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Pastor to Christians: Vote wisely or lose everything

Hillary Clinton and President Barack Obama at the White House (Photo: White House)

Instead of a routine endorsement of GOP presidential candidate Donald Trump, onetime candidate Sen. Ted Cruz called for Americans to vote their “conscience” in a speech at the Republican National Convention, setting off a firestorm of criticism.

But one leading Christian pastor says it is precisely because of his conscience he is backing Trump for president of the United States.

And he has an important message for Christians – presidents matter. And Christians can’t afford to sit out this year’s election.

“If we have learned anything over the last eight years, it should be that we have been reminded of just how much presidential elections actually matter,” Carl Gallups told WND. “When you help to put someone in that office you are immediately giving them a huge amount of power.”

Gallups, the senior pastor of Hickory Hammock Baptist Church, a talk show host and the author of several books including the recent “Be Thou Prepared,” outlined several powers Christians should not be willing to hand over to Democrat Hillary Clinton.

The scope of the office’s power, said Gallups, is “terrifying.” Gallups said Christians can’t afford to ignore which individual will wield these vast powers.

Things are falling apart. Terror could strike anywhere. Are you and your family ready? “Be Thou Prepared” by Carl Gallups, available now in the WND Superstore.

Gallups said “conscience” often is used as a reason to justify not voting for Trump. But he reframed the question and asked if Christians can live with allowing a destructive candidate to assume power if Christians and conservatives stay home.

“What will your conscience say if the next president of the United States destroys your constitutional rights and way of life forever?” asked Gallups. “How will your conscience allow you to look your children in the eye and say, ‘Well, I ruined your life and nation, but don’t you admire me because I voted my conscience?'”

Gallups also dismissed the idea Christians shouldn’t vote for the “lesser of two evils.”

In fact, alleged Gallups, everyone has always voted for the lesser of two evils and always will “until Jesus returns.”

“There are no perfect or even near-perfect candidates,” said Gallups. “It’s no different this time.”

Gallups said another objection he’s often heard to justify Christians not voting is a kind of fatalism about who is in charge.

“The Bible says that God puts in office whoever He wants anyway,” Gallups said, summarizing what he’s often heard. “So, it really doesn’t matter. I don’t like Trump or Clinton – so I’m just going to let God handle it and do what He will do anyway.”

The pastor said this is a misreading of Scripture and noted wryly it is often made by people whose preferred candidate lost during the primary.

“Well, if we accept this premise, does it follow that God didn’t like your initial choice?” he asked ironically.

Gallups said God often gives a people the leader they “deserve” if they are able to actually have a voice in government. It follows then, he said, that Christians have an extra responsibly to work for good leaders.

“Suffice it to say, God can do whatever He pleases, anytime He pleases,” Gallups admitted. “Even, and especially, in the ruling of nations and how He might place or use any leader at any time to affect His will and ultimate direction of world affairs. But there is also ample evidence to support the truth that whenever a nation is given the rare and unequaled blessing of God to actually have a voice in who the ‘rulers’ are and to be personally involved in the government of their society, they should not scorn that blessing. If they do, the Lord will send that nation the ruler they ‘deserve.’ Think on that biblical truth – as you stay home from the voting booth this time.”

Finally, Gallups responded to those who say they have disagreements with parts of Trump’s platform.

“You will never find a candidate with whom you have perfect agreement,” Gallups counseled. “I too have issues with some of Trump’s platform. But, here is the foundational truth of the matter – which candidate is saying, ‘Let’s Make America Great Again,’ and appears to sincerely mean that, and which candidate is promising more of Obama’s policies, ramped up on political steroids? That’s the bottom line real choice we have to make, regardless of specific differences we may have.”

Gallups said even when there are differences, conservatives have a chance to influence Donald Trump or even change his mind. He believes that is simply not an option when it comes to Hillary Clinton.

However, ultimately, Gallups argues Christians are facing a real time of danger. The real issue, the pastor said, goes beyond politics. It’s about the need for Christians to get some “breathing room” in a culture that is rapidly turning against them.

“In my opinion, this particular election is right up there with the presidential elections before and during the Civil War,” said Gallups. “We are in a kind of societal civil war right now! And we are certainly in a great spiritual civil war in our nation, perhaps one like never before.

“It’s no great act of morality or conscience to opt out of this. If we back Trump, maybe, just maybe, with the grace and mercy of God’s answers to our prayers, we can get some breathing room. We can once again have the opportunity as Christians to retake the culture. We can once again live under a government that isn’t deliberately trying to persecute us and drive us out of the public square. And if we can get that, maybe we can even make America great and safe again.”

Things are falling apart. Terror could strike anywhere. Are you and your family ready? “Be Thou Prepared” by Carl Gallups, available now in the WND Superstore.