There are two people running for a political office. You have inside knowledge of what these candidates will do in the future.
The first candidate will expand the military, implement confiscatory taxes, enrich some of his trusted political allies with property stolen from the people.
The second candidate will commit adultery, be an accomplice to murder, be identified as a man of bloodshed, sleep with a young woman, and his son will be his successor and increase the military beyond its constitutional limits and align himself with foreign powers by adopting their pagan religious practices.
These are your only two viable choices.
If you are at all familiar with the Bible, you know that the two candidates are King Saul and King David, and David’s successor, Solomon. If you had this future knowledge, who would you choose? Would you say that you could not choose the “lesser of two evils” and thereby not vote for either one of them? But one of them (David) is God’s choice to be king. What a dilemma.
Politics were as messy in biblical times as they are today.
Biblical heroes like Gideon, Jephthah, Samuel, Barak, and Samson had their moral failings, and yet they are in the biblical “Hall of Faith”:
“And what more shall I say? For time will fail me if I tell of Gideon (idolater), Barak (coward), Samson (womanizer to the nth degree), Jephthah (followed through on a rash vow by sacrificing his daughter), of David (adulterer, accomplice to murder, man of bloodshed) and Samuel (terrible father who raised two evil sons) and the prophets, who by faith conquered kingdoms, performed acts of righteousness, obtained promises, shut the mouths of lions, quenched the power of fire, escaped the edge of the sword, from weakness were made strong, became mighty in war, put foreign armies to flight” (Heb. 11:32-34).
These were some very flawed people, and yet they are described as having “performed acts of righteousness.” But there was a lot of unrighteousness mixed in. Samson was a very carnal man, and yet God used him. He was chosen by God to save Israel from the Philistines, and yet he demanded of his father and mother that they help him marry a pagan Philistine woman:
“Then Samson went down to Timnah and saw a woman in Timnah, one of the daughters of the Philistines. So he came back and told his father and mother, ‘I saw a woman in Timnah, one of the daughters of the Philistines; now therefore, get her for me as a wife.’ Then his father and his mother said to him, ‘Is there no woman among the daughters of your relatives, or among all our people, that you go to take a wife from the uncircumcised Philistines?’ But Samson said to his father, ‘Get her for me, for she looks good to me’” (Judges 14:1-4).
We always need to keep in mind that “God has chosen the foolish things of the world to shame the wise, and God has chosen the weak things of the world to shame the things which are strong, and the base things of the world and the despised God has chosen, so that no man may boast before God” (1 Cor. 1:27-28). Maybe Trump is that foolish and weak candidate to shame those who claim to be wise.
None of this is to say that we should dismiss the sins of people running for public office. Far from it. Christians should strive to elect people who exemplify a righteous life. The fact is, however, we’re not always given the opportunity to vote for such candidates.
The New Testament is equally messy. Jesus tells the Pharisees, “render to Caesar the things that are Caesar’s; and to God the things that are God’s” (Matt. 22:21)? Wasn’t Caesar a pagan? Isn’t everything God’s? How do we know what things are Caesar’s? It’s obvious by Jesus’ statement that not everything is Caesar’s.
By the way, we don’t live under Caesar. Our system of civil government is decentralized with multiple jurisdictions and open to change. Rulers are bound by the limits of written constitutions at the state and national levels. This was not true of Rome, and yet God’s people were to render to Caesar what was his.