Wednesday, May 4, 2016

Isn't Any Evil Evil?

I'm not one who regularly writes about political things. Truth be told I don't think I've ever written about a political thing. However, I am one who regularly writes about Biblical things, and in doing so I often encourage those who call themselves Christian to look at all things (which would include political things) from a Biblical perspective and through a Biblical lens. That's the point of this post. 

This is not a post about a particular candidate (per se), or even about a particular party.  Instead, it's a post about a menacing mantra, a prevalent "proverb", a troubling train of thought that I am being bombarded with via social media, and am hearing more and more in coffee shop conversations as well as in check-out line chatter.  

It's a post about a statement that says a lot about whether we are living our life by principle or by pragmatism.

The statement is this:  "I guess I'll have to vote for the lesser of two evils."   And when it's said by someone I'm left to assume that they really believe that the only two choices they have are between two varying shades of iniquitous evil.  (Sidenote:  if you don't really believe that the choice is between two actual evils you can probably stop reading ... but maybe you should consider selecting a softer synonym.)

In response here's my point for you to ponder: 

Isn't the "lesser of two evils" still an evil?

I ask that honestly.

I find myself puzzled by the calls encouraging me to vote for a candidate (blue or red, local or national) based on a sliding scale of sinisterness or some comparison of corruption. 

If one genuinely believes that both candidates are evil (to whatever degree) then how should one respond?  Is it really to choose the one who is least lewd?

The questions that continue to bounce within my own brain are: 
  • How can a Christian conscience ever partner with any form of perdition? 
  • How can one who believes the Bible ever make an honest excuse for any semblance of that which is execrable?
  • How can I ever vote for ANY evil - including a supposed lesser evil?

As I personally ruminate and wrestle through this year's electoral issues I'm reminded that the Book which I seek to live by calls me 
  • to abhor what is evil and cling to what is good  (Romans 12:9)
  • to abstain from any form  or appearance of evil  (1 Thessalonians 5:22)
  • to keep myself from every evil thing (Deuteronomy 23:9)
  • and it tells me that to depart from evil is wisdom and understanding (Job 22:28).

You know, I really long to be wise in these things - and to live by prudence rather than by pragmatism. So, if I genuinely believe that things have come down to "the lesser of two evils" then in Scriptural prudence and against political pragmatism how can I convince myself to vote for any vice?

There is nothing easy in this - NOTHING! The results of this election (as the results of all elections) will have far reaching effects.  However, even with the knowledge that consequences will come I cannot vote by fear but must vote by faith - and by faith I cannot cast a ballot for that which is bad (even in contrast to that which some say may be "badder.")  That doesn't mean I'll stay home from the polls - apathy isn't the answer. But it means that Biblical boundaries will influence what I write in on my ballot - boundaries that won't allow me to walk with the wicked.


I'm thankful that there is a sovereign King who reigns and rules over the political process - a process that I actively participate in. He knows best what our nation needs most - and in His overarching omniscient wisdom sometimes gives us what we say we want in order to open our eyes to what we truly need.

As I sincerely strive to proceed by Christian principle I'm also earnestly striving to pray by Biblical precedent: "Lord, lead us not into temptation but deliver us from evil" - including the temptation to vote for evil.

By grace,

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