The Worst of “the Christian Right”

by David Rogers on March 12, 2014 · 52 comments

A recent article at The Christian Post entitled “Christian Leaders Call on Believers to be Less Rigid, Support Flawed Politicians” embodies what I consider to be the worst of what the political Christian Right has to offer. The setting of the article is the recent Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) at the Gaylord National Harbor in Maryland, and is based on interviews with John Andrews, former president of the Colorado Senate and Director of the Centennial Institute at Colorado Christian University, and Tom Minnery, President and CEO of Focus on the Family’s political arm, CitizenLink. Previous to reading the article, I was not familiar with either of these two men, and I have no interest in criticizing them personally; but I would like to interact with several of the comments that came out in their interviews as reported in the CP article.

The basic gist of the article is summed up in the following introductory sentence: “Christian leaders at The Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) urged their fellow believers not to insist on supporting politicians who are strong on principle but less likely to get elected.” You can read the article for yourself here. But in what follows I would like to respond to four statements that I think represent some classic examples of horrible theology and Christian thinking.

1. “Put up with presidential candidates who may not be as pure as you are in your moral principles,” Tom Minnery, President and CEO of Focus on the Family’s political arm CitizenLink, told The Christian Post in an interview at CPAC. Minnery called on Christians to support candidates who can get elected, even if they are not perfect for the Christian community.

Minnery here is brazenly calling on Christians to compromise on moral principles in the interest of political expediency. Though I have heard various Christian Right leaders say things in the past which in one way or another implied what Minnery says here, this is the first time I have read a professed Christian come right out and say it. As Christians, though, we are very clearly NOT supposed to compromise with evil or give in on moral principles. Consider Ephesians 5:11, for example: “Take no part in the unfruitful works of darkness, but instead expose them.”

I am not saying here that Minnery is calling on Christians to compromise on their personal holiness. I understand that. But he is saying that when faced with a choice of a candidate which more closely reflects our understanding of God’s will and one that has a chance to win and only partially reflects that understanding, we should often opt for the one with a chance to win. And I understand that in many elections there is no candidate who truly reflects a Christian perspective on the issues. But when given a choice, it seems to me we should vote for the candidate who most closely represents the views that we in good conscience believe are the ones God would have us to support, and leave the results to Him.

2. John Andrews, former president of the Colorado Senate and Director of the Centennial Institute at Colorado Christian University, also called for unity behind electable candidates. “I think it would be tragic for libertarians and conservatives to get into a family feud as the 2014 opportunity approaches to take back the senate,” Andrews told CP in an interview at CPAC.

Andrews warned that the media “are doing their utmost to create divisiveness, fractures, factions, back-biting, family squabbles, between all who believe in liberty, limited government, free enterprise, and traditional Judeo-Christian values.”

As Christians, our unity is based on agreement on the essentials of the gospel, not common views on civil liberty, limited government, free enterprise, and traditional Judeo-Christian values. Where is the cross of Jesus here? Where is the doctrine of substitutionary atonement? While it may well be that our understanding of the gospel informs some of the views we take on various political and moral issues, insisting on a united political front among Christians based on common perspectives on debatable issues is what sows discord and creates divisiveness among the Body of Christ, not the other way around.

3. Despite these lofty goals, both men argued for a compromise when it comes to politics. Minnery admitted that “there may well be a perfect candidate out there for Christian people, but he probably cannot get elected.” Rather than supporting a pure candidate, he called on Christians to compromise.

As Christians, we are not called to run successful political campaigns, but to be faithful, and leave the results in the hands of God, who knows how to take care of His children much better than we could ever take care of ourselves. If he were just talking secular political strategy, Minnery might well have a point here. But he is directing his comments specifically to Christians, admonishing us as a brother in Christ. This is what so easily happens when we mix politics and religion. It leads to compromise.

And I can speak without equivocation to Minnery’s hypothesis here: There is no perfect candidate for Christian people. The only perfect candidate is Jesus Himself. And we as Christians are not called to occupy the seats of worldly power as Jesus’ proxies here on earth. Jesus Himself will exercise that prerogative when He returns in glory and sets up His eternal kingdom.

In the meantime, good, sound followers of Christ will inevitably disagree with each other from time to time on this political issue or that one. That doesn’t mean we shouldn’t each seek to find the positions that most closely align with our understanding of God’s will as revealed in Scripture, taking advantage of the brains and common sense He has given us as creatures created in His image. But it does mean that, for many issues, there is no one set Christian position.

4. Andrews insisted that the Bible calls Christians to be involved in politics. “I see, in scripture, Old Testament and New Testament, not just an encouragement but a mandate to be involved as citizens with civil government until the Lord returns,” he explained. The former president of the Colorado Senate cited Timothy, where scripture tells Christians to pray for those in authority “so that we may lead quiet and peaceable lives.”

In order to live quiet and peaceable lives, Andrews argued, citizens must act so that “an American culture, not dominated by tyrannous, oppressive government, can be a place where human flourishing occurs and ultimately where religious freedom and a knowledge of the truth in Jesus Christ can be attained and spread wider and wider.”

Notice that the comments here are framed not in the language of political strategy, but the language of biblical mandate. And this is terrible hermeneutics on Andrews’ part. After calling for moral compromise in the name of political expediency, here he apparently equates a call for prayer in 1 Timothy with a call for political activism. Perhaps the article doesn’t adequately report the context of Andrews’ comments, but the only Scripture passage presented in the article as support for an Old and New Testament mandate for political involvement actually says nothing of the sort. I am not saying that Christians should not be involved in politics, nor that there are no biblical principles to guide our involvement; but a shoddy hermeneutic like that exhibited in the quotes in this article is awfully shaky ground upon which to build one’s approach.

As Christians, we must use much discernment when we hear people quote Scripture out of context, or read into it something it does not say. These are difficult days, in many respects, to live a consistently Christian life in the midst of an ever increasingly ungodly culture. It appears to me, however, that some of the most subtle attacks of the enemy and temptations to compromise come at times from sources we might least expect.

1 dr. james willingham March 12, 2014 at 12:25 am

Very good, David. I would add that Christians also need a basis in evidence for their response to the political situation; they need to be aware that they can be, and often have been, manipulated, that forces behind the candidates with goals other than those stated in the parties platforms have a stake in the election of either party. Consider how we are being manipulated between one kind of socialism and another (I leave it for those who desire to determine the two kinds). In short, I speak of the Hegelian dialectic, the aim of which is to whip saw the populace between two poles until people get so tired and discouraged by defeat at whatever they seek or try that they give up. Then the forces behind the scenes can step in and take what they want, impose whatever form of government they desire, along with the religion, and God’s people will go back to being the suffering underdogs instead of seeking to win the whole world to Christ. The biggest mission force in Protestant force in church history, the SBC, is not far from coming unglued, of fragmenting into isolated separated, and segregated churches and individuals whose force for good as a group will be lost. We need people to really begin praying for a Third Great Awakening, a work of God’s presence and grace, and they need to know what is really involved in such a work. God grant them the curiosity to be become involved in investigating the awakenings in church history, along with the theology (and here I address not the Traditionalists, but the Calvinists, who often want an understanding of the compassion as well as how the problem texts of the Bible are really invitations, empowerments, enablers of transformations, to be embraced. Such understandings were involved in the launching of the Great Century of Missions or the modern missionary movements. We really need to consider the possibility of the Awakening A Thousand Generations (I Chron.16:15) just to fulfill the reference in Rev.7:9.

2 Andy March 12, 2014 at 5:19 am

“God grant them the curiosity to be become involved in investigating the awakenings in church history, along with the theology (and here I address not the Traditionalists, but the Calvinists, who often want an understanding of the compassion as well as how the problem texts of the Bible are really invitations, empowerments, enablers of transformations, to be embraced.”

Could you clarify this sentence please? I’m not sure I follow what you are saying. Thanks.

3 dr. james willingham March 12, 2014 at 10:39 pm

Ever hear a Calvinist preach a cold dead doctrinal sermon? Not all, of course, for I have heard some who could weep for sinners. But there are those who are little short of fatalism in their approach to evangelism. Whitefield would say, “Let me weep for you, since you cannot weep for yourselfs.” Whereupon he would burst out into tears for the sinners that were as Shakespeare put it in The Tempest, “insensible rocks and unsoluble clods.”

4 Adam G. in NC March 12, 2014 at 12:27 am

AFN skewered the SBC leadership (specifically Russell Moore and the ERLC) this morning. Said they were “out of touch” with the regular SBC church members regarding “amnesty”, as they put it. Straight up called them out.

Look, I’m not for open borders, but this kind of “religious-right” politics makes me wanna vote for this “amnesty” just to prove them wrong.

Makes me wish (sometimes) that evangelicals would just tune out of politics. Think of the churches that could have been planted with all of the meeelions of culture-war lobby money…that ultimately got them no-where.

The power unto salvation is not conservative, moralistic legislation.

5 Mark Lamprecht March 12, 2014 at 12:13 pm

Adam,

Who AFN? American Family Radio?

I agree with David’s article above. You comment reminds me about something with the ERLC and immigration.

When I think about the ERLC and the “I was a stranger challenge” taken from Scripture used by the Evangelical Immigration Table they are supporting I think – poor hermeneutic, also.

Scripture may also be abused to support more liberal policies also.

6 Doug Hibbard March 12, 2014 at 12:24 pm

“Scripture may also be abused to support more liberal policies also.”

Yep. I think both “sides” of American political thought are fond of grabbing one line of Bible that supports their ideas and then discarding the rest–especially any context that hurts their point and any verses that hard-contradict their views.

We’ve got a liberal running for re-election to the Senate here in Arkansas but his first commercial? Him talking about valuing the Bible. He has consistently voted pro-abortion among other votes that are non-Christian.

Meanwhile, his pro-war, pro-let business not pay their workers a fair wage (James, anyone?) opponent is talking about how much he loves the Bible.

They’re both just out for themselves and their own interests. Voting for one is incrementally better than the other, like having a leg amputated is better than dying of blood poisoning from the gangrene in the leg. But if I vote, it’s either those two or a fringe third-party candidate from the Green Party–not exactly Christian moral values there, either.

It’s either withdraw from the process or vote for someone slightly less evil. If we truly believe that our right to involve in the process is a gift from God, then disengagement does not seem like the right choice. It looks at the gift of liberty and says to the God who gave it “No thanks.”

Doesn’t seem right–but I agree we need to improve the situation. Maybe we need more people willing to serve the Lord by serving in government, even if that means they lose every time they run because the majority won’t want what they stand for, they will at least provide a meaningful option.

7 Adam G. in NC March 12, 2014 at 12:49 pm

Yep, American Family News on the radio.

8 Andy March 12, 2014 at 5:32 am

Right or wrong, uninvolved in politics is where I have fit for some time. If I am typical of the 20s-30s evangelical, the the so-called “Christian Right” should be very worried, and here’s why:
- I hadn’t even heard of the CPAP until I read this blog.
- I don’t care one iota what Sarah Palin or Ted Cruz say about any topic.
- I’m not giving any money to any political candidate
- I’m not campaigning for any political candidate
- The prominent conservative leaders have almost nothing to say that interests me.

I don’t know if I’m typical or not, but I have zero appetite for politics, and honestly do not feel any need to become more involved.

9 Andy March 12, 2014 at 5:36 am

HOWEVER…as to the Original point in question, I would push back a bit.

In a case such as a presidential race in which there are 2 primary candidates and several 3rd party candidates, are there not good Christian reasons to vote for one of the primary candidates, even you really feel one of the other guys would make a better president…especially if you believe that the opposing primary candidate would be so bad that a choice has to be made, and you don’t want your 3rd party vote to help the really bad candidate to get elected?

10 David Rogers March 12, 2014 at 8:23 am

Andy, Here is my point: “Some trust in chariots and some in horses [and some in astute politics], but we trust in the name of the Lord our God.” (Psalm 20:7) We are called to do what is right, not win elections.

11 dr. james willingham March 12, 2014 at 10:41 pm

Amen, David, Amen!

12 Debbie Kaufman March 13, 2014 at 2:10 pm

Amen David.

13 Tarheel March 13, 2014 at 3:35 pm

This is a hard saying, David, but you’re exactly right!

14 Allen Calkins March 12, 2014 at 6:19 am

AMEN! I too have become increasingly skeptical of the need for much political passion. I will pay attention to the issues and I will vote. But that is about it. And I will ALWAYS encourage other believers to vote their values over their pocketbook….When you get right down to it, Political involvement and Government really cannot do much IF ANYTHING to help advance the gospel. Whenever Christians, especially Christian leaders, talk/act like IT CAN we put a wedge between ourselves and people who really need the gospel.

15 Tim Rogers (@Timothy_Rogers) March 12, 2014 at 8:11 am

Tyrants and Dictators gain control when the moral compass of a nation becomes silent. These Tyrants and Dictators rise to power on the platform that they will return the nation to the moral standard that it once held. Once in power the Tyrants and Dictators remain strong because the church affirms the moral standard and pushes for the power. Then church leaders get power and it tastes oh so good. So, to retain their power the church leaders endorse and promote the Tyrants and Dictators.

Once that has come to a point you have someone like a Dietrich Bonhoeffer stand up against the Tyrants and Dictators. The question we need, and I believe David has addressed it, is a simple one. What is wrong with doing what is right?

16 Greg Harvey March 12, 2014 at 8:40 am

Politics is frequently called “the art of the possible”. Supporting candidates that you fail to elect limits your influence. Not that helping guarantee wins garners their undivided attention, of course.

The PROCESS of politics–especially grass-roots politics–is invaluable and arguably indistinguishable from personal evangelism. The PROBLEM is that while we evangelize a commonly accepted truth in the message of the Gospel, politics is more about using interests to assemble coalitions in order to ensure political support and therefore to eventually accomplish action.

But, still, the concepts that both personal evangelism and public politics share should mean we’re able to participate in both if we can do either. And, arguably, you can’t avoid politics and evangelize since politics is inherently about interacting with people.

Let’s consider simply the example of churches struggling with a local community over the weekly worship snarling traffic and leading to neighbors opposing expansion of the physical plant. While it is possible to win a court battle on the premise of First Amendment rights, shouldn’t the more “politically expedient” solution if being good neighbors be tried first? See…art of the possible.

Now as to using parliamentary process to get “our way”: I’ve never met anyone more completely skilled in Machiavellian tactics than Southern Baptists…

17 John Wylie March 12, 2014 at 9:06 am

I guess I have a little different take than most who have commented here do. Thanks to the fall of man the choice has always been and always will be, at least in this present age, between the lesser of two evils. We can all say that the right has done nothing for our causes, but I would just interject that one look at the past 6 years and how we have moved so much farther in the wrong direction that it’s scary. I personally would vote for a man who although doesn’t agree with me on every issue but would at least stem the flow in the wrong direction.

While we should never place our trust in politics, we should know that God does sometimes work through political leaders. In my view, the disengagement that I have seen being called for by many who write and comment here over the past years is tantamount to capitulation.

18 Adam G. in NC March 12, 2014 at 9:14 am

This is a mighty fine position to have, but many would say that generations of voting “the lesser of two weevils” is the reason we’re in the position we currently find ourselves. One good electoral opt-out would do a good deal in waking up the “conservatives” to the idea that our votes shouldnt be taken for granted every season.

I’ve said it before…evangelicals are the cheapest date in politics.

19 John Wylie March 12, 2014 at 1:07 pm

Adam,

And you could have your opt out and when it is said and done you would still be faced with the choice of the lesser of two evils. I vote for the guy who in my view will do the least damage to an already fallen society.

20 Ryan Abernathy (@absonjourney) March 12, 2014 at 9:33 am

I’m personally just happy that the “Christian right” is finally being honest about their true motivations and intentions. They have no interest in electing Godly leaders who reflect the character of Christ in their actions and their governance. They just want power. That’s honest. I just don’t agree.

The church in Amercia is reaping the whirlwind of 50+ years of political activism. We have put our trust in war horses and power rather than the Gospel. We have been used and abused by the Republican Party. To the extent, that in conservative states like mine, to be a Christian, especially an evangelical, is to be a Republican. One more barrier to overcome to simply get a hearing for the Gospel.

I would comment to you the books Bad Religion and Blinded by Might. They will mae your stomach church and your heart sick as you see the results of 60 years of the marriage of politics and the Gospel. There is no other reality. The Gospel loses every time.

The results of this 60 years experiment are that we have lost our focus on what truly has the ability to change a person. It is not the law, or morals, it is the Gospel. We cannot legislate someone into salvation. We cannot Chirtsianize a nation by electing people with an R after their name. Especially if their Christianity dies as soon as we mark their name on a ballot.

My prayer is that revelations like the one in this article lead us to a recommitment to being the salt- the preservative- in our culture. No longer seeking to solve our cultural breakdown through politics and laws, but the only way it really happens. One soul at a time via the Gospel.

It’s time to let go of politics.

21 David Rogers March 12, 2014 at 10:42 am

Ryan,

I resonate with 98% of what you are saying here. We are pretty much singing the same song. The only proviso I would throw in there is that I am not talking about the “capitulation” and “disengagement” John Wylie mentions above. As Christians, I believe it is still good stewardship to stay abreast of the issues and to vote according to our conscience. Even, at times, in the case of some, to work in campaigns, and to serve as legislators.

But the way we approach the political process is to be totally different than the way the world does it. It is something that from a worldly perspective will likely be deemed naive and overly innocent. It is a perspective that values faithfulness, consistency, and principle over strategy and success. It is also a perspective that trusts ultimately in God, while seeking to be obedient to those things He gives us to do, and good stewards with those resources He places in our hands.

22 Ryan Abernathy (@absonjourney) March 12, 2014 at 11:16 am

I agree with you on disengagement. I didn’t mean to indicate otherwise. I meant letting go of politics as a means for the Gospel. Nothing more. Good words David.

23 Joel March 12, 2014 at 9:46 am

Gaylord National Harbor is in my “backyard,” and political foolishness of every sort and kind emanates from there often. My family gets more wisdom out of the Dr. Seuss events that are held there sometimes.

So I’m not at all surprised that CPAC speakers would represent yet another in a long line of those who simply seek power.

Nicolo Machiavelli would be proud.

24 Mike Rasberry March 12, 2014 at 10:48 am

David,
I agree whole-heartedly with your premise. Those who hope to change the world through political activism sorely misunderstand the real purpose of Biblical Christianity.

We must stand for Biblical Principles, not vote for that which will personally benefit ourselves at the expense of those principles. While we have enjoyed tremendous influence in the government of the United States over the last two hundred plus years, we must not be deceived; the answer to the nation’s issues is NOT Caesar. We must attempt to influence government toward right mindedness without seeming to the world to be placing our trust in said government.

The unbelieving world must see that we stand apart from the unsaved moralists and stand for Biblical standards at all costs. Why should we, unlike the preponderance of world Christians, equate governmental favor with God’s favor. Certainly we are grateful for governmental favor, but Scripture seems to indicate that followers of Christ will endure persecution all the more as we see the end of the days approaching.

I will vote as nearly as I can ascertain God’s will in harmony with Biblical Standards, and trust God to work His perfect will out through the process.

25 Nate March 12, 2014 at 11:34 am

“Minnery here is brazenly calling on Christians to compromise on moral principles in the interest of political expediency.”

David, I don’t know the depth of what Minnery is calling for, but here is my question to you. Are you, in disagreeing with this statement, saying that Christians should stay at home when faced with two candidates who don’t embody all the moral principles that they believe in?

Quite frankly, I don’t think, if that is what you are implying, that you would be voting very often at all. We live in a two-party system and the chances that either of the candidates, if both are not Christian, will embody all the moral principles that believers would like. However, there is the notion of the lesser of two evils principle that resonates in any election. Again, I don’t know Minnery personally, but I wonder if that is what he is speaking about.

I don’t believe that I am compromising my own personal moral principles when voting for candidates. We don’t live in a theocracy. I am voting for the candidate that I believe will be the best at preserving/protecting and/or restoring the fabric of government I would like to see. As you said earlier, “i don’t trust in horses or chariots…” However, not voting because a candidate doesn’t perfectly embody all my beliefs will allow the opposition to have a fuller voice.

26 David Rogers March 12, 2014 at 12:27 pm

Nate,

Basically, what I am saying is to stay abreast of the issues as best as we can (within reason), to research the platforms of the various candidates from all parties (and independents as well), and then to vote for the one who most closely matches what we understand to be the biblically informed position on the issues, independently of the chances they have to win. Sometimes this candidate will be wrong on 90% of the issues but is at least a better option than the one that is wrong on 95% of the issues.

Also, each of us is going to have a slightly to somewhat different perspective on the issues. Who you think is the best candidate may not necessarily be the same as who I think is the best candidate. But that should not get in the way of our Christian fellowship, or cause either one of us to brand the other as a defective Christian because of our understanding of the issues—that is, unless it involves direct compromise on clear biblical principles.

27 Nate March 12, 2014 at 12:58 pm

Ok, but your reply to me is pretty benign while your comments regarding Minnery’s article are very pointed. I read Minnery’s article and don’t find him quite nearly as “radical” as you. Again, I don’t think that you can say Minnery is calling for moral compromise by merely pointing out that candidates will not possess a 100% “biblical” worldview. Your reply to me insinuates that you you will “compromise” your vote. Perhaps I’m missing your thesis, but you seem to biting at various corners of the problem, without giving a definitive set of guidelines.

28 David Rogers March 12, 2014 at 1:44 pm

I’m not sure what guidelines you are looking for, Nate. I think I was pretty specific on this in the last comment. I’m not in to telling anyone whom they should vote for. That would go against the guidelines I have given. What I am saying is vote according to your conscience, not according to whom the polls say has the best chance of winning.

29 David Rogers March 12, 2014 at 1:51 pm

If you want to see in more detail the practical steps I followed in deciding for whom to vote in the last presidential election, for instance, I lay them out here. Not saying that you or anyone else must follow my line of thinking on this—and it was, admittedly, pretty out of the box—but here it is:

http://sbcvoices.com/i-voted-today-for-tim-pawlenty/

30 Wm. Dwight McKissic, Sr. March 12, 2014 at 3:02 pm

David,

Thanks for writing this. Well said. Well thought out. True to the Bible. Good for the church. I am encouraged by your post and the comment thread here that there is yet hope for the true church in America to rise again.

31 ranger March 12, 2014 at 6:29 pm

Daniel 6, now there is a real Christian politician!!!!

32 dr. james willingham March 12, 2014 at 10:43 pm

Using the Bible to manipulate is nothing new. Just look at the Pharisees and Sadducees in the New Testament. And there is more, much more on this matter than meets the eye. We just need to go looking for it.

33 Craig Layton March 19, 2014 at 11:51 am

I humbly accept criticism of the statements that I am about to make. However, as a Christian, a student of the Scriptures and a Disciple of Christ; I must lay out a few obvious issues which Christians must grapple with.
First, (as stated above) Christians are to expect opposition from Caesar.
Second, We are to live as “light” in the darkness.
Third, Until we (Christians) “come out from among them and be separate” we will not be perceived as a people distinct, peculiar and above reproach. Thus, being unfruitful with our attempts to “make disciples”.
Although there are varying degrees of agreement and disagreement on the issue presented in this article, most every position I’ve read comes from the heart of a believer. However, it seems that what most of us are hoping to see come to pass is a government that creates a “kingdom of GOD” situation. We must be honest with ourselves. That just isn’t going to happen. The system of the world is controlled by the “prince of the power of the air” by God’s sovereign allowance(for a season and a reason). Please don’t misunderstand, I’m not calling for a disengagement from politics nor am I calling for a withdrawal from being conscientious about the issues surrounding candidates. What I am saying is, we need to have a realistic perspective that recognizes the pilgrim’s position in society. The 1st century church seemed to have an exceptional sense of this truth as well as the powerful “deposit” of the Gospel entrusted to them. Although the early church met with severe persecution and martyrdom; their effectiveness is attested to by our mere existence. Warren Wiersbe is correct in saying, “Blessed are the balanced.”
Politics and government will never accurately reflect the Christian or the reflection of Christ. We will always be charging “uphill”, as it were.
Few will deny that “perilous times” are upon us. We are in the last days. Our Christian effectiveness is waning in this hour of American history. Our “salt” is not savory. Our “light” is obscured by mixed messages. Our stand on the “issues” is viewed as hateful and intolerant of social norms. (Because we have failed to effectively pronounce our positions with a genuine heart of love.) Our tactics have been more compatible with Caesar’s than with Christ’s. Christianity, as a whole has lost its sanctified identity.
We are strangers in a strange land; not home on the range. We are only passing through with the glorious light of Jesus Christ. Let’s not forget our citizenship is in heaven. Our treasure is there also. We are not “left” or “right” we are centered in the will of God. We certainly do need a 3rd Awakening. We need to access the Scriptures that define our character, our conduct and our power as the “Redeemed”. In this late hour our mechanics are flawed (even if our motivations are correct). I suspect that most will see this as rambling, with no solution offered. However, I challenge all of us to step back for a moment and view ourselves as “in the world but not of the world” and then re-approach these issues that have us presently engaged. I suspect that the perspective will cause us all to be more conscious of the church that the gates of Hell shall not prevail against.

34 David Rogers March 19, 2014 at 3:21 pm

Great word, Craig. I think we are on the same page here.

35 Bart Barber March 20, 2014 at 11:43 am

Bart’s Rule # 1: Nobody who supported Bob Dole, John McCain, and Mitt Romney gets to tell me who is “electable” and expect me to pay attention.

36 Adam Blosser March 20, 2014 at 11:48 am

Preach! I wasn’t old enough to vote when Dole ran. I was duped into voting for John McCain, but wizened up the next time around did not cast my vote for either major party candidate this last time around. Both parties will keep putting up evil men as long as I am willing to choose between the lesser of two evils.

37 Nate March 20, 2014 at 1:02 pm

However, locking ourselves in our houses (by not voting at all or by voting for someone who has no chance of winning, e.g. independent) will bear no fruit either. Like it or not (at least from a POTUS standpoint) there are always only two choices. While one may be less preferrable than the other, there are still opportunities to have better relations with the Senate and the House depending on the outcome. Therefore there is a choice, and for me, until the DNC recants on its anti Pro-Life position (and a few other things) I will swallow hard and vote for the other side (at least at the POTUS elections).

I do think trying to draw parallels (politically) between the 1st century Roman Empire and the USA are worthless. One was tyrannical, the other isn’t (although it might seem like it is getting more so). If believers stay at home they give up their right to complain about their lives. Fortunately, we are merely sojourners so our “complaining” will be limited, but checking out completely is (in my opinion) handing the gun to your executioner.

Politics and the privilege we have as citizens to vote are never merely choosing between the lesser of two evils. I think, sometimes, the lesser of two evils might bring opportunity for a change, while the greater evil may destroy the freedom we once had without any chance of reversal. And, the truth is, we choose the lesser of two evils every day of our lives in a large variety of decisions. You drive to work hoping to not have a deadly car crash so that you can work and provide for your family, and on and on..

38 David Rogers March 20, 2014 at 1:16 pm

Or, in an attempt to win elections, sell out to a party agenda, and lose your soul in the meantime.

*not meaning to infer that if you vote one way or the other, you as an individual are ipso facto putting the eternal state of your soul at risk; rather that the Conservative Evangelical movement is at risk of losing its collective “soul” as a result of selling out to partisan politics. If we are talking about choosing between the lesser of two evils, it is ultimately better to lose elections and maintain your integrity.

39 Nate March 20, 2014 at 1:31 pm

David,

We’ll have to agree to disagree on the complexity of your statement, “it is ultimately better to lose elections and maintain your integrity” because we can’t read the minds of the candidates. In fact, I believe there have been quite a few recent Supreme Court Justices that gave impressions to the opposite effect of how they now vote in order to get nominated. I don’t believe I am selling out to a particular party. Unfortunately, due to the DNC’s unwillingness to move off its anti Pro-Life platform, I feel as if my hands are tied. So, in that case, I may be selling my soul on that particular item. Until a DNC candidate can be nominated to run for President (and clearly state they are Pro-Life) my vote will not be for them. At the moment the DNC has language in their party that will not allow them to nominate such an individual.

Adam: I already pointed out that in voting for POTUS, I considered a vote for an Independent a wasteful vote as the history of our country has never given indication of being willing to elect an independent (like it or not). And in this day and age, POTUS elections weigh more heavily because of the increased power we have allowed them to have, so I will stand on my lesser of two evils statement. Choosing the lesser of two evils at a POTUS election does not mean that I “toe” a particular party line, I do not. I am not registered to a party.

40 Adam Blosser March 20, 2014 at 1:16 pm

I did vote. I just did not choose one with an “R” or a “D” beside his name. My ballot had several candidates for POTUS. I could make the argument that I voted for the only truly pro-life candidate on my ballot. I knew he wouldn’t get elected. I also knew Mitt Romney wasn’t going to get elected either.

Why do people who choose to toe the party line insist on disparaging those of us who seek to effect change by voting for a 3rd party candidate?

41 Tarheel March 20, 2014 at 2:30 pm

Who was that in the general election that was “pro life”?

42 Adam Blosser March 20, 2014 at 2:41 pm

I think you already know the answer to that question.

43 Tarheel March 20, 2014 at 2:29 pm

But, Adam Blosser saying that your off major party vote was a strike against the “lesser of two evils” might not be as much so as you think.

Unless of course the person you voted for was a godly person whose policies posed no evil, then didn’t you pick a lesser of evils too?

44 Adam Blosser March 20, 2014 at 2:40 pm

Yeah, good point. I thought about that when I was writing my latest comment. It is not so much that I have a problem with people voting for the Republican party candidate as it is that I have a problem with people disparaging those of us who vote 3rd party as ignorant poor stewards of our vote.

45 John Wylie March 20, 2014 at 2:52 pm

As I said before, the choice has always been the lesser of two evils. We must choose between two fallen men.

46 Tarheel March 20, 2014 at 3:11 pm

It is very hard to convince me that a vote by a pro life voter for a candidate that could not, under any circumstances, win the 2012 election was nothing short of leaving votes for the most pro baby killing president ever uncontested and thereby actively contributing to his getting re elected

That re election will potentially lead to his appointing more SCOTUS justices (perhaps even replacing conservatives)… not to mention his forcing what I call the “the abortion funding mandate” on individuals, churches, religious hospitals and private businesses – via health insurance.

I am open to being convinced otherwise though.

47 Tarheel March 20, 2014 at 3:25 pm

*It is very hard to convince me of anything other than this; that a vote by a prolife voter for a candidate who could not, under and circumstances, win….

48 Adam Blosser March 20, 2014 at 3:40 pm

“and thereby actively contributing to his getting re elected”

That is absolutely ridiculous.

49 Adam Blosser March 20, 2014 at 3:44 pm

Btw, add all of the 3rd party votes to Mitt Romney’s total and he still lost.

50 Tarheel March 20, 2014 at 5:13 pm

It is not ridiculous.

Notice I also said, or stayed home….how many evangelical Christians stayed home because of the “refusal to play lesser of two evils”…add those numbers in and well…you never know.

If you are prolife and you do not vote for the the candidate with a pro life platform and party in the house and Senate who can actually win the presidency…but vote for one who absolutely cannot….that leaves votes for the pro abortion candidate uncontested. Thereby, I contend that anyone who did that contributed to Obama’s win.

Popular vote does not elect the president…electoral college does…several states were really close – perhaps those prolifers who voted for someone who could not under any circumstance win in those states cost Romney those electors.

51 Adam Blosser March 20, 2014 at 5:40 pm

If a frog had wings he wouldn’t bump his butt every time he jumped. I voted. I am not interested in discussing those who did not vote. Adding them into the conversation muddies the water as to whether voting for a 3rd party candidate is a legitimate option. It doesn’t have to be the option you choose for it to be a legitimate option. I don’t have a problem with you voting for a questionable major party candidate. I just don’t understand why you have a problem with me voting for a less questionable 3rd party candidate. The only people who “actively contributed” to the President’s re-election are those who voted for him and/or supported his campaign. I find it extremely frustrating when I am disparaged for thinking that I can effect change better by voting for a third party candidate.

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