Looking back now on what will go down in my lifetime as the most controversial and compromising choice made by evangelicals, I’d like Trump supporters to make a reconsideration. All I am really asking is for those devout Christians, who voted for Trump, to rethink their rationale behind their actions, and to consider a more principled position for future reference.
At the Political Summit hosted by The Master’s University, Dr. John MacArthur said in no uncertain terms that the 2016 presidential election would determine the future of Christianity in America. He made it absolutely clear that the main issue at hand was the preservation of freedom for generations to come — specifically generations of Christians.
The rationale for most evangelicals behind their decision to vote for Trump was that it was essentially a means to avoiding persecution. The ticket was a vote for the unknown versus the known — voting for the promises of one candidate, who had no official experience in government, versus voting for a candidate who allegedly had nothing but bad intentions for anyone not aligned with progressive thought.
Being that Clinton was not a choice from the beginning for most evangelicals, they had to decide between voting for Trump, which was a moral gamble of sorts, or not voting at all, which was yet another sort of moral gamble — at least for some. It would be more accurate to say that it was a matter of voting for the unknown versus voting for the uncertain.
Would it have meant a Clinton victory, if Christians would not have casts their vote to Trump? If so, would a Clinton victory mean certain persecution for Christians? We will never know the answers to these questions, unless there’s a sequel to the 2016 election, in which case we would have another chance to find out.
The fact of the matter is, Christians could not have known for certain that persecution was inevitable with a Clinton victory, no matter the likelihood based upon previous leftist administrations and Clinton’s constant pandering to the progressive left. Christians right now do not know for certain that persecution will not come under Trump. What Christians should know is that the preservation of liberty and property is not an ambition relegated to the sole benefit of Christians. Enemies of Christ — our enemies, deserve no less love than what we give our own. Liberty is not a zero-sum game either, which means it does not come at the cost of that of another. In other words, Christians can have religious liberty, if we do not mind being consistent with our reasoning in applying it even to the heathen.
To take moral action (casting a vote) on the basis of such self-preservation requires the abandonment of objective reasoning for the sake of pragmatism. In this case it meant denying moral and logical consistency in favor of some subjective political view; one that is fickle and inconsistent and based upon the idea of voting for the “lesser evil.” A political view rooted in pragmatism with the occasional Scriptural proof-text.
Throughout the 2016 campaign there were many religious leaders on the right pushing the narrative, that if Christians did not get out to vote for Trump, that it would have meant persecution for Christians. Little thought was given to the idea of standing firm on a principled conviction regarding the consistent repudiation of Statism — the increased central planning of an economy and society at the expense of liberty.
After years of social, economic, political, and religious decline, it strikes me as odd that evangelicals have only now decided to contribute (in record numbers) to a national election. This, after spending decades hiding behind the piety of political abstinence; choosing only to be politically active when prudent and lucrative.
It is not necessary that Christians be “politically active” in order to achieve a certain end — namely the preservation of liberty and property. What is necessary is the adherence to a conviction that says, no matter the outcome, the truth remains that private property rights are inherent to creation, and that each person has a right to his person not to be violated by that of another. God’s moral standard is quite clear in this regard.
When voting, it should not be a matter of avoiding persecution, but rather a matter of standing on principles. Jesus said we are promised persecution. As Christians, we are also taught to abhor what is evil, and to cling to what is good. We are called to seek justice and love mercy. We are called to apply the propositions of God’s Word to all areas of life, to include politics. I simply cannot see how voting for Trump meets up to any of these standards. All I see is the perpetuation of the myth that to vie for the lesser evil is somehow more virtuous than vying for principled abnegation of participation in authoritarianism.