Unfortunately I do not believe there is a simple answer to the question of how one should philosophically vote in the presidential election. Therefore I do believe we should have patience with those with whom we disagree on how one should cast their vote. Since no non-voter will want to read this article, as there is no reason to read this if you do not vote, I will not attempt to argue anyone into why they should vote. Rather, my hope is to provide the voter with some things to think about, things I have wrestled with myself, as we attempt to think through what really are the issues and really what is at stake. Before I begin let me also point out that I think there is a difference in how one should vote between the primary’s and the election itself, and I will explain that more further in, but lets just state that I am speaking about the election in this article unless otherwise stated.
Americans are very pragmatic. Because American’s created pragmatism as a philosophy, it has really taken over much of American, and even Christian thinking. A simple definition of this philosophy (forgive me as I am not a PhD in Philosophy), is “the view on how to use things to achieve the success you want; something is true when it works for your ends.” In other words anything, say Religion for example, is only worth pursuing if it can be a tool to your success in what you endeavor. If Religion makes you happy, and fills your life with meaning, then it is worth pursuing, according to the Pragmatic. There is no ultimate transcendent truth in Pragmatism, the truth, or value of something is simply based on its perceived success. Thus great evil could be done in its name, say, the murder of millions of Jews if the perceived effect is the bettering of a country’s economy and standing in the world! (I’m not saying that Hitler was a pragmatic per-say, but there is a sense in which Pragmatism can simply be called: The ends justify the means, and surely Hitler had some of that in him).
I don’t know about you, but I have a problem submitting to authority. Call it my sin nature, my culture, my temperament, whatever may fit, but I want to do things my way, when I want and how I want.
Perhaps I am not really alone in this, and this really isn’t something located in me or my society, but is something inherent in all humans. Writing almost 2000 years ago Paul tells us in Col 3:22-23 that we are to obey our earthly masters as serving the Lord. “Bondservants, obey in everything those who are your earthly masters, not by way of eye-service, as people-pleasers, but with sincerity of heart, fearing the Lord. Whatever you do, work heartily, as for the Lord and not for men,”.
If you have spent any time under good Bible teaching or have spent your own time studying the Bible deeply, you may have come to the belief that Prayer is always appropriate. Contrary to the title of this article, I would agree with that sentiment, however, that sentiment is broader than you think, and I am going much more narrow and specific with this article than you probably first assumed.
While Prayer is always appropriate, this doesn’t mean it is always sufficiently appropriate. Something can be appropriate, like calling 911 when your house is on fire and you wish to have a chance at putting it out; yet calling 911 isn’t sufficient to save your house. Meaning, that if you simply called 911, your house doesn’t magically stop burning, but instead it takes other actions to put out the fire. In the same kind of way Prayer can be appropriate, but not sufficient. Please note that I am not saying that God isn’t sufficient, however, He has orchestrated life in a way that we are to pray to Him, but He doesn’t always directly act in response and most often uses other humans to answer our prayers. My point is, Prayer doesn’t move all the responsibility off of us onto God so that we may simply sit back and consider our duty fulfilled. Consider the following examples to help illustrate what I mean: Continue reading