Evangelical: Is Voting Your Conscience Enough?

voteVote your conscience. The phrase exploded after Ted Cruz urged people to vote in his speech at the Republican National Convention, while withholding an official Donald Trump endorsement. Since then, I hear the phrase a lot, especially in evangelical circles. People use their conscience to describe or validate their vote for Trump, Hillary, a third party candidate, or no vote at all.

While I wished that Cruz would have been able to bring party unity at that time, since the convention, Cruz has gone through a process and seems to have laid aside personal offense for the sake of the greater national issues at stake. For that, I have utmost respect, and I assume he did so with a clear conscience.

Vote your conscience.

What does that even mean? I tossed the phrase around in my mind for a while before I understood my reservation with declaring my conscience as the reasoning behind my decisions. I did a lot of soul searching, scripture researching, and talking to God. I came to a realization that may sound shocking: Tuesday is Election Day, and I don’t plan to vote my conscience. If you allow me to explain, I hope I can challenge and inspire you.

Humans are made up of a spirit, soul, and body. In my understanding, the conscience fits in the soul part of our three part being, where our mind, will, and emotions live. Look at it as a self awareness sounding board- an inner moral courtroom of our souls sending us constant signals, by which we assess choices and are freed or condemned by our values. Romans 2 describes the conscience in this way, in reference to the Gentiles having God’s law written on their hearts without even being schooled in it like the Jews were- “ their consciences bearing witness and their thoughts alternately accusing or defending them.”

I was raised in a conservative environment that taught against any kind of government involvement, much less voting for a specific leader, so you can imagine that as little as a few years ago, my conscious was sending very different signals than it is now. As evidenced in Cruz’s situation and my own journey, I have come to realize that the conscience is not an absolute authority, without the propensity to persuasion or change, and it should not be treated as such. (If you want a scripture references to back that up, 1 Timothy 4:2 talks about a seared conscience, Hebrews 10:22 an evil conscience, and 1 Corinthians 8:7 a weak conscience.)

I would suggest that the conscience should not function as the Spirit of God in our lives, based on the knowledge that the conscience operates from one’s current understanding of truth. The conscience not truth itself; it is only a reflector of our exposure to the Truth, and is therefore subject to renewal. Proverbs 3:5-6 says “Trust in THE LORD with all your heart and LEAN NOT on your own understanding.” Apparently, we shouldn’t be left to our own wisdom. It goes on: “In all your ways, (thoughts, decision making) acknowledge HIM and HE shall direct your paths.”

Without activity, the conscience can’t be tuned or properly tested for clarity of sound, but through continual interaction of our spirit and the Spirit of truth, the conscience is renewed from glory to glory into His likeness. Romans 12:2 paraphrase: “Don’t be conformed to an earthly or worldly thought process, but be transformed by the renewing of your minds, aligned with God’s thought process.” This happens in the spirit and spreads throughout our soul’s makeup until our mind and conscience more and more reflect spirit truth. What is the result of this transformation process? The verse continues: “THEN you will be able to test and approve what is God’s will- his good, pleasing and perfect will.”

So if a clear conscience is not divine authority yet is vital to our peace with God, how should we manage it? When my conscience is not clear, I can not rest until my peace with God is restored.

First of all, lets get this right: Peace is not made in the conscience. I’m sure you all remember the moment of relief and joy when you knew your sins were forgiven. It was the righteous Judge and Redeemer who forgave your sin, but your conscience was there to bear witness to your faith and free you from the guilt. Your conscience did not make you right with God, but it did bear witness to the action that transpired and came in agreement with the Prince of Peace. The result was a clear conscience.

Salvation is a good reference point, but the concept remains the same for our growing faith and journey in God. I see a grave error in throngs of believers merely, “keeping peace with their conscience.” Peace is found in God’s spirit, and your conscience bears witness to the action and interaction with God Himself. Peace does not equal comfort or come from the absence of confrontation. Jesus didn’t say blessed are the peace keepers; He said blessed are the peace-makers. 

A year ago, my conscience made me uncomfortable with Donald Trump and politics in general because of the brutal nature of strife and accusations. I didn’t ignore my conscience, but I did put it on trial before God. Instead of simply accepting my conscience as the voice or word of God in the situation, I asked God if I was judging correctly, what he thought, what he was doing, and what the big picture was. God did not ask me to violate my conscience, but I was invited on a journey. He hasn’t changed, but I have! My conscience is still clear because I never disconnected from it while God was uploading new revelations and upgrading me with the faith to match it.

The one thing that presides over the conscience is faith. By that I don’t mean to imply that faith disregards the conscience, but faith is the things that upgrades the weak conscience to a more complete revelation of truth or God’s heart. For example, Romans 14:23 says, “Whatever isn’t of faith is sin.” This verse was spoken in the context of some people having reservation for eating meat or drinking wine. To be clear, eating meat or drinking wine was not wrong; that belief was not absolute truth, but subjective to one’s conscience freeing or condemning them, based on their current revelation or exposure to truth. Paul describes these offenses as a result of a weak faith and urges his readers to love and have grace for each other. If one’s conscience has doubt, fear condemns, and the lack of faith to accompany the action defiles the conscience and makes it sin them.

To disobey our conscience in an offense scenario defiles our conscience because of the absence of faith to accompany a better choice. Of course that does not imply that weak faith or a weak conscience is good, or that we should be content to stay in offense! I imagine Paul was saying: “Obey your conscience where you are, but don’t be permanently content with cutting off your arm to preserve your conscience. Grow in faith.”

I think we miss the point of the allegorical verse from Matthew 5:30. It says, “If your hand offends you, pluck it off and throw it away because it’s better to lose a hand than have your whole body thrown into hell.” This verse wasn’t a recommendation to be offended, as if God’s design is to walk around with hacked off limbs! How crazy! I believe this verse is also the addressing the honoring of one’s conscience. Even if our conscience can be vilely imperfect or mistaken, it is still intricately entwined with the makeup of the three part being that our beliefs and actions are filtered through in order to have peace with God. It can’t be bent into compliance. It takes a revelation to renew the mind, but if in that process, my conscience condemns me, it is better to remove the offense than completely go against the conscience’s current conviction, without an adequate revelation and faith upgrade to clear my conscience.

The conscience’s signals should be received and noted, but should then be taken to the inner throne room of your spirit before God for testing and confirmation. We keep a clear conscience by dwelling in the Spirit, who brings freedom and clarity to our inner man. The goal is to keep a clear conscience while simultaneously GROWING in faith, therefore strengthening the conscience. This renewal process happens our entire lives long.

I am writing about the conscience in how it relates to voting, and while it is obvious who I feel strongly that Christians need to back, let me be clear: I am not positioning myself as superior in conscience because my conclusion or perception may currently differ from yours on this issue. I am simply concerned that a large population of American Christians value the stability of the conscience over the faith that activates the impossibilities of the Kingdom. 

The conscience is not a safe zone from risky faith. God will not ask you to sin against your conscience, but God will call you to faith that is terrifying and uncomfortable. It may not make logical sense in your understanding, but if you follow, your conscience will adopt the peace in your spirit, and your faith will gain the revelation needed to keep a clear conscience.

In all my posts describing my support of Donald Trump and my persuasion that he is anointed for leadership, I never want to encourage someone to disregard their conscience and sin. I am not even saying you have to vote for Trump. What I am asking you to do is question your conscience against the authority of Christ and position yourself for continual upgrades of revelation. Let’s take our thoughts and judgements captive by the Spirit of Christ who lives in us.

“Let us draw near with a sincere heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled clean from an evil conscience and our bodies washed with pure water.” Hebrews 10:16

Most believers are aware of the grotesque corruption surrounding Hillary Clinton, in her tenure as secretary of state, whether it was the “pay to play” practice, where her policies align with money and votes instead of what is honest and right, handling our nations classified information on a private server and destroying pertinent evidence to hide her criminal activity, or her the actions of her “charitable foundation” which accepted secret donations from nations abroad, some who also finance radical Islamic terrorist groups she publicly denounces, not to mention her adamant support of the killing of innocent children, even partial birth abortion, up to the ninth month.

Mrs. Clinton plays heavily on the the emotions of voters- whether it is women, the LGBT community, African Americans, illegal immigrants, or the poor. Democrats rely HEAVILY on these voters, particularly “minorities” as they call it. Paint enemies using the discrimination card, warm them with empathy, coddle the entitlement, and present the idea that theirs is the only party who truly loves and champions the downtrodden and oppressed, whether the policies prove to sustainably empower success or not. Do women and black lives matter or just their vote? What about unborn women and unborn African Americans? 

Millions of dollars have been and are dumped into this giant hole of welfare for example, and what is the return? More poverty, more illegal immigrants getting free benefits in sanctuary cities, more drug/gang related crimes in these cities, and more racial tension. Hillary plays the compassion card when it comes to refugees, but what do we have to offer them? Reports show that many immigrants are being resettled far from D.C. in low income/high poverty towns much like what I just described. It all sounds good on paper and in eloquent speeches of empathy, wit, and poise, but it DOES NOT add up in real life. Benghazi, Obama care, (which is falling apart, by the way) heightened crime, violence against law enforcement, out of control national debt, (which will sink a country without extreme intervention) and escalating terrorism are only a few problems Hillary glosses over.

If democratic policies did not exploit minorities for votes, then why is there a push for voting rights for felons and illegals? Guess who they will vote for? The party who offers a free pass at life, of course. Say hello to socialism! No country adopting these principles can uphold God-honoring democracy.

Those who are and/or feel oppressed are voter targets to the Left, but let me tell you one vote that Hillary is not counting on: YOU. Evangelicals. Christians. Believers. I can almost promise you that Hillary and her party will be more than happy if Christians sit this election out.  Again. Why? Because the silent evangelical vote is more than enough to push Donald Trump’s numbers over the hill necessary to beat her. The silent evangelical vote in this country far exceeds the numbers needed to elect a president that will defend their values and constitutional rights and reflect God’s principles in a government of democracy. Hillary’s scandal and crimes will not hurt her elect-ability as long as the offended continue to cater to her empathy and as long as there’s a big NON-VOTE from evangelicals from the same motivator. 

How can we, the people of hope, stand by and let the Left make empty promises to the poor and those who feel oppressed, while continuing to make policies that keep them stuck? We are the missing key here, and it is time for the church to be activated to unlock the wisdom of the ages that has been paralyzed in culture for decades. We are not victims of culture. We create culture by the Life inside of us.

This is not the time for “lesser of two evils” arguments. A corrupt liar or a big mouthed billionaire is the choice, they say. That type of mentality will never get even the right good leader into office because even the best of men are “lesser evil.” Remember that God called a womanizer and a murderer a “man after His own heart,” and we think God is stumbling over Donald Trump’s humanity even when it is clear he is a powerful leader that is open to God? 

Hillary’s main point of attack against Trump is his temperament. Did you get that? His TEMPERAMENT. Her TV ads repeat over and over and over and over again the sound byte blunders of Trump’s intense debut into the political arena, fueling the offense of the offended so that NO ONE will be able to forget or forgive in an era of hyper sensitivity and political correctness. “Temperamentally unfit” is the line driving home the point that he lacks empathy, compassion, humility, kindness, and all the trademarks Christians are comfortable putting their stamp on. Even if a million areas of actual corruption and weakness in Hillary’s leadership are now exposed and in the open, it won’t matter if she can make sure evangelicals don’t vote for Trump who has a chance at turning things around, and yes turn things around for them.

When I say there is forgiveness for Trump’s sins and mistakes, I mean that for Hillary as well. The distinction to be made between the two choices with a shot at the presidency is that while Trump may have a lewd history and a brash tongue in his personal life and entertainment career, Hillary’s failures are a reflection of her career in government and where she wants to lead our country in the future. One committed treason in government and the other said mean things. We are the deciding factor.

It is not a choice between which candidate’s humanity our conscience can be the most comfortable with; it is about our children and the future of the nation they will grow up in, which will be very different depending on the justices the new President will appoint in the highest law in the land. (The Supreme Court) While a non-vote or a third party candidate vote may comfort personal conscience, at this point it is a suicide mission for the country, which is at a crucial crossroads. THE COUNTRY. Trump has yet to prove his mandate with action in office, but Hillary has made it clear that her mandate is not compatible with values that honor God in government. Trump has, and he has many godly leaders surrounding him and speaking into his life. Can evangelicals take a leap of faith and act on their hopes? We pray for godly leaders, but who will elect them? The godless? Will God supernaturally do the job he has empowered us for or will be act in

Please understand, as a believer myself, I’m not personally putting this out there to coerce or make you feel trapped. These choices should be made of free will and in faith combined with a clear conscience. I am however exposing the lie that manipulates believers into passivity. Regardless if people are aware of the powers at play or not, deceptive control is the way the enemy works, but it is not how God works. There are so many offended people voting for Hillary, and there are so many people withholding a Trump vote for the same reason: offense. Guys, this is not the mark of Christ. We don’t live in offense. We operate in the spirit of power, love, and a sound mind. There is a spirit of offense and fear and pride blinding eyes and tying the hands of Christians this election, and I stand against that. 

On Tuesday, I am not merely voting my conscience. I am going to vote from my faith, based on my current revelation, with my conscience bearing witness to my peace with God. I hope you find peace in your decision too. 

We are not trapped by choices between contrasts of human flaw. We are empowered to see the greater picture. We do not have a case of moral superiority. We are established in our royal identities and can see it in others as well, even prophetically if they are not walking in it yet. We see our own weakness, yet embrace His strength in ourselves first, then in others. Trump is only a man, but one I believe God’s hand is on for our nation’s leadership. I ask all evangelicals to examine your hearts and ask the Holy Spirit if there is truth in what I’ve said. It’s God’s desire that we would walk in faith, (not fear- which is delusional in nature and action) combined with a clear conscience on Election Day, confident in the season and the word and heart of the Lord being carried out in the United States of America. May the Prince of Peace have his way in us first and in our nation. God bless.

©Brenda Kanagy

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