The Greater of True Options

January 25, 2016

Dr. Rick Patrick | Senior Pastor
First Baptist Church, Sylacauga, AL

American voters are increasingly looking down their noses at the “Lesser of Two Evils” voting strategy with a disdainful superiority that would be the envy of Lady Violet Crawley, Dowager Countess of Grantham on Downton Abbey. Having spent a little time on a high horse myself, I can say that the view up there is breathtaking, but hardly worth the pain of the inevitable fall.

I can well understand the naiveté, idealism and wishful thinking employed to avoid real world discussions of rocks and hard places. But let us not pretend that the only people possessing principles are those staying home on Election Day because there are no worthy candidates to whom they can submit themselves by casting a ballot.

The “Lesser of Two Evils” voting strategy, falsely charged with promoting evil itself, suffers not so much for its defeatism as for its inexcusable branding. This essay simply endeavors to rename the philosophy the “Greater of True Options,” thereby disposing of the needlessly pejorative phrase like a Hillary Clinton email.

By “true” options, it is meant that these choices carry with them very plausible and realistic opportunities for success. In other words, they are capable of producing not simply a theoretical or potential result, but an actual one. If my choices for earning income are between going to work and waiting for pink unicorns to drop moneybags in my back yard, I only have one “true” option in this real world.

Let us suppose that our four voting options this November are as follows: (a) vote for Donald Trump, (b) vote for Hillary Clinton, (c) vote for Notgonna Winn, and (d) abstain from voting. First, we dismiss our two fairy tale options.

Fairy Tale Options
Option C is casting a ballot for Notgonna Winn, presumably a write-in candidate or a third-party choice with no chance of winning. Viewed as a conscientious protest vote, casting this ballot results in no “true” practical success in the real world, which is to say this candidate will not become President. It only changes the outcome of the election by reducing the number of “True Option” votes otherwise cast. Option C voters say, “But I really like this person and I can get behind them enthusiastically.” Fine. I really like Superman for President and Batman for Vice President, but I’m not voting for them. Why not? Because I live in the real world.

Option D is to do nothing, refusing to vote, since no candidate has earned the respect of the voter. But in the real world, one faces many unpleasant realities. I have worked at jobs with bosses I did not respect. I have written papers for professors I did not respect. I have even performed funeral services for strangers whose lifestyles I did not respect. I have had awkward dinner conversations with people whose opinions I did not respect. Life is full of such responsibilities. From time to time, I hear an Option D voter say, “Perhaps if enough people stay home, it will fundamentally change our two-party system.” Again with the pink unicorns.

Granted, it may be an exaggeration to say that the fairy tale options accomplish nothing, for they do reduce, for all practical purposes, the size of the electorate, and they diminish the votes that would otherwise be cast among the “true” options. At this point, let me hasten to add that I certainly believe all voters have the right to abstain or vote for a dummy candidate. I simply do not believe that it does any practical good. Thus, despite all the talk of high and mighty principles, if one is not implementing a “true” real world option, one might as well play in the sandbox.

Choosing Among True Options
The next President of the United States will be a Republican or a Democrat. This claim may be likened to statements such as, “It gets cold in Alaska,” or “Playing Russian roulette is dangerous.” The claim is not true because I make it—I make it because it is true. I am not particularly glad that it is true, but I accept it. As a matter of principle, I choose to act in light of the boundaries provided by the inescapable realities of life. Whenever I am faced with two, and only two, legitimate real world options, I will choose the “Greater of True Options.”

One might ask, “What do you do if your true options are equally bad?” Frankly, I doubt this is ever really the case. Explore the matter deeply enough and you are bound to tilt in one direction or another. Yogi Berra once said, “When you come to a fork in the road, take it.” Of course, taking “it” is impossible—one must take the right fork or the left. But choosing from the only two available, legitimate, real world options does not need to be stated in such negative and defeatist terms.

The real problem with the “Lesser of Two Evils” voting strategy is not the logic one uses in picking from the two choices, but the dreadfully pejorative label itself. In our example, one must choose between Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton. Some will call this a rock and a hard place—a difficult choice because we do not like either one. But is it not true, semantically, that in comparing any two choices, the one that is “less evil” is simultaneously “more good?”

Whenever one votes for the Greater of True Options, one is casting a ballot for the candidate who is “more good” and not merely the one who is “less evil.” Christian voters recognize biblical truths about the depravity of man placing all of us naturally on the evil side of the scale. For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God. (Romans 3:23) As it is written, “None is righteous, no, not one.” (Romans 3:10) Since every human being is evil, any candidate one prefers can be characterized as “less evil” than the candidate one does not prefer. In this sense, all those who claim they refuse to vote for “the lesser of two evils” are, in fact, doing exactly that, whenever they cast a ballot in favor of any politician.

Conclusion
One minor caveat is worth mentioning—the nature of our electoral college system. Because the candidate winning any given state receives all of the votes from that state, one might argue that voting between the Republican and the Democrat is not a “true” choice either, since a Democratic vote in Texas is destined to fail just as surely as a Republican vote in New York. In other words, the only votes that impact “real world” results are the votes cast in states that are “in play” and thus likely to swing the election one way or the other. Such a consideration is a practical political reality. For the purposes of this essay, let us assume we all live in Ohio or Florida—and that the whole election hinges on our true option choices.

To summarize, voters who engage in the political process by abstaining or voting for dummy candidates are simply walking out of the room where the real world decision is truly going to be made. As they proudly declare, “I will never vote for a candidate like this or that,” they appear to show contempt for those of us staying in the room and seeking to select the one candidate who is at least slightly greater than the other.

Those of us remaining in the room, participating in the electorate, and choosing from the true options available to us, possess no fewer principles, no less integrity and no seared consciences, for at least we are engaging in a process possessing a chance for tangible, real world results. Rather than punting, we are helping to select the “Greater of True Options.” To put it simply, in a two-person race, we pick the greater one, recognizing the reality that making a difference in this world can often mean hard choices. We are not lesser Christians for doing so.

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Les

Rick,

What I especially like about this is, your not so subtle calling out those who would look down on those of us who would in fact vote at al in your hypothetical. I don’t remember a time in my voting career since 1976 when some Christians have had as much disdain for and superiority over other Christians who would vote for A or B. It’s mind boggling. Thank you for writing this.

    Scott Shaver

    I am in total agreement with this statement of Les.

    One of the reasons (anger) a lot of SBC Christians will vote for Trump is the shameless religio-political posturing of Russell Moore among those he claims to represent, discounting even the faith, of those among his ranks who dare to disagree with him politically. Trump hasn’t been elected yet, nor Cruz, nor any of the other GOP hopefuls. But thanks to Moore et al, many are realizing they might expect better RESULTS from a “populist” platform than an alligator mouth-mockingbird posterior go-along-to-get-along “conservatism” that has failed “conservatives” miserably….even with a majority in both houses.

    The eight years of American politics (both “conservative” and “liberal”) now coming up in our rear-view mirror isn’t helping with their “anger” problem.

    Perhaps “National Review” isn’t really the actual view any longer. ERLC case in point.

      Lydia

      National Review lost its mostly Libertarian bent years ago. Now they are DC establishment. Once you get in that stratosphere the lines are blurred on dem/republican.

      My question for Moore is whether his job with democratic congressman, Gene Taylor, was ideological or opportunistic? Taylor lost to a republican. Of course, in DC, such questions are moot.

        Scott Shaver

        Most Southern Baptists ain’t in DC.

    Lydia

    It is like the choices boil down to Karl Marx or PT Barnum. But old PT would be more of a Constitutiionalst than Karl. I am not looking for a pastor in chief.

      Scott Shaver

      Kinda favor the circus-flavored of the two options at this point me-self Lydia.

      And can’t find (haven’t looked) for a proof-text to suggest God is mad at me in the choosing.

Bob Hadley

Rick,

You are right. Voting is a choice between candidates running. Even in the case of a Trump/Clinton scenario, staying home and not voting is tantamount to “cutting your nose off to spite your face.” Voting is both a right and a responsibility. We must be part of the process, whether we like it or not. There are two points of consideration that I will add to yours.

First, if it is God that lifts leaders into positions of power, which is certainly implied in Romans 13:1 THEN the process by which those being considered for office must be considered to be part of the process as well. Again, our responsibility is to choose a candidate that is being offered.

A second consideration is this; if the Christian voting block actually went to the polls and voted their conscience consistently THEN more qualified candidates MIGHT be encouraged to run for office.

Personally, I do not understand why Mike Huckabee is not doing better in the polls than he is. If the Christian “right” was as active a part of the political process as it is in criticizing that process, then it would appear that he would be THE choice for this group. Apparently that is NOT the case. I do think there maybe a caveat in this business of taking “polls”. I have always thought that pollsters can get the “numbers” they need by polling the “right” areas. Polls do affect the choices being made in a number of ways. For example, polls showing Trump ahead of the GOP field is discouraging voters in the process. If this keeps people from participating in the primary process one can argue it favors Trump because his voters are going to come. The same can certainly be true of a Trump/Clinton final showdown. If the GOP voters stay home and do not vote that favors and fosters a potential Clinton win.

If evangelical Christians voted in EVERY ELECTION and they voted their convictions and they were able to influence 5 voters to vote those convictions, Washington could be changed in less than 10 years. The problem is, we stay home because we do not like the process nor do we like the choices and the vocal minority that is bent on changing the moral direction of our country are influencing their camp and making sure that they and their sphere of influence vote with them and that is why the political climate is what it is in the country today.

Christians staying home and NOT being part of the process is in effect why America is in the mess it is in. If we keep doing what we have been doing we are going to keep getting the same results or worse.

    Lydia

    Bob, there isn’t a “Christian right” unless you include the ones who voted the SBCer Clinton, twice. :o) he got about 30% of what is termed evangelical votes. Those days have been long gone except those pundits trying to spin it.

    Did God lift Hitler, Stalin, Pol Pot and Andrew Johnson in place? Your reference to this and Romans confuses me.

William Thornton

Love the metaphors.

I’ll respond to your last sentence first, “We are not lesser Christians for [selecting the “Greater of True Options”]: Neither are those who chose Option D, not voting, or Option C, voting for a real but longshot candidate who will not win. A case can easily be made that option A involves a violation of conscience, but that’s up to the individual.

Statistically, any individual’s vote is meaningless, so if you are preaching to the individual it is a waste. You realize that millions of African-American believers will vote for Hilary Clinton if the opportunity is present to do so. In your world, does this make them lesser Christians?

    Rick Patrick

    Thanks, William. And I agree, those who choose Option C or D are not “lesser” Christians. I explicitly state in the essay that it is their right to do so. I also believe a case can be made that option B involves a violation of conscience, but that is up to the individual. To answer your final question, no, I do not believe that anyone of any race who votes for any candidate or none at all is a “lesser” Christian for doing so.

    My piece is primarily an apologetic for “Greater of True Options” voting, not an attack on the abstaining crowd for the way they vote per se, but for the attitude they sometimes display toward those of us whose voting strategy is diferent. In the articles and comments I have read thus far during this election season, I have to agree with Les above: “I don’t remember a time in my voting career since 1976 when some Christians have had as much disdain for and superiority over other Christians who would vote for A or B. It’s mind boggling.”

    Lydia

    “Statistically, any individual’s vote is meaningless,”

    Not when it came to hanging chads for Florida’s electoral votes.

      Scott Shaver

      Lydia:

      Maybe hanging chads themselves have become “metaphorical”.

    Scott Shaver

    Those who choose option D (not voting) simply because they can’t find enough convincing “Christianity” in the current field are not LESSER Christians.

    Noticed William that your pastor friend Dave Miller is one who openly declares that if the candidate of his choosing fails to be nominated by his party of choice….”I’ll not cast a vote or vote independently”. For me, a Christian pastor who writes, ridicules and bemoans choices of fellow Christians in a political election, to the extent that his voting or not voting becomes a hostage commodity, forfeits the right to be taken seriously on any political opinion proceeding from his/her mouth.

    There are those of us who might refer to such as overly-sanctimonious, or moronic……but no less Christian.

Jim P

The ‘age’ today, scripture calls, ‘the present evil age.’

Jesus said this, ‘be wise as serpents and innocent as doves.’
If God’s people are ‘growing in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ,’ they will know how to access ‘God’s wisdom.’

If they are not, then they will access the ‘wisdom of this world.’ If Churches are guiding their people do know ‘God’s wisdom’, the people will do the right thing.

Andy

I said this on “that other blog”, and I’m still convinced of it:

I think it would be extremely hard to argue biblically that there is only one course of action for this topic. If, for example, we ended up with Trump vs. Clinton:

-Some Christians would feel conscience-compelled to not vote
-Some Christians would feel conscience-compelled to vote for some 3rd party candidate destined to lose.
-Some Christians would feel conscience-compelled to vote for Trump, in order to try to prevent Clinton from taking office.
–Some Christians would feel conscience-compelled to vote for Hillary, in order to keep Trump from taking office.

I would be hard-pressed to find a biblical argument against any of them.

Reply

    Alan

    I’d argue, Christians have a biblical obligation to be good citizens, and that to be good citizens, one must be involved in the political process when the state is a democracy. Since, we live in a democracy, we hold many of the same obligations a magistrate would have and that includes applying the political measures at our disposal to further God’s justice.

    That said, I’d turn to the issue of abortion as a great divider here. If a Christian, supports or allows an abortion supporter like Hillary Clinton to win election, they are just as guilty as if they pulled the lever on Hillary or voted on the court to support Roe v. Wade. I’d apply the maxim: “Qui tacet consentire videtur, ubi loqui debuit ac potuit” (He who is silent, when he ought to have spoken and was able to, is taken to agree.)

    Or, put another way, silence implies consent. We apply tacit consent in a Lockean way, when the Declaration of Independence declared governments exist because it (derived” “their just powers from the consent of the governed.” This very cornerstone of tacit consent should apply here. If a voter decides to abstain from voting, they are giving their tacit consent to the evil. Anything that allows the election of an unquestioned abortion supporter is evil. (I’d love to see any biblical basis for a Christian to foster evil.)

    While people can quibble about Trump’s or another candidates’ true feelings on abortion, there is no doubt the Democrats will nominate someone who treats abortion as a secular-sacrament.

      Andy

      1. SILENCE: Abstaining from voting is not synomamous with silence. We can, should, and must speak biblical truth on whatever topic is put forward, but if a Christian finds himself forced to choose between two heinous candidates, abstaining, while not being silent, is not synonymous with approval. By the same logic, anyone who abstains is also giving tacit approval to Trump’s sins. If so there is no way out. However, I’m convinced that a Christian can in good conscience abstain (or vote for a truly good candidate) without violating any biblical command.

      2. MAGISTRATES & JUSTICE: a) I don’t think citizen of a democracy can be equated with magistrate, not completely. b) even if it were, we are left with true Christians who may see democrats in their local areas advocating real social good, and so perhaps vote for some of them, precisely for the purpose of advancing biblical justice, maybe simply because they happen to know the pro-life republican is a rotten crook?

      3. ABORTION: While there is, I believe, good reason why most evangelical Christians have opposed democrats primarily because of the abortion issue. HOWEVER, it is not the only issue. I know a solid Christian man who is a democrat, because he believes in the social good they advocate for the poor. This same man is on the board of our local Pro-Life pregnancy center, so he is not soft on abortion at all. He simply sees other issues as well. Also, the next president is unlikely to make any real changes to abortion law in our nation, so perhaps an otherwise republican may believe that Donald Trump is simply too dangerous and too crazy to be allowed to be president, so he may vote for clinton. I don’t believe I can call him out on a clear biblical sin.

      4. ON NOT VOTING BEING EQUAL WITH VOTING FOR CLINTON: It isnt! Mathematically, they are not equal, and it might be closer to being worth about half a vote for the other person…ie: For simplicity let’s say all republicans vote for trump, and he gets 110 votes. Clinton gets 91 votes. Now let’s say instead that 10 of those people abstain from voting for trump. He still wins by 9 votes. However if they had voted for Clinton, she would win, 101-100. So mathematically, not voting is not equal with voting for one of the candidates. ? ALSO, if one does not live in a contested state, it likely counts even less.

        Lydia

        “MAGISTRATES & JUSTICE: a) I don’t think citizen of a democracy can be equated with magistrate, not completely. b) even if it were, we are left with true Christians who may see democrats in their local areas advocating real social good, and so perhaps vote for some of them, precisely for the purpose of advancing biblical justice, maybe simply because they happen to know the pro-life republican is a rotten crook?”

        It coincides with the concept of “self government”. This is a concept we are rapidly losing any understanding of due to poor education, encroaching collectivist thinking and even the slide toward determinism in evangicalism making elected servants into rulers and pastors as holding the keys..so to speak.

        It is a perfect storm that has been gaining speed for decades.

          Alan

          Great point about self-government. I should say each citizen is a mini-magistrate since our powers are limited to plebiscites and election of candidates. However, I think the parallel is clear and certainly supported by the literature penned during America’s revolutionary period.
          What we are witnessing is an attempt by Satan to keep Christians from doing their duty and Satan is using liberal Evangelicals to deceive believers by saying it is OK not to vote or that money matters as much orore than the life of a baby.

          Andy

          So Lydia, do you believe that a Christian who decides to not vote for president when faced with two bad choices is sinning?

            Lydia

            Andy, Because I believe strongly in the concept of self governing does not mean I have the right to accuse a non voter of sinning. I just don’t think like that. I think self governing is responsibility, accountability and a huge blessing. But I am also a big believer in freedom of conscious that does not harm others.

            You speak of “choices” and all choices usually demand a comparison. What I see happening now is that, in general, people are comparing the field to a future with Hillary and a past with Obama. Many are concerned about the establishment that went along just a bit too easily with Obama for 7 years. And they should be.

            The whole concept of self governing does not work well within Calvinism or Islam. It is considered “man centered” but the converse is a “God appointed ruler” as we have seen throughout history. Now the peasants can vote and that scares many. The last 7 years scared me because I disdain collectivism. . And it should because we are becoming less and less informed about what self governing really means. Education in this country is so lacking in this respect. And both the right and left have ridiculous agendas in this respect.

            Another problem is the missing piece of how the Clinton’s fundamentally changed the Presidency. They convinced a lot of people that private behavior had nothing to do with good policy. That has become popular wisdom. There have always been rogue presidents like JFK or the uncouth like LBJ or the sadly incompetent “Born Again Christian” Jimmy Carter…..but never in real time 24/7 news cycle and the advent of social media like the Clinton’s who were scandalabra central. This changed how the presidency is viewed in many ways. I have to keep reminding myself that 30 year old’s are voting who did not cognitively live through the Clinton’s. We were a nation in scandal fatigue and it became our norm. So, electing narcissists is the norm. I firmly believe Obama is one. Clinton was one and probably Trump, too. But they all play it out differently. And I mean full blown narcissism. But so are many Christian leaders. Anyone who gets to the point of running for prez has tendencies but I am talking about something else entirely. Most people are attracted to them because they are bold and convincing. . And they might even have good policies. But keep in mind, it is the norm now. Cult of personality IS the norm. I doubt we will ever see another bespeckled, short, fat policy wonk as Prez, man or woman. I am more of a policy wonk and am not impressed with charisma. It repels me. I am listening for content– which bores most people. What I am hearing from the establishment field is more of the same. Nothingness.

            With that said, in my perfect world, I would be voting for a Constitutionalist who views government with a gimlet eye and the job as one of serving as an employee of the people to guard and protect our big C. . But that world does not exist. So, I will have to do my homework on who comes the closest. I am not voting for the best Christian, or a Pastor in chief but the one that comes closest to believing in self government. I see that as the safest route for all of us.

              Scott Shaver

              Lydia:

              I agree whole-heartedly that we’ve got SBC leaders, preachers and seminary presidents who display every ounce the narcissism they criticize in Trump.

              In fact, the one’s criticizing him the loudest right now (including Dave Miller) act and sound the closest to him in personality and tactic. I guess maybe their narcissism is “sanctified” because, after all, they’re defending GAWD. :)

              Andy

              “With that said, in my perfect world, I would be voting for a Constitutionalist who views government with a gimlet eye and the job as one of serving as an employee of the people to guard and protect our big C. . But that world does not exist. So, I will have to do my homework on who comes the closest. I am not voting for the best Christian, or a Pastor in chief but the one that comes closest to believing in self government. I see that as the safest route for all of us.”

              I agree. Each Christian must decide which candidate, or no candidate, that they can vote for.

                Lydia

                “I agree. Each Christian must decide which candidate, or no candidate, that they can vote for.”

                Andy, you might want to pass that along to the SBC entity employee, Russ Moore, and his band of followers who seems to think otherwise on matters of conscious. Since he is speaking for you all to the nation. :o)

        Alan

        Christians are not promised results or that our actions will change the world. Rather, Christians are commanded to follow the teachings of Christ.

        Jesus, our Lord and Savior, while personally present on earth taught In his parable of the Good Samaritan that inaction is not good. His followers are compelled to action even if we aren’t promised immediate success, but we look to a future success.

        Inaction that was condemned by Christ is the same as silence. John Stuart Mill said, A person may cause evil to others not only by his actions but by his inaction, and in either case he is justly accountable to them for the injury.” Either you try to save a life, or you aid in its taking. There is no middle ground where a liberal may hide and try to invoke economic justice.

        I will say what others will not. A Christian that supports Democrats is not living up to the commands of Christ. He supports evil and wickedness evidenced in Democratic sexual standards. Any such person should be expelled from the church and held under anathema.

          Andy

          “A Christian that supports Democrats is not living up to the commands of Christ. He supports evil and wickedness evidenced in Democratic sexual standards.”

          But, in our modern era, could not the same be said for one who “supports” REPUBLICANS? Is there not evil and wickedness in the republican ranks as well?
          If so, then it seem you are saying Christians are duty-bound to support some evil in order to restrain a different, albeit greater evil?

          If as you say, we take the long view, could not a Christian vote for 3rd party candidate, hoping that in the long run more and more people would do the same and eventually change the system?

            Alan

            Evil and wickedness in the sense of policies. Policies like gay marriage and abortion are vivid examples of wickedness. I’m not talking about personal wickedness in this case because even Christians are sinners, and as sinners, we sin even as we try to follow Christ.

            The question is if we can embrace reprobate policies that countenances murder, gay marriage, etc. The answer should be a resounding, No. But today too many liberals are masquerading as evangelicals and prefer to vote how they feel instead of complying with the mandates of scripture in areas of sexual morality and abortion.

            As for the third party, that could be an option; however, in a first-past-the-post winner-take-all voting system, third party candidacies are about as successful as unicorn hunting. Holding out for perfection in this world is a fool’s errand. It is better to hold the system accountable to Christian values and vote for candidates who do the least harm to the cause of Christ—and that is probably the best we could hope for even if we were electing someone like Billy Graham to office because political power is a much different calling than evangelism or preaching.

Ray

Pastor Rick,

Thank you for your article. For myself, and I hope many other Christians, this issue has been one in which we have discussed, prayed over, and pondered for some time. You can pick just about any election and to some extent have the same issue because, as you noted – for all have fallen short – there are no perfect candidates.

For me, the issue is not a,b, c, or d as you noted, it is which is these candidates can I answer to God for my vote. Kings in the OT were held accountable when they ruled in opposition to God’s will and word. When you pull the lever, you are functioning as a ruler – one who at least selects the one to rule daily over us. I would think your responsibility is to choose the one who would rule most in accord with God’s word. I am not sure where in Scripture we are called to support only the popular candidate or the one who has the most potential to win. We are responsible for making the best selection possible, which could include a write in or one further down the ballot. The real problem is that, as one of our founders clearly noted, our form of government is designed for a moral and upright people and we are clearly (as a whole) no where near this position. I will vote my conscious for the person who will lead us in the mostly godly way – I cannot be held responsible for how everyone else votes. They will answer to God for themselves.

As for your logic – it seems rather pragmatic to me and your re-phrasing of the issue is no more than glass ‘half-full’ ‘half-empty’ perspective. Thank you for discussing it, however.

    Scott Shaver

    Respectfully Ray:

    There is no “litmus test” save that exercised and reserved to God alone as to which American candidate currently running for POTUS would “RULE” (there’s that word again Lydia) most in accord with God’s Word.

    The problem with your approach becomes even more complex when you consider God getting his purposes accomplished through less-than “righteous” kings in biblical history.

    Thanks for filling the rest of the glass with “emptiness”, however.

      Lydia

      Scott, I have heard many a sermon in the last 20 years that describes our elected servants as “rulers” in order to make biblical parallels. It chills me to the bone. Maybe they should teach civics in seminary?

      As to Trump, he is the blatant ‘anti Obama’ right now. His popularity is the direct result of 7 years of encroaching coolectivism. I now have to prove to the IRS I bought health insurance! I never thought I would see such a thing in a country founded on the principle of individual rights. ( took us a while to get there!) And not the whims of “rulers”. We are too far down that road and we need bold change. I think many people sense this ergo Trumps popularity.

      Trump could very well be a total fraud. The point is he is saying what many people want to hear about issues. You would think that would be the take away for the other candidates. They are missing the big point.

      And now SBC employees and pastors are using shame tactics on people to influence the primary! And it works both ways, too. the SBC pew sitters should declare: Not one more penny for the ELRC!

        Scott Shaver

        Agreed Lydia.

        The ERLC doesn’t get a penny from us.

        Still doesn’t remove public perception that Russell Moore somehow represents our views as “the public policy arm” of the SBC.

        With “arms” like that, I’d certainly like a new pair of legs to run away from them with.

Tim Barnette

Rick,

I really appreciate this article! My wife and I have been talking through just this issue, as we are praying and preparing to vote. Your post helps bring clarity to the issue.

Debora Mann

Dr. Patrick,

I always appreciate your well written, well stated, well said essays. As well, comments you make on SBC Voices. You don’t hesitate from speaking for the The Truth. Sadly, too much is going on adversely within the SBC. May not be politically correct to say this on a forum, but in my 67 yrs., 47 yrs., as a True Believer, I’ve never taken to being politically correct. What does it all profit anyway? As God’s Word Says, KJV “But let your communication be, Yea, yea; Nay, nay: for whatsoever is more than these cometh of evil.” Matthew 5:37. We must obey God and not man. Compromising of the Gospel of Jesus, those in authority who use The Scriptures to their agenda, liberal/social gospel in the SBC, aren’t in obedience to God’s Holy Word.

Brother’s Les and Scott, I appreciate your upfront comments. In my life time, have seen lot of Pres. elections, Would be nice to have another Pres. Reagen, but we don’t. The past 8 yrs. have been more than damaging to our Country. NO more is there the America I once loved and respected. In First Samuel 7, “God became enraged when the people demanded to have their own king.” So, he said, “let them have their king.” The people in this apostate nation wanted Obama and they got him! For 2 terms, no less.

What November brings is in our Sovereign God’s hands…He is in control and His plans will not be thwarted. I don’t believe people like Russell Moore should say that Christians who vote for Trump, words to this affect, “losing their minds and spiritual convictions.” He’s more or less endorsing Rubio as is Al Mohler (see Global Baptist Press). Jerry Falwell, Jr. was criticized terribly for having Donald Trump come to speak. So, OK for Bernie Sanders and others who aren’t “religions,” to take the podium at Liberty for their convocation meeting. Something seems to be amiss.

Dr. Patrick, keep up your diligent stand…speaking out for what is right…not for the opinions of those who compromise. God Bless and keep you.

Sincerely, Debora

    Scott Shaver

    Deborah.

    Thanks for your comment. I assure you that if anyone has lost his mind……it’s Russell Moore.

    Washington DC has its own unique way of doing that to folks.

Lydia

I grew up in a home where we debated issues all the time. However, we would never have asked our parents or any adult who they voted for. That was considered extremely private. (We could guess better as we got older, though) And while they would discuss issues with other adults, it was considered tacky to shame another on their choice.

I have seen the wisdom of this approach over the years. It would have Been considered demeaning to be told who they should not vote for as adults. And not the business of anyone including a pastor. And that is the bigger problem in this situation. Too bad such types are not just fired for their obvious arrogance which disqualifies them.

    Scott Shaver

    Noticed that ERLC leader Russell Moore is appealing to the ghost and memory of Carl F. H. Henry today (along with a 1998 SBC resolution) ……so glad Carl you passed on before you could see this tragedy among evangelicals and your prophecy coming true among us as evidenced by our “collective” 1998 SBC statement.

    Poor baby.

    I tend to think Carl F. H. would have had enough common sense not to call into question the logic of an SBC resolution adopted by messengers not representing the majority of folks it claims to represent.

    Another thing being, Carl F.H. is dead. Russell doesn’t speak for him, and it it’s Henry’s writings to which we should refer……..he, like all others, was a “man of his time”.

David (NAS) Rogers

I live in a small town and work the elections. I have learned from past experience that my vote in my district for President of the United States does not count. Here’s how. We are twenty minutes away from the courthouse where the votes are counted for our area. We tally the votes made at our local precinct at 7:30 pm and load the voting machines into my car for the trip to the courthouse. I have listened to the radio on the way and for the past fifteen years heard the state called for a particular candidate before our machines even make it to the courthouse. I can’t even pretend that my vote is part of the mass of votes that contributed to the win because the race has already been called. This phenomenon is due to the public obsession to report results immediately. There is no concern that people in rural areas have any sense of being part of the decision-making process. I know that they do not. In rural and small towns, voting is for local issues, local representation.

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