Let me begin by saying that I have dear brothers and sisters in Christ who will be voting for Mitt Romney on November 6. This series is not at all to cause division among myself and them, nor is it meant to cause division among any of you who are reading this post. This series is, however, meant to share with you why I will not be voting for Mitt Romney this November, and why I will be doing so with a clear conscience. If it does not register with you that voting is a matter of Christian conscience, then this post is not for you, and neither is the comment section. But if you are interested in learning why I have taken this position, especially if it might help you in making your decision, then I welcome you to read and comment below. The article is not primarily written to persuade you, but to shed light on some of the issues as I see it – the rest is up to you (and in case there’s any question to the new reader here, I’m not voting for Barack Obama either).
My stance on Mitt Romney has been the same since last year, and has only been bolstered as 2012 has rolled through. It was probably back in March when I posted on facebook that this would be the first year in my voting history that I will not have voted for the Republican candidate. It stirred up quite the discussion, but it was surprisingly civilized. You see, there’s no need for Christians to rip each other’s heads off every two to four years – in fact, Paul has something to say about not devouring one another in Galatians 5:13-15. So it’s one thing to have a challenging discussion with your brother and in the end agreeing to disagree (in love), but it’s quite another if you hurl insults and ad hominems at each other attempting to win an argument. It’s foolishness, and it’s sin, so if that’s you, repent and grow up.
Before I get into the main reasons I will not be voting for Romney, let me first address some of the common arguments I see being used this election cycle:
1. “The lesser of two evils” argument. Any clear-thinking Christian knows this is a self-defeating phrase when used to compare two sinful men (I needed to learn this myself). Obviously, if two pagans are running against one another, and while one pagan’s moral compass might be screwed on a little tighter than his opponent, at the end of the day, both men are still evil (Ecclesiastes 9:3; Jeremiah 17:9; Romans 3:10-12). Usually when I hear this statement, it’s by a person who does indeed plan to “vote for the lesser of two evils”. I know what they mean by this, moralistically speaking, but I don’t make my decisions to vote on someone because they are more moralistic than his opponent. Instead of responding with, “I’m not voting for the lesser of two evils”, or “voting for the lesser evil is still evil!”, I simply dismiss the argument as it’s an invalid one in the first place.
2. “I’m voting for a commander-in-chief, not a pastor-in-chief.” I am amused by this statement as it is usually spoken by people who assume those who are not voting for their guy is indeed looking for a “pastor-in-chief”. John McCain was hardly such a candidate back in 2008, nor was George W. Bush in 2000 and 2004 (I was a false convert back then, so those examples are kind of irrelevant at this point). There are now generally three standards for which I even begin to consider a candidate, and that is their position on life, marriage, and Israel. One does not have to be a Christian to agree with me on these issues. If one disagrees with me, they are sure to not get my vote, but if they agree, that doesn’t necessarily guarantee they get my vote either. It’s merely the litmus test for consideration. Mitt Romney fails on 1 out of 3, so he doesn’t even qualify for me to consider voting for him. More on that later.
3. Not voting for (insert candidate’s name here) is a vote for the evil guy. Statistically speaking, yes, this may be true. Frank Turk put up an article addressing Math and Elections a couple of weeks ago. He has a good point in so far as laying out the statistical reality of not voting at all or voting for a third party candidate equals a bust for the Republican. I agree, however, my decision for voting is not based on math, or pragmatism for that matter, but rather on conviction. My writing in a candidate is clearly not in hopes they have an actual chance of winning, but rather to let the system know I was indeed in the ballot box, but I reject the choices given me. I’m done with the status quo, and if that means I never again cast a ballot for a candidate with a legitimate chance of winning, then so be it. I have absolutely no obligation to vote for someone opposed to my worldview, no matter how moralistic they might be, and no matter what promises they make to fix the economy.
4. “If you’re not voting for Person A, you must vote against Person B”. I can buy that argument up to a certain point. In fact, it’s pretty much what I did back in 2008 when I held my nose to vote for John McCain. Also, back in 2008, I might have agreed with the principles put forth by Dan Phillips in his 2008 article Go Third Party? Or Don’t Vote? Dan’s points on the pro-life issue are solid and I agree with him in the case of McCain versus Obama in 2008. However, it’s 2012, and the game has changed. We no longer have the same players. Yes, we have the radical pro-abort Barack Obama as the incumbent, but our other choice isn’t exactly pro-life. So while Dan may have been right four years ago, the circumstance we have today causes the argument to be invalid (if indeed it is still used, and I take that it is due to Frank plugging Dan’s article).
5. “You’re a Hyper-Calvinist if you believe God’s sovereignty gives you an excuse to not vote or vote third party”. OK, I know it may seem I’m picking at the Pyromaniacs, but I’m truly not. I love those brothers and agree with most of their publishing. I’ve actually been planning to write this article, now a series, for a few months, so when I read Frank’s and Dan’s articles last week, I decided I wanted to address some of my concerns proactively before the comment section caught fire, and their articles helped frame my opposition to these arguments.
Now, moving along, the Hyper-Calvinist accusation. No, I am not a Hyper-Calvinist by any stretch of the word. Perhaps it’s meant to be hyperbole, but I find it fascinating that Calvinists would accuse other Calvinists of being Hyper-Calvinists when the latter Calvinists base their decisions on conviction while trusting God to be sovereign over all things, including appointing presidents. In evangelism, for instance, the biblical Calvinist preaches the unadulterated Gospel of Jesus Christ and does not employ any man-centered techniques to “win converts”. So there is no altar-calling, no sinners prayers, no “decisions for Christ”, or any other gimmicks – just Christ and Him crucified while trusting the Holy Spirit to regenerate God’s elect sheep so they will follow Christ through repentance and faith. No pragmatism, just speaking the truth in love.
Now, with voting, this is matter of Christian conscience. Unless one’s Personal Book of Law on Standard Practices for Christian Voting© is divinely inspired, you’ll have to keep your yoke to yourself. When I say I am not voting for Mitt Romney and I trust God will put in office who He has ordained to put in office, I am not throwing my hands in the air and kicking dust to the wind. The same God who has ordained for one of these men to be in office is the same God who ordained them to be our choices. He’s also the same God who has given us the liberty to decide for ourselves whether either two idolaters should receive our vote. The way I see it, both candidates are proof positive that God’s judgment is upon America, so I have a really hard time believing God would be displeased with me if I decide to not vote for Mitt Romney based on the reasons I will give you in the next post.
Well there you have it. I’m sure there are other arguments to be made as to why I “must” vote for Mitt Romney, so feel free to drop them in the comment section if you can do so respectfully.