In less than a week, the votes will be cast, the die will be rolled, and America will have a new President-elect. Regardless of our preferences, convictions, or complacency, one person will be chosen to lead the next four years of American history.
The yard signs for the candidate of choice will be placed in garbage cans and sealed or taped-on bumper stickers will fade and get replaced in another four years. But the personal effects of the election season will last – some indefinitely.
The past months have borne witness to new-found friends forming alliances, but also to one-time friends bitterly parting ways. Facebook users now have fewer followers and workplace partners have longer silences and mothers-in-arms have colder exchanges. This, Sisters, ought not to be.
To be sure, this election is biblically complex and emotionally charged, and Scripture itself speaks to all sides. “Silence in the face of evil” Dietrich Bonhoeffer said, “is itself evil.” Certainly we must not be silent when evil rages, and certainly we must vote as led by the Holy Spirit (yes, really). But though God leads in all things through Scripture, He leaves non-core doctrinal issues up to freedom. People who love the Lord and love His Word are free to come to different decisions in non-essential issues.
Philippians 2:12-15 gives us a good direction to follow regarding ourselves and other believers in this election: “Therefore, my dear friends, as you have always obeyed…continue to work out your salvation with fear and trembling. For it is God who works in you to will and to act in order to fulfill His good purpose. Do everything without complaining and arguing so that you may become blameless and pure, children of God without fault in a warped and crooked generation.”
Matthew Henry once said, “Since men became enemies to God, they have been ready to be enemies to one another.” But Romans 12:18 tells us that “…as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone.”
Please understand, this is not a command to never judge anyone or anything. The Bible is clear that we must judge both people and issues in order to spread the Gospel and honor God in all things – including in how we vote. People often misunderstand or abuse Matthew 7 and Scriptures like it. But we must not judge other Christians for following the Holy Spirit’s leading in the decisions they make when Scriptural principles can be debated on both sides.
American history is a rich and powerful story. We have the honor, the right, and the duty to participate in our country’s voting process. Ladies, in doing so, let’s operate in the freedom we have in America and in the freedom we have in Christ, and vote according to the issues we hold dear as Christians and the principles set forth in Scripture. But let’s allow others to do the same without discrediting their faith or their character.
In His name and for His glory, Jodi Greene