Thursday, June 09, 2016

Now That Hillary Has Made History

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Yesterday, the Washington Post---and most other mainstream media news sources---spoke in hushed, almost reverent words, describing how Hillary beat Bernie after her stinging defeat by Barack Obama in 2008.

However, more conservative news sources caricatured Hillary crawling across the finish line on hands and knees---perspiration dripping from her forehead.

In any case, she is the "presumptive" first presidential candidate of either major political party in the history of our country.

Now that Hillary has roared, what should Christians and conservatives do?

In hushed tones---as you would expect at a funeral or wedding, The Washington Post remembers that in 2008, Hillary declared that she had put 18 million cracks---the number of votes she received in the primary election---in the "highest, hardest glass ceiling."

They quote Hillary as saying in 2008, "Life is short, time is too precious and the stakes are too high to dwell on what might have been. We have to work together for what still can be."

This is a time when Republicans, Christians, and conservatives are now tasked with asking themselves the same question.

There are many voices---loud voices, attempting to direct traffic among us Republicans, Christians and conservatives.

First, let's look at what the "people," the voters have said.

The Republican Party started with 17 bonafide candidates for president. This was more candidates than any other major political party in history.

Trump won more states than any other candidate with 36.

Trump received 13,406,108 votes as of yesterday, surpassing the previous primary record by 1.4 million votes. And this was with 17 candidates in the beginning.

By comparison, in the 2000 primary, George W. Bush received 12,089,564 and in the 2004 primary, he received 7,853,863. Romney and McCain both received considerably less in their first primary elections.

It's safe to say that among those who voted Republican, Trump has strong support.

But let's forget what the masses are saying. Masses can be wrong.

Secondly, let's look at what Christian conservatives are saying.

Conservative radio host with Salem Broadcasting, Hugh Hewitt, says the Republican Party should change the rules ahead of the GOP National Convention so presumptive Republican nominee Donald Trump can be replaced.

He says, "It's like ignoring stage-four cancer. You can't do it, you gotta go attack it." He is telling America there needs to be a "personality transplant in Trump Tower."

He's not the only one who feels that way. There are many conservative and/or Christian leaders who share that view. And are expressing themselves publicly.

Television evangelist Frank Amedia, whom I do not know, is getting a lot of coverage in the Christian community---including from the largest Christian news website in the world Christian Post.

He says that he was told by God last year that Donald Trump would be the GOP presidential nominee and he believes God "raised up" the real estate mogul to help pave the way for the Second Coming.

Many of us who supported Ben Carson, Ted Cruz, Mike Huckabee or others because of their strong Christian faith---and we also thought they were qualified---now have to come to grips with what we should do.

The Christian Post reported in April that "Evangelical leader Michael Cromartie asserted Tuesday that it is 'inexcusable' that prominent evangelical leaders like mega church pastor Robert Jeffress and Liberty University President Jerry Falwell Jr. have thrown the 'new branding' of the Christian Right' out the window by supporting Donald Trump for president."

Michael Cromartie is vice president of the Ethics and Public Policy Center and director of its Evangelicals in Civic Life and Faith Angle Forum programs.

Cromartie says, "Leaders like Jim Daily, Tim Keller and Rick Warren have replaced leaders like James Dobson, D. James Kennedy, and Jerry Falwell Sr." He sees that as progress.

This transition, he says, has helped create a new "branding" for conservative Christians in America. "But this progress," he says, "has been undone because prominent evangelicals like Jeffress, Falwell and former 2016 presidential candidate Mike Huckabee have either endorsed Trump or are staunchly defending the real estate mogul."

Cromartie says when Falwell Jr, and Pastor Robert Jeffress support Trump they are selling their soul every week on Fox News encouraging the candidacy of Trump.

He also takes issue with Mike Huckabee, saying, "When somebody is smart and has a seminary degree and has been a politician all his life like Mike Huckabee and doesn't endorse [Huckabee has now endorsed him] Donald Trump but does everything but endorse Donald Trump, then we are moving around in an insane world. This is inexcusable."

Cromartie refers to an article by Matt Walsh in which Walsh calls out these and other Christian conservatives including Sarah Palin, Chris Christie, Ben Carson, Fox News, Sean Hannity and others as "Cowardly Conservative Leaders Who Betrayed Us For Trump."

Cromartie says, "We are going to remember you, Laura Ingraham. We are going to remember you, Ann Coulter. We are going to remember you, Sean Hannity. All of you people that elevated this man---shame on you. Shame on you Chris Christie. Shame on you Newt Gingrich and shame on you Mike Huckabee,"

So it's clear that some in the Christian/ conservative community are for Trump---and some are against Trump.

The most important voice is God's voice. Here are some things to consider:

  • Human government is God's idea and God's creation (Romans 13 ). The notion that Christians should not be involved in politics is a deception.
  • God has defined the "purpose" of government. It is to protect and punish.
  • It is God's will that government protect the rights of citizens.  In America, those rights are defined as having been given by God, and to be protected by government. Our Declaration of Independence calls them "inalienable rights" which include the Right to Life, which includes the unborn, the Right to Liberty which includes freedoms of speech, religion, work and ownership of property. The Pursuit of Happiness includes the expectation of government (military) protecting citizens, working to establish peace and defend us from those who seek to violate our God-given rights, and/or to destroy us.
  • It is God's will that government punish wrong doers. This is clearly stated in at least 2 texts. Romans 13: 3,4 and I Peter 2: 13-14. Punishment has 2 functions. Vengeance (Romans 12:19) and Deterrent to potential wrong doers. Summed up, these 2 purposes---to protect and to punish--- is called Justice.
  • Look at both candidates in light of whose views are closest to these biblical truths.
  • And finally. It is a tragedy when neither candidate meets our biblical ideal. This is when we---you, and me, must obey James 1:5, "If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all liberally and without reproach, and it will be given to him."

Verses 6,7,8 say we must ask in faith, expecting God to give us wisdom, otherwise, we will be double-minded, unstable---like a wave of the sea, driven and tossed by the wind.

There is a lot of political wind regarding this presidential election.

Be Faithful. Be Informed. Be Vigilant. Be Prayerful. Be at Peace.