Who Should I Vote For?

It’s finally mid-February. After the endless summer of nominees announcing their candidacy, voters in Iowa and New Hampshire have helped whittle down the field to just a handful of candidates seeking both the Democratic and Republican nominations for president. In just a few short days, voters in South Carolina and Nevada will help to narrow that field even more.

For over a year now, we’ve seen candidates shaking hands, kissing babies, and spending millions on advertising to get their voice heard. Along the way, people of faith have done their best to make sense of this slate of nominees and determine who best deserves their vote. As convoluted as this question has become in our day and time, we still have to answer and unpack it: “As a person of faith, who should I vote for?”

First, it’s sinfully tempting to pledge allegiance to somebody based on their words and not their actions. We love the power of words and the confidence they portray to voters unsure of America’s standing in the world today. As we’ve seen on the campaign trail, politicians’ words are often hollow. To truly determine if they are fit to lead, in any capacity let alone as president, we have to look at their actions. In the book of James, we read of the important connection between our faith and our actions (James 1:22-25). Often times, it is our actions that truly reflect our beliefs, not our words. As people who have a stake in picking our next leader (a rare commodity in our world, so be grateful!) don’t give into flowery words and speeches. nstead, look at their records and see if they’re someone whose acts are worthy of your support.  

Second, once you see what they truly believe based on their actions, think. Think about how you, as a person of faith, would be able to stand behind decisions that this candidate has made before and will likely make again. Often times, people’s political preferences and justifications damage our Christian witness. Will your support of a candidate and their actions compromise yours?  

Finally, once you have settled on a candidate…pray. Don’t necessarily pray for your candidate’s victory, but pray that whoever is chosen as our next leader leads well. Pray that they bring people together instead of keeping them apart. Pray that they would honor and respect Christians and all people of faith, regardless of what they believe. Pray that they would be a humble leader, using the power of their office to display servant leadership to our country and the world.

Remember, as Christians we are called to respect and support our institutions of power, regardless of who or what party is in control (Matthew 22:17-21). But as we support and pray for our leaders, don’t miss the point and worship them like gods. They’re going to fail at some point in their leadership of our nation. And when they do, it’s up to us to help them not make the same mistakes again. Though we pledge our allegiance to a country and leaders who can, and often do, make mistakes, we worship only one perfect, Holy, God.

So as we prepare for the presidential primary in NC on March 15, think about who you’re going to vote for. Search their records, consider their actions, and pray for whoever ultimately wins come November 8th. And in the end, remember that no matter who wins and no matter what happens, our call to join God in the building of His Kingdom doesn’t change.   

 - Tyler Ward

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