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Voting for Truth

Genuineness is hard to find as counterfeits abound. This is true in every area of life, including politics. Today, many vote for candidates on the basis of their race and political affiliations or any other frivolous designation. Then, there are those who vote for whoever promises them the most stuff or favors. Unfortunately, we’ve been corrupted and don’t even know it. Our narcissism has blinded us. No longer do we judge people by their fruit, by what they actually do and produce (Matt. 7:15-20). No longer do we look at a person’s character and behavior. These things don’t matter anymore. Now, we vote on personal preference and comfort, based on what looks better and feels better. Even many Christians do this, instead of objectively measuring each candidate and their positions by the inerrant Word of God (1 Thess. 5:21).

Lady-Justice

Lady Justice

As voters, we have a responsibility to examine every candidate and leader – praising them when they do good and calling them out when they do wrong – and if they fail to produce good fruit, we must remove them (Luke 13:6-9). When was the last time we turned a blind eye to someone’s race and party affiliation and simply took the time to get to personally know them and their voting record? Is judging someone based on their race and party affiliation not extremely superficial and even adolescent? What if we stopped listening to all the campaign promises, slogans, and rhetoric and just judged every political tree by its fruit? Would we not be a lot more like Lady Justice, who wears a blindfold and lets the honest scales of justice weigh everything for her without prejudice or emotion?

Perhaps we should take more care and thought in how we measure people, judging fruit rather than everything else. Unfortunately, many who run for public office claim “that they know God but in works they deny Him, being disobedient and unto every good work reprobate” (Titus 1:16). Let’s be honest, if we had a dollar for every candidate who called Christ Lord but did not follow His Word, how rich would we be? (Lk. 6:46) Yet, how many Christians are able and bold enough to call a spade a spade and vote accordingly? Where are the righteous who are as bold as a lion, unwilling to compromise on the Truth?

Perhaps we should remember that there are consequences for folding on principle:

“Such compliances [compromises]…of my honor, my conscience, my friends, my country, my God, as the Scriptures inform us must be punished with nothing less than hell-fire, eternal torment; and this is so unequal a price to pay for the honors and emoluments…that I cannot prevail upon myself to think of it. The duration of future punishment terrifies me. If I could but deceive myself so far as to think eternity a moment only, I could comply and be promoted.” John Adams

“…Feeble in many instances would be the best form of government, and ineffectual the most wise and salutary laws, and the greatest fidelity in the execution of them, without a sense of religion and the terrors of the world to come…In a word, banish a sense of religion and the terrors of the world to come from society, and you at once dissolve the sacred obligations of conscience and leave every man to do that which is right in his own eyes; you let mankind 1oose like so many beasts of prey, to roam at large, to deceive, destroy and devour…” Election Sermon to the Connecticut legislature, Rev. Matthias Burnet, May 12, 1803

Also, as we approach the mid-term elections, let us consider the following words of wisdom:

“I have one great political idea… It is in substance, “Righteousness exalteth a nation, sin is a reproach to any people” [Prov. 14:34]… [T]his constitutes my politics – the negative and positive of my politics, and the whole of my politics.” Frederick Douglass, black Gospel minister; civil rights leader

“If the time ever comes when we shall go to pieces, it will… [be] from losing sight of the facts that ‘Righteousness exalteth a nation, but sin is a reproach to any people’… Unless we hold firmly to the great principles of righteousness [enunciated in the Declaration of Independence, in the Golden Rule, in the Ten Commandments, in the Sermon on the Mount], [America,] if it continues to exist, will be a curse and not a blessing.” Francis Grimke, black Gospel minister; civil rights leader

“When the righteous rule, the people rejoice; when the wicked rule, the people groan.” (Proverbs 29:2)

“Those who wish well to the State ought to choose to places of trust men of inward principle, justified by exemplary conversation…[And t]he people in general ought to have regard to the moral character of those whom they invest with authority either in the legislative, executive, or judicial branches.” Rev. John Witherspoon

“[T]he Scriptures teach… that rulers should be men who rule in the fear of God, able men, such as fear God, men of truth, hating covetousness [Ex. 18:21]… [I]t is to the neglect of this rule of conduct in our citizens that we must ascribe the multiplied frauds, breaches of trust, peculations [white collar larceny], and embezzlements of public property which astonish even ourselves.” Noah Webster

truth-11“In selecting men for office, let principle be your guide. Regard not the particular sect or denomination of the candidate – look to his character… When a citizen gives his suffrage to a man of known immorality he abuses his trust; he sacrifices not only his own interest, but that of his neighbor, he betrays the interest of his country.” Noah Webster

“When you become entitled to exercise the right of voting for public officers, let it be impressed on your mind that God commands you to choose for rulers, “just men who will rule in the fear of God.” The preservation of government depends on the faithful discharge of this duty; if the citizens neglect their duty and place unprincipled men in office, the government will soon be corrupted; laws will be made, not for the public good so much as for selfish or local purposes; corrupt or incompetent men will be appointed to execute the laws; the public revenues will be squandered on unworthy men; and the rights of the citizens will be violated or disregarded. If a republican government fails to secure public prosperity and happiness, it must be because the citizens neglect the divine commands, and elect bad men to make and administer the laws.” Noah Webster

“Let each citizen remember at the moment he is offering his vote that he is not making a present or a compliment to please an individual — or at least that he ought not so to do; but that he is executing one of the most solemn trusts in human society for which he is accountable to God and his country…[He] may then reflect, each one on his own integrity, and appeal to the Monitor within his breast, that he has not trifled with the sacred trust reposed in him by God and his country – that he has not prostituted his honor and conscience to please a friend or a patron.” Samuel Adams

“Now, more than ever before, the people are responsible for the character of their Congress. If that body be ignorant, reckless, and corrupt, it is because the people tolerate ignorance, recklessness and corruption. If it be intelligent, brave, and pure, it is because the people demand these high qualities to represent them in the national legislature…If the next centennial does not find us a great nation… it will be because those who represent the enterprise, the culture, and the morality of the nation do not aid in controlling the political forces.” President James A. Garfield

right-and-wrong“I apprehend no danger to our country from a foreign foe. Our destruction, should it come at all, will be from another quarter – From the inattention of the people to the concerns of their government, from their carelessness and negligence… I fear that they may place too implicit a confidence in their public servants, and fail properly to scrutinize their conduct; that in this way they may be made the dupes of designing men, and become the instruments of their own undoing.” Daniel Webster

“Consider well the important trust… which God… [has] put into your hands… To God and posterity you are accountable for [your rights and your rulers]… Let not your children have reason to curse you for giving up those rights and prostrating those institutions which your fathers delivered to you… [L]ook well to the characters and qualifications of those you elect and raise to office and places of trust… Think not that your interests will be safe in the hands of the weak and ignorant; or faithfully managed by the impious, the dissolute and the immoral. Think not that men who acknowledge not the providence of God nor regard His laws will be uncorrupt in office, firm in defense of the righteous cause against the oppressor, or resolutely oppose the torrent of iniquity… Watch over your liberties and privileges – civil and religious – with a careful eye.” Rev. Matthias Burnett

“I conjure you, by all that is dear, by all that is honorable, by all that is sacred, not only that ye pray but that ye act.” (John Hancock)

“We electors have an important constitutional power placed in our hands; we have a check upon two branches of the legislature… the power I mean of electing at stated periods [each] branch… It becomes necessary to every [citizen] then, to be in some degree a statesman, and to examine and judge for himself of the tendency of political principles and measures. Let us examine, then, with a sober, a manly… and a Christian spirit; let us neglect all party [loyalty] and advert to facts; let us believe no man to be infallible or impeccable in government any more than in religion; take no man’s word against evidence, nor implicitly adopt the sentiments of others who may be deceived themselves, or may be interested in deceiving us.” John Adams

“[T]he time has come that Christians must vote for honest men and take consistent ground in politics or the Lord will curse them… Christians have been exceedingly guilty in this matter. But the time has come when they must act differently… Christians seem to act as if they thought God did not see what they do in politics. But I tell you He does see it – and He will bless or curse this nation according to the course they [Christians] take [in politics].” Rev. Charles G. Finney

“Providence has given to our people the choice of their rulers, and it is the duty, as well as the privilege and interest of our Christian nation, to select and prefer Christians for their rulers.” John Jay

Keep-Calm-and-Vote-Full-size“The Americans are the first people whom Heaven has favored with an opportunity of deliberating upon and choosing the forms of government under which they should live.” John Jay

“The elective franchise, if guarded as the ark of our safety, will peaceably dissipate all combinations to subvert a Constitution, dictated by the wisdom, and resting on the will of the people.” Thomas Jefferson

“[S]hould things go wrong at any time, the people will set them to rights by the peaceable exercise of their elective rights.” Thomas Jefferson

“Governments, like clocks, go from the motion men give them; and as governments are made and moved by men, so by them they are ruined too. Wherefore governments rather depend upon men than men upon governments. Let men be good and the government cannot be bad… But if men be bad, let the government be never so good, they will endeavor to warp and spoil it to their turn… [T]hough good laws do well, good men do better; for good laws may want [lack] good men and be abolished or invaded by ill men; but good men will never want good laws nor suffer [allow] ill ones.” William Penn

“Impress upon children the truth that the exercise of the elective franchise is a social duty of as solemn a nature as man can be called to perform; that a man may not innocently trifle with his vote; that every elector is a trustee as well for others as himself and that every measure he supports has an important bearing on the interests of others as well as on his own.” Daniel Webster

Many of these quotes came from www.wallbuilders.com/libissuesarticles.asp?id=80.

More than 6 million self-described “evangelicals” voted for Obama. Why & what else do the exit polls tell us about how Christians voted? – Joel C. Rosenberg

Note from WilsonNCTeaParty.com: This article was taken from http://flashtrafficblog.wordpress.com/2012/11/08/more-than-6-million-self-described-evangelicals-voted-for-obama-why-what-else-do-the-exit-polls-tell-us-about-how-christians-voted]

[CORRECTED VERSION: In the first version of this column, I incorrectly reported a figure of 25 million evangelicals voting for Obama in 2012. The actual number, as now noted below, is about 6.4 million. Please forgive my error.]

As the smoke clears from the wreckage of the Romney defeat on Tuesday, some intriguing yet disturbing facts are coming to light.

* Fewer people overall voted in 2012 (about 117 million) compared to 2008 (about 125 million).

* President Obama received some 6.6 million fewer votes  in 2012 than he did in 2008 (60,217,329 in 2012 votes compared to 66,882,230 votes in 2008).

* One would think that such a dynamic would have helped Romney win — clearly it did not.

* Incredibly, Governor Romney received nearly 1 million fewer votes in 2012 than Sen. John McCain received in 2008. (In 2008, McCain won 58,343,671 votes. In 2012, Romney won only 57,486,044 votes.)

Why? How was it possible for Romney to do worse than McCain? It will take some time to sift through all of the data. But here is some of what we know from the 2012 election day exit polls:

The President received a whopping 71% of the Hispanic vote (which was 10% of the total votes cast), compared to only 27% for Romney (McCain got 31% of the Hispanic vote in 2008). Obama also won 56% of the moderate vote, which was interesting given that Romney (who got 41%) was widely perceived by the GOP base as being a “Massachusetts moderate.” The President lost married women (getting only 46% of their vote to Romney’s 53%). But won decisively among unmarried women (67% to Romney’s 31%).

That said, what I’m looking at most closely is the Christian vote, and here is where I see trouble:

  • 42% of the Protestant Christian vote went for Obama in 2012. This was down from 45% in 2008.
  • 57% of the Protestant Christian vote went for Romney in 2012. This was up from 54% that McCain won in 2008.
  • When you zoom in a bit, you find that 21% of self-identified, white, born-again, evangelical Christians voted for President Obama in 2012.
  • You’d think this decrease in evangelical votes for Obama would have helped win the race for Romney, but it didn’t.
  • 78% of evangelical Christians voted for Romney in 2012. Yes, this was up from the 74% that McCain received in 2008, but it wasn’t nearly enough.
  • To put it more precisely, about 5 million fewer evangelicals voted for Obama in 2012 than in 2008. Meanwhile, some 4.7 million more evangelicals voted for Romney than voted for McCain. Yet Romney still couldn’t win.
  • Meanwhile, 50% of the Catholic vote went for Obama in 2012. This was down from the 54% that Obama won in 2008.
  • 48% of the Catholic vote went for Romney in 2012. This was up from the 45% that McCain won in 2008. Yet it still wasn’t enough.

Now consider this additional data:

  • In 2008, white, born-again, evangelical Christians represented 26% of the total vote for president, according to the exit polls.
  • In 2012, white, born-again, evangelical Christians represented 26% of the total vote for president, according to the exit polls.
  • In other words, we saw no change at all in the size of the evangelical vote, –no net gain, certainly no surge, no record evangelical turnout, despite expectations of this.
  • Of the 117 million people who voted on Tuesday, therefore, about 30 million (26%) were evangelicals. Of this, 21% — or about 6.4 million evangelicals — voted for Obama.
  • By comparison, of the 125 million people who voted in 2008, 32.5 million (26%) were evangelicals. At the time, Obama won 24% of evangelicals, or about 7.8 million people.
  • What’s more, in 2008, 27% of the total vote for president was Catholic, according to the exit polls.
  • In 2012, only 25% of the total vote for president was Catholic.
  • Remarkably, this means that Romney got a higher percentage of the Catholic vote than McCain, but millions of fewer Catholics actually voted in 2012, despite having Rep. Paul Ryan, a practicing Catholic, on the ticket.

What does all this mean? A few observations:

  1. During the GOP primaries in 2012, it was reported that there was record turnout by evangelical voters — they were fired up and mobilized then (though largely behind Sen. Rick Santorum.)
  2. There were concerns by a number of Christian leaders going into the 2012 elections that Romney’s Mormonism might suppress evangelical and conservative voter turnout.
  3. The Romney campaign worked hard to not only to win the evangelical vote but to turn out more evangelicals to the polls — but it did not work.
  4. Despite Obama’s pro-abortion, pro-gay marriage, anti-religious freedom record — a record presumably abhorrent both to evangelicals and conservative Catholics — Romney simply was not able to cut deeply enough into Obama’s evangelical and Catholic vote.
  5. If Romney had been able win over significantly more evangelicals – and/or dramatically increased evangelical turnout in the right states – he would have won the election handily.
  6. It is stunning to think that more than 6 million self-described evangelical Christians would vote for a President who supports abortion on demand; supported the same-sex marriage ballot initiatives that successed in Maryland, Maine and Washington; and was on the cover of Newsweek as America’s “first gay president.” Did these self-professed believers surrender their Biblical convictions in the voting booth, or did they never really have deep Biblical convictions on the critical issues to begin with?
  7. Whatever their reasons, these so-called evangelicals doomed Romney and a number of down-ballot candidates for the House and Senate.
  8. This is what happens when the Church is weak and fails to disciple believers to turn Biblical faith into action.
  9. Given the enormous number of evangelical Christians in the U.S., this bloc could still affect enormous positive change for their issues if they were to unify and vote for the pro-life, pro-marriage candidate as a bloc.
  10. What will it take to educate, register and mobilize Christians to vote on the basis of Biblical principles, and what kind of candidates could best mobilize them? This is a critical question that Christian political leaders as well as pastors must serious consider. As we have seen, just a few million more evangelicals voting for pro-life, pro-marriage candidates could offset other demographics that are becoming more liberal.
  11. That said, we need national candidates who take values issues as seriously as economic and fiscal issues, and have strong credentials on these values issues, and can talk about these issues in a winsome, compassionate, effective manner.
  12. We need pastors registering voters in their churches and teaching the people in their congregations the importance of the civic duty of voting.
  13. None of this should come, however, at the expense of pastors and other Christian leaders clearly, boldly and unequivocally teaching and preaching the Word, proclaiming the Gospel, and making disciples, and helping believers learn to live out their faith in a real and practical way in their communities, including being “salt” and “light” to preserve what is good in society. What we need most in America isn’t a political revival but a sweeping series of spiritual revivals — a Third Great Awakening. As men and women’s hearts are transformed by the Gospel of Jesus Christ, they will, in time, vote for the values they are internalizing from the Bible. As I wrote about in Implosion, if we don’t see a Third Great Awakening soon, I’m not convinced we will be able to turn this dear nation around in time.

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