How Should Christians Vote?
By Bishop Tom Brown
article is very different from the ones I normally write; however it is
the duty of ministers to teach on our moral duty to vote the Christian way. So
with this I share my thoughts about voting and why I am voting a certain way. Let me be very
clear: I will not be partisan or look to be critical. It is difficult
for anyone to run for office, especially the highest office in America.
I appreciate anyone sticking their neck out to run for president.
Whoever runs will face mounting
criticism and everything they say or do will be twisted for political
advantage. I hate how politics have become vial. This negativity is not
Christ-like. The Bible says, “Love bears up under anything and
everything that comes, is ever ready to believe the best of every person”
(1 Cor 13:7, AMP). As Christians we must be careful to avoid “believing
the worst in people.” We must learn to give people the benefit of the
doubt. Let us avoid the extreme negative outlook on politicians. Yes,
they make mistakes. They say things that are not truthful. But who among
us is without sin.
The reason negative ads work is because
we as believers believe the worst in people. It is time to demand
something better of ourselves. We must demand for politics to become
civilize. Politics has lost civility, and we as Christians are part of
the problem. God demands us to love one another and to pray for those in
office. It is not our job to become cynical or judgmental.
the same time, there is nothing wrong with pointing out true differences
in policies so that we can better understand how we should vote. I am
not opposed to debates. There is nothing uncivil about debating the
issues of the day. Even the Apostle Paul debated his opponents: “For
he vigorously refuted the Jews in public debate, proving from the
Scriptures that Jesus was the Christ” (Acts 18:28). Paul not only
debated those who disagreed with him concerning the gospel, but he “vigorously
refuted” the people that disagreed with him. If anyone is running
for president surely they need to vigorously defend their positions.
This brings us to the political issues
of the day. What are the positions of those running for president? What
position should Christians take on various issues? How do we come up
with the biblical positions? Obviously knowing the Bible—not just the
parts you like—but knowing the whole Bible will help you make wise
decisions as to what positions you should take, then
presidential candidates should take the same or nearly the same positions as
you. And in the end, you should vote for the one who is more closely
aligned to the positions that the Bible affirms.
In the end, it’s been my experience that
rarely do I find a candidate that meets or agrees with all my positions.
But I vote for the one more aligned to my views and one who I think can
be the best president.
I have thought deeply about the
political issues of the day: from abortion, to same sex marriage, to
health care, immigration and war. What are we to make of these issues?
And how should we come up with our positions as born again Christians?
Many sincere believers have different positions. How is it that true
Christians can think so differently on these issues? After thinking
deeply about some of these concerns, I started to realize the answer
lies in the declaration of independence.
“Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of
happiness.” Those words are like our US motto. But those three values:
life, liberty and happiness, is also the guiding three-fold
principle of how we should vote. These words were not accidentally placed
in the declaration, but they are there for a reason. They are our
guiding light posts on how to vote. More than that, they are also placed
in their order of importance. What is more important: life or liberty?
We believe in them both; however, some issues demand to give up one for
the other. You cannot expect another to give up their life simply so you
can have your liberty. If your liberty results in someone else’s loss of
life, then your liberty becomes immoral.
For example: the most important moral
issue of the day is the right for unborn children to be born. There are
those who are “Pro Choice” and those who are “Prolife.” The first group
focuses on the “liberty” of the woman to make her own choices. The
second group focuses on the “life” of the preborn baby. Now, what is
more important, the liberty of the mother or the life of the unborn
child? You cannot claim to equally pursue both the liberty of the mother
and the life of the child. One must take precedence over the other. And
since life is more important than liberty, we must side with the life of
the unborn child. I recognize that mothers have a “legal right” to get
an abortion, but it is not a “moral right.” We can’t simply claim rights
when it takes the life of another. Life trumps liberty. This is true
concerning abortion “rights.”
Galatians 5:13 says, “You, my
brothers, were called to be free. But do not use your freedom to indulge
the sinful nature; rather, serve one another in love.” According the
passage it is possible to use your freedom to do something sinful.
Abortion is sinful. One cannot lay claim to the freedom to do with their
own bodies by killing another body. This is not “serving one another
in love.” And make no mistake about it: preborn children are made in
God’s image. Psalm 139:13-14 says, “For you created my inmost being;
you knit me together in my mother's womb. I praise you because I am
fearfully and wonderfully made.” To kill a baby still in the womb is
to upset the work of God in creation. God is knitting the child in the
womb. The baby in the womb is a life!
As the previous example shows, the
debatable issues of the moment are normally caused by the competing
three-fold principles. As Christians or simply as conscientious voters,
we must make a decision about these three blessings: life, liberty and
the pursuit of happiness. We must uphold life as the most important of
the blessings; then liberty is followed by happiness. Your pursuit of
happiness cannot override someone’s liberty. When you pursue happiness
at the expense of another’s liberty, then your pursuit ceases to be a
“moral pursuit of happiness.”
The most difficult problem comes when
both groups pursue happiness, yet one group’s pursuit of happiness
conflicts with other groups’ happiness. In those difficult cases, you
must use common sense to solve the problem. For example, you can’t blast
your stereo and wake up your neighbors. It may be your pursuit of
happiness to turn up the speakers, but your happiness cannot upset or
stop another person’s happiness. So in this case, you must lower your
stereo so your neighbors can sleep.
Fortunately most issues don’t conflict
with life, liberty or happiness. In the cases where the issue affirms
all three without contradiction, then there is little debate. In the
following areas I give a Christian Fish for the candidates that scored
In the upcoming Presidential
election, we vote for “people” not “principles.” In other words, you are
electing human beings, not simply inanimate principles. Thus, the first
thing you must look for in a candidate is character. You want someone
honest and who considers other people more than themselves. This is
called character. And more than anything, you must look for this in a
candidate. That means you look first in his relationship with his
family. Is he married and faithful to his spouse? Does he have children
that are exemplary models? If so, you know he is likely to be a person
of character. Hypocrites often raise bad children or get divorces. So I
look at a man’s marriage and children to help me determine if the person
has good character.
Paul used this same logic in
electing a bishop. He says, “If anyone does not know how to manage
his own family, how can he take care of God's church?” (1 Tim 3:5).
The same principle applies to taking care of our country. If a man
cheats on his wife, will he not be willing to cheat on his country? If
he or she cannot manage their children, how can they manage the entire country? So
look for a man who is a good, faithful husband/wife and good father/mother.
There is no job like the office of president of the United States. At
the same time, the president is a governmental job. While other
experiences can help prepare a person for president, it is also
important that a candidate has some experience in government.
Score on Experience
We live in a pluralistic
country. Everyone, regardless of their religion, has the right to run
for office. This doesn’t mean, however, that a person’s religion or lack
therefore is unimportant, because it is. Israel’s worse kings were those
following after idols. They gave lip service to the true faith, but
followed the religions of their neighbors. They were unfaithful to the
Here is one example: “The
Lord said through his servants the prophets: ‘Manasseh king of Judah has
committed these detestable sins. He has done more evil than the Amorites
who preceded him and has led Judah into sin with his idols’” (2
Kings 21:10-11). Some have argued that we are not electing bishops but
presidents. Fair enough, but even the kings of Israel were required to
serve the true God. The kings were not priests, so they were not
required to operate in the priestly office. The kings ran the nation.
But even then the kings were to be true believers. Let’s face it, the
president serves as an example to the nation. If he serves a false god,
then he may lead others to do the same.
So we must look for someone who is
saved, and preferably, filled with the Holy Spirit. We prefer someone
who knows and believes in the Word of God. It is helpful that the
Christian we vote for is mature in his faith. It also matters the type
of Christian church they attend. Is the church known for orthodoxy or do
they drift into error? This is important as well.
Trump has not been a regular churchgoer,
however, he is reportedly been born again.
The number one job of the president is to keep America safe. The
president is not a legislator or judge but the Commander and Chief of
Clinton served as secretary of State. Her work
has proven to be a failure. The world is less safe since she
Appointment of Judges Matter
Outside of commander and chief, the single most important job of the
president is the appointment of federal and supreme court judges. Their
appointments will affect our constitutional rights. It is the job of the
judges to interpret and apply the constitution, not legislate what they
think the constitution should say. The 10th Amendment guarantees the
states the rights to make laws that are not the prerogative of the
federal government. However, the Supreme Court has stripped states of
their rights to ban abortion and same sex marriage. The president should
appoint judges that will respect states rights.
Score on appointment of judges
This issue was dealt briefly, but now let us look more deeply into this
very important, and unfortunately divisive issue. This issue is so important that in my
mind it trumps all other issues. There could be nothing more important
than protecting the most vulnerable in our society—unborn children. All
of us were once an unborn child. You had a right to be born. No mother
had or has the right to kill their children. The only exception in my
view is if the life of the mother is in immediate danger. It does not do
any good to have the mother die, because the child dies as well. So if
the mother’s life is in serious danger, I can understand the need to
terminate the pregnancy to save her life. Some may disagree with me, but
I believe this because I am prolife. I do not want to see two lives die;
better than one life is preserved than both die. This is not cruel but a
Someone might ask about a
mother who got pregnant through rape or incest. Let me share my view. I
am not speaking for Christ in this case, but my personal opinion. As
much as the child is innocent, the father is not. I can sympathize with
a mother who feels violated and now she might feel continued violation
having the seed of the criminal growing in her. I would hope she could
look past the violator and see the innocence of the child. At the same
time, I think in those cases we must leave it to the mother. For the
sake of saving millions of unborn lives, I would be willing to accept a
compromise in order to pass any legislation ending abortion on demand.
Same sex marriage is against the
teaching of Christ (see my article), against the Law of God and against
the law of nature. It undermines the most fundamental institution that
is the bedrock for the success of any other institution—and this is
marriage. “Marriage should be honored by all” (Heb 13:7). Society
cannot afford to dilute the importance of marriage, and same sex
marriage does exactly this. The basic definition of marriage starts with
a fundamental assumption that is is between a man and woman. Definition “defines” and
“clarifies” something; it gives it "meaning". If the definition is wrong,
there will be no defining and clarification of the importance of
marriage, and marriage will lose its meaning. And worse, same sex
marriage is giving way to the adoption of children by same sex partners.
Children cannot be pawns in this unorthodox experiment with marriage.
Religious rights are also now thrown out by the government in order to
push gay rights. This is dangerous!
Health Care Matters
Jesus healed everyone without exception.
“Many followed him, and he healed all
their sick” (Matt 12:15). Jesus did not care whether they had money
or not. He did not think some deserved healing while others did not. He
healed them all—whether they were rich or poor.
He told His disciples, “Freely you
have received, freely give” (Matt 10:8). They gave not only the
gospel, but they gave healing. They healed the sick. It was free, just
as salvation was free. This is the ideal of health care. It should be
available to all.
It is bad enough for people to suffer
illness; they should not have to lose their life savings. We do not want
to see this: “She had suffered a great deal under the care of many
doctors and had spent all she had, yet instead of getting better she
grew worse” (Mark 5:26). Our country must find a way for everyone to
have health care without bankrupting the sick. This means everyone has
to put something into caring for themselves and others. Doctors need to
be paid, pharmaceutical companies need profits, and hospitals need money
to keep serving.
When it comes to health care, we need to
see health care not as a commodity but a necessity. In order words, I
cannot “buy” health care; I can’t decide whether or not I want it. If I
get sick, I need it. It is not like choosing to buy a car or an iPhone.
Those are commodities. Those are products that I don’t “need” but choose
to have. Health care is not a product. And thus, we as a country must
find a way to make sure everyone gets quality health care without anyone
going broke. No one should avoid seeing a doctor simply because they
feel like they can’t afford it. We can do better as a country than this.
Obama Care was the wrong way to provide
universal health care.
Health Care savings account is a better way to provide universal
health care. Trump has advocated this approach.
“Do not oppress an alien;
you yourselves know how it feels to be aliens, because you were aliens
in Egypt” (Ex 23:9). God reminds Israel of their past and how it
felt to be mistreated simply because they were once aliens in another
country. So God encourages compassion on those who are not citizens. Any
immigration reform must be compassionate and must not lead to the
separation of families. Children of illegal aliens should not be
punished for what their parents did in coming illegally. If these
children have lived in America and gone to school and they want to go to
higher education, then they should be treated the same way as other
children. They should have the privilege of instate tuition. Why would
we want to deprive people in the USA of bettering themselves through a
War and Peace Matters
The Church has already
developed the “Just War” theory. The main theory is that a nation cannot
attack first. Preemptive strikes would not be considered just. The Just
War theory is not a perfect theory, but it is practical, filled with
common sense and compassionate. The new reality, however, is nuclear
bombs, something that did not exist when the Just War theory was worked
out. The question is: is it practical to wait to be attack by a nuclear
bomb before the nation defends itself? Will it be too late then? At any
rate, the Just War theory must be implemented. A nation cannot be
justified if it attacks first.
Although it might be time to examine
the Just War theory in light of the nuclear threat. In other words, is a
preemptive strike justifiable if there is an imminent threat of being
attacked? It may be something to consider.
War and Peace
Religious Freedom Matters
The first amendment of the
constitution states we have free speech and freedom of governmental
control of religion. No government can constrain our speech or our
religious rights. We not only have the right to worship in church, we
have the right to speak in the public arena including petitioning the
government. No laws should impede those rights.
The church must obey Christ
command, “Go and make disciples of all nations” (Matt 28:19). We
are not called to disciple people only, but nations as well. To disciple
nations will of necessity mean the working with government to change
unjust, immoral laws. Government cannot stop the followers of Christ
from discipling nations.
Government, no matter its
higher ideals, cannot force churches, including any church run hospital
or agency to go against their conscience or religious teaching.
Government can’t force churches to go against their beliefs simply
because churches may be tax exempt or receive government funding.
Work and Welfare Matters
“In everything I did, I
showed you that by this kind of hard work we must help the weak,
remembering the words the Lord Jesus himself said: 'It is more blessed
to give than to receive.'" (Acts 20:35). This must be understood in
light of the following verse: “If a man will not work, he shall not
eat” (2 Thess 3:10). There is a clear difference between those who
“cannot” work and those who “will not” work. Government must be careful
to demand its citizens, who have the ability to work, to work. And we must
recognize that some people cannot work, and for those we take care of them.
Work and Welfare
Gun Control Matters
Our constitution gives us
the right to bear arms. We have the right to defend ourselves. Jesus
affirms the need for self-defense, “If you don't have a sword, sell
your cloak and buy one” (Luke 22:36). At the same time, Jesus did
not think we needed a full artillery: “The disciples said, ‘See,
Lord, here are two swords.’ ‘That is enough,’ he replied” (Luke
22:38). Jesus did not say they needed more. He believed two swords were
“enough.” Jesus taught moderation in self-protection. But today it seems that Americans feel their need to be
overloaded with guns. This is not Christ way.
Jesus not only affirmed the need for
self-protection and that the self-protection must be moderate, He also
confronted the misuse of the sword, “’Lord, should we strike with our
swords?’ And one of them struck the servant of the high priest, cutting
off his right ear. But Jesus answered, ‘No more of this!’ And he touched
the man's ear and healed him” (Luke 22:49-51).
The disciple went overboard in the use
of the sword. And like them, I think our nation has gone overboard in
the use of guns. Our right to defend ourselves must not be construed to
allow any and all weapons to be manufactured and used by its citizens.
There must be reasonable gun laws to prevent mass killings by deranged
individuals or angry spouses. Again, we have the “liberty” of having guns, but our
liberty should not supersede the “life” of another. There must be a
balance between our “liberties” to bear arms and the abuse of guns.
Support for Israel
Israel is the only functioning democracy in the middle east. They are
our friends, and we need to support them. Our support for Israel is
based on the scriptures that tells us to pray for the peace of
Score on Support for Israel
I chose these issues
because they deal with life and liberty. Other issues, good Christian
men and women may differ in good conscience. But the issues I spoke
about are areas that I hope all people could find common ground and work
at making our world a better place.
Finally, voting is not only a privilege
but an obligation. Go out and make your voice count. If we had more
Christians voting the right way, we would have more politicians living
and standing for what is right.
I am very deeply concern about the character of
Donald Trump. I disagree with the meanness and harsh things he has said
about Mexicans, War hero John McCain, and about women. The things he
said that he does to women would normal disqualify a man for the highest
office. Yet the issue of abortion in my view tilts the scale
in favor of Trump. He is no saint, nor does he claim to be one, but his
past errors is not as grievous as what Hillary Clinton will do to
America as she appoint judges to strip Americans of their rights. Plus,
abortion is too important of an issue to simply give
it the same weight as other issues. Because of this, I am voting for
Donald Trump. This is not an endorsement, but simply how I am voting. By
the way, this internet site is owned by me, not the church.
more articles by Tom Brown
here if you're interested in having Tom
Brown come to your area
Back to the Main Page