THE THEOLOGICAL ENGINEER  



"Get Real?" If you insist...


By Jeff Laird





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A major plank of my apologetics ministry is that how we argue is as important — if not more important — than what we argue. Good reasoning can self-correct a wrong conclusion, but bad reasoning is always bad.

So, especially this political season, I'm disappointed to see Christians sneering at the idea of trusting in God. Christians fail, fall, and stumble. We can be near-sighted or fearful. We sometimes act contrary to what we claim to believe. But what really hurts — spiritually and personally — is when Christian believers reject appeals to Scriptural principles with some variation of "get real."

I get this in counseling all the time, especially on ideas like premarital sex. If I had a dollar for every time someone, somewhere, used the "compatibility" excuse on me, I'd be writing this from my private island. Tell someone God's mandate is sex only within marriage, and you're eventually going to be told "yeah, but I've seen marriages struggle with sexual incompatibility. People need to check before they make a commitment." And I get this from believers all the time.

You know what that really means? It means, "I say I trust God, but when push comes to shove, I know better."

I now see the same thing in politics. Almost every time I talk about looking beyond two candidates, I'm told, in so many words, to "get real." Spiritually, my stance is clear. And, in general, almost all Christians I speak with agree with my biblical assessment of Trump's candidacy. But then, with a straight face, they say things like this:

"But think of what's at stake!"

"Yeah, but we need to consider the Supreme Court."

"Well, we have to vote for one of them."

"Hey, you can't do nothing, we have to do something."

"Anyone but Clinton, though. She's worse."

Or, my new personal favorite: "Get off your high horse."

My stance on this election has two basic sides: spiritual and political. Spiritually, we sacrifice our witness and moral authority voting for patently anti-Christian politicians. "Lesser evil" is a flagrantly anti-Christian stance. Nothing in Trump's past, or present, even hints at spiritual maturity. He brags about sin, claims no need of forgiveness, and until recently opposed most evangelical social positions. All of his moral positives are summarized as "not Clinton."

Politically, third party votes are not "wasted." They weaken the major parties' death grip on the electoral process. They prove that these unfit candidates do not have a "mandate" — something politicians, courts, and fellow citizens take note of. Third-party votes make a historic statement that certain groups of people won't compromise their principles. Refusing to vote third-party "because they can't win" is a self-sustaining problem, and the only way to solve it is to vote to change it.
Believers should vote according to their faith in God, not desire for control or fear of the future.tweet
So, to those Christians who have told me to "get off my high horse," per your request, I will now "get real":

When you defend voting for Trump, merely to stop Hillary Clinton, as if nothing is more important than her defeat, as if all means are justified in stopping her, when you tell Christians who won't vote for Trump to "get real," or "get off your high horse," this is what you are saying:

"I'm putting my trust in politicians to fix the world."

"This election is too important for impractical moral concerns."

"It doesn't matter what my vote means to the world, all that matters is who gets elected."

"The way to change society is with politics, not Christian witness."

"It costs too much, politically, to take a stand for the faith."

Harsh? Yes, but you asked for "real." You need to realize there's a stark contrast between disagreeing with another believer on the best way to vote, versus brazenly brushing off spiritual and moral arguments by telling the other person to "be realistic." Brothers and sisters, Ephesians 6:12 is about as real as it gets:
For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places.
How, exactly, does that fit with a "get off your high horse, we need to vote realistically" mentality? Please let that Scripture sink in. "Flesh and blood" is not our enemy. Hillary Clinton is not the enemy, she is the symptom of the spiritual struggle we are in. Our role as believers is not to fight flesh and blood, but to fight in the spirit. We cannot fight properly by accepting the false narrative of the enemy!

If we accept the argument that we must defeat Clinton at all costs, we concede that we have nothing unique to offer the world, nor any hope beyond the halls of the capitol building. It means we're content to fight the material, instead of focusing on the spiritual.

Christians, we're supposed to fight by standing up for convictions, whether the majority agrees with us or not. If we sell out, to a man who lives and breathes a life vividly contrary to what we claim is true, simply to oppose some other politician...we're telling the world that our trust is in men. Living out a trust in God, who can use our faithfulness to great effect, instead of abdicating our influence to secular politics, is how we're supposed to "wrestle."

What's at stake is bigger than any elected or appointed office. If we poison our witness in this generation, it won't matter who is elected. Ironically, it will only accelerate the ruin we fear; we will have lost our voice. The people are the foundation of the government, not the other way around. And "if the foundations are destroyed, what can the righteous do (Psalm 11:3)?"

"Get real" arguments are neither biblical nor spiritual. They are the exact opposite. How you argue is more important than what you argue for. If you can approach the throne in prayer and tell God a vote for Trump honors Hosea 8:4, Proverbs 28:12, and Proverbs 14:34, that he truly is a God-honoring man worthy of Christian support in gaining power — which has nothing to do with his opponent — then that is who you should vote for. I mean that sincerely. It's at least a proper reason to vote for him.

If not, and the only reason you're voting for him is because you think his opponent is worse...consider that real power is not invested in men, or women, or courts. It's invested in Jesus Christ, who's coming back on an awfully high horse, Himself (Revelation 19:11). We should be following Him, even in the voting booth, even if the fallen world tells us we're being unrealistic.



TagsBiblical-Truth  | Christian-Life  | Controversial-Issues  | Current-Issues  | Political-Issues



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Published 8-2-16