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How to vote when there are no perfect candidates?  

How to vote for imperfect candidate
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Often in elections, you reach election day, having to vote between 2 candidates, and neither makes the perfect candidate. So how should one choose?  

Let us first get something straight. The only perfect person is Jesus. I am not saying that as a juke or giving you a Sunday School answer but stating a fact. Read Isaiah 11 and you can read a description of Jesus as the perfect king, who will reign in goodness, righteousness, and justice. He will reign as someone not partial but will rule justly and fairly. 

Mankind is flawed because of our sinful nature (Romans 3:23). We are not inherently good as so many current-day teachers like to say. We have the propensity to sin. This also means that there will not be a perfect candidate.  

Some Characteristics of a Perfect Candidate

But if we were looking for a perfect candidate, what would that look like as a Christian as close as we can get? * Note this is not exhaustive but is a good start 

  1. One who has good character. (Proverbs 22:1) 
  1. One who has good morals. (This is like the one of good character, but the focus is on their morality. Proverbs 10:28, or just read all of Proverbs) 
  1. One who is compassionate (Zechariah 7:9-10) 
  1. One who stands for biblical values (Proverbs 31:9, Romans 12:2, James 1:22) 
  1. One who stands for what is right? (Which also implies they stand against what is wrong, another word here is they stand for justice) (Isaiah 32:1, Proverbs 21:15, Proverbs 18:5) 

While there have been candidates over the years that might meet the above criteria, many fall short in several, if not all these areas.  

What if there are no candidates who perfectly match up? 

One thing that I have seen in recent years is that you have some candidates that have impeccable character and make good personal moral choices. However, their values are everything opposite of what scripture teaches.  

On the other hand, you have a candidate who has made some very poor choices in the past. Maybe they have had some moral failings or have done or said something else that leaves a bad taste in the mouth. However, over the previous years leading up to candidacy, it seems that they have right their ship more, even with a few bumps. And their values, and what they stand for line up with what scripture teaches.  

This can make for a difficult decision. On the one hand, you have someone whose character has stayed the same while on the other hand you have someone whose values might line up closer to what you believe scripture teaches, but do you trust them?  

Let’s lay a few thoughts out regarding candidates.  

  • What is the purpose of Government? Romans 13 states that the government is punish the wrong and does not punish the good.  

You can see the purpose of government here is not to take care of everyone under their care financially. When you read scripture you will see repeated times of God commanded his people in the Old Testament and the Church in the New Testament to care for the poor, widows and orphans, and immigrants. 

So think of it in these broad terms – government = Provides Justice and Protection, Church = Compassion and care for people. Obviously, this is idealistic but should be pretty close to how things should be. So there are gray areas with how this plays out and times when the government needs to be compassionate and help care for others.  

  • Each person makes moral decisions. I have heard the argument many times that Christians should not force their morality on others. The ironic thing is that each person who states that is by turn trying to rule by what they consider morally right. So, then what is governing their morality? Is it whatever feels right in the moment? How do they know what is right or wrong?  
  • Another argument in this is that people try to say that there is a separation of church and state clause in the Constitution. There is no clause in the Constitution. Rather, the Constitution states that there should be no established religion. The thought behind it was that there would be no “State” church as was the case in most of Europe and with the Church of England.  
  • Grace, Redemption, and Life Change – As Christians, we should be the first to believe that someone who repents of their in and turns from that can change. Sometimes that change might take a while, but we need to have the patience to see what will happen. On the flip side, we need to be careful that someone is not just saying something to get a vote. 

With these in mind, let us proceed. We need to narrow down the scope between the two candidates. While doing so knowing that there is not a perfect candidate and see which one lines up closest with what the Bible teaches.  

Let’s go down a candidates checkbox:  

  • Which candidate has the better character? – Maybe this one has a candidate better than the other but neither candidate is perfect in the case.  
  • Which candidate will uphold the law, punish the evildoers, protect the people, and be just for all people? *This question alone can weed out and help you find a single candidate.  
  • Which candidate stands up for right and speaks out against what is wrong? 
  • Which candidate lines up closer with biblical values? (Remember I am speaking from a Christian perspective, but you could also substitute moral values or your values for Biblical Values, you just need to know what guides your value system.  If it is just you or whatever culture says, then your values will be constantly changing.) 

Here are some basic but broad values for candidates:  

Moral Values

Marriage as defined between one man and one woman – This is the bedrock of civilization – Genesis 1-2  

Value of Each Life Life begins at conception and has value (Psalms 139) (Genesis 1 – Created in God’s Image – this sets humanity from animals and thereby has more value)  

Murder – It is wrong since it takes a priceless human life (See Genesis and Exodus 20)  

Non-Moral Values

Justice – Bringing justice to wrongdoers 

Not Partial – Judging fairly not with prejudice or discriminating towards others 

CompassionShowing love and support to those who need it  – the Bible does teach that people should work. There are times when people are unable and that is when showing compassion and serving others comes into play

Financially Responsible – Read the book of Proverbs – Talks a lot about not being in debt with others 

As you can tell, most candidates will not hold to 100% of even these values mentioned above. However, some of these values hold more weight than others and can affect more people as a result. Such as those reflecting moral values to non-moral values.  

So, if there is no perfect candidate, then which candidate will stay true to more Biblical values?  

Here are some podcasts that I listen to to help inform me about the issues of the day

Cooper Stuff

Al Mohler

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