Why I, as a Christian, Cannot Vote for Trump

Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump speaks at a campaign stop, Thursday, March 3, 2016, in Portland, Maine.(AP Photo/Robert F. Bukaty)

The nation is in peril. It would seem the only recourse would be to choose the lesser of two evils to preserve the future of the State. Instead of trusting God, Asa the king of Judah aligned himself with the king of Syria in order to break the economic stranglehold threatened by his long time enemy Baasha king of Israel (2 Chronicles 16:1-9).

The rebuke of the prophet Hanani to King Asa and the foretelling of future calamity (vs. 7,9) is just as applicable today for Christians as it was to Asa who chose a “lesser evil” (like Trump) than a known immediate threat (like Hillary). To paraphrase the words of the prophet: you have relied on [Trump], and not relied on the LORD thy God.

Hanani argued that the Lord had delivered the kingdom of Judah in the past against overwhelming odds and could have easily done so again (2 Chron. 14:9-12). As one reads the context of Hanani’s indictment against Asa several things stand out as it concerns Christians in this ominous 2016 presidential election…

1. God is Sovereign and deserves our trust no matter how dire the circumstance… “LORD, it is nothing with thee to help, whether with many, or with them that have no power” (2 Chron. 14:11)

2. The faith of a Christian should rest on God, not a politician or a political party… “help us, O LORD our God; for we rest on thee” (2 Chron. 14:11)

3. There are consequences to forsaking biblical principles… “The LORD is with you, while ye be with him; and if ye seek him, he will be found of you; but if ye forsake him, he will forsake you” (2 Chron. 15:2)

There is no question that a Christian should not vote for a pro-abortion, unethical, wicked candidate like Hillary Clinton. The taking of the innocent life of the unborn is an evil accepted by far too many people and it is especially vile that Hillary not only supports abortion on demand but also abortion just hours before delivery. In addition, her professional and political career is replete with scandals, corruption, incompetence, lies, and cover-ups. Her failures that led to the deaths of four American citizens in Benghazi, use of a private e-mail server in her home for classified information, and the likelihood that the Clinton Foundation received multi-million dollar donations from foreign nations in exchange for positive treatment from the State Department should all disqualify her from being elected president. The reasons not to vote for Hillary seem endless. However, as a Christian, I cannot in good conscience vote for Donald Trump either and will therefore vote third-party. Below are the scriptural principles that have influenced my decision. I’m not asking anyone to agree with me, rather, I believe we as Christians should base our decisions on the word of God and not from emotion, fear-mongering or misplaced hope.

“The integrity of the upright shall guide them: but the perverseness of transgressors shall destroy them.” Proverbs 11:3

Ideally a president would be guided by biblical principles. At a minimum, there should be moral ideals that govern the decision making process of the leader of the most powerful nation in the free world. However, Donald Trump does not appear to be guided by integrity, moral ideals, character, or core values but rather by no higher authority than Donald Trump himself.

John Adams, Founding Father and second President of the United States, said: “Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other.” As such, we have seen the disastrous results of immoral presidents breaking their oath of office to “preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States.” Not only has Donald Trump evidenced a gross misunderstanding of the Constitution but also he has proven himself to be unethical and immoral and one in whom the American people cannot expect to uphold the supreme law of the land. [1]

Donald Trump has proven that he will enrich himself at the expense of others. Throughout his campaign he has repeated his support of, and attempts to use, eminent domain in which the government confiscates private property. [2] In the first presidential debate when he was accused of rooting for the housing crisis so that his real estate firm could benefit from the financial loss that affected over 9 million people, Trump retorted, “That’s called business, by the way.” [3] In 2005, Trump announced the launch of Trump “university” which promised to teach students his real-estate development secrets. The school shut down in 2010 over complaints that it was a scam. The litigation continues as the State of New York alleges Trump bilked students out of $40 million [4] [5].

The list of unethical practices of Trump and allegations against him are numerous: tenant intimidation, four bankruptcies, taking advantage of undocumented Polish workers, openly advocated for revenge “as viciously and as violently as you can,” allegedly raping his first wife Ivana, antitrust violations, refusing to pay workers and contractors, using the Trump Foundation to solicit money from others then give it away as though from himself, and the list goes on. [6]

Beyond his selfishness, narcissism, and egomania, what has disturbed me from the beginning has been the immorality and perverseness embraced by Donald Trump and his degradation of women. He has openly bragged about his sexual exploits, has a history of groping women, was the first to bring a strip club to the Atlantic City casinos, as a frequent guest on The Howard Stern show Trump often reveled in his sexually immoral lifestyle and even allowed Stern to debase his own daughter Ivanka. He himself said he would date Ivanka if she wasn’t his daughter. He has publically called various women “dogs,” “pigs,” and vulgar words that I will not reference. [7] The most recent revelation came from a tape made in 2005 in which Trump openly talked in the most coarse and vile way about having sexually assaulted women and openly approved of adultery. I have been surprised by Christians repeating the narrative that Trump’s reprehensible words were merely locker room talk. Jesus said in Matthew 12:34, “out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaketh.” As my wife likes to say, “you are your words.”

Initially, Trump did not offer a genuine apology for how he was caught talking about women. He said, “This was locker room banter, a private conversation that took place many years ago. I apologize if anyone was offended.” Notice his “apology” was not for having said those vile things but rather if “anyone was offended.” He later offered what appeared to be a more somber apology. Was it genuine? Scripture speaks of two kinds of sorrow: “godly sorrow” and “the sorrow of the world” (2 Corinthians 7:10). The difference being the former is a contrite spirit for having sinned against God whereas the latter is regret for having been caught and the shame that it brings before the world. If Trump were genuinely sorrowful you would think that when asked by moderator Frank Lutz if he had ever asked God for forgiveness for his actions at the Family Leadership Summit (Ames, IA July 2015), he would have replied something like, “There are many things that I have done and that I have said of which I am ashamed and for which I have asked God to forgive me. I’d rather not go into the details.” Instead, however, Trump replied that he could not remember having ever asked God for forgiveness. He said, “I am not sure I have. I just go on and try to do a better job from there. I don’t think so. I think if I do something wrong, I think, I just try and make it right. I don’t bring God into that picture.” [8] If he were truly sorry for his behavior he would not have bragged about his affairs with married women in his book The Art of the Deal, which he has continued to uphold as his “second favorite book” after the Bible throughout his campaign. There is a difference between forgiveness and trust. As Christians we are commanded to forgive those who trespass against us however trust is something that is earned over time. For example, a convicted child molester who is repentant can be forgiven and restored in a church but that does not mean he should be trusted in a children’s ministry. Trump can be forgiven but he has shown a continued disregard for humility and has continued to debase women on the campaign trail and at this point I see no reason to trust him to govern with integrity.

Dear Christian, what guiding principles in Trump gives you confidence that he will “preserve, protect and defend the Constitution” and appoint conservative judges to the Supreme Court? Does he have a history of conservative values that guide him? [9] Did he mention abortion one time in his acceptance speech at the Republican National Convention in August? [10] Trump is not one to swim against the tide of corrupt times.

In the words of Samuel Adams, “Father of the American Revolution” and signer of The Declaration of Independence:

When you become entitled to exercise the right of voting for public office, let it be impressed on your mind that God commands you to chose for rulers, ‘just men who will rule in the fear of God.’ The preservation of government depends on the faithful discharge of this duty; if the citizens neglect their duty and place unprincipled men in office, the government will soon be corrupted; laws will be made, not for the public good so much as selfish or local purposes; corrupt or incompetent men will be appointed to execute the laws; the public revenues will be squandered on unworthy men; and the rights of the citizens will be violated or disregarded if a republican government fails to secure public prosperity and happiness, it must be because the citizens neglect the divine commands, and elect bad men to make and administer the laws.” [11]

“Marriage is honourable in all, and the bed undefiled: but whoremongers and adulterers God will judge.” Hebrews 13:4

The election of George W. Bush was a referendum on the scandals and immorality of Bill Clinton. The mantra of the time was that character counts. How things have changed.

In his book The Art of the Deal, Trump boasted about his affairs with married women. He wrote, “If I told the real stories of my experiences with women, often seemingly very happily married and important women, this book would be a guaranteed best-seller.” [12] Trump has been married three times to different women, he left his first wife after having an affair with the woman who would become his second wife.

Jane Eisner, journalist and Editor-in-Chief of the Forward, wrote an article titled “Sorry, Evangelicals, You Can’t Play the Trump Card and the God Card at the Same Time”. In her last paragraph of the article she wrote:

If character and behavior don’t matter to you and your candidates, they shouldn’t matter in judging me, or people like me. This year’s embrace of Trump robs white evangelicals of any justification for judging others’ behavior, for legislating against us, for preaching about family values and the necessity of maintaining religious tradition. If they want to be unabashedly pragmatic voters who don’t walk the walk, fine. But they’ve lost the moral high ground. I don’t know what their gospel looks like anymore.” [13]

For all the talk about the Supreme Court and religious liberty being preserved by a Trump administration, should Christians not consider at what cost it will be to the ministry of the gospel? Furthermore, at what cost will it be to instructing our children? How can I tell my kids the ends do not justify the means if I’m willing to ignore a man’s lack of character in hopes of what he might do for the country? How can I teach them to stand on principle even if it means standing alone if I see voting third party as just throwing my vote away?

“Pride goeth before destruction, and an haughty spirit before a fall.” Proverbs 16:18

God hates pride (Prov. 6:17). Trump constantly beats the refrain “Only I can fix it.” If his moral failings were not enough this pride from a ranting egomaniac would give me grave concern for the nation as it is a challenge to God’s sovereignty. It was Lucifer’s pride that caused his fall, as five times he said “I will” in attempt to make himself “like the most High” (Isa. 14:12-15). Nebuchadnezzar’s pride led to the loss of his throne until finally he concluded that “those that walk in pride he [God] is able to abase” (Dan. 4:37). Herod’s pride led to his sudden death because “he gave not God the glory” (Acts 12:23). What will the result of Trump’s pride be for America?

The solution for America is not in the White House but in God’s house. Only the Lord can heal the land and it will come only through humble contrition, not self-sufficient pride or the Republican party: “If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.” (2 Chronicles 7:14)

Yoni Appelbaum wrote an article in The Atlantic titled “I Alone Can Fix It” on July 21, 2016 in which he aptly portrays the prideful boasts of the Republican nominee compared to his predecessors. He writes:

Has any American political leader claimed so directly to embody the nation, to speak for it, to be its sole hope for redemption?

In 1968, Richard Nixon spoke of a nation torn apart by crime at home, and by wars abroad. But, he promised, better days were ahead. ‘Without God’s help and your help, we will surely fail; but with God’s help and your help, we shall surely succeed.’

In 1980, Ronald Reagan painted a similarly dark picture of a troubled nation, and offered a similar message of redemption. But his acceptance speech called on Americans to work together to solve their problems. ‘I ask you not simply to ‘Trust me,’’ Reagan said, ‘but to trust your values—our values—and to hold me responsible for living up to them.’

In 2000, George W. Bush called a troubled nation to renewal, and ended with a note of humility. ‘I know the presidency is an office that turns pride into prayer,’ he said, ‘But I am eager to start on the work ahead.’

In 2016, Donald J. Trump mounted the stage, and told America that the nation is in crisis. That attacks on police and terrorism threaten the American way of life. That the United States suffers from domestic disaster, and international humiliation. That it is full of shuttered factories and crushed communities. That it is beset by ‘poverty and violence at home’ and ‘war and destruction abroad.’

And he offered them a solution.

I am your voice, said Trump. I alone can fix it. I will restore law and order. He did not appeal to prayer, or to God. He did not ask Americans to measure him against their values, or to hold him responsible for living up to them. He did not ask for their help. He asked them to place their faith in him.

He broke with two centuries of American political tradition, in which candidates for office—and above all, for the nation’s highest office—acknowledge their fallibility and limitations, asking for the help of their fellow Americans, and of God, to accomplish what they cannot do on their own.” [14]

As I have sought the Lord’s direction regarding my vote there has been the resounding voice of Scripture warning me not to compromise my integrity and testimony by aligning myself with this man (Amos 3:3). In addition to my concerns mentioned above, Trump has shown a long history of lying and exaggeration (Proverbs 19:9), volatile and vengeful anger (Proverbs 14:17), recklessness with his words (Proverbs 29:20), and double-mindedness (James 1:8) in his policies. He is an unprincipled and incompetent man who I believe does not have the right temperament to protect the Republic [15] [16] [17] [18] [19]. Certainly Hillary shares in many of these same undesirable attributes and many more. It should cause us to pause for reflection why these two horrific candidates are the two main choices for the highest public office in the land. We are in this predicament because too often we have settled for the “lesser of two evils” and each election cycle seems to produce a lower standard of what is acceptable.

Thousands of years ago King David desired the ark of God to be moved to Jerusalem. Rather than obey the prescribed method to move this symbol of the presence of God, David adopted the method of the Philistines and moved it upon an ox cart. When the ox stumbled, Uzzah put out his hands to steady it, even though it was forbidden to be touched, and God struck him dead. Instead of obeying and trusting God, Uzzah was punished for his disobedience. Humanly speaking his motives seemed genuine and reasonable, he only wanted to do the “right thing”. Would God have let the ark fall to the ground because David had compromised in the method of its transportation or would God have miraculously held it up? I don’t know. Nor do I know what will happen if Trump, or Clinton for that matter, becomes the next president. I do know that God is sovereign and it seems like many think that Trump is the only one that can save the nation from falling into the abyss (2 Samuel 6).

I have read post after post and article after article on Facebook that is designed to scare me into voting for the Republican nominee. The scenario is usually something like this: Trump is far from perfect. I know what we’ll get with Hillary and at least I can hope that Trump will do the right thing. If elected he will nominate conservative Supreme Court justices and our religious liberties will be protected under his administration.

I would like to offer up a different scenario: Trump wins and is so hated that many Republicans in Congress lose their election and the Democrats increase their numbers in November. He shows no restraint during his presidency, makes a mockery of the office, does what is best for Trump and proves to be a disaster. As a result, the Democrats win the mid-term election in a landslide thus taking over both houses of Congress with the largest majority they’ve had in recent memory. Trump is unable to get conservative judges approved through Congress and leaves the country and the Republican Party in shambles at the end of 4 years and the Democrats in control of the government without any checks and balances.

What scenario will play out? Only God knows. It is a fact that Democrat presidents get their judicial nominees appointed with relative ease whereas Republican presidents usually get less than 50% of who they first nominate [20]. Reagan nominated liberal Justice Sandra Day O’Connor. George H.W. Bush nominated liberal Justice David Souter. It was George W. Bush’s nominee, Justice John Roberts, that sided with the court’s liberal bloc to uphold Obamacare. It was during Nixon’s presidency that Roe vs. Wade occurred legalizing abortion. It was during Reagan’s presidency that the first partial-birth abortion was performed. It was during George W.’s presidency that the first same-sex marriage occurred. Why do Trump’s supporters believe he will get a conservative justice appointed? Why do they think he will be a lion for conservative causes when he has been a liberal most of his life?

God alone knows the future. He is in control, whoever wins in November. Instead of being like “Uzzah” and trying to help God out, why not stand on biblical principles and trust him with the results?

 

[1] http://www.politico.com/magazine/story/2016/08/2016-donald-trump-constitution-guide-unconstitutional-freedom-liberty-khan-214139

[2] https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/volokh-conspiracy/wp/2015/08/19/donald-trumps-abuse-of-eminent-domain/?utm_term=.af34e8209ea8

[3] http://www.politico.com/story/2016/09/trump-housing-collapse-228708

[4] http://www.newyorker.com/news/john-cassidy/trump-university-its-worse-than-you-think

[5] http://www.wsj.com/articles/trump-university-fraud-suit-to-go-to-trial-judge-rules-1461707442

[6] http://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2016/10/donald-trump-scandals/474726/

[7] http://townhall.com/columnists/rebeccahagelin/2016/02/28/meet-donald-trump-the-king-of-sleaze-n2126157

[8] http://edition.cnn.com/2015/07/18/politics/trump-has-never-sought-forgiveness/

[9] http://www.nationalreview.com/article/435273/donald-trump-liberal-conspiracy-theorist

[10] http://www.slate.com/blogs/xx_factor/2016/07/22/the_2016_republican_convention_was_strangely_silent_on_abortion_and_religion.html

[11] http://restoreamerica.org/pastors/quotes/

[12] http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/marriage-rules-according-to-donald-trump_us_576c3886e4b0dbb1bbb9e5a8

[13] http://forward.com/opinion/345668/sorry-evangelicals-you-cant-play-the-trump-card-and-the-god-card-at-same-ti/

[14] http://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2016/07/trump-rnc-speech-alone-fix-it/492557/

[15] (https://www.washingtonpost.com/graphics/politics/2016-election/trump-lies/)

[16] https://askdrbrown.org/library/donald-trump-anger-and-violence

[17] http://fortune.com/2016/09/30/trump-twitter-rant/

[18] https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/the-fix/wp/2016/09/30/why-donald-trump-tweets-late-at-night-and-very-early-in-the-morning/

[19] http://www.nbcnews.com/politics/2016-election/full-list-donald-trump-s-rapidly-changing-policy-positions-n547801

[20] https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/marc-a-thiessen-why-are-republicans-so-awful-at-picking-supreme-court-justices/2012/07/02/gJQAHFJAIW_story.html?utm_term=.ab98dfe2acad

As a postscript, I would like to thank my wife Sandy for being such a tremendous editor. I am grateful for your insight and wisdom. I would also like to thank my friends Chris Blackwell and Brian Nibbe for reviewing my blog and giving their feedback. I respect you both greatly and appreciate your character, investment in your families, and boldness of faith.

  • Jeanette ,

    Let he is without sin may cast the first stone so you just proved you are NOT a Christian. Time to go back to reading the Bibke.

    • Stetson Planck ,

      Thank you for taking the time to leave a comment Jeanette. Did you read the entire article? The Bible says, “he that is spiritual judgeth all things” (1 Corinthians 2:15). How do we judge? God has given us his word as our final authority and standard by which we can measure truth from error. I’m afraid I do not understand how I “proved” I am not a Christian. I am a Christian not because of what I do but because of who Jesus Christ is (God manifest in the flesh) and what he has done for me (bore my sin penalty and rose again offering me eternal life). I am a sinner too broken to save myself. One day I repented and put my faith in Christ alone as my Saviour. This is why I am a Christian… and for no other reason.

      • David Baker ,

        Thank you for taking the time to write a truly Biblical article about the election instead of just scare tactics. “God hath not given us the spirit of fear…” I understand Hillary is horrible as most people do, but I think your scenario of a Trump presidency is more apt to happen than for him to be the savior of the country. God bless you. I am sure you will receive many hateful responses from “good and godly Christians.”

        • Vince LaRue ,

          Extremely well stated, brother. We are not to do evil that good may come of it.

          • Kimberly ,

            yes, but we must understand that not voting for Hillary is voting for her- and that does mean trouble. By using a 3rd party who will not even get 8% of the vote we are saying that God can not rule with whomever is in office. We will not win with anyone of these two in office but prayerfully Trump will not be as awful as Hillary. WE as a nation are getting what we deserve and as Christians we know the end times will only get worse…the Bible is clear.

            • Sandra Sawyer ,

              God uses people like Sampson to get His will done. Trump just recently made a profession of faith and is a baby Christian- He needs time to grow. God can use him- He has made it clear he stands for Christian values such as Anti abortion- for the rights of Christians, for God’s chosen people – the Israelites…Let’s vote for him for these reasons..

              • Kim Millard ,

                It’s usually the very same people who say not to “judge” Donald Trump who then turn around and talk about what an evil Godless wench Hillary is. Can’t have it both ways people.

                • Stetson Planck ,

                  Thank you Pastor Baker for your kind reply. May the Lord bless you!

                  • Stetson Planck ,

                    Thank you Vince. It would seem that should be obvious to Christians, doesn’t it?

                    • Stetson Planck ,

                      Thank you for commenting Kimberly. I understand what you mean but I disagree… that idea undermines what it means to vote. It is my vote. No one gets to put a mark for Clinton with my vote. No one else is entitled to it and I’m under no obligation to vote with the crowd. Men and women have bled and died to give me this liberty and I exercise that right to give my voice to government.

                      • Stetson Planck ,

                        Sandra, thank you for commenting. Did you read the article in its entirety? To me, one of the keys to what I wrote can be found near the beginning: “Trump does not appear to be guided by integrity, moral ideals, character, or core values but rather by no higher authority than Donald Trump himself.” At 70 years of age and 3 weeks away from possibily being the most powerful person in the free world, how much time should be give him to grow? Yes, God can use anyone to get his will done, including Hillary, correct? I have voted absentee for Darrell Castle with a clear conscience.

                        • Stetson Planck ,

                          Thank you for commenting Kim. I fear they are both disasters for America, each will do damage in different/long term ways.

                          • patt studebaker ,

                            help us Lord

                            • David Clinkscales ,

                              I assume you wrote this, Stetson, given the comments, and so “Good job!” I encourage you to continue to stay the course and walk in integrity despite the fear-mongering on both sides. I wrote a very similar article and I encourage you to check it out if you so choose––it’s relatively long but crucially important, as was your own. You can find it here: http://fathersdeepwell.weebly.com/blog/biblical-truth-in-the-face-of-trump91196172740618

                              • Sandy ,

                                Stetson, Stetson, Stetson,
                                WHO are you to have the audacity to voice WHO & WHY you are voting for personally? As you stated in the title of your article, “Why I..”….how dare you. How dare you have an opinion. Furthermore, a logical, well referenced, and biblically sound opinion. Don’t you know that you don’t have that free will as an American, as a Christian and especially as a missionary that rely on the support of the vast majority of Christians that are voting for Trump? You are just a lowly missionary with no Doctor of Theology behind your name. Aren’t you obligated to vote Republican, no matter what principles or convictions you possess? You need to toss those aside temporarily, no matter what unsaved person is watching, and jump on that train to take you to what YOU deem as a more comfortable future.
                                (Couldn’t resist a little fun with this after seeing the vast amount of not-so-nice comments on facebook shares directed at you 😉 ) Love you and am very proud of you.

                                • roykni ,

                                  Hillary, just like the Bushes, is part of an oligarchcy that has ruled for centuries. She can not be prosecuted, he will not be allowed to win, or they will kill him just like they did JFK. You are deceived! You are self righteous.

                                  • Crystal ,

                                    I would just like to say how very much this article blessed me. It has been a cool drink in what has been a very harsh election cycle. I agree completely! I have become weary with other Christians blaming me for every evil that Hilliary will do in office, just because I can’t vote for Trump. These same people will fight for the right of a Christian baker to refrain from baking a homosexual wedding cake, correctly citing soul liberty–that no one should be forced to violate their God given consciences. I would agree with them completely on that point, but when my conscience cannot vote for either major party candidate, they do not wish for me to have soul liberty on that subject. They desire for me to violate my conscience in order that their profane candidate might come into office. It’s been a disheartening time. Especially seeing the wickedness of Trump excused by so many older people that I admire. What ground are they going to have in the future to call sin, sin if they can’t do it now when presented with Trump’s actions?

                                    • David ,

                                      Thank you so much for posting this, I have yet to read something concerning this election that stirs my soul and brings such encouragement as these words.

                                      • Stetson Planck ,

                                        Thank you for your kind words David.

                                        • Stetson Planck ,

                                          Well said Crystal. Thanks for commenting.

                                          • Stetson Planck ,

                                            Roykni, thanks for your interesting comment.

                                            • Stetson Planck ,

                                              Sandy, do I detect a hint of sarcasm 😉 I love you! I’m proud you are my wife and such a great editor :-)

                                              • Stetson Planck ,

                                                Thanks for your comment David. I haven’t had a chance to read your article but I’ll try my best this week.

                                                • Judy Smith ,

                                                  • Douglas W. ,

                                                    Such an spot on article. I have been feeling quite alone, standing for an ethic, while most of my Christian friends embrace Trump. Thank you for your encouragement, God has encouraged me on to continue to stand. Your expression of truth is exactly what I have been seeing, a nation and church in decay, and compromise. But I will not, I will vote for the most moral, God fearing candidate. It is my duty. My choice is Darrell Castle of the Constitution Party. How bout you!?

                                                    • Stetson Planck ,

                                                      Thanks for writing Douglas. My wife and I voted for Darrell Castle 2 weeks ago.

                                                      • Stetson Planck ,

                                                        Thanks for the encouragement to read my Bible Judy. Did you read my blog in its entirety? I referenced plenty of scripture as to why I cannot vote for Trump.

                                                        • Thieu-Tiet ,

                                                          May God continue to richly bless you (& your wife; my temper almost got the better of me when I read the first few lines. Whew!!!) not only for writing such article but also for having to read through the attack in some replies.

                                                          But it must be comforting to see comments from brothers & sisters who see eye to eye w/ you on this “controversial” issue. Even though we know our comfort & approval should be from our Lord & not from man.

                                                          Similarly, we should seek wisdom & counsel in His word, & not from “Christian leaders,” seeing how divided their opinions are. Many have said this yr election has divided the church, but to me it is used to sift God’s people, not of salvation but of obedience & discerning.

                                                          It’s a warning to prayerfully examine our hearts from learning how easily our brothers & sisters compromise. We are not above them. Our blind spots may show up somewhere else. We shouldn’t be overconfident & prideful but vigilant. Shouldn’t be contemptuous toward them but be burdened for them.

                                                          Again, thank you for sharing what the Lord has taught you. & thank you for your humility.

                                                          Blessings

                                                          • Tom Trento ,

                                                            You seem like a nice person who reached a position against Trump and then tried to back it up by wildly proof-texting your way to soothing your conscience. Notwithstanding the fact that you violated almost every hermeneutical law of Biblical interpretation you make major leaps of logical absurdities. As a trained evangelical Christian Apologist I suggest you could have saved a lot of time and not recorded all these errors of fact by simply writing a one-sentence article, like this. “I Stetson Planck don’t like Donald Trump so I don’t feel like voting for him, so I won’t.” I admire your missionary work, not your understanding of cultural apologetics.

                                                            • Stetson Planck ,

                                                              Thank you Thieu-Tiet for your kind words.

                                                              • Stetson Planck ,

                                                                Tom, given you are a trained evangelical Christian Apologist, I thank you for humbling yourself enough to address someone so unlearned and ignorant as myself. I also am grateful that you did not overwhelm me with hermeneutical jargon that I couldn’t possibly understand. Of course given my penchant for making major leaps of logical absurdities to soothe my conscience, I doubt that I would have been open-minded enough to consider any of your presumably irrefutable arguments against my errors of fact (that you failed to list).

                                                                • Tom Trento ,

                                                                  My brother Stetson, clearly a post-election debate or discussion (if the essence of the concept, “debate,” causes you pause) is in order and probably more needed after the election than right now. I just happen to have a TV studio through which we can skype in anyone worldwide, even from the country of my ancestors (Sicily, to be more accurate). I promise to modulate my polemic skills in that you are a (much needed) missionary and probably not used to a rigorous exchange of biblical ideas, in the public square, something I’ve done for many years. In that format, I will present my formal response to your screed. Actually, doctrinally we are very close except that I do not center the locus of infallibility in the KJV, there is actually a more historic, orthodox way to maintain the foundation of infallibility, but I digress. I’m a graduate of Moody (Theology/Greek) and Denver Seminary (Philosophy of Religion/Apologetics) and fully in support of your work. Normally I would not “call out” a Christian doing good work, but you took the first step by publishing a public position so you should be willing to defend that position, publicly.

                                                                  • Stetson Planck ,

                                                                    Tom, perhaps I am wrong in my impression from your writing but you strike me as prideful and arrogant. I readily admit I could be judging your motives and personality incorrectly just as I feel you mischaracterized my article as angry (e.g. screed). I feel no obligation to publicly debate or discuss my article. As I stated at the beginning of my article… my purpose in writing was to give the scriptural principles that influenced my personal decision and that I was not asking anyone to agree with me. I have welcomed anyone to comment to the contrary both here on our website as well as my personal Facebook, where I shared a link to the article. I appreciate your support of our work and as a brother in Christ our objective is ultimately the same… to reach lost souls with the gospel of Jesus Christ. May the Lord bless you in your work.

                                                                    • Chris ,

                                                                      Stetson, forgive me for using your page to refute another commenter. You may delete if you feel it is appropriate.

                                                                      Mr. Trento your comments don’t appear to have been made out of any concern or grace for a fellow Christian who in your inflated opinion was penned with an untrained hand. Rather it was an arrogant attack designed to tear down. You spent your whole post giving your pedigree. I think what you meant to say was “Leave the public discourse to highly trained individuals like me”….Unfortunately this inflated self-righteous view of the academic elites flies in the face of history. The miracle of the scriptures is that it is open for all and simple enough for all to understand. I have yet to find a verse where GOD says only those with specialized degrees may speak. You can’t argue with the fact that God has time and again used the simple people to further the gospel….Jesus chose fishermen to walk with him and start the evangelical work…A women of low repute was first to witness his resurrection…..etc….I’m not sure any of them were highly trained Christian apologists.

                                                                      Furthermore, you attacked Stetson without providing any support of your own. I’m not trained but i believe that is called an ad homonym attack. You completely ignored the premise of the article and instead focused on his lack of training. Stetson has been extremely gracious in accepting others view points on the article. If you disagreed with his points maybe you should post your thoughts on them. If you think you can help a fellow Christian with some uplifting points of training to aid him in the future then you should have done that gracefully as well. It is clear to me that the way you chose to attack also shows that you have some much needed growth as well. If you are truly the elder and leader you propose then you would not subject other Christians to the type of attack you engaged but rather work to build up.

                                                                      Good day to you.
                                                                      Chris

                                                                      • Tom Trento ,

                                                                        Stetson and Chris, thanks for your comments and suggestions regarding my attitude, demeanor and style. I will give consideration to your words and part with an admonition from someone who has been on the front lines fighting for the Judaeo-Christian worldview for over 40 years…TOUGHEN UP BOYS! Don’t make the mistake of letting style or emotion get in the way of TRUTH. Develop thicker skin and don’t worry about being so “Christian” all the time as your belief in Jesus goes much deeper than a superficial level of discourse. Get in the fight, get dirty, get bloody, the Church is under attack all over the world and the clock is ticking. I’ve seen too many nice Christian leaders who are so “tactful” that they never make “contact” with the bad guys and we lose by default. Sometimes Chris, the “graceful” way is an excuse for a lack of engagement. Indeed, engagement is usually de facto evidence of love for our fellow man. I can go on and on, providing some very valuable information for both of you but I think you get the point. The world is crying out for Christian men who are fighters for truth, become the best one you can! (If you are interested in my work on national security issues, check out my You Tube page, where we have over 1000 hours of very interesting material – https://www.youtube.com/user/theunitedwest)

                                                                        • Stetson Planck ,

                                                                          Thanks for the comment Chris. Well said.

                                                                          • Stetson Planck ,

                                                                            Thanks for commenting Tom as well as the YouTube link. In parting, I fear you make too many presumptions without providing any real substance. I left my family, a successful career, my country, etc. to “get in the fight”. My responses to you had little to do with the thickness of my skin but rather a rebuke to the pridefulness with which you conduct yourself. I commend you for contending for the faith. I’m sure there is much insight and useful information you can provide. I pray you shine the light of Christ in a dark world. May the Lord bless you in your service to Him.

                                                                            • Tom Trento ,

                                                                              I get to Italia every couple of years. Next time, I may just come and visit your good work!

                                                                              • Stetson Planck ,

                                                                                I’ll be happy to buy you a cappuccino and have a chat. God Bless.

                                                                                • Tom Trento ,

                                                                                  make it a Chianti and it’s a deal!

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