Time for the Unexcited and Undecided to Finally Decide

Lael Arrington opens her heart on how she came to approach this difficult election and the choice she'll be making November 8.

By Lael Arrington Published on October 27, 2016

There are one hundred and fifty homes in my South Carolina suburban subdivision … and not one yard sign for Hillary or Trump. Not one bumper sticker on the cars parked in the driveways.

Last week in Gatlinburg, Tennessee, the gateway to the Great Smokey Mountains National Park, we stood on the main drag in high leaf-peeping season and in fifteen minutes counted license plates from twenty-five different states. Again, not one bumper sticker.

People might hold their noses and vote for the Supreme Court or against the seething midnight tweeter, but not too many seem willing to publicly identify with either candidate in this don’t ask, don’t tell election.

Too many of us agree with the lyrics of Paul Simon’s “Mrs. Robinson”:

“… Going to the candidates’ debate.
Laugh about it, shout about it
When you’ve got to choose
Every way you look at this you lose.”

Which is why none of us should be laying guilt on others about our choices. (Note to Pastor Jeffress of First Baptist Church, Dallas who looked in the camera and called evangelicals “fools” and “hypocrites” if we didn’t vote for Trump.) We should respect each other’s struggle and honor each one’s freedom of conscience before God.

It is a struggle, but we can’t not vote. Too many people have died to give us that freedom. Our struggle to decide pales beside my father-in-law’s struggle to carry on in the battle for the Pacific with kamakaze pilots diving at his ship. It pales beside Abigail Adams’ struggle to run their farm alone for years while John was serving in Congress or overseas trying to secure funds and European support for our fledgling nation.

What are we prepared to do to honor their sacrifice and our country? We can at least push through the discomfort of choosing a candidate and vote.

As we make our final choices, each heart has its reasons. I see fiscal conservatives who value conservative principles so highly they cannot bring themselves to vote for the “King of Debt.”

I see women like Beth Moore who have been sexually abused who cannot vote for someone who brags on the bus about kissing and groping women and getting away with it because they are powerful. I see other women who have suffered in a marriage to a narcissist who cannot bring themselves to vote for one. As a woman who has dealt with groping and a narcissist at close range for many years I totally empathize and understand.

Trump is unfit. But so is Hillary. I have prayed for God to intervene in this election. That He would give us a good, just and wise president. I think He has intervened. Just not in the way I hoped.

He has intervened to expose the true heart of each candidate. He has orchestrated a dueling banjo reveal of Hillary’s corrupt collusions and quid pro quos in counterpoint to the publicizing of Trump’s lewd talk and unwanted sexual advances. That which has been hidden has been manifest and that which was secret has been brought to light. In stereo. Day after day.

I’m to the point where Hillary’s cumulative lies and corruption seems just as “deplorable” as Trump’s narcissism, vengefulness and sexual advances. She does what she wants, breaks the law and uses “I don’t remember” to avoid accountability.

Because I believe in a gospel of repentance I don’t believe either is irredeemable, but I don’t see repentance on either side. Both seem personally unfit to be president. But barring a more devastating intervention by God one of these two will be president.

I am not voting for a person as much as I’m voting for a future that most reflects my values.

So I’m turning to other criteria to vote. What are your reasons and priorities for voting? I’ll tell you mine:

My heart doesn’t want to vote for someone I don’t like, trust or respect. But my head insists there are reasons to vote based on Kingdom priorities. What is best for God’s kingdom that is also best for America? What does He value and treasure?

Life

The Author of life values life. “Rescue those who are perishing …” “Choose life.” More than any pocketbook issue, I want to value life. Serve the women at my local crisis pregnancy center. Vote for pro-life candidates. The Democratic platform not only endorses abortion but wants to abolish the Hyde amendment, which means they want to use my tax dollars to pay for it. May it never be.

Trump has promised to nominate pro-life Supreme Court Justices. He may not have the character to follow through on his promise, but possible damage seems better than certain destruction.

If only those babies being torn limb from limb could cry out and be heard. Last summer’s undercover videos of Planned Parenthood exposed their bartering and selling of fetal body parts. It is indefensible. But Hillary defends it.

Free Exercise of Religion

The Bill of Rights guarantees freedom of religion but we are increasingly seeing LGBT advocates infringe upon our freedom to live as we believe in the public square.

In response to their advocacy we are seeing elected Democrats appeal to the courts to expose Christian colleges to lawsuits for not granting gay “rights” like allowing gay couples in married student housing. We are seeing Christian bakers, caterers and photographers being fined for not helping gays celebrate their weddings. We’re even seeing largely Democratic states like Massachusetts force churches to have a transgender bathroom policy. Additionally, we have seen a Democratic administration fine Christian businessmen who don’t want to pay for insurance covering abortions. Thankfully the Supreme Court blocked them, but only by one vote.

Hillary supports this primarily Democrat-driven erosion of the free exercise of religion. According to the third debate she wants to choose Supreme Court Justices who will extend LBGT rights even further.

The Republican Platform says:

We support laws to confirm the longstanding American tradition that religious individuals and institutions can educate young people, receive government benefits, and participate in public debates without having to check their religious beliefs at the door…

We strongly support the freedom of Americans to act in accordance with their religious beliefs, not only in their houses of worship, but also in their everyday lives. We support the right of the people to conduct their businesses in accordance with their religious beliefs…

Pro-Family

I’ve already written about how I believe the Obama administration’s transgender bathroom policy is creating great confusion over sexual roles among young people. It is setting the pace for the imposition of teaching about gender fluidity and creating division between schools who will recognize whatever gender a student chooses on any given day and parents who will not.

The Democratic Platform states:

We will oppose all state efforts to discriminate against LGBT individuals, including legislation that restricts the right to access public spaces. (Churches and Christian Schools are regarded by advocates as ‘public spaces.’) We … [reject] the misuse of religion to discriminate. We will … improve school climates.

The Republican Platform says that “the cornerstone of the family is natural marriage, the union of one man and one woman … Children raised in a two-parent household tend to be physically and emotionally healthier, more likely to do well in school, less likely to use drugs and alcohol, engage in crime or become pregnant outside of marriage.” They propose many legislative initiatives to strengthen families and pull them out of poverty.

The Democratic Platform does not recognize the advantages of strong, two-parent families or have a section that casts a vision for what makes for strong families.

Vote Your Conscience

Both candidates take many positions on issues God cares deeply about — poverty, being good stewards of the environment — too many to mention here. But without a commitment to life, religious freedom and strong families, our nation will not flourish.

Each of us must vote our conscience before God. And we must respect each other’s freedom to choose what priorities, evidence and stories we value most. I am not voting for a person as much as I’m voting for a future that most reflects my values.

Ultimately God is sovereign over this election. “The LORD kills and brings to life; He brings down to Sheol and raises up. The LORD makes poor and makes rich; He brings low and He exalts” (1 Samuel 2:6-7). On Wednesday, Nov 8th He will not care for us any less or shepherd us with less goodness or justice or mercy. We can relax because we will wake up in a world that, as Dallas Willard has said, “is perfectly safe for us.” I am finally at the point where I can take this to heart.

There may be a form of danger, but for those of us who are already living an eternal kind of life, God has shown us at the Cross how He is utterly in control and can redeem anything for our ultimate joy and his glory. And I am deeply, lovingly grateful.

What are your priorities in voting? Please share them in the comment section below…

 

Originally published on LaelArrington.com. Reprinted with permission.

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  • spadestick

    Oh another Cruz supporter. Give it up, just say it outright – I give up on Americans, truly are a bigoted bunch. Stop this vote your conscience crap immediately, the issue is BLACK and WHITE, there is no GREY.

  • Laurie M

    Lael, Having read and appreciated a few of your articles, I was interested in learning your opinion on this. You seem to be in the same camp as many others I deeply respect. Hearing a prominent Christian leader (who has been going to all 50 states) say that this election is about one thing, “the Supreme Court” unnerved me a bit. I thought for every Christian that one thing would be, “the advancement of the kingdom of God”. The kingdom of God is never going to advance through any political party. If Trump wins with the help of evangelicals, is the country really any better off spiritually? What will happen to our testimony in the eyes of all of the people Trump has insulted? God is purifying His church, and I don’t know if casting our lot with such an impure man is the way to go. Both candidates are spiritually blind, and Trump is unpredictable- he could have a petty grudge against someone and back out of a crucial promise.The issue of life is the most compelling, but a Republican President isn’t a sure thing. Still praying about this…
    Not by might, nor by power, but by my Spirit says the Lord Almighty. Zec 4:6

    • Lael Arrington

      Hi Laurie, The evangelicals who voted for Trump in the primaries are the ones, I think, who must answer for voting for such an impure man. I’m grieved that many of God’s people share that responsibility. And it does reflect on the church. Can you imagine what the race would look like with *any* other R candidate standing as an alternative to Hillary’s corruption? But given this choice of the two viable candidates I will make a case for outrage against Hillary’s stand for approving the murder of full-term babies (partial birth abortion) over the outrage over Trump’s womanizing in my blog this week. May God give you grace and peace as you finalize your decision.

  • imamazed

    As a Christian I have a 3 point priority test for choosing POTUS. 1) Sanctity of life 2) support for the nation of Israel and 3) SCOTUS (truth in justice) and the defense of religious liberty. Regardless of each individual candidates character, (we are ALL sinners) I think I have a moral obligation to help elect the candidate who’s views most closely align with mine on these priorities. In this election cycle that happens to be Trump. Like it or not, we only have 2 choices for POTUS who have any chance of winning. We NEVER have had a perfect candidate and we never will since Jesus doesn’t run for office. By voting for trump, I am NOT condoning his BEHAVIOR, (although I have seen a lot of changes in him recently that suggest he may be on better path and I pray he is). I am just doing my duty as a citizen to help guide the nation in the right direction for the sake of the nation, the unborn, my fellow Christians (as well as non-believers), my children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren. God’s will be done and God bless our nation.

  • SophieA

    We can only walk in the light and understanding available to us. I share your reasons, Lael, and have concluded to cast my vote against Hillary and for the Republican candidate. I appreciate your point that we vote this way for the future. Two words about sexually abused women fearing to vote for Trump. First the Clintons are not blameless in their treatment of the women Bill physically abused and Hillary verbally abused. No side is blameless in this. I say this as a woman who endured sexual abuse as a child and also as an adult, we must not live as victims because we are more than conquerors in Jesus and must rely on Him to define who we are.

    • Lael Arrington

      Thanks, Sophie, for sharing this. I especially appreciate your voice as an overcomer of sexual abuse. As you say, neither side is blameless in this. A very sad commentary.

  • Vaughn Ohlman

    >> What are your reasons and priorities for voting? I’ll tell you mine:

    … and here are mine:

    Exo 18:21 Moreover thou shalt provide out of all the people able men, such as fear God, men of truth, hating covetousness; and place such over them, to be rulers of thousands, and rulers of hundreds, rulers of fifties, and rulers of tens:
    Exo 18:22 And let them judge the people at all seasons:

    … Which is why I voted for Tom Hoefling.

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