Voting Without a Choice
I enjoy politics – meaning the debating of issues, cases being made for and against something, and outcomes being decided by the people. I do not enjoy what has become the reality of our political process – unadulterated partisanship. Even still, as Christians we have an obligation to not disengage ourselves from society’s way of governing itself. We must attempt to influence as appropriate and offer hope where there is none. I also believe that it is entirely appropriate to view issues through a Biblical lens and look for candidates who line up with our beliefs. But what do we do when there appears to be no good choice?
The answer ultimately, is that we pick the best of the two or in this case, the least bad of the two. The other option is to not choose at all, but I do not think that is the right answer either, at least not for me. So as I look at both candidates, I find myself in a bit of a quandary.
Early on in the primaries I heard a good deal about the reluctance “main-stream” Christians were having about the possibility of voting for Mitt Romney. Romney, as most know, is Mormon and many within the evangelical world do not consider Mormonism a Christian denomination. Lately however, it seems that the vast majority of those convictions have vanished without a trace. From what I see now, large numbers of Christians are heartily endorsing Romney’s candidacy.
Having researched the teachings and beliefs of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, I come to no other conclusion than they adhere to and teach a false gospel. This means that should Romney be elected, a system of beliefs that leads people to eternal destruction will likely become more accepted within our society. This is a problem for me.
As I watch what looks to be movement in support of Romney by Christians, I tend to wonder what percentage of this “shift” is due to serious reflection through prayer as compared to strictly anti-Obama distress. Were there thoughtful considerations about how a Mormon president will elevate the status of a religion which leads people to hell? Or does Obama’s pro-abortion and pro-“gay-marriage” stances along with the “clean living” Romney holds to, simply wipe away any such concerns? Or were those concerns ever even present?
Overall, I assume that the shift I have mentioned probably has more to do with these issues of abortion and so-called gay marriage; both of which I happen to hold as priorities myself. While I will limit my views of the current president (occupational safety), if I were to summarize my thoughts about the effects of each’s presidency it would fall out something like this. Romney is a pro-life advocate (although I think he is pro-choice in the case of rape or incest) and would likely be inclined to support initiatives targeted toward saving human lives. Romney is against so-called same-sex marriage and would likely be inclined to strengthen the definition of marriage and support traditional family values. However, Romney’s election will no doubt increase the acceptability of the Mormon denomination and could potentially help to broaden its membership. Obama on the other hand is pro-abortion and will likely continue to support initiatives designed to uphold choice above life. Obama also supports so-called same-sex marriage and is willing to legislate his views on it.
Based on these reasons, I cannot vote for Obama. Based on my uneasiness about how a Romney presidency could bring Mormonism into the mainstream, I am hesitant to vote for him. There are of course many other issues important to me but for now I will leave it like this. If I had to vote today, I would vote for Romney. I just would not feel good about it. Either way though, whoever is sitting in the Oval Office deserves our prayers and respect.
Having said all of that, I do think it is important that as we think about political races, and specifically, presidential elections, we not put unwarranted spiritual expectations on non-spiritual leadership. Yes, the president is the leader of the nation and he leads in a number of different ways. None of those ways however is as priest. Regardless of who lives in the White House, God’s Kingdom will move forward. How do I know that? Romans 13:1 reminds us that God is in control: “Let every person be subject to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and those that exist have been instituted by God.” Also, Daniel 2:21 states “He changes times and seasons; he removes kings and sets up kings; he gives wisdom to the wise and knowledge to those who have understanding.” So let us not be completely overwhelmed by the impending “bigness” of it all to the point that we lose focus of our calling.
We are “ambassadors for Christ, as though God were pleading through us: we implore you on Christ’s behalf, be reconciled to God.” (2 Corinthians 5:20) As easy as it is to get caught up in this world’s affairs, this is not our home. Our citizenship is in heaven (Phil. 3:20). Accordingly, we are not here to do our own bidding, but the bidding of our Father. Let us be reminded that this world, including the United States, will one day fade away, but the Kingdom of God will endure forever.