As a result, this article isn't so much going to be about Trump, or his bid for the White House: "What do we do with biblical truth in the face of a possible Trump presidency (or Clinton presidency)?" Not to devalue those who have already written about that, but it's already been done. This article, to my knowledge, hasn't been done yet. And it's going to be about us.
The purpose of this article is to encourage Christians in the unshakable, unmistakable, unavoidable call for every Christ-follower to walk in the truth of God. We are to live daily in obedience to the Word, and in faithfulness to the living God no matter what. This demand is not simply for those facing a fiery furnace or a lion's den (although we could stand to learn much from the steadfast faith of these Jewish men living amidst an evil, idolatrous people). The possible outcome of a godly decision should not change our minds from a godly decision to a less-godly-but-"unavoidable" decision. Heck, not even an actual, unavoidable outcome should do that!
We who follow Christ are to be a prophetic voice in our culture, for the good of the people and ultimately the world . The follower of Jesus is to be the conscience of the State. We must stand up and be a Nathan .
What we often simply call King David's "sin with Bathsheba" is actually further reaching. King David did not simply "sin with Bathsheba" and fall below the line of God's tolerance level that day. God is not capricious. Scripture tells us King David's first error was not being where kings should be when they go out to battle . Whether this, or something else, is to blame for his restlessness that night, the trap was set to ensnare the king. He looked and saw with lust and took Bathsheba into his bed. Though her husband faithfully served in his army, his lust was not stopped.
You know the account. She becomes pregnant. King David tries to cover his sin and, when that doesn't work, has Bathsheba's husband killed. He then takes Bathsheba as his wife and the child is born.
When Nathan steps in to confront King David, his being on the side of truth was arguably of little comfort. Standing up to any authority in the wrong immediately puts the boldness of the speaker between a rock and a hard place. Does he speak the truth knowing that things could go badly for him, or does he speak flatteringly at the expense of the truth?
These are not just questions for people in the past, but for us. We should ask this about the conversations we have daily, about our relationships with friends and family members, and even about our approach to the 2016 election. But we're not just talking about addressing some wrong honestly. We're also talking about allowing our knowledge of the wrong to affect what we do. Can you imagine the result if the Lord sent Nathan to King David and Nathan... disobeyed? What if he didn't go? What if he wisely counted the danger to himself and the discomfort of the message? What if he assuaged any fears he may have had about God's punishment with the likelihood that this message wouldn't make much of a difference anyway? If only there were a biblical example that could help us there! (Hint: There is. It's Jonah. And things didn't turn out too well for him.)
Every prophet of God from the Hebrew Bible, our Old Testament, was given a message for the Lord's people and more often than not it involved a call for them to turn away from their sin and back to the Lord. In Isaiah 6 the prophet caught a vision of God's splendor in the throne room and his death warrant was signed! He knew his own sin, his people's sin, and only the forgiveness from God's altar could cleanse him. He was told to prophesy that the people wouldn't get his message... and to say that TO THE PEOPLE who wouldn't get it! Talk about an exercise in futility! There's a lesson for us in there as well. We are called to do what's right and speak the truth even if no one listens. But back to Isaiah. Why was he called to share this message? Because the people were dull to God's voice. And Jeremiah? The Lord placed His words in the prophet's mouth and charged him with boldly speaking because He was with him. Jeremiah and Ezekiel were given messages that were bitter and sweet, that brought them both suffering. The same was true of most every prophet, the very prophets that Jesus said (in Luke 11) the religious leaders bore the blood-guilt with their ancestors for having killed.
The Lord called on His prophets to speak to commoners and leaders alike. Possibly one of my favorite accounts in all of scripture is from 2 Chronicles 18. The prophet of the Lord, Micaiah, stands before Kings Jehoshaphat and Ahab and delivers the kind of snark that only a supremely confident man of God can muster. We see a show-down between "prophetic" yes-men and lone Micaiah. He prophesied judgment for King Ahab after being told that everyone else had prophesied blessing – that's POWER. But it had nothing to do with Micaiah and everything to do with Him who is true! He was slapped and ignored and yet faithfully declared that if what he said didn't come true, then the Lord hadn't spoken through him. Straight out of Deuteronomy 13:1-5 & 18:16-22. So simple, and yet profoundly damning to the false prophets who had become a part of King Ahab's royal court. Then, in 1 Kings 13:11-32 we see two unnamed prophets, one a liar, the other true. The man of God spurned the Word of the Lord and, instead, trusted the words of the false prophet. He was rewarded with his own death, just as King Ahab was when he rejected the word of the Lord through Micaiah.
In Micaiah's case, he was given the role to speak with authority to men of authority. To kings, on behalf of the sovereign King of the universe. The power was not in the messenger, but in the authority of the One sending the message. In the case of the unnamed man of God, the same is true, but he is not remembered because he took a man's counsel over the Lord's counsel. I fear, today, that God's people have lost their gumption to speak with authority to commoner and leader alike with the wisdom and power of the Spirit of God. We have chosen to forsake the presence of the living God for a place of honor in the royal court of a godless people. We've traded the timeless truth of God's Word for the reasoning of fickle humans, and the result has been principles built on shifting sands. But the same Word God gave to the prophets is available to us today, sharper than any double-edged sword and useful for teaching, rebuke, correcting, and training in righteousness so that the man of God may be fully equipped for every good work .
And we must put it to work! We must put it to work in our churches and in the public square. We must put it to work in our families and in the halls of government. Where men would stand before us and say we have no right to challenge the wrong of people far above our "station," where they vehemently declare "how dare you!," we are to stand firm and reply we "dare" based on God's authority. We bear the holy responsibility of speaking the truth to people for the sake of God's glory and the good of all, just as the prophets of old did. That doesn't mean we're free to speak our own thoughts in God's name. We must guard against such error, lest our deceit result in the death of another (as was the case in 1 Kings 13) or ourselves ! But if we speak truthfully, within the boundaries God himself has set for us, we needn't fear men. If we speak with faithfulness, we never know who God will put in our path. In many cases, these prophets had personal access to the kings of Israel and Judah. I used the account of Nathan and King David – and repeatedly addressed David with his title – for three reasons:
- To highlight an account that is familiar to many while also addressing the slippery slope of sin that's not as frequently (or at least as potently) focused on;
- To show a person's power and influence in no way rescues them from the effects of their behavior; and
- To lay the ground work for what is made possible with the truth, when rightly conveyed.
But he gives it anyway. It's that important.
If you were raised in the church as I was, you take this event for granted. "Of course, Nathan confronted King David. It's right there in the text. He had to!" But did he, really? Why do we assume that? As I watch the events of this election cycle unfold, and see endorsements for Trump roll in from Christian leaders, I personally can't assume such things.
It's true, I've been very disappointed to see Christian leaders standing up to endorse Donald Trump as president. I have watched with sorrow, and swung between disbelief and shoulder shrugs, as Christians I've respected in the past have gone from speaking out powerfully against Trump to now speaking powerfully for Trump, 'cause #NeverHillary. 'Cause "the lesser of two evils." 'Cause __________, and they proceed to give me all the reasons why the character issues in Trump that were important before... just aren't as important anymore.
Not in light of the possibilities. Not in light of a Hillary presidency. In the face of a Clinton presidency, the truth is less binding. You understand this, don't you? Biblical truth in the face of Trump is sacrificed so we can say to each other what the unbeliever has been telling us for years.
- NOW, we're not hiring a Pastor in Chief...
- NOW, we're in no position to make moral distinctions between people/candidates...
- NOW, we're not voting for Jesus, but the best choice between two imperfect people...
- NOW, we're not to think about our individual choices, but how that choice affects others ...
- NOW, we're sure that Church and State should be separate, and "faith cannot be forced"...
I mean for that last one to twist in our gut like a poorly-made prison shiv. This is the very assertion that liberal atheists have aimed at Christians for decades, and now we adopt the liturgy as our own, christening it for the sake of our Republican candidate even as we condemn the Democratic candidate who holds the same belief. This is what happens when the pursuit of power, of being the "winner" at the end of the day, is more important than the character and integrity that would keep the winner from becoming a tyrant in the winner's circle. This is what happens when power and influence dull the knife blade that's intended to surgically remove the sin that's killing us. Our culture and our political parties are both telling us that principles are selfish when the stakes are this high. Does anything give us the right to maintain consistent principles in the face of such hostility?
When this election is over, only one person will be President of the United States. I'm not a genuine prophet, but I am confident that the person will be Trump, or Clinton, or Johnson, or Castle, or someone else. So let it be written, so let it be done. If past elections are any indication, some will celebrate while others mourn. A few will capitalize on calling out certain famous personalities to make good on their threat to leave the country if so-and-so is elected. Some will immediately begin blaming the POTUS for the ills of our nation, while many more will point the finger at those responsible for putting the antichrist in charge of our nuclear codes. No matter what arguments people offer (inside or outside an election cycle), there is absolutely no escaping your INDIVIDUAL responsibility for your thoughts, words, and deeds. And yet, just like our original parents in the garden, we continue to say "it was HIS fault," "she made me do it." I refuse to buy into that ridiculous rhetoric. I'm not responsible for the choices of an entire country. Not even the President can say that. But I am responsible for my vote, the reasons for that vote, and having to answer to God for both  – that's what gives me the right to either follow along with, or go against, any particular group as I live, learn, and (yes) vote. I am to do what is right – with the Word as my guide and the Holy Spirit empowering me to follow through – no matter what.
But I've sadly seen too many of the fear tactics coming from the Evangelical Right in this regard, asking me what gives me the right to vote in a way that's so sure to leave problems for future generations to clean up. I've been accused of having these problems with Trump because "I'm a sore loser. I'm just mad because Cruz didn't make the cut." I've been told the problems with Clinton are drummed up or a concentrated effort to keep women down. I've been told repeatedly that Trump is the better choice because of all that Clinton has done, as though any indiscretion in one candidate somehow softens those in another. Really? Is this what passes for a positive argument FOR a candidate today?
No. No, it's not. This is what concession looks like. This is what defending indefensible positions and value-compromise looks like. It looks remarkably like shaming those who disagree, and I can't think of any reason to do that apart from the desire to feel better about one's own decision. As they say, "misery loves company."
I get it. I understand there's value in helping others see your perspective, especially if they change their minds as a result. I even understand what it must have been like to grow up during the Davidic Dynasty, with such great prosperity coming in and great success against invaders and enemies. Maybe Nathan sat down with a friend and talked about the task he'd just been given by the Lord before carrying it out:
Yeah, that's what I said –– TWO! Two passages for a biblical case on anything is a good way to prooftext!
Luke 9 is the foundation of an argument that, just as the work of God's kingdom is not limited to Jesus' "elite" disciples alone, this election isn't about YOU but the future of this entire country. In the disclaimer following the article, the author makes clear that they don't intend to bully but to convey the seriousness of what's at stake. This rings hollow, however, after being told that refusing to vote for Trump is tantamount to ignoring God's repeated rescue attempts and "doing nothing" in light of the coming Clinton-led devastation – in short, if "she" gets elected, it's my fault and I have no right to gripe later. But they don't intend to bully. Mission accomplished and message received. It's all a little too "Chicken Little" for my tastes, and especially since they misused scripture to make this "biblical" case.
"But Arthur Anonymous could've been a 25-year old Women's Studies major (Kinesiology minor) sitting in his parent's basement with Cheetos stains on his undershirt, for all you know, David! You're being too harsh." That may be. I can hardly fault someone of questionable biblical knowledge on the use of their Bibles, I agree. And if that were the only instance of evangelical ball-dropping, I might never have come around to writing this. But then Trump's endorsers started racking up: Dobson, Graham, Cameron, Jeffries, Falwell, and the list continued to grow. What upsets me most about this is how the non-Christians I know are better about smelling the rancid hypocrisy in the air than we who should know better. Do you understand that, in our efforts to maintain party loyalty, we're losing our witness for Christ and dragging Him into bed with a political system alongside us? It's as though we've forgotten who's truly worthy of our fear (Matthew 10:24-30). And we certainly haven't allowed the perfect love afforded to us in Christ to cast out all fear, which has to do with judgment (1 John 4:15-19). That's worth chewing on all day!
See, biblical misuse to make a political point isn't reserved for Christians you've never heard of (like me). Those who have considerable influence in millions of people's lives are essentially encouraging their followers to put their hope in a man, a political party, or even a vain hope in the unforeseen future. These people are being asked by someone they admire in the faith to commit to a decision supported nowhere in scripture based on the fear of a potentiality. And if you'll allow me this allusion, they are being called on to trust in chariots and horses. But I am calling them BACK to trusting in the name of the Lord our God, and boasting in Him alone ! No man, woman, or child is elevated above the Word, and so we must hold all instruction up to the light of the Word to expose error. This quote from an article, by theologian and author Wayne Grudem, made me laugh out loud, even as it bothered me:
Some Christians have even hinted to me that “persecution would be good for us.” But the Bible never encourages us to seek persecution or hope for it. We should rather work to prevent such oppression of Christians, just as Jesus taught us to pray, “Lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil” (Matthew 6:13).
Now you may appreciate Wayne Grudem's teaching and writing. You may have learned much through his Systematic Theology, as one writer who offered his rebuttal admitted. But does this mean, then, we are to tacitly approve of whatever they say, or not challenge the truth of what they say because of their career, as one writer suggests? I'm sorry, but their wisdom is not grounds for me to accept that a passage from the Lord's prayer on temptation is about persecution of the saints, just because he says so.
Let me be clear: the oppression of Christians for the sake of the gospel is not temptation. Temptation is that which encourages the desire in us to sin. It is not sin itself, but the "temptation" to sin. Persecution is what we endure at the hands of the world when we stand up for our faith in Christ publicly. I could even concede that persecution is what we face when we flee that temptation to sin and are mocked for the faith that led to that refusal. Either way, believing persecution would be good for us is not the same as seeking it. And working to prevent Christian oppression is not the same as fleeing temptation. The lack of my own illustrious career as a Christian pastor might have me asking, "what right do I have to question Grudem's use of the Word?" My simple reply is, "Nothing. Nothing but the Word empowers me to question anything. But the Word is enough."
David had the harsh reality of his sin purposefully, personally, and pointedly lain before him. Rather than responding in anger and taking another man's life, he responded in repentance. Sorrow over his sin. He wasn't given grace in hopes that the repentance would come later, but was shown the truth of God's Law so the pain of his own sin could be "owned." This is what drew him to repentance and made the showering of grace so refreshing . This is what made grace possible.
And this is what is missing from our churches, our communities, and our nation today. We do not see the seriousness of our sin and therefore the need for repentance. Is it any wonder, then, that we don't believe God's sovereignty can sufficiently carry us through the unimaginable choice lain before us? We can handle this on our own, we tell ourselves, and so we ignore how God always has and always will approach us. Where Trump's indiscretions bothered us initially – when over a dozen other possibilities for the Republican nominee existed – those same indiscretions are defended, discounted, or flat-out denied.
The problem is, the election isn't what suffers. Our integrity is what takes the hit. I'm not saying I've lost respect for these Christian leaders who have committed to a tortured Trump vote in November, or my friends who truly believe they must vote for him if their conscience is to survive the trauma. But I am disappointed in them in this. I can respectfully and fully disagree with you and hope this article shows you something you haven't seen before, but I do not fault you for making a choice that is different from mine. I do believe you are being governed by fear rather than the peace of the Lord that surpasses understanding, but we are all at different places and this is not a matter of salvation.
But if you are one of the many who have flipped from vehemently opposing Trump to, now, enthusiastically supporting and endorsing Trump as "God's man" for the hour, then I cannot help but call you to repent. Trump's character has not changed, the stakes have. And that means you haven't forgotten the truth you knew before but you are ignoring it. It's the politically expedient move. Unfortunately, the pagans among us are examining the words and actions of those who claim to represent Christ's Church and they're all too happy to notice our inconsistencies. They know something stinks about how we're handling this. We cannot witness to the power of Christ in His Church when His Church is willfully walking in a state of internal disrepair. Samuel Whitefield, in his article entitled "Four Issues to Consider Before You Vote Trump –– What Is Really At Stake," addresses the need for the Church to recover her prophetic voice before we lose an entire generation, damage our witness, and malign the name of Christ as we choose a political "savior" over the real Savior .
The Lord spoke to His people Israel through Jeremiah in a time of drought , and it seems like this political climate has shown us our nation is in a similar time of spiritual drought. Just like in the time of the judges in Israel, each of us does what is right in our own eyes and seeks the Lord only when the suffering reaches the point we can't handle things on our own. Just like them, we don't seek that help from God in repentance because we see our wrong, but in spite of our wrong.
"Help us, Lord, not because we turn to you, but because we need you to turn to us. Save us, because You can."
You owe us that much. But what does God owe any of us, especially when we spurn His commands and ignore His Word? Can you hear your own selfishness toward the Lord, or are you dulled to it? Do you believe that God will work through Trump because He's worked through ungodly people in the past? Then why don't you employ that same understanding to God working through Clinton? We may try to draw scriptural parallels (or ask with supposed holiness if we would vote for "the other" candidate if God asked us to) but there is simply NO biblical account where God asks His people to exalt (i.e. vote for) the ungodly to accomplish His godly purposes. The Lord alone does this, but in every case it is an act of judgment on the pagan nation AND His people!
I'm just going to leave that right there.
As a follower of Jesus, we are called to live differently, to be set apart. Do you not know that those in Christ, by the Holy Spirit, will be convicted of sin and drawn to repentance ? And not out of fear of judgment but out of love for God and desire to do that which pleases Him! This is not a mark of the unsaved, but the saved in Christ – those who posses the Spirit of God. If you are truly in Christ, your security in Him will beckon you to trust in the Lord and lean not "on your own understanding" (Proverbs 3:5). To confess sin to Him and return to Him as often as you stray. Six times the righteous fall, but seven times... they get back up (Proverbs 24:16)! When things look bleak, even hopeless, why is it that we should hide the Word of the Lord in our hearts?
I humbly call on God's people, wherever they are, to seek the Lord's face in humility, in prayer and fasting, in tears of repentance, and in turning from their sinful ways. I ask that of those of us in America, but those outside our borders as well. We need you, Church! I ask you to pray for America. Weep before the Lord for yourself and on behalf of the ungodly among us. I ask you to turn to the Word of God and proclaim the truth without fear. Call people to faithfulness before the Lord no matter the outcome, and not to avoid what the Word says is right because they fear the political or national ramifications. It is natural to wonder where we should go in a time like this, but if ever we should proclaim boldly, "Go into the Lord!" this is it! It may not be a popular message, but just as the Lord promised to protect Jeremiah, so also He will protect those who remain faithful to Him .
I also ask you to consider biblically what the Lord would have you do as you prepare to vote in November. Do not worry about the fearful "what if" scenarios that currently flood our imaginations and our social media feeds. Do not worry at all, but seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all that we need will be added to us (Matthew 6:25-34). Is there a greater hope than this promise from our Lord? And who knows... we might just find out that what we need in Christ is a lot less than what we've grown accustomed to.
And you know what else? This biblical truth applies in the face of a possible Clinton presidency as well! There you go, truth for in and out of season!
Peace be with you.
- To be clear, I don't condone "making prophecies" in this day and age, especially since scripture has some pretty serious things to say about false prophets and their prophecies that we seem to have forgotten in recent years (Jeremiah 14:13-16, Lamentations 2:13-14, Ezekiel 13:8-16,). Rather, we are to boldly speak of His faithfulness; the trustworthiness of what the Lord has already said; that which reveals His character, nature, and who He is; and we are to call others to recognize His truth. More often than not, calling the people to the remembrance of who the Lord is was the primary function of the prophets we read in the Hebrew Bible (what we call the Old Testament). In the same way, we who are the true Israel – who trust in God by faith in Jesus Christ and so are children of the promise made to Abraham (Galatians 3) – are to speak prophetically into our local situations, to our people, and even to our governments. Tangentially... Can you imagine how hard we'd have to look to find someone claiming to be a prophet if we went back to stoning them to death? As a freebie, that's exactly why the law was given – so people would think twice before claiming a role God had not given.
- 2 Samuel 12:1-15. Numerous moments in this account are important, but the THREE that I refer to above are as follows:
A) King David's sin is not a small infraction but a lifestyle that has developed from choice-to-choice and resulted in sins of escalating seriousness.
B) Nathan confronts King David with the wrong he has done, not apologetically but with firm conviction and courage. He faithfully "says [what] the Lord God of Israel" (12:7) gives him to say.
C) King David seeing the seriousness of his sin brings him to repentance before God.
Ultimately, it is only King David's repentance that allows Nathan to be the voice of God regarding the Almighty's justice and mercy toward the King. King David would bear the pain of what his sin had done – it's effects would touch him, his family, and the kingdom of Israel, ultimately leading to the divided monarchy and the northern and southern kingdoms of Israel and Judah, respectively – and yet God showed mercy in deferring the promised punishment of death that sin brings (see Genesis 2:16-17 and Ezekiel 18:20).
- 2 Samuel 11:1. Clearly, we're told that King David "stayed at Jerusalem." The text itself provides the reader the chance to ask why King David stayed if he was king and was therefore supposed to go to battle. By no means am I encouraging us to engage in fanciful conjecture, but we must wonder why the text has said nothing to this point about King David having a reason to refrain from going out to battle. The text purposefully tells us King David arose from his bed "when evening came... and walked around on the roof of the king's house" (11:2). I take that to mean he was in bed prior to the start of the evening (between 7 & 9pm), got up, and walked. I've interpreted this as restlessness. Reason being, and as an aside, I wanted to share how this passage came to mind as I was writing and I include it here as a result. Psalm 127:1-2 says,
"Unless the Lord builds the house,
They labor in vain who build it;
Unless the Lord guards the city,
The watchman keeps awake in vain.
It is vain for you to rise up early,
To retire late,
To eat the bread of painful labors;
For He gives to His beloved even in his sleep."
It's interesting, tangentially, that David must have learned his lesson well. He was old enough later to grow weary in battle but he still went out (see 2 Samuel 21:15-17), signaling that not even advancing years would keep him home. As a result of that weariness, King David was then restricted by his warriors from going out to battle again, lest he be killed. 2 Samuel 11 and 2 Samuel 21 are different for David in terms of his age, if nothing more, and we may safely infer that in 2 Samuel 11, David was able-bodied. Nothing about sickness is mentioned, whereas elsewhere in the chronicles of kings, such details were worth noting, especially when death was imminent (2 Kings 13:14, 2 Kings 20:1, 2 Chronicles 16:12).
- Considering how low David had been when running from Saul to save his life, and the people who nevertheless stayed by his side and gained from his godly wisdom in that time, we cannot argue that "the end justifies the means." David was faithful to God and would not take the life of the Lord's anointed (1 Samuel 24, 26). Can you imagine the temptation to kill the king (ungodly act) in order to secure his peace (good result)? Can you imagine the influence he wielded over the men in his charge when he chose, instead, to honor God and this ungodly king (godly act) and allow God to do what He deemed right (good result)? David was eventually made king and God honored him, but David was never promised that his life would be easy, or that his choices would be obvious and always lead to his prospering. David was on the run from Saul for years. With this election cycle, I have heard too many evangelicals claiming that Trump is God's man because Clinton, by comparison, will do so much damage to the United States. Note, they do not say Trump is a godly man, a good choice, the one they want to vote for, or that he is electable on his own merit. They do not even say they look forward to what a Trump presidency means for the good of this country, merely that he is "the lesser of two evils." In other words, the end justifies the means. If only our "end" in the United States was more clear than a bag of possibilities, well... then I still would humbly offer this may not be the best reason to vote for a person.
- Exodus 20:1-17. Deuteronomy 5:1-21.
Commandment 6: You shall not murder – King David orchestrated the death of Uriah to cover his sin.
Commandment 7: You shall not commit adultery – King David slept with Bathsheba, Uriah's wife.
Commandment 8: You shall not steal – King David stole Uriah's wife for his own and married her.
Commandment 9: You shall not lie – King David deceived Uriah, his men, and the messenger telling of Uriah's death.
Commandment 10: You shall not covet – King David lusted after Bathsheba (Matthew 5:27-30) and took her for his own.
An argument could be made that he broke many more besides: 1 & 2 because he refused to acknowledge the Lord as holy, worshiping Him only, and therefore held a false view of a God who doesn't see in his mind. This allowed him to do as he pleased. Also, 5 because his actions dishonored his father and mother, turning their son into an adulterer, liar, and murderer besides. The point is, King David's sins were egregious because they were against the Lord first and foremost, not primarily because he got caught. As James 2:10 says, "For whoever keeps the whole law and yet stumbles in one point, he has become guilty of all." Sin is not about subjective degrees, but offenses against our holy God.
- Hebrews 4:12. 2 Timothy 3:16.
- Jeremiah 28:15-17.
- Voting is a constitutional right, and since before I was given that right by coming of age, I've been told that "your right to vote belongs to you. That means you cannot be coerced to vote in a particular direction or for a particular candidate, but are free to vote for the person you choose to." Of course, on the ground floor people have often used the tactic that has become increasingly pronounced in this cycle. The attitude that your vote is not your own – that voting based on your principles is an inherently selfish thing to do, as this anonymous author expressly stated in her article – is followed with fear tactics describing what might be, and how YOU are responsible for these "war of the worlds" outcomes should you not fall in line with whatever establishment, voting block expectation is represented by your party affiliation. The unfortunate result is that our loyalty, as individuals, has shifted from principles to parties. In so doing, the principles themselves have all but disappeared under the weight of rhetoric.
- James 4:10-17. Apparently "voting your conscience" has become synonymous with Cruz AND not caring about what happens in your country. This is the danger of trying to sanctify very fleshly, very worldly, impulses, desires, and fears. But it was the Word that said authoritatively that to know the right thing to do and not do it is sin. There's freedom here to disagree, make a conscientious decision, and for more than one person to still be in the right. I hope we remember this as we close in on November.
- Psalm 20:6-9––
Now I know that the Lord saves His anointed;
He will answer him from His holy heaven
With the saving strength of His right hand.
Some boast in chariots and some in horses,
But we will boast in the name of the Lord, our God.
They have bowed down and fallen,
But we have risen and stood upright.
Save, O Lord;
May the King answer us in the day we call.
- God does not confront us in our sin to show us hopelessness, but to call us to repentance. What I have unfortunately seen too much of in the political sphere is a white-washing of sins for the political figurehead representing "our" party even as we lambast the sins of the "other" party. This is hypocrisy, and it's time for the Church to return to God, to His Word, and faithfully proclaim the truth regardless of the result. If that means we push people away from our party and our person, so be it. Can you imagine the positive results? Can you imagine the trust the people would give the party with the guts to turn from "their" candidate if he or she refused to live with integrity? Can you imagine how quickly party candidates would realize that their character matters in their potential election?
Romans 2:3-8 says, "But do you suppose this, O man, when you pass judgment on those who practice such things and do the same yourself, that you will escape the judgment of God? Or do you think lightly of the riches of His kindness and tolerance and patience, not knowing that the kindness of God leads you to repentance? But because of your stubbornness and unrepentant heart you are storing up wrath for yourself in the day of wrath and revelation of the righteous judgment of God, who will render to each person according to his deeds: to those who by perseverance in doing good seek for glory and honor and immortality, eternal life; but to those who are selfishly ambitious and do not obey the truth, but obey unrighteousness, wrath and indignation." See also Acts 3:18-21 for the promise of God's desire to wipe away our sins.
- This article was so important I had to edit my original post with this addition so people could find it. You must read it! Added Tuesday August 9, 2016.
- In Jeremiah 14:7-12, the Israelites address God and God responds:
“Although our iniquities testify against us,
O Lord, act for Your name’s sake!
Truly our apostasies have been many,
We have sinned against You.
O Hope of Israel,
Its Savior in time of distress,
Why are You like a stranger in the land
Or like a traveler who has pitched his tent for the night?
Why are You like a man dismayed,
Like a mighty man who cannot save?
Yet You are in our midst, O Lord,
And we are called by Your name;
Do not forsake us!”
Thus says the Lord to this people, “Even so they have loved to wander; they have not kept their feet in check. Therefore the Lord does not accept them; now He will remember their iniquity and call their sins to account.” So the Lord said to me, “Do not pray for the welfare of this people. When they fast, I am not going to listen to their cry; and when they offer burnt offering and grain offering, I am not going to accept them. Rather I am going to make an end of them by the sword, famine and pestilence.”
- John 16:7-11.
- Jeremiah 15.