Tag Archives: Donald Trump

When God Won’t Hear

man-alone-with-god

Then shall they cry unto the LORD, but he will not hear them: he will even hide his face from them at that time, as they have behaved themselves ill in their doings. (Micah 3:4)

I get weary by the overwhelming onslaught of depressing news that assails me from all directions. It assaults me from the radio, TV, social media, internet, emails and even from normal conversations with friends. Let us face it, the world is a mess and nothing seems to make it better; it just seems to keep getting worse. Perhaps that is why we see so many people with their faces buried in their personal communications devices (PCDs) playing Candy Crush Saga, Angry Birds, or the latest craze, Pokémon GO, or whatever – anything to escape the “real” world – but the news refuses to go away.

Without detailing every account, anyone not fixated on their smart phones knows that the whole world is in serious trouble – economies are failing, ISIS grows like a cancer, rogue nations threaten the peace with nuclear arms, etc. The United States once served as a stabilizing force in the world, but America has her own problems now. Since Barack Obama became President, America’s economy has faltered, her military strength has declined, her influence for good in the world has diminished, and the heart of her people has weakened. President Obama mocks Christians for clinging to their guns and Bibles while he praises the virtues of Islam. He criticizes police use of lethal force against blacks without knowing all of the facts, and excuses the perpetrators as victims of racism. Obama lashes out at Christians who denounce the sin of homosexuality and celebrates the “bravery” of those that “come out of the closet.” When the Supreme Court legalized same-sex “marriage,” Obama gave assent and showed approval by bathing the White House in the rainbow colors of “gay pride.”

Recently a man, claiming allegiance to ISIS, entered a gay bar in Florida and slaughtered several people in the name of Allah and Obama refused to acknowledge him as an Islamic terrorist. Just two weeks ago, another man, Micah Johnson, targeted white police officers assigned to protect peaceful protestors of the Black Lives Matter movement. Five police officers were murdered in cold blood and several others were wounded. In honoring the fallen officers, President Obama began his speech in praise of the heroic officers who ran toward the danger and did all they could to protect the marchers, but his speech quickly degenerated into his typical race-baiting rhetoric. When our leader has no concept of unity, it is no wonder that our country is so fractured. However, the problem is greater than just one man’s inability to lead. The problem began some sixty years ago when the nation slowly chipped away at our Christian foundation and ousted God from the public square. “In God We Trust” are just words on our currency. Our beloved country is very, very sick.

Christians are encouraged to pray for our nation and to pray for our leaders. Albeit out of context, 2 Chronicles 7:14 frequently serves as a call for Christians pray for the nation. God promises, “If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land” (emphasis mine). God’s promise was made to the united nation of Israel, but Christians have (erroneously, I think) claimed it as their own forgetting that “our conversation is in heaven; from whence also we look for the Saviour, the Lord Jesus Christ” (Philippians 3:20, emphasis mine). The Greek word translated “conversation” in the King James Bible (KJV) is politeuma, from which we get our word “politic,” means “a community” or “citizenship.” Not that we should be “so heavenly minded that we are no earthly good,” but the United States of America is not where our primary allegiance should be. As the Apostle Paul asserts, “our citizenship is in heaven,” not the United States of America. Ours is the Kingdom of God, not the kingdom of Barack.

Like the United States of America, Israel, first the northern kingdom and then Judah, rejected God and turned to false gods – not every individual, but the nation as a whole. Even so, there are many faithful Christians in America who “have not bowed unto Baal” (1 Kings 19:18), but there exists only a remnant. I am certain that the faithful in Israel prayed for their nation, but that was not enough to dissuade God from punishing the entire nation – including the faithful ones.

Micah prophesied in Judah. By this time, Israel, the northern kingdom, no longer existed as a nation, having succumbed to the Assyrian Empire. From the time the ten northern tribes broke with Judah, the nation fell into idolatry. Now Judah followed suit. Micah voices the words of God who charges Judah’s leaders, for lack of judgment (Micah 3:1).  God points out that they “hate good and love evil” and they abuse the people with unjust taxes. The graphic words paint the picture: “who pluck off their skin from off them, and their flesh from off their bones; Who also eat the flesh of my people, and flay their skin from off them; and they break their bones, and chop them in pieces, as for the pot, and as flesh within the caldron” (Micah 3:2-3). There comes a point when, “Then shall they cry unto the LORD, but he will not hear them: he will even hide his face from them at that time, as they have behaved themselves ill in their doings” (Micah 3:4, emphasis mine).

Isaiah brought a similar charge to the nation as a whole, not only the leaders, but also those who willingly followed.  “The ox knoweth his owner, and the ass his master’s crib: but Israel doth not know, my people doth not consider” (Isaiah 1:3). Sad! Dumb animals recognize their source of provision better than “intelligent” people do. “Ah sinful nation, a people laden with iniquity, a seed of evildoers, children that are corrupters: they have forsaken the LORD, they have provoked the Holy One of Israel unto anger, they are gone away backward” (Isaiah 1:4). Can we not say the same of America? As the passage continues, God laments that the more He punishes the nation, the more rebellious they become. God assesses their condition as sick of head and weak of heart. Out of rote, they bring insincere offerings to God, but their hearts belong to other gods. So, God says, “when ye spread forth your hands, I will hide mine eyes from you: yea, when ye make many prayers, I will not hear: your hands are full of blood” (Isaiah 1:15, emphasis mine). God is infinitely patient, but He does set limits. When those limits are breached, His response is predictably sure. I say “predictably” because He gives an abundance of warning for those who are willing to listen.

Well, that seems just and deserved for those who rebel and reject God; but what about the faithful remnant who cry out for their nation? Just before the conquest and expatriation of Judah to Babylon, Jeremiah pleaded for his nation, but three times God charged him to stop. “Therefore pray not thou for this people, neither lift up cry nor prayer for them, neither make intercession to me: for I will not hear thee” (Jeremiah 7:16, emphasis mine). Then again, “Therefore pray not thou for this people, neither lift up a cry or prayer for them: for I will not hear them in the time that they cry unto me for their trouble” (Jeremiah 11:14, emphasis mine). Finally, “Then said the LORD unto me, Pray not for this people for their good” (Jeremiah 14:11, emphasis mine). Jeremiah certainly qualifies as one of God’s people. There comes a time when God will not hear the pleas even when they come from His people.

For Judah, God kept His 2 Chronicles 7:14 promise and returned them to the land, but only after they had served their full time in Babylonian captivity. Even today, we see God’s promise fulfilled as Jews from all over the world continue to migrate back to their land. However, America is not Israel, and this promise does not have universal application.  I realize that many disagree with that statement, but I suggest that such sentiment stems from deep-seated patriotism and love of country. I understand that. I too am a patriot. I willingly and gladly gave 12 years of my life in the service to this nation. These words I write tear at my heart as I see the inevitable demise of the country I love. Yet, our directive calls for us to hold the things of this earth loosely and cling to that yet unrealized country.  Jesus said, “Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt, and where thieves break through and steal: But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through nor steal: For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also” (Matthew 6:19-21, emphasis mine). Is your treasure in America or in heaven above?

Praying for our nation is a noble thought, but I believe our country is too far-gone for that now. I believe God is saying, at least to me, “Pray thou not for this people.” What about Paul’s exhortation to pray for our leaders (1 Timothy 2:1-2)? Consider where Paul had been – imprisoned in Rome – and where Timothy was – pastoring the church at Ephesus. Rome hardly qualified as a bastion of republican democracy. In Paul’s exhortation, he does not call for prayer for the preservation of the empire. He says to pray for “the leaders” – individuals. Why? In order “that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and honesty” (1 Timothy 2:2).  In his letter to the church at Rome, Paul says that God appoints leaders. “For there is no power but of God: the powers that be are ordained of God” (Romans 13:1, emphasis mine). The Roman rulers under which Paul and Timothy lived were despicable despots to whom they were to submit in order “to lead a quiet and peaceable life” regardless of who was in charge.

Christianity flourishes in China under an oppressive communist regime. Should Christians in China pray that their form of government continue? My point is that no matter what form of earthly government we live under, we owe a higher allegiance to the Kingdom of God. We should pray for our leaders that they might come to a saving knowledge of Christ through whom they will gain godly wisdom to rule. Even so, salvation is a personal matter between God and each individual. On that same note, rather than praying for the survival of our nation, we should not only pray, but labor for the salvation of individuals. For our nation to return to its foundation, the hearts of individuals must change. A wholesale repentance of a majority of individuals must take place before God will hear the pleas of His people for their nation.

Remember Abraham’s intercessory prayer for Sodom and Gomorrah? (Genesis 18:23-33) If there are 50 righteous, if there are 40 righteous, if there are 30, 20, 10, will you destroy the city? In the end, there were not even 10 righteous, and God destroyed the cities. Depending on what poll one reads, the number of “genuine” born-again, Evangelical Christians in the US hovers around 20% and declining. Should God spare the nation for 20 righteous? Did God spare Israel for the 7000 that did not bowed unto Baal? (1 Kings 19:18).

When a nation exceeds the limits of God’s patience, God stops His ears to the intercessory petitions of His people for the nation. Indeed, He says, “Pray thou not for this people.” Has America reached that limit? I think it has. We see a rise in depravity, perversion, and unrestrained violence, not to mention natural disasters. This is why the best response we can offer to a Hillary Clinton presidency is Donald Trump. It is sad to watch, but take heart Christians. We have a heavenly citizenship, and we pledge our allegiance to the King of Kings and Lord of Lords. Our duty is to work for and expand His Kingdom until He returns. I pray that is soon!

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No Choice!

Bad Choices

Daniel answered and said, Blessed be the name of God for ever and ever: for wisdom and might are his: And he changeth the times and the seasons: he removeth kings, and setteth up kings: he giveth wisdom unto the wise, and knowledge to them that know understanding: (Daniel 2:20-21)

The Republican National Convention looms ahead within a few short weeks, and it appears that Donald Trump is the presumptive GOP candidate for President of the United States. The prospect is disheartening to many Christians including me, but unlike me, many Christians are resolved to “suck it up” and vote for Trump as the “lesser of two evils.” I don’t know about you, but I am tired of voting for the lesser of two evils. I voted for the lesser of two evils in 2008 when I voted for John McCain. I voted for the lesser of two evils when I voted for Mitt Romney in 2012. What did that get us? It got us eight years of Barrack Obama! To me, Donald Trump measures up so far below either McCain or Romney that it’s like drinking the dregs of cold, stale coffee.

I have stated openly that I will not vote for that man. Unless he assumes some real principles greater than his own ambitions, I cannot with clear conscience bring myself to cast my ballot for Trump. I will vote, but I will either vote for a reasonable third or fourth party candidate or write in my choice, which at the moment happens to be Ted Cruz – the only principled, constitutional conservative that ran in the primaries. Ted Cruz also holds solid Christian values, and lives by them.

Many of my friends criticize me for making that statement saying, “That will just guarantee Hillary will be the next President” (provided she doesn’t end up in prison). Is that true?

As Christians we should make our decisions based on biblical principles. Does the Bible give us any guidance? The verse above says that God removes and sets up kings, i.e. rulers. Arguably, presidents of the United States, are not “rulers” per se – at least not constitutionally – but now that is highly suspect considering how President Obama has performed in his administration. Whether kings, rulers, or presidents, the principle holds true: God sets up and takes down rulers.

At the installation of Solomon, King David blessed the Lord saying, “Thine, O LORD, is the greatness, and the power, and the glory, and the victory, and the majesty: for all that is in the heaven and in the earth is thine; thine is the kingdom, O LORD, and thou art exalted as head above all. Both riches and honour come of thee, and thou reignest over all; and in thine hand is power and might; and in thine hand it is to make great, and to give strength unto all” (1 Chronicles 29:11-12, emphasis mine). Clearly, David recognized God’s sovereignty over all earthly matters. The Apostle Paul applies this concept as to how we should relate to those in power over us. “Let every soul be subject unto the higher powers. For there is no power but of God: the powers that be are ordained of God” (Romans 13:1, emphasis mine). In Paul’s day, Rome resembled a republic somewhat like ours, except that citizens did not elect their leaders. The Senate was composed of the aristocracy, who obtained their position though inheritance, appointment or through bribe. The point is that citizens had no say in their government. Under these circumstances, Paul exhorts Christians to submit to their leaders because “the powers that be are ordained of God.” The Greek word translated “ordained” is tassō and it means “to arrange in an orderly manner.” When we consider some of the tyrants that ruled Rome and their persecution of the saints, we might wonder what kind of “orderly manner” God arranged, but Paul clearly affirms that God controls who sits in power. Nero, Diocletian, Muhamad, Napoleon, Hitler, Lennon, Stalin, Putin, Obama, Ayatollah Khomeini and many more could be listed – all had Divine appointments. No leader or ruler on earth exists or has ever existed that God did not put in place.

That said, if we truly believe God’s Word, can we honestly say we have any real influence on who will be our next President? Can we realistically assume the responsibility for who will lead us? The Bible says that God makes those decisions.

So, what is the use in Christians voting?

The United States of America is unique among all the nations of the world and among all the nations throughout history. In no other nation has God vested power in the governed, i.e. the people, rather than in governors. At the conclusion of the Constitutional Convention in 1788, it is said that a lady asked Benjamin Franklin what kind of government they had given us to which he replied, “A republic, Madam, if you can keep it.” We stand at the precipice of losing our republic. By many standards, one may say we have already lost it; but we can still vote for our leaders – for all the good that does. The problem is that most of the leaders we elect are unprincipled liars seeking their own gain, personal privilege, and power. They hear the people’s cries and promise to fulfill their wishes (like “repeal every word of Obama Care”), and once they are elected they become deaf to the voice of the people.

What are we to do? We must do what is right before God. That is what we do! “Blessed are they that keep judgment, and he that doeth righteousness at all times” (Psalm 106:3).  “Little children, let no man deceive you: he that doeth righteousness is righteous, even as he is righteous” (1 John 3:7). At the conclusion of his exposé on the vanity of life seeking pleasure and possessions, Solomon sums up, “Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: Fear God, and keep his commandments: for this is the whole duty of man. For God shall bring every work into judgment, with every secret thing, whether it be good, or whether it be evil” (Ecclesiastes 12:13-14, emphasis mine).

What is the right thing to do? Chief Justice John Jay, the first Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States, said, “Providence [meaning “God”] has given our people the choice of their rulers, and it is the duty, as well as privilege and interest, of a Christian nation to select and prefer Christians for their rulers” (emphasis mine). For Christians, then, the right thing means preferring Christians as our rulers. Of course, someone will undoubtedly retort, “We are not electing a pastor, we’re electing a President.” Perhaps, at this point, it behooves us to elect a pastor in the truest sense of that word. A pastor, i.e. a “shepherd,” looks out for the welfare of his sheep even to the point of giving his life for them. Jesus said, “I am the good shepherd: the good shepherd giveth his life for the sheep” (John 10:11). Wouldn’t that be a great attribute in a President! – or any of our elected representatives for that matter!

Voting for a pastor as President might not be such a bad thing; however, there is not one running for the office. Many of my Christian brothers and sisters fear a Hillary Clinton presidency so much that they are willing to vote for the reprobate Donald Trump as the “lesser of two evils.” By what standard they make that judgment I cannot discern. Joel Rosenberg offered 32 reasons a Trump presidency would be a catastrophe for America.[1] I also wrote about this and provided links to other articles giving reasons why Christians should not support Donald Trump.[2]

Donald Trump is no pastor. Judging from his “fruits,” he is not even a Christian. He may be a Presbyterian, but he is not a Christian, I don’t care how he labels himself. If Christians are to prefer Christians as their leaders, then, my friends, we have no choice. That is why, unless God raises up a principled, Christian man (or woman) that cares about this nation more than he/she cares about him/herself, the only right thing I see to do is write in someone I, in good conscience, believe is worthy of the office. To me, at least for now, that is Ted Cruz. My conscience is clear, and I trust in the sovereignty of God for the outcome, even if it is Hillary Clinton.

Friends, our nation rejected God a long time ago. God’s judgment is not coming upon our nation; it’s already on us, like it or not. What we see these days – the violence, perversion, disregard for law and order, etc. – is the judgment of God. Read Romans 1:18 ff. Even if Trump is elected, do not deceive yourself into thinking that he will be any better than what we have already. Remember that choosing the lesser of two evils is still evil. For that reason, I cannot vote for Donald Trump. I feel I have no choice.

Notes:


[1] Joel C. Rosenberg’s Blog: https://flashtrafficblog.wordpress.com/2016/01/31/32-reasons-a-trump-presidency-would-be-a-catastrophe-for-america/

[2] “The Trump Sounds,” https://erniecarrasco.com/2016/02/28/the-trump-sounds/

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The Trump Sounds

Trump Sounds

Wherefore by their fruits ye shall know them.  (Matthew 7:20)

Regardless of what you may think of him, Donald Trump is a phenomenon. Here is a man who has been self-serving all of his life, and now, over night, he has become the champion of conservative values. He is willing to sacrifice himself to the service and benefit of the nation. What is probably more amazing is how he has managed to convince around 40% of Republicans (I hesitate to say “conservatives”) that he alone can save the nation from its inevitable demise. Trump claims that “he” will build a wall along the southern border and get Mexico to pay for it. “He” will round up all the illegal aliens and deport them all. All how many million? Trump claims that “he” will make American companies return manufacturing plants back to the US, or else. Trump claims that “he” will get rid of Obama Care and replace it with something (?) much, much greater. Trump claims that “he” will convince Muslim nations to destroy ISIS. Trump makes many claims that sound really good, but does not divulge how he plans to accomplish it all. It will all happen simply because he, “The Donald” is the great negotiator that knows how to make things happen and get things done. Trump will “make America great again” because he knows how to do it.

Trump has tapped into the anger that conservative Americans have against the Government, but especially with the Republican establishment that made promises to make big changes when elected, but have only proven feckless in their promises. Americans demand a secure border. Trump says he will do it. Americans want to get back to work. Trump says he will do it. Americans want the national debt reduced. Trump says he will do that. Americans want the economy to grow. Trump says he will do it. Americans fear Islamic terrorism. Trump says he will stop the Muslim hordes. Everything Americans want, Trump will do it. No need to worry, Trump has the plan. What that plan is, is anybody’s guess, but somehow he has convinced the masses. Trump is all things to all people.

More astounding is the apparent attraction Trump has fostered among evangelicals. Evangelical notables like Dallas First Baptist Church pastor, Dr. Robert Jeffress[1], and Liberty University President, Jerry Falwell, Jr.[2] have jumped on the Trump bandwagon in full support of the Republican candidate endorsing him as a strong Christian. Seriously? Two high-profile, supposedly wise and discerning, Christian leaders have evaluated Trump’s character and concluded that he is a strong Christian! I wonder where they got their sources? At TownHall.com, John Hawkins offers “40 Reasons Not to Vote for Trump.”[3] On the list are some things that should concern Christians, like fraud investigations over Trump University, alleged ties to the mob, profits from gambling and strip clubs, cheating on his wife, and he is a chronic womanizer and misogynist. Not on the list was his statement that he has never done anything over which he needed to ask forgiveness of God. I am sure that both of our high-profile evangelical Trump supporters preach that “all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God” (Romans 3:23), so how do they reconcile Trump’s claim to be a Christian with his claim that he has no need of God’s forgiveness? Trump at one time claimed to be pro-choice, even supporting partial-birth abortion, but says he has “evolved” and is now pro-life.[4] Considering his past and his current “Christian” condition should make one wonder if his “evolution” results from a change in environment – businessman to politician – and his need to pander for the evangelical vote.

I do not trust Donald Trump. Trump is a chronic narcissist, probably worse than the current White House resident. Notice how he strikes back whenever he perceives a personal attack. A “personal attack” can be any criticism of Trump’s past because they expose his character flaws. Trump doesn’t like that. In response, instead of defending his actions (because he can’t) he resorts to ad homonym attacks – Cruz is a liar, Cruz is nasty, nobody likes him; Rubio repeats himself; he sweats, he has big ears, etc. He, being the older and supposedly more mature of the top three contenders, behaves more like an immature adolescent than a serious, mature contender for the presidency of the United States. Why would honorable, high-profile, Christian, evangelical leaders, like Robert Jeffress and Jerry Falwell, Jr. endorse such a man for President of the United States!

The Trump sounds! He is all mouth and no substance. He is a self-centered narcissist whose only interest is in winning the best deal for Trump, and he will say anything and do anything to gain his prize. He does not care about the country; he is only interested in himself. Listen carefully when the Trump sounds. Everything he promises, “he” will accomplish. “His” money purchases favors on both sides of the political fence. The “deal,” not the “principle,” is what matters to Trump, which means he will do whatever it takes to win the deal. A man like that cannot be trusted.

Jeffress, Falwell and many other evangelicals got snookered! Perhaps they should have done their homework and read what Max Lucado had to say about having decency in the White House,[5] or how Russell Moore compares Donald Trump to the golden calf.[6]

In the 2012 Republican Convention, Clint Eastwood compared Barack Obama to an empty chair. The only difference between Trump and Obama is that Trump is all white. Two empty suits – one is a Democrat, the other is a Democrat disguised as a Republican (a wolf in sheep’s clothing).

Last week I had a dream that Trump won the 2016 Presidential Election. When I awoke, I sensed God telling me that our nation was getting what we deserved – the Trump sounds.

Notes:


 

[1]  See http://www.star-telegram.com/news/article62778752.html

[2]  See https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/post-politics/wp/2016/01/26/evangelical-leader-jerry-falwell-jr-endorses-trump/

[3]  See http://townhall.com/columnists/johnhawkins/2016/02/27/40-reasons-not-to-vote-for-donald-trump-n2125585

[4]  See http://www.ontheissues.org/2016/Donald_Trump_Abortion.htm

[5]  See https://maxlucado.com/decency-for-president/

[6]  See http://www.christiantoday.com/article/russell.moore.compares.donald.trump.to.the.golden.calf.in.the.bible.that.israelites.wrongly.worshipped/77021.htm

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South Carolina Sends a Message of Tough Love, Part 2

Ted-Cruz-Neveda

“Numbers are constants while opinions are variables.”

Source: South Carolina Sends a Message of Tough Love, Part 2

I will be writing on this in my next post, but if you read this, you will know where I am going.

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Picking A President

Republican-Presidential-Candidates-2016

For the leaders of this people cause them to err; and they that are led of them are destroyed.  (Isaiah 9:16)

I don’t often focus on politics on this blog; politics is not my main objective, but sometimes I just need to get things off my chest. I have no national platform from which to speak. I’ve written no books, or starred on stage or film. I never held public office of any kind or even campaigned for anyone. I am not a well-known preacher of national renown, and the FOX News Channel has never asked me for my two cents worth. But I do have an opinion on the upcoming presidential race for anyone who cares to listen.

To begin, I will not waste time in addressing the godless, socialist Democrat party. Robbing the rich to give to the poor makes a good bedtime story, but it does not work in real life. As Margaret Thatcher famously said, “The problem with socialism is that you eventually run out of other people’s money.” If one is observant, one will note how those pleading the cause of the poor tend to keep their own money to themselves, and their will for the masses does not apply to themselves. As the barnyard animals of Animal Farm said of the pigs in charge, “Some animals are more equal than others.” Democrats also fail to see that killing a baby in the womb is murder, not a woman’s right to choose. So, for this discussion, forget the Democrats!

Republicans fare slightly better in that their rhetoric sounds conservative, but their actions fall woefully short of their talk. For example, they claim to be “Pro-Life” but continue to fund Planned Parenthood.

It is 2016 and once again the time has come to elect a new President of the United States (POTUS). The Republican field of candidates includes a long list of POTUS wannabes, any one of which would be an enormous improvement over the man currently holding the office. But rather than discussing each candidate, I want to focus my attention on the front runners and particularly the front runner, Donald Trump. I also want to approach this from an “evangelical” perspective.

The first appointed Chief Justice of the Supreme Court, John Jay, once said, “Providence [i.e. God] has given to our people the choice of their rulers, and it is the duty, as well as the privilege and interest of our Christian nation to select and prefer Christians for their rulers” (emphasis mine).[1] While the Constitution of the United States guarantees that “no religious test” shall be given for holding a public office, it does not and cannot require individual citizens from applying such a test. Therefore, in accordance with Justice John Jay’s opinion, it becomes incumbent on Christians, evangelicals, to prefer Christians for public office, especially for the office of POTUS. Critics of this perspective will note that we are not electing a pastor, but a president, yet many of the same qualifications should apply. Consider the qualifications for pastor (bishop) given in 2 Timothy 3:1-7 listed here in brief:

  • Blameless, i.e. “not arrested” or “inculpable”
  • Husband of one wife – if a man cannot be faithful to his marital vows, how can we expect him to be faithful to his oath of office?
  • vigilant – circumspect, that is, “watchful, discreet; cautious; prudent”
  • sober – of sound mind; self-controlled
  • Of good behavior – orderly; decorous (characterized by dignified propriety in conduct, manners, appearance, character, etc.)
  • Hospitable – fond of guests. Presidents must entertain foreign dignitaries and constituents
  • apt to teach – this has a broad range of applications
  • not given to wine – not a substance abuser
  • no “striker” – quarrelsome; belligerent; combative
  • not greedy of filthy lucre – the kind of person that can be bought
  • not covetous – seeking personal gain
  • not a novice – no experience
  • must have a good report – i.e. a good reputation

Surely the list above is fitting for anyone aspiring for any position of leadership. Considering the list above, apply that to the top three candidates, Donald Trump, Ted Cruz, and (arguably) Marco Rubio.

Several high-profile evangelical leaders have come out in support of Donald Trump, and it makes me wonder how closely they have evaluated this candidate. Superficially, he seems an unlikely contender for the post. First of all, besides being an immensely successful businessman, he is primarily an entertainer. As an entertainer, he knows how to put on “a show.” As a good entertainer, he knows his audience, he knows what his audience wants to see and hear, and he plays it out for them. As a businessman, he boasts in his ability to “make deals,” and how he is able to get what he wants. In other words, he is a great manipulator; we already have one of those in the Oval Office. Do we really want another with the only exception being that this one comes stamped with an “R” instead of a “D”? Personally, I don’t trust this man, but in all fairness, his record should be scrutinized.

From CNN Politics, “3 questions evangelicals should ask about Donald Trump:” (1) What is known about Trump’s personal life and morality? (2) Where does Trump stand on moral and social policy issues of concern to Christians and to which the Bible speaks to clearly? (3) Are the love of money and pride legitimate issues to weigh when considering support for a presidential candidate? Read the article for the details, but in essence, Trump is not the man evangelicals should aspire to put in the White House.

Consider the first question. Trump has been married three different times to three different women and his divorces were “unbiblical.” His speech betrays questionable moral standards (Matthew 12:34; 15:11, 18). Trump does not feel the need to ask God’s forgiveness (Romans 3:23; 1 John 1:10; 2:4), which should immediately raise a red flag with evangelicals. Considering the second question, Trump claimed to be “pro-choice” at one time. He also favors “gay rights” and same-sex marriage. On the third question, his love of money is obvious as is his pride. One positive aspect of his money lies in his ability to fund his own campaign which presumably frees him from special interests. However, one special interest that supersedes all others is his own. Note how he boasts of the free airtime the media gives him and the personal offence he takes when not “treated nice.” Carefully examining Donald Trump’s history exposes a man who does what is expedient to achieve his goals. He is “A double minded man [that] is unstable in all his ways” (James 1:8).

Marco Rubio seems conservative enough, and in many ways makes for a fine conservative candidate that evangelicals should like. He seems to have very strong moral principles. He has expressed a personal relationship with Christ – an evangelical concept – even though he is a committed Roman Catholic. I have heard (but not confirmed) that he has been attending Southern Baptist services, so it is difficult to discern if his proclamation is genuine or simply meant to gain evangelical favor. (Please forgive my skepticism.) Rubio’s major “chink” is his association with the “Gang of Eight” and their legislation in favor of amnesty for illegal aliens. Rubio consistently affirms that he rejects amnesty of illegal aliens, and his defenders attribute his questionable association with inexperience and being “steamrolled” by the “old bulls” of the Republican Party. I can see that happening, but it also shows inconsistency.

So, unless proven wrong, I wholeheartedly support Ted Cruz[2] in his bid for the presidency. Cruz is the “real deal.”[3] Ted Cruz, although he may not make an issue of it, is a genuine, born-again, Christian.[4] He accepted Christ as his personal Savior at the age of eight and has lived his life in accordance with his commitment to Christ. Cruz has been a staunch defender of the Constitution throughout his career. Trump accuses Cruz of being “mean and nasty,” and that no one likes him. Trump’s exaggeration aside, the establishment Republicans dislike Senator Cruz because he does not make deals, and he fights against his own party to uphold conservative principles going so far as calling Mitch McConnell a liar from the Senate floor[5] for lying about a deal cut on TPA. Truth can sometimes be a nasty thing, and voicing truth to some can seem “mean” and offensive, but Ted Cruz stands for truth even when it costs him popularity. Ted Cruz is involved in politics, but he is not a politian; he is a true statesman. Is that not what we want in a POTUS?

Earlier in this post I listed the requirements for bishop from First Timothy. Review these again and see if Ted Cruz does not fill the bill. Only one perfect man ever walked this earth, and Ted Cruz will tell you that man was Jesus Christ. Ted Cruz is far from perfect, but if you will examine his life, his character and his record, I believe you will find that he is probably the best choice to be our next POTUS. I have provided some resource links in the endnotes below. Please take time to examine them before making your final judgment.

Even if Donald Trump becomes our next Republican Presidential Nominee (heaven forbid), I will vote for him before letting another Democrat take the White House. It is vitally important that evangelical Christians be fully engaged in the democratic process. As John Jay said, “it is the duty, as well as the privilege and interest of our Christian nation to select and prefer Christians for their rulers.” Donald Trump says he is a Presbyterian. I don’t know what that means other than he identifies with one particular denomination. Ted Cruz does not say he is Southern Baptist, but his life and character reflect that he is a committed Christian. We need a true Christian POTUS. Whatever you decide, don’t decide to stay home because you don’t like the choices. We get the government we deserve.

Notes:


[1]  http://www.wnd.com/2015/05/americans-prefer-christians-for-their-rulers/

[2]  https://www.tedcruz.org/issues/

[3]  http://bwcentral.org/2016/01/the-real-ted-cruz/

[4]  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3hrms1ACMn0

[5]  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eE6HLbaAL0A

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