Friday, November 2, 2012

THE most important election?

Earlier this week I became aware of an article written by a Louisiana pastor insisting that Tuesday's general election was the most important in American history. Similar to the thought process of a lot of other evangelicals, he wrote that God was primarily concerned about three things: Abortion, gay marriage and support for the state of Israel. And while I don't recall if he mentioned President Obama by name, the implication was clear: "God help us if he's reelected."

With all due respect to my brother down there, his screed is blasphemous. (And that's not an adjective that I choose lightly.) In referring to the same old cultural bugaboos, he ignores not only American history but also much of the teaching of the Word of God.

Let's take abortion first.  Most people don't realize that in this country abortion has generally been legal (in that laws restricting the practice originally didn't exist until the turn of the last century); however, according to the book "Blinded By Might:  Can the Religious Right Save America?", it was quite common, especially in major cities. However, such laws were enacted by that day's liberals, with considerable popular support, and had nothing to do with religion or faith.  Keep in mind that abortion was never directly addressed in Scripture, either.

We began losing the war against gay marriage about five years ago, with more and more people -- especially those younger than 30 -- becoming supportive of it, I submit in reaction to conservative evangelicals using the gay community as a political piƱata for the sake of fundraising.  Indeed, only half-a-dozen passages refer to homosexuality and all of those symptomatic of those who reject God.  As for Israel, not even God established that nation forever for its own sake; it still needed to obey Him.

If God does judge a nation on anything, it's treatment of the poor (read: socially, culturally and politically powerless) in society, with entire chapters, especially in the Old Testament, written on that subject. James 1:26 reads, "Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress" -- and not simply as a diaconal issue, either. Yet few evangelicals even make that consideration, so fixated they seem to be with issues of power and convenience.

In addition, I remember 20 years ago when many Christians warned against a Clinton presidency, with Randall Terry's church in Binghamton, N.Y. improperly taking out about full-page advertisements in USA Today and the New York Times opposing him. In addition to flouting IRS rules about churches endorsing or opposing candidates, such demonstrated a lack of trust in God to preserve His people in an age that folks were "turning away from him."

And that represented the blasphemy I referred to earlier.  Because, in the end, God will always get His -- no matter who is president.

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