In which we go there.  John Stonestreet, President of the Colson Center and co-author of Restoring all Thingsjoins the crew to talk about how Christians should think about the upcoming election and whether and how we are all going to be able to get along again on November 9th.
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Posted by Matthew Lee Anderson

Matthew Lee Anderson is the Founder and Lead Writer of Mere Orthodoxy. He is the author of Earthen Vessels: Why Our Bodies Matter to our Faith and The End of Our Exploring: A Book about Questioning and the Confidence of Faith. Follow him on Twitter or on Facebook.

  • Philip Fellows

    Hi guys, should Christian leaders really be endorsing political candidates? I know that has been the practise in the US since at least Reagan but is it really defensible? I’m not saying Christians shouldn’t vote or be politically engaged but it seems a significant jump from the imperfect choice (which is true of every candidate in every election – it’s just more obvious here) to positively saying ‘yes, this person is the correct choice for a serious Christian’?

  • Physiocrat

    I haven’t heard this yet but I’m going out on a limb and say no member of the panel is Pro-Trump. I think it would be interesting for you to have on someone like Vox Day who is a thoughtful Christian but also a considered Trump supporter on the basis that he has the best policy positions of any presidential candidate for a long time. I also think it would be interesting to have a pro-Hillary Christian on too.

    • Yes – it is QUITE disgusting that these self important individuals are too afraid to have a pro-Trump individual in their mix. — Hey – I have a MA in Christian Apologetics from New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary, BS Chemical Engineering with 40 years of “real” world Oil & Gas consulting plus I am a pro Trump man — so I what are you waiting for — !!!!

  • Greg

    Thank you so much for this thoughtful episode. I really needed to hear it. As someone who’s come out in the “Never Trump camp”, I needed some validation that I’m not unreasonable. However, I only see two real candidates. I am trying to decide whether to vote for Clinton or abstain. I lean toward voting for Clinton based on an issue that I haven’t heard discussed much. The issue of competency. Ironically, it was Chuck Colson who raised this issue not long before he died. He said, “the first question to ask is, are both candidates competent to do the job.” He then quoted (many say misquoted) Martin Luther’s comment that it is “better to be ruled by a competent Turk than an incompetent Christian”. In my mind, Hillary Clinton may not be fit to be president, but she is competent enough. I’m afraid I can’t make Donald Trump fit or competent. In my mind, someone who has never served in government is not qualified for the highest office in the land. Like it or not, politics and governing are skills that have to be honed. What do others think?

    • hoosier_bob

      Same here. I voted today, and stared at the Presidential slot on the ballot for a good minute. I ended up voting for Clinton. She’s a very flawed candidate (although far less flawed than her detractors will ever admit), but, unlike Trump, she’s unlikely to wreck the ship of state. My consternation was over whether to write in Evan McMullin or just vote for Clinton.

      I also believe that the GOP needs to disabuse itself of Trump’s “deplorables,” and put together a new winning coalition that doesn’t rely on subtly pandering to racists and misogynists. In some ways, I feel like Trump may have done the GOP a great favor in the long run.

      • Do you suppose that Hillary bleached her server because she did not want the FBI to see that her hacked server was revealing where Ambassador Stevens was located and how minimal his security forces were? Or maybe Miss Sharia Huma Abedin her chief of staff was passing it directly to Libyan ISIS forces since the 100+ forces gathering for the Benghazi attack were not just randomly walking around that night – basically your candidate is going to jail & you voted for her knowing she was a criminal? Tell that to your grandkids!

    • Competency is the main reason to not vote for McMullin, I think. However, I am going to do so for a few reasons:

      1) McMullin seems sensible, and may actually attempt to conduct an administration in accordance with his capacities–i.e., by shrinking the job’s importance and trying to restore primacy of leadership to Congress (yeah, this is probably fanciful, but still!).
      2) He seems to have pretty good people around him.
      3) I’m not sure that 4 years of an ordinary person who is ordinarily competent would be more devastating to the country than the other options.
      4) Most importantly, I think McMullin is a vote for 2020–it’s a vote for leverage within the Republican party, by demonstrating the size and strength of a genuinely conservative constituency…and holding out the threat that such a campaign apparatus will organize against Republicans if they don’t have a responsible candidate then.

      Matt

      • Once the Hillary Criminal Enterprise reigns the church will basically relook at their “supposed leaders” who led them into this persecution and they will clean house. They will revisit the deceptions and Pharisaical close-minded anti-Trump bigotry and cast them out of leadership.

  • Thankful for true lights in the darkness in these days of cowardice https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=881aDDE5qFY&feature=share

  • James McClain

    In this episode I appreciated Matthew’s summary of the difficulty so many of us feel we are in, taking into account the political and ethical realities. Probably summed up as well as anything I’ve heard – thank you. FWIW, think I’ll be writing in Ben Sasse, but mullin’ over McMullin (sorry).

  • MajorDude

    This was a very thoughtful conversation. I especially liked the thought angle of “choosing which judgment” you prefer. I had not considered that angle.
    I felt something was missing in the “November 9th” question (the day after). When evangelical Christianity is spoken of in this context – it is conveyed and perceived as white Christianity. But not only will there be division over the Trump endorsement between white evangelicals (who will be in need of reconciliation), but a tangential and far more damaging division will be the triple divide: the division of non-white evangelicals from white evangelicals and the division of men from women.
    Since the cultural perception of evangelical Christianity is white, how will – how can – non-whites (and perhaps women) – continue to “obey their leaders and submit to their authority” (He 13.17)?

    • Physiocrat

      I don’t think the male female split will make that much difference except to make political compatibility in marriage more important. The difference in cultural dispostions bewteen this group are likely be geographically dispersed rather than in a local area. I imagine if you poll a church congregation in Kansas I don’t think there will be a pronounced difference between men and women voting Trump.

      When it comes to non-whites in most cases you have self-identified non-white leaders, particularly in the black community. All that may happen is a greater self segregation on racial lines. As long as the church leaders are willing to co-ordinate their activities where beneficial, such as evangelism again I don’t see a huge issue. In general I am of the opinion that is there is irreconcilable differences within church congregations that they should leave and form their own but work head to work together in areas of mutual benefit. This way it is much less problematic for congregants to submit to their leaders. Individual unity is much easier when there isn’t an attempt at liturgical unity (to borrow from Doug Wilson), well at least not until (take your pick) the millenial reign of saints on earth or the return of Christ.

      To the episode itself the most interesting part was what Christians should do after the election. The how should people vote was just consternation at Trump. What did strike me is the strident tone of Matt in which he effectively called for a ban on all strongish Trump supporters from church leadership. Matt tends to point out that people overestimate the political process but it is exactly what here’s doing here. In general I like Matt, he has good things on marriage and has good inclinations on intellectual property but here he is way off base.

      • “What did strike me is the strident tone of Matt in which he effectively called for a ban on all strongish Trump supporters from church leadership.”

        I haven’t relistened to it, but I am relatively confident that is not what I said.

        Matt

        • Physiocrat

          I may have misinterpreted but it seemed at least that the current church leaders who have publically supported Trump ought not be in leadership. I don’t wish to misrepresent you or anyone so could you please clarify your position on Christians, especially current church leaders, who have publically endorsed Trump (in particular those who think he is a relatively good candidate) and their fittingness for church leadership?

          • When we were talking, we were predominately aiming at members of the so-called “Religious Right,” most of whom are in fact not pastors but leaders of parachurch organizations specifically ordered toward issues which should have uniquely animated them to oppose Trump. I think such individuals are no longer qualified to lead such institutions.

            I said nothing about pastors proper, however, nor do I wish to in any general sense.

            Thanks.

          • Physiocrat

            I listened to it in various sittings so I think I misundersood what you precisely meant about leadership. Also, not being American, I was unaware that most of the Religious Right leaders were not actually Pastors , I thought most had a dual role. Thank you for your clarification. In addition though do you think any Christian who supports Trump should be barred from leading such parachurch institutions in future (assuming of course they should exist)?