The Challenge Before Us

[I]f we and our posterity reject religious instruction and authority, violate the rules of eternal justice, trifle with the injunctions of morality, and recklessly destroy the political constitution, which holds us together, no man can tell, how sudden a catastrophe may overwhelm us, that shall bury all our glory in profound obscurity.
Daniel Webster, February 23, 1852, speaking before the New York Historical Society—

Daniel Webster

The results of the 2016 election are instructive for Christians on many levels. While believers have much for which to be thankful, some of the ballot initiatives sound alarm bells for Christians, the culture, and the nation at large.

By 65 percent to 35 percent, Colorado voters passed a law allowing doctors to prescribe a life-ending drug to a terminally-ill patient who requests it. Melissa Ortiz, a resident of Washington, DC, which also recently passed a similar law, is alarmed. She writes, “Joining five other states that have legalized this practice, the tragic choice by Colorado voters reflects how our nation is quick to devalue life and deny that suffering has meaning.” Ortiz and others are rightly concerned that the “right to die” will in many cases become pressure to die: In states that allow a doctor to prescribe end-of-life drugs to a terminally-ill patient’s request, “a growing number of sick people are being denied medical treatment coverage and offered assisted suicide instead.”


In states that permit physician-assisted suicide, the “right to die” often is becoming the pressure to die.


Here’s another alarm bell. A recent survey found that 60 percent of Christians agreed that “physicians should be allowed to assist terminally ill patients in ending their life.” Moreover, 38 percent of evangelicals agreed, either somewhat or strongly, with this idea: “When a person is facing a painful terminal disease, it is morally acceptable to ask for a physician’s aid in taking his or her own life.”

Assisted-suicide wasn’t the only issue before voters. In at least 3—and probably in 4—out of 5 states, they approved laws permitting the use of marijuana for recreational purposes. In California, Massachusetts, and Nevada, the votes weren’t even close. Recreational marijuana also likely passed in Maine. Only in Arizona was it narrowly defeated, although Arizona permits the use of marijuana for medical purposes. Voters in Arkansas, Florida, Montana, and North Dakota approved laws allowing for medical marijuana use. Thus, now more than half of the states have laws permitting marijuana usage in some form. Many sound, practical reasons exist for opposing the legalization of pot for fun—and many even exist for opposing medical marijuana as well (also go here and here).

What should Christians believe about this issue? The Family Research Council’s Rob Schwarzwalder addresses this question clearly and concisely in this article. He reminds us of the physical dangers the drug poses, that as believers we are stewards of our bodies, that we have an obligation to obey the law (marijuana use still is illegal at the federal level), and that substance abuse has ties to the occult. Moreover, contends Schwarzwalder, the Christian is to exercise self-control in the power of the Holy Spirit. Thus, “substance abuse, including the use of marijuana as a vehicle for recreation, offers a stark contrast to submission to the King of kings.”

What do Christians believe about marijuana usage? A survey done in 2013 found that among 18-29 year olds who call themselves Christians, 45 percent admitted to having used marijuana, and 50 percent either “strongly favored” or “favored” legalizing the substance. Among all age groups of Christians, 39 percent favored legalization and 54 percent opposed it.

In discussing the results of these ballot initiatives, WallBuilders Live! co-host David Barton lamented the place where the culture—and Christians—have arrived. Physician-assisted suicide and marijuana usage—especially recreational marijuana—could not have been approved without a widespread disregard for moral and ethical standards of right and wrong. The culture, and Christians as well, have abandoned a belief in absolute truth. Read and hear David Barton’s comments on this page.

This is not to say every question has a simple, straightforward, up or down answer from a biblical perspective. Some issues are more complicated than others; some leave room for debate among sincere Christians. Discussion among Christians over medical marijuana use is understandable, for example; but let’s not be naïve. Legalization of medical marijuana often is a gateway to legalization of recreational pot—and as we already have said, use of the substance is against federal law.

Abusing one’s body with drugs and taking one’s own life, however, are crystal clear issues, and Barton is right. Acceptance of these unethical and unbiblical ideas has occurred because the foundational concept has eroded that absolute truth exists and applies to everyone, everywhere, in all circumstances. Sadly, the American people, including Christians, no longer believe in right and wrong.

Author and Christian speaker Josh McDowell has studied this trend. He cites surveys to back up his contention that even Christians are abandoning the idea that truth is objective and exists apart from themselves.

  • More than 25 years ago, 51 percent of evangelical Christians rejected a belief in absolutes.
  • In 1994, the percentage rose to 62 percent, and
  • in 1999, to 78 percent.
  • In 2011 the percentage of evangelical Christians not believing in absolute truth reached a staggering 91 percent!

Can anyone cite any evidence that the number has improved since 2011? David Barton is right. Ballot initiatives don’t offer any encouragement!

Yet another poll cited by McDowell found that just six percent of American teens believe in the existence of truth apart from themselves. Also, there’s just a 5 percent difference between Christian and non-Christians on this issue.

Conservatism, contends David Barton, is being redefined by the cultural tide. Whereas being a conservative used to automatically mean, among other things, upholding traditional moral and ethical standards, the connection between these values and conservatism is being severed. Barton rightly points out that “we know from the Declaration of Independence that limited government starts with your view of God. If you don’t have a God-view and a moral view of government, you will not end up with limited government. So that’s the one thing that I think we have to work on in coming years.”

Indeed, without abandoning its primary responsibility of spreading the gospel, the church must help its own members and the culture understand that absolute truth not only exists, but will be an ally if we cooperate with it.

Christians who don’t believe in absolutes have missed a core teaching of the Bible and the Christian faith. Americans who don’t believe in them have missed a central tenet of the human experience and the American experiment.

The need is critical. Much more needs to be said about it, so we’ll explore it in greater depth in future posts.

 

Copyright © 2016 by B. Nathaniel Sullivan. All rights reserved.

Five Takeaways from the 2016 Presidential Election

A century and two score years ago, our forefathers brought forth on this continent a new nation, conceived in liberty, and dedicated to the propositions that all people are created equal, and that they are endowed by their Creator—not government—with certain unalienable rights, that among these are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. Now we are engaged in a great civil war, testing whether that nation, or any nation so conceived and so dedicated, can long endure. We who are here and committed to the ideals of our Founders must be dedicated to the task remaining before us. We must highly resolve that this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom—and that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth.
—adapted from Abraham Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address, November 19, 1863—

abraham_lincoln_o-55_1861-crop

With malice toward none; with charity for all—
—Abraham Lincoln in his Second Inaugural Address on March 4, 1865

 

As the above adaptation from President Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address indicates, I really do believe we are engaged in a great civil war for the soul of America (go here, here, and here). If we as people of faith and as American patriots don’t realize this, we never will win. At the same time, my perspective as an evangelical Christian compels me to strive constantly to speak out and write “with malice toward none [and] with charity for all.” This post is no exception.

The 2016 presidential election offers many lessons. Here I’d like to highlight five important takeaways.

First, at least half of the American people do not want the nation they live in to be governed according to “progressive” principles and ideas. The outcome of the election proves this. People have been hungry for a leader who will speak forthrightly and demonstrate a willingness to genuinely oppose the leftist agenda. In the past, they’ve elected Republicans who talked about opposing it when they campaigned but surrendered after they were elected. The people are fed up with this approach.

Throughout the 2016 presidential campaign, conventional wisdom failed to see this. We were constantly offered rhetoric and propaganda stating that racism and other forms of hatred motivate Trump supporters. Here’s an example from an article titled “Trump and His Angry White Base Want Revenge Against America.”

The kind of people who love Donald Trump most are angry they are not the center of, or control, all American life and culture; it drives the current “make America great again” movement that began when Americans elected an African American man as President. These “so-called Americans” see the nation with a Black President and more diverse population as an abomination to “their white Christian” America and it drives their heartfelt embrace of Trump’s mantra that “it’s payback time.”

Trump’s supporters in particular, and the conservative movement in general, include the kind of people who believe they have been assaulted by the Civil Rights movement, feminists, minorities, women’s movement, and the LGBT community they are convinced robbed them of “their America.” They also firmly believe the rest of the population owes them due deference for being the only “real Americans” instead of being mocked for what they really are; bible-thumping racist knuckle-draggers stuck in pre-Civil War America.

Not so fast! While there is truth to the notion that many of Trump’s supporters believe that religion, morality, and liberty are inseparable and that we must return to the morality and ethics that were upheld and enshrined in our nation’s founding, it is not true that we are a bunch of white, bigoted hatemongers and racists who believe we are superior to everyone else. On the whole, America is not a racist country. In fact, despite many obvious differences, Trump supporters have a host of shared concerns—and they’re all legitimate.

Donald Trump’s supporters are a diverse coalition that includes women, blacks, Latinos, and Asians. Even some Muslims supported Trump.

One African American posted this on this page on Yahoo News:

I am a black American male and I will tell you; a lot of black Americans were not sold on Clinton. She pandered for our vote, but was too obvious about what she was doing. A lot of pundits would be surprised about the fact that black Americans are not quite liberal. If you look at carefully, especially amongst middle class and upper class black areas, we are more conservative than liberal. Look at Savannah, GA. It is a mostly black and heavily Democractic city, yet have elected a white Republican mayor. The pundits and political think tank are going to say the black Americans did not come out to vote. But we did; we just did not vote for Clinton.

In the end, I believe these results are because one issue: and that is Affordable Health Care Act (AHC, aka ObamaCare). It was a bad piece of legislation. Over the last two years, every and Novemeber we have seen our health insurance premiums sky rocket; drug costs are out of control; and many people, while signed on the ObamaCare market place, cannot find an insurance carrier. In an around-a-bout way the law also restricts the number of hours a person can work. (Any person working more than 32 hours a week must be provided with coverage). So what has happen is while people are finding jobs, most of them are finding parts jobs or having to work two jobs and still have no coverage.

On the same page, Giovanni wrote,

I’m an Arab American and I wasn’t alone in supporting Trump as the media is trying to portray it. Look at Michigan, the biggest Arab community voted overwhelmingly for Trump. Same thing in Nashville, where you have the second largest Arab Americans, again overwhelmingly for Trump. What’s really funny is that when people here in San Francisco know that I voted for Trump, they assume I’m white even though I look very middle eastern. That is because the media told them that no minorities voted for Trump… how can they, eh?

Latinos don’t fit into the image the left offers of them, either.

On his radio show on Wednesday, November 9, Rush Limbaugh expressed it well. He declared that the left’s

policies, their agenda was told to take a hike last night by all kinds of people.  The average black construction worker in Michigan, the legal Mexican mechanic in Texas, has a lot more in common with the average white American laborer than, say, some elitist Obama family of Martha’s Vineyard vacationers.  This was a coalition of all colors and stripes and backgrounds that came together last night to send this policy regime packing!


The average black construction worker in Michigan, the legal Mexican mechanic in Texas, has a lot more in common with the average white American laborer than, say, some elitist Obama family of Martha’s Vineyard vacationers. 
Rush Limbaugh


Of course, none of these facts negates the egregious nature of any racist act taking place since the election. A CNS News article cites some of these, but it also points out that incidents of hatred aren’t exclusively dressed up as pro-Trump; many are anti-Trump, as well.

Second, progressives will continue to use racist and sexist tactics to divide America, grow government, and increase its own power. For more than a century, Democrats have done this. We saw this on display both during the campaign and after the election, and we can expect it to continue. On election night, for example, Van Jones called Donald Trump’s victory a whitelash. He apparently believes there is widespread racism against blacks in America, but even that conviction, I believe, is evidence of Democrats’ success in dividing America by class and race. Rush Limbaugh’s response to Mr. Jones is worth reading. In addition, watch this presentation to black voters by Rev. William Owens, a black pastor and head of the Coalition of African-American Pastors (also go here and here).

Again, Donald Trump’s victory wasn’t about race, but policy! Erick Erickson, a Never-Trumper, was amazed at Trump’s support. As he regrouped and sought to make sense of the election, he, wrote,

Democrats overplayed their hand on cultural issues. They had a Supreme Court impose gay marriage on the country and then tried to force men into women’s bathrooms. On top of that, they ruined healthcare for many Americans and drove up premiums.…I have never seen anything like this election. The disdain for Hillary Clinton is obvious, but the real struggles and hurt of many voters went unregistered.

The results of the election leave these realities in the open for anyone willing to see.

Third, the leftist media will continue to abandon its job of reporting the truth, and they will work to advance a “progressive” agenda. Nothing could stand more contrary to the ideal of journalistic integrity. Edward R. Murrow, a reporter and anchor for CBS News during and after World War 2, once said, “To be persuasive we must be believable; to be believable we must be credible; credible we must be truthful.”

Being truthful, however, doesn’t seem to even have been on the list of goals for many reporters covering the election this year. Here’s a sterling example.

These clips also showcase the agenda-driven mentality of many broadcast journalists, as well as their willingness to throw all objectivity out the window to get Hillary Clinton elected president. Of course, biases are reflected by in numerous ways, including in what is covered and for how long, in how opposing views are treated, and in what items are given little or no attention at all.

When it became apparent that Trump would win, media personnel went ballistic. Reflecting on the defeat, in a rare moment of journalistic introspection, Will Rahn of CBS News wrote,

We diagnose them as racists in the way Dark Age clerics confused medical problems with demonic possession. Journalists, at our worst, see ourselves as a priestly caste. We believe we not only have access to the indisputable facts, but also a greater truth, a system of beliefs divined from an advanced understanding of justice.

You’d think that Trump’s victory—the one we all discounted too far in advance – would lead to a certain newfound humility in the political press. But of course that’s not how it works. To us, speaking broadly, our diagnosis was still basically correct. The demons were just stronger than we realized.…

We have to fix this, and the broken reasoning behind it. There’s a fleeting fun to gang-ups and groupthink. But it’s not worth what we are losing in the process.

The Media Research Center, a media watchdog group, took note of Rahn’s article. As we indicated, reflections of this type are all too rare; so unfortunately, it is unlikely anything will change. Viewers already are becoming wiser and more discerning. Distrust has hit an all-time high.

mrcbuilding

Media Research Center Headquarters Building, Reston, Virginia

Fourth, prayer works, and we need to pray for our country now more than ever. Many concerned citizens prayed for this election. Dinesh D’Souza, executive producer of the films Obama’s America and Hillary’s America, said, “The country dodged the bullet on Tuesday in a way that I don’t even think most Americans realize.”

David Kupelian, author of The Marketing of Evil, How Evil Works, and The Snapping of the American Mind, agrees. The following statements are excerpted from an article titled “Why Hillary is too evil for voters to comprehend.”

Could it be, Kupelian wondered aloud, that Bill and Hillary Clinton are so sociopathic that the average American can’t even comprehend their dark motivations, since they don’t harbor such impulses or feelings within themselves?

“I don’t think people get criminality,” said Kupelian….Most voters…size up candidates according to their politics and worldview. “We are so used to thinking about liberal/conservative, big government/small government, you’re against gay rights/you’re for gay rights or gay marriage, and so forth. We get that—and then we vote accordingly.”

But truly sociopathic or criminal thinking is foreign and opaque to the average voter’s thinking, he said.


The Clintons are so dark—they are in the grip of such dark forces and the kinds of thoughts and feelings that most people don’t even have at their darkest times, their most angry times—that we give them a pass because we can’t—we don’t see it inside ourselves, so we can’t project it out when we see it in them,” the author [David Kupelian] explained. “So…we believe the crap: ‘Oh, well, she’s always been for women and children.’ It’s unbelievable.”
—article: “Why Hillary is too evil for voters to comprehend” —


The point we’re making here is that, given the depth of Clintons’ corruption, it wasn’t just a great campaign on Donald Trump’s part that spared America a Hillary Clinton presidency and all its negative results—it was God! Just ask David Kubal, the President and CEO of Intercessors for America. In a post-election article titled “Did God Answer Our Election Prayers?” Kubal listed four specific requests Christians repeatedly made in their prayers in the months prior to the election and how God answered each one. One of these was that the media would report the truth and that voters would respond to it. I would add this to Mr. Kubal’s analysis of that element. While, as we have noted, the media did a dismal job of telling the truth, it is apparent that not enough viewers were deceived to sway the election Hillary Clinton’s way.

Here are some excerpts from Mr. Kubal’s conclusion.

  • [W]e we have witnessed a mighty move of God! No one would have predicted that Clinton would win the popular vote and Trump the electoral vote. This is simply unbelievable! Isn’t it just like God to surprise us in a way that we could not foresee? There have been many prophetic words in the prayer community about Trump winning, Trump being a “Cyrus,” etc., but who saw the end results this way?
  • I can tell you that more unified prayer went into this election than any in our nation’s history. I can say this simply because of the use of technology to mobilize prayer. Social media, webcasts, conference calls, and prayer resources were all used in great measure to bring people together to pray the promises of Scripture. There have been nationwide fasts and prayer desperately calling out for God’s hand to move in America across many prayer networks. It is incredible to join God in shaping history through prayer and fasting!
  • Finally, now is the important time to continue to pray.

Franklin Graham also would affirm that prayer made a difference in the election. In the months leading up to November 8, he held prayer rallies at all 50 state capitals. The first occurred on Tuesday, January 5 in Des Moines, Iowa, and the last on Thursday, October 13, in Raleigh, North Carolina. Here is a list of the dates for all the rallies in the Decision America Tour. You may remember my reporting on the rally in Nashville on Monday, May 2, just 3 days prior to the 2016 National Day of Prayer.

about-tour

At the rallies Graham encouraged concerned citizens to sign this pledge. As of November 12, 2016, 117,423 had done so!

You’ll note that the Decision America Tour Pledge doesn’t just encourage prayer—but action. This is the fifth takeaway from the 2016 presidential election: Become informed. Vote. Inform others. Stay engaged.

In 1996, Billy Graham said,

After World War II…we had the opportunity to rule the world.…Something has happened since those days and there is much about America that is no longer good…the list is almost endless.…We have confused liberty with license—and we are paying the awful price. We are a society poised on the brink of self-destruction.


Bad politicians are elected by good people who don’t vote.
—Billy Graham—


Graham also has declared, “Bad politicians are elected by good people who don’t vote.” Fortunately, in this election, evangelical Christians and other people concerned about values did vote. In fact, SAGE (Spiritually Active Government Engaged) conservatives came out and supported Trump in greater numbers than they have any president since Ronald Reagan. Donald Trump the support of 94 percent of this group.

religious-freedomA great many factors came together to draw this level of support, including the Republican Platform; Trump’s strong pro-life stand, especially during the third presidential debate; his stand for religious liberty; and his commitment to appoint conservative justices to the Supreme Court. Of course, all of this bodes well for the issues committed Christians care about most—including life, religious liberty, and marriage. By the way, even though same-sex marriage has been legal in every state in the United States for a year and a half, the percentage who say marriage still should be defined as a union between one man and one woman remains virtually unchanged—at 53 percent. Marriage, too, may well have been a concern that helped pull off Trump’s victory.

Christian pollster George Barna declared, “Mr. Trump did not win because of superior political strategy or performance. God produced a miracle in response to the prayers and fasting of His people.…The challenge is now for the body of Christ to be agents of reconciliation and unity, and to now lead the country toward policies and behaviors that will honor God and His life principles.” Tony Perkins agrees. He put it this way.

If the media had questions about the influence of the Religious Right, they were answered early Wednesday morning by the greatest coalescence around a Republican nominee in two decades. It turns out the press had about as much success writing the obituary of the evangelical movement as it had predicting this election.

Anyone who traveled the country these last few months saw how values voters were drawn to Donald Trump, not because of shared values, but because of shared concerns over the damage a Clinton Supreme Court would do to our freedoms. Recognizing that national security hung in the balance, they saw this as an opportunity, after eight years of President Obama’s repressive policies, to make freedom mean something again.

At the same time, Perkins also understands, and he stressed, that the 2016

election is just the starting gun. Donald Trump may open the door to America’s solutions, but he was never meant to be the solution. The true transformation of a society starts in the hearts and minds of men. And under an administration with no interest in continuing the eight-year war on the First Amendment, we may finally see what the Church is capable of.

Thus, the election has called the church to action. Individual Christians and the church must never abandon or minimize their primary call to bring the world to Christ. Yet, flowing from this primary responsibility are a host of other vital duties, including upholding God’s truth and righteousness.

Are you ready? We must promote racial unity, pray, and stay informed, active, and engaged! Indeed, it will be extremely exciting to be a part of a movement against which the gates of hell will not be able to prevail.

 

Copyright © 2016 by B. Nathaniel Sullivan. All Rights Reserved.

for further reading: from the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association website, After the Election: 5 Biblical Reminders

Unless otherwise indicated, Scripture has been taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

 

 

 

 

Look Who’s Waging the Real War on Women!

When pro-life advocates claim that elective abortion unjustly takes the life of a defenseless human being, they are not saying they dislike abortion. They are saying it’s objectively wrong, regardless of how one feels about it.

If moral truths do not exist as a foundation for law, then law itself becomes merely a system of raw political power accountable to no one.

klusendorf-photo

Scott Klusendorf, President of the Life Training Institute and author of The Case for Life: Equipping Christians to Engage the Culture

In this election, the issue of abortion is of paramount importance to everyone concerned about preserving innocent life. Watch this exchange in the third presidential debate, which took place this past Wednesday, October 19.

Hillary Clinton Is Wrong

Against this backdrop, we need to make several important points. First, we should note that doctors and research testify that partial-birth abortion never is medically necessary. Christy Lee Parker, a nurse with years of experience in the delivery room, affirms that

late-term abortions are sometimes referred to as post-viability abortions. That’s important because viability means the fetus is able to live outside the womb. So, at any time after 24 weeks gestation, which is considered the “point of viability,” a baby can be delivered to save the mother while also allowing the child a chance to live. During a late-term abortion, the child is still delivered, only it’s delivered dead rather than alive after the infant has been killed.

Second, partial birth-abortion itself is dangerous to the mother. Parker also declares,

Although the pregnancy is ended with the death of the fetus, the baby must still be delivered. In fact, in partial-birth abortions, the baby is delivered breech, which is difficult, painful, and puts the mother’s life at risk. So, when you hear that liberal talking point, where they like to ask, “What if the mother finds out that she could die during childbirth?” it’s important to know that a post-viability abortion isn’t going to prevent birth. In fact, birth is in the name—partial birth abortion. Only a c-section would prevent a vaginal birth, and the child doesn’t have to die for that.

Third, Donald Trump was absolutely right to say that “Hillary is saying in the ninth month you can take the baby and rip the baby out of the womb of the mother just prior to the birth of the baby.” This is exactly what partial-birth abortion does.

Finally, we should not miss the fact that Hillary Clinton is proud to defend Planned Parenthood (PP). According to Wikipedia,

PPFA [Planned Parenthood Federation of America] is the largest single provider of reproductive health services, including abortion, in the United States. In their 2014 Annual Report, PPFA reported seeing over 2.5 million patients in over 4 million clinical visits and performing a total of nearly 9.5 million discrete services including 324,000 abortions. The organization has a combined annual revenue of US$1.3 billion [1.3 billion US dollars], including roughly US$530 million in government funding such as Medicaid reimbursements.

Abortion Providers Exploit Women

We have discussed Planned Parenthood’s appalling and illegal activities in earlier posts, as well as the urgent need to defund this organization. Abortion providers, including PP, claim to be helpful to women. They aren’t. They exploit them.

Many features of abortion on demand make it a practice that should be regulated and ultimately stopped. In this brief article I want to highlight just one aspect of abortion that everyone should oppose—especially pro-choice advocates who claim to be defending women.

Abortion Kills Women

Abortion on demand—especially late term abortion—increases the likelihood of sex-selection abortions. Such an abortion occurs when a baby’s sex is the one not desired by the mother or other adults involved in the situation. Sex-selection abortions create a lopsided population ratio of boys to girls, with boys significantly outnumbering girls in cultures where it is practiced. While the practice is creating significant societal problems in various foreign countries, including China, sex-selection abortions do take place in the United States (also go here, here, and here). Incredibly, in 2012, the House of Representatives, which at the time was controlled by Democrats, voted down proposed legislation that would have banned the practice.

Unfortunately, federal funding of PP has continued, even though Republicans have had control of both the House and Senate for two years.

McConnell,Mitch-012309-18422-jf 0024

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell “is essentially conceding that Senate Republicans are ready to scrap language affecting [funding for] Planned Parenthood” from a bill that would fund research to combat the Zika virus (also go here).

Democrats have accused Republicans of waging a “war on women,” yet abortion itself is a large part of the real war on women. Moreover, efforts to make abortion a safe procedure for women face resistance from these same Democrats. Thus, despite Republicans’ unwillingness hold PP accountable, Democrats’ rhetoric against Republicans rings hollow. Members of Barak Obama’s party aren’t really pro-choice, either; they want to force taxpayers to pay for a procedure they find objectionable (also go here and here).

Voters Have a Clear Choice

These facts should help the fog lift from the minds of any pro-lifers still struggling over this year’s election. Donald Trump should be applauded and supported for his clear statements on abortion—especially partial-birth abortion—during the third presidential debate. Donald Trump’s and Hillary Clinton’s statements make it abundantly clear how anyone calling himself or herself pro-life should vote in this year’s presidential race.

In the real war on women, pro-lifers are females’ true defenders.

 

Copyright © 2016 by B. Nathaniel Sullivan. All rights reserved.

Have Evangelicals Been Trumped?

Look at the means which a man employs, consider his motives, observe his pleasures. A man simply cannot conceal himself!
Confucius

Everywhere about us, Christians find reminders that the world system in which we live is essentially a corrupt one. Man is still basically sinful and we must be on our guard that the morality and ethics of the world will not become ours. The current Watergate trials are sufficient to warn us against complacency in this area.…Morality and ethics in government [are] absolutely essential if our nation will maintain any kind of stability and world leadership. Christians must be lights in this world. We must maintain strict Biblical standards of morality in order to be an example to the world.
Dr. C. Mark Corts, pastor of Calvary Baptist Church in Winston-Salem, North Carolina, in the church’s weekly newsletter, April 25, 1973—

On February 20, the evening of the South Carolina Republican primary, after it was clear that Donald Trump had won, blogger Matt Walsh posted this entry on his Facebook page:

Trump won South Carolina, a supposedly conservative Christian state, by a wide margin tonight.

A few quick reactions:

  • Don’t rationalize this. He didn’t win because of Democrats. The man won Evangelicals. The man who—JUST THIS WEEK—praised Planned Parenthood, and who fishes for applause lines by cussing out his competitors and mocking disabled people, and who can’t name a book in the Bible, and who said he doesn’t need forgiveness from God, and who brags about sleeping with married women, and who said he’d love to date his own daughter because she has a hot body, and who supported the murder of fully developed infant children, and who blatantly lies and then lies again about lying, and who has encapsulated literally the exact opposite of anything that could remotely be considered a “Christian value,” won with the indispensable assistance of Christians. The anger I feel towards those Christians in this moment cannot be put into words. They should be ashamed. I will pray for them.
  • Speaking of winning conservatives, Trump—JUST THIS WEEK—said he likes the Obamacare mandate. This was, according to conservatives, the most important thing to defeat not but two years ago. Now some of those same conservatives are voting for a big government liberal who says he supports the very thing these very people were sure would undo the Republic just a few months ago.
  • If Trump wins the nomination, conservatism in this country is officially dead, and the country itself will be close behind it.
  • Speaking of the country’s demise, Trump fans are gleefully ushering in tyranny. I am tired of hearing about their “anger.” They claim they are angry at the very thing they now embrace. They aren’t angry. They’re bored. They’re immature. They’re infatuated with celebrity and fame and money. They aren’t angry. I’m angry about what they are doing to my nation. The rest of us can be angry, but these people have lost the right to have their anger taken seriously.
  • I don’t want to hear about second place consolation prizes. If Cruz or Rubio can’t win South Carolina, it may be time to panic. I’m sorry, but it’s true. Deal with the reality, folks.
  • According to exit polls, Trump fans don’t necessarily think he’s electable and they don’t believe he shares their values, but “they want change.” Dear God, we are really doing 2008 all over again. People voting for ambiguous, non-specific change in spite of the avalanche of red flags. We are really doing this again. I am so disgusted at the stupidity in this country.
  • Bush should be commended for dropping out. He’s an honorable and decent man, although I didn’t support him. The others in the bottom tier, should they stay in, will be doing potentially irreparable harm to this country and my children’s future. And that is something I will struggle to forgive.
  • Get on your knees and pray for this country tonight. Right now. I feel we are on the cusp of something terrible. Pray we avoid it.

In this article, Mr. Walsh documents many of the offences of which Trump is guilty. You can watch him here explain in one-and-a-half minutes why he believes Trump is so dangerous.

Mr. Walsh isn’t alone.

Here is the ad NOM ran before the South Carolina primary.

Trump has tremendous appeal on multiple levels, but why have so many Evangelicals thrown their support behind him? Dr. Richard Land, president Southern Evangelical Seminary, is “mystified,” given the alternative candidates that should attract Bible-believing Christians. Land observes that it is inconsistent to say for years that character is essential in a national leader and to refuse to support Newt Gingrich because of his multiple marriages—and then to ignore Trump’s multiple marriages as well as his boasting about having been intimate with other women.

Dr. Robert Jeffress, pastor of the First Baptist Church of Dallas, Texas, believes Evangelicals’ expectations of national leaders have changed. While many Christians once looked to leaders in government to contend for biblical or traditional values, they now look for leaders who will effectively fix the country’s problems. The Supreme Court ruling that mandated same-sex marriage in all 50 states was a factor lowering these expectations. While Jeffress said he would not endorse Trump, his praise of Trump has been equated with an endorsement.

In his End of Day email report for February 22, Gary Bauer of the Campaign for Working Families, gave his take. [A slightly edited version of the the email is available here.]

Seventy-two percent of Republican voters Saturday [in South Carolina] identified as born-again evangelical Christians. They split 33% for Trump, 27% for Cruz and 22% for Rubio.

There is a lot of angst about how an electorate that was so overwhelmingly evangelical could give a plurality of its votes to Donald Trump when his views on values issues are at best murky. I have a theory.

For years many pro-family leaders have been warning the Republican Party that there are a lot of voters out there who vote for Republican candidates solely on issues like the sanctity of life, the meaning of marriage and the general sense that Republicans stand for social conservatism.

We have warned party elites that if those issues are off the table, a lot of these folks will vote based on other issues, such as their perception of their own economic interests. That could lead them to vote for Democrats or populist candidates.

Just consider two main issues for values voters—abortion and the meaning of marriage—and where we stand today. After 40 years of voting for pro-life candidates, we are beginning to make some progress. But we have yet to fully restore rights to the unborn, and we are fighting over whether taxpayers should be forced to pay for abortions.

On marriage, social conservatives did everything they were asked to do. We were told that a federal marriage amendment was a bridge too far, and that marriage was a state issue. So, more than 30 states voted to protect the definition of traditional marriage. But then the federal courts invalidated their votes.

When the Supreme Court ruled that marriage only between a man and a woman was unconstitutional, there was little pushback from Republican leaders in Washington. Some quarters of the party actually seemed relieved that the court had “settled” the issue, even though it was settled in a manner contrary to the values of most Republican voters.

So what does this have to do with South Carolina? Well, if you are an evangelical blue collar worker and you conclude that no major political force is going to fight for your social values, you start voting based on other issues, if you vote at all.

Did Donald Trump win a plurality of evangelical votes? Yes he did. They were overwhelmingly blue collar evangelicals who chose him for his opposition to illegal immigration, his opposition to trade deals, which they perceive as trading away their jobs, his economic populism and his full-throated “America First” nationalism.

Several conservative media outlets this morning, including the increasingly influential Breitbart.com, are suggesting that what is happening now may be a blue collar takeover of the Republican Party. [The Breitbart article is available here.]

Bauer’s analysis echoes an observation another prominent conservative made months ago. In an interview conducted by The Atlantic’s Molly Ball, writer Erick Erickson (formerly of Red State and now of The Resurgent) said, “The Republican Party created Donald Trump, because they made a lot of promises to their base and never kept them.” At the time of the interview—August of 2015—Erickson had disinvited Donald Trump to the Red State Gathering in Atlanta after Trump said on CNN that Megyn Kelly, a Fox News host, had “blood coming out of her eyes, blood coming out of her wherever.” Erickson felt compelled to draw the line, especially after Trump offered no apology for his remark.

The Republican Party created Donald Trump, because they made a lot of promises to their base and never kept them.
—Erick Erickson—

For the moment, my primary concern is neither being anti-Trump, nor even campaigning for an alternative candidate. Rather, it is to point out a serious, multi-faceted problem in the evangelical church. Christians are failing to “connect the dots,” failing to understand the relationship between integrity and effective leadership.

  1. While frustration and anger are understandable, supporting a candidate who can “fix problems” as opposed to one who will defend American ideals and values is to wave a white flag on issues we say we care deeply about. The Author of life and the Architect of marriage cannot be pleased with this. Believers need to realize that upholding values is an important step to finding solutions to national problems (see Prov. 29:2.).
  2. Character is important. As this article contends, “You cannot be one kind of man and another kind of president.” See Matthew 7:15-20.
  3. Pastors have shirked their duty to teach their people the full meaning of the Great Commission. Jesus declared, “All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age” (Matt. 28:18-20). Jesus’ command to teach “them to observe all things that I have commanded you” is broad and encompasses stewardship, citizenship, and one’s supreme duty to God.
  4. Elaborating on point 3, pastors have failed specifically to teach their people their responsibilities as dual citizens—citizens of heaven and of an earthly country. In Matthew 22:21, Jesus instructed, “Render…to Caesar the things that are Caesar’s, and to God the things that are God’s.” God ordained government and delegated authority to it. Since this is true, government does not have absolute authority. A believer’s allegiance must be to God first. Today we honor men and women like Corrie ten Boom, who broke laws to save many lives. Yet if a parallel situation were to befall us, would we be willing to obey God rather than men? (See Acts 5:29.) In the coming days, I believe the church will need to develop a sound theology of civil disobedience, a theology that helps believers grapple with the implications of their supreme duty to God.
  5. Church leaders have failed to train their people to resist being swayed by false, yet attractive, teaching. Paul warned Timothy in 2 Timothy 4:3-5, “3 For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine, but according to their own desires, because they have itching ears, they will heap up for themselves teachers; 4 and they will turn their ears away from the truth, and be turned aside to fables. 5 But you be watchful in all things, endure afflictions, do the work of an evangelist, fulfill your ministry.” Christians need to understand the lure of an emotional appeal as well as the potential dangers. It is no accident that we are instructed to love the Lord God with our minds as well as our hearts, souls, and strength (see Mark 12:30).
  6. Pastors and churches have shirked their duty to be on the front lines of spiritual warfare. The following insightful statement is attributed to Martin Luther: “If I profess with loudest voice and clearest exposition every portion of the truth of God except that little point which the world and the Devil are at that moment attacking, I am not confessing Christ, however boldly I may be professing Christ. Where the battle rages, there the loyalty of the soldier is proved, and to be steady on all the battlefield besides, is mere flight and disgrace if he flinches at that point.”
  7. The Bible has a great deal to say about effective leadership. Leadership, according to Scripture, involves much more than producing impressive results. Why haven’t Christians been taught these principles? Could it be that we don’t see upholding integrity as something that will attract the unchurched? Would we be stepping on too many toes? We certainly need to encourage unchurched people to attend our services, but we must not avoid “the whole counsel of God” in doing so (see Acts 20:26-30). Making Christian disciples and teaching people to observe Christ’s commands includes upholding and modeling the highest of ethical standards and leadership practices.

These seven items do not constitute an exhaustive list, but they do represent critical needs that must be addressed in the church and in Christian circles. Regardless who gets the Republican nomination and who becomes president, the church has challenging days ahead. However, as God’s people with the Holy Spirit residing in us, we also have God’s wisdom, if we will ask for it (see James 1:5-8).

May the Lord help us address these needs. May He also give us discernment, strength, and a resolve to remain faithful to Him and His truth in the weeks, months, and years ahead—regardless of cost.

Copyright © 2016 by B. Nathaniel Sullivan. All Rights Reserved.

Unless otherwise indicated, Scripture has been taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

For further viewing:
Watch Ben Shapiro review some of the many inconsistencies and outright lies of Donald Trump.