In less than 145 days, citizens of the United States will again hand the sword of police powers to fellow citizens for the purpose of wielding governing authority. As with every election from local water-management-district positions to the president of the United States, this is a test of the collective values of "We the People."
Let me first assert that our last test (2008) scored a resounding "F." Have we done our homework, learned where we went wrong, and are we ready for the retake? As it has been since the dawn of civil freedom, that duty rests greatest on those who know and revere the Author of our freedom.
In this country in particular, it has long been recognized by credible historians that the clergy served as the primary source of moral truth as well as religious and civil education in our founding era. The First Great Awakening served to both light and fuel the fires of liberty.
Pastor and 19th-century historian John Wingate Thornton asserted, "To the pulpit, the Puritan Pulpit, we owe the moral force which won our independence." How is that?
Professor Ellis Sandoz, in his extensive studies that led to his book, "Political Sermons of the Founding Era," declared:
The political culture of this country was not only all the things it is most frequently said to be … but was deeply rooted in the core religious consciousness articulated above all by the preachers; theirs were pulpits of a new nation with a privileged, providential role in world history.
Contrast that with the current direction of most pulpits in regards to civil government:
- "I can't be too political because I have both Democrats and Republicans in my church."
"We should focus on evangelism and not get caught up in politics."
"Politics is dirty."
"Political involvement is a distraction and undermines my ability to preach the Gospel."
"Politics is not the business of the church."
"I can't tell my people who to vote for."
Red herrings and straw men! Indefensible both biblically and constitutionally!
I have listed just the most commonly heard excuses used by pastors to ignore the condition of the governing authorities and stay safely in their stained-glass bunkers while the battle rages around them.
While I thank God for the patriot pastors like those who have signed our Pastors' Declaration of Godly Citizenship and those like Wayne Williams, pastor of Liberty Baptist Tabernacle in Rapid City, S.D. ("Pastor tests IRS by endorsing candidate"), and hundreds of others joining Alliance Defense Fund's Free The Church project – they are still a minority.
The collapse of sound theology in regards to the role Christians play in general and that the pulpits serve in particular as anchors to "the laws of Nature and of Nature's God" is still a primary root cause of the disconnect between Christians and our suffrage.
Let me revive that long-lost term for just a moment because while most of us have learned about the "Women's Suffrage Movement" for the right to vote, I would assert that most of us never learned the meaning. Read carefully (from Webster's 1828 Dictionary):
SUF'FRAGE, n. [L. suffragium.]
- A vote; a voice given in deciding a controverted question, or in the choice of a man for an office or trust …
- United voice of persons in public prayer.
The fascinating dual application of this concept to both casting our vote and public prayer cannot be overlooked. What our founders understood was that our vote is a trust of authority given by God to another person to use that authority for God's purpose. What most Christians today believe is that to vote is an optional act that we perform if convenient and largely driven by our own needs, desires and views.
Hence, a person who claims to be Christian can vote for a Barack Hussein Obama, the singularly most dedicated Marxist and anti-American and most unqualified president to hold the executive office in our history. Even more common are the Christians who vote by their glaring absence – they just don't show up.
The root cause of both of these political diseases is pastors who have abdicated their sacred duty to teach the Holy Scriptures in entirety with application to every sphere of the believer's life. As quoted in our U.S. Pastor Council booklet, "The Biblical Basis of Civil Government," Colonial pastor Jonathan Mayhew challenged this condition in 1765:
Why, then, should not those parts of Scripture which relate to civil government be examined and explained from the desk, as well as others?
The political awakening birthed by the Fourth Reich of the Obama/Pelosi/Reid regime has inspired tens of thousands, hundreds of thousands, possibly millions of Americans to step up and get involved. That is a good thing and may result in a major political shift in one branch of Congress as well as state legislatures and more governors – again.
The bottom line is that the pulpits of this nation had better get back to the business of preaching the undiluted, uncompromised word of God as applied to all vital current issues and then demand that Christians vote those principles.
If just 10 percent of our moderate- to large-size churches will effectively execute the AMERICA Plan in their churches, we not only will make temporary political changes, but will have pumped the bilgewater out of the hold and set the ship back on the right course.
Don't get mad at politicians for failing on border security, immigration, fiscal responsibility, sanctity of life, defense of marriage and family, etc., if you don't vote in every election and vote God's values, not yours.