Thursday, June 23, 2016

Evangelicals and the 2016 Presidential Election

For many politics stink! In fact, the disgusts with politics and politicians (not all) has reached a dangerous tipping point in America. The failure of either party to accomplish anything worthwhile has ushered we citizens into a perilous time. The growing frustrations with anything political manifested itself with two candidates that are more loved to be hated than loved for anything good one might find in them.

Shockingly, the Christian community has been drug into a back and forth of name calling and intellectual spiritualism that staggers the mind. We Christians have been preached at, name called, and even mocked for daring to speak truth into the current political fray, by other Christians. You might say we have added to the frustrations with politics in our own not so spiritual ways.

The Challenge
As earlier noted, our choices for the high office of President of the United States are worse than weak. Fault is easy to find in both candidates. Neither offer a "Christian" comforting choice. Both candidates would struggle to hold any position in most Evangelical churches in America. And both candidates represent the actual ministry that Evangelicals should be engaged in - reaching people who desperately need the love and saving power of the Gospel of Jesus Christ bearing fruit in their lives. Yet these are our choices.

The Conflict
How should we vote? A vote for either candidate is perceived as placing the stamp of approval on their life choices and world views. We are told that to not vote at all is a vote for one candidate. We are told that neither candidate deserves a Christian vote. Some have put forth the idea of a write in option. Others have surmised that this is one election that Christians should sit out and instead focus on local and state races. Christians are calling other christians pharisees for even entertaining the idea of voting for one over the other. And so into the political mess we now add Evangelical Intellectual Spiritualism. The banner being pushed is that we as Christians lose Biblical integrity by voting one way or the other. Thus, we do harm to the cause of Christ and hinder your witness. 

The Chaos
Resulting from the conflict mentioned previously, is chaos like any I have seen in my lifetime. The Bible is used to endorse one idea over the other. We see the Bible picked apart to justify one thought and destroy another. With each passing day, the chaos grows. It will be said that this article is just one more piece thrown into the chaos. And yet I continue...

The Prize
Power is not the issue in this race for we the citizens. Neither candidate will bring to us empowerment. Even Party loses in this years elections. Both parties are being shaken to the core. A shaking that is long over due. But at stake in this election is one branch of the Federal Government for years to come. The average tenure of a Supreme Court Justice is currently just above 19% and rising. To ponder that one fact is key in discovering the truth about the prize in this years Presidential Election. The Supreme Court is the prize. 

The Hard Cold Facts
How we approach this election will effect more than you and I know. Even recent history teaches us how this one branch can traumatize and effect millions in just a short time. The next President will fill spots on the Supreme Court-several. Currently, the court leans left. And by left, I do not mean moderate. Though a few recent rulings have held close to constitutional law and interpretation, the majority of cases are now revealing a socialist/progressive slant. One might even say an unAmerican slant. And while no one can guarantee how either candidate will nominate, nor the criteria that will be applied to such a process and decision, we must understand the long term effects of such nominations and their impact. Twenty plus years is a long time. Add to the mix the ideology of Constitutional Law. Literal interpretation challenges living interpretation. Some decide based on what is written while others base decisions on what they think about what sas written. And in the case of health care, some re-write laws to make them work (a clear violation of Constitutional Law and separation of powers).

The Truth
In an effort to more clearly articulate the issue in relation to the prize, I offer the following statements for clarity of thought and understanding:

1. The Bible teaches that as Christians we are to be involved in the Government of our nation. 

2. Clearly we live in a post Christian era. 

3. Government/Politicians cannot fix the spiritual ills of our people. 

4. The right to vote and the exercise thereof cannot be taken lightly nor played with intellectually.

5. We are NOT choosing between the lesser of two evils. 

6. We will not gain spiritual integrity by sitting this election out and throwing the rule of law out the window for twenty plus years. From such we would never recover.  

7. We are to seek God in making our decision. This mess is no surprise to Him.

8. We must do all we can to have a voice for righteousness regardless of who holds the office (I am so thankful that 900 ministers actually met with one candidate and hope the other one will allow for the same).

9. We dare NOT pass over the prize seeking spiritual superiority. There is NO such thing.

10. This is NOT an easy decision.

This week over 900 clergy met with one candidate. The other candidate has so far declined any similar meeting. It saddens me to read and hear a small group of intellectual Christians casting aspirations at those in attendance. This article was formulated because of such behavior. This group has framed the case for their approach while failing to capture the deep and most pressing issue of this election, the prize. I cannot explain their reasoning. I know many of them and hold high respect for their ministries and lives. But I cannot sit by without presenting a voice of reason on behalf of the rest of us who do understand what is at stake. 

There are two issues of late that highlight this position. Marriage and Healthcare were both dealt with by the Supreme Court recently. In both cases, the Supreme Court applied flawed paths and thus ruled based on ideology and not Constitutional Law. Think about that. And then consider the effects of just those two rulings. Don't forget about the twenty pus years of tenure and the current slant of the Supreme Court.

With those examples, please explain to me again how we as Christians will be more Biblically based by not voting for either candidate? Explain to me how we are to somehow just bypass this truth and focus on other areas? 

When one considers the prize of the Supreme Court, the decision rises to a level beyond critical. And I for one will not say to my future grandchildren that I just could not vote for either candidate and not attempt to make a difference. That explanation will not hold water with them regardless of how many verses and character traits you mention. 

Since God has spoken thru donkeys in the past, I can at least seek His input and cast a vote for the best donkey of the two that He leads me to. There are no guarantees. Never have been and never will. Thankfully my hope is in Jesus and not either candidate. But my way of life and the lives of millions will be immediately effected by one simple nomination to Supreme Court. And that deserves a vote!

Update: Read this link to see a vivid picture of the principles stated from the last 13 hours