Monday, November 7, 2016, by Vince Galli
I’ve been trying for the better part of a year now to compose something worthwhile about this election, but something has kept me from finishing the task. I start, and I stop; I start, and I stop; and even now, all I have to show for it, aside from a lot of grief and heartache over the sin of our nation, are a thousand thoughts and fragments. It’s not even a matter of trying to influence anyone’s thinking anymore, especially since Election Day is upon us (and it’s evolving into “Election Month” anyway), so on that front, I will stop now and concede defeat. Instead, I would simply like to share a few thoughts, as writing a note to some friends; to fellow Christ-followers; to anyone who cares to listen. If you’ve stumbled on this and you’re not someone who’s interested in God or Jesus/Yeshua or any of that, you are free to dismiss all this as silly blather, but you might still want to tuck it away for future use in case you find yourself needing it down the road. After all, none of us knows what the next dawn will bring, nor do we know for sure what we will even be thinking tomorrow. Some bridges are best left unburned ─ ever.
And so, here we are again at another “most important election of our lifetimes.” With all the history, events, issues, and weird turns this cycle has taken to lead us to this most bizarre and unsettling of moments (to put it mildly), one of the common distillations we’ve heard it put into a thousand times now is that we are left with a choice between “the lesser of two evils.” What I would suggest instead is that we are left with a choice between the lesser of two judgments.
Now plenty of voices better than mine have already sounded the alarm, that this whole mess we’re in is a sign of God’s judgment on our nation, both candidates included, but there is an important distinction I have yet to hear, because the two judgments are not the same.
Let’s start with the lesser judgment, that being the “new” one, Mr. Trump. In practical terms, after all the sermons and protests and writings and warnings and admonitions eight year ago, God gave this nation, especially his own people acting in the prayer closet and the public square, eight years to present a worthy steward of the office of President of this providential gift that is the United States of America. We answered that merciful provision of another chance with a man who has a decades-long reputation as a brutish, unrepentant, disrespectful, materialistic, sexually compromised, narcissistic individual. And why do you suppose this was? Simple ─ he represents us, the remaining shell of what we, “Christian/Conservative bla bla America,” once were but are no longer. And so we have “our guy” who has a good platform and many of the right political doctrines, and many of the right people behind him, and ─ equally important ─ many of the right enemies, but who himself is a vessel largely unfit, by all present indications, to reliably and securely exercise those assets in a manner that should rightly give us peace to sleep at night. The judgment, therefore, is this: Here’s half what we need (platform, team members, godly counsel) to possibly stem the nation’s self-inflicted destruction and buy us a little more time to repent ─ still the only concrete benefit I can honestly see as a sure thing at this time ─ and the other half (Trump himself) that may render all that useless. It’s like having a decent set of marbles, but in a threadbare bag that will never hold them in without an extreme amount of attention and “stitching” from all of us, every day, for as long as that bag is in use (or at least until it’s…. renewed). One false move could send the whole batch bouncing away in 360-degree chaos, destined to be smashed underfoot in the ensuing stampede. That is the precipice on which we stand, should Mr. Trump be elected. Things could turn out much better than that, but realistically, the risk is high, and it depends on a level of attention to our own house that we have not demonstrated for quite a while.
As someone who has had a strong aversion to Mr. Trump for decades, and has written against him before, it has been easy for me to dismiss him from day one of this whole campaign, but honesty requires me to acknowledge all the facts, not just the ones that confirm my previous disapproval. Obviously the man has lived a completely secular life and has plenty of ill fruit to show for it. But it has been noted that while people like Hillary Clinton, with her behind-closed-doors rage attacks and vindictiveness and other such things, are worse in real life than the veneer of public “good” they present, Mr. Trump seems to be of the opposite sort, those who hide their better selves from public view while bringing out their worst for all to see. There is a long, long line of witnesses over Trump’s entire career who will testify to this (including many black people and women, contrary to all the party-line accusations of “racism” and “sexism”). But his most overt character flaws are the ones that make him his own worst enemy, providing plenty of red meat for his detractors and making it easy to forget the fact that it is not just a president we elect, but the platform, people and policies that come with that president (especially now). The Christian never-Trumpers will no doubt object to my even suggesting that there is any hope for a good outcome in this man’s (potential) term, but there are many God-fearing, faithful people working with him and his team, and millions praying along with them, and I think it’s dangerously unwise, and frankly a little arrogant, to decide for ourselves that the God of Heaven is simply going to ignore their pleas and hold back mercy because Donald Trump is who he is (or was who he was, depending on the extent to which reports turn out to be true). He may ignore those pleas, and this whole effort could turn out to be just another instance of foolish Christians putting their hopes in a mortal man only to bring down an avalanche of disappointment and shame. But that is neither our decision to make nor our prophecy to speak. Unlike Mrs. Clinton (or President Obama), Donald Trump has not damaged our country or racked up years of corruption at the nation’s expense, only to hide under a veil of Christian profession when it was convenient to do so. Are we so committed to our “righteous opposition” to this man that we do not want him to turn around; to repent; to come to faith in Christ? Do we want him to fail as a human being, just so we never have to take back any of our criticism? Yes, he has been rightly criticized for saying in the past that he “has nothing he needs to ask forgiveness for,” and with the Evangelical support he has received, the Christian witness in America will be damaged for years if he gets elected and never changes that tune. But I can’t help wondering if we who are critical of Mr. Trump haven’t been getting some of our talking points from Mrs. Clinton herself, who continues to falsely claim that he “has never apologized for anything.” That used to be a reliable story, but it is no longer, as he has apologized over and over again for many things in recent months. And several months after his remark about forgiveness, he changed his mind and said, “I will be asking for forgiveness, but hopefully I won’t have to be asking for much forgiveness.” Obviously that’s still a long way from full conviction, but will we give him no space at all to work through this, if in fact that is happening? I won’t engage in any wishful thinking, and we must be wise as serpents in all this, but I hope and pray that every good thing I have heard about him in these last several months is true ─ especially if he is our next president. If our Redeemer is willing to grant a man repentance and forgive his past, we should be willing to honor the same.
But now to the greater judgment, what I will call the old one ─ Hillary Clinton. I say the “old,” because she is a continuation of the judgment we’ve been under for the last eight years, the lawless presidency of Barack Obama. Before you scream and throw your computer at me, please hear me out: I know countless legions of Christians believe Barack Obama has been the greatest president since the inauguration of sliced bread, but in all this time, no matter who I have asked, listened to, talked to or read, not once have I heard a single one of them say exactly why they feel this way. Not once! And I am quite confident that I never will hear such an explanation, because from a truly Christian perspective, it doesn’t exist.
I would submit instead that the kind of judgment we are under with President Obama is one of the scariest of all, the judgment of Romans 1:
And since they did not see fit to acknowledge God, God gave them up to a debased mind to do what ought not to be done. They were filled with all manner of unrighteousness, evil, covetousness, malice. They are full of envy, murder, strife, deceit, maliciousness. They are gossips, slanderers, haters of God, insolent, haughty, boastful, inventors of evil, disobedient to parents, foolish, faithless, heartless, ruthless. Though they know God’s righteous decree that those who practice such things deserve to die, they not only do them but give approval to those who practice them.
Name one sin on that list that has not increased manifold times under this president’s rule? A characteristic I’ve seen over the years among Progressive Christians and others who approve of leaders like Obama and Clinton is that they tend to dismiss the idea of supernatural spiritual realities, even when they’re spelled out in the Scriptures, so they brush off the plain spiritual law that when we voluntarily place corrupt leaders over us, it unleashes further evil straight out of hell to spread freely throughout the land. And what have we seen in this time? The mocking and destruction of God’s created order in the legalization of homosexual “marriage” and the forced destruction of gender distinctions. Unprecedented destruction of the Rule of Law from the President on down. Further promotion of infanticide. The brainwashing of schoolchildren against our national heritage. Ever-increasing government power over people’s lives. Further destruction of the freedom of speech. A sneering disregard, especially among the “enlightened,” for the very concept of truth. Inciting what has become a war against the police, and by extension against law and order and all of society. Rioting and wanton destruction in the streets, defended and condoned by political “leaders” who benefit from the mayhem. The erosion of our sovereignty as a nation, and the efforts to bring us under subjection to our enemies through the United Nations and other hostile bodies. Lying daily about an economic “recovery” while 95 million people are out of the workforce and the welfare rolls double. Using the IRS to shut down political opposition. Opening our borders to terrorists and then lying about how they are vetted. Promoting illegal voting on a mass scale. Nurturing the atmosphere of sin and lawlessness that ultimately provokes people to gun down innocents, and then using those crimes to blame lawful gun owners and take away their right to protect their families from the violent environment that THE GOVERNMENT CREATED. The increase in the influence of Islam and the decrease in the influence of Christianity. Christians being forced to participate with their bodies in activities against their convictions, and having their entire livelihoods destroyed if they refuse. Race relations set back sixty years, and a manifold increase in racial violence throughout the land, ignored and excused as much as humanly possible so long as the perpetrators are the same color as the President. Orwellian policing and punishing of speech and thought. For starters.
The Obama/Clinton church openly approves of most of these evils; in fact, it doesn’t even consider them evils. Left-wing Christianity has made an art form of calling evil good and putting darkness for light and bitter for sweet. But this judgment is an entire level beyond “punishment for doing wrong”; the judgment is the love of doing wrong itself. That is the debased mind spoken of in the passage in Romans. The old King James calls it a “reprobate mind,” a mind that cannot repent, and is therefore outside the reach of redemption. The fact that this does not scare someone is evidence that the judgment is being played out right before our eyes.
Back to Hillary Clinton. She has been an active participant in the furtherance of many of these same evils, plus a slew of her own, including: fomenting wars in Libya and Syria (the latter of which has caused untold horrors of torture, rape slavery and Satanically hideous forms of murder against countless Christians ─ Christians to whom the Obama Administration refuses asylum in order to give preference to Muslims). Selling the influence of the State Department for personal profit to the tune of over $150 million. Covering those crimes by setting up an illegal private email server to conduct classified business over so as to escape Freedom of Information requests and other legally required storage and scrutiny. Even further promotion of abortion-on-demand, and telling Christians they must change their beliefs to accommodate her abortion agenda. Openly declaring her intention to destroy the Supreme Court (and all other Federal courts) by making it a tool of her own Progressive agenda rather than preserving its only lawful function (interpreting the Constitution). Colluding with a lying media, including mega-billionaire corporatists in social media and the Internet, to act as an arm of her campaign, manipulating news and debates and suppressing opposition voices, like good little Fascists. Openly stating her desire for open borders and “world governance,” which necessarily means the end of the United States as a sovereign nation (which of course is exactly what the organized Left wants). Selling, for personal profit, one-fifth of our country’s uranium supply to Putin’s Russia. Being mentored by a Satan-honoring enemy of the Constitution, and subjecting national policy to the paid bidding of another sworn enemy of that charter (also a billionaire; she’s so in it for the little guy!). Hiring as her closest aide for twenty years the daughter of Muslim Brotherhood leaders, and giving that aide classified information when she didn’t have clearance. For starters.
The fact that the Hillary church STUBBORNLY AND SINFULLY REFUSES TO ACKNOWLEDGE OR CONSIDER ANY OF THE REVELATIONS OF HER CORRUPTION, but instead continues to hold her up as some sort of Joan of Arc, is clear evidence that countless hearts have been hardened, and consciences seared, far beyond what they were the last two times this choice presented itself. It is a sin to be ruled by emotion and to rule by emotion, and Leftism is defined by both, which only feeds this fleshly dynamic. Secretary Clinton is the encore of the last eight years, a doubling-down of the “wickedness in high places” we’re already living through. The facts are there for all to see, and there will be no excuse when the time comes to answer for it. What the election of this person would be saying is that we like this judgment, and we want more of it! A gauntlet thrown down right at our Supreme Lawgiver’s feet. I, for one, would rather not stand there under those terms.
So there it is: we’re either standing at cliff’s edge with the wind at our backs, or we’re jumping right off it with our eyes wide open, chugging cyanide on the way down. One political cartoon I saw was quite on point, calling this “Election Roulette” ─ the Trump revolver has three bullets in the chamber, while the Clinton pistol has all six. I do find it ironic, though, that while we often repeat Mr. Trump’s remark about not needing forgiveness, it is in fact the defiant jump off the cliff on behalf of the other candidate that actually screams that the loudest. “Sin? I don’t see any sin. Do you see any sin?” “I don’t see any sin!” Splat.
At this point, some may be tempted to say, “I’m not voting for either of these, so none of this is on me. I’m not under judgment!” That is in fact a sentiment I hear in a lot of never-Trump speech. It seems like an easy out, but it doesn’t quite wash. When King David sinned against the Lord by numbering the people (2 Samuel 24), he was given the choice of three judgments against Israel, but no one under his rule was offered a pass because they didn’t participate in the act. But beyond that, witness Daniel in Babylon: He took it upon himself not only to seek forgiveness from the Lord for the transgressions of Israel, he included himself among the transgressors, despite the fact that he not only had nothing to do with the offenses, he wasn’t even alive when they were committed!
“O Lord, the great and awesome God …. we have sinned and done wrong and acted wickedly and rebelled, turning aside from your commandments and rules. We have not listened to your servants the prophets …. To us, O Lord, belongs open shame, to our kings, to our princes, and to our fathers, because we have sinned against you …. all this calamity has come upon us; yet we have not entreated the favor of the Lord our God, turning from our iniquities and gaining insight by your truth …. we have not obeyed his voice …. we have sinned, we have done wickedly.” (Daniel 9, various)
Perhaps it’s just my own awareness of my failures as a representative of Christ that makes it so easy for me to accept my share of the blame and admit that I deserve whatever judgment is on the way, which certainly does not speak well of me at all. But even if there are those among us as righteous as Daniel, blameless, I would think their prayers after the prophet’s fashion, rather than the self-excusing I often hear, would be the very “effectual and fervent” ones needed in this hour?
Either way, if you happen to be reading this and are in complete disagreement, laughing it all off and rejecting everything I’m saying because you do in fact approve of the leadership of President Obama and desire the rule of (another) President Clinton, and are in agreement with what they represent and have brought upon this nation, be advised of this one thing: you may very well have some difficult decisions to make in the not-too-distant future. There are Christian brothers and sisters being harshly persecuted for their faith, even unto terrifying torture and death, in many parts of the world, primarily at the hands of the followers of Islam and Communism. And those two forces are the very ones most at work in our country now, under this Obama/Clinton leadership and with its sympathies and approval, as both inch their way into power and law while followers of Messiah who refuse to go along are being further marginalized and suppressed. (If you don’t believe me, look at what’s happening in nouveau-Socialist Europe: they have rejected the Christian faith, so they are getting Islam instead. How’s that working out?) If this continues unabated here, as it undoubtedly will under a President Clinton, it is only a matter of time before the grace and favor this nation has received by the hand of God and through the ministry of his people are removed, and hardcore persecution sets in for real. When that time comes, you will have to choose with whom you will stand. The Obama/Clinton church is already in lock step, in basically every way it can be at this stage, with the secular and Islamic forces working to bring on this war against the people of Messiah, so they are in little danger from the enemies of Christ. But they will ultimately be required to act in concert with them against their brethren who resist. What will you do when that time comes? With whom will you be numbered? Remember for your own sake if nothing else, what was true throughout the centuries is still true today: the goats always side with the world against the sheep.
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Whatever “Liberalism” once was in America, it’s long dead now, having been assassinated and replaced by its sleeper enemy agent counterfeit, Leftism, aka Progressivism. The fact that 99% of “Progressive Christians” know nothing about the roots of their doctrine and philosophy is a shameful dereliction of Christian duty, especially on the part of their teachers, many of whom do of course know but are proudly following their own path, leading their disciples into the ditch along with them. We can stipulate and agree that It is wrong to blanketly equate “Conservatism” ─ an inferior worldly construct, however valid and useful it may be ─ with the faith once delivered to the saints. When set against the backdrop of God’s righteousness, it’s just another one of our “isms.” The Benham brothers put it best: “Conservatism is pretend salt. It acts like salt, it tastes like salt, but it is not Biblical Christianity.” And this season’s “Conservative” political offerings should put any remaining doubt of the above to rest from now until, well, eternity. Nevertheless, in terms of the core meaning of the word (“conserve: preserve; protect from harm; save in its original form,” etc.), God’s values are, by default, not “Liberal,” certainly not “Progressive,” but are of necessity primarily “conservative.” Sorry, they just are. Holiness is conservative. Righteousness is conservative. Truth is conservative. Law is conservative. Creation; order; moral constraint; sexual restrictions; the aforementioned duty ─ conservative. “Straight is the gate, and narrow is the way” ─ conservative. Limits, divisions, definitions, standards, transcendent governing realities ─ all “conservative,” not open to whim or emotion, not subject to the vagaries of the times, not something that came from us and that we are free to redefine and do with whatever we want. As Margaret Thatcher bluntly stated, “the facts of life are conservative.” And the facts of life are a product of reality in this world created by God. No way around it. Either face that, or remain a child.
Eight years ago, shortly before the 2008 election, I wrote a piece imploring my fellow believers to consider some things before they voted for Barack Obama. To my knowledge, none of the Left-wing/Progressive Christians who read it took any heed to anything it said, even though everything I warned about either proved true at the time or came to pass not long afterward. And as far as I can tell, none of them would take it seriously even now, which itself is a sobering and depressing thought. Normally I wouldn’t ask anyone to read such “old news,” but I’m linking it below (it’s also the first post on this blog), not to remind anyone that I was “right” ─ I so, so wish I had been completely wrong ─ but because, if you are willing to take a few minutes to read it, I would ask you to pay close attention to something as you do: Go back in your memories, to what already seems like a lifetime ago, and revisit the issues surrounding that election ─ moral, social, economic, spiritual ─ everything. Look at all the things we couldn’t believe were happening, that took our breath away, that had us on our knees, and then…. look at what has transpired since that time, and where we are now. Pray, and seriously consider before our Maker the implications of that contrast. The tumult; the outrageousness; the soul-searching; the stakes surrounding that election just eight short years ago seem almost quaint compared to what we are faced with this time around. Honestly, I’m somewhat embarrassed to see how greatly I underestimated the extent of the moral and spiritual death spiral into which our nation would descend in this short a time. Indeed, up until a few months ago, I could still call the last part of my warning the “exception,” the one thing I could say with a little relief “hasn’t happened yet.” But even that last crumb of consolation has been scavenged off my plate, as this final rise to power of the Left and its high priestess, should it be achieved, is the ink finally drying at the end of this story.
See for yourself. Or better yet, pray for God’s mercy to lead us to repentance, so that we never have to see.
> What Any Christian Should Think About Before Voting for Barack Obama