Four years ago, in the immediate aftermath of the election between Donald Trump and Hilary Clinton, I wrote a post entitled The Christian & Government. As part of that post, I listed ten Bible passages — five from the Old Testament and five from the New Testament — as proof texts that the Bible teaches that the Christian should submit to the authority of his/her government. I wrote:
This applies to Christians living in an America where Republican Donald Trump leads the government just as it would have applied to an America where Hilary Clinton led it. For that matter, it would have equally applied to an American government led by Libertarian Gary Johnson or Green Party candidate Jill Stein.
While I won’t recite those ten passages here, if you want to read them for yourself, they are: Romans 13:1-7; Daniel 2:20-21; 1 Peter 2:11-14; Psalm 75:6-7; Luke 20:22-25; Daniel 4:25; John 19:10-11; Jeremiah 29:7; 1 Timothy 2:1-2; and Job 12:18. Or, you can just go back and read the entire post. It’s not that long.
Well, here we are four years later, and this time around it’s the Republicans who are fighting mad about the results of the election. All that anger served as the fuel for an armed mob of radicals to storm our nation’s Capital building this past Wednesday, overpower or push past the guards, and temporarily lay siege to the building. The political leaders inside the building were forced to take cover, hide, and ultimately flee the premises. Five people ended up dead as a result of the uprising, and one of those was a Capital police officer named Brian D. Sicknick. Reports indicate that he died from injuries sustained from being struck with a fire extinguisher.
I have no idea how many members of that mob were professing Christians, but my guess is the number would be fairly high. Obviously, such people don’t cling to the scriptural truth that God, in His providential sovereignty, raises up political leaders, brings down political leaders, and gives kingdoms to whomever He will. Then again, maybe they do cling to it as long as God sees fit that a Republican wins the Presidency.
One of the mob members might argue, “But the election was stolen from Donald Trump by rigged voting machines and thousands of bogus mail-in ballots.” Okay, I understand the argument. However, even if those assertions could be proven to be true — and I think most of us realize that if such crimes were carried out, the tracks have been covered so well that we’ll never find the evidence — what we are left with is God’s perfect foreknowledge. If the fix was in for Biden, would God have known about it ahead of time? Yes, He would have. This means that even if President Trump really did get robbed, God saw it coming and chose not to stop it.
Therefore, based upon what the Bible teaches about God and His role in government, the real question is not, “Has God either caused or at least allowed Joe Biden to become the President of the United States of America?” Clearly, He has. The real question is, “Why would God allow such a man to hold that title?”
Joe Biden, after all, represents a political party whose platform supports, legalizes, and promotes two sins that are as unbiblical as unbiblical can be: abortion and homosexuality. Speaking bluntly, those two issues are why I have never voted for a Democratic candidate for anything and will never do so. It’s not that I can’t see the flaws and failures of the Republican party and all of its political leaders, including Donald Trump. Those flaws and failures aren’t hard to spot, and I’m not stupid. No, my problem with voting for Joe Biden, Hilary Clinton, Barak Obama, Bill Clinton, etc., etc., etc. is that I can’t vote for any candidate who aligns himself or herself with those who legislate in favor of killing babies in the womb and celebrating sexual behavior that God explicitly labels as abomination and perversion in both the Old Testament and the New Testament of His written word. Because of that, no matter who the Republicans run, I have to either vote for that candidate, throw my vote away on a third-party candidate, write in Spongebob Squarepants, or sit out the election completely.
You see, if the Republicans and Democrats somehow magically swapped their party platforms, I would immediately change my party affiliation to Democrat. I’m not a died-in-the-wool Republican any more than I could ever be a died-in-the-wool Democrat. I pastor a Baptist church, but I can’t even describe myself as a died-in-the-wool Baptist. As proof of that, I served as the pastor of a non-denominational church for eight years. What I am is a died-in-the-wool, Bible-believing Christian. I’m a simpleton in that way.
You say, “But Russell, what you are saying makes you a two-issue voter.” Yes, it does. But isn’t it about time we admitted that everybody is a one-issue voter or a two-issue voter? For some voters, racism is an issue that trumps (no pun intended) all the other issues. For others, it’s homosexual rights. For others, it’s the economy. For others, it’s national defense. For others, it’s student loans. For others, it’s the environment. For others, it’s aid to farmers. For others, it’s foreign relations. For others, it’s health care. For others, it’s public education. For others, it’s Social Security. For others, it’s immigration. For others, it’s whatever party their father or grandfather supported. Seriously, the hard, cold truth of the matter is that everybody votes according to what’s in their wheelhouse. None of us, and I do mean none of us, is as broadminded as we like to think we are.
Furthermore, it’s very possible that singular facts can prevent us from voting for a candidate. For example, let’s say that a Presidential candidate checks off every one of your boxes and you are excited about casting your vote for him. Then it is discovered that he, through a legal loop hole, took millions of dollars from his company’s retirement fund. Will you still vote for the guy or will that one character flaw change your whole opinion of him? Or, let’s say that a Senatorial candidate speaks to your heart in regards to all the issues that are important to you and you can’t wait to vote for her in the upcoming election. Then a background check uncovers that her first husband died under very suspicious circumstances and she is still a prime suspect in the case. Will that change your opinion of her even though her positions on all the policies remains the same? Do you see what I’m saying? Just one issue, regardless of all the other issues, can serve as the determining factor in how you vote.
Whether we admit it or not, we all have our “don’t step across that line” issues, and these issues decide how we vote. My two are abortion and homosexuality. There, I said it. Someone asks me, “What about racism?” My answer is, “I’m against it, but since neither political party legislatively endorses racism or has it as one of its party platforms, and since not all Republicans are racists and not all Democrats are innocent of being racists, that issue doesn’t compel me to vote for either party.” Someone else asks me, “What about immigration?” Again, since neither political party is trying to make immigration illegal as one of its party platforms, and the difference between the two parties on the issue comes down to the nuts and bolts of how immigrants can become American citizens, immigration doesn’t compel me to vote for either party. Yet another person asks, “What about the economic divide between the rich and the poor?” To that, I answer, “Am I supposed to believe that a bunch of millionaire politicians, whether they be Republicans or Democrats, can even remotely relate to the plight of the middle class and the poor in America? Please, give me a break with that. The truth is they are all part of the elite and I definitely am not.”
Now let me get back to the rioting that took place a couple of days ago. My take is that what we saw is merely the latest evidence of a nation that has turned its back on God. In a zillion ways, we’ve become a bunch of rebels against Him, and the Bible teaches in case study after case study that rebellion against God will always end in chaos and judgment. That’s where we are, folks, and that’s where all indications point to us remaining. The Bible talks about sowing the wind and reaping the whirlwind (Hosea 8:7), and we as a nation have been sowing the wind for a long time now. Did we foolishly think the whirlwind would never reach us? Surely it’s upon us now, and according to Biblical prophecy, it’s just getting warmed up. The Bible also says that God is not mocked, which means that whatever seed gets sown gets reaped come harvest time (Galatians 6:7). With that universal law in full operation, even if we Americans wake up tomorrow morning and change the seed we are sowing, we’ll still have to endure the harvests of judgment that are already coming down the line from the seed we’ve been sowing for decades.
As for me personally, it strikes me that what I am is tired, bone tired. I’m tired of Donald Trump tweeting and playing golf every Sunday morning instead of attending church. I’m tired of Joe Biden grinning like a Cheshire cat and thinking he hit a triple simply because he woke up on third base after the Democratic National Party pressured Bernie Sanders and that vast field of other candidates to drop out and give him a clear path to become the party’s candidate for President. I’m tired of Mitch McConnell looking surly, mumbling, and not even attempting to play nice with anybody. I’m tired of Nancy Pelosi, her color-coordinated outfits and masks, and her attempts to retool the English language to eliminate gender-specific words. I’m tired of Supreme Court Justices making previous Court precedent the deciding factor in their decisions because they don’t want other Justices coming along in a few years and overturning their decisions. I’m tired of Lebron James telling me I was born privileged because I was born white, when I know that I was also born to be 5’7 and athletically limited while he was born to be 6’9 and athletically gifted enough to earn half a billion dollars playing a sport I played for free. I’m tired of news stations spinning the news rather than just reporting it and letting me decide the facts for myself. I’m tired of Jimmy Kimmel and Stephen Colbert arrogantly using the venues of their late-night talk shows to make fun of anyone who has a different opinion than theirs. I’m tired of…..well, you get the idea.
I’m so glad that my ultimate citizenship is in heaven rather than in the town of Spruce Pine, the county of Mitchell, the state of North Carolina, the country of America, or the world of Planet Earth. I’m just a sojourner who is only passing through this foreign land for a little while until I get promoted to my eternal home in glory. As a Christian, my future there is guaranteed because I will serve as a valued member of the royal staff for the King of Kings who will rule and reign for all eternity. Once I am at last in His presence, I won’t have to worry about who to vote for ever again, and I won’t have to write any more blog posts that deal with politics. That, in and of itself, will be enough to make heaven heaven!
Until then, though, I’m here in this mortal coil (that’s a little Shakespeare for you) right alongside everybody else. Maybe we won’t see any more scenes like we witnessed Wednesday, but as I’ve explained, all bets are off at this point. I would say the future is unknowable, but actually the Bible makes it pretty knowable. And, as better preachers than me have pointed out, America isn’t named as being one of the major players on the world stage for the prophetic events of the end times. You can make of that what you will, but what I make of it is that America’s future doesn’t look nearly so bright as its past. Admittedly, that’s just one man’s opinion, but like everybody else, I do get one.