The political arena does not encapsulate the foundation of the Christian faith, but it is a tool at our disposal. As in the case with any tool, the intentions and actions which make up the handler determine the effectiveness of said tool. As both a Pentecostal Christian and a United States citizen, I have not only a precious set of Christ-like values to espouse but I also possess the capability to vote on them—that is to assume responsibility when it comes to selecting the leaders who will shape public policy.
With the political primaries in full froth and the general presidential election looming, Christians have an opportunity to carry their Christian faith to the voting booth. Now, I have only one God I serve and a single candidate will not miraculously pull us out of the spiritual muck we’ve ensconced ourselves in, but would it not be prudent to research which candidates have a record of alignment with Christian principles? Here are a few questions to consider…
Will Your Candidate Nominate Supreme Court Justices Who Uphold Biblical Principles?
The passing of Associate Justice Antonin Scalia—a man devoted to protecting the institutions of marriage, the family, and the rights provided by the constitution—leaves an open seat that can swing one of two ways: either secular or conservative. Conservatives like Scalia most often have aligned with evangelical concerns, so if the Republican party can manage to stall Barack Obama’s nomination of the pro-abortion Merrick Garland, a potential Republican President candidate could determine the value system of a swing-vote justice on important issues.
Does Your Candidate Exhibit the Traits of a Principled Leader—Even that of a Christian Leader?
If the pool of candidates includes a Christian among them, all the better. Regardless, a good leader honors the laws, guides himself by the original intent of the Constitution, stands firm on moral issues, and critically approaches policy issues with a rationale that can only come with experience. The litmus test takes the form of 1 Timothy 3, and if your candidate scores poorly, then a second look is in order.
Does Your Candidate Have a History of Consistently Defending Religious Liberty?
The Christian owners of an Oregon bakery were fined more than 135,000 dollars for declining to cater a same-sex wedding for a lesbian couple because they believed that the Biblical definition of marriage is between one man and one woman. Cases like these show that religious liberty’s foundation is being ground into sand by a secular assault. Will your candidate contend for a constitutional right that had its inspiration in the Pilgrim Separatists that founded the Plymouth settlement and allows us to take our faith beyond the church pews?
Does Your Candidate Defend the Sanctity of Life?
If your candidate doesn’t value unborn lives, then he/she won’t care about yours either. Enough said.
What Political Leaders Has Your Candidate Endorsed in the Past?
A candidate’s company intimates his/her tendencies and from tendencies, one can deduce patterns.
Does Your Candidate Flip-Flop on Key Issues?
Politicians are entitled to changing their positions, but excessive, abrupt changes cause me to concern a candidate’s true nature.
The Trump Question
Many in the evangelical Christian circles are adhering to the idea that Mr. Donald Trump has been anointed by God to lead the country during a pivotal time such as this in American history. This has been commonly referred to as the “Cyrus anointing”—named for the ancient king of Persia who allowed the Jewish Temple to be rebuilt. For an in-depth analysis on the issue, check out a recent piece by trusted voice Dr. Michael Brown on Charisma.com titled, “Is Donald Trump a Modern-Day Cyrus?”
Additionally, Public faces of Christianity such as Liberty University President Jerry Falwell Jr. and Pat Robertson, founder of the Christian Broadcasting Network, have heaped gratuitous praise upon the Republican front-runner for nomination. As a result, in portions of the primary elections where the Bible-belt is cinched tight, many evangelicals have cast their vote in for Mr. Trump.
My question remains to Trump voters, “Anointing or not, will he honor the Constitution. Will he respect the rule of law? What is his history in politics? What actions has he taken to defend religious liberty? Does he value the sanctity of unborn life? Has he had consistent positions on key policy and ethical issues?”
As a Charismatic Christian myself, I am not a skeptic as to the reality of spiritual gifts like prophecy, speaking in tongues, healings, and communion with the Holy Spirit. They are a Biblical reality and I’ve seen it in action in the lives of family and friends, in the actions of numerous Christian elders, and it’s quite apparent in the ministries of evangelists such as Dutch Sheets, Chuck Pierce, and Perry Stone. However, it is my opinion that it would be imprudent to vote for Mr. Trump because of a hope that he is in fact anointed by God. I have to look at the fruit as well. And the fruit is what we all must research, for an anointing does not make a man infallible.
If Trump somehow becomes the Commander-in-Chief of the United States, I will pray for God to reveal Himself to Trump just as I have for Barack Obama these last eight years. However, my prayers do not necessitate an endorsement, especially in the case of President Obama. If Jerry Falwell Jr. and Pat Robertson truly believe in Trump’s goodness, then I exhort them to establish a dialogue with Trump’s administration and lobby for him to protect religious liberty, defund Planned Parenthood, and stand for conservative principles. Endorsing a candidate means one must live with the ramifications. Thus, Falwell and Robertson have the influence to be voices that mirror the mission of Christ.
In closing, I fully trust that God can use whomever He desires to advance His will. My question remains, “If Donald Trump did not have this anointing, would you vote for him? Would you vote for a man who says he is not sure if he’s ever asked God forgiveness for his sins (http://www.cnn.com/2015/07/18/politics/trump-has-never-sought-forgiveness/)? Is that a leader who will come under the laws of this nation? There are a lot of opportunists in the political arena, and they will frantically shovel coal into whatever fire they need to light. Christians have been pandered to before in elections, so I’d recommend a lot of prayer on this issue. I sincerely hope that I am wrong, and that a possible Donald Trump presidency would be full of godly principles and anointed guidance during a tenuous time in American history. If this eventually is the case, I will be delighted to say I was wrong, but I will also point out that he sure made it hard on us to trust him in the first place.
My Political Endorsement
My endorsement has no political weight whatsoever, but it would be an excellent case in putting my faith into political practice. Ted Cruz, the closest competitor to Trump, happens to be a committed Christian, a strict constitutionalist, a defender of religious liberty, and a unapologetic voice for Christian cultural values. He stood with Kim Davis when she came under fire for choosing not to award same-sex marriage licenses because it violated her Christian conscience. Cruz has a political record that can be researched, and just as I advocate with Trump, I also encourage evangelicals to apply the same set of criteria with Mr. Cruz.
Whomever your brothers and sisters in Christ vote for, we must remember our mission. No one man, whomever he may be, will single-handedly change the course of this nation. Only a dogged pursuit to fulfill the Great Commission can produce such a work. Your vote does not give you spiritual superiority over any other Christian who thinks differently. Additionally, the church has not been instructed to align itself with a certain candidate or political party. The endorsement remains the choice of the individual believer, and as we’ve found, the opinions greatly differ on how one must apply his faith to the voting booth.
All this talk about the Cyrus anointing has gotten me in a mood for another Biblical example. In 2nd Kings 22, the Book of the Law was discovered and King Josiah led Judah back to humility and repentance before God. America is ripe for a rodeo-ride with those two actions. Don’t take my word for it. Read the chapter and join me in prayer for a similar revival.
“Go and inquire of the Lord for me and for the people and for all Judah about what is written in this book that has been found. Great is the Lord’s anger that burns against us because those who have gone before us have not obeyed the words of this book; they have not acted in accordance with all that is written there concerning us.”
-2 Kings 22:13
Voters crave an economically wealthy, militarily robust, and domestically tranquil America. The task of evangelicals is to remain concerned with America’s spiritual temperature—specifically in regards to the nation’s stance on Biblical principles. Without God, we will be wayward in all our endeavors. I recommend that evangelicals vote for a Josiah and pray for a Cyrus, for “a double-minded man is unstable in all his ways” (James 1:8). My final inquiry for your candidate of choice comes from Amos 5:15…
“Hate evil, love good; maintain justice in the courts. Perhaps the LORD God Almighty will have mercy on the remnant of Joseph.” -Amos 5:15
May this be true of whomever is sworn in on Friday, January 20th, 2017.
Kevin Cochrane is a nineteen year old writer with the distinct purpose of radically restoring everyone with exposed ears to the original testimony of Jesus Christ. The great pursuit of his life is to live by the words he writes—which is currently an ongoing project. For updates on his latest blog posts, you can follow him on Twitter @RunFree_KC or click the follow button at the bottom of the page to receive notifications by email.