The inevitable finally happened today, Senator Rick Santorum suspended his bid in the republican presidential primary. Whether you supported him or not, you have to give it to him for coming so far while polling at 1% a week before Iowa.
For a while I was a big supporter of Santorum and even gave my first political donation to his campaign. After a while that waned as he showed some significant challenges. So then I joined the Ron Paul bandwagon. I had some problems with him as well, but I respect his consistency. After watching a debate where he seemed wobbly on whether the morning after pill (which may be responsible for many more murders that all other types of abortion put together) should be illegal I had to pull my support.
So now here we are with Mitt Romney as the presumed nominee. I know many dear friends that will continue shouting Ron Paul from the top of the lungs until November (spamming and annoying others to the point that they refuse to even consider Paul) but rationally speaking that is over.
I'm left with quite the predicament. I consider the Obama administration one of the most tyrannical in the history of this nation. President Obama has helped wage class and race wars since taking office. So it makes perfect sense to then vote for the person most likely to defeat him right?
A year ago I would have said yes straight away, but now I'm not so sure. It's not that I think the answer is no, but probably for the first time in my life I want to really weigh out my options before checking beside the “R.”
If I compare Romney side by side with Obama then Romney wins hands down, but if I compare him to the Bible then he fails miserably.
In no way do I believe that one must be perfect to vote for them, but I think their may be some realistic standards we should hold.
The real challenge we have in setting such a standard is that an elected government official is not spoken of in the Bible. Scripture gives many exhortations for appointing elders and deacons but is pretty silent on officials elected by the people. There are no governmental democracies or republics spoken of in Scripture (yes, Rome was a republic, but that aspect is not spoken of in Scripture).
So then what can we look to for guidance? Well I think there are certain areas of Scripture we can look at for idea. Ultimately I would say that whomever one votes for is not a matter of sin, but rather wisdom. So if a friend votes for Barack Obama, I don't believe he is sinning to do so, but he may be foolish in doing so (just as I may be for voting for Mitt Romney).
We know all authority is ultimately given by God. That means whomever is elected is truly in God's power. We can also understand that we have a unique responsibility to take part in that, but after it is all said and done elections fall just as God's sovereign will proclaimed that they would.
We also know that just because it is part of God's sovereign will that it doesn't necessarily fall under his moral will. God put many evil kings in place for a time over Israel and Judea to discipline His people, but His true desire was always for their repentance.
With all of that said here are some of my big hesitations with voting for Romney.
1. Inconsistency on issues.
I would rather support a man I disagreed with on issues than a man I can't figure out his stance. At least then I know where to stand guard. With Romney you just don't know what you're getting.
"What you are in public will never blind God to what you are in private." - John Blanchard
I have no idea how he side stepped this during the primaries. The majority of the nation was furious over the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare) but yet we just welcome in the architect of the idea. Sure, what is allowable on a state level is different than a national level, but socialism is socialism no matter the scale.
3. The complacency of Christians when a republican is in office.
I'm not a Bush hater. I respect many things about the man, but he greatly expanded government's role and deficit during his tenure. When someone with an “R” by their name is in office Christians tend to stop paying attention to what is going on and blindly support whatever they say. This leads to bills like the Patriot Act and No Child Left Behind passing with nary an objection. With Obama in office many more are alert and with a Republican congress it is hard for him to achieve much.
4. Do we really want 8 years of Romney?
Four more years of Obama is pretty bad, but if we elect Romeny that is at least eight more years before we have the chance to elect a great leader.
5. Can I really prop up Mormonism?
I'm sure some will consider this bigotry, but since it's founding Mormonism has been considered a cult. They have so many heretical doctrines I won't even try to talk about them, but they absolutely are not Christians (something Joseph Smith used to state emphatically). Can I really vote for a cultist in good conscience? Does that not make the cult more main-stream and possibly lead people away from the one true God? I love freedom, but freedom is found in truth. That is something neither of the main candidates understand.
6. Has voting for a mediocre candidate really achieved anything?
It so often seems like we come back to voting for the “lesser of two evils.” Every time we vote it seems we're just holding our nose and keeping the vomit down as we select a candidate we don't really want. Don't you ever just get tired of it? Our society just keeps sliding down hill and instead of saying “I stand with a righteous man to rebuild the foundation” we say “at least we only fell a couple feet this year.” Is this really what I want to do all my life? Check beside the lesser demon?
Considering those objections what then are my options?
Abstain from voting for president.
I could just decide not to even bother voting for the office of president. Millions around the country do it every four years. Yet, I truly believe in the responsibility of the republic to be counted. So I don't think this is a great option.
2. Vote for a third party or write-in candidate.
Many consider this the same as not voting or even voting for Obama. I don't see it that way. Sure, a third party candidate is very unlikely to win, but a strong third party candidate in one election can lead to a great opportunity in the next. Maybe if we stood behind a godly man this election, though he may lose, we will have a great opportunity in the next election. Perhaps.
3. Hold my nose and vote for Romney.
I may end up doing this, but as of now I truly feel as though it would simply seer my own conscience to do so.
I still don't know where I fall on any of this. I don't think either option fits into the scope of God's revealed will, but most likely one will be our president for the next four years. It could happen that God miraculous save either or both of these men and draw them to true repentance. It could even happen that a strong third party candidate does win. I have a feeling both of these would come as a result of a national repentance, so amen to that idea.
I certainly have to definitive answers right now, but I'm happy to at least think about these things. I know many will disagree with me on these issues and will hold to ABO “anyone but Obama” and I understand that. I'm surprised I'm not in that mindset myself. But instead of just being against Obama I'd rather stand for something and I think that something is found in the someone of Jesus Christ. I can't guarantee I'll make the perfect decision in voting, but I know that keeping my eyes on Him instead of the letter beside someone's name as I once did will bring Him much more glory.
To God be the Glory,