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.