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  • Writer's pictureMatt Garris

I Can't Believe a Christian would Vote for...

In case you’ve missed all the commercials, let me remind you: there’s an election coming up. On Tuesday, November 3rd, Americans will go to the polls and choose people to represent them at different levels of government from the city council to the presidency.

As a Christian, you’ve probably heard that you need to vote, why you need to vote, when and where to vote, and probably even how to vote. But this is not about that. This is about how to deal with those folks—your brothers and sisters in Christ—who are on the other side. “But wait! Those people on the other side aren’t even real Christians! Do you know what they are voting for? How could you think they’re Christians when they support that kind of evil?”

I hear you. I’ve heard you for years. In fact, I used to agree. But God demands better from us.

Let me let you in on a few well-kept secrets about Christians and politics:

  1. There are Christian Democrats, Christian Republicans, and Christian Independents.

  2. None think they have a flawless candidate.

  3. None are as evil as the media tells you they are.

In fact, there are probably very few, if any, Christians in either party who want abortions or war or poverty or hunger or violence or homelessness or racism or children not learning or families being ripped apart or higher taxes or policies that directly violate God’s commandments.

Most Christians, regardless of their political party, want to vote in line with the will of God.

“Well, if that’s the case, why don’t they just vote like me?” Good question. Glad you asked.

Here are a few reasons that Christians who agree on what the Bible says may still arrive at different conclusions on which candidate or party for which to vote:

  1. People may agree on principles and disagree on priorities. Two people may both think abortion is wrong and that we should all have affordable healthcare. But if abortion is the most important issue to one and healthcare the most important issue to the other, they will vote differently.

  2. People make different decisions based on the information they receive. Whether you watch MSNBC and think talk radio is brainwashing the other side or vice versa, the odds are pretty good that you mostly hear what you already believe. So does the other side. They don’t know what you do and you don’t know what they do. If you knew what they did, you might vote the same way they do. So give them some grace.

  3. People recognize flaws in other candidates and parties that they cannot see in their own. Things always look different from the outside. Politics is no exception.

  4. People may hold political beliefs that you haven’t even considered. Someone may want to help those in need, but vote against government welfare programs because they think charity is the Church’s responsibility. Likewise, someone may oppose abortion, but still vote for a pro-choice candidate because they think abortion is a moral issue and not a political issue.

  5. Not everyone votes with the same perspective. Some cast their ballot for financial reasons, others for their family, others for an ideal such as freedom, and others for a host of other reasons.

  6. Even among people who hold the same views, the same priorities, and the same mindset, there are still differences. Family being the most important issue might lead one person to vote in favor of the sanctity of marriage and another to vote against the division and deportation of immigrant parents.

Now that you understand why Christians on the other side vote differently, let’s talk about how to relate to them:

  1. Love your neighbor as yourself (Matthew 22:37-39). Give your brothers and sisters the same grace you hope they extend to you.

  2. Render to Caesar those things that are Caesar’s (a vote) and to God the things that are God’s (Matthew 22:21). Your faith should be in God, not government. Your love should be for the body of Christ, not any political body.

  3. Do not let politics consume you. Your citizenship is in heaven and your thoughts should be on heavenly things, not earthly things (Philippians 3:18-20). You should be meditating on true, noble, just, pure, lovely, virtuous, and praiseworthy things (Philippians 4:8).

  4. Do not let politics divide you. There should be no division in the body of Christ (1 Corinthians 12:25).

  5. Finally, walk in love (1 Corinthians 13:4-7). Be patient and kind. Do not be self-seeking or easily frustrated. Give others the benefit of the doubt. Forgive as you have been forgiven (Colossians 3:13). Seek peace and pursue it (Psalm 34:14) and God’s peace will guard your hearts and minds (Philippians 4:7).

This election year, vote however the Lord leads you, but choose to walk in the commandment to love those that vote differently. Be blessed!


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