“Again, the devil took him to a very high mountain and showed him all the kingdoms of the world and their splendor. ‘All this I will give you,’ he said, ‘if you will bow down and worship me'” (Matthew 4:8-9).
I originally published this blog post back in July 2019, but I recently decided to take it down, and revise it to better express my message.
Recognizing evils on the political left has always come more easily to me, because I am generally conservative in my thinking. As a result, the challenge for me has been recognizing the evils on the right. I admit, I have biases. Like a lot of people, especially in these politically charged times, I find myself being tempted to make compromises for wrongdoing, which happens to fit within those biases of mine. Whereas many are pointing in one direction or the other, I recognize that evil encroaches from all sides in this world. “Again, the devil took him to a very high mountain and showed him all the kingdoms of the world and their splendor. ‘All this I will give you,’ he said, ‘if you will bow down and worship me'” (Matthew 4:8-9); this is why I must be rooted in the Gospel and led by the Spirit.
As a Christian, would I vote for Pete Buttigieg, a “practicing” homosexual? Many evangelicals would answer, “Absolutely not!”, based on their view of the biblical prohibition of “practicing” homosexuality (Romans 1; 1 Corinthians 6). Yet, many, maybe most, of the same people voted for Donald Trump in 2016, a “practicing” adulterer. Why do I call President Trump a “practicing” adulterer? Well, the Bible forbids, in most cases, remarrying after divorce (Matthew 19; 1 Corinthians 7); the remarriage itself is the act of adultery. “Flee from sexual immorality. All other sins a person commits are outside the body, but whoever sins sexually, sins against their own body. Do you not know that your bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own; you were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your bodies” (1 Corinthians 6:18-20). Despite Paul’s rather urgent warning to flee from sexual immorality, there seems to be a double standard afoot. Both same sex sexual acts and adultery are included in the list of sexual sins, and both are denounced alongside one another in the same breath: “Or do you not know that wrongdoers will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: Neither the sexually immoral nor idolaters nor adulterers nor men who have sex with men nor thieves nor the greedy nor drunkards nor slanderers nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God” (1 Corinthians 6:9-10). And let’s not forget about greed and selfish ambition (Galatians 5:19-21), both of which the world, including much of the church, has distorted into virtues. As a fellow blogger recently pointed out, “Interestingly, in Ezekiel 16:49-50, the Lord mentioned that the sin of Sodom that led to their judgment wasn’t really sexual immorality by itself but greed, arrogance and lack of concern for the needy. Something for our brothers and sisters to think about.”
So what does a faithful Christian do?
Do I not vote for the sinner? Wait, which sinner?
Do I cast my ballot solely based on policy, on who I believe will do the best job?
Do I bother voting at all?
All these questions are problematic no matter how I answer them. In the interest of total transparency, I voted for Donald Trump in 2016, because I largely agree with the President on policy and generally approve of his job performance. Conversely, I wouldn’t have voted for Pete Buttigieg, regardless of his sexuality, because I disagree with the Mayor on policy and his vision for this country. I knew there was a problem, a few years back, when the now infamous County Clerk in Kentucky refused to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples, on the basis of her Christian convictions, yet she was reported to have been guilty of multiple infidelities, divorced, and remarried. I watched in horror as the conservative, evangelical community, by and large, turned her into their poster child for biblical marriage. What a conundrum!
I’ve come to believe that God is using these issues not to uproot what’s counterfeit, from among those claiming to be His people, but rather, to lead those whom are truly His out of Egypt. Regarding adultery, sexuality, or greed, read your Bible, and let the Holy Spirit guide your heart, and remember to pray for all of our leaders, no matter who you support. Yes, we do have tough decisions ahead brothers and sisters, and we’ll figure it out with God’s help, but I believe that before we can truly be effective emissaries for Jesus Christ, we have cause to repent ourselves. “If we claim to be without sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us” (1 John 1:8). Fellowship with God requires that we acknowledge the truth concerning ourselves first. How do we even begin to grasp the love of God, without the backdrop of terrible price He paid to ransom our souls?
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