What Does It Mean To Vote?

With the choice of presidential candidates before us tomorrow, none of which are leaders I would have chosen to be in authority over me, I am perplexed with the question of what to do.
Trump has led a life of immorality, is disrespectful in his language, is pridefully self-confident, and lacks the experience and integrity essential for the position of president of the United States. On the other hand, Clinton, an avowed supporter of murder and sodomy, promises to promote the very things that Scripture clearly condemns; as an advocate of socalistic ideals, she would be an absolute catastrophe for America, to say the least.

If my vote were to mean that I endorse, support, condone, put confidence in, or sign my name by either one of these candidates and their past, present or future actions, there is no way my conscience would allow me to vote for either.

But is that what it means to vote?

Of course, I do have the option to not vote at all, or to vote for a third-party candidate. But to not vote would be to mock my God-given privilege and responsibility as a United States citizen to engage on a surface level in the spiritual warfare that rages in this country. And to vote for a third-party candidate when there is no real third-party to choose from, is, well, doing the exact same thing. Of course, if I had unreservedly invested time, resources and energy in joint effort with millions of others to bring to the ballot a third-party candidate that we could enthusiastically and corporately vote for, then, well, I would be very happy to vote for a third party.

But short of a heaven-initiated miracle, the reality of this election leaves us with only two options. And thus the perplexity. Do I really have to vote for the better of two evils again?

And so, if nothing else, this election has helped me to understand more clearly than ever before what it actually means to vote. To vote is to formally make a choice. To vote is to simply choose between the options that God has sovereignly placed before me.

My vote is not putting confidence in someone. “It is better to trust in the Lord than to put confidence in man. It is better to trust in the Lord than to put confidence in princes” Psalm 118:8-9. My confidence is in God! If voting means to put my trust in an earthly individual for future security and prosperity than there would be only one candidate for whom I could vote: Jesus Christ himself. If by voting I mean to expect from man what only God can provide, I must beware.

My vote is not signing my name to an agreement or declaring an affiliation with a candidate. Just because I vote for someone doesn’t mean I agree with them. If this were true, then there would be no one on earth I could vote for, regardless of how conservative or Scripturally accurate they may be.

My vote is not an endorsement or token of support for a person or platform. “For there is no authority except from God, and those which exist are established by God” Romans 13:1b. I live to bring glory to God, so I will use my better judgment to choose which of the two evils would better facilitate my ability to do so in every-day life.

So let us remember, as we pray for and participate in this critical day of our nation’s history, that our vote is simply a wise and solemn choice between the options that God has sovereignly placed before us. God will use the one He elects however He chooses. “Blessed be the name of God for ever and ever: for wisdom and might are his: and he changeth the times and the seasons: he removeth kings, and setteth up kings: he giveth wisdom unto the wise, and knowledge to them that know understanding.”

For further reading, here are two resources that have strongly influenced my decision to vote for the Trump/Pence ticket vs the Clinton/Kaine ticket based on the policies they promise to stand by despite my reluctance and complete lack of support for either of the candidates: Prayer and Soul-Searching by Joel Rosenberg, and the Decision of Senator Ted Cruz.  Let us not look for a savior in a president, but pray rather that God would use our elected leaders as tools to bring God’s people back into right relationship with Him.

140912-James Staddon_

10 Comments

  1. ANA November 8, 2016 at 8:18 am #

    ESTIMADO JAMES: LO SALUDO CON LA PAZ DE JESUCRISTO. ESTOY LEYENDO ATENTAMENTE SU MENSAJE EN ESTA FECHA ESPECIAL PARA USTEDES, VOTAR A EL NUEVO PRESIDENTE. REALMENTE COMPARTO CON USTED SOBRE A QUIEN O CUAL ELEGIR, PARA DIRIGIR SU NACION. AQUI LLEGAN MUCHOS COMENTARIOS SOBRE ESTOS 2 CANDIDATOS, TRUMP Y CLINTON, LO BUENO DE UNO ES LO MALO DEL OTRO Y VICEVERSA. QUE COMPLEJA ESTA DESICION. PERO COMO USTED BIEN DICE Y ACLARA, NO VOTA PORQUE LE GUSTA ALGUNO DE ESOS 2, SINO PORQUE ES LA VOLUNTAD DE DIOS. EN 1 DE PEDRO, DICE MUY CLARAMENTE QUE SOMETAMOSNOS A TODA AUTORIDAD HUMANA, CAPITULO 2,VERSICULO 13 Y 14. ESTOS 2 CANDIDATOS, LLEGARON HASTA AQUI, PORQUE DIOS LOS PUSO EN ESE LUGAR, ¿QUE QUIERE DIOS DE TODO ESTO? SOLO EL LO SABE, SOLO EL SABE CUAL ES SU PROPOSITO. CORRUPCION HAY EN TODOS LADOS, MALOS Y BUENOS EN LOS GOBIERNOS, PERO A LOS HIJOS DE DIOS SOLO LES QUEDA OBEDECER EL MANDATO SUPREMO. NO DEPENDEMOS DE LOS HOMBRES, SINO DE LA PROVIDENCIA DEL SEÑOR, EL ES NUESTRO PASTOR Y NADA NOS FALTARA. SABEMOS POR LOS DISTINTOS ACONTECIMIENTOS MUNDIALES, QUE CRISTO VIENE PRONTO, SE ESTAN DANDO LAS SEÑALES, ASI QUE TODO ESTO TIENE QUE PASAR, GUERRAS, HAMBRE, TERREMOTOS, ENFERMEDADES, MALDAD, PELIGROS DE ESTO, PELIGRO DE AQUELLO, COMO DICE PABLO, ARMEMONOS CON LA ARMADURA CELESTIAL, ARMEMOSNOS CON LA FE EN JESUCRISTO, VIVAMOS UNA VIDA CRISTIANA EN SANTIDAD, AMANDO AL PROJIMO COMO A UNO MISMO, NO HABLANDO MAL DE UNO O DEL OTRO, CURCUNCIDEMOS NUESTRA BOCA Y NUESTRA LENGUA, AQUI EN NUESTRO PAIS TAMBIEN TENEMOS DE TODO, MALOS Y BUENOS Y TAMBIEN ESTAMOS OBLIGADOS A VOTAR, AUNQUE NO NOS GUSTE NINGUN CANDIDATO. SOMOS TESTIMONIOS FIELES DE JESUCRISTO, EN ESTE MUNDO QUE SE CAE EN PEDAZOS, ¿SABE QUE EL MUNDO NOS MIRA, NOS OYE, ESPERA A QUE DEMOS UN PASO EN FALSO? DESPUES SE RIEN DE NOSOTROS Y DICEN: ESTOS SON LOS HIJOS DE DIOS? HERMANO SIGAMOS EL CAMINO DE NUESTRO REDENTOR JESUCRISTO, UN CAMINO SIN MANCHA. BLESSINGS FROM BUENOS AIRES, ARGENTINA.

  2. Alyssa C November 8, 2016 at 4:35 pm #

    This post is so excellent, James!! Hope it’s okay that I copied the earlier one posted on Lenspiration and posted it on my blog (with credit to you and the link to it)?

  3. ANA November 14, 2016 at 9:13 am #

    JAMES: ¿Y AHORA QUE TRUMP ES EL NUEVO PRESIDENTE EL CUAL USTED Y SU FAMILIA VOTARON NO ESTA ARREPENTIDO DE ESA ELECCION? TRUMP YA EMPEZO A LA EXPULSION DE EE.UU. A LOS INMIGRANTES, CASI 3 MILLONES DE PERSONAS, NO TODOS SON ASESINOS, NO TODOS SON LADRONES, NO TODOS SON VIOLADORES ETC. ¿SABE USTED QUE HAY MILES DE HERMANOS EN CRISTO QUE UN DIA LLEGARON A SU PAIS PARA ESTAR UN POCO MEJOR ECONOMICAMENTE Y HOY SE TIENEN QUE IR? DEJANDO FAMILIAS, HIJOS O NIETOS. REALMENTE NO PUEDO ENTENDER A CIERTOS CRISTIANOS COMO USTEDES QUE DICEN QUE NO A HILARY, PERO SI A TRUMP, QUE ES PEOR O IGUAL QUE ELLA NO LO ENTIENDO, ¿PORQUE NO VOTO EN BLANCO COMO EL EX PRESIDENTE BUSH? USTED CUMPLIO CON EL MANDATO DE DIOS: OBEDECER A LAS AUTORIDADES TERRENALES, HUBIERA SIDO MEJOR DEJAR EL VOTO EN BLANCO, AHORA PESA SOBRE SUS CONCIENCIAS LAS AMENAZAS DE TRUMP QUE YA EMPIEZA A CONCRETAR. QUE DIOS LOS AYUDE.

  4. James November 17, 2016 at 9:03 am #

    Absolutely! Glad you felt free to do so, with a credit and link. By the way what is your blog, out of curiosity?

  5. Alyssa C November 17, 2016 at 7:00 pm #

    The name is CamusoCapers 🙂 Unfortunately, for security reasons we had to stop using our website blog and switch to just sending emails through MailChimp. 🙁 I’ll give you the link, but I’d rather that you not post this comment, if you don’t mind…If you respond, would you mind doing so by email? Thanks for understanding!

  6. Lindsay March 17, 2017 at 7:18 pm #

    Very disappointed in your decision. Hillary was by no means a perfect candidate but Trump is the exact opposite of Jesus’s teachings. In reality Democrats are more aligned with Jesus and his teachings. Take abortion out of the equation and most Christians would vote Democrat.

  7. James March 27, 2017 at 11:08 am #

    Hi Lindsay, I appreciate your perspective. Are you suggesting it would have been better to vote for Hillary because her platform was more aligned with Jesus’ teachings?

  8. Lindsay R Belvedere March 27, 2017 at 12:14 pm #

    Not necessarily. If your conscious won’t allow you to vote for a Democrat because of abortion or something else than there were many 3rd party conservative candidates that you could have voted for. Even though a 3rd party candidate wouldn’t have won, it would have been a better conservative vote than Trump. My values in life and what I look for in others both politically and personally is to help others, be respectful, never judge and never be too prideful. From my reasearch, being an intern on Capitol Hill and life lessons, my values align more with Democrats. That’s not to say I would never vote Republican, but Trump would never have my vote (no matter what party he ran with) because he doesn’t meet any of the values I hold dear.

  9. James March 28, 2017 at 4:00 pm #

    Well said. It is the joy of the American citizen to have the freedom to vote based on our values! I think it is neat that you have first-hand experience serving as an intern at the Capitol! Did you find the Democratic platform to be more in line with Jesus’s teachings?

  10. Lindsay R Belvedere March 28, 2017 at 5:45 pm #

    I do not by any means claim to be an expert on the Bible and not sure if I am what you consider “saved”. With that said, I was raised in a Catholic family, I was baptized, attended CCD, received my Holy Communion and was Confirmed, so I feel confortable in my understanding of Jesus and his teachings.

    The first verse that comes to mind that I think aligns more with democrats is:
    “There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love. We love because he first loved us”.
    I think a lot of Republican policies like the anti-gay laws, the travel ban, etc. are based on fear and God states that fear has no place in love.

    In regards to social services (which many Republicans try to defund) and the Affordable Care act (which cators towards helping the less fortunate and the Republicans are trying to repeal) I am drawn to this verse:
    “It is a sin to despise one’s neighbor, but blessed is the one who is kind to the needy”.
    I will also add the refugee crisis (Republicans do not want to accept refugees) to this verse.

    So yes I do think Democrat are more aligned with Jesus’s teachings.

    To sum it up, the person I look to for guidence (besides my family of course) is Pope Frances who I believe is the epitomy of Godliness. I believe the main teachings of Jesus is to love and help thy neighbor and the Pope lives that life. To this day he dresses as a normal priest and secretly feeds the hungry of Rome. He also offered housing at the vatican to refugees. When he has an opinion politically I listen and what I hear is more aligned with democrats.

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