Why I’m Not Voting

For months I have made my views about Mr. Trump’s candidacy known on my blog as well as on The Phil Vischer Podcast, and those views have sparked both applause and anger. I am also a founding member of Public Faith, a new coalition of non-partisan Christians seeking to be a voice for the common good. Public Faith has released a number of statements during the campaign on matters of religious liberty, racial injustice, abortion, and poverty. Last week we also issued a statement about Mr. Trump’s fitness for the presidency.

Some on my Facebook page have misinterpreted Public Faith’s denunciation of Mr. Trump as an endorsement for Mrs. Clinton despite the statement explicitly saying otherwise. As I have shared on the podcast, I cannot in good conscience vote for either major party candidate. (To be clear, I will be voting for the other races on the ballot just not the contest for president.) As we draw closer to November 8, however, the position of the conscientious non-voter is being attacked. “By not voting you’re letting her win,” they say as if she is the White Witch and we are woodland creatures terrified of being turned into stone.

Well-meaning Christians have argued that we ought to hold our nose and vote for Mr. Trump because he is “the lesser of two evils.” This is the central argument made by Eric Metaxas in his recent op-ed in The Wall Street Journal. I encourage you to read Metaxas’ full article. I disagree with him, but his argument should be prayerfully considered. He articulates the case for supporting Mr. Trump better than most. He writes:

“Many say they won’t vote because choosing the lesser of two evils is still choosing evil. But this is sophistry…. Not voting—or voting for a third candidate who cannot win—is a rationalization designed more than anything to assuage our consciences.”

First, assuming that a Christian’s conscience is guided by the Holy Spirit, why is following it suddenly unacceptable? Having a clear conscience before God is repeatedly affirmed by Scripture as admirable and essential.

Second, while the world sometimes presents us with scenarios in which we must select between two horrible choices, this presidential election is not one of them. No one is under any obligation to vote for only Trump or Clinton. Christians have the very real, and arguably faithful, option to select neither candidate. That too is our right as Americans. Imagine the testimony to our country if Christians withheld their votes en masse from both candidates. It would trigger a seismic political upheaval. Even more, it would declare to everyone that our allegiance belongs to Jesus Christ above all else. That would be, in my view, a very positive outcome regardless of who occupies 1600 Pennsylvania Ave. 

Third, Metaxas’ argument appears strikingly similar to the devil’s strategy as described by C.S. Lewis in Mere Christianity. He said the devil, “always sends errors into the world in pairs–pairs of opposites. And he always encourages us to spend a lot of time thinking which is the worse. You see why, of course? He relies on your extra dislike of the one error to draw you gradually into the opposite one. But do not let us be fooled. We have to keep our eyes on the goal and go straight between both errors.” (Thanks to Michelle Phoenix for bringing this quote back to my attention via Facebook.)

In this election we have the opportunity to “go straight between both errors,” and by doing so maintain the integrity of our faith in the public square. As Andy Crouch wrote in Christianity Today, supporting Trump is more than a violation of Christian conscience, it also betrays our witness and reveals our captivity to political idols:

“Enthusiasm for a candidate like Trump gives our neighbors ample reason to doubt that we believe Jesus is Lord. They see that some of us are so self-interested, and so self-protective, that we will ally ourselves with someone who violates all that is sacred to us—in hope, almost certainly a vain hope given his mendacity and record of betrayal, that his rule will save us.”

Finally, let me address the knock out punch at the end of Eric Metaxas’ column against Christians like me who plan to withhold their vote for president. He writes:

“For many of us, this is very painful, pulling the lever for someone many think odious. But please consider this: A vote for Donald Trump is not necessarily a vote for Donald Trump himself. It is a vote for those who will be affected by the results of this election. Not to vote is to vote. God will not hold us guiltless.

Rhetoric like this is why some Christians have come to believe that casting a ballot on Election Day is the highest expression of their Christian faith, and why they carry such anxiety about the outcome. To believe their fate or that of the world hangs in the balance reveals how distorted our vision of God’s sovereignty really is. And to say that voting for Trump isn’t really voting for Trump requires a looseness with logic and language on par with Bill Clinton asking what the definition of the word “is” is.

On one point, however, I do agree with Mr. Metaxas—we are responsible to God for our decision, but our guilt or innocence will not be limited to what we do on November 8.

Metaxas ignores the fact that Mr. Trump’s odious character was well known before the release of the horrific Access Hollywood hot mic recording on October 7. It was well documented before he accepted the nomination of the Republican Party in July, and it was on full display during the primaries when Trump could have been eliminated from consideration. Donald Trump’s name did not magically appear on the ballot. People put it there—including a disturbing number of Christians who voted for him in the primaries.

What’s most troubling is not Donald Trump’s odious character, but what his nomination says about ours. And for that God will not hold us guiltless.

Evangelical leaders who have enthusiastically supported Trump for many months, like Eric Metaxas, need to take responsibility for creating a climate of paranoia among Christians that allowed Trump’s candidacy to be deemed acceptable in the first place. Having freed this beast from the abyss, they are now asking the rest of us to join them on its back because they think the other beast is worse. Good luck, Mr. Metaxas, but I’m staying with the Lamb.




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62 Comments

  • October 13, 2016

    Adam Desmond

    Thanks for this thoughtful review of the major candidates, but I wonder why you chose not to talk about the third party candidates. I feel that a vote for Johnson, while certainly futile in this election, could get the party to 5% nationally, which would give them access to federal campaign funds in 2020. That could make a huge difference in the long run.

    • October 13, 2016

      Bethlehem Beyer

      Gary Johnson is pro-prostitution. Vote Evan McMullin this November!
      https://www.evanmcmullin.com

      • October 13, 2016

        Vicki

        I’m voting for McMullin! I urge all Christians to do so. He really is the obvious choice.

        • October 14, 2016

          Cel

          This is the first time I’ve heard that name….25 days out from the election. Vote for this guy if it makes you feel better, but get use to the term Madam President & kiss most of your Bill of Rights good bye while you feel good about your vote.
          Three of the biggest leaders of the evangelicals are still supporting Trump, one mainly for the SCOTUS, but hey, what difference at this point does it make.

          • November 1, 2016

            Vicki

            The same Bill of Rights we lost with the enactment of the Patriot Act in 2001? We haven’t had a Bill of Rights in a long time.

      • October 16, 2016

        Darrell Wolfe

        Well… that’s a blanket statement with no context. Do you know WHY Gary Johnson is pro-prostitution, and why most Christian’s should be too, at least in some context? Among other reasons (like Christians need to stop being everyone elses moral police), Prostitutes are very often the victims of Human Trafficking. They are victims not criminals. Yet they are treated like criminals if they come forward many times. Legalizing prostitution is a way to free victims to come forward. A middle ground would be to decriminalize the woman while still criminalizing their handlers, which could be good for discussion. But one-liner statements like that are not helpful. Besides that if Evan McMullin wanted my vote he needed to be in MUCH earlier and prove he had a viable path to victory by being on all fifty ballots, which Gary has done. In my opinion Evan coming in this late in the game is a crony-ploy to get his name out there and build his platform to sell books and things. He has no viable path; therefore, should shut up until 2020 and get in earlier enough to make a difference. #GOPNeverAgain, voting Gary Johnson.

        I am a Conservative-Liberal | Republicans and Democrats are actually the same party, here’s why I’m a #ChristianLibertarian
        http://wolfeforoffice.blogspot.com/2016/09/i-am-conservative-liberal-republicans.html

    • October 14, 2016

      Dan Brewster

      I think we should vote for Trump Because He is on the Republican Party And the Republican Party platform is closer to the biblical values than the Democratic party platform. And he has Mike Pence as a vice president who was a very good Christian man also Ben Carson Michele Bachmann And other good conservative folks that are advising him And he says he will pick A Supreme Court Justice like Antonin Scalia Who was very conservative and constitutional. I think Trump has grown and learned a lot About leading the country Just since running for president. He already had the skills And record of getting things done now he will apply them to our country. I can’t understand why Hillary and Bill want to be in the Limelight anymore they’ve been living off public money since the mid-seventies and Arkansas And he has a pension from his position he held in Arkansas and from being the president and he also has secret service why don’t they just go home and retire and enjoy the grandkids. Their Clinton Foundation pays their way to travel anywhere they want to in the world And Bill doesn’t need to be back in the white house with nothing to do He’ll just get himself in trouble with the girls again. Just vote for Trump because he’s the one that will keep us the most secure and us Christians can handle the spreading of the gospel we just need someone to keep us safe and to protect our religious freedom Like he has promised to do…………

    • October 15, 2016

      Sylvia

      Nice idea. by not voting for trump. But in doing so you will end up with hillery. This is how we ended up with obama . You saw how that worked out!!!hmmm not so good we no have same sex marriage allowing children in school to use what ever restroom they want….REALLY???? So…. if you REALLY WANT MORE HORRIFIC THINGS TO HAPPEN don’t vote!!!

    • October 17, 2016

      Sam Griffith

      The entire point of this article is to detail the reasons to consider purposefully NOT VOTING due to your allegiance to your faith in Christ. This does not say anything about how to decide on who to vote for. In here, there is no weighing the potential outcomes or the benefits of supporting any party. Simply put, this article is reminding Christ followers to place their full allegiance in Him, and not in a flawed man or woman. To forego the act of voting to put more of your trust in God.For all too many American Christians, I know this is a novel idea. I admit that I voted last election cycle out of the pressure to “not let the other guy win”. But since then i too have been convicted not to vote. If you want to look into this more, and challenge your understanding of American Christian culture, I suggest reading THE MYTH OF A CHRISTIAN NATION by Greg Boyyd.

  • October 13, 2016

    Dave Ambrose

    Excellent commentary Skye. Thank you for opening up a very important “third way” for our consideration…As members of The Kingdom of God, we must continue to operate in a different dimension.

    • October 13, 2016

      Doris

      Dr Dobson said he, Mike Pence and in prayer with Mr. Trump and he accepted Jesus. It seems to me that Satan is really testing him. I have seen a difference in him. I had a deep concern after last week and felt the Holy Spirit leading to pray for him.

      • October 14, 2016

        Karen Mittet

        Matthew 7:16 “You will know them by their fruits.” Donald Trump can say he has accepted Jesus but everything he does shows otherwise. Jesus was humble and sacrificed for others. This is my example of a Christian. Trump isn’t even honest enough to show his tax return. He has absolutely no qualities of my Savior. What has he done for the poor, the homeless, the hungry? Compare this to Hillary Clinton’s record of helping women, children and the poor. No Christian should even listen to this man, Trump, he’s toxic and poison.

        • October 15, 2016

          Sam

          You know what hillary has done to women, maybe she has been for children( if they’re lucky enough to make it out of the womb), and she’s not the least bit concerned about the vets or people who have lost businesses or homes through the liberal policies she supports and plans to double down on..Trump hires people who can support their families, supports the aid to vets, will keep the constitution through good fair judges,and loves the country that has been so good to him and his family for years..he’s not going to crap in his own bed!!! time to try a more positive stab at fixing the damage of the last 8 years…no proof of anything alleged by those women..everyone is redeemable so exercise your ” Christian beliefs” and forgive..God is the only judge that truly matters..He loves Trump because he, too, is one of his children.

        • October 15, 2016

          Russ Beals

          Karen, I am sorry but what about the millions of children who have never been born thanks to Mrs. Clinton’s support of abortion? She does not care about women or children. She only cares about herself and how she can get more, more power, more money and more control.

        • October 18, 2016

          Marshall Sanford

          YESTERDAY I learned on The Jim Bakker Show! Their Guest Gary Heavin who is the (Founder of Jenny Craig & Weight Watcher’s) revealed that Hillary and Bill Clinton’s Charity has only give 6% of the money that was donated for Haiti relief. But they SPENT THE REST 94% on administration cost. 94 PERCENT does that sound like a good charity?

          • October 18, 2016

            Adam Desmond

            I’m guessing that’s 100% more than Trump has given.

          • October 26, 2016

            Mara Lynch

            **Please note I am not a supporter of the Clintons and do not intend to vote for Hillary. **

            Check out The Clinton Foundation on Charity Navigator and other reputable charity monitoring sites. They give the Clinton Foundation a rating of 90% spent on relief and only 10% on administrative costs. These are organizations that actually AUDIT the books of the organization.

            There are questions about Hillary taking meetings with big donors while she was SecState, but there is NO question that the money is being spent very well. For example, about 50% of all people who received important AIDS drugs in Africa that began to turn the deaths around had their drugs paid for by The Clinton Foundation.

      • October 26, 2016

        Mara Lynch

        Even James Dobson can be deceived. He’s not God. You can see if someone is saved by their fruit. From Galatians 5…” “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control.” Does Trump show any of these fruits? If not, then James Dobson is wrong.

  • October 13, 2016

    Bethany

    That quote from C.S. Lewis is profound and perfect for this situation. Thank you.

  • October 13, 2016

    John McMannus

    Thank you for these insightful observations. Thank you, too, for taking a Biblical stand on these issues.

  • October 13, 2016

    Trisha

    Yes. Thank you Skye!

  • October 13, 2016

    Terry Austin

    Good word. I’ve been saying the same thing since June but folks have a hard time understanding it. https://wterryaustin.wordpress.com/2016/06/02/why-you-should-not-vote-in-the-presidential-election/

  • October 13, 2016

    DEAN MECHLER

    Some very good points. I look forward to reading your post about why Christians should not vote specifically for Clinton. When will that be available?

    • October 13, 2016

      admin

      Dean-

      Fair question. I’ll write that post when polls show that 87% of evangelicals are voting for the Democratic candidate. As things stand, Trump is winning the overwhelming majority of evangelicals.

      Skye

  • October 13, 2016

    Noah

    While I respect the choice to abstain from voting on the basis of morality and conscience, I would encourage a reconsideration for strategic reasons. A very different set of real life outcomes will result depending on what the public collectively decides. Aside from the presidential decision we currently have a third option which could trigger the “beginning of the end” for two party politics. Dislike him as you may (and for valid reason), but if the Libertarian Party candidate gets enough votes the party will gain traction and validity (and campaign funding) so that it can effectively challenge the establishment in years to come. If you don’t want to vote between the two evils then at least cast a vote that might Help unravel the duopoly.

    Consider watching Rigged 2016 doco for more on this option.

    • October 13, 2016

      admin

      I hear you, Noah. I dislike the two party system as much as anyone. However, I’m old enough to remember Ross Perot in 1992. He won 19% of the vote- a massive showing for a third party candidate. Some thought that would also break the two-party stronghold. It didn’t. A strong showing by Johnson this year does not mean we won’t slip right back into the two party system that’s always dominated US politics.

      -Skye

      • October 13, 2016

        Noah

        I totally acknowledge the idealistic hope here, but at the same time it’s a bit fatalistic to simply do nothing based on a belief that the two party system will remain in perpetuity. It seems to me (and many others) that the political climate is shifting and the incoming generation is ripe for significant structural change. While Johnson is merely the flavor of the month, the Libertarian Party and it’s values have been gaining momentum for the last decade. On a state and local level the party has significant representation (145 local offices and 4 state level seats) and is growing. With 44 years under it’s belt, the LP isn’t just a flash-in-the-pan, Ross Perot anomaly but a rising contender.

        Since you don’t have to worry about Johnson becoming the actual president, wouldn’t a vote with the potential to uproot the two-party-system be worth a shot? Or just bury that ‘talent’ in the dirt? 😉

  • October 13, 2016

    Karen Mittet

    As a Christian (but a Canadian one, living in the US the past 15 years), I cannot grasp ANY LOGICAL reason why evangelicals would not vote for Clinton. Should I list her impressive civic credentials or her devotion to helping the poor, uneducated, minorities and women? The Bible studies she held as First Governor’s Lady? What about her loyalty to her husband, forgiving him for his past mistakes? As a Yale Law School graduate, she is extremely qualified for the office of President, and has served this nation for over 44 years. In addition, she releases her tax returns. If this is not enough for someone to obtain a vote November 8th over Donald Trump, then I’m truly baffled. Christians decided to be Republican before anything else and this is a major reason why Trump is on the ballot. Remember Jesus overturning the tables in the Temple? Christians should have been that upset about Trump ages ago. You reap what you sow.

    • October 13, 2016

      Lucas

      I’m almost 40, and I’ll be casting the first Democratic presidential vote of my life for the reasons you cite, Karen. Mrs. Clinton is far from my first choice and takes stands on issues that I oppose as a Christian, but she also is for some things that I am glad to see support for such as attempting to increase opportunities for the disadvantaged and refugees. Given the choice on the other side, I feel fortunate there is an alternative.

      • October 13, 2016

        Jennifer

        She is pro-choice. That is more than enough reason not to vote for her for many evangelicals.

        I’m not an evangelical, but I’m pro-life; however,I would not necessarily be opposed to voting for a Democrat against Trump–it’s not like having Republicans in power at the national level has done much for the pro-life cause either. But I have serious issues with Clinton’s actions as Secretary of State, and I ‘m not talking about her emails. Under Pres. Obama and Secretary Clinton, we have basically destroyed the Middle East with our interference. I’m not about to vote for four (or eight) more years of that foreign policy. I was going to vote for Gary Johnson due to the Libertarians’ more disengaged posture in foreign policy, but since the man doesn’t know where Aleppo is, I’m stuck with not voting or voting for Evan McMullin, whom I know very little about.

        • October 14, 2016

          Karen Mittet

          Donald Trump is pro-Choice as well. He only declared otherwise when forced to by the GOP. He will not change the laws on abortion.

    • October 13, 2016

      Rod Carpenter

      None of those qualifications outweigh her support for abortion. None. It’s not even close. It’s like suggesting people vote for Hitler because of his strong national defense policy and ignore the whole “killing the inferiors” thing.

      We could go on to her expressed view that the religious will need to change their views and start applauding moral degeneracy, or her campaign’s creation of trojan horse “Catholic” organizations to manipulate the grassroots, but there’s no need. Once a candidate has declared that some people (in her case, the unborn) aren’t people and can be killed with impunity, there’s nothing else a Christian should need to hear.

      None of this makes Trump more palatable, but it makes her ineligible for Christian support.

      • October 14, 2016

        Karen Mittet

        Trump is not against abortion. He will do absolutely nothing to change abortion laws. President George W. Bush had the Congress behind him and never even tried to overrule abortion. Abortion is not the only issue Christians should be advocating. What about rape, poverty, universal healthcare, our failing jail system, education, veterans and homelessness? Are you aware that approximately 22 veterans a day die by suicide as a result of going to war? So why don’t we outlaw war? Christians get sidetracked by the abortion issue and then don’t advocate for anything else. It’s called smoke and mirrors and Republican politicians are masters at it.

        • October 16, 2016

          Victoria

          Hi. I’m sorry, I’m just slightly confused by your outlaw war comment. You mean have no military force? Simply not engage in any conflicts? In order to help all the soldiers suffering from mental illnesses post-war, we should put all soldiers out of work? I apologize if I’m way off, I’m just confused about what you’re saying our next president should be doing for our military and veterans.

    • October 14, 2016

      Tawnia

      One important “LOGICAL” reason is that she supports the murder of innocent babies via abortion. If you are a Christian, this reason alone should be enough to drive you far from her campaign.

  • October 13, 2016

    Grayson Pope

    I agree with you on Metaxas’ stance. It seems like he’s putting too much hope in the political system. The Roman Empire was probably full of Trump’s. But instead of instructing believers on how to think about who gets into power, Paul (based on 1 Timothy 2:1-6) tells them to pray for whoever it happens to be.

    It seems like he would be far less concerned with if we voted or not, and much more concerned with if we’re praying that the gospel would advance in peace under whichever leader wins. That’s not to say a vote is divorced of meaning, of course it’s not. But it seems like the aim of living a quiet, peaceful life in pursuit of the mission of God is a far better measure of someone’s faithfulness than who they cast a ballot for.

  • October 13, 2016

    Sandy

    I pray for our leaders and I will vote because I believe a vote for HRC is a vote that will affect our Children and Their Children Negatively for a long time! If HRC wins I will pray Harder!

  • October 13, 2016

    Lucas

    I really disagree with the idea that we must cast an “affirmative” vote, a theory also espoused by a recent guest of the show Amy Black. If we aren’t allowed to vote for the lesser of two evils, it feels like some kind of ideological purity test, the kind of thing that pushes our candidates further and further to the right and left. If one candidate repeatedly takes positions that repulse and terrify while the other has a mix of positions I support and oppose (in some cases strongly oppose), I’ll go with the latter.

    It would appear from the body of your post that you consider our choices for President to be equally bad, and that’s why you are sitting this one out. If that’s the case, I get the choice to sit it out. Understand that there are those of us that see them as two very unequal levels of bad, and not necessarily the way some of the sources in your post suggest. For those of us in that boat, it’s still worth voting this year.

  • October 13, 2016

    Erik

    I have a hard time with this article. You titled it, “Why I’m not voting,” but one of the main points of the Public Faith declaration is to commit to voting in all elections. It seems like a major contradiction.

    • October 13, 2016

      admin

      Erik-

      I’m voting, just not for the presidency. I’m still casting my ballot for down ticket races.

      Skye

  • October 13, 2016

    j taber

    I’m all for those who feel they are staying with the Lamb by not voting. I only hope and pray they apply the same careful and thoughtful scrutiny to other areas of their lives….as it would seem far too many Christ Followers condone/support sinful language, ideas, and actions by the support they show for: sleezy sex/violence ridden TV and movies, sleezy sex ridden Godless music and videos, the wild praise and honor given to pro athletes with horribly sinful life styles, the foul locker room / bar room / back room talk they listen to, laugh at, and even engage in themselves from time to time, etc…. The least we should ask of one another as believers as we make our pronouncements about the evil within this election is Godly consistency for our own words and actions…and freedom from hypocrisy as we write and speak out. Amen?

  • October 13, 2016

    Lilly

    Like most Christians I am struggling with the vote too. There is so much I want to say but I will ask a question instead. When God raised up Cyrus, a pagan, to be the leader of the Persian empire was it b/c God agreed with all that Cyrus stood for? Did Cyrus honor God? No. He was the instrument of God’s choosing to deal with His people Israel. When God raised up Joseph to advise the Pharoah in Egypt was it because Joseph and God agreed with the Egyptian government and all the policies they stood for? Did Joseph not advise a pagan ruler? And what about Daniel and the outstanding wise Jewish boys taken into captivity. Did Daniel not advise many pagan kings, remain in office and carry out his duties to the level that he was so highly regarded yet was faithful to God? Why do we as Christians believe that “God’s choice” is always the righteous godly leader? He knows we are leaving in a pagan world and America is a pagan nation…anyone who believes otherwise is blinded. We have a “form of godliness” but as a nation the fruit is pagan. God is sovereign, I agree with you Skye. He is making a choice here….His Word says He is the one who raises up rulers and takes them down. That means he has raised up wicked rulers in the world in His overall plan. My conscience cannot vote for Hillary at all. And I do not want to vote for Trump either. And I have also considered sitting this one out. But to say I cannot vote b/c morally I do not agree with everything a candidate says that God then must agree morally with every leader He raises up. This world belongs to the devil beloved until Christ comes to take back what he ransomed back and cast satan into the lake of fire. He is defeated but still in office. The detestable sacrifices in the OT were babies and children being offered to Moloch and Bal. Children killed. To me abortion is the modern day equivalent of babies being sacrificed to Moloch and Baal. I cannot vote for Hillary when she is so pro abortion and enthusiastically backed by planned parenthood. That is blood on my hands.

    • October 22, 2016

      Sunny

      Well said Lilly. Thank you.

  • October 13, 2016

    Gene R. Smillie

    I respect your decision and the musings that have led to it. But, I disagree, both with your conclusion and with those who are voting for a 3rd party candidate. (Btw, I too remember Ross Perot’s unusual 19% performance that you cited above in one of your responses to another comment. He basically stole the presidency from GHW Bush and handed it to Clinton). This year, one of the two principal candidates is going to be President. No 3rd party candidate is going to do anything more than “spoil” the chance of one or the other of the two principals to be elected. So, it comes down to competence and demonstrated ability to learn how to do a very, very complex job. Character is out as a criterion, because neither candidate has it.

    But, if you look at thousands of years of human history, the record of strong and ultimately competent leaders very nearly always shows them to be folks who were ruthless and pragmatic, even killing rivals and potential obstacles to their political agenda, to get what they wanted to accomplish done. It’s not just the freaks, like Stalin or Pol Pot. It’s a very, very common historical fact. Apart from our Judao-Christian based American ethos (and I don’t want to stop and debate/defend that characterization; everybody in the world knows and accepts that, except for historical revisionists in the USA), apart from America’s 200 year young experiment, almost any government leader you study through the years has blood on his hands (even my Church History textbooks are soaked in blood stories). My point?

    One of our candidates has exactly that kind of (accused, at least) record, with dozens of dead bodies lying on the trail behind that person and that person’s spouse, down through the years. Appalling? Yes! Commendable? Of course not! BUT the record of that same candidate’s life-long diligence in learning how to do whatever job she was appointed to shows an admirable level of both intelligence, competence, and ability to work with others to get things done in government. I don’t like Hillary. At all. I wanted Bernie Sanders to win, and Wasserman, in behalf of Clinton, literally stole the primaries and the nomination from what apparently was many more of the peoples’ choice for the DNC nomination.
    But, the original post here is about ‘what to do, faced with the choices we have before us now as a voting public.’ And I’m afraid that in this election I’m going to have to in all integrity pull the lever on the person I think really is prepared to do the job, and do it effectively, even I don’t like her or admire her “moral character.” Will make many decisions with which I will not agree. Throughout a lifetime, already has. But when you listen to this woman talk about internal and international issues that a President of the United States has to deal with day in day out, it is clear that she has, as she suggests, been preparing to do this job for years.
    And, sometimes, when it is convenient for her, she espouses or at least enunciates policies & values with which I agree. If Liz and Bernie keep the fire under her butt, she may help adjust the laws of the land towards a more equitable and just society like the one most of us grew up in, before the likes of Dubya & Co. kicked the rest of us to the curb and gave the rich a free ticket to get richer, filthy richer. And speaking of Congress, I think even if Republicans control the legislative branch again, Clinton will be able to work with them far better than Obama has been able to — she did when she was in the Senate, working closely with people like John McCain on stuff– so that, for better or for worse, at least the government will begin to function again, which it hasn’t, on the Congress side for about 6 years.
    When I’ve got a severe tooth ache, I ultimately choose the dentist who is most qualified to perform as a dentist, not the one whose theological/ethical standards most accord with my own.

    • October 15, 2016

      Lilly

      Gene,

      I respectfully disagree with you on so many levels I don’t know where to start. But what jumps out at me is one your comments referring to Hillary…….” and ability to work with others to get things done in government.” I don’t call a trail of dead bodies behind someone the ability to work with others and get things done. No….it is quite the opposite. Get in her way and your dead for her to get “her” things done….not what is best for the people. I call it evil. You are correct….neither candidate has solid moral character. But a woman who is calling out her opponent making derogatory comments about the sexual accusations astounds me since her husband has been guilty of those same accusations and WORSE and she never called him out as such but has remained married to him. I am sorry….but a wake of dead bodies and snuffing out lives on top of lying compulsively is far worse than Trump’s issues. Sadly it is deciding between the lesser of two evils. But we must put on our grown up pants and decide! We may not like that is choosing the lesser of two evils than having a glowing candidate in the bunch…but that is all we have to decide with. Does someone who compulsively lies, risks our security and serves her own interest and now we learn how much she despises the average American…is that what makes her more qualified to be president? Scripture instructs us to act in ways that our conscience will not condemn us and your remarks go on about how many decisions she has already made and will surly make in the future you will not agree with….but she is the best. I don’t agree with Trump on everything…but I believe he loves this country and is more committed to serving the people than Hillary. I have a multi-decade history to look at already and how Hillary has transgressed and betrayed the American people. With Trump I don’t have that so at least there is a better chance he won’t. With her it is already a given b/c she has proved it.

  • October 13, 2016

    Samuel Blair

    I was hoping for a more nuanced argument from Metaxas, but it still boils down to “if Clinton wins America ends, babies die, and ISIS kills your mother”. I was even more disappointed to read the same debunked stories coming through. Proof that many will tend to believe the information that supports your bias, even if false, and downplay the information that doesn’t, even if it’s true.

  • October 13, 2016

    Ken

    Not sure how to take this. My Bible reads a woman should never lead but follow? Curious about what others think.

    • October 26, 2016

      Mara Lynch

      Something tells me you have a bad paraphrase. 😉

  • October 14, 2016

    David Powell

    This election at this point is about sowing and reaping. The vote is the seed. You can choose what to do with it. To sow Trump seed is voting for the policies that he will push and the people that will surround him in directing the future of our country. The same is true of Hillary. And not sowing or voting, is allowing the field to be barren or in this case allowing the party that wins to determine the future of the country (harvest). The principle of sowing and reaping also states that you sow after you reap and the harvest is variable due to outside forces like weather but usually is much more than what you planted. An administration that will appoint judges that support pro-gay and pro-abortion will affect us for the next 20, 30, 40+ years depending upon the age of the Supreme Court Justice. The Bible says that God will bless those who bless Israel. Going back to reaping and sowing – God says that he will not be mocked. This applies to blessing Israel as well. Now to Trump and his morality. He was wrong, period. BUT, lets not be so blind as to look at the other side. There is lying, support of abortion (which could almost be linked to murder in a Biblical sort of view given that Jesus said to hate is to murder and to lust is to commit adultery), an inability to protect lives like Benghazi, etc. That is equally deplorable. So to me they are on a level playing field. Not voting is allowing one of these two to win. So to not vote is to vote.

  • October 14, 2016

    Chad

    Skye, thank you for your great thought provoking piece. I am so thankful for your ministry. In an age when it feels some days that we have no way of digging out of the deep entrenchments in which we are trapped (whether or not we recognize it), you call us to commune with God himself, to make the most important things the most important things, and as we allow ourselves to be shaped into his likeness to reconsider some of our biases.

    A few specific thoughts:
    1. The call to following the Spirit is 1000 times more important than how you discuss the politics, but I really find myself asking the question of whether the reason I don’t more seriously consider Hillary is pure bias on my part. In so many ways, you have helped me discover and have been God’s instrument in helping me explore my biases. I understand your response that 87% of your audience isn’t supporting her (or perhaps it is stated more poignantly that the 87% isn’t supporting “the democratic candidate” rather than her specifically), but I would humbly ask…should we reconsider?

    2. My wife and I had our daughter Avery in 2012. She was born with Trisomy 18, a severe chromosomal disorder that leads to death often within a week. Our beautiful baby girl was with us for 6 days. We treasured every moment with her, and I miss her deeply to this day.

    During that time, I explored what had long been mostly an assumed pro-life stance. My experience with my daughter strengthened my view that all life has value and should be protected. I am called to protect those who cannot protect themselves. However, as I explored and memorized the biblical verses that brought me comfort and which so often serve as the basis for the biblical pro-life argument, I could not find iron-clad biblical text that said life begins at conception. The verses that discuss it make such an argument logical and plausible but do not make it a foregone conclusion. Collectively, these experiences have made me more strongly but hopefully more humbly pro-life. And in the spirit of that humility I am troubled however by Rod’s comment that support of Hillary is on par with support of Hitler. I appreciate the respectful tone taken by most comments on this article, and it encourages me to see that unity in the body is on the minds of most as this dialogue carries on.

    Thank you Skye for the unwavering focus that God’s work in this world doesn’t begin in the oval office–it begins in me!

  • October 14, 2016

    Ron

    Why can’t you folks understand, not voting, or a vote for anyone but Trump is a vote for Hillary? There is too much at stake this time to sit on your high horse and righteously proclaim your “purity”.

    Understand, if she wins, her Supreme Court will rewrite the constitution to serve their distorted view of what this country should be.

    PLEASE people, think before you cast a vote you can never take back!

  • October 14, 2016

    Violet

    First and only thing I can to you is: you can not be none partisan and be a True Christian.
    How can you proclaim God and be partisan to the Democratic party? When everything about them is against God. And further more, if you don’t vote, you might as well spit in the face of every fallen and surviving war veteran who caught for your rights and freedom.
    So you might want to revalueate your Christianity and get into Gods word and find God.

  • October 14, 2016

    Jen

    I, too, have decided many weeks ago that I will not be voting for the presidency this election. I will, however, vote for the local and state representatives. Time and time again I have heard the exact statement that you just described, “by not voting you’re letting him/her win” and that I just need to vote for the “lesser of two evils”. I have even been told, as your article also describes, that by not voting or voting for a third candidate who cannot win, I am “throwing away my vote”. I thank you for making it clear that as Christians we have the CHOICE to select neither candidate and should feel free to do so if our conscience dictates that decision. I still have not decided yet if I will be voting for a third party canidate, but it’s nice to know that there may be others out there as well who feel the same way when it comes to leaving the ballot empty.

  • October 15, 2016

    Sam

    There must be a president. Failure to vote is simply failing to voice your opinion on the choices that are not only offered, but in fact chosen by the respective parties. Essentially it is to admit that you don’t care. One might also ask if you also failed to take time to vote in the primaries when you had a chance puck another candidate.

  • October 15, 2016

    Dan Brewster

    The folks who don’t vote this year for president, will have to revisit this in 4 to 8 years and see if they are still glad they didn’t vote………

  • October 15, 2016

    Ray

    I wonder about the best decision here. If not voting for Donald Trump is a moral choice then is it even better to vote for someone who can defeat him? I also wonder if not voting is a cop out. It would be easier to cop out this way in a state that is safely not voting for Trump, like Illinois. But what about a “battleground” state?

  • October 15, 2016

    Charles Nault

    A vote for anyone other than Trump is unfortunately a vote for Hillary Clinton, whose anti-Christian beliefs are now, thanks to Wikileaks, is public knowledge.
    If as a Christian you “sit this one out” or “vote your conscience” and vote for a third party candidate, the undeniable fact is that you will be enabling Clinton to win. The net result: more Christians will be brutally massacred around the world, more Islamic Terrorists will enter this country, and the Supreme Court will further erode your rights as a Christian in this country. You will have brought about your own demise and that of your Christian brothers and sisters around the world. All because you smugly refused to face the facts of this unfortunate election. There is good reason Dr Dobson, Dr Carson, Erik Metaxas, and so many other giants of our faith are urging you to vote for Donald Trump, despite his many shortcomings. You would be wise to heed their safe advice. Please prayerfully consider a change of heart for your children’s future ability to exercise their faith.

  • October 20, 2016

    Anand S.

    Skye, I wish you would give higher priority in your thoughtful article to other candidates that are not so famous. For Example, Evan McMullin is a good option. Not voting is a bad option. Compare any of the Trump-Clinton debates and this video of McMullin and you can see why. Evan is not new to Politics and if very familiar with policy issues as a Chief Policy officer in Washington D.C. See https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Fv0MXhgLgXQ

  • October 21, 2016

    Neil

    [I recently wrote this on my church’s “blog.”]

    After spending wayyy too much time last night watching YouTube videos about the corruption in the White house (e.g., Hillary Clinton is a lesbian, Joe Biden is a pedophile, Donald Trump is a Russian spy, Barack Obama is a zombie) I’m convinced that actually voting anyone into the office of President is, at a minimum, one of the worst things you could wish for your enemies, no less your allies. Which, from the point of repaying evil with kindness, makes a good argument for abstaining from voting. However, when I read what Jesus said:

    I have given them thy word; and the world hath hated them, because they are not of the world, even as I am not of the world. I pray not that thou shouldest take them out of the world, but that thou shouldest keep them from the evil. They are not of the world, even as I am not of the world. Sanctify them through thy truth: thy word is truth. As thou hast sent me into the world, even so have I also sent them into the world. And for their sakes I sanctify myself, that they also might be sanctified through the truth. (John 17:14-19)

    I am reminded that even though I “am not of the world” I have been sent “into the world.” Thus, I have an obligation to influence my world. But in what way? Through the truth seems to be the answer Jesus has given.

    “But which truth?”

    Bearing the truth of God’s Word is our ONLY obligation to this world. All other obligations are the obligations of the spirit toward God and his people. We are not citizens of the United States, we are citizens of Heaven. Our permanent home is there, not here.

    I am convinced that if you go into the polling place on November 2nd and are led by the Spirit to share the Gospel of Jesus Christ you will be doing more good than if you enter the polling booth and vote for a politician. (It’s also possible you will be kicked out, berated, beaten, or arrested.)

    It makes the whole question of who to vote for rather insignificant in the light of eternity. However, if we go into the voting booth with our hope fixed on heaven, rather than men (or zombies) we will probably do more good than if we just listen to the pundits, pollsters, and YouTube personalities and vote with the jerk of the knee.

    • October 26, 2016

      Lilly

      Neil…..I appreciate your perspective and thoughts. And the overtone of humor.
      Whatever the outcome, I am so grateful I can rest in the Sovereignty of our incredible Lord and God. Who reigns over all the kingdoms of this world. His will will be accomplished regardless. He is not bringing His hands over who gets in the White House and Scripture says it is He who raises up and takes down the kings and rulers of nations. We do the best we can according to the light we have and the conviction of the Spirit and rest in our omnipotent Gid.
      Blessings all.

      Lilly

  • October 26, 2016

    Joshua Wasmundt

    I have been a fan of the podcast for a long time now. I even went back and listen to every podcast from the begin. I have always appreciated you and your view on many things. God has help me grow and move beyond my box through your podcast. Thank you for all you, Phil and Christian have done. Please continue. I am also reading your book With and I am loving it.
    However your stance of the election I can never agree with. Trump will not be the first president to be imperfect and I believe with all my heart that he will not cause as much damage as Hilary. Please reconsider your stance.
    Thanks and God Bless!

  • November 15, 2016

    Deidre Donovan

    Thank you so much for this article I feel so incredibly validated reading this. That CS Lewis quote REALLY hit me right between the eyestablishment, I am amazed it’s hadn’t heard it before. Thank you so much for writing and sharing