I’ve been watching the 2016 Presidential race play out over the last few months, and it has been been eye-opening, fascinating, astonishing really, a study in some of the worst traits of human nature. I’ve have been particularly interested in how my fellow Christians have reacted, what they have been willing to support and what they have been willing to overlook.

It appears to me that there is some degree of inability to judge character well.

Politicians who show a consistent pattern of insulting others, of lying about what they have said or not said in the past, of self-aggrandizement, of greed for excessive wealth, of exploiting those they hire, of harsh judgmentalism of other races, of belittling, objectifying and misusing women, of scoffing at other’s weaknesses but of not sincerely grieving and apologizing for their own — such leaders show not merely that they fail to say the right thing; they fail to be the right person. Such failures are failures of the most profound order. They are failures of character and failure of love, and they represent the exact opposite of the character of Jesus.

Jesus consistnely maintained an opposite pattern from this, a pattern of humility, a pattern of profound respect for the weak, for the poor, for the sick, for women, for children, for the mentally disabled, for other races, even for those from other religions — such as the Samaritan woman. He was consistently kind to people who weren’t like him — except, as you may note, that Jesus was hard on leaders who were self-seeking, harsh, domineering, greedy and judgmental.

Who should we support, politically? It is challenging. It requires good discernment. But I don’t believe that it is an issue that should be decided for us by a political party, or by how we have voted in the past, or by the preassure of others who fire off their political opinions with little thought or reason. Nor should our choice be decided by our own moral weakness, by what we excuse in ourselves, or by our need for hitching our wagon to someone powerful so that we might ourselves seem to gain a little power.

I’m not sure how it all sorts out, but I am sure that Christians should not blindly support anyone with a persistently harmful character, thinking that this doesn’t matter as long as that leader advocates  something they have traditionally favored. And I am sure of this: Character matters! Whatever our political biases, we should never align ourselves with any leader whose character has a pattern that is precisely the opposite of Jesus’s.

  1. rperkin4 says:

    Amen, Randy. Well said. I am in much prayer. Ralph

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