Almost every American citizen has commented on the current campaign for presidency, regarding it the most debased one in US history. Christians have been at a complete loss as to what to do and how to vote.
Likening the major party candidates to Herod and Jezebel, many ask: how can I choose the lesser of two evils? Can I sincerely put my support, my vote, behind a candidate as corrupt and foolish as Donald Trump or Hillary Clinton? Others have thought about not voting at all or merely putting their ballot in for a third party representative to appease their conscience; feeling that if they throw their support behind either, they would not be able to justify their reasoning.
On November 2nd The Master’s University held the first in a series of Summits, this one specifically addressing the 2016 Presidential Election and Current Events. The four panelists: Soeren Kern, John MacArthur, John Stead and Gregg Frazer, adeptly addressed a captive audience of over one-thousand two hundred attendees on the issues facing our nation and concerns surrounding this year's election. The main question on everyone’s mind: Whom do we vote for?
However, rather than simply stating the answer, the panelists logically went through what one should look for in a candidate based upon biblical principles, trusting each person to reason for themselves and draw their own conclusions.
MacArthur stated the purpose of the government based upon Romans 13, “Government is designed by God for the purpose of restraining evil and providing safety for people who do good” and each discussion: foreign policy, economics, religious liberty, etc. came under that umbrella. What are the consequences of each party’s agenda?
Stead instructed it's not the candidate we need to control, “it's the issues. How would you treat each of these things in relation to yourself, your family, and your Christian testimony?”
One candidate’s platform answers yes to each of these questions and the other's ---- no. With the Electoral College, unless a miracle were to occur, one's only choice is between Clinton and Trump. Each panelist acknowledged that neither is optimal, but they are the choices nonetheless.
“A vote is a means to an end, it’s the end that matters,” Frazer stated. He continued, “the ‘lesser of two evils’ issues is only a problem if both candidates would do evil if elected. Neither candidate is the embodiment of evil . . . but we know that one will do evil. I am going to vote against Hillary Clinton by punching the hole next to Donald Trump’s name. I am not voting for Trump, I am voting against Clinton, for she will do evil.”
Many have expressed discomfort voting for either candidate. Frazer defined this as “feeling icky” and said, “As a human being, and not an animal, you have reason and your reason can overrule your emotions. No one likes surgery. It's icky, but you do it to achieve a better end, which is health. Allow your reason to overcome your emotions. There are bigger issues involved than your emotional comfort.”
After an hour-and-a-half of discussion, where at times one could hear a pin drop, the panelists made their closing statements with Soeren Kern acknowledging that the "world is on a precipice, the conditions in the world are chaotic and the United States needs a leadership that will reassert its military power, and with that some sort of order." He went on to say that what is needed is, "Americanism, not Isolationism" when there are so many emerging world powers. Kern continued to explain that the current "lack of American leadership has left a void that has given rise to instability around the world." MacArthur concluded saying, "the most important 'agency' in the world is the church," and while he is concerned about what happens in the world, he is "far more concerned about what happens in the church." His final encouragement for the night was that "what happens in America has nothing to do with the kingdom of God".
As Christians, we have a hope secured in Christ. We know that the chaos displayed in this election and the turbulence we witness on the news daily is only a means to an end for God. We know that He will establish His kingdom and that He works “for the good of those who love Him and are called according to His purpose” (Rom 8:28). We're not promised, in a sin- stained world, that life will be easy or comfortable; in fact we are promised persecution. If we know “we can do all things through Christ who gives us strength”(Phil. 4:13), then we know --- no matter the outcome of the election or what we see unraveling around the globe --- we can still be a testimony to the God who saved us from corruption and the consequences of sin. As Christians we have the greatest platform and agenda of all: to share our faith.
In this election, like most that have come before it, we are not voting for the most “righteous” candidate. Our votes should be cast considering the issues each political party supports, especially when those issues directly contradict Scripture.
Soeren Kern is a distinguished senior fellow at the New York-based Gatestone Institute, a non-partisan foreign policy think tank chaired by Ambassador John R. Bolton. He is also a senior analyst at the Madrid-based Strategic Studies Group, a think tank linked to former Spanish Prime Minister José Maria Aznar. Soeren is specialized in American foreign policy, European politics and transatlantic defense- and security-related issues. He is also a regular commentator on the geopolitics of Islam. Soeren graduated with a degree in diplomacy and international security from the School of Foreign Service at Georgetown University in Washington DC. He also studied Middle Eastern history and geopolitics at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem.
With his doctoral work at USC focused on the triumvirate of American Politics, Political Theory, and Comparative Politics, Stead’s passion and interest lies in the contemporary relationship between church and state. For 46 years he has communicated this passion with his students at The Master’s University and the governmental and educational institutions of Albania, where he lectures annually. Currently, he serves as the Vice President of Academic Affairs and a Professor of History & Political Studies at TMU.
Receiving his Ph.D. from Claremont Graduate University, Frazer has not ceased to study the founding of America and nineteenth-century political philosophy. This dedication can be seen in his book The Religious Beliefs of America’s Founders: Reason, Revelation, and Revolution which discusses the philosophy and theology America was founded upon. He has contributed to The Forgotten Founders on Religion and Public Life and is currently working on a new publication. He is a Professor of History and Political Studies at The Master’s University.
President of The Master’s University & Seminary, Pastor-Teacher of Grace Community Church, MacArthur is a frequent commentator on the role of the church in society across various media outlets including CNN and Headline News. He has authored more than 150 books and his preaching can be heard daily around the world through Grace To You.
President of The Communications Institute, Cox began his career in politics as a journalist covering Ronald Reagan’s first campaign. Since then, he has continued his work in politics through serving as CEO of two national foundations focused on public policy issues and communications, as well as former Chief of Staff to United States Congressman Barry Goldwater Jr.
Registration is CLOSED; however unregistered guests will be allowed admission at 6:30pm as space allows.