Hispanic evangelical leader the Reverend Samuel Rodriguez appeared to imply Christians should vote for Republican nominee Donald Trump, encouraging them to cast votes for a pro-life, pro-religious freedom party platform, rather than voting on the “personality” of the nominee, which he called “idolatry.”
At a simulcast event held at Elevate Life Church in Frisco, Texas on Wednesday, evangelical leaders and public figures urged attendees and watchers to vote.
In a message given via satellite, Rev. Rodriguez told those gathered at Elevate Life and the thousands watching online that they need to vote on “policy,” not “personality” on election day.
“This election is critical. It’s a difficult one indeed. Its surreal in many respects. How do we vote when the personalities are so out there, when they are so wrong on both sides of the aisle?” said Rodriguez.
“It’s not the personality, where we vote for the personality. In the words of [Covenant Church Founding Pastor] Michael Hayes, that’s idolatry.”
Rodriguez went on to state that when Christians vote on “platform and principle,” only then are believers “truly engaging our Christian faith.”
“Let’s compare the platforms, do your due diligence,” added Rodriguez, saying a biblical political platform advances “the sanctity of life in and out of the womb, of family, of religious liberty, and to a great degree, making sure our government does not attempt to replace God.”
Rodriguez’s remarks came as part of a simulcast event hosted by the nonpartisan group My Faith Votes less than a week before election day.
Called “My Faith Matters: A Conversation About the Importance of Faith in American Culture & Politics,” hundreds of small groups and individuals watched the program via simulcast.
“No longer can we, as believers, afford to be indifferent or assume that, through the actions of others, our nation will be restored,” stated the group My Faith Votes.
“It’s a period in America’s history that’s now calling for more. It calls for the intentional commitment of all 90 million believers united by the conviction of our faith to influence the culture around us.”
In addition to Rodriguez, other speakers included Summit Church Pastor J.D. Greear, former Republican presidential candidate Dr. Ben Carson, Texas State Representative Scott Turner, and journalist Megan Alexander.
Elevate Life Church Pastor Keith Craft moderated the event and gave the opening remarks, in which he said that the event would not endorse a candidate or tell people who to vote for, but to encourage people to vote based on their Christian beliefs.
“Tonight we plan on tackling head on the challenge of each Christian individual and the responsibility we have to act on our faith and influence our culture and specifically what it looks like to engage politics when its messy and when its ugly,” stated Craft.
“Our aim is to uncover the truth as much as we can, the truth of God’s word and to hopefully gain a biblical worldview … Two-thirds of Americans say the country is going in the wrong direction. And you don’t change the direction of a country by not doing anything.”