Though I don't think he actually wrote one word of it, in a last-minute attempt to convince Christians to vote for him, Joe Biden peppered his newest op-ed with Scriptures. Ironically, what Biden and others miss is that the power of God's Word is in the application of it, not merely in "quoting" it. James 1:22 warns, "Be doers of the word and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves." James 4:17 adds, "Therefore, to him who knows to do good and does not do it, it is sin." This is why the application of God's Word is vital—it divides the truth from the error.
Many politicians use religious talk and twist the Scriptures to support unbiblical initiatives. For example, while wooing votes from concerned citizens, leaders will express their religious convictions and quote the Bible, but when the cameras are off, they'll vote for partial-birth abortion and against protecting babies who survive late-term abortions. Judge what they do rather than what they say.
They'll also use "love your neighbor" to validate sin. "If you truly love someone," they say, "you won't disagree with them." Nothing could be further from the truth. Yes, we must extend compassion but without compromise. Warning, confronting, challenging, advising and admonishing are all characteristic of genuine love. Parents, for example, warn, confront, challenge and admonish daily. Truly misled or self-serving individuals would wrongly attribute these traits to "hate speech."
This is why President Trump is supported by so many Christians. His policies line up with Scripture. I'm not too worried about mean tweets, but I'm extremely worried about burning babies to death via saline abortions or by removing them from the womb limb by limb. I'm not as concerned about harsh statements as I am about the harsh treatment of children via sex trafficking, something that the left is almost silent on—unless you consider Kamala Harris' support for legalizing prostitution, which would certainly bring a massive increase in the already staggering numbers of children being trafficked. This election is not about two different men, but two different Americas.
We Need to Wake Up
For instance, why didn't any Democrat legislator vote to confirm the highly qualified Supreme Court Justice Amy Coney Barrett? Because she adheres to God's Word and does not embrace their narrative. Not for any lack of qualification, but merely for political gain. What a tragedy. Gone are the days of voting for qualified candidates. This is clearly a spiritual battle.
Let's be very clear on this: "A people that values its privileges above its principles soon loses both" (Dwight D. Eisenhower). Historically, we know that God judged those nations that continually tolerated sin; wrong choices have devastating consequences. Arnold Toynbee, who completed A Study of History in 1961, said, "Of the 22 civilizations that have appeared in history, 19 of them collapsed when they reached the moral state America is in today." And that was written decades ago. What would he say now?
What a person does is just as important, if not more so, than what they say (see Matt. 21:29-31). For example, parents, if your son or daughter dates someone who encourages sexual sin, lasciviousness and a casual acceptance of abortion, if their relationship leads to a pregnancy, are you going to care if the person they are dating "quotes" Scripture? As a father, I can tell you I don't care if they can recite the entire New Testament from memory—they are not getting near my child. The same principle applies here with Biden's deceptive editorial.
No, Biden's quoting Scripture does not get him off the hook, but it does reinforce the fact that sin is deceptive. Satan quoted Scripture in the desert when he tempted Christ, and I can assure you, Satan lost that battle. Many of us talk as if God is real, but act as if He were not. Sadly, many people today who hear God's Word simply scoff at it, or else they twist it to fit their narrative. You can listen to an example of Scripture being twisted to fit a sinful narrative in an interview I did on Fox News with a pastor who embraces same-sex marriage.
The Big Question for Me
The big question for me is why are many Christians allowing the media, fake news and fake narratives to influence them? Our beliefs should reflect God's heart rather than the world's influence. If your vote aligns with Hollywood more than the Holy Spirit, you might want to check that. We don't want their values, so why would we want their opinion? I would also add to this list the celebrity pastors who are trying to convince the evangelical world that we can vote for a person and yet have no responsibility for their actions, or that we can decide to not vote at all, as if we can somehow just decide to absolve ourselves of our obligation to "Seek the welfare of the city where I have sent you into exile" (Jer. 29:7a, ESV). If it does not line up squarely with the Word of God, even if it comes from the mouths of angels, we are to reject it.
As I said in a recent article, we can no longer hide behind the excuse, "I don't want to get involved." As citizens, we are given the privilege, for now, to place people in positions of leadership. Whether we like it or not, we are involved. Millions are not registered to vote, and millions of registered voters stay home. We'll stand in line to see a movie, but we won't stand in line to vote and elect leaders who will affect the direction of our country (Biden or Trump will make nearly 4,000 appointments during their term). This makes a statement about what we value—and isn't it sad? When people who can vote for President Trump don't, they, by default, cast a vote for the opposing party.
I thank God for Christians who are involved and who influence America's political climate based on Scripture because "light and darkness, right and wrong, good and evil, truth and error are incompatibles ... when they compromise it is the light, the right, the good, and the truth that are damaged" (W. Graham Scroggie). Truth cannot be compromised—God blesses and honors the peacemaker, but not the religious hypocrite who quotes God's Word but doesn't live by it. Take time today and listen here if you need encouragement and hope.
Special Note: With this being the most important election in our lifetime, we made my book One Nation Above God available as a free download here. It is a great resource to share with family and friends who are on the fence and for those questioning America's past.
Shane Idleman is the founder and lead pastor of Westside Christian Fellowship in Southern California. More can be found at ShaneIdleman.com, and free downloads of his books are available at WCFAV.org. Visit him on Facebook and subscribe to his new podcast.
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