Politicians and Evangelicals

With the Iowa caucuses in view some Republican hopefuls are trying to garner the social conservative, evangelical vote.

Former Republican Vice Presidential candidate and professing Christian Sarah Palin has endorsed Donald Trump’s candidacy for the Republican nomination for President. Despite his recent gaffe calling Second Corinthians “two” Corinthians while speaking at Liberty University, Trump received the endorsement of Liberty University’s president Jerry Falwell. Jr. He is a heavyweight in the evangelical community and his endorsement is a political plum.

I am stunned. When Trump touts his faith he comes across like a bull buffoon in a Christian china shop. He seems insincere and hopelessly oblivious to what it means to be a Christian and yet evangelicals are flocking to his side as he panders to their hopes.

Ted Cruz strikes me as being more sincere when he says, “I’m a Christian first, American second (I’m glad he didn’t say American “two”). I share his sentiment, because I believe being a Christian first makes me a better American. Of course, Cruz is hoping we will think it will make him a better President.

Marco Rubio has been more open recently about his Catholic faith and upbringing. So much so, that while speaking in Waverly, Iowa, an atheist claiming to represent millions of American non-theists, and the fastest growing voter bloc in America, asked Rubio if he was running for “pastor-in-chief.”

This atheist’s shameless attempt to showcase his disbelief merely gave Rubio another opportunity to showcase his belief, and did little if anything to help the atheist cause. In a nation where, according to a Gallup Poll, 78% believe in the existence of God, Americans are not likely to elect an “atheist-in-chief.” Politicians know that.

To become the Roman governor of Judea, Pontius Pilate had to be an astute political observer of his time. He wanted to release Jesus, but political expediency won the day when the Jewish leaders cried, “If you release this Man, you are no friend of Caesar; everyone who makes himself out to be a king opposes Caesar,” John 19:12. Pilate the politician could not risk that report reaching Rome, so he condemned Christ to be crucified

No politician or political process can effectively address the problems of our nation that are spiritual in origin and nature. Christian citizenship demands that we inform ourselves of the issues and prayerfully vote our convictions knowing there may be little political gain amid a voting culture that is becoming increasingly less Christian.

Realistically, Republican politicians and evangelicals will share an uneasy alliance because in the political sense they need each other. But it is foolish for evangelicals to pin their hopes to a political process that hangs on a vote of the majority in the current cultural climate.

Jesus told Pilate, “My kingdom is not of this world,” John 18:36. Let us serve the King we can trust and His kingdom that will eclipse all governments and religions, and establish an everlasting reign, and has a better claim on our loyalties.

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