from Christian News:

During a recently-aired episode of Oprah Winfrey’s “Super Soul Sunday,” hipster Hillsong NYC leader Carl Lentz replied in the negative when asked by the popular talk show host if he believes only Christians can be in a relationship with God.
The episode was recorded earlier this year, but aired this past Sunday as per the Super Soul Sunday webpage.

“Do you believe that only Christians can be in a relationship with God?” Winfrey asked.

“No,” Lentz replied. “I believe that when Jesus said that ‘I am the way, the truth, and the life’—the way I read that, Jesus said that He is the road marker, He is the map.”

“So, I think that God loves people so much that whether they accept or reject Him, He’s still gracious, and He’s still moving, and He’s still giving you massive red blinking lights, for chances to take a right turn where maybe you’d take a left,” Lentz continued. “But I believe God loves people, and that’s what this whole gospel is based on—it’s love. You take the love out of it, we’ve got a moral book.”

Moments prior, after Winfrey advised of a friend who is enamored with Hillsong NYC, Lentz remarked that he hopes his assembly is “hopefully a place where you won’t feel a certain way because of how you’re dressed, what your past is, what you might have done on Saturday night, [or] your background.”

“I think it’s a place where you can come in and actually hear and be safe,” Lentz said.

As previously reported, concerns had been raised in May after Lentz posted a photograph on social media announcing his upcoming appearance Winfrey’s television broadcast.

“I really enjoyed my time with Oprah filming for her Super Soul Sunday show,” he wrote on May 18. “She is truly a special woman and a culture changer. To come from absolute poverty in Mississippi and reach the point where she became the first African American multi-billionaire takes a passion and drive that is exceptional and tireless.”

While the photo generated thousands of likes on social media, others raised concern over the Hillsong leader’s appearance with the television celebrity, who once said, “There are many ways, many paths to what you call God. … Does God care about your heart or does God care about if you call His Son Jesus?”

“Oprah is a pagan with New Age beliefs. For many years she has stated that there are ‘many paths to God.’ She denies that Jesus said the way is narrow,” one wrote.

Lentz replied to the comments on Instagram, remarking that he doesn’t like followers arguing about the Bible on his page.

“I don’t check these comments often, and the further I read on this thread, I’m reminded to do it less and less!” he said. “I will say that I can no longer allow people to use my comment section as their own personal theology blog! Can’t do it. Wrecks my picture and becomes almost embarrassing.”

This week, Bobbie Houston, wife of Hillsong Australia leader Brian Houston, also defended the appearance, opining that it was a “God-honoring, Spirit-breathed and Jesus ‘front and center’ interview.”

“And sadly the God-haters and Hillsong-haters and Oprah-haters will be frothing and manifesting,” she wrote on Instagram. “We love you but your unrelenting contempt and hatred is only going to make us love you more fiercely.”

As previously reported, Hillsong NYC is a popular 8,000 member Pentecostal congregation, which meets each week in nightclubs, theaters, and other venues across New York City. Trendy concert-like music, strobe lights, and Lentz’s unconventional messages draw thousands of attendees every Sunday.

Celebrities often stop by Hillsong NYC to experience Lentz’s unorthodox messages, which are often replete with street slang and modern lingo. Pop star Justin Bieber occasionally attends services and was reportedly baptized by Lentz.

Despite Lentz’s burgeoning popularity, many Christians are concerned with lack of clarity on social issues, including homosexuality. Lentz says he does not like preaching about moral debates and once told Katie Couric that Jesus “very rarely” talked about “morality and social issues.”

“My Bible says, be attentive to individual needs,” Lentz told his congregation in a sermon, which was publicized by the Huffington Post. “So I’m not gonna make polarizing political statements about certain things in our Christian community right now. No matter who says what, we won’t be pressured into giving blanket statements to individual needs. Never.”

from CBN News:

After years of court battles, the Christian-owned bakery Sweet Cakes by Melissa is closing its doors.

The Oregon-based company was targeted by LGBT activists when owners Aaron and Melissa Klein said they wouldn’t bake a cake for a gay wedding because of their Christian beliefs.

The subsequent legal battled crippled the bakery. The Kleins had been operating out of their home for the last few years. But now they’ve announced on their Facebook page, “We have closed Sweet Cakes. We appreciate everyone’s continued prayer and support!”

The World Congress of Families says it’s a tragedy.

“LGBT extremists have claimed yet another victim in their quest to rid society of anyone who does not endorse their agenda,” Brian Brown, president of the WCF, wrote.

Although the Kleins have decided to close up shop, they will still stand up for religious freedom. Their attorneys at First Liberty Institute argue it’s wrong for the government to force people to support something that violates their beliefs.

“Should the government force Catholics to sculpt totems for Wiccan rituals, or feminists to photograph fraternity initiations, or pro-life videographers to film an abortion? Of course not,” First Liberty President Kelly Shackelford said. “No one should be forced to contribute to the celebration of an idea that goes against his or her beliefs.”

The Kleins still face a hefty $135,000 fine, which they will continue to appeal.

“Chick managed to offend Catholics, Jews, Mormons, Jehovah’s Witnesses, Muslims and Freemasons, who found their beliefs discounted, ridiculed or condemned as false — or worse.”

Galatians 5:11:

“Dear brothers and sisters, if I were still preaching that you must be circumcised–as some say I do–why am I still being persecuted? If I were no longer preaching salvation through the cross of Christ, no one would be offended.”

“The cross is an offense because it says to the world, “You’re a sinner.” The cross said to the thief who was dying on the other cross, “You’re a sinner. You’d better repent.” And the thief did repent. He confessed his sins. And he said, “Remember me when You come into Your kingdom.” And Jesus turned to him and said, “Today you will be with Me in Paradise.” Christ forgave him right there. But, first, the cross condemned his sins and made him confess and acknowledge that he was a sinner (Luke 23:39-43).”

All False religions demand  “works” to merit entry into a Heaven! Even Roman Catholicism an apostate and works based mutilation of Biblical Christianity puts emphasis on “works”

Biblical Christianity on the other hand says that we can do nothing to merit entry into Heaven. We can only be saved through grace! And that grace comes through belief in Jesus Christ, who he was, and what he did at the Cross!

from The Los Angeles Times:

Jack T. Chick, whose cartoon tracts preached fundamentalist Christianity while vilifying secular society, evolution, homosexuality and the beliefs of Catholics and Muslims, has died. He was 92.

Chick died peacefully in his sleep on Sunday evening, according to a Facebook postingMonday by Chick Publications, based in Rancho Cucamonga. It did not provide other details, and a call for comment left after hours was not immediately returned.

The posting promised that the company would continue Chick’s method, vision and purpose.

Chick’s pulpy, lurid cartoons combined traditional evangelism with frankly conspiracy-minded attacks. He and later other illustrators produced several hundred tracts over the decades. Latching onto the issues of the day, the tracts took aim at abortion, occultism, ecumenism and other perceived evils.

They portrayed everything from rock music to Dungeons & Dragons and Harry Potter as literal traps of the Devil.

One tract, “The Walking Dead,” tapped into the hit zombie TV show but argued: “We’re all like zombies. The spirits inside our souls are dead.”

As with underground comics of the 1960s and 1970s, Chick’s work opposed “the system.” But instead of the military-industrial complex or “The Man,” it was a secular society viewed as debased, demon-inspired and virulently anti-Christian.

One anti-evolution booklet, “Big Daddy?” has a college student exclaiming: “Then we didn’t evolve! The system has been feeding us The Big Lie! We really do have a soul!”

Chick managed to offend Catholics, Jews, Mormons, Jehovah’s Witnesses, Muslims and Freemasons, who found their beliefs discounted, ridiculed or condemned as false — or worse.

“Learn how the papacy helped start Islam, only to have this new daughter rebel against her. You’ll understand the Arab’s place in Bible prophecy. Muslims have been saved by reading this book,” says the blurb for one pamphlet on the Chick Publications order website.

The tracts were criticized for using debunked or one-sided arguments and stereotypical portrayals of blacks, homosexuals, Arabs and others. But they also attracted collectors and fans who cherished them as quirky works of art.

Chick was born in Los Angeles on April 13, 1924. A biography on the company website says he was converted to Christianity by listening to a radio revival program on his honeymoon.

Unable to find a publisher, Chick published his first cartoon revival book in 1961 using $800 he borrowed from a credit union. He founded Chick Publications in 1970.

The tracts were intended to be handed out in bulk and were available cheaply. Chick’s company claimed it had sold about 750 million of them, translated into more than 100 languages.

“His burden has always been to get the Gospel into the hands of millions of lost people around the world,” according to the website.

From Conservative Review:

There’s been a lot of justifiable hand-wringing regarding the Christian vote in this election cycle. Unfortunately, the reality is even worse than the perception.

That’s because data suggests that what’s driving many believers to vote isn’t their beliefs as much as it is their racial/ethnic identity — just like the electorate at large. In other words, voters coming from the institution charged with preserving America’s vitally important moral foundation — the church — collectively aren’t approaching the ballot box any differently than the secularly-minded.

That’s bad news if you’re trying to conserve a society based on God-given (not government granted) rights, but more on that later. First, let’s permit the troubling data to speak for itself.

Let’s begin with Catholic voters, which are a crucial voting bloc for both Republicans and Democrats. Since Roe v. Wade, only once has either side won the presidency without winning the Catholic vote. And that was in 2000 when George W. Bush won the Electoral College despite losing the popular vote, so that’s obviously an outlier.

How critical is this bloc of voters? Consider Obama won Catholics by three points in 2012, which mirrored almost precisely his national popular vote advantage (3.8 points).

While polls have shown Democrats with a decided edge among Catholics ever since the race was narrowed to Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton, Trump doesn’t have a Catholic problem as much as he has a minority problem. Trump has narrowly led among white Catholics since last summer. However, that’s not enough to overcome Clinton’s astounding three-to-one lead among Hispanic Catholics.

The same pattern exists among evangelical protestants, but it’s even more striking.

LifeWay Research just published a fascinating survey drawing distinctions between voters who simply identify as evangelicals, and those who actually have evangelical beliefs. Overall, the survey found among whites who hold evangelical beliefs Trump overwhelmingly leads, 65-10. Meanwhile, Clinton holds almost the exact same lead among non-whites with evangelical beliefs, 62-15.

For the sake of its survey, LifeWay defined evangelical beliefs as the following:

  • Trusting in Jesus Christ alone for salvation.
  • Believe they have a responsibility to share their faith in Christ with others.
  • Believe the Bible is the final authority in their lives.

What’s unsettling is how those who claim they “believe the Bible is the final authority in their lives” could have such starkly different voting patterns. Especially because the Bible makes it clear the Christian is to set aside their worldly identity (race, ethnicity, gender, family legacy, nation of origin, etc.) in order to find his/her identity in Christ first and foremost.

Sadly, just the opposite appears to be happening with many voters.

Whites with evangelical beliefs are voting for a Republican whose lack of character and tendency to bully/demean flies in the face of what the Bible requires of our leaders. On the other hand, non-whites with evangelical beliefs are voting for a Democrat who is a staunch advocate for infanticide and sexual immorality, which are clearly condemned by the Scriptures. Not to mention Clinton’s willingness to have government violate the First Amendment to punish those who believe in Biblical morality.

Here’s why this trend spells certain doom for American Exceptionalism if it continues.

John Adams once said our Constitution establishing self-government was “meant only for a moral and religious people.” Many of his fellow founding fathers echoed similar sentiments. It’s no coincidence that as the culture has become more decadent the government has gotten bigger. The less moral restraint we have, the more government is needed to suffer the consequences of our actions.

Furthermore, those who fundamentally just believe in big government will seek to further incentivize immorality in order to justify their calls for more government. Thus creating a self-fulfilling prophecy. Either way, morality and limited government are hand-in-hand. You cannot have one without the other.

This is why great spiritual awakenings came before liberty in our history, and then later revivals were required to secure that liberty for future generations once it was established. Spiritual revival leads to a morally-restrained people. A morally-restrained people require less government to restrain them.

But if we are now living in a time, as this data suggests, when even those who have inherited that spiritual legacy will instead see things as racially polarized and ethnically balkanized like the general population does, then the last line of defense to preserve our heritage has also been lost.

Many of us long for a day when it seems the majority of Americans once more believe in the right things regardless of our political differences. Those days will not return if believers, who are required to set their cultural biases aside to serve a greater cause, are unable to do so. For if someone is unable to set what divides us aside to serve God, they’ll never do it to serve their fellow man.

This puts us in existential danger. Without a moral and religious people, good luck preserving the notion of God-given rights that empowers individual freedom and limits government intrusion.

Is it any wonder we’re mired in a depressing presidential action between, as 19-year-old Janae Petijean told the Boston Globe, a man who “is everything wrong with America’s culture” and a woman who “is everything wrong with our government,” given everything wrong with the church?

Speak Truth to Trump

“But not all evangelical Christians—in fact, alas, most evangelical Christians, judging by the polls—have shown the same critical judgment when it comes to the Republican nominee. True, when given a choice, primary voters who claimed evangelical faith largely chose other candidates. But since his nomination, Donald Trump has been able to count on “the evangelicals” (in his words) for a great deal of support……

This Presidential election has uncovered the fatal condition of the American Church! When Christians throng to Donald Trump publicly and completely ignore his very public sordid anti-Christian life, you need no other indicator to say that the Christian church has died in America!

from Christianity Today:

As a non-profit journalistic organization, Christianity Today is doubly committed to staying neutral regarding political campaigns—the law requires it, and we serve our readers best when we give them the information and analysis they need to make their own judgments.

Just because we are neutral, however, does not mean we are indifferent. We are especially not indifferent when the gospel is at stake. The gospel is of infinitely greater importance than any campaign, and one good summary of the gospel is, “Jesus is Lord.”

The true Lord of the world reigns even now, far above any earthly ruler. His kingdom is not of this world, but glimpses of its power and grace can be found all over the world. One day his kingdom, and his only, will be the standard by which all earthly kingdoms are judged, and following that judgment day, every knee will bow, in heaven, on earth, and under the earth, as his reign is fully realized in the renewal of all things.

The lordship of Christ places constraints on the way his followers involve themselves, or entangle themselves, with earthly rulers.

On the one hand, we pray for all rulers—and judging from the example of Old Testament exiles like Daniel and New Testament prisoners like Paul, we can even wholeheartedly pray for rulers who directly oppose our welfare. On the other hand, we recognize that all earthly governments partake, to a greater or lesser extent, in what the Bible calls idolatry: substituting the creation for the Creator and the earthly ruler for the true God.

No human being, including even the best rulers, is free of this temptation. But some rulers and regimes are especially outrageous in their God-substitution. After Augustus Caesar, the emperors of Rome became more and more elaborate in their claims of divinity with each generation—and more and more ineffective in their governance. Communism aimed not just to replace faith in anything that transcended the state, but to crush it. Such systems do not just dishonor God, they dishonor his image in persons, and in doing so they set themselves up for dramatic destruction. We can never collude when such idolatry becomes manifest, especially when it demands our public allegiance. Christians in every place and time must pray for the courage to stay standing when the alleged “voice of a god, not a man” commands us to kneel.

This year’s presidential election in the United States presents Christian voters with an especially difficult choice.

The Democratic nominee has pursued unaccountable power through secrecy—most evidently in the form of an email server designed to shield her communications while in public service, but also in lavishly compensated speeches, whose transcripts she refuses to release, to some of the most powerful representatives of the world system. She exemplifies the path to power preferred by the global technocratic elite—rooted in a rigorous control of one’s image and calculated disregard for norms that restrain less powerful actors. Such concentration of power, which is meant to shield the powerful from the vulnerability of accountability, actually creates far greater vulnerabilities, putting both the leader and the community in greater danger.

But because several of the Democratic candidate’s policy positions are so manifestly incompatible with Christian reverence for the lives of the most vulnerable, and because her party is so demonstrably hostile to expressions of traditional Christian faith, there is plenty of critique and criticism of the Democratic candidate from Christians, including evangelical Christians.

But not all evangelical Christians—in fact, alas, most evangelical Christians, judging by the polls—have shown the same critical judgment when it comes to the Republican nominee. True, when given a choice, primary voters who claimed evangelical faith largely chose other candidates. But since his nomination, Donald Trump has been able to count on “the evangelicals” (in his words) for a great deal of support.

This past week, the latest (though surely not last) revelations from Trump’s past have caused many evangelical leaders to reconsider. This is heartening, but it comes awfully late. What Trump is, everyone has known and has been able to see for decades, let alone the last few months. The revelations of the past week of his vile and crude boasting about sexual conquest—indeed, sexual assault—might have been shocking, but they should have surprised no one.

Indeed, there is hardly any public person in America today who has more exemplified the “earthly nature” (“flesh” in the King James and the literal Greek) that Paul urges the Colossians to shed: “sexual immorality, impurity, lust, evil desires, and greed, which is idolatry” (3:5). This is an incredibly apt summary of Trump’s life to date. Idolatry, greed, and sexual immorality are intertwined in individual lives and whole societies. Sexuality is designed to be properly ordered within marriage, a relationship marked by covenant faithfulness and profound self-giving and sacrifice. To indulge in sexual immorality is to make oneself and one’s desires an idol. That Trump has been, his whole adult life, an idolater of this sort, and a singularly unrepentant one, should have been clear to everyone.

And therefore it is completely consistent that Trump is an idolater in many other ways. He has given no evidence of humility or dependence on others, let alone on God his Maker and Judge. He wantonly celebrates strongmen and takes every opportunity to humiliate and demean the vulnerable. He shows no curiosity or capacity to learn. He is, in short, the very embodiment of what the Bible calls a fool.

Some have compared Trump to King David, who himself committed adultery and murder. But David’s story began with a profound reliance on God who called him from the sheepfold to the kingship, and by the grace of God it did not end with his exploitation of Bathsheba and Uriah. There is no parallel in Trump’s much more protracted career of exploitation. The Lord sent his word by the prophet Nathan to denounce David’s actions—alas, many Christian leaders who could have spoken such prophetic confrontation to him personally have failed to do so. David quickly and deeply repented, leaving behind the astonishing and universally applicable lament of his own sin in Psalm 51we have no sign that Trump ever in his life has expressed such humility. And the biblical narrative leaves no doubt that David’s sin had vast and terrible consequences for his own family dynasty and for his nation. The equivalent legacy of a Trump presidency is grievous to imagine.

Most Christians who support Trump have done so with reluctant strategic calculation, largely based on the president’s power to appoint members of the Supreme Court. Important issues are indeed at stake, including the right of Christians and adherents of other religions to uphold their vision of sexual integrity and marriage even if they are in the cultural minority.

But there is a point at which strategy becomes its own form of idolatry—an attempt to manipulate the levers of history in favor of the causes we support. Strategy becomes idolatry, for ancient Israel and for us today, when we make alliances with those who seem to offer strength—the chariots of Egypt, the vassal kings of Rome—at the expense of our dependence on God who judges all nations, and in defiance of God’s manifest concern for the stranger, the widow, the orphan, and the oppressed. Strategy becomes idolatry when we betray our deepest values in pursuit of earthly influence. And because such strategy requires capitulating to idols and princes and denying the true God, it ultimately always fails.

Enthusiasm for a candidate like Trump gives our neighbors ample reason to doubt that we believe Jesus is Lord. They see that some of us are so self-interested, and so self-protective, that we will ally ourselves with someone who violates all that is sacred to us—in hope, almost certainly a vain hope given his mendacity and record of betrayal, that his rule will save us.

The US political system has never been free of idolatry, and politics always requires compromise. Our country is flawed, but it is also resilient. And God is not only just, but also merciful, as he judges the nations. In these closing weeks before the election, all American Christians should repent, fast, and pray—no matter how we vote. And we should hold on to hope—not in a candidate, but in our Lord Jesus. We do not serve idols. We serve the living God. Even now he is ready to have mercy, on us and on all who are afraid. May his name be hallowed, his kingdom come, and his will be done on earth, as it is in heaven.

From The Resurgent:

The polling has drawn ever closer. More and more people wonder if those of us who are NeverTrump should finally yield knowing that we can beat Hillary Clinton. I am in an odd position. I am mindful that should Trump win, the Republican establishment will blame people like me for giving rise to Trump. Likewise, I know if Trump loses, the Republican establishment will blame people like me for giving rise to Trump and Trump supporters will blame people like me for his loss. I suppose I should say not that I’m in an odd position, but that I am in a no-win position.

With Donald Trump’s rise in the polls and the increasingly competitive nature of the race, it is time to reconsider my opposition to Trump. After all, I view Hillary Clinton’s candidacy as anti-American.

I realize saying Hillary Clinton’s candidacy is, in my view, “anti-American” offends some or comes off as hyperbolic, but I think her candidacy is fundamentally anathema to and is fundamentally in opposition to basic, historic American values. I believe the founders of this country recognized individual liberty as negative liberty. It was not what individuals could do if government helped them that made this country great. Rather, it was what individuals could do if government left them alone.

Hillary Clinton’s vision of a leviathan nanny state runs counter to those ideals. She would expand the government, engage the government in social experimentation, and she would advance the agenda of the sexual revolution against the church. I am under no delusions. With Clinton as President, the church in this country will be in for a difficult time, besieged from the outside. The forces of Mordor will be fully on the march.

With Hillary Clinton, the Supreme Court will fall into the hands of the left for a generation at least. The devastation to our social fabric will know no end. Trading in the idea of negative liberty, Clinton and a left-wing Supreme Court will pursue expansionist federal policies and concepts of positive liberty that advance the individual prurient interests of deviants against the church in ways the founders would not have anticipated and no rational person would think wise. But Clinton as President will mean the insane have taken over the asylum.

Gertrude Himmelfarb wrote, “What was once stigmatized as deviant behavior is now tolerated and even sanctioned; what was once regarded as abnormal has been normalized . . . . As deviancy is normalized, so what was once normal becomes deviant. The kind of family that has been regarded for centuries as natural and moral – the ‘bourgeois’ family as it is invidiously called – is now seen as pathological.” Clinton’s Presidency will lock that in.

In addition to that, the increasingly illiberal left will further capitulate in the face of evil, choosing to surrender to radical Islamists blowing themselves up as a new normal.

In short, I see the election of Hillary Clinton as the antithesis of all my values and ideas on what fosters sound civil society in this country. Further, she should be in jail.

At least with Trump we might, might, get a better Supreme Court. We might get better cabinet picks. In fact, in terms of my view of the country the odds are pretty great that my side has a greater chance of prevailing with Trump than Clinton. What most would identify as my side would have control of the Executive Branch and the powers of appointment and regulation that come with it.

So I should at least here and now, as the race draws close, reconsider my opposition to Trump. The truth is, with headlines about Clinton’s emails, terrorist attacks, the Obama Administration’s advancement of transgenderism in the military, etc. I have been actively reconsidering my opposition to Trump. I’ve done it in conversation with friends, in prayer, and in quiet time dedicated to considering the future.

In so doing, I have to admit that while I may view Hillary Clinton’s campaign as anti-American, I view Donald Trump’s campaign as un-American.

The American spirit eschews the idea of a strong man in Washington fixing all our problems. We are supposed to be against the imposition of values set by Washington and instead should embrace our heterogeneity as a people. Not only does Donald Trump not do that, but his views pervert the liberal order of things as much as Clintonian illiberalism. Clinton offers a tyranny of the minority and Trump offers a tyranny of the majority. Clinton offers neither safety nor freedom and Trump offers safety at the expense of freedom. While I see Clinton as having no virtue, I see Donald Trump corrupting the virtuous and fostering hatred, racism, and dangerous strains of nationalism.

More importantly, while I think Hillary Clinton will do long term damage to the country, I believe Donald Trump will do far more damage to the church, which must be my chief priority. A Clinton Administration may see the church besieged from the outside, but a Trump Administration will see the church poisoned from within.

I see it happening even now. This past Friday I debated the merits of Trump and sat next to a Christian who argued that because God chose sinners, we should choose Trump. She argued that a bunch of other Presidents were terrible, immoral people so we should be okay with Trump. She argued that God chose Abraham, Samson, and David, so we should choose Trump.

I do not recall John F. Kennedy writing books bragging about his affairs. I do not recall Bill Clinton telling a television audience he wanted to have sex with his daughter. How far a Christian must fall to justify the low morals of one man by tearing down the reputations of others in sometimes exaggerated manners. And I do recall God choosing Abraham, Samson, and David and all of them repenting of their sins. That repentance stands in studied contrast to Donald Trump who has three times said he never had to ask for forgiveness and only recently said his advance of the church, if he is elected, might be the only thing that gets him into Heaven.

That is a far cry from sola scriptura, sola fide, sola gratia, solus Christus, et soli Deo gloria

When I see Christians defining deviancy down to justify a political decision, I see a real problem for the church. When I see Christians saying we have license to choose bad men because God chose bad men, I see the sparks of apostasy. Many of my friends have turned themselves over to the anger Trump displays. I see friends on twitter in meltdown, tweeting profanity at others, spending their time on radio attacking friends by name for refusing to yield. That is not healthy. But not only is it not healthy, it reeks of desperation.

“This is pure and undefiled religion in the sight of our God and Father, to visit orphans and widows in their distress, and to keep oneself unstained by the world” (James 1:27). Trump has openly championed funding an organization that would murder the would be orphan and sell his organs while he has cheated widows and single moms of their money. And more and more Christians are championing his stains while staining themselves.

The level of fear many of my friends have towards what a Clinton Administration may bring has turned to desperation and desire for a protector. But we already have one and neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord. (Romans 8:38-39)

So many pastors who email me to beg me to reconsider and so many others who write do so because they think this is the last best chance to get this nation right. They think we will turn a corner after which we cannot turn back. While I concede they may be right, what I see is a level of desperation causing them to place their trust in one strong man instead of God. And, in truth, I do not concede they are right, but have concluded we are already past the point of redemption when the best either party can do is offer up Clinton or Trump. We are beyond the point of looking to five black robed masters to save us from ourselves when we put up either a Clinton or a Trump. The seriousness and virtue of the voter is in the grave already and my Christian brethren for Trump yearn for an idolized past that never existed in a future that is not theirs, but God’s, to shape.

Christians looking for a strong man to protect the church instead of the strongest man who conquered death is a terrible thing to see. Many Christian leaders are engaging in a kind of syncretism, trying to blend patriotism with Christianity. They seemingly argue that if the nation falls, the church falls and for the church to rise the country must rise. But Christ has already risen so the true church is in no danger of falling. The gates of hell shall not prevail.

Seeing men like Wayne Grudem and others beclown themselves trying to justify support of a man like Trump makes me weep for the shallow faith of a church more wrapped up in its Americanness than its Godliness. I have to say I was truly blown away by having a Christian sit next to me on Friday and argue that we should support an immoral adulterer who had never asked for forgiveness because of what he might do for Christians.

Just read Wayne Grudem’s attack on Rudy Giuliani in 2012 to see his hypocrisy derived from desperation now:

So it seems to me that if evangelicals don’t support Romney in a significant way, Giuliani will be the Republican candidate. So then we will have a pro-abortion, pro-gay rights candidate who is on his third marriage and had a messy affair prior to his divorce from his second wife. Then we will lose any high moral ground and the enthusiasm of the evangelical vote (many of whom will just sit it out), and the difference between Giuliani and Clinton will be only one of degrees as he shifts leftward in the general election to appeal to the “middle.” So then if we lose, we lose, and even if we win, we lose on the crucial moral issues of abortion and protection of marriage. Romney is a much better choice. But he needs evangelical support now if he is going to win.

How now can Grudem advance his witness to questioning unbelievers? He now praises an unrepentant man both guilty of and proud of the very sins he attacked Giuliani for. Even Giuliani never wrote a book bragging about his affairs with married women or boasting of taking advantage of others through strategic bankruptcy filings and shorting laborers. One can hardly escape the conclusion that had Giuliani been the nominee, Grudem would be chastising Christians for not wanting to vote for the man.

Scripture tells me (and you) that believers should have nothing to do with any person who holds himself out as a Christian and is unrepentant.

But now I am writing to you not to associate with anyone who bears the name of brother if he is guilty of sexual immorality or greed, or is an idolater, reviler, drunkard, or swindler—not even to eat with such a one. For what have I to do with judging outsiders? Is it not those inside the church[a] whom you are to judge? God judges those outside. “Purge the evil person from among you.”

1 Corinthians 5:11-13

We instruct you, brothers, in the name of [our] Lord Jesus Christ, to shun any brother who conducts himself in a disorderly way and not according to the tradition they received from us.

2 Thess 3:6

This is the inerrant word of God and Christians are choosing to ignore it because they have convinced themselves they are not electing a priest, but a President. Therefore they have segregated the commands of their faith from the desires for themselves. I cannot bifurcate my faith in that way. I cannot in good conscience support anyone who bears the name of brother when he is unrepentant of sexual immorality or greed, or is an idolater, reviler, drunkard, or swindler.

It is not just because of my values, but for Donald Trump’s own salvation that I cannot embrace him. For Wayne Grudem and Janet Parshall and other Christians to support Trump in his present rebellious state against God to serve their political interests is selfishness.

Here now is a man in Donald Trump who sees no need to be saved and has no understanding of a faith he professes. And he sees Christians cheering him on in his rebellious state, defending him when they blasted others for the very same sins.

The whole purpose of shunning the unrepenant sinner is to drive him to God. Yet, Christians in America are cheering on this rebellious sinner providing him no reason at all to repent. American Christians in politics are so busy trying to save their political interests they are ignoring scripture and losing a soul to hell. Saying they’ll pray for Trump flies in the face of the admonition of scripture. We should not put off the steps to push Trump toward reconciliation with his Lord in hopes he gets the Presidency. Then it makes it less likely he will reconcile in that distracted state and more likely we lose a soul to hell.

All Christendom should be ashamed we are putting our needs in this temporary place ahead of saving a soul bound for eternity.

That I see so many Christians justifying Donald Trump’s immorality, defining deviancy down, and turning to anger and despondency about the future tells me I cannot in good faith support Donald Trump because his victory would have lasting, damaging consequences for Christianity in America. We harm our witness and the testimony of the strength of our Lord by embracing the immoral, unrepentant strong man. We harm our American virtue by buying into the idea that one man can make America great again. Further, we risk losing Donald Trump’s soul for the sake of our selfishness.

Lastly, for those who compare Trump to Cyrus, God never asked his people to support Cyrus’s cause, only to accept him as their ruler. God never asks his people to choose between the lesser of two evils. God uses all men, from pharaoh to Trump. And he can do so without making Christians endorse the person’s sins. God did not tell the Jews to throw open the gates of Jerusalemn for Nebuchadnezzar. God did that himself. God shut the door of the ark and brought the rain and dried again the land. God raises us from the dust of the earth and he stitched us together in our mothers’ wombs. He holds the entire universe in the palm of his hand. God can see us through all things if we aren’t so busy pretending his will and exercising pretended divine authority. His will be done. If God wants Trump in the White House, he does not need my vote or a violation of my conscience to get Trump there. To think otherwise is to think God is not God.

I think Hillary Clinton will do lasting damage to the country. I cannot vote for her.

Having reconsidered my opposition to Trump, I think Donald Trump will do lasting damage to the witness of the Church in America and I therefore cannot vote for him.

I am without a candidate. I just cannot vote for either one. Whichever is elected, it is God’s will and as his holy and inerrant scripture commands, I will pray for my President as I pray for the current President. But I will not harm my witness nor risk Trump’s soul to serve my political desires.

The chief end of man is to glorify God and enjoy Him forever. I do not believe a vote for either candidate glorifies God and I am certain neither advances his kingdom.

Christians and Trump

From The Resurgent:

This is something that has “boggled” me, I cannot understand for the life of me why Christians, and even worse so Called Christian Leaders think that they HAVE to publicly endorse Donald Trump! The rationality that they come up with for doing so, sometimes mishandling scripture very badly in the process is just unbelievable!

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