.
Now the situation has devolved back on us. This presidential election is a symptom of how badly we have lost the fight.
Christians should be informed by their faith in how they conduct their political affairs, but they should never cut their faith to fit their politics or equate following a political party with following Christ. Most important, they should never cease trying to convert the world.
We abandoned our call to convert the world to Christ and took up converting it to our political viewpoint. God did not honor our tactics and behavior because our tactics and behavior did not honor God.
Now, we are faced with untenable choices in the presidential election and a rapidly corroding cultural situation. What are we to do?
We must return to Jesus. We need to ask God to forgive us for ever looking anywhere else for the answers to our times.
We need to remember that other people judge our Jesus by what we say and do. We must not allow these two bad candidates to drag us down into the sewer alongside them. Let the politicos have the low road, if they want it so much.
We need to take the Republican elephant and the Democratic donkey down off the altars of our hearts. Our hope is not and never has been in either of them.
We can convert this culture, but only if we seek to convert it to Christ. We will never succeed if we continue trying to coerce it through anger, condemnation and politics.
I do not want in any way to tell you how to vote. Vote how you feel is best this November. That’s all any of us can do.
But however you vote, do not let this campaign degrade you into behaving ignobly. Other people judge Jesus by Christian behavior. If you wear His name, conduct yourself as if He means something to you.
We are faced with a serious ballot-box dilemma. However we vote and whoever wins, we need to get ready to fight for our beliefs. We must re-convert our America to Jesus. That is our call and our privilege in these times.