Thomas Jefferson's opponents branded him mad for his support of the French revolution and warned that his election placed America's morals in great peril.
Jefferson lambasted Andrew Jackson's bid for the presidency, telling Daniel Webster, "He is one of the most unfit men I know for such a place. He is a dangerous man."
William McKinley's mentor Mark Hannah said of Theodore Roosevelt as a potential running mate, "Don't any of you realize that there's only one life between that madman and the presidency?"
Ronald Reagan was trashed as a dangerous extremist and two-bit actor whose Star Wars defense initiative was lunacy while his standing up to the Soviet Union would lead to the apocalypse.
Dr. H.W. Brands pointed out these historic realities in a recent article in the Wall Street Journal titled "Candidates and Doomsayers" (Oct. 7, 2016). It would do us well to reflect for a moment upon past campaigns in the midst of this unprecedented 2016 election.
Now the question on countless millions of minds is simply, "Who will be the winner?"
Here's the answer.
Whomever we Americans choose!
Yes, God is sovereign, but in our democratic system of government, He entrusts us with the responsibility of choosing our leaders. May we not be super-spiritual, mystical or simply passive about this one! No American is absolved of the sacred duty to vote and uphold our freedom.
President Ronald Reagan warned us, "Freedom is never more than one generation away from extinction. We didn't pass it to our children in the bloodstream. It must be fought for, protected and handed on for them to do the same, or one day we will spend our sunset years telling our children and our children's children what it was once like in the United States where men were free."
Where We're at With the Election Just Weeks Away
So where are we at this juncture in the road? No matter how distasteful the process has been, every Christian must help foster a turnaround before it's too late.
5 Duties of Christian Citizens
Jesus told us, "Render therefore to Caesar the things that are Caesar's, and to God the things that are God's" (Matt. 22:21). Evangelical Christians comprise 27 percent of the electorate and faithful, frequently Mass-attending Catholics make up another 10 percent. This 37 percent represents the largest single constituency in the electorate, so we must not sit silently on the sidelines.
To experience "the will of God on Earth as it is in heaven," our duties are as follows:
1. Pray in faith and according to the will of God
2. Register to vote
3. Be informed
4. Elect people representing a biblical worldview on issues
Billy Graham's Decision magazine asks this month, "How can Christians think biblically and clearly on today's key issues?" I offer the Bullseye Challenge resource providing free, immediately accessible videos and a manual to hit the mark in today's 30 critical areas.
I believe the five most terrifying words in the Bible are Romans 1:28, "God gave them over." It may not be popular, but we must face this as the explanation for our current confusion and hopefully engage to correct our downward spiral.
Unprecedented and startling "stats" on divorce, abortion, co-habitation, out-of-wedlock births, pornography, gay "marriage," homosexuality, lesbianism, transgenderism, STDs, drugs, occultism, crime, economic insanity, racial discord, erosion of religious liberties, terrorism, political corruption and gridlock, lawlessness and a departure from our Constitution and Judeo-Christian heritage all point to a nation in peril. We must not sugarcoat this reality or presume on God's grace by electing ungodly people who continue defying God's holy standards.
2. Spiritual Awakening
America's greatest need is for a Third Great Awakening. As in the past (1720-1760 and 1800-1840), God will transform a crumbling culture if His people recognize the tipping point and pivot back to Him in humble desperation.
Barna research reveals that 90 percent of pastors won't address controversial issues for fear of losing a tax exemption, tithers or members. This must change immediately! America is imploding before our very eyes. We need courageous leaders not submitting to the fear of man.
GOP presidential candidate, Donald Trump, said the following in challenging pastors to be courageous, "I really think that America turned against Christianity in the last decade in a way that's not healthy, and I think you guys have gotten soft in terms of taking your ground and holding it!"
3. Republican Party
For a multitude of reasons, the party of Lincoln, Martin Luther King Jr. and Ronald Reagan is in disarray. Political candidates vying for the presidency gave their word publicly that they would support their Republican nominee only to later backtrack on their pledge or bail when their candidate came under the opposition's attacks, valid or not.
Jesus Christ taught "If a house is divided against itself, that house cannot stand" (Mark 3:25). Abraham Lincoln is still remembered for his "House Divided" rallying call in 1858.
For the welfare of our nation, isn't it time for disgruntled GOP politicians to come together behind closed doors with a respected, peacemaking conciliator (Dr. Ben Carson or Franklin Graham)? In a spirit of humility, let's work through the conflicts and move forward with momentum.
Bitter enemies like Presidents Jefferson and Adams reconciled; Pope John Paul II forgave his attempted assassin Ali Agca in his prison cell; Nelson Mandela, political prisoner for 26 years, forgave his captors, preventing a bloodbath in South Africa; and our sinless Savior declared from the cross, "Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do" (Luke 23:34).
4. Democratic Party
The party of my parents is basically gone. Millions live in a state of denial or blissful ignorance of this reality.
An extremist, globalist, "progressive" socialistic and secularist worldview now has a stranglehold on the Democratic Party. It is intolerant of differences; has a utopian vision of governmental control, open borders, taxpayer-funded abortions, full LGBTQ agenda, reinterpretation of the Constitution and an anti-Israel bias. It is well-funded, well-organized and well-connected with Hollywood, the media and academia.
The Democratic Party is unified because its unity is in its ideology not individuals. Examine the platform of the Democratic Party to confront this chilling reality.
The almost total disappearance of journalistic integrity and shameful, unprecedented media bias is a modern tragedy of epic proportions. Newscasters of past generations must turn in their graves at the avalanche of distortions and deceptions to which we are subjected on a daily basis.
Reports are routinely slanted toward liberal ideas. Serious controversies and revelations about "progressive" favorites are ignored or given scant attention as contrasted with front-page coverage and continuing stories "exposing" right-wing conservatives. Add to the mix debate moderators who are pawns for the Democratic Party with their aggressive questioning and attacks on more "traditional, values-centered" politicians.
6. Clinton/Kaine ticket
Multiple SCOTUS appointments (plus more than 300 federal, district and court judges) and the issue of abortion says it all concerning these two candidates. In addition, their policies would provide open, unprotected borders; further erode religious freedoms; increase entitlements and our obscene national debt; leave the United States vulnerable regarding Islamic terrorism; promote legalization of marijuana nationwide; continue advancing the LGBTQ agenda; prop up the imploding Obamacare; and aggressively advocate Obama's One World Government eradicating our unique heritage as a Judeo-Christian nation.
With the media aggressively working to torpedo Trump, Hillary slips by with damaging remarks exposed by WikiLeaks. Whether her treatment of women sexually abused by her husband; the 30,000 email cover-up; the false narrative concealing the murder of four Americans in Benghazi; or the corruption of the Clinton foundation, Mrs. Clinton is a master of diversion and deception.
Judging by the debate performance of Sen. Tim Kaine in the vice-presidential debate, Hillary has her alter ego. Instead of conveying maturity and dignity, Mr. Kaine's performance was rude and dishonest, a good fit with the top of the ticket.
7. Trump/Pence ticket
Late Bible teacher Derek Prince, called "the greatest Bible teacher of the 20th century," by John Hagee, often said, "Sometimes you have to face the real while you seek the ideal."
This is where we are in the 2016 presidential election. You may want fillet mignon at a restaurant, but if all they offer is a hamburger or hot dog, you have to make a choice.
I believe that Mike Pence is a committed Christian statesman who complements the flawed and outspoken, New York businessman Donald Trump. The latter is an outsider, possibly a recent convert and definitely not politically correct. He does have a correct platform that is one of the strongest you can get from a biblical worldview.
When All Is Said and Done
I strongly urge you to fast, pray, learn the issues and the candidates' positions, then vote with a Christian conscience. Do not compromise!
Alessandra Solzhenitsyn, the Russian prophet who spoke at Harvard's commencement speech in 1978 told us that a sign of a culture in decay is the lack of great statesmen. Being brutally honest, that is where we find our beloved nation today.
May God hear our pleas and raise up Christian statesmen before it's too late. Remember, a politician is concerned about an election while a statesman is concerned about the next generation.
"Hear our cries, Lord! And may God bless the United States of America."
Larry Tomczak is a cultural commentator of 46 yrs, Intercessors for America board member, best-selling author and a public policy advisor with Liberty Counsel. His new, innovative video/book, BULLSEYE, develops informed influencers in 30 days (see www.bullseyechallenge.com). Hear his weekly podcast here.
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