Wednesday, February 13

Evangelicals are a "House divided"

Matthew 12: 25: “Every kingdom divided against itself is ruined. And every city or household divided against itself will not last.”

Originally I wrote this as my key verse for the Lenten devotional article that I was assigned for the St. Matthew's Lutheran Church in Walled Lake, Michigan which is featured below this post. The section I was 'assigned' was where Matthew is accounting the accusations made that Jesus was cavorting with demons. This verse, key in it's simplicity, has an echo in the political arena today also. And it is time that the household of conservatives realize and put 'paid' to their faith that God is in the process and will faithfully execute His plan for the governance of this nation that has become a grim and divided caricature of its once great beginnings.

A conservative talk show host on the local FM station I've listened to since 2004, Bob Dutko, has continually spoke of the realization that we have to have in this process…..that we must be committed to the election of anyone but Hillary or Barack for the office of the President of the United States and that means that we'll have to support McCain because Romney is no longer in the fight. I disagree, thinking that we need to realize the power of the community and stop worrying about the effects of the world upon our decisions. Instead of realizing that we must stave off disaster by compromising our principles, we need to realize that our principles must commit our course of action. We will keep defeating ourselves as conservatives because we continue to be divided over what we should or shouldn't do.

Huckabee has his issues, but he also has a historical record of being consistent with his faith and his words. As with any politician, there are enough 'questions' that have caused him to battle uphill against the tide of popularity given to his opponents within his own party and those in the opposition party. The common question on the lips of everyone today isn't is the man who was once a Baptist preacher strong enough to defeat either Hillary or Barack in the election? Now that the Romney has back out of the race, everyone seems to live with the defeated air that only McCain has a viable chance to oppose the 'unacceptable' choice of the Democratic Party. Many have placed the withdrawal of Romney at the feet of Huckabee, saying HE should have left the race a long time ago and given Romney a chance to overcome McCain's curb side appeal. Everyone is complaining of not having a choice but to accept McCain's likely nomination for the Republican choice for President.

"Who are you," I would ask those people, "to declare God inadequate for (as Bob Dutko puts it) a miracle?"

Political pundit Rush Limbaugh believes McCain would give the store away to the Democrats, and seems to be one of only a few leaders in the conservative 'family' that will oppose McCain. According to Newsmax, Limbaugh says: "We are sick and tired of how the people who seem to be triumphing in our party are precisely the people who seem to be selling this party out in terms of its ideology." Dr, James Dobson voices his sadness: "I am deeply disappointed the Republican Party seems poised to select a nominee who did not support a Constitutional amendment to protect the institution of marriage, voted for embryonic stem-cell research to kill nascent human beings, opposed tax cuts that ended the marriage penalty, has little regard for freedom of speech, organized the Gang of 14 to preserve filibusters in judicial hearings, and has a legendary temper, and often uses foul and obscene language."

Brannon Howse of Worldview Network, in an op-ed piece, voice the growing frustration most conservative evangelicals have with the division amongst the leadership:
"The bottom line is, Dr. Dobson, Sekalow, Perkins, Bauer and Robertson should have come out early on and supported the pro-life, pro-family candidacy of Governor Huckabee. After Fred Thompson dropped out, Huckabee was the only 100% pro-life, pro-family candidate. Thanks to a lack of leadership, we now have John McCain picking up speed to the nomination. If McCain is the nominee, true conservatives may vote, but I believe hundreds of thousands will not. In a race of McCain against Hillary/Obama, I think the latter wins. And who can you thank? In my humble opinion, the pro-family, pro-life leaders that were neither leading nor thinking about the main thing being the main thing: A candidate with a 100% pro-life, pro-family record."

"The nation is only as strong as the content of its character. America needs a leader who has it right on the social issues, even when that leader may not be as strong in other areas," ponders the Rev. Mark H. Creech is the executive director of the Christian Action League of North Carolina, Inc. in his guest column piece Don’t forget -- God is sovereign in the political process , "Only a straining of the facts makes John McCain equal to or worse than the godless direction a Clinton or Obama ticket would take the nation." Reverend Creech believes that the strongest issue concerning family values is the protection of Americans from terrorists bent on their destruction as opposed to our own tendency to destroy the generation fighting to be born, which McCain has a strong pro-choice history of voting.

Professor Craig Brians with the political science department at Virginia Tech was surprised to see Senator McCain (R-Arizona) leading Huckabee 55-to-27 percent in the rest of the national polls. Professor Brians is surprised at the data showing most evangelical Christian voters apparently will support McCain. "Now it's possible that a Falwell endorsement has really shifted things, and perhaps people who see different kinds of religious issues as really being key to their vote on the Republican side, have completely forgotten about the 2000 campaign," the Professor remarked in the Newsmax quote.

Instead of sitting back and realizing that "God is sovereign" in all things, as He is, we need to realize that He also calls us to declare to a world lost the values of the Cross and stand for what we believe, not what we believe is possible. Conservative airwaves, newspapers, opinions, and leaders are espousing the need to oppose Clinton and Obama instead of a declaration heard throughout the political and American landscape that we, as a spiritual and faithful people, will NOT stand for the politics as usual process of either party and will only accept the best candidate for the job, regardless of what party he belongs to or the world's opinion of his 'electability' come November. We live in fear of a Clinton or Obama as our President, instead of fearing the message that we have continually sent throughout the history of the United States that we will listen to those voices that would have us voting comprised principles rather than standing our values.

Instead of declaring the candidate who supports and shows the strongest conservative values that the majority of conservative evangelicals hold dear, the leadership is sending the division of their own confused values down through the family……causing even the democratic party to notice. The Democrats will be looking to endorse the candidate most likely to defeat Republican John McCain in the general election for President in November, because they know that is their only fear.

Should that be ours as conservative evangelical Christians? Or should we fear the further decay of our christian morals in the political and societal landscapes?

What do you fear?

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