Election Angst

On Tuesday, November 8th, I am voting for………..

This election cycle has left me speechless. I mean wordless. Actually I mean it has given me writer’s block. Okay, not writer’s block, but something akin to it. Suffice it to say I am having trouble explaining exactly how I think and feel about this election and I doubt I am alone. Many of us may indeed have election angst – a feeling of deep anxiety or dread.

Elections always come down to the choice between flawed candidates. We are all, after all, fallen human beings. We understand that. That being said, it is hard to imagine a campaign where two candidates so demonstrate the doctrine of total depravity better than these two do. Truly the choice this time is between the lesser of two evils instead of the evil of two lessors.

The two third party candidates are non-starters for most evangelical Christians and for me.  Socially their positions are unacceptable and they have no chance of getting elected so I can’t even consider them for a protest vote.  Regretfully the two major party candidates are almost equally non-starters.  I feel we have been left with either choosing to “Go to Hell with Hillary” or to “Trump the Beatitudes with the Donald”. Neither option appeals to me. I suspect that is true of many others as well.

It has been said that the leadership of a nation reflects the people of that nation. I don’t believe that’s necessarily true in a dictatorship,  but it is almost always true in a democracy. In this present hour, I am reminded of the book of Judges. That Bible book records one of the darkest periods in Israel’s history when “everyone did what was right in their own eyes”. The story line reads like “Game of Thrones” on steroids. A closer look shows us that each Judge in the chain is worse than the one before. I call the cycles in Judges “The Ever Descending Vortex of Stupidity”. Trump and Clinton make me feel like we are caught in this vortex and that we are about to crash at the bottom. I’m constantly yelling to myself,  “This is so stupid”. And you know I’m right. I CRY “We can do better!” We can,  but we didn’t.

Secretary Clinton, if she was still Secretary of State, would have to resign in shame over her handling of classified, secret and top secret matters of State. Instead she wants a promotion to the highest level of security clearance that there is. She wants to be the President of the United States. Her careless and reckless handling of such sensitive material is an embarrassment. It should disqualify her.

She knows this and thus she and her surrogates have gone on to lie about almost every aspect of this matter. Just so we all remember, lying, even for politicians in politics is an ugly thing.  It breaks the Law of God and it breaks trust with men and women.  Beyond that, when we lie, we resemble the father of lies.  Shouldn’t that bother us….a lot?

Mrs. Clinton says she is a champion of women’s right. She means primarily, of course, the right to an abortion almost without restriction. In championing this position she has said that “deep seated…religious beliefs…have to be changed.” In other words, “Christians, ignore the truths of Scripture and your deeply held religious beliefs regarding the sacredness of life from conception and get in line… you unenlightened Neanderthals”.

Former Secretary of State Clinton will continue the present policies of the current President with reference to Israel. The Obama administration treats our best friend in that region, this small amazing democratic Jewish nation, like an enemy. Conversely it treats Iran, the region’s biggest danger and a nation that has vowed to destroy Israel, like a best friend. This strategy was adopted when Hilary was Secretary of State. It’s hers. She won’t abandon it.

Evangelical Christians were in the forefront of arguing for Israel’s right to exist.  The words from God to Abraham found in Genesis 12 ring true to us: “I will bless those who bless you, and him who dishonors you I will curse, and in you all the families of the earth shall be blessed.” Though Israel and its leaders are far from perfect the nation is still the apple of God’s eye. We turn our backs on her at our own peril.

Beyond this, if elected, Hillary Clinton will appoint Federal and Supreme Court Judges who will time after time rule against religious freedom in the name of progressivism and accommodation. Christians will be forced to do more than bake cakes for weddings they don’t agree with.  Religious Liberty will be trampled as people with deeply held beliefs will be coerced to marry people they don’t want to marry, perform medical procedures that don’t want to perform, administrate policies they find highly offensive and put their legal stamp on things that violate their conscience, or they will need to abandon the professions where they nobly serve. Churches and Christian Institutions will be discriminated against and lose their tax except status for not hiring those from the LGBT community or not allowing self-identifying individuals to use the restroom or locker room of their choice in their facilities. This fundamental redefining of the world we live in is the progressive’s dream….and our nightmare.  It may only be a few weeks and a few electoral votes away.

Think how far we have declined socially in the last eight years under President Obama and the present political class. A Hillary Clinton Presidency will continue and accelerate this trend.  She knows where she wants to take us and will use every trick in the book to get us there. Anyone who opposes her will be labeled deplorable not to mention homophobic and xenophobic.

Then there is Donald Trump. I have written extensively about my feeling toward him in “An Open Letter to American Evangelicals” (https://nycshepherd.com/2016/02/23/an-open-letter-to-american-evangelicals/)  and “Trumping the Beatitudes on Super Tuesday” (https://nycshepherd.com/2016/03/02/trumping-the-beatitudes-on-super-tuesday/). My opinion of him has not changed. Trump has conveniently aligned himself with evangelical leaders because for reasons I will never understand they have aligned themselves with him. Has no one ever read the verse about casting your pearls before swine? Guess not.

Trump talks off the top of his head and “tweets” a lot. His off the cuff remarks and late night twitter tirades give us a window into his heart and soul. It may be anecdotally true that you can’t fake good kids as some say about Trump’s well-adjusted adult children, but it is Scripturally accurate to say that “out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks”(Luke 6:45). My brothers and sisters, Donald Trump’s heart is filled with some nasty stuff. He has denigrated and maligned every person in this election cycle who opposed him, every organization that has criticized him and nearly every individual who has challenged his character.

Let’s be honest friends, it is downright sickening. Trump should be mandated to memorize James 3 and quote it to himself every hour. He is, on so many days, a personification of what it means to walk in the flesh and not in the Spirit and the works that follow such a walk.

It is almost impossible to predict how he will behave or govern as President. He promises to protect our religious liberty and turn back the Johnson amendment that restricts religious speech. He promises to appoint Supreme Court Justices who will be in the likeness of the late Antonin Scalia, a champion of the unborn and religious liberty. He promises to defund Planned Parenthood. He promises to stand with Israel no matter what. He promises to make America Great again. He promises…….

I love the privilege I have in this country to vote and choose our leaders. I believe that being a good Christian means being a good citizen and being a good citizen means voting. As we sit here near the bottom of this” descending vortex of stupidity” I must admit I don’t want to vote. I want to vote present. Wasn’t it Kayne West who said “If you don’t like the movie, walk out.”?  I’d love to do that, but this is not a movie, it’s reality with real consequences.

Some may say “Isn’t Hillary the more experienced candidate and thus shouldn’t we vote for her?” Frankly I think her experience is her weakness because she has messed up pretty much everything she’s been involved in. Furthermore she will govern in direct opposition to who we as Christian are. Her policies will create for us a hostile environment.  Others may argue “Trump is a businessman and isn’t that the kind of thinking we need in government?” Honestly, maybe so, but running a company – even a big company – isn’t the same as running a bloated, insane governmental bureaucracy.

Neither of these candidates represents my values.  Hillary Clinton’s policies are ant-Christian. Donald Trump’s personality is, on so many days, anti-Christian. So what as a Christian am I to do?

Because of the future ramifications of a Clinton Presidency for my faith and the next generation and the generation after that’s faith I don’t want Hilary Clinton to win. I am confident that she will so alter the country and the courts that we will become a place that is hostile to us as Christians and hostile to our values. By the way, it is these Judeo- Christian values that made our nation unique and special in the first place.

On the other hand, I can’t campaign for Donald Trump, I can’t endorse Donald Trump,  I can’t support Donald Trump. But I want him to win over Hillary Clinton. Trump has given his ear to evangelical leaders like Dr. Ben Carsen, Pastor Robert  Jeffreys and Jerry Falwell Jr., President of Liberty University.  He has even chosen a strong follower of Jesus Christ, Governor Mike Pence, as his running mate.

For me, the silver lining in this dark cloud is that Pence is someone who embraces my values and is a champion of our Christian faith. When it was clear Trump was going to be the nominee I prayed specifically that God would give him a Daniel. In my opinion,  Governor Mike Pence is that Daniel to the proud, arrogant Nebuchadnezzar we call Donald Trump. Like Daniel, Governor Pence will have Trump’s ear. Like Daniel he will be very high in the Trump Administration (Daniel 2:48). Like Daniel, Pence will be uncompromising in his Christian faith (Daniel 6:10) (In the Vice Presidential Debate Tuesday night he refused to back down on his pro-life positions.)  Like Daniel, he will represent the people of God  and Israel before the king (president) fervently and wisely.

So, I am going to vote on Tuesday, November 6th. I am voting for the protection of the unborn. I am voting for Religious Liberty. I am voting for a Supreme Court that for decades to come will protect both the unborn and religious liberty. I am voting for the nation of Israel.  I am voting for a Judeo-Christian value system that my God can bless and that will allow my children, my grandchildren and my great grandchildren to live in a prosperous nation that will still proclaim, “one nation under God.”  I am casting my vote for Mike Pence and whoever that other guy is on the ballot with him.

During the first debate between Hilary Clinton and Donald Trump an old hymn came to my mind. In closing, let me quote it for you here:

In Times Like These – Words and Music by Ruth Caye Jones

In times like these you need a Savior In times like these you need an anchor; Be very sure, be very sure Your anchor holds and grips the Solid Rock!

Chorus This Rock is Jesus, Yes, He’s the One; This Rock is Jesus, the only One! Be very sure, be very sure Your anchor holds and grips the Solid Rock!

In times like these you need the Bible, In times like these O be not idle; Be very sure, be very sure  Your anchor holds and grips the Solid Rock!

Chorus This Rock is Jesus, Yes, He’s the One; This Rock is Jesus, the only One! Be very sure, be very sure Your anchor holds and grips the Solid Rock!

In times like these I have a Savior, In times like these I have an anchor; I’m very sure, I’m very sure My anchor holds and grips the Solid Rock!

Chorus This Rock is Jesus, Yes, He’s the One; This Rock is Jesus, the only One! Be very sure, be very sure Your anchor holds and grips the Solid Rock

With my prayers for the revival and preservation of our beloved nation,

Pastor Dave Watson

2 thoughts on “Election Angst

  1. This describes exactly how it really is. Well said. I do pray all who call themselves Christians, will prayerfully consider your words before they vote.

    Thanks for sharing, pastor Dave


  2. Extremely well said, Pastor Dave.

    I often marvel at today’s technology, thinking to myself “never thought I’d live to see the day when virtually every passerby was communicating with another, some of them halfway ’round the world.”

    I also never thought I’d live to see the day that the big two United States of America Presidential nominees would be as unqualified & undeserving as the two we are forced to choose between.

    If I didn’t know better, I’d conclude that with every technological step forward, we take two very long strides backward in our collective ability to raise up & elect leaders who are capable of leading.

    All things considered, casting my vote for the candidate that is NOT THE WORST CHOICE seems like a decision I can live with.

    I trust our Lord, knowing He is always in control, has a fail safe plan, has it all figured out. Amen.

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