This past Sunday at church my pastor asked, “Have you ever squeezed an orange?" and "what kind of juice comes out?”
His sermon was on the Church at Philadelphia, based on Revelation Chapter 3. While he talked about how the church was a small and seemingly insignificant church in a very secular society, Jesus knew their hearts and their circumstances and credited them for remaining true to their faith and witness of Him, even though other Christian groups were among those who were persecuting them. It couldn’t have been easy, but Jesus reminded them, and us, and that’s a huge comfort in times when so many divisions and contentious societal and political things are happening.
The question the pastor asked during the sermon reminded me of a quote by Charles Spurgeon, "Trials teach us what we are; they dig up the soil, and let us see what we are made of."
I think most people would agree that this political season is an incredible and contentious one, and the most important of our lifetimes. After the past 8 years of transformation, I never thought we would be in the situation we now, nor did I expect to see what kind of “juice” is being squeezed out of so many Christian conservatives.
This is a message to America’s Christian leaders who have influenced Republican politics and politicians for decades.
I have to ask, what kind of witness are you being to the nation right now? Have you thought much about the messages you’ve been projecting to many young or new Christians or those who have been seeking out the Christian faith? Do you trust in God in all circumstances or just when things are going well? And, do any of you believe that by calling Christians who are voting their conscience- names such as foolish, naïve, dangerous, and even traitorous are going to shame us enough to back someone and vote for someone we do not believe is fit for office of the Presidency?
Before I go on, I guess I should open my soul a little first, just so you can’t accuse me as being ‘holier than thou’, especially since many of you like to justify Donald Trump’s behavior by reminding us that we’re all sinners.
I will always be the first one to admit my shortcomings and the fact that I am a sinner, eternally grateful for my Savior. I’m far from perfect and will always need to depend on Christ to work in me. I know what it’s like to be a sinner in need of salvation, mercy, forgiveness and grace, and I know there is no sin that can’t be covered by the blood of Christ.
However, I will not support someone who uses his wealth to buy influence, uses his position of power to bully, use or harass people for his own gain, or use his celebrity, wealth and power to abuse women.
I don’t talk about my past very often, but I have had to remember a lot of things because of things coming up during this election season. I have been on the receiving end of behavior such as Trump’s in the past a few different times, from a boss who sexually harassed me and also being sexually assaulted and abused by someone close to me. This isn’t something that’s easy for me to talk about or even think about, but I have had my limit during the past couple of days listening to Christian leaders and others justifying Trump’s most recently leaked comments as something I need to get over, suck up my pride, and support him by voting for him to be our next president.
What kind of message are you giving to our daughters, sisters, mothers and young women or anyone who has been subjected to sexual abuse that this maybe disgraceful behavior but it's just something we need to expect because men are men?
Not only as a woman am I feeling pressure from so many of you, but as a Christian I am being shamed with millions of others into believing we’re somehow being unchristian because we’re voting our conscience and thereby letting Hillary Clinton win.
Do you people consider using Scripture as justification and name calling to be salt and light? That you’re being good witnesses for Christ by justifying yourselves surrounding Donald Trump to influence him because "But Hillary”?
Every point from too many Christian leaders boils down to “But Hillary”, as if that’s a reason to vote for someone who not only donated to her and her husband’s foundation, who has been friends with them, who has praised their political performances, and who has the same behavior characteristics they all have been calling out for years from others.
In 1998 Pat Robertson rightfully said that Bill Clinton "debauched, debased and defamed" the presidency. But with Donald Trump, Mr. Robertson says laughingly, “Let’s face it. A guy does something 11 years ago, there was a conversation in Hollywood where he’s trying to look like he’s macho…”
At the Christian Coalition Convention in 1998, Ralph Reed said that, ''Character matters and the American people are hungry for that message… We care about the conduct of our leaders, and we will not rest until we have leaders of good moral character.''
Mr. Reed gave a speech this week at Jerry Falwell Jr’s Liberty University where he described those of us who are voting conscience as pride filled. After saying that Trump’s most recently released sexual soundbites were disappointing and inappropriate, Mr. Reed went on to justify, “But people of faith are voting on issues like who will protect unborn life, defend religious freedom, grow the economy, appoint conservative judges and oppose the Iran nuclear deal… I think a 10-year-old tape of a private conversation with a TV talk show host ranks pretty low on their hierarchy of their concerns…”
Excuse me Mr. Reed, it doesn’t rank low on my concern list. In fact it pretty much covers every concern I have that I can’t trust him to do what he’s promised all of you. The man talked about sexually harassing women while being newly married for the third time. He can’t keep his vows to his wife, but he’ll keep his promises to a bunch of Christian Conservative leaders which have supported him for promises and influence?
In 1998 Dr. James Dobson rightfully had this to say, "As it turns out, character DOES matter. You can’t run a family, let alone a country, without it. How foolish to believe that a person who lacks honesty and moral integrity is qualified to lead a nation and the world! Nevertheless, our people continue to say that the President is doing a good job even if they don’t respect him personally. Those two positions are fundamentally incompatible. In the Book of James the question is posed, “Can both fresh water and salt water flow from the same spring” (James 3:11 NIV). The answer is no.""
But now, “The comments Mr. Trump made 11 years ago were deplorable and I condemn them entirely… I also find Hillary Clinton’s support of partial birth abortion criminal and her opinion of evangelicals to be bigoted. There really is only one difference between the two. Mr. Trump promises to support religious liberty and the dignity of the unborn. Mrs. Clinton promises she will not.”
I also abhor the thought of a Hillary Clinton administration and feel she would be the final nail in America’s coffin, but you people seriously have given up your principles and Christian witness for a hope of change? Do you consider that it's not even the politicians themselves, but the people in this country who keep voting for them, and that our political leaders are immoral because we as a nation are immoral? Now that sexual assault and immorality is justified by Christians, does that concern you?
The bandwagon goes on with Tony Perkins, who leads the conservative Family Research Council who said, “As I have made clear, my support for Donald Trump in the general election was never based upon shared values rather it was built upon shared concerns…”
J L Falwell @JerryJrFalwell tweeted:
Proud of @realDonaldTrump tonight-won by a landslide! Emphasizing issues will always trump #HillaryClinton. No Republican could do better
#HowClever. Mr. Falwell you never supported anyone else, so you wouldn’t know if anyone else could do better. Trump also won the ‘debate’ in the republican primaries when he talked about hand size. I suppose that was worth being proud of as well.
So, to all of you I have to ask, it worth it that the fear of Hillary Clinton’s evil ideologies and dangerous policies is causing you to sell out your witness for Christ?
Whatever happened to the comfort of Psalm 23:4, Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me.
Or this from Revelation 2:10 Fear none of those things which thou shalt suffer: behold, the devil shall cast some of you into prison, that ye may be tried; and ye shall have tribulation ten days: be thou faithful unto death, and I will give thee a crown of life.
Or does this only pertain to Christians in other countries around the world?
You all constantly bring up the point that Trump is a flawed man while telling us that he’s a Christian and a wonderful man. Maybe that explains why you’ve also justified his arrogance, pride, false witness and division during the primaries. Is it worth the turning away of untold souls who have seen your hypocrisy of preaching trust in Christ, praying for godly leaders, and building a comfortable life from it by backing someone who’s lack of morals are what you’ve been fighting against in public office for all these years?
Sure, this seems harsh, but would you deny that your coalitions, foundations, programs and ministries have grown over the years from donations from millions who have trusted you to fight for morality and decency and support godly leaders?
One more common point you all make to justify yourselves, is that these comments were made over a decade ago. Yes, these particular comments were made when Donald Trump was 60 years old. But you have to know that most of us are aware that these are not a one-time hot mic slip up, or mere locker room banter right?
Surely you knew that Donald Trump has a history of saying degrading things about and to women, and has had proud discussions publicly about his affairs, women in general and even his own daughter. And that it continues still?
Considering his liberal use of describing young and beautiful pieces of @ss, or in his interview with Howard Stern where he calls himself a very brave and good soldier for avoiding STDs while having sex with different women. Or commenting on his daughter’s breasts with men on talk radio, and commenting on her figure on the View, saying he’d probably date her if she wasn’t his daughter.
I have to ask, would any of you appoint Donald Trump as an elder or deacon in your churches? Yet you expect us to vote for him to lead our country. Oh right, you’ve all spent decades telling us to pray for godly leaders, but we’re not electing a pastor in chief.
Who can forget his 2015 RNC debate comment about moderator Megyn Kelly “You could see there was blood coming out of her eyes. Blood coming out of her wherever."
This doesn’t even include things he’s commented on women’s’ looks and other sexist remarks. But yeah, we’re all supposed to ignore all of this because of “But Hillary!”
Not only are you putting God in a box, you are using scripture as talking points to try and shame Christians into voting for him, and this is, dare I say the word – deplorable.
By your justification, your witness over the years, your work in ministry of the Gospel of Christ and religious liberties is suspect because you have sold yourselves for the lesser of two evils and hypocritically justified your choice of someone who is exactly like the kind of people you’ve spent decades judging.
But worse is the message of confusion and doubt you have been sending to Christians by making us question our faith and relationship with Christ and you have turned others completely away from Him because of your hypocrisy.
I know God will be in charge on November 8th and 9th just as He is now, and nothing that happens will be a surprise to Him. He is bigger than our elections, and bigger than our nation. If its pride that makes me trust in Him rather than you, I’ll have to ask Him to forgive me when I stand before Him some day.
One more thing. You justify voting for the lesser of two evils by saying you want to leave your children and grandchildren a better America. I agree, I want to do that too- but my child will also know that some things are more important than worldly comfort and that choices we make have eternal consequences. Jesus didn’t die for him or me, or Donald or Hillary or any of you, just so that we could live in comfort in this life and then tremble in fear when someone threatens to take it away.
Sometimes you can only trust completely in the Lord when you have lost so much that you have no choice but to completely trust in the Lord. It seems that many Christians in our nation would rather trust in the comfort of their ministries and in people to make America Great Again, by justifying every behavior which has helped America cease to be good.
I don’t want to be known as the generation who lost our country, which is why I spent most of my years in this country being a watchman on the wall, and fighting for it. If this country falls, it won’t be because I’ve not supported the godly leaders I prayed for, and it won’t be because I won’t give up my witness in order to vote for someone who I don't trust or respect.
I quoted Spurgeon near the beginning of this article, and I’d like to end with another, “God had a Son that had no fault, but He never had a son that was not found fault with. God Himself was slandered in paradise by Satan. Let us not expect, therefore, to escape from the venomous tongue.”
I’ve come to expect the venomous tongues of secularists and atheists when witnessing or being salt and light for Christ; I just never expected it from our Christian leaders.