Stu Weber is an American pastor, former Army Green Beret, and author of several books including Four Pillars Of A Man’s Heart and Tender Warrior. He co-founded Good Shepherd Community Church near Gresham, Oregon, and served as Lead Pastor for more than thirty years before retiring to become Pastor Emeritus, Conference Speaker and counselor to pastors and statesman alike. The below letter is the most substantive biblical answer to the above question that I have seen to date, and none too soon.
“To my evangelical friends re: my personal opinion: What’s a faithful Christian to do in the 2016 US Presidential election?”
“Numerous evangelicals, including me, have agonized over the question.
The stakes of this election are incredibly high and long term, impacting our nation for decades to come (Come quickly, Lord Jesus!”), and I feel compelled to respond. Please interpret this as my own personal opinion. And bear with me. As Mark Twain reportedly said, “I don’t have time to write a short letter.”
Much hesitancy seems to center upon the character of the two candidates. Does character matter? Of course it does! But character is not the only thing that matters.
To many voters, neither of the major party Presidential candidates has much (if any) moral character. Because there are no truly “good” options, some fine Christians think that they can’t vote for either candidate. It feels like we’re being forced to choose between Nero and Nebuchadnezzar. How can a Christian choose between these two? Both of the candidates can be, at least on some issues, described as “morally loathsome.” But barring the unforeseen, one of them will soon occupy the White House.
So what’s a faithful Christian with an accurate biblical worldview to do? Drop out? Boycott the election? Cast a “protest” vote for a write-in or third party candidate? Vote only for other offices, and ignore the Presidency? Voting for the “lesser of two evils” seems repugnant to many. I understand that. Unfortunately, the ballots will always be filled with sinners. Jesus has never run for office, and the earth is 100% populated with sinful human beings. Not to vote for the lesser evil is to assist the greater evil. Voting for the lesser evil will result in the greater good for the country.
A frustrating realization: Politics, or our “earthly government,” is always led by very human beings.
Yes, this is a cursed world, ours is a depraved race, and government is faulty from the start. So do we Christians drop out and shake the dust of “secular politics” off our feet? That’s simply NOT an option that is open to us. Our humanity-being created in the Image of God-chafes against it. More importantly, the Bible will not allow us to drop out. If you are alive, you are, by definition poli-tical. We are all part of the “polis” – the human community/state – and the most basic function of a community/state (especially in a constitutional Republic like ours) is to determine, by voting, our poli-itical leaders who will select the governing poli-cies (rules to govern our living together).
Here is a most disgraceful fact: In our last four election cycles 25 million registered and self-declared evangelicals did NOT vote, and another 13 million evangelicals who were eligible to vote were not even registered. That means that 38 million evangelicals didn’t vote their biblical values. By not voting, they paved the way for the poli-cies of the current administration that are “fundamentally transforming America.” We evangelicals must repent from abstaining from the political process.