Should Christians vote in this highly controversial and divisive election, when both leading presidential candidates are far from perfect? Should they get their hands dirty by being involved in the political exercise? Or should they just stay away, exercise the option not to vote and keep their conscience clear?
For Dr. Robert Jeffress, pastor of the 11,000- strong First Baptist Church in Dallas, Texas and a contributor for Fox News, the answer is still, a resounding yes- Christians should and must vote this election. Jeffress gives three compelling reasons why Christians should still go out and vote and overcome the appeal of a silent ‘ boycott’ .
Voting is a God-given privilege and responsibility.
God has given us the freedom of choice to select the rulers of our Christian nation. Voting is also about choosing the moral and spiritual direction of our country. That is why voting is both a privilege and responsibility that Jeffress said should not be abdicated.
Voting is a primary way for Christians to stop evil.
Jeffress gives the very concrete example of the case of the most defenseless of all in our society- the unborn who are being murdered through abortion. More than 50 million children have been killed since abortion was legalized through the Supreme Court decision in Roe v. Wade (1973).
Republican nominee Donald Trump has promised to nominate justices to the Supreme Court who will either reverse Roe v. Wade or at least curtail late-time abortions including the horrific practice of partial birth abortion. In fact, Jeffress pointed out that in the last presidential debates, Trump has articulated the clearest and strongest pro-life stance by a Republican presidential aspirant ever including Romney, McCain, the Bushes, or even Ronald Reagan.
In stark contrast, Hillary Clinton said that she will appoint justices who will uphold Roe V. Wade.She has also refused to place restrictions on abortions regardless of timing of the abortion or reason.
Jeffress also underscored that religious liberty has been under attack in the eight years of the Obama administration and will likely escalate further under a Clinton administration as she is set to appoint justices who will curtail religious freedom.
Voting is about endorsing policies, not personalities.
Jeffress recalled that in 1980, Republican candidate Ronald Reagan was known for being a womanizer in Hollywood and a divorcee. But evangelicals still overwhelmingly supported Reagan over Baptist Sunday school teacher Jimmy Carter who was faithfully married to one woman. In the end, they voted for Reagan for his policies, and not for his perceived womanizing.
The radio host and author of 20 books emphasized that there are no perfect candidates, just as there are no infallible voters or pastors. But for Jeffress, the issues of the the sanctity of life and preservation of religious liberty- although not as popular to a number of voters- are very crucial issues for Christians and they should vote in the election with these concerns in mind, and which candidate stood by these essential Christian issues centered on Christian values and principles.