"A House Divided" was more than a title for Lincoln's speech---it defined his times.
It also defines our times.
The 2016 presidential election has further divided an already divided nation. The divide between conservatives and far Left progressives has been evident for a number of years---Obama has greatly deepened that divide.
But now each side of the division in our country is itself divided.
With Democrats fighting over whether a socialist or mere far Left progressive would best lead our country---
While conservatives and Republicans are divided over whether to vote for Trump, create a third political party to stop Trump and ensure a Hillary Clinton win, vote for Hillary in protest, or simply not vote---stay home---all in the name of the Lord.
The House is divided---What should Christian's do?
Lincoln, in his now famous speech on June 16, 1858, was appealing to Scripture, quoting Jesus from all 3 synoptic gospels---Matthew, Mark, and Luke---who taught, "A house divided against itself cannot stand."
More on God and the 2016 election in a moment.
But first I want to make you aware of one of the best, most informative, Christian faith based web sites I've seen.
31daily.com is kind of a day-at-a-glance, because everyday there is new information about Home, Home Decor, Personal Finance, Health, Gardening, Shopping, Cooking, ---even patriotic and inspirational themes.
And it's inspirational because the information is Christian faith based. Check it out. I think you will agree with me. I am now checking it every morning.
The 2016 presidential election reveals a "House Divided" against itself.
The Washington Post defines the effort to create a third party candidate to defeat Trump with this: "A band of exasperated Republicans---including 2012 presidential nominee Mitt Romney, a handful of veteran consultants and members of the conservative intelligentsia---is actively plotting to draft an independent presidential candidate who could keep Donald Trump from the White House."
The lengthy story mentions possible candidates John Kasich, Sen. Ben Sasse (R-Neb.), Tom Coburn (R-Okla.), even retired Marine Corps Gen James Mattis, retired Army Gen. Stanly McChrystal, and former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice. The "band of exasperated Republicans" have also asked Mark Cuban, the billionaire owner of the Dallas Mavericks basketball team and star on the television show "Shark Tank" to be their candidate.
All have said "no."
The Post says McChrystal wrote back to them and said, "I'm not entertaining any candidacy, but this is certainly a curious political campaign."
The Post concludes there is little to no chance they can make this happen at this point in time.
A good number of Christian leaders are advocating that Christians not vote in this election---a smaller, but no less vocal group of Christian leaders are actually calling for Christians to vote for Hillary (or Sanders) as a protest vote against Trump.
Jesus taught the ultimate outcome of a divided house---it will not stand.
He also taught, "From everyone who has been given much, much will be demanded; and from the one who has been entrusted with much, much more will be asked [or required]" (Luke 12:48).
He affirmed this Truth in the Parable of the Talents (Matt. 25:14-30).
America is exceptional. We have been blessed. We are the most free, prosperous nation in the history of the world.
Our house is now divided as to what should be done with that great blessing (talent).
In Luke 12, Jesus admonishes the unfaithful servant who mismanages the master's resources to satiate his own greed, ending with the principle that to whom much has been given, much is required.
God has given us, through our Founding Fathers, the gift of voting on our leadership---and voting on certain local and national policies.
I believe God requires us to vote as a matter of stewardship.
I also believe we would not fool God if we, under the pretense of "voting," cast our vote in a way that was a deliberate act of personal gratification, pure political manipulation, or some other misguided motivation.
Man looks on the outward appearance---God looks at the heart.
So what's a Christian to do?
Larry Fell wrote an article for the Christian Post awhile back titled, "God Trumps Them All." I have drawn some of his thoughts and coupled them with my own.
Scripture is very clear that God's people have not been called to be ignorant of the events of their times. If we are ignorant of the events of our times, we cannot be faithful in fulfilling God's instruction to pray for our leaders and our nation, much less the will of God in the course of human events.
Human history is filled with people and choices not unlike our times.
One example is how God worked His will vis a vis the desires of His people as recorded in I Samuel.
The Elders came to Samuel to ask for a King to rule them because Samuel's sons were corrupt. Sounds familiar.
Samuel prayed and God granted the request. Although God warned the people what would happen at the hands of a "King" ---mostly misery. But their request to be "like the nations around them" was granted.
Things started out well, but went downhill.
In the Northern Kingdom, Israel never had a truly God-fearing King, while the Southern Kingdom (Judah) managed a few.
From roughly 933 BC through 586 BC, a span of about 350 years, the Southern Kingdom had 8 Kings who generally followed God and generally did what was right in His sight.
Back to America. There is a parallel.
From the founding of this country through the mid 20th Century, God was at the forefront of our way of life. Not all were Christians or evangelicals, but there was, as Francis Shaeffer put it, "a Christian consensus."
Over the past half century, the morals of our leadership has continued to fail. To be sure, there have been "good" leaders in our country---but there have also been those who have taken America down morally.
If you look at the list--Kennedy, Johnson, Nixon, Ford, Carter, Reagan, Bush 1, Clinton, Bush 2, and Obama, you see a trajectory---a trend. Particularly if you look at each administration through the lens of the sanctity of life, marriage and family and human sexuality.
Bill Clinton, who was impeached, led the way to a new narrative on the evening news---"is oral sex real sex?"
And all the related stories we sat through during his years of philandering.
Barack Obama has traveled much further down the far Left progressive road by creating a national narrative that seeks to normalize and affirm sexual perversion and sexual confusion---challenging God in regards to the sanctity of life, marriage, family and even the final authority as to, "What is man?" "What is woman?"
Our first black president has deepened, not lessened the wedge between black and white. He has further divided us racially.
He has created a cultural environment that assaults the most fundamental Christian biblical beliefs, while creating an ideology that suggests Islam and Christianity are essentially the same, creating a false equality between Allah and Almighty God Himself.
This president's policies and beliefs have taken us down a path away from God's blessing and the prosperity and freedom America has known, while claiming to be a Christian.
To be sure, God is not standing by wondering what we might do next. Unlike Bernie Sanders' notion of God as someone removed from human events---if He even exists, God is deeply involved in the events of mankind.
Deism is ignorance.
Our Founders clearly understood the Truth of God's personal involvement in human affairs, and so must we, if we are to be blessed.
I believe deeply in the sovereignty of God. I also believe deeply in the free will given to us by our Creator and sovereign God.
Make no mistake, the next President of the United States will not be chosen apart from God allowing it to be so.
Our personal accountability to God is on the frontline of this great divide---and the great election of 2016.
The next president may be allowed and used by God to chastise a nation for their "forgetting God" and His principles.
Maybe the choice will bring us back to becoming a nation closer to the heart of God. Or a stepping stone in the path of these last days.
God may use the most unlikely character(s) to bring about His will and purpose.
In any case: "From everyone who has been given much, much will be demanded..."
God is not calling His people to bear the full weight of these perilous times---and the decision of 2016, nor is He calling us to be a "band of " exasperated Republicans."
But He is calling His people to be faithful. Stand firm. Trust Him. And that includes voting, and doing so with responsibility as you feel God is leading you, and He is not leading us to cast pretend votes.
If God's people will seek His will in a spirit of repentance and humility, I believe God's will, will be done on Earth as it is in Heaven.
Because God Trumps them all.
Be Informed. Be Discerning. Be Proactive. Be At Peace.