With the most impacting voting opportunity EVER in history, the highly respected John Piper said basically:
do not vote for either side.
(in “Policies, Persons, and Paths to Ruin”)
Here is a terrifically clear-headed, biblical answer (a scolding counter) to Piper’s absurd “no vote” advice.
A respectful response to my friend John Piper about voting for Trump
By Wayne Grudem, CP Guest Contributor
Excerpts from Wayne Grudem’s article: (all below are direct quotes, with some underlining and formatting emphasis by this editor)
we will get good policies
and character flaws,
but with Biden
we will get bad policies
and character flaws”
– Wayne Grudem
“…he and I have reached different conclusions about this year’s presidential election. His October 22 article, “Policies, Persons, and Paths to Ruin,” explained why he thought it would be wrong for him to support either candidate in this election.
1. The [Piper] claim that the personal sins of a leader can be as harmful to persons and to nations as morally evil laws.
a. There is a difference between the personal influence of a leader’s example, which may be rejected, and laws that compel obedience.
b. Political policies are not, in general, more important than personal character, but they are the primary factor to consider in a political election.
c. Christians who support Trump do not encourage imitation of his flaws but openly criticize them.
d. I have a more positive evaluation of Trump’s character than John Piper does.
My assessment is different, and I think it is more balanced. I wrote this in 2016 and it still applies:
“He is egotistical, bombastic, and brash. He often lacks nuance in his statements. Sometimes he blurts out mistaken ideas … that he later must abandon. He insults people. He can be vindictive when people attack him …. He has been married three times and claims to have been unfaithful in his marriages. These are certainly flaws, but I don’t think they are disqualifying flaws in this election.
On the other hand, I think some of the accusations hurled against him are unjustified. His many years of business conduct show that he is not racist or anti-(legal) immigrant or anti-Semitic or misogynistic – I think these are unjust magnifications by a hostile press exaggerating some careless statements he has made. I think he is deeply patriotic and sincerely wants the best for the country. He has been an unusually successful problem solver in business. He has raised remarkable children. Many who have known him personally speak highly of his kindness, thoughtfulness, and generosity.
“And now, after his nearly four years in office, I would add that he has shown remarkable courage of his convictions, faithfulness to his campaign promises, steadfastness of purpose in spite of an astoundingly hostile press, incredible energy in the performance of his job, dignity and even eloquence in many formal speeches and ceremonies at home and abroad, respect and appreciation for his wife Melania and his sons and daughters, and a wide-ranging understanding of the hundreds of different issues that every president faces.
In contrast to his past life, during his term in office there [has] not been even a hint of any sexual impropriety. He is sometimes boastful but on a number of occasions I have seen him publicly give credit to many other people for things that have been accomplished. And I think he has shown mature and wise judgment in a variety of situations that he has faced as president.
e. With Trump, we will get good policies and character flaws, but with Biden we will get bad policies and character flaws.
f. The Trump administration has brought to prominence many leaders with exemplary lives.
2. The [Piper] claim that Christians communicate a falsehood when we act as if policies and laws are more precious than being a certain kind of person.
a. I agree with John Piper that, considering all of life, a person’s character is far more important than his or her policies and laws.
b. But when an election determines what kind of policies and laws we will have, and when both candidates have character flaws, then differences in policies and laws have primary importance.
3. The [Piper] claim that the horrible sin of pride leads people to other sins, including defending abortion, and therefore voting for a clearly boastful candidate might also be indirectly supporting abortion.
a. The primary motive behind support for abortion rights is a desire for sexual freedom without the responsibility of raising children.
4. The [Piper] claim that voting for either candidate would compromise a person’s Christian witness.
a. If a significant number of evangelicals follow John Piper’s example, it will guarantee a Biden victory.
b. Supporting Trump for his good policies while criticizing his flaws and respecting another person’s political judgment does not compromise a person’s Christian witness.
“In this atmosphere of political polarization, Christians have an opportunity to enhance their Christian witness when they discuss politics by showing a gracious temperament, listening respectfully to the other person’s viewpoint, and explaining that we seek good government (as best we understand it) for our neighbors, not from base motives but because of Jesus’ command to love our neighbors as ourselves (Matthew 22:39).
c. Supporting Trump for his good policies while criticizing his flaws is supporting a pathway to cultural improvement, not a “pathway to cultural corruption and eternal ruin.” [Editor format change to “list” for easier comprehension]
“I [Wayne Grudem ]differ with my friend John Piper about the results of a second term for President Trump.
In Trump second term, I look forward to
- the appointment of more originalist judges (who will interpret the laws and not make new laws on their own),
- further legal restrictions on abortion,
- greater protections for religious freedom and freedom of conscience,
- lower taxes,
- fewer government regulations,
- a rapidly growing economy,
- low unemployment rates (especially significant for ethnic minorities),
- increased prosperity for people at every income level,
- additional history-making agreements between Israel and additional Arab nations,
- a clearheaded recognition of the economic, military, and information threat from China,
- a high value placed on human freedom and on personal accountability for committing crimes,
- increasing numbers of children eligible for taxpayer-supported school choice,
- a secure border followed by a comprehensive reform of our immigration system, and
- an increase in police presence in high crime neighborhoods, with a resulting decrease in crime.
On the other hand, if evangelicals stay away from voting for either Biden or Trump, then
under a Biden presidency I would expect
- the appointment of hundreds of judges who take the law in their own hands and even consider themselves to be above the original meaning of the Constitution,
- laws that allow abortion up to the moment of birth and even after,
- the use of tax money to pay for abortions and gender reassignment surgery,
- the crippling of our economy with ever-increasing government control and ever-increasing taxes,
- increased unemployment,
- a weaker military unable to counter the increasing aggressiveness of China in the world’s oceans,
- a Jimmy Carter-like foreign policy of appeasement,
- abandoning Israel to fend for itself in the Middle East,
- adding additional seats to make a liberal majority on the Supreme Court,
- draconian laws that compel artistic professionals to affirm the validity of same-sex marriage even when contrary to their consciences,
- a reinstatement of the Obama-era guidelines that required schools to allow biological males to use girls bathrooms, locker rooms and showers and to allow them to compete in women’s sports,
- a massive increase in energy costs,
- ever-increasing restrictions on police forces, leading to an increase in crime, and
- the proliferation of violence and intimidation to nullify freedom of speech (in practice) for those who disagree with the liberal political agenda,
- open borders,
- sanctuary cities, and
- a complete federal takeover of our healthcare system.
“These are two vastly different kinds of nations. The first one features increasing freedom, personal responsibility, and human flourishing. The second one features ever-increasing government control of every aspect of our lives, significant losses of freedom, and the implementation of many laws and regulations that are contrary to the moral teachings of Scripture. That is why voting for Trump seems to me to be the most loving, most faithful choice for a Christian.
Full article is here
President Trump is the best choice for Americans of faith, By Mike Pence, Vice president
Excerpt: “Millions of forgotten men and women across the nation rallied behind President Trump because they shared his belief that America could be strong and prosperous again. That was especially true of people of faith, who under the last administration saw a steady assault on our most cherished values and God-given liberties. They trusted President Trump to deliver on his promise to defend those values and liberties, and that’s exactly what he’s done.”
Excuse me John Piper, but pride doesn’t kill babies, By Abby Johnson
Excerpt: “Politics is a dirty business. Mudslinging is common. It’s hard to figure out what’s true and what’s not. But one issue, another dirty business, is something that Christians in particular should know the truth about: abortion. And you know who should be pulling together to stump for a candidate who stands against the killing of our most vulnerable human beings? Our faith leaders. But instead, all we see are some of our most well-known faith leaders causing confusion and dissention.
In a recent article by John Piper, he stated that “boastfulness” is a bigger problem than abortion: “I think it is baffling and presumptuous to assume that pro-abortion policies kill more people than a culture-saturating, pro-self pride. When a leader models self-absorbed, self-exalting boastfulness, he models the most deadly behavior in the world.”
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