Should We Endorse Candidates?
It is said every election cycle that this is the most important election of our lifetime. This election is no different in that it could be the most important election, not only in our lifetime, but in our history. With so many religious freedoms under attack by the Obama administration, the Democrat Party and the news media, who becomes the next President of the United States just might determine whether or not we can stop the onslaught against our religious freedoms.
In recent weeks, many preacher friends have come out and endorsed the person who they think would be the best candidate for the Republican party. I am in no way against who they endorsed, nor am I criticizing them for endorsing someone. Every person has their reasons as to why they feel they need to endorse a candidate.
In my travels, I have been asked numerous times who I am endorsing for the Republican ticket. My answer is that I am not endorsing anyone. I have several reasons as to why I don’t want to endorse anyone at this time.
1. Every candidate on the Republican ticket is better than anyone on the Democratic ticket.We are blessed in this election cycle to have so many good candidates as compared to previous election cycles. I completely understand that there are some on the Republican ticket whose positions are much closer to scriptural principles than others. However, all of the Republicans running for President of the United States have positions that are closer to scriptural principles than Hillary Clinton or Bernie Sanders.
2. I believe it is too early to warrant an endorsement. A lot can happen between now and the Iowa caucus. I believe it would be wiser to wait till we get closer to see what positions we discover about the candidates. Proverbs 19:2 makes it clear that haste is not wise when it says, “Also, that the soul be without knowledge, it is not good; and he that hasteth with his feet sinneth.” There is still much to learn about each of these candidates, and an endorsement too early can cause us to miss information that we should consider.
3. An endorsement is my word, which means I must vote for them even if they don’t stand a chance of getting elected. If I endorse a candidate, I am giving my word that I will vote for them. Ecclesiastes 5:5 says, “Better is it that thou shouldest not vow, than that thou shouldest vow and not pay.” This is one of the main reasons I will not endorse someone is because something could change between now and the day to vote. If you endorse, you’ve given your word and are bound by it. If the person I’m endorsing doesn’t stand a chance to win, I am wasting my vote. I’ve always promoted voting for the person who believes closest to the Scriptures and who stands the best chance of winning. If who I endorse isn’t close to winning and I vote for them, I may have helped a person who is the weakest on scriptural principles win the primaries.
4. An endorsement of a candidate will not help the candidate, but it could hurt the preacher.Why should a preacher endorse a candidate? We have to ask ourselves if we are endorsing someone for our name or the candidate. One reason I won’t endorse a candidate is because if he is elected and doesn’t follow through on the platform on which they ran, which is not unheard of, it then reflects on my judgment. God is very clear about a preacher being careful about what they say. Deuteronomy 18:22 says, “When a prophet speaketh in the name of the LORD, if the thing follow not, nor come to pass, that is the thing which the LORD hath not spoken, but the prophet hath spoken it presumptuously: thou shalt not be afraid of him.” A preacher puts his ministry on the line when he endorses a candidate. I believe it is better for a preacher to preach the truths that will clearly show for whom to vote than it is for him to give names. I believe as an American a pastor has every right to endorse a candidate, but as a preacher he is at best putting his ministry at risk.
1. Don’t let a candidate’s Christianity influence your thinking. I know this sounds strange from a preacher, but throughout my lifetime I have heard many candidates talk about their Christian faith. In fact, Jimmy Carter got elected as President of the United States mainly because of the Christian vote. He was very candid about being a Christian and teaching a Sunday school class in a Baptist church, but look how that turned out. Friend, we are not voting for a pastor, we are voting for the President of the United States. If our next president is a Christian, it is a bonus, but you can’t use it as a part of your qualifications as to whether you will vote for someone. God is capable of using a lost person to lead our nation in the right way as much as He can use a Christian. Proverbs 21:1 says, “The king’s heart is in the hand of the LORD, as the rivers of water: he turneth it whithersoever he will.” There are many Christians in churches today who you wouldn’t vote for dogcatcher, much less President of the United States. Though I am glad that many of the candidates profess they are Christians, that is not the first thing on my list that I look for in the qualifications for whom I will vote.
2. Don’t believe everything you hear. You are going to hear good and bad about each candidate. My advice is to do your research. Proverbs 25:2 says, “It is the glory of God to conceal a thing: but the honour of kings is to search out a matter.” God didn’t say that the king needed to rely on reports about a matter, but their honor comes from doing the research themselves. You are going to hear good and bad reports about each candidate. Be careful about basing your opinions and judgments on a candidate off these reports. Be slow to make a judgment and do your research.
Let me make it clear that this article is not an indictment against any candidate, nor is it an attack against any preacher who has endorsed someone. As far at this preacher is concerned, I am not endorsing a candidate at this time even though I have my leanings towards one or two candidates. I’d rather point people to scriptural truths that will make it clear who they should vote for than to dictate for whom they should vote. Brethren, let’s be circumspect in this election cycle understanding that our religious freedoms will affect our ability to reach the lost for Jesus Christ. Do your research, and let the Holy Spirit guide you through His Word and prayer as to whom you should vote.