We don’t need to settle for the lesser of two evils. Not only is that to in fact settle for evil but also to subvert the very idea of a righteous public square. Oh, I know we can’t expect unbelievers to act like Christians. But can we no longer expect Christians to act like Christians and to live for something beyond this election? Can we no longer as Christians hold out hope for a more thorough-going righteousness in our leaders? I do. I’m tired of playing the game that elects a man with the expectation that he’ll break his word within days or weeks of taking office then accept that there’s nothing we can do about it except vote differently next time. That rat wheel is old.
I’m told that settling for the lesser evil and working inside the party system is the sure way to get incremental change. I’m told that people outside the system, refusing to vote, can not effect change. I laugh. The largest sea changes in American political history–and even in our present times – have come not from presidents and party loyalists but from footsoldiers outside the system. King wasn’t a party insider and the Lord used him to change not only the laws but also the heart of the country. Advocates of gay marriage aren’t party insiders, and they’re effectively using public opinion and courts to advance their agenda. About the only way to change the country is outside the party machinery.
We wonder why there are no Kings in our day. It’s because there are too few men willing to embrace an ideal as deeply and passionately as King did and have that ideal animate his every thought and action. But we can be Kings. Each of us. And that’s why holding out isn’t hopelessness.
To vote? Or not to vote? That is, indeed, the question. I’ve read arguments on both sides. There are men I greatly respect who have come to radically different conclusions on this issue. Thabiti’s article, however, is one of the best I’ve encountered – articulate, reasoned, and above all, principled. You can read the whole of it here. (While you’re at it, this one is worth a look, too.)
I’m not going to tell you how to use your vote (that’s ultimately between you and God); nor am I wishing to spark a political debate in the comment section below. But I would ask you to prayerfully consider what Thabiti has to say, regardless of your thoughts on Romney or third-party candidates.
And one more thing: “Beloved, let us love one another.” Christian bloggers from every corner of the web have weighed in on the 2012 election. Some of these posts are good, even great; others are fairly dripping with acid. The logic (or rather, illogic) seems to run this way:
_____ does not agree with me. Which means _____ must be an idiot or a villain. Which means I am justified in pouring all manner of wrath and scorn upon _____’s head.
Pathetic. Pointless. Godless. Vitriolic language will get us nowhere, friends, and it is completely unbecoming of those to bear the name of Christ.
“If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal. And if I have aprophetic powers, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have all faith, so as to remove mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. If I give away all I have, and if I deliver up my body to be burned, but have not love, I gain nothing.” (1 Cor. 13:1-3)