Christian liberty and the 2020 election

Barring something unexpected over the next ten months, most evangelical Christians will vote for Donald Trump in the general election. There are a few who will not. Since this debate has once again broken out among Christians, I will make this plea again: Please have a sense of proportion and do not judge each other for the choices we make. Look at each other with charity, and assume good will. This applies to both Christians who are pro-Trump and Christians who are anti-Trump.

I anticipate some objections, so let me offer this caveat: There are people who claim the name of Christ who support Trump in bad faith, and some who oppose him in bad faith. I do not believe the vast majority of Christians fall into either category, and we should assume good will and sincerity. And to be clear on something else: The next two paragraphs do not describe the majority of pro-Trump Christians or anti-Trump Christians. Finally, as a reminder of my own position: I did not vote for Trump in 2016 and I plan on voting for him in 2020.

Anti-Trump Christians (ATC) scold pro-Trump Christians (PTC) because of Trump’s long history of shameless sexual immorality, pointing back to Christian opposition to Bill Clinton in the 1990’s. Pro-Trump Christians are allegedly not following their own principles, much less Biblical admonitions about how leaders should be of good moral character.

But in judging, ATC dismiss the arguments about why it is appropriate to vote for a morally flawed man who has delivered good policy on abortion and religious liberty is also a bulwark against an agenda that will be used against Christians should one of the Democrats running for President actually manage to defeat Trump. They do not possess the Christian charity necessary to grant that we live in a fallen world and must be faithful with the choices set before us.

Pro-Trump Christians scold anti-Trump Christians as not caring about what would happen to many more unborn babies should a Democrat be elected, or the assaults on religious liberty that will come. ATC are derided as sanctimonious or even supporters of the very agenda that they claim to oppose. But PTC do not grant that ATC may be operating under sincere conviction and that, while they may not like the Democrats running for President, it is not enough to make them vote for a deeply flawed man.

God commands us to look at each other with charity. We will never agree 100% on everything, so we have to assume good will by those who hold a different opinion. With a brand new year upon us and what will almost certainly be a viciously nasty election cycle, can we at least resolve that we Christians will not be hateful toward each other when we disagree about politics and candidates? Can we please recognize that we are all of one faith, and respect each other’s convictions even when we disagree? Can we embrace Christian liberty and respect those who come to a different conclusion based on sincere application of their faith?

We are a very divided nation. The conservative movement has some deep divisions. But what we should not be is a divided church. We serve the same Lord, we eat and drink the same Communion, we pray to the same God, and we are redeemed of our sins by the same Blood. This sniping and backbiting among Christians needs to end. We can and should love each other despite our differences over whether this man is qualified to be President.

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