|Creative commons via Google Images|
|Creative commons via Google Images|
First of all, then, I urge that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and thanksgivings be made for all people, for kings and all who are in high positions, that we may lead a peaceful and quiet life, godly and dignified in every way. -1 Timothy 2:1-2 ESV
Are you the "evangelical vote"? I've heard about that on the news. They're always talking about evangelicals, and voting and who evangelicals like and all that. I guess we are kind of in that lump of "evangelicals." Within that fold tends to be people who actually believe God is real, and that Jesus Christ is really God who came to save us. And we actually tend to believe that the Bible is the real word of God, and doesn't change with ever shifting views of cultural and political activists. We don't turn the Bible into an exercise in "well it just means whatever we want it to mean." We actually trust it as a source of universal truth. And for that, my goodness, do they say ugly things about us.
Here is a trustworthy saying, and it came from a man named Chuck Colson who passed away several years ago. A friend in 2000 indicated his disappointment to Chuck Colson that the Republicans had lost a lot of seats in the House and Senate. Chuck Colson simply replied, "Well it doesn't really matter anyway, the Republicans will turn on us someday anyway. They aren't really on our side." I'm paraphrasing, but do you see his drift? Be cautious about putting all your eggs in one basket. Be cautious about trusting a party that simply does not have your best interests at heart, except when they're asking for a vote of course.
Never-the-less we must doggedly step out, boldly into the muck of the political arena because the truth is these issues do affect us. They affect me. I know this is a tough topic. Most people have a very hard time with politics, because it can be so disheartening. We get confused, we don't know who to vote for, and it seems like everything just gets worse. Most of us have too much on our plate as it is. How can we carry the woes of the world?
We must obey God rather than men. Acts 5:29 ESV
We don't have to carry all of it. God carries it. We need to turn it over to him. But we also need to be active in the political realm. Otherwise in fifty years Christianity will be illegal. Already we are seeing a growing persecution of Christians over the gay rights issue. The Supreme Court has legalized gay marriage, forcing the decision, with no backing in law on fifty states all with their own sovereign laws in regard to marriage. Can Christians allow this overstepping of authority to continue? Look at all the results that have come of that. Think of Kim Davis, the Kentucky clerk who had been jailed for refusing to issue gay marriages. Even more importantly, look at how the church of Jesus Christ has fractured and divided over the issue of gay marriage and homosexuality. It's done incredible damage.
Consider also the growing controversy over Planned Parenthood's sale of aborted babies. Can we really sit and do nothing when children are offered up as sacrifices to convenience and sexual freedom?
These legal and political issues affect us Christian evangelicals. They affect us even more so than more fundamentalist Christians, because we are missional, in that we seek to share and spread the Christian faith. We definitely want to maintain the right to do so. We want the freedom to practice our Christian faith in the public square for the public good. Why? Because Christianity is the truth about everything. Christianity is the truth of life itself. We need to spread that message, because it's the truth.
Whether Christians want to accept it or not, there is a massive movement to quietly eject God, the mention of God, and the freedom to practice religious faith from all aspects of public life. It will not be allowed in social working, you do not have the freedom to tell your client about Jesus Christ if your a counselor or psychiatrist. It's generally considered wrong to even mention your religious beliefs in public in casual conversation! People are discouraged from talking about it at work. If you hold to a biblical view of marriage you may be in danger of losing your job or position due to "discrimination" allegations. If there is any mention of God, the ten commandments or Jesus on a public building, watch out, because you're gonna get sued by the ACLU or the FFRF. There are huge secular movements in social work, philosophy, psychology, history, education, government, medicine, and almost every area of study and inquiry. We need to fight for the freedom to engage in religious discussion, religious worship, and religious evangelism in all areas of life. Not just in the church on Sunday. If that's the only freedom we have left in 20 years, Christianity will drift into nothingness. My Christian faith doesn't just happen in the church on Sunday! It happens out there, in the real world! It happens when I'm at work, when I'm feeling depressed, when I'm helping someone in need, when I'm talking politics, when I'm sharing on social media, and so many other areas of life!
Politics directly affect our Christian faith. And the secular world has a mission to root out Christianity from all public venues. We need to be active, or we will be relegated to the corner. Or worse.
We need to be voting on voting days. We need to be interacting in the elections. We need to be supporting candidates who will change things.
The very first lesson that every evangelical Christian needs to realize is that the mainline Republican party is not your friend. They are the establishment. They are about money, banking, business, and stepping on anyone who gets in the way. They are called neo-cons. They are "pseudo-conservatives" like George W. Bush, Mitt Romney, Jeb Bush, Marco Rubio, Dick Cheney, Karl Rove, and many others who claim to be conservative, but when they enter office they tend to spend too much, inflate big government, curtail freedoms, walk all over the Constitution, and bail out their buddies on Wallstreet. The establishment is an enemy to Christianity and to all Evangelicals. It's just a fact, accept it. These war hawks are dangerous, and they will destroy our country if given the chance.
So who should evangelicals support? Who should Christians vote for? The 2016 presidential election is approaching. Who is the candidate to support? Let's look at the field. (The order of the candidates is from a recent poll based on their standing.)
Donald Trump - [non-Christian warning] I've added warnings on certain candidates. Donald Trump is the front-runner. Now Trump is not necessarily an establishment candidate, but he might as well be. I think the establishment could live with a Trump. If they lined his pockets enough he would do whatever they asked. Trump is a corrupt and immoral individual. It's pretty obvious. I'm sorry if you thought he was the savior, he's not. He wouldn't change anything. Don't vote for Trump. He couldn't even name a Bible verse when asked, which spawned the #TrumpBible hashtag on Twitter. He insults other candidates like a toddler, and he's good at maintaining media coverage because he's used to working in that industry. I wish the media would cover other candidates. Trump needs to go. Trump actually identified more as a Democrat in the past, his own words. But of course when a politician wants to grab support what do they say? "My views are evolving." Trump is pro-planned parenthood, trump is against religious liberty, and Trump is a big spender. He will not be getting my vote.
Ben Carson - Running second in the polls and charging up on Trump is Dr. Ben Carson. Dr. Carson is an intelligent thoughtful Christian, with a firm belief in American values and Constitutional government. Dr. Carson is not a politician per say, which is a good thing. I'm seriously considering voting for Ben Carson. One concern is that he could show more passion in his speaking. He needs to work harder to energize the evangelical Christian vote. He's gotta show some youthful passion. He also has views on immunizations that I don't agree with. Dr. Carson being a doctor has believed a lot of the propaganda about immunizations. He says no exceptions for religious objections. That is just plain wrong, and forcing immunizations on free citizens and children is also simply wrong. That is a concern. But Dr. Carson is against abortion, pro-religious liberty, and he is strong on foreign policy but not too strong like the neo-cons who seem to look to start wars whenever they can. Ben Carson has an inspiring story and he talks common sense. He wants to restore America. I'm seriously considering voting for Carson, but I need to see more, and I will in the Republican debates.
John Kasich - I really don't know a lot about John Kasich. He seems to have a conservative voting record. As far as a real Christian faith, it's hard to say. We'll have to keep watching, and see if we can learn more. I'm surprised he's polling as well as he is, he seemed to me a candidate that would fade off into the background pretty quick.
Ted Cruz - This Senator from the great state of Texas is saying all the right things when it comes to appealing to people like myself. He's big on the Constitution. He wants to secure the borders. He's the son of a southern baptist preacher. He talks about dealing with the "Washington cartel." He has the fire and energy to really energize the Republican base. He can gather evangelical Christians and he appeals to Tea Party patriots as well as Libertarians based on his views on liberty, limited government, and cutting spending. Ted Cruz is most certainly a dedicated Christian. But I'm concerned that he might just be telling us what we want to hear. We'll have to see. I'm divided between Ted Cruz and Ben Carson, as far as who I want to vote for. Both of them are impressive non-establishment candidates. I would give Ted Cruz a higher rating in his understanding of the problem, and the solution. Ted Cruz is challenging the establishment, and I like that. Can he win? We'll see.
Carly Fiorina - I don't know a lot about Carly Fiorina. She seems to be quite knowledgeable, and conservative. We'll have to keep watching.
Jeb Bush - [establishment warning] During my graduation at Liberty University this summer the speaker at the Saturday morning even was Jeb Bush. I decided to stay in at the hotel. We don't need another Bush in the white house. Americans are tired of the ol' Bush bait and switch. They talk all pretty then jump in the white house and go crazy spending, bailing out banks, and starting wars. It's not really fair to judge Jeb Bush from his family, but it's going to happen. Jeb Bush is a straight up establishment candidate with big money. He's raised a lot of money from big donors, but it doesn't show in the polls. The American public is wise to his act. Which is why all of the candidates in the last debate tried so hard to paint themselves as anti-establishment candidates. The American people are tired of neo-conservatives and their reckless spending, authoritarian governance, and uber-aggressive foreign policy.
Rand Paul - The son of the great Ron Paul is a bit of a wild card. I would say that Rand Paul is the dark horse candidate. I wish Rand Paul was his dad Ron Paul, but he's not. Rand Paul doesn't come off as sincere and principled as his dad Ron Paul did. It's hard to say, but it's true. But you never know. Maybe Rand Paul will surprise all of us. There is always a dark horse in every primary run, one candidate that could sweep through and change the whole game. I'll be watching Rand Paul. He's libertarian, limited government, and I like his foreign policy approach of strength, but non-interventionism. If Rand Paul can express support for religious liberty, stand against abortion, and stand up in support of Israel then he might have my vote in the primaries.
Marco Rubio - [establishment warning] Marco Rubio is a smooth talker. He's a neo-conservative, he wants more spying, more wiretapping, and apparently the Constitution and Bill of Rights don't factor into that equation for neo-cons like Marco Rubio. His views tend to be almost centrist. People don't seem to be clamoring for this guy though. But that could change. He's a smooth talker and he can raise money. Don't doubt that he's establishment though.
Scott Walker - [establishment warning] Scott Walker is the governor of Wisconsin. I'm born and raised Wisconsinite, and I'm telling you, he is corrupt. Although many consider him to be a Tea Party candidate, he isn't. He's establishment, real buddy buddy with the Koch brothers. Don't believe it when he says he can stand up to the establishment. He is the establishment.
Chris Christie - [establishment warning] Chris Christie's views tend to be more centrist. In fact he's just a straight up liberal in most areas. He loves spying, and wiretapping too. Just like Obama, just like Bush, and just like the rest of the neo-cons and neo-liberals. Scary bunch they are, big on big government. We don't need a Chris Christie.
Mike Huckabee - Since I've been involved in politics, which isn't that long, it's always been ol' Huck. The evangelicals always vote for ol' Huck the evangelical candidate. And he would always get about 11% and then lose. I was surprised to see him running. And I know, he's an ordained southern baptist minister and all that. He's smart, he knows politics. But he just isn't a viable candidate. Given the numbers, it seems like evangelicals agree with me. They're leaning more toward constitutional candidates and libertarian candidates. Ol' Huck as good a guy as he is, ought to probably just fade off into the background. Sorry, I said it. But there it is.
Donald Trump is the front runner at this point. Is he a Christian? Most certainly not. If you'd like more years of corruption like we saw under George W. Bush and Barack Obama, then vote for Trump. Marco Rubio knows how to say the right things, stuff people want to hear, but I don't trust him at all. Rubio is establishment. We Christians want to avoid establishment candidates, they change nothing and keep things rolling right toward fiscal collapse and moral decay. Jeb Bush may not be his brother George, but in my view a Clinton-Bush dynasty is not right for the United States. Scott Walker is the governor of Wisconsin, running for president. As a lifetime resident of Wisconsin, I'm telling you, don't vote for Scott Walker. No, for me, as a politically informed Christian I've narrowed it down to three candidates: Ben Carson, Ted Cruz, and Rand Paul. These candidates are firm on the Constitution, Bill of Rights, and conservative on key issues such as abortion, marriage, economics, personal liberty, and foreign policy. But when I narrow it down to the best of these three, we come down to Ben Carson. He's clearly a real Christian. He's dedicated. He inspires people. He's big on the Constitution. He's economically conservative. That's how I'm leaning so far.
But we've just begun on the campaign trail. (View the last debate 9/17/2015 click here.) Much more will be revealed. At this point I'm watching, listening, and learning more. I suggest you pray on it carefully, and do the same. In the meantime, keep raising your voice for religious liberty, and focus your activism on defunding planned parenthood and abolishing abortion. Those are hot issues now, people are talking and weighing the options. And they aren't getting the truth from the liberal mainstream media. It's up to you to share the truth in love. In Jesus name, Amen.
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