NOVEMBER, 2018

Evangelicals Stub Their Collective Big Toe

In 2016, immediately following the presidential election, I wrote the following editorial, which I believe bears repeating as we are in another election year.  Most Christians still have little idea of the real issues and what it means to "vote the Bible."  So, here we go:
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I can remember presidential elections dating all the way back to Roosevelt (not Teddy Roosevelt, of course).  And some of them contained a great deal of negativity.  But I cannot remember, nor have I read of any American presidential campaigns the likes of which we experienced in 2016.  The two major parties each put up candidates which no biblical Christian could support, and none wanted to vote for.  Many biblical Christians felt it was a choice between the lesser of two evils.  Others decided to throw their votes away by voting for candidates of the Libertarian or Green parties.  They looked at it as making a statement.

On one side we had a Republican who had no political experience, made stupid statements, railed against those who opposed him, and most seriously in the minds of most Evangelicals, had a morality problem with regard to sex.  What Christian could vote for that?

On the other hand, the democrats fronted a woman who, along with her husband, had been implicated in the White Water real estate scandle and the Mena Airport Columbian drug smuggling scandle while serving as Arkansas' first lady.  She had defended her husband, and bullied her husband's dozen or so mistresses, and the two state trooper body guards her husband used to pick up women he thought were attractive.  Then, in Washington, she lied under oath, lied repeatedly to the news media and the American people, and broke the law, for which there were no consequences.  What Christian could vote for that?

Many Christians were surprised and shocked when a large group of well known evangelical leaders met with Donald Trump prior to the primary election, and then endorsed him  The news media began talking about what they called, "The Evangelical bloc."  How could they endorse a man for president who seemed so wacky and morally depraved?  What most evangelicals failed to realize is that there was a lot more to the election than the lies, infidelity, depravity and wakiness.  According to Dr. David Jeremiah, evangelicals had three issued in the fire which most didn't understand.  They were:
          National secutiry
          Abortion
          Religious freedom

As for national security, President Obama, to the dismay of our military leaders, had decimated the ranks; cutting hundreds of thousands of personnel from our armed services to transfer the money to Obamacare and other social programs. Mrs. Clinton had promised to continue the cuts.  Donald Trump said he would restore the cuts made up to that time.  [Note: he has done so, and even increased our military budgets beyond that.]

Next comes abortion.  Mrs. Clinton not only supports the murder for hire of unborn children (abortion), but during the campaign said that she will bring the full force of the law against those who oppose it.  So, not only does she not believe in the Second Amendment; but she also does not believe in the First Amendment.  Donald Trump, on the other hand, said he opposes abortion, and will appoint conservative judges to our Federal Court System who will interpret the Constitution for what the words say and the founders meant; not judges who believe the Constitution is constantly evolving to meet the new needs we face.  By-the-way, I believe that if I ever knowingly vote for someone who supports abortion, I will have to answer to an angry God.  [Note: President Trump has appointed dozens of conservative judges to the Federal Court System, and two to the Supreme Court.]

Finally, there is the issue of freedom of religion.  Most Americans, and unfortunately most evangelicals, do not understand what is going on.  Christians are being persecuted in this country for their faith in Christ, and it is getting worse.  I am aware of at least dozen families which have lost their businesses, their jobs and their entire life savings to government sponsored religious persecution.  That includes a police officer in Tulsa, Oklahoma who was permanently demoted for his refusal to commit idolatry; a fire chief in Atlanta, Georgia for teaching the Bible to his Sunday School class; and many, many more.

Since the Supreme Court has raised alternative lifestyles to equality with all other rights, the rights of Christians have diminished.  If you have a business and refuse to do something requested by a member of the LGBT community because it would cause you to sin against God, the militant gay community will see to it that you are persecuted.  What do I mean when I say "cause you to sin against God?"  I mean, you refuse to decorate a cake in the vile, filthy, ungodly manner which they order; refuse to participate in one of their weddings by sering cake or drinks; refuse to put your stamp of approval on a gay party by being a part of it by delivering and serving pizza at the party, or holding such a party in your place of business.  By-the-way, in the case of the pizza restaurant in Springfield, Missouri, the family that owned the business had to go into hiding because of attempts on their lives by the LBGT community.  Christians have no problem selling or providing normal services to anyone, including the LBGT community.  It is only when that group demands that believers become a part of a sinful act that the conflict kicks in.

Did you know that from the beginning of our nation until fewer than 60 years ago, pastors wouild preach what they called "The Election Sermon" each year?  They would go through the candidates for office and tell their members how each candidate's character and platform stood up to the Bible.  They can't do that any more.  It is illegal!  The penalty for that is for the church to lose its tax exempt status.  That is blatently unconstitutional!  But that doesn't seem to matter - just more step in state sponsored religious persecution.  Who can we blame for that change?  President LBJ!

The opinions of the courts are basically saying, freedom of religion is your right to go to whatever church you want to; but don't bring that religious belief into the public sector.  And, by-the-way, the Democratic Vice Presidential candidate in 2016 essentially said the same thing.  As a former Catholic missionary to Central America; and as a devout Catholic, he does not believe in abortion or same sex marriage.  But, when he goes to work each morning, he will hang his religion up on a hook at the door, and support both, including the creeping religious persecution which we are seeing today.  A true, biblical Christian cannot do that!  In fact, the Bible has a term for such a person.  It is: "hypocrite."

So, a vote for Hillary Clinton was a vote for:
     * The continued reduction of military forces.
     * The continuation of abortion, which has now legally 
        murdered more than 70,000,000 American children.
     * And the continued growth of religious persecution 
        Bible believing Christians.
On the other hand, a vote for Donald Trump was a vote for:
     *The revitalization of our military forces.
     *The appointment of conservative judges who will 
       interpret the Constitution literally, and not make their
       own laws.
     *The reversal of religious persecution.

So, what happened to the Evangelical Bloc?  That's a good question.  The news media reported that 49% of evangelicals voted for Donald Trump, and 32% voted for Hillary Clinton.  I have a real problem with that.  Certainly God is not divided against Himself!  I doubt that most evangelicals even thought of their vote as being something they should seek God's face about.  I even heard pastors tell their people to "Vote the Bible," or "Vote your conscience."  Of all of the evangelicals who endorsed Trump, or who didn't take a stand one way or the other, I only know of two that actually laid out the three important issues mentioned above for their congregations.  I never heard of any that actually set aside days for prayer and fasting for our nation and the election.  That's what they did in the New Testament.  You won't find one place in the Bible where they took a popular vote of the church congregation.  In every situation where there were differences, they went to prayer and fasting, until they "were all in one accord."  By the way, that is also the way our Constitution came together.  When the delegates to the Constitutional Convention could not agree, they were about the disband and go home.  It was then that Benjamin Franklin called the Convention to prayer. After three days of prayer and Bible study, they came up with our Constitution, every part of it taken right out of the Bible.

We stubbed our collective big toe.  We failed God; we failed our country; and we failed ourselves.  Many evangelical leaders believed this was the last chance we had to turn around the slippery slide toward an anti-God and anti-Christian nation.  We simply did not take the election seriously.  We did not follow the biblical prerequisites to becoming "of one mind."  Remember, the Book of Acts is all about believers being like-minded, having the mind of Christ.
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