"Evangelicals" and Election 2004!

"Evangelicals" and Election 2004

Loads and loads of discussion have been the order of the day as Election 2004 has been put under the political microscope and all the little creepy, crawly things have been sorted out and identified on mass media glass slides.

A heap of comments has particularly focused on the "evangelical" vote with the suggestion made that the election was a sort of referendum on moral and family values. One commentator more than once on a network that attempts to parade itself as being "conservative" stated that the Democrats need to go to church and listen so that they really understand what happened!

Others have suggested some of the following:

    the Republican victory was a specific answer to prayer.

    election results clearly revealed that God has granted a "reprieve" to the United States

    the preserving of traditional marriage and rejection of same-sex marriage involving "evangelical" influence regarding moral values.

    a future opportunity to possibly overturn the infamous 1973 Roe v. Wade decision through the appointments of as many as 3 or 4 judges to the Supreme Court over the next 4 years.

Even on Thanksgiving Day it was noted that 26 million "evangelical Christians" voted in the 2004 election.

So, what about this "evangelical" influence all around the country which shows the country to be very red when the map of all counties are shown which voted for Bush vs. the blue counties which voted for Kerry?

Further, did not the issue of religious faith surface at times during the heat of the presidential campaign and was it not the subject of very intense discussion by those who are clearly identified as "mass media talking heads?"

It needs to be brought to mind the fact that "evangelical" is not what it used to be.

There was a time when "evangelical" decidedly meant to be a Christian who had truly repented of all known sin, received Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord, experienced the miraculous regenerating work of the Holy Spirit (that is, one becomes born again), and viewed the holy Scriptures as infallibly inspired by the Holy Spirit. Consequently there was an uncompromising position that the Scriptures were the final authority on all matters pertaining to Christian faith and practice.

Among other things this unique view of the Scriptures placed the "evangelical" in the very controversial position of holding to the eternal truth that Jesus Christ is the exclusive way of salvation and eternal hope. Any religious faith that does not have Him at its center as does bonafide Christianity has absolutely no hope in time nor eternity! This highly unpopular stance does not rest on the personal opinions of Christians, but rather on the absolute claims made by Jesus Himself such as a number of "I am…" statements found in the Gospel of John.

In regard to human sexuality the Scriptures clearly spell out the boundaries God has established with sexual intimacy between a male and a female within the bond of marriage being blessed and all other sexual activities outside that marriage union being strictly prohibited and condemned!

But there are professed "evangelicals" who have shifted a bit from the aforementioned positions.

President Bush has been identified as "evangelical" in his experience and profession of faith. He has had meetings with groups of individuals who have for some time been known, or want to be known, as being "evangelical." These have gone overboard in their praise, adoration, and support of the president. That support was certainly evident during the presidential campaign of 2004.

However, how many of these "evangelicals" have raised serious and quite legitimate questions, and have directed the same to President Bush who is considered to be one of their own. Certain actions and statements on the part of the president give sufficient cause to ask the questions.

Consider some critical issues:

    The Bush administration appointed an open practicing homosexual to be the U.S. ambassador to Romania. When Colin Powell administered the oath of office the sodomite's "lover" was present and beaming from ear to ear. And of course the "lover" accompanied the newly appointed ambassador to Romania with we taxpayers footing the bill just the same as we would for an ambassador who adheres to God's standard for marriage between male and female!

    At a news conference with Tony Blair during the president's visit to the UK he was asked a question about Christians and Muslims. President Bush expressed his belief that Christians and Muslims worship the same God! This was a public statement, and while it may have been a "politically correct" response, it is totally untrue in light of God's revelation to us. Place the Bible and the Koran side by side, then read and compare and there is no way with an honest evaluation that the God of the Christians and Allah of the Muslims are one and the same! The big divide occurs at the point of where the God of Christianity made the step to become human and ultimately die on a cross as a sacrifice for the sins of every human being, including the Muslims. Allah never did anything remotely close to demonstrating a sacrificial love such as that!

    In the spring of 2004 it quickly became obvious that pro-abortion Republican Senator Arlen Specter was in trouble in his reelection bid. A fellow by the name of Pat Toomey was effectively challenging Specter and support from pro-life people was strong. To deal with this problem President Bush and professed "pro-life" Senator Rick Santorum campaigned for Specter in the Keystone State. Photos and TV ads reminded us people of PA that Bush, Santorum, and Specter were cozier than 3 peas in the same pod!

    As it turned out, Specter won the primary by just a few thousand votes and the "victory" is mainly attributed to the fact that Specter had open and ardent support from the president and the junior senator from PA. Big question here -- if you claim to be pro-life, how can you so passionately embrace a pro-abortion senator for reelection? As the old saying goes -- "There's something rotten in (insert the country of your choice -- many qualify for the position in today's world!).

    As we well know, the president aggressively pursued and continues to pursue the "war on terrorism." But here is a glaring inconsistency -- why not pursue a war against "terrorists of another kind" who operate legitimately within the boundaries of our own nation. These are the white coated guys (and maybe some gals too) who invade the peaceful and sacred realm of the human womb and violently dismember and murder unborn children at the rate of about 100,000 per month!

    You object and say that's too harsh a judgment -- all that happens is just a "medical procedure" to help a female out of a difficult predicament and it requires the services of a "doctor" (term used loosely) to do this. Oh? Well take about 5 minutes and stare at the results of one "medical procedure" pictured here. Or are we just talking an incident of "minor surgery?" Want to reconsider your thinking a bit on this and identify it for what it really is? In the land where "evangelical" influence is supposed to be so strong, the violent killing goes on unabated. Maybe we've learned to play the ostrich game more skillfully than we would like to admit!

    Saddest thing is that "evangelicals" who claim to know their Bibles and claim their faith rests on that revelation don't say a whole lot about U.S. version of "holocaust!" There is a dismal failure to comprehend the fact that God is going to call this country to account for the slaughter of the millions for whom He had a special design and purpose! Or to use a very Biblical term to describe this abomination -- God refers to it as the "shedding of innocent blood" and He does have comments to make as to His view of such happenings.

    The "evangelical" protest against home-grown violence which has Supreme Court approval and ongoing sanction from a substantial number of members of the U.S. Congress as well as legislators at the state level is about as strong as that of our "evangelical" president!

The "evangelical" influence? Where do you see and hear a pronounced trumpet call to fully repent of our personal and collective sins as our nation burns with uncontrolled selfishness, greed, lust, hatred, violence, and the shedding of innocent blood?

    Our massive idolatry with money being a most prominent deity among many!

    Our out-of-control binge of sexual immorality fueled by the Hollywood, TV, music, and pornography industries!

    Our flagrant profaning of the day of worship with proof substantiated by the fact that we cannot get half of our population into a place of worship on the day which was originally set aside and limited for that solitary purpose!

    Our non-stop practice of destroying over a million unborn future citizens per year without so much as a hint of regret or remorse!

    Our outrageous hypocrisy of claiming to be a nation under God while at the same time we reject His authority and His standards which insure a nation's stability, sanity, harmony, security, and hope for the future!

    Our present scenario is summarized very well in the description of a problem people of another time and place:

    Also on your skirts is found the blood of the lives of the poor innocents. I have not found it by secret search, but plainly on all these things….. You have had a harlot's forehead; you refuse to be ashamed…. We lie down in our shame, and our reproach covers us. For we have sinned against the LORD our God, we and our fathers, from our youth even to this day, and have not obeyed the voice of the LORD our God."……."And it shall come to pass in that day," says the LORD, "That the heart of the king shall perish, and the heart of the princes; the priests shall be astonished, and the prophets shall wonder." …..(I said) "I will go to the great men and speak to them, for they have known the way of the LORD, the judgment of their God." But these have altogether broken the yoke and burst the bonds. Therefore a lion from the forest shall slay them, a wolf of the deserts shall destroy them; a leopard will watch over their cities. Everyone who goes out from there shall be torn in pieces, because their transgressions are many; their backslidings have increased. "How shall I pardon you for this? Your children have forsaken Me and sworn by those that are not gods. When I had fed them to the full, then they committed adultery and assembled themselves by troops in the harlots' houses. They were like well-fed lusty stallions; every one neighed after his neighbor's wife. Shall I not punish them for these things?" says the LORD. "And shall I not avenge Myself on such a nation as this?"…. But this people has a defiant and rebellious heart; they have revolted and departed. They do not say in their heart, "Let us now fear the LORD our God, Who gives rain, both the former and the latter, in its season. He reserves for us the appointed weeks of the harvest." Your iniquities have turned these things away, and your sins have withheld good things from you. 'For among My people are found wicked men; they lie in wait as one who sets snares; they set a trap; they catch men. As a cage is full of birds, so their houses are full of deceit. Therefore they have become great and grown rich. They have grown fat, they are sleek; yes, they surpass the deeds of the wicked; they do not plead the cause, the cause of the fatherless; yet they prosper, and the right of the needy they do not defend. Shall I not punish them for these things?' says the LORD. 'Shall I not avenge Myself on such a nation as this?' "An astonishing and horrible thing has been committed in the land: the prophets prophesy falsely, and the priests rule by their own power; and My people love to have it so. But what will you do in the end?"….. To whom shall I speak and give warning, that they may hear? Indeed their ear is uncircumcised, and they cannot give heed. Behold, the word of the LORD is a reproach to them; they have no delight in it.

    Jeremiah 2:34; 3:3b; 3:25; 4:9; 5:5-9; 5:23-31; 6:10

    Seems we are treading the same path as they did and can we not expect the same tragic outcome when the journey concludes with God bestowing rewards for all the aforementioned wicked practices?

    Your homework assignment: 2 Chronicles 36 -- start with verse 11 and read for a while -- this is an easy to understand summary as to how a culture unravels morally and spiritually and finally experiences a most unpleasant response from the God Whose people they professed to be!

A Significant Selah Moment!

O LORD, how long shall I cry, and You will not hear? even cry out to You, "Violence!" And You will not save. Why do You show me iniquity, and cause me to see trouble? For plundering and violence are before me; there is strife, and contention arises. Therefore the law is powerless, and justice never goes forth. For the wicked surround the righteous; therefore perverse judgment proceeds.
Habakkuk 1:2-2 (NKJV)

For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who suppress the truth in unrighteousness....

It is time for You to act, O LORD, for they have regarded Your law as void. Therefore I love Your commandments more than gold, yes, than fine gold! Therefore all Your precepts concerning all things I consider to be right; I hate every false way.

Romans 1:18; Psalm 119:126-128 NKJV

November 27, 2004
Clayton D. Harriger
Elder in Full Connection
Western PA Annual Conference
The United Methodist Church
and presently pastor of
Gipsy Christian Church (Disciples of Christ)
Gipsy, PA
AND Non-Affiliated registered voter, Cambria Co. PA

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