The election is over. The dust has settled. My thoughts follow.
A Battle of Truths
My church is doing a worldview series featuring The Truth Project from Focus on the Family. I’ve seen one installment so far, and I must say it was excellent. I look forward to viewing the rest of the teachings.
We adjourned for discussion afterwards. As the meeting was the day after the election, the talk rapidly shifted to the results. A strongly prolife church, most of us were disappointed with the election outcome. But I reminded everyone we are also an almost exclusively white, penturbian church.
What many white evangelicals who are strongly anti-abortion have not been able to see is another strong truth that drove record numbers of black voters to the polls. In many ways, this election pitted battling truths: The long, grim shadow of abortion in America against the longer, grim shadow of slavery and its hold on the black American psyche.
In the end, the election of a half-black president forever ends “The System.” It’s the culmination of the civil rights movement. It puts to death a long nightmare for American people of African descent who have never truly been able to close the door on what happened to their ancestors.
And white Evangelicals can’t see this racial triumph as a win. But then again, how can we since we were never on the receiving end of 400 years of prejudice?
I’m strongly anti-abortion. I was a part of Operation Rescue. I’ve been in the trenches. I’ve argued strongly here and on other blogs that the baseline for any Christian voter must be prolife because anything else is barbarism and anti-God.
I noted a couple posts ago that I’ve been getting nonstop email from Christians about the election and the abortion issue, plus other issues, that have driven people into a frenzy.
I have a response.
And here is where it gets tricky.
You see, for all our talk, we Evangelicals had an opportunity in 2000 to throw our weight behind the most prolife candidate ever to run for president. No one running that year ran a stronger prolife, profamily, pro-Constitution ticket than did this candidate. He had been appointed to high office by the king of the conservative movement, President Ronald Reagan—an imprimatur if there can ever be one in conservative ranks—and is regarded by many as one of the smartest men in politics. He was a leading Republican contender for president that year, finishing a strong third in Iowa in a packed GOP field. When the first set of GOP debates was held, most pundits agreed that he not only won the debate but blew the other candidates away.
Conservative Evangelical Christians had the opportunity to put this man into the White House, but they ultimately rejected him in droves in favor of George W. Bush.
That man is Alan Keyes.
And Alan Keyes is black.
You see, we Evangelicals had the chance to elect the first black president AND the most prolife, profamily candidate to ever run for the office. In one fell swoop, we could have dealt with both battling truths that came to the fore in the 2008 election and possibly kept the radically pro-abortion Obama off the national scene and out of the presidency. We could have brought about genuine healing for our nation on two different and very worthy fronts and done so on conservative terms.
Didn’t happen, did it?
Instead, we threw our allegiance behind what has proven to be the most impotent presidency since Jimmy Carter.
So, if we white Christians are asking for repentance from black Christians who voted for Obama because he was black (thus rejecting an anti-abortion platform in favor of a racial one), how are we repenting for failing to support the candidacy of Alan Keyes when we had the opportunity?
Think about it.
Which leads me to my next point.
The Republican Party has done next to nothing for born-again Christians…
…yet we continue to mindlessly suck at its teat. For all our talk of supporting righteousness and foundational American truths, how is it that so many Christians in this election voted slavishly for a man who was soundly repudiated by us same Christians just a few years ago for being nominally Christian, nominally Constitutional, and in bed with Democrats to the point of having his party allegiance questioned?
If we were so interested in supporting prolife, profamily, pro-Constitution Christians, and if all of our prophetic “words” really lined up with what we say we believe, then Christians would have voted as a block for Chuck Baldwin and not John McCain.
Our rhetoric doesn’t line up with truth very well, does it?
No, the devotion to the GOP continues to not only bite us but show us as not all that dedicated to our principles.
Many people were shouting that it’s all about the Supreme Court justices, and that principles begin there. Yet the GOP’s record of getting conservative justices on the court who ultimately act like real conservatives has been dismal. So why the sudden idea that putting another Republican in office (especially one with a history of dancing with the center-left) would change this trend?
We look like sheep in the end. And not the Lord’s sheep, but GOP sheep. Baa on all of us. It’s the old case of fool me once, shame on you, fool me twice, shame on me.
There’s a reason we’ve been fleeced:
Politics is not the answer and never has been
Cal Thomas says it well:
Thirty years of trying to use government to stop abortion, preserve opposite-sex marriage, improve television and movie content and transform culture into the conservative Evangelical image has failed. The question now becomes: Should conservative Christians redouble their efforts, contributing more millions to radio and TV preachers and activists, or would they be wise to try something else?
Read the entire piece: “Religious Right R.I.P.” (If you’ve been a reader of Cerulean Sanctum for long you’ve already read most of Thomas’s comments, but I want them to come from someone else.)
The only “Change We Can Believe In” is Jesus Christ. Neither the Republicans nor Democrats offer real change. Anything or anyone else that gets billed as change is a lie.
If want to to see our land healed, then we do what Jesus Christ told us to do in the Great Commission: We make disciples.
Because a nation right with God only comes about through the transformation of human lives by Jesus Christ. And that happens when you and I do the one thing so few of us care to do.
Politics is easy. It takes very little to put up a sign in our yard announcing our choice in candidates.
Evangelizing the world is much tougher, especially in a post-Christian West that has been inoculated against the Gospel by Christians who talk a good faith but who live it haphazardly. Heart change only comes, though, when Christians stop talking about evangelism and actually start doing it. It’s when our walk matches our talk. When our rhetoric matches the Bible and is lived out before the world, then people might sit up and take notice. We have to stop dedicating so much time to erecting our individual kingdoms and spend more time working with the Lord to build His Kingdom His way.
I have a word that is not so much prophetic as it’s just common sense: If we don’t get back to doing the Great Commission and tending to the least of these, then four years from now we’ll have the same old Christian pundits and “prophets” claiming that 2012 is “the election to end all elections.” As the great pundit Yogi Berra said, it will be déjÃ vu all over again.
God help us if that’s the case.
One last comment…
Distracting voices only get us off our mission
As much as the loss of this election has taught some of us Christians a lesson, I hope those infatuated with the modern prophetic movement learn more than anyone.
Fact is, almost every “prophetic word” that I heard about this election was wrong. End of story.
McCain didn’t win. It didn’t come down to Ohio. Palin proved to be a nonfactor. In fact, it wasn’t about any of the things I heard coming out of any of the typical sources for “prophecy” that cluttered my inbox. If there was a massive failure anywhere in this election, point a finger at the prophetic movement because it could not have been more off on nearly everything it said.
It is high time charismatics stopped listening to the self-proclaimed prophets out there. The real prophets of God don’t mess around with this political garbage. Instead, genuine prophetic utterance calls people to repentance, to the Lord, and to the Christ-ordained work of the Church.
But that’s not flashy. It doesn’t allow people to get comfy in some pseudognostic in-crowd, either. It’s simple stuff, the whisper that carries the voice of God when the earthquake and storm do not. We charismatics have got to be more discerning on all these “words” or else we are going to be perpetually tossed around like ragdolls on a rollercoaster by our so-called prophets.
It’s time to purge the house of God, folks.
If we truly want change, God-honoring change, then it begins in our own hearts by the work of the Holy Spirit. And there’s only one way to get that change, too. We should know the way by now.
60 thoughts on “Aftermath”
You are getting a virtual standing ovation from me. This is the most sensible thing I have seen yet on this topic and I agree completely.
Even tho my hubby is a county Republican chairman!
All of us -on both sides of the aisle-need to get our eyes off Washington and onto Jesus…..
I have few beefs with town/county Republicans. It’s at the state and federal level that the party goes kaput.
Dan, this is *almost* brilliant, but you don’t take it quite far enough. Did you realize, while writing this post, the amazing irony of beginning with an approving nod toward a video series from Focus on the Family?
Admittedly the *Truth* series is exceptional; I have seen about half of the episodes. The trouble is the source: James Dobson’s *Focus on the Family.” This outstanding but debilitatingly flawed Christian witness has done more to bring about the current state of affairs than anyone.
Dobson’s books and ministry have been invaluable over the past 15 years raising my young family. Yet I now believe that this *faction* of Christianity is more harmful than helpful.
With Dobson’s powerful lead 9 years ago, countless Christian leaders may have gotten behind Keyes. But Dobson has consistently proven that he is not about doing the right thing, but rather about yielding political power.
Dobson’s early enthusiastic support of the mediocre G . W. Bush was a key factor in pushing him to the forfront of the early 2000 primaries. Thus, much of the blood of the torture regime is indirectly on his hands. But Dobson has never stepped back in humility and admitted his error (let alone repented). Rather, the man has consistently support all of the worst decisions of this anti-life administration.
This past year, Dobson couldn’t even bring himself to endorse a real, serious Christian candidate (Mike Huckabee) because he had *no chance of winning.* But he had no problem getting on the bandwagon of the corrupt, incompetent Sarah Palin as soon as it appeared that there was a chance of victory.
Using the position of *Christian Leader* to play the dirty, worldly game of politics requires tremendous humility and honesty. James Dobson has failed the test overwhelmingly miserably. He has abused his power over the very people you are attempting to influence in your humble, honest post. His prideful errors sully the glory of his ministry. I’m highly conflicted by the fact that you begin this post with an approving reference to a video series that, ironically, does deserve approval.
I fully realize the irony of my positive endorsement of a “product” from Focus on the Family. If you’ve read here long enough you’ll know I am no fan of FotF. But The Truth Project is outstanding from what I’ve seen so far and should be viewed widely.
Glad to see someone else was a Keyes supporter back then! I love Alan and supported him in that election. He was on the ballot here in Colorado for the AIP (America’s Independent Party) but was only on in three states (Co, Ca, and Fl.). I would’ve liked to see him and Baldwin on the ticket together for the Constitution Party.
I voted for Keyes in the primaries of both 2000 and 2004. He ran strongly early on in 2000 before Bush ascended to the top, but 2004 was not as kind since Bush was the sitting president during war.
Keyes ran again this year, but was snubbed by the Constitution Party (for reasons that are unclear to me) in favor of Baldwin, bolted, and attempted to run as an independent. He was not on the ballot in Ohio, which was a shame.
After Keyes dropped out in 2000, I wanted to send a figurative message to the GOP and wrote in two GOP candidates that I felt should be the future direction of the party: Steve Largent and J.C. Watts, both Congressmen from OK. (Watts is another excellent black conservative.) Unfortunately, Largent ran for governor of OK and was singlehandedly defeated (unbelievably as it may sound) by the cockfighting lobby (!) after he came out strongly against cockfighting. This after running in double digits ahead of his opponent before his stance. Largent is now a spokesman/lobbyist for the cellphone industry. J.C. Watts is out of politics altogether.
What a huge loss for genuine conservatives.
I swear the longer I “know” you the more I love you! I audibly applauded and woke the dog up. LOL
People kept asking me over the past few months, what about this candidate, what about that one… I just kept asking, what about Jesus?
Honestly the only thing that will ever truly change our society is a personal knowledge of Him. Any TRUE prophet knows that dabbling in politics is rather pointless when their true mission is the hearts of men, and holiness. Pointing to God. Does that mean we don’t involve ourselves in politics? No. I voted. I didn’t vote republican. I’ll leave it at that. I just know this…
God is everything we should be pointing to. Every question has the same answer. Jesus. Every dilemma has the same answer. Jesus.
Too simplistic? Well honestly… no. We’ve made things complicated so we can impose our own brand of gnosticism and keep others out to feel more holy. It truly IS that simple. Even with politics.
Which is exactly why I never commented or blogged about them.
Now, I’m going to go pray for my future president, because I’m commanded to, and I’m going to honor him as I should.
Care to join me?
Don’t you know when to let sleeping dogs lie? 🙂
I agree that it is our job to make disciples. But when the disciplee asks us what our take is on how to vote, what shall we say to him?
1. “Vote GOP. They share our values. First and foremost, they are pro-life and so should you and I”.
2. “Vote Dem. They share most of our values. Yes, they may not be pro-life but no party on earth is perfect. Get over that. Besides, they care for social justice more than GOP advocates would want you to believe”
3. “You know what? I like the Luddite way of life. We should go the way some fellows in Lancaster county go. They care about community. They don’t seem bogged down about this nasty sick politics of ours.”
4. “I dunno man. GOP is not good enough. And neither are Dems. Third party? Way to go, but that’s not viable. Get over that. You know what? I’ve been watching some really cool political satire and I’ve reached the conclusion that the “V for Vendetta” approach is the way to go ”
5. “Huh? Politics? No way. Christians don’t get involved in politics. Get that right from the start off and you’d be well served. Think about the City of God. Don’t care about the City of Man. After all, isn’t the Rapture coming soon? Hey, want to watch Tribulation Force?”
I’m sorry if the above seemed too simplistic. Surely, some qualifications might be added to each approach. Anyone else like to contribute ideas on how to help our disciplee sort out through these issues? My two cents: we ought to teach people three things: 1) not to see/treat government as their savior, 2) not to retreat to their little islands while the world goes to hell, 3) warn them about apathetic and anarchic tendencies, 4) preach them Christ and Him crucified, in word and deed.
Every day I am closer to #3.
Been saying this exact same stuff for years, I voted for Baldwin because I care more about principles than winning or losing and I don’t have any voter’s remorse about that.
The Constitution Party’s platform is rock solid and in keeping with the principles this country was founded upon. I wish they were a little less conspiratorial then they are, but hey, it’s a start.
Hey Dan, awesome as ever. One thing I wanted to add from my own experience…if it isn’t bad enough that the hypocrits all voted for a man who called Evangelicals “agents of intolerance” just a few years ago, what sickens me more is their reactions to those who didn’t. 90% of the Christians that I’ve told I voted for Baldwin have attacked me viciously. “If you voted for Baldwin, you voted for Obama” and such. I’ve been told I’m naive, foolish, and childish for refusing to compromise for the sake of voting against Obama, regardless of who that meant voting for. Anyone else run into this?
Yeah, the viciousness bothers me. An election is obviously no small thing, but still. Brotherhood must come near the the top of the list. I can still love fellow Christians who voted differently than I did.
Thank you for your voice Dan! I proudly defied the evangelical influences in my life (family, peers, pastors…) and voted for Baldwin. 🙂
And even other Christians won’t understand why you weren’t lockstep.
You should tell them that lockstep is exactly how dictatorships function!
Great post, but what does “penturbian” mean? Looked it up, but don’t see a definition. Thanks for letting me know.
I love this blog, I love you Brother Dan, I love Jesus!!! Thank you for saying so succinctly what all of us should be shouting from the rooftops. Maybe now the Church will be the Church and stop relying on government to do the job our Lord gave us to do FINALLY one heart at a time. God Bless You!
If American Christians truly did some searching, they’d realize that the entire culture war they wage is a result of what the Church in this country abandoned years ago. Of course, the need never went away, so the government rushed in to take the ball we dropped. Then we complain about how they handle it.
I pray that we wake up and start taking notice of our responsibilities and start living as God intended us to live.
Many evangelicals…or, that is, members of evangelical churches…do not support pro-life candidates because these members do not want to ban abortion. Many have had abortions. Their daughters have had abortions. They are afraid their daughters will come home pregnant one day, and they want that unspeakable option open to them, even if they do not use it. Many right-wing Christians simply do not want to admit this to themselves.
Politics is not the answer, but it is part of the answer. Jesus is the answer. But political leaders and climates can affect the Gospel. I liken America to Corinth. When Paul came to Corinth, the Lord said to him, “Be not afraid, but speak, and hold not thy peace: for I am with thee, and no man shall set on thee to hurt thee: for I have much people in this city” (Acts 18:9-10 KJV). When the leader of the synagogue brought Paul before the magistrate, Paul was released, and Sosthenes, the chief ruler (who later came to Christ), was beaten.
We need to take responsibility as believers, because “we the people” are the foundational rule of this country. “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 KJV). The people have the power in this country…at least when they vote. They can run for office. Third parties languish because they do not want to take the time and commit the resources to running for local offices that they might win, which would build up their credibility so they can run for higher office in the next election cycle. Instead, they want to make statements by running presidential and gubernatorial candidates that do little more than perhaps throw elections. Perot and Nader come to mind.
Running for county board or town mayor is not glamorous. But Palin was mayor of Wasilla, Alaska, and she almost became Vice President of the United States. We need Elijahs speaking to Ahabs and John the Baptists speaking to Herods. But we also need Josephs and Daniels, Ezras and Nehemiahs, whom God uses inside fallen systems.
I think the position you cite is not as predominant as you claim it is. You’re right that some hypocrisy is going on, but I think it’s rare.
I think politics has very little to do with it, especially when we consider that the Church is what it is today because of its exponential growth in Rome. Folks who study the growth of the Church consistently marvel at that growth—and it came under an exceptionally hostile government.
I guess the question is whether the Church is better of under persecution with potentially fewer, though radically stronger, believers or under a nonhostile government that permits Christians of all commitment levels to grow fat and happy.
I don’t have a problem with Palin’s inexperience. Most of of our early presidents had next to no governing experience and would probably be overwhelmed by the bloated thing we call the United States Government. Fact is, the people who complained about Pallin’s greenness should have been pointing the same finger at Obama. The guy’s done nothing, really. The hypocrisy there is stunning. Watching Obama off-script makes Dan Quayle sound like Henry Clay.
Ross Perot garnered a lot of votes. A third party candidate can, but only if the money is there. Money talks in elections. It makes a huge difference between a win and a loss in many cases. Name recognition works and it takes money to make that happen, especially on a national level.
Whether the Church is better under persecution or not may be questionable. I hear plenty of stories about great things done in China. Then I meet Christians from China who seem, more or less, just like American Christians. I have met Christians from Asia and Africa who talk a good game and seem to have great testimonies. But after I know them for some time, they tend to act just like you and I act. The Lord may have moved more dramatically in their lives, but when I finally get to know them, it seems to do little for their character.
We do not have a church under heavy persecution here. The church in Corinth also was not under heavy persecution. Place the American church next to church in Corinth, and you will see a lot of similarities: rampant denominationalism (although the schisms in Corinth were along the lines of teachers who taught the same doctrine); hyperspirituality; great divisions according to socioeconomic class…
This, now, is the church we have. Like Rumsfeld said: You don’t go to war with the military you’d like to have. You go to war with the military you have. In America, Christians may participate in temporal government. We can place too much weight in that, but we should not dismiss it entirely. I finished reading a book, The Heavenly Man by Brother Yun, not too long ago, in which Chinese in power who converted helped Yun out of some sticky situations.
We want chaplains, church services, and converts in jails and prisons. But we do not want Christians to be elected lawmakers and appointed as judges?
I have a friend who has a great idea. He wants to evangelize according to voting precinct. But his idea was not that fleshed out. It simply sounded like a turn-out-the-vote effort, obviously for Republican candidates. But I told him he needed to focus on recruiting Christians for local elections according to wards and districts, to run and campaign together, so they could be voted in together, so they could vote together as a bloc, a majority vote on county boards and city councils. Then maybe we could stop wasting money on baseball stadiums and performing arts centers, that will probably fail, just like most other ventures failed, and spend money on a new jail, new school buildings, and real raises for the teachers. (And I hate public schools!) We could streamline business licenses, send the inspectors into the abortion clinics with finetoothed combs, put more cops on the beat, and have the local government work with churches, or at least get of their way, rather than fight them, refuse to sell land and buildings to them, buy land out from under them so they can sell it to developers, etc.
You talk a lot about socioeconomic issues on this blog. The government is a large aspect of that. A lot of people who could open businesses don’t because of daunting paperwork that would take expensive lawyering to wade through. The elderly have to sell their homes because they no longer can afford to pay real estate taxes. Local governments bring the hammer down on churches because they host feeding programs. Sure, the Man is not physically persecuting the Church in America. But the Man does a lot to impede the Church’s work.
I see the fat and easy life of the American church being shaken in the near future, may we share in the suffering of our fellow believers in the far corners of the world where they are tried by ‘evil leaders’ and thrown into prisons. We are so worried about the worlds systems and how it will effect our comfortable lives I pray that God will forgive us in America for our playing the harlot. I believe that God is in control here and He raises up leaders and brings them down. His purpose shall not be thwarted. WAKE UP OH CHURCH!! SOUND THE TRUMPET IN ZION, RAISE YOUR VOICE LIKE A TRUMPET THERE ARE LOST MEN AND WOMEN ON THIER WAY TO DISTRUCTION EVEN AS WE CRY ABOUT ELECTIONS. GOD FORBID THAT WE SHOULD LOSE SIGHT OF OUR TRUE PURPOSE TO BRING GLORY TO GOD AND TO KNOW HIM. LET THE SHAKING BEGIN AND MAY WE REPENT OF OUR WICKED WAYS AND MAKE DISCIPLES AND LET GOD ADD TO THE CHURCH DAILY.
“It’s time to purge the house of God, folks.”
This is prophetic.
I hosted ‘The Truth Project’ last year at my little church and it got rave reviews. It’s great and so are the follow-up resources.
I had a friend of mine call me last Wednesday and ask me a telling question: “Did you vote for God’s man?” Wow. What a question.
If God really does put in place rulers and kings and presidents that He chooses, then that brings up a lot more questions.
Dan, you are a deep thinker. It’s evident in what you’ve posted over time. And this is a very well thought out and well presented post.
If we are ‘citizens’ of another realm then what are our responsibilities to the government that we live under? All kinds of comparisons can be made to ancient history.
Thanks for adding so much insight to the issues we are facing and will face for a while.
“90% of the Christians that I’ve told I voted for Baldwin have attacked me viciously. “If you voted for Baldwin, you voted for Obama and such. I’ve been told I’m naive, foolish, and childish for refusing to compromise for the sake of voting against Obama, regardless of who that meant voting for. Anyone else run into this?
This kind of problem is avoided in the Australian electoral system. When we vote we list preferences. It seems to be the same system used for the Science Fiction Hugo awards.
As an example, those voting for Baldwin could put McCain as their second preference and Obama as their third (assuming there were only three candidates). When Baldwin receives the fewest votes, the SECOND preference of those who voted for him are taken into account as primary votes and go to McCain. This prevents a minority view winning the vote when the majority viewpoint has been split between two candidates. Of course in this hypothetical situation Obama would still have won if he took a genuine majority of total votes.
That probably sounds way more complicated than it is in practice., but it prevents candidate “A from winning an election with 34% of the vote when candidates “B and “C with similar policies and philosophies split the remaining 64% of the vote between them (32% each).
Interesting Chris. Bill Clinton would never have been our president, nor perhaps, Abraham Lincoln under such a system.
Excellent post! I won’t even try to comment on all of the great points you made. I just wanted to let you know, Dan, that I am a Black man. One of the benefits of the internet is that I can comment without my race getting in the way of how people respond to my ideas. You know some of my history, but I have purposely kept race out of it. For obvious reasons it has become relevant. I appreciate what you had to say about African-Americans regarding race and conservative values. I am very disappointed (to the point of tears) that the Christian church has even allowed such bifurcation to be so prevalent for so long, because of our failure, our shame really, regarding race relations. Conservative Blacks (socially speaking), as well as Caucasian Democrats (Christians included), inside and outside of the church have often, due to historical experiences and promises from the left, allowed race and culture to trump biblical sense of identity and relationship with each other. Our faith is supposed to transcend those kinds of allegiences. I have always been resistent to allowing race and politics dictate to me, and have often been ostracized by “my own” people because of it. I guess that’s why I’m so sensitive when I see such attitudes reflected on the right; because I’ve spent my life trying to get blacks to recognize the dynamics of the liberal “slave plantation”, and have paid a price for doing so. Which is also why I vigorously critique the republican party, the party me and my inner city black family have always voted for since Reagan (Imagine how that went over). And when I question some aspect of conservative politics or party, or usually just the manner in which the views are expressed, my white conservative brothers are usually quick to throw me under the bus for it, all in the name of God and country. Having spent my life fighting and and suffering rejection in order to stay off of the liberal “plantation” I cannot pretend not to recognize the same dynamic within the republican party where Christians are concerned. And based on my experiences with some white conservative churches (I have worked as a staff pastor and speaker in some), I can tell you why blacks would be afraid of conservative parties, the Constitution Party as well. Based on both of these experiences, from my view, Dan, those on the Christian Right are now the new “negras” on the GOP plantation. Hopefully that does not sound harsher in print than I mean it to be, and that you will hear in it the same concern for my conservative christain family as I have had for my christian democrat family members. When I step out of line (“bad negro”) and make the best choice I can with the liberty God has given me, my Christian friends on both sides of the political spectrum bring up the radicals on the other side. I am concerned about both.
Whatever, one thinks of Obama, on a personal note, it has done wonders for my three young half Black/half White sons to see a him elected. For me personally, despite my conservative views, because of my very painful experiences with conservatives, it has brought a certain degree of healing and sense of pride in our country just as I was about to give up in this area regarding race relations, especially within the conservative church (of which, at the moment, I am still a part of).
Thanks for sharing.
I hear where you are coming from. You understand what a black president means. You get how that immediately changes the dynamic in this country for everyone of color. I don’t think whites get that.
The question here is whether that is acceptable as a trade-off against the abortion issue. Most people will say no. Many black Christian leaders bailed on the abortion issue in order to vote for a black candidate.
I think the decision they made is a mistake. However, I can understand their position. We’ve had all these GOP prolife candidates and they’ve done next to nothing to reverse Roe v. Wade, yet one election, in an instant, puts the slavery issue behind us.
It’s the question of a sure thing vs. a hope that has gone unfulfilled. Again, I can understand it.
Would electing McCain have resolved the abortion holocaust? Frankly, I don’t believe it would, especially in light of other issues facing this country. I don’t believe that McCain-appointed SC judges would be the kind conservatives want.
On the other hand, the election of Obama immediately altered the perceptions of black people in this country concerning their ultimate fate. As you noted, your sons immediately responded to the worldview shift created by a black president.
It’s a very difficult trade-off, isn’t it. The remote possibility of eliminating an ill that God will damn our country for, or the sure thing death blow an ill that plagued us for 400 years.
Better people than me will be able to weigh this.
If only we had elected a prolife black president. We had an opportunity to do that in 2000, but we weren’t smart enough to do it.
Thank you very much for your gracious response! The point you make, your awarenss of the dilemma, and the sentiment you expressed, required no violation of you integrity, and yet it’s something I never heard on the campaign trail. Such understanding really does make a difference in gaining a hearing with Blacks. Thank you. I am newly aware of the Constitution Party, but will now pay more attention in the future. Peace to you.
Dan, I enjoyed this post very much, particularly the conclusion. The Gospel simply cannot be distributed through a ballot box, and certainly the GOP. That said, I do have to raise an eye-brow at something you said….
“That man is Alan Keyes.
And Alan Keyes is black.
You see, we Evangelicals had the chance to elect the first black president AND the most prolife, profamily candidate to ever run for the office. In one fell swoop, we could have dealt with both battling truths that came to the fore in the 2008 election and possibly kept the radically pro-abortion Obama off the national scene and out of the presidency. We could have brought about genuine healing for our nation on two different and very worthy fronts and done so on conservative terms.”
Alan Keyes is simply unelectable and not just for his ideology. There’s a reason why Alan only received something like 35% of the vote when he ran against Barack for the U.S. Senate. He comes across as unstable. He’s incoherent at times and quiet frankly his campaign tactics aren’t any different than your typical politican. During the primaries this guy was polling something like 2% and it wasn’t just because he’s too pro-life or too pro-family.
based on my comment above, you can tell that I would be thrilled if conservatives presented a viable minority candidate, but alas, despite many of his views, Alan Keyes was not that man. I think he’s a good man, but some of your observations are correct. Another problem, and it shows just how distrusted the Christian Right has become, is that it was clear that he was Dobson’s choice. Dobson has done wonders to bless my family, but as a black man I can tell you that politically speaking, any black man Dobson champions will not be accepted or elected by black voters, conservative or otherwise. It will take those who share similar values, but without the baggage , to make that happen. Where race is a factor, our “Focus” is best placed first on getting our own spiritual house in order, instead of resorting to the kind of politics Dobson and others were guilty of when they promoted keyes.
Comments on Keyes:
I strongly supported Keyes in 2000 and 2004. I have never heard a more compelling speaker in my life than Alan Keyes. He spoke one time on the need to protect free speech, even the speech of hate groups, and that speech gave me goosebumps. Keyes sounded like he was channeling Patrick Henry. Keyes is definitely a brilliant man. I’ve read his books and speeches and they are amazing.
Which is why I was so bitterly disappointed that after crucifying Hillary Clinton for carpetbagging in NY, he did the same thing himself in IL by running against Obama. I understand the dynamic on the GOP’s part in that election, but still. I lost a lot of respect for Keyes for doing this. It wasn’t smart at all and made him look like a pawn of the GOP. I think that soured many people.
The Alan Keyes of 2008 does not seem like the Alan Keyes of 2000. I don’t know why this is. I have not followed his political career as closely since 2004. I know that he was involved with the Constitution Party in 2008, but then split when he lost to Baldwin, later running as an independent. The sample ballots I saw for Ohio had him listed, but the final ballot at the precinct did not.
That said, Keyes would have been a much better choice than Bush in 2000. This explains, in part, why I did not vote for Bush in 2000 and wrote in candidates instead.
Because it wasn’t a win. This is someone who was elected by subverting the electoral process using illegal donations and voter fraud, someone who played the race card repeatedly in order to stunt any criticism against him, and it will continue well into his “presidency.” People will be afraid to either criticize him or mock him even on comedy shows for fear that they may be perceived as racist. On top of that Obama will probably seek to bolster affirmative action, quotas, handouts and even reparations that will favor minorities over the rest of Americans. There will come a point when people will start to get so fed up with this that we will see a new level of race based violence rivaling the 60s and beyond.
This is absolutely ridiculous. If black “Christians” should repent of anything, it is not that they voted for someone who is black, but because they voted for someone who is anathema to everything that true Christianity stands for. Not even Hillary Clinton was as far left and apostate as Obama is. They might as well have just voted for the Antichrist, and I rather suspect that all of them will easily fall under his delusion when he finally arrives onto the scene just as easily as they fell under Obama’s spell.
We conservatives had a chance to elect Keyes in 2000. He was the best GOP candidate running, period.
But white Christians never think about racism unless they are of the mainline/Quaker/peacenik tradition that Evangelicals roundly despise. That’s too bad.
You are absolutely right about Obama. I agree with you. Yet at the same time I can at least understand the train of thought of those who supported him because he is black. I’m not saying I agree with that position, only that I understand it. It’s the same thing as me understanding the cluelessness that whites show toward issues of race, while at the same time rejecting our ignorance.
I think that a lot of black Christians saw this as an immediate fix versus one that we have not been able to resolve despite years of GOP control, and they went for the immediate fix.
I see abortion as a heinous crime that God will judge us for. I see it as trumping racism. I also see how one election has erased a big chunk of the race issue, something that the GOP has not be able to do with abortion. No, that doesn’t excuse it. But again, we had the chance to elect a staunchly prolife black president in 2000 and we didn’t. What blame, then, should we assume for the election of a staunchly prodeath black candidate in 2008? Some of that blame has to fall on us.
Our rhetoric fails when we cannot see the log in our own eye.
It’s time to stop looking back and angrily attacking people who shouldn’t have voted the way they did. What’s done is done, and we have to live with the consequences. On the bright side, I’m sure glad that this is not all there is. God still rules, despite any government decisions to the contrary. God’s rules don’t change.
I prefer to stay out of politics for the reasons you touched on in your post. I don’t like casting myself in with a group of people who don’t necessarily claim my values and beliefs. That doesn’t mean I don’t still vote,and I try to vote for the most moral choice I get (although that is becoming harder to do, in recent days). It’s just that, when something goes wrong and the person you’ve endorsed is exposed in some sin or other, you’re own credibility dies.
I encourage people to remember that this world will soon pass away, and everything in it. We should focus on wiping out heresy and immorality on the social level. Political decisions can’t make people moral, and if the populous isn’t moral, no moral political decision will last. America needs help from the ground up.
Dan, I like most of the Constitution Party’s platform but I have problems with their pro-tariff position. Basic college macroeconomics says that tariffs hurt both the people of the country imposing them as well as exporters trying to import into the protected economy. Is that correct or am I just a kool-aid drinker of the free-trade cult?
Most of the world imposes tariffs. Given our trade imbalance, it makes sense for us to as well. There is no free trade and never has been. The world is not balanced in what it consumes and produces. Tariffs are one way of leveling that field, especially in an age of globalism.
Note how many conservative, free marketeers are beginning to rethink the tariff issue, too.
Interesting. . . . Can you give me authors/websites/periodicals who are beginning to rethink the tariff issue?
I wish I could, but this is one of those cases that I have repeatedly read commentators on the change but can’t point you to any one specific source. Sorry.
I agree with almost every thing you said.
I only add that we do not need to redouble our efforts on evangelizing. The great commission has nothing to do with just making converts. It has every thing to do with making people students/ disciples of Christ. The second greatest error that has hampered Evangelicals is the idea of counting converts. Lets get people to say a prayer and bring them into our fold and start collecting their tithe. But the converts are converted to a life that focuses more on their future state than on being students.
The number one greatest error of Evangelicals is that they focus on the Great Commission. Our focus should not be on the Great Commission but on the Great Commandment. Lets love one another and our neighbors like Jesus loved us. Let that be our underline focus and with this as our foundation and once we have lived in this foundation long enough for the world to recognize us as Jesus’ followers, then we could spend more time on the Great Commission. I dare say that after even a short time of living the Great Commandment in a real way would make the Great Commission a no brainier.
But sadly, if I were to be prophetic for a moment, I would have to say that even if a large segment of Evangelicals started to live in the Great Commandment it would be with an ulterior motive and with an agendas. The thing is Love cannot be called love if there are strings attached.
Though I have little hope in the Evangelical movement, I do see some hope on the fringe. And I am willing to go were ever I need to go to flow in the Love of Christ and live out the Great Commandment.
I too voted for Baldwin. I decided a long time ago that it makes more sense to vote for someone I actually agree with, than to buy the “lesser of two evils” line. Americans are very confused; we repeatedly vote for people who often have a record of hypocrisy, and then get upset when they break their promises. Why should we expect our “leaders” to have more integrity than we do?
I believe that Keyes was “snubbed” because his position on foreign policy and the UN was exactly opposite to that of the CP. He is a brilliant guy however, and a formidable debater.
And I, too, wonder what “penturbian” means…
I answered the penturbian question earlier in the comment thread.
Dan, I’ve also been waiting anxiously for enlightenment on the penturbian thing, and kind find your comment. Was the answer cryptic, or did you forget to post it? Please give us a link if it’s here.
I thought what you wrote was very interesting and appreciate that it made me think. I’ve been struggling with alot of the ramifications of this election, particularly listening to folks say that in spite of Obama’s pro-choice stance that we should all “celebrate” his election as being some kind of healing balm for African Americans, most notably among Christians.
I am a registered Independent who declared Republican in order to vote for Mike Huckabee in the primaries. I thought I was voting for exactly the pro-life candidate necessary to prevent your argument.
What then, for those of who did try to vote responsibly, and were faced with a McCain v. Obama election?
PENTURBIA: The region that lies between suburban and rural areas. It’s a demographic term that was coined about twenty years ago. Demographics experts developed the term because of the rise of this demographic. It could not be adequately adjusted for otherwise.
Believe it or not, I did answer this question before, but the comment has vanished! I don’t know what happened to it.
Can you clarify why you believe that abortion is a heinous crime? Do you believe it is the act itself or the motivation behind it? Do you believe it is a crime in all circumstances, such as the termination of a pregnancy believed to be non-viable for genetic reasons? And how is the taking of that life different from the taking of any life (i.e. war)?
If I may put my two pennies worth in here….
I believe that abortion is a crime because we do not have the right to choose which members of our society live and which die.
Regardless of ‘genetic reasons’ we cannot simply allow people to arbitrarily choose who lives and who dies.
Life comes from, is created by and given by God. If He chooses to plant a new one of His creations in a woman’s womb, who is she or who are we to decide that it was not good for Him to do so?
As far as war goes, let me say that I do not promote violent confrontation in normal circumstances but I do believe that there is a clear biblical mandate for using violent means to defend a nation – God is certainly not afraid of giving angels swords and sending them out against demons.
In the circumstance of war, motivation does come into it. If we were to go to war with a particular nation simply because of greed or racial hatred or some other such reason, that would obviously be wrong. However, war to protect our own security is an entirely different matter.
I don’t think you can compare war for the protection of a nation with aborting a child because it’s unwanted or has some deformity.
You can follow my thinking (as “DLE”) at this blog post on another site: http://www.subversiveinfluence.com/wordpress/?p=1792
It’s not for no reason that the bible calls us sheep!
The Truth Project is awesome by the way. I think you’re really going to enjoy it!
Considering the importance of the recent election in political and cultural terms, it’s not surprising that so many Christian forums and blogs have been devoted to the topic for weeks. But after reading so many of the articles and comments I’ve continued to think that so many are not getting the point. No matter how much it may be denied, almost all of the commentary is looking at it thorough eyes heavily influenced by our human expectations. I have a deep suspicion that we are missing the point about what is REALLY important. We are being distracted.
I’m sure it won’t be a popular observation, but even the issue of abortion is an appeal to our human emotion and sentimentality. We are making it seem to be THE ultimate issue on God’s agenda. Yet we forget that He is the God who commanded Israel to wipe out whole populations, children and babies included. He is the God who sacrificed His own Son so that HIS purposes for this world would be achieved.
So many commentators make the anti-abortion issue the be all and end all of what mattered in the election. So much attention is placed on the “moral improvement of a nation and seeking the candidate who was most likely to bring about that improvement. Is that God’s desire †“ to improve this world and make it a better place to live? Does God place any hope in this world? Or is that OUR issue and not HIS? Is it a matter of hoping for things to be made easier and more comfortable for ourselves or making conditions most suitable for God’s purposes to be achieved?
Over many years most parts of Australia have been in severe drought. Christians have continued to pray for rain †“ WHY? Will rain and easing of hardship cause people to repent and turn to God? Maybe we should seek Elijah’s advice on that matter?
Too often our REAL motivation is our own comfort. We want rain because it makes things easier and more pleasant for US. We want politicians who rule righteously because it takes some pressure off US so we don’t stand out as vulnerably as we do in a society that is at odds with God and His ways.
All we can do as INDIVIDUALS is vote according to our conscience. But whatever the outcome of an election we are commanded to pray for those leaders who are elected, whether we like them or not, whether we agree with them or not.
Whatever the outcome of any election †“ praise God that HE is in control and not any politician; that no matter how corrupt or even EVIL the government may be, God will use them to achieve HIS aims.;
This world and its politics will not last. We are not of this world we belong to a different Kingdom. One day the King will return and the kingdoms of this world will be under HIS rule. Until then this world and its politics will grow in opposition to the coming King. We can’t stop that. We can’t affect that through politics or by an attempt to vote in godly men. This world’s politics should not be our primary concern.
Have you ever noted that even under Jesus’ millennial rule things will not be perfect? Even Jesus Himself will not be able to make everything and everyone righteous through legislation and political rule? Why do I say that? Because there are still those who rebel against Him, those who rise up and follow Satan when he is released at the end of the 1000 years.
Ultimately this world will be destroyed completely and a NEW earth will be created where only righteousness dwells. THEN we’ll live in the security and comfort of a world not affected by all of those evils that will ALWAYS have an effect on this current, fallen world.
That NEW earth is our eternal destiny. That NEW earth is the culmination of God’s redemption plan for His creation. And God will bring that all about without the help of politicians or any political process.
Dan I have to say that if we really think that the election of Barack Obama to be President is going to heal race relations in this nation, we are just as mistaken as those who think electing a pro-life President will overturn Roe v. Wade. Both issues are a whole lot more complicated than just getting someone elected President. I am fully persuaded that if we had put a black candidate like Alan Keys or Ken Blackwell or J.C.Watts on the Republican ticket, the same black voters and the same white voters who voted for Senator Obama would vote those candidates down. Because its not about race, its about ideas and policy, it is a battle of world views. As far as voting for a presidential candidate, Mike Huckabee was my first choice, and I voted for him in the primary. I probably wasn’t going to vote for John McCain except for the fact he chose Sarah Palin, that Holy Ghost filled Governor of Alaska for his running mate. That’s a fact! It all came down to who would appoint the next Judges for our nation, not just Supreme Court but also Federal Judges. Senator McCain said he would appoint Judges in the mold of John Roberts and Samuel Alito, and I believe he would have if given the opportunity. I will not bash those of you who voted your conscience for the alternatives to McCain. I understand, I was going to do the same myself by not voting for him, but some of the details changed and allowed me to vote for him without violating my conscience.
God Bless You!
I don’t think that electing Obama will heal race relations. People will still hate each other based on the color of their skin.
However, having a black president does tell black young people that no prejudicial system can keep them down because of the color of their skin. “The System” has been beaten. On at least one level, MLK’s dream has come to fruition.
But then again, on another level, it has not. And we both know what I mean.
I’m not going to trash McCain voters. I like John McCain. I like Sarah Palin, too.
What I don’t like is the ease at which many Christians tossed aside their strong anti-McCain feelings as if those feelings never existed. There’s something very unnerving about that. Especially since McCain has not really changed any of his positions or done anything to ingratiate himself to the people who pretty much called him a traitor and devil in 2000.
I’m also extremely unhappy with the Republican Party and its abandonment of core principles. Strip away a couple issues and the Democrats and Republicans are virtually indistinguishable. That’s not the way it used to be. Don’t GOP voters remember the Contract with America? Evidently, they don’t. And that bothers me, too.
When we so easily change allegiances, it makes me wonder how easily we’ll change allegiances when someone more sinister than your usual politician comes onto the scene someday.
What I don’t like is the ease at which many Christians tossed aside their strong anti-McCain feelings as if those feelings never existed.
Well, there was this myth going around that if you elected McCain, he’s an old man in bad health, he’s sure to die in office and leave the White House to God’s Anointed President Sarah Palin.
I mean, I see Palin being mythologized as The Great White Hope to save us from The Obamanation of Desolation just as Obama was mythologized during the primaries as The Great Black Hope to save us from The Clinton Royal Family.
Also, when the Dems lost to Dubya in 2000, their response was to go Hard Left into Party Purity, Party Ideology, Party Loyalty, The Party, The Party, The Party. Is the GOP going to take a similar tack now that they’re on the outs?
Thanks, Dan, for sharing your observations. Although having grown up in the South, I can’t help but note the irony that the party which nominated Barack Obama for president in 2008 is the same party which embraced segregationist policies as recently as a generation ago. I suspect lots of folks who voted for Sen. Obama don’t realize that the major civil rights bills of the 1960’s wouldn’t have passed Congress without considerable support from congressional Republicans.
I agree that too many evangelicals have allowed themselves to place their trust in the government or the GOP rather than Jesus. Somehow we have to strike a better balance between our citizenship in this earthly kingdom and our much more significant – and eternal – citizenship in our heavenly kingdom.
You’re right, Dan – the church needs to do a much better job of evangelizing and making disciples. And yes, we need to purge the house of God. But I’m wondering who ,if anyone, in the evangelical church’s leadership will realize this, step forth and sound off?
Someone e-mailed me a couple of those prophecies earlier this fall, but I figured I’d wait to see if they came true. They didn’t. I’m wondering what, if anything, I should say to the sender since she also embraced the so-called “Lakeland Revival.”
The guy over at Totem to Temple used to joke that “GOP” stood for “God’s Own Party” or “God’s Only Party”. Looks like for a lot of American Christians that wasn’t a joke.
Problem is, when you tie Christ to some political party or candidate, you tie Him to the ups and downs (and eventual obsolescence) of that party/candidate.
Someone e-mailed me a couple of those prophecies earlier this fall, but I figured I’d wait to see if they came true. They didn’t. I’m wondering what, if anything, I should say to the sender since she also embraced the so-called “Lakeland Revival.”
Then you’ve got a crazy as a source. And she’s not alone.
For what it’s worth, Prophetic Words from God re The Obamanation of Desolation are a dime a dozen since the election. My writing partner (a burned-out pastor in rural PA) has had to use his “DON’T GO STUPID ON ME!” sermon a LOT since the election. My sister-in-law passed one to me about some neighbor of hers who claims God speaks to him on a regular basis; the post-election message from God was “Now My Judgment On This Land Begins”.