When GOP candidate Donald Trump won the primaries in many of the Southern states, I was stunned. The evangelical vote favored Trump and forged the victory for him. How in the world a thrice-married, hot-tempered, lying, foul-mouthed Trump with a strong liberal record won the majority of the white evangelical Republican vote is beyond me, but I think I have an idea.
Many evangelicals, especially in the South, are politically correct Christians but not biblically correct. They are not practicing Christians, but instead have conformed to a cultural standard. There are too many of them in the church today who no longer adhere to the Bible to determine their value system. Their values are reflected in who they vote for. Donald Trump is a mirror of them. Many southern evangelicals believe that if they attend church on Christmas and Easter and are nice that they are Christians.
I understand the anger and the frustration with the GOP and politicians in general, and how that makes Trump more appealing. What I don't understand is that Ted Cruz is as bold and courageous as Trump is, as much anti-establishment as Trump appears to be, and just as hated by both the Democrats and GOP establishment. He is one of the strongest conservative candidates we've had in my lifetime. Competence and experience alone makes Cruz a far better candidate for president, but his character is what should seal the deal for evangelicals. There are a lot of lies and misinformation out there about Cruz that many Christians are swallowing. What gives?
The No. 1 problem in the American Church is cultural Christianity. It reflects in how many "Christians" have voted in the last two elections, and it seems to be affecting this one also. I don't care about the prophecies that some are making concerning either candidate. The issue is one of principle. Evangelicals are voting popularity and party, or race over principle, as many did with Obama. The African-American church has traditionally voted Democrat and even did so again for such an antichrist and anti-biblical president as Obama. Look at the devastating results of the last two elections. Now evangelicals are repeating the error and voting popularity over principle and money over morals in the case of Trump versus Cruz. When will we learn?
In the last two elections, the church was in a position to decide the election but failed. This is clearly a reflection of a backslidden church with a poor value system and unprincipled character. The principle of leadership in government is found in Exodus 18:21.
"Moreover, you shall choose out of all the people capable men who fear God, men of truth, hating dishonest gain, and place these men over them, to be rulers of thousands, rulers of hundreds, rulers of fifties, and rulers of tens."
I know I will take some flak for this article and maybe even lose some readership. But let me be clear. My hope is not in the United States of America or in whoever is president. I am not a nationalist. I am a Christian first whose hope is in Jesus Christ my Lord and the kingdom of God. But I do love the church and am very concerned for many "Christians" who are voting according to worldly values and not the values of true Christianity.
Yes, yes, I know we are not voting for a pastor in chief, but our principles and values should reflect in the way we vote. And clearly, on many fronts, they are not doing so.
My prediction: If Trump wins the Republican nomination, Hillary Clinton will be our next president and will take our nation down the path of bigger government and add to what Obama has already done. In the end, our first woman president will destroy our nation. It will never be the same. This is not a "thus saith the Lord." This is not a prophecy. God has not spoken to me. But as an American citizen, I fear for the continued loss of our nation's sovereignty and of our religious liberties, not to mention another big step toward a one-world government. I hope I am wrong. And I assure you, if Trump becomes our next president, I will pray for him fervently and believe for God to get a hold of him and place good people around him who can make up for so many of his deficiencies.
Count the cost, people. If you are an evangelical Christian or any kind of Christian, know what the consequences are in this election. Whoever is elected, however, will not affect my Christianity. I will continue to preach and make disciples and advance the kingdom of God. If the church in America goes underground in a few years, or in several decades—like other nations such as China—because of persecution, I will take it. Jesus will still be Lord, and He will still rule and reign in His kingdom of people.
And maybe that's not such a bad thing. Maybe greater persecution will burst the bubble of our comfortable and cultural Christianity, and everyone's faith will be tested and tried, and we will finally have a purified people who find their strength only in Christ.
So I don't care what you do—vote for who you want to. In the end, heaven rules and Jesus reigns. But many will be left wondering what could've been.
Bert M. Farias, revivalist and founder of Holy Fire Ministries, has authored several books with an emphasis on helping to restore the true spirit of Christianity in the Church today, including his latest book, Passing on The Move of God to The Next Generation. Follow him at Bert Farias and Holy Fire Ministries on Facebook and @Bertfarias1 on Twitter.
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