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Archive for the ‘Apostasy’ Category

from The National Review:

The divinity schools at Duke and Vanderbilt Universities have instructed their professors to start using more “inclusive” language when referring to God because the masculine pronouns “have served as a cornerstone of the patriarchy.” For example: This year’s divinity course catalogue at Vanderbilt tells professors to give “consistent attention to the use of inclusive language, especially in relation to the Divine,” because the school “commits continuously and explicitly to include gender as an analyzed category and to mitigate sexism.”

“It is up to the individual professor’s interpretation for their classes and is suggestive rather than mandatory,” the associate dean for academic affairs at Vanderbilt’s divinity school, Melissa Snarr, said in an e-mail to Heat Street. Now, that may sound fair, but in many cases, it’s really not up to the professor. For example, if we are talking about the Christian God, every single reference to Him in the Bible uses a masculine pronoun . . . which kind of gives you the vibe that Christians have decided that their god is a dude.

The fact is, teaching anything else would be giving inaccurate information — which is what makes Duke’s particular guidelines even more absurd. According to Heat Street, Duke’s particular divinity school is “geared toward people already working in the Methodist church, taking supplemental weekend or summer classes.” Yes, “Methodist,” as in the Christian religion that has already completely, officially, 100 percent decided that their God is a man. And yet, Duke’s guidelines suggest avoiding gender specific pronouns when discussing Him and suggest using “God” and “Godself” instead. (Yes — “Godself.”) Look:

The great thing about this country is that your religion can be whatever you want it to be. If, in your eyes, God is a woman or genderfluid or a microwave, then you can totally refer to God as being a woman or genderfluid or a microwave. Literally no one is stopping you. In fact, there is an entire Constitution protecting your right to worship His Holiness Microwave if that’s how you want to live your life. But if you are talking about the God of the Methodist religion, then it’s just plain inaccurate to refer to Him as anything but “Him.” It would be like teaching Hamlet and calling Hamlet “she.”  There is a point where an obsession over political correctness can blind people from basic of facts, and call me archaic, but I really do feel like facts are still the way to go.

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Insanity such as this is what forces countries to regulate what occurs in Churches!

from IOL News:

Johannesburg – A Daveyton pastor, who made his congregants drink a vehicle engine cleaning fluid during a sermon, has become the latest in a series of clergymen who used controversial methods to “cure” their members.

The Star has seen pictures of Prophet Theo Bongani Maseko of the Breath of Christ Ministries making his congregants drink the chemical during a service. It is understood that the incident happened last week.

A series of pastors have for the past two years made headlines for making congregants eat grass and insects and drink dangerous concoctions.

In an interview with The Star on Monday, Maseko confirmed he had made his congregants drink the chemical. Asked why he had used this method, he said it was “to demonstrate the power of God”. “When we pray over anything, its poison dies. So it can’t harm people. Nothing happened, no one has been to hospital,” he said.

On the contrary, he said, congregants who had drunk the engine cleaner had been “saved, healed and delivered”. He backed up his claims by citing Bible verses.

“Jesus spat on the ground and made mud. He took that mud and smeared it on the eyes of a blind man and, instantly, that blindness was healed. Mark 16 v 17-18 says ‘in My name shall they cast out devils; they shall speak with new tongues. They shall take up serpents; and if they drink any deadly thing, it shall not hurt them; they shall lay hands on the sick, and they shall recover’,” he said.

Commission for Promotion and Protection of the Rights of Religious, Cultural and Linguistic Communities chairperson Thoko Mkhwanazi-Xaluva was livid at the latest incident. She urged religious leaders to rally together and bring an end to what she described as “reckless” abuse of Christianity.

“A lot of people are going to die one of these days; we are fortunate that has not happened. A lot of people’s lives are at risk here,” she said.

She said pastors should allow their churches to be regulated as this would bring an end to such incidents. “Doctors have a peer review body, so do lawyers, so they know they can’t do anything unacceptable. Why should it be different with them (pastors)?” she asked.

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It is a long tradition for citizens of great powers and or empires to place a divine plan and providence on the reason for their country’s greatness, and from that very large misunderstanding thus has begun the “tyranny of good intentions”.

Here in the U.S. we have recently seen that play out with the Presidential elections, a large percentage of professing Christians publicly endorsed Donald Trump for President, prescribing to his candidacy a sort of divine intervention!

The sad truth is we are currently in that long Biblical span called “The Age of the Gentiles” that time span from when Jerusalem and the second temple were destroyed in 70 A.D. by Titus and his Roman Legions to the time when Anti-Christ is  revealed!

This age is not one of great Christians nations being raised up by God to be used by God for righteous acts, it is a time of deep and growing apostasy! No gentile nation is called out in God’s word during this time as exceeding in righteousness! On the contrary it is an age of apostate and pagan gentile nations becoming more violent and opposed to God culminating in the Anti-Christ system coming against Israel!

Living in and being born in the U.S. it has been perplexing to watch the number of Christians who blind themselves to this fact, and this includes so called Christian leaders!

Christianity in this age does influence society and reign in evil, however as Christians in this age become more apostate and rejecting of large portions of Jesus’ teachings that influence begins to wane.

This article is from a financial blog, I do not endorse the website, but I do agree with many of the points laid out in this article, as what needs to be accepted by ALL Christians in this age, is that everything that every Gentile nation in this age does leads to the end times! Corrupt governments and people are leading the world to globalization, and there is a push to bring all countries under a global system. This article explains how the U.S. is attempting to do that.

Whats interesting and closely aligns with this article, is that the Bible does not speak of a nation outside Eurasia as a great power in the end times, instead this article, other articles, books, and God’s word point back to Eurasia as the center of global power in the end times.

The mechanisms for a global system have been set up, they were created to allow the U.S. to be the preeminent global power after World War Two. However the U.S. will most certainly not remain that global power in the future. Global power will return to the Eurasian land mass. And that power will utilize the global mechanisms that were set up by the U.S. to achieve global preeminence!

If you read the history of great powers, succeeding powers like to use the mechanisms of the previous power, as it limits disruption, it gives the new power a certain amount of legitimacy, and it allows large numbers of people and countries to continue with their livelihoods!

From ZeroHedge:

Understanding the objectives and logic that accompany the expansion of nations or empires is always of paramount importance in helping one draw lessons for the future

In this series of four articles I intend to lay a very detailed but easily understandable foundation for describing the mechanisms that drive great powers. To succeed, one must analyze the geopolitical theories that over more than a century have contributed to shaping the relationship between Washington and other world powers. Secondly, it is important to expound on how Washington’s main geopolitical opponents (China, Russia and Iran) have over the years been arranging a way to put a stop to the intrusive and overbearing actions of Washington. Finally, it is important to take note of the possibly significant changes in American foreign policy doctrine that have been occurring over the last twenty years, especially how the new Trump administration intends to change course by redefining priorities and objectives.

The first analysis will therefore focus on the international order, globalization, geopolitical theories, their translations into modern concepts, and what controlling a country’s sovereignty means.

Globalization and the International Order

It is important to first define the international order among nations before and after the collapse of the Berlin wall, especially focusing on the consequences of existing in a globalized world.

For the first half of the twentieth century the world found itself fighting two world wars, then, during the Cold War, lasting from 1945 to 1989, the balance of power maintained by the US and USSR held the prospect of a third world war at bay. With the dissolution of the USSR, the United States, the only remaining world superpower, thought it could aspire to absolute domination over the globe, as was famously expressed through the Project for A New American Century. Putting aside for a moment perpetual wars, one of the key strategies towards fulfilling this objective was the so-called experiment of globalization, applied especially in trade, economics and finance, all of course driven by American interests.

Having achieved victory in the Cold War over its socialist rival, the world went from a capitalist system to a turbo-charged capitalist system. US corporations, thanks to this model of world globalized economy, have experienced untold riches, such as Apple and other IT corporations generating amounts of cash flow equivalent to that of small countries.

Banks and US financial institutions such as Wall Street incrementally increased their already considerable influence over foreign nations thanks to the rise of computer technology, automation and accounting deceptions such as derivatives, just to give one example. The FED implemented policies that took advantage of the role of the dollar in the globalized economy (the dollar is the premier world reserve currency). Over the years this has caused economic crises of all kinds all over the world, defrauding the entire economic system, consisting of schemes such as being able to print money at will, allowing for the financing massive wars, even going so far as lowering interest rates to 0% to keep banks and big corporations from failing – all a repudiation of the most basic rules of capitalism. All this was made possible because the US being the sole world power after 1989, allowing Washington to write the rules of the game in its favor.

Since the fall of the Berlin Wall, Wall Street, Big Oil and military corporations, health-care providers, the insurance and agricultural industries slowly replaced national governments, managing to dictate agendas and priorities. A political form of globalization has led to an expropriation of national sovereignty in Europe, with the creation of the Euro and the Lisbon Treaty signed by all EU nations in 2007.

Globalization has forced the concept of sovereign states directed by their citizens to be replaced with an international superstructure led by the United States, driving away even more citizens from the decision-making process. The European Union, and in particular the European Commission (not elected, but appointed), is unpopular not only for the decisions it has taken but also for the perception that it is an imposter making important decisions without ever having been elected.

Basically, with the end of the USSR, the international order went from a relationship between states made up of citizens to a relationship between international superstructures (NATO, UN, IMF, WTO, World Bank, EU) and citizens, with the weight of the balance of power decisively in favor of the globalists with the economic burden resting on the people.

The international order and globalization are therefore to be interpreted according to the logic of Washington, always looking for new ways to dominate the globe, preserving its role of world superpower.

It is also for this reason that it is important to understand some geopolitical theories that underlie US strategic decisions in the pursuit of world domination. These theories are some of the most important with which Washington has, over the last 70 years, tried to pursue total domination of the planet.

MacKinder + Spykman + Mahan = World Domination

 Before examining geopolitical theories, it is important to understand the effects of globalization and the changing international order it entails, a direct consequence of US strategy that seeks to control every aspect of the economic, political and cultural decisions made by foreign countries, usually applying military means to achieve this objective.
heartland

Heartland

The first geopolitical theory is the so-called Heartland theory, drawn up in 1904 by English geographer Sir Halford Mackinder. The basic principle was the following:

«Heartland or Heartlands (literally: the Heart of the Earth) is a name that was given to the central zone of the Eurasian continent, corresponding roughly to Russia and the neighboring provinces, by Sir Halford Mackinder, the English geographer and author of Democratic Ideals and Reality; the Heartlands of the theory was submitted to the Royal Geographical Society in 1904.

The Heartland was described by Mackinder as the area bounded to the west by the Volga, the Yangtze River to the east, from the Arctic to the north and south from the western Himalayas. At the time, this area was almost entirely controlled by the Russian Empire.

For Mackinder, who based his theory on the geopolitical opposition between land and sea, Heartland was the “heart” button of all the earth civilization, because logistically unapproachable by any thalassocracy. Hence the phrase that sums up the whole concept of Mackinder’s geopolitics: ‘Who controls East Europe commands the Heartland: Who controls the Heartland commands the World-Island: Who controls the World-Island commands the world’».

In terms of countries, the Heartland consists mainly of Russia, Kazakhstan, Afghanistan, Mongolia, the Central Asian countries, and parts of Iran, China, Belarus and Ukraine.

periphery

Rimland

The second geopolitical theory, another important lodestar for US foreign policy, was developed in the 1930s by the American Nicholas J. Spykman, also a student of geography as well as a scholar of MacKinder’s theory. Spykman, thanks to advancing naval technology, added to the definition of the Heartland theory the Rimland theory. The Rimland is divided into four main areas: Europe, North Africa, Middle East and Asia.

«For ‘world island’ it means the Eurasian region, ranging from Western Europe to the Far East. If for Mackinder the Tsarist empire represents the aforesaid area-pin, Spykman instead focuses on the area around Heartland, i.e. Rimland, recognizing it as a strategic point of great importance. The Rimland is characterized by the presence of rich countries, technologically advanced, with great availability of resources and easy access to the seas. Its size at the same time makes sea and land attacked by both sides. On the other hand this means that its dual nature as a possible mediating zone between the two world powers: the United States and Russia. The greatest threat from the geopolitical point of view lies in the union between Heartland and Rimland under one power».

The Rimland essentially consists of Europe (including eastern Europe), Turkey, the Middle East, the Gulf States, India, Pakistan, Southeast Asia (Brunei, Cambodia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, the Philippines*, Thailand, Vietnam) and Japan.

As one can see from observing a map, the United States is not physically close to either the Rimland or the Heartland. They are both on the other side of two 6,000-mile oceans. The US is undeniably protected in this way, almost impervious to attack, with an abundance of resources and powerful allies in Europe. These are all characteristics that have favored the rise of the American superpower throughout the twentieth century.

But world domination is a different matter and, given the geographical location of the US compared to the Heartland and Rimland, first requires a large capacity to project power. Of course with two oceans in between, it is naval power through which power has been conveyed, especially in the early part of the last century.

Mahan and Maritime Power

The third geopolitical theory is based on the importance given to maritime (or naval) power. The author of this theory, propounded towards the end of 1800, was US Admiral Alfred Thayer Mahan.

 «Mahan was a ‘precursor’ to international organizations. He assumed that through a union between the United States and Britain, being two maritime powers, they could unite to share the conquest of the seas. The key concept is that ‘the maritime powers are united in opposition to those continental.’ Mahan explains the concept of naval doctrine, which is the policy that states pursue in the maritime and military arenas. In order for a state to have a naval doctrine, it must possess a substantial navy, as well as of course access to the sea, adequate projection capability, adequate means, and have strategic objectives to be protected (such as security zones exposed to risk)».

As one can easily understand, these three doctrines are central to controlling the whole world. Dominating the Heartland is possible thanks to the control of the Rimland, and in order to conquer the Rimland it is necessary to control shipping routes and dominate the seas, relying upon the Mahan theory of maritime supremacy.

In this sense, seas and oceans of great geographic importance are those that encircle the Rimland: The East and South China Seas, the Philippine Sea, the Gulf of Thailand, the Celebes Sea, the Java Sea, the Andaman Sea, the Indian Ocean, the Arabian Sea, the Gulf of Aden, the Red Sea, and finally the Mediterranean.

In particular, straits such as Malacca, between Indonesia and Malaysia, or the Suez Canal, are of strategic importance due to their role as a transit route and connection between all the seas adjacent to the so-called Rimland.

A bit of history. Route to global domination

It was Hitler’s Germany during World War II that tried to put into practice the theory of geopolitics MacKinder was describing, managing to seize the Heartland but ultimately amounting to nothing with the final victory of the Red Army, who rebuffed and destroyed the Nazis.

After the end of World War II, the United States placed the Soviet Union in its crosshairs, with the intention of conquering the Heartland and thereby dominating the world. Alternatively, Plan B was to prevent other nations from teaming together to dominate the Heartland. This explains the historical conflicts between the US and Iran and between Russia and China, the three most important nations composing the Heartland.

Russia, since Tsarist times and throughout the Soviet period to today, has always been in the crosshairs of the United States, given its geographical location central to the Heartland.

Iran also constitutes a valuable piece of the ‘Heart of the World’, which was gifted to the Anglo-Americans courtesy the Pahlavi monarchy lending itself to the American plan to conquer the heart of the land. It was only after the 1979 revolution, which ousted the Pahlavi monarchy and installed an Islamic Republic, that Tehran became an enemy of Washington.

The reason why Afghanistan was invaded and Ukraine destabilized, and why the Belarusian leadership is hated almost as much as is the Russian one, is the same, namely, the geographical positions of these countries in composing the Heartland compels the US to conquer them as part of its grand strategy to dominate the world through the control of the Heartland.

The Republic of China, another constituent part of the Heartland theory, was during the Cold War the great Asian pivot thanks to Kissinger’s policy aimed at curbing the USSR and preventing the birth of a possible alliance between Tehran, Moscow and Beijing that would dominate the Heartland, especially in the late 1980s. The United States, instead of directly attacking China, used it against the Soviet Union. Washington’s primary goal, as well as to expand its influence everywhere, was to prevent any kind of alliance that would control the Heartland, specially preventing any alliance or understanding between Moscow and Beijing; but this will be very well explained in my third analysis on how Eurasia reunited to reject the American global empire.

Control of a nation

Historically, control of a nation takes place through military power that allows for a variety of impositions. Also, culture is part of the process of conquering a nation. Today, other than militarily, it is mainly economic power that determines the national sovereignty of a nation. In the modern world, especially in the last three decades, if you control the economy of a nation, you control the rulers of that nation. The dollar and neoliberal experiments like globalization are basically the two most powerful and invasive American tools to employ against geopolitical opponents. The application of military force is no longer the sole means of conquering and occupying a country. Obligating the use of a foreign currency for trade or limiting military supplies from a single source, and impeding strategic decisions in the energy sector, are ways the globalist elites are able to dominate a foreign country, taking control over its policies. The European Union and the NATO-member countries are good examples of what artificially independent nations look like, because they are in reality fully dispossessed of strategic choices in the areas mentioned. Washington decides and the vassals obey.

It is not always possible to employ military power as in the Middle East, or to stage a color revolution as in Ukraine. Big and significant nations like Russia, India, China and Iran are virtually impossible to control militarily, leaving only the financial option available. In this sense, the role of central banks and the de-dollarization process are a core strategic interest for these countries as a way of maintaining their full sovereignty. In going in this direction, they deliver a dramatic blow to US aspirations for a global empire.

The next article will focus on how the United States has tried to implement these strategies, and how these strategies have changed over the last seventy years, especially over the last two decades.

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There is a broad misconception among many Christians today that there are still Old Testament style Prophets who speak without error the direct words of God. This is false. Those types of Prophets ended with the coming of Jesus Christ. For many years people looked upon Kim Clement as an Old Testament style Prophet speaking “Thus sayeth The Lord”

Within the New Covenant there is the “office” of  Prophet  as the Apostle Paul said in Ephesians 4:11-12:

“And He Himself gave some to be apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, and some pastors and teachers, for the equipping of the saints for the work of ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ”

However the Prophets that Paul is speaking of are not the same type of Prophets that were found in the Old Testament. Because God’s written word has been set and closed. God is no longer speaking through Prophets to continue to add to his written word.

1 Corinthians 14: 29:

“Let two or three prophets speak, and let the others judge.”

The New Covenant Prophet is intended for edification of the body of believers that the Prophet is a part of, and the body of believers are to “judge” what the Prophet says, and they do that by using God’s written word, and if what the Prophet speaks is contrary to God’s Word then that Prophet is to be ignored!

It begs the question whether Kim Clement understood this, or whether he did not agree with it, and actually believed he was an Old Testament style Prophet or whether he knew he was a false prophet and did what he did for self gain. All we can say now is that whichever it was, it is now between him and God.

from: The Christian Post:

After suffering from a brain bleed and other medical complications for more than a year, Kim Clement, who was known as a prophet, has died, according to an announcement by his family. He was 60 years old.

“It is with deep sadness that we share the news that our beloved Kim has died and passed into Glory, and is now in the presence of his Lord, his best friend, Jesus,” Clement’s family announced on Thursday.

Clement was serving as the senior pastor and spiritual leader of House of Destiny, which describes itself as “an online church family.”

“Many have asked, or may be asking, who is Kim Clement?” says Clement’s website, and describes him thus: “He is not really an evangelist, or a pastor, or even a missionary, although he has worked in all of these areas. … Many have called him prophet, but to simply call him a prophet is not even enough because of the unfortunate stigma attached to that title. Part of the journey to understanding Kim Clement is a lesson in understanding the uniqueness of his destiny. He is not a doom and gloom prophet with an apocalyptic forecast every three years; instead, he is a voice of hope to those who need it the most. He is able to paint a picture of destiny that inspires instead of frightens those who catch a glimpse. He has found a way to define again what it is to be a true prophet.”

Kim was recently hospitalized with pneumonia and complications due to his diseased lungs, and his body was too weak to combat the illness, the family said. “The support and love that you have shown to Jane and the family throughout this 16-month journey has been crucial to them having the strength to withstand the fight. We are so very grateful, and we appreciate your continued prayers for the family as they face the upcoming days. Our hearts are broken, but we cannot mention his passing without honoring and celebrating the amazing life that Kim lived.”

Clement “fought a good fight, finished the race, kept the faith, and is now embracing his exceedingly great reward in Heaven,” the family said.

In January, 2006, Clement prophesied about the rapper Eminem and horror fiction writer Stephen King, but the prophecy didn’t come true. “This year, I will raise up Eminem to be a voice. Conversion shall come to his house — Eminem. This year I will touch Stephen King, and he will write for the Kingdom of God,” he wrote in an article.

“Kim’s prophetic gift is a magnet that has drawn a broad audience,” the website says. “He has whispered to kings and inspired prisoners. His diverse, extemporaneous perspective has gained him a notoriety that transcends culture, race and religion, placing him onto a world platform. … While Kim’s ministry is unorthodox by “institutional standards,” it is firmly grounded in both the Old and New Testament scriptures, as detailed extensively in Corinthians, Samuel, and Kings.”

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Here is what all those Trump supporting Evangelical Christians could not understand: They were very wrong in giving public support to a man that was either in no way a Christian, or if he was, he was an apostate Christian. And apostate Christian groups wanted him elected so they could continue on with their: “The end justifies the means” mentality! Read the Bible Folks!

Ecclesiastes 1:9: “What has been will be again, what has been done will be done again; there is nothing new under the sun.”

Powerful apostate Christian groups like the Roman Catholic Church are willing to compromise on the Gospel in order to advance secular political goals!

from Reddit:

Transition Team (wiki)

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Presidential_transition_of_Donald_Trump#Transition_team

Heritage Foundation transition team advisors

Now, the transition is getting an assist from Heritage Foundation officials including Becky Norton Dunlop, a distinguished fellow at the foundation; former Reagan Attorney General Ed Meese, a distinguished fellow emeritus at Heritage; Heritage national security expert James Carafano; and Ed Feulner, who helped found Heritage. Rebekah Mercer, a Heritage board member and major pro-Trump donor, is on the transition team’s 16-member executive committee, and a transition team source said she is working with Heritage to recruit appointees for positions at the undersecretary level and below (though she has struggled to find people interested in taking lower-level jobs, according to a New York Times report).

The transition team also includes other prominent activists and thinkers with close ties to Heritage, such as former Ohio Secretary of State Ken Blackwell, the activist involved with several conservative groups who is running Trump’s domestic transition team. He has written for Heritage and has personal relationships with many at the organization.

http://www.politico.com/story/2016/11/trump-transition-heritage-foundation-231722

Miscellaneous

Boris Epshteyn @BorisEP
Senior Advisor to Trump Pence Presidential Transition. NYC Sports fan. Investment Banker. Attorney.

https://twitter.com/BorisEP?ref_src=twsrc%5Egoogle%7Ctwcamp%5Eserp%7Ctwgr%5Eauthor

Breakdown

Mike Pence, self-described “evangelical Catholic”

Chris Christie, Roman Catholic

Newt Gingrich, Roman Catholic, Council on Foreign Relations

Michael T. Flynn, Roman Catholic

Rudy Giuliani, Roman Catholic, 9/11 coadjutor, alleged Knight of Malta

Jared Kushner, fan of the Count of Monte Cristo (“Count of the Mount of Christ;” story about the Jesuit General getting revenge on all of the Order’s enemies during its suppression)

Steve Bannon, chief strategist and Senior Counselor for the Presidency of Donald Trump, former executive chair of Breitbart News, Jesuit-trained from Georgetown

Lou Barletta, Roman Catholic

Chris Collins, Roman Catholic

Tom Marino, Roman Catholic

Devin Nunes, Roman Catholic

Anthony Scaramucci, Roman Catholic, Council on Foreign Relations

Eric Trump, Jesuit-trained from Georgetown and serves as board member of Georgetown’s Business, Society, and Public Policy Initiative

Ivanka Trump, attended Jesuit Georgetown for two years

David Malpass, Jesuit-trained from Georgetown, Vice President of the Council for National Policy, leading appointment selections for positions involving economic issues

Keith Kellogg, trained by Jesuit at Santa Clara University, leading appointment selections for positions involving national defense issues

Michael Catanzaro, trained by Jesuits at Fordham University and St. Ignatius High School, leading the policy implementation team for energy independence

Andrew Bremberg, graduate of Catholic University of America Executive Legal Action Lead

James Carafano, Jesuit-trained from Georgetown University , reported to be the primary aide to the State Department of Trump administration transition team

Ed Feulner, Roman Catholic former President and founder of Heritage Foundation; Jesuit-trained from Regis and Georgetown Universities

Ken Blackwell, Jesuit-trained from Xavier University, leading appointment selections for positions involving domestic issues.

Boris Epshteyn, Trump’s foremost spokesman; Jesuit-trained from Georgetown.

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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?

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“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.

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