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Oct 12, 2016

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eric

Thanks for the post Peter,

I'd like to ask a related question.In a broad sense, the conservative wing of Politics has by and large promoted a platform that is amiable to Christians. I'd say that also applies to the folks running under that platform. That is, in general, the folks running under the conservative banner were held to a higher moral standard.

I think its fair to say that Trump has turned that desired "moral standard" on its head. As you have clearly expressed in your two post, you do not approve of trumps character flaws.Nor do other Christians.

I'm wondering when this all plays out and things calm down. Will the "Christian wing" of the conservative party loose any credibility when being critical of future candidates who have very public disgraceful character issues.

For instance, if I vote for Trump, who has so many moral failures, can I be critical of a future candidate who also has many moral failures. That is, tell folks they shouldn't vote for such a scoundrel when I voted for Trump without being a hypocrite?


peter lumpkins

Eric,

Thanks for your question, and a very good question at that.

In my view and as you indicate, the conservative political platform has historically been amenable to conservative Christian values as I interpret them. Hence, in a real sense while I've voted almost exclusively Republican over the last several years, it's been more coincidental rather than because I'm hopelessly wed to Republicanism per se, and certainly not to my remaining loyal to any one Republican candidate.

With that said, I don't think it's been the case that conservative leaders have been held to a higher moral standard, at least not by me personally or purposely. Many, many Republican candidates have been found out to be just as morally sleazy as some Democrats. Moreover, evangelicals have allowed their share of morally questionable personalities to run and win far apart from the fireworks show we've experienced over Donald Trump.

Moreover, I don't think it's either correct or even the right focus to continually cite moral flaws in candidates as the ultimate criteria by which we judge a public servant as worthy or unworthy to hold office. Critics continually claim if we "ignore" Trump's moral flaws, then we owe Bill Clinton an apology, which by the way, brings up your question concerning hypocrisy, and suggests, at least for now, it's not culture who's screaming hypocrisy, it's evangelicals! Thus, I'm unconvinced culture is bound bring up the H factor. If they do, then it could be easily shown how they are the real hypocrites by pretending to be morally concerned about the personal sexual lives of anyone much less politicians--unless, of course, it were profitable for them.

So no, I don't see H being a real issue with culture. I do see H being an issue with closet moral and theological legalists who insist all evangelicals follow their lead or else. That's precisely what we're experiencing presently.

Finally, I have a fairly passive approach to political involvement and the way Christians should carry out their civic duties. Frankly, I don't think I ought to be telling Christians how they ought to vote. Verbally assaulting others who freely go to the polls in a republican democracy is Christian in what way exactly? Present evangelical Trump critics have never once tried to explain their self-assigned designation as poll police in the open elections. Look at some of the mid-eastern cultures where it's actually a life/death act to publicly show up at the polling booths. They may be literally shot and killed. That's extreme intimidation at work. That the chances of that happening here in the USA are not remotely probable (now) should not suggest the intimidation-factor is absent. To the contrary, what does it mean to tell a believer he or she is giving up everything they have believed as a Christian if they vote for candidate A and not candidate B, C, or perhaps D? While that can't be called violent intimidation, it surely can be called vicious intimidation, and therefore has no place in a genuine republican democracy.

Personally, I think we ought to

a) focus on the most significant issues at hand;
b) look into both the personal character and public positions of the candidates;
c) weigh the results in a balance reasonably geared toward a civil, republican democracy founded upon COTUS, keeping close in mind we're not voting on the Kingdom of God;
d) make the best decision one can;
e) publicize it if you want; don't if you don't want;
f) vote in every election you can

After this year, I may add another:

don't tell the evangelical in your right hand what the evangelical in your left hand is doing...

eric

Thanks Peter,
Good food for thought.

Scott Shaver

If Burk, Wilson and Moore don't have the courage to live, decide and comport themselves as Christians in the REAL world they need to shut up about the rest of us.

These aren't leaders....they're egocentric school boys.

Max

Peter, your response to Eric should be printed and inserted in church bulletins this Sunday at all 45,000+ SBC churches! Finally, a Southern Baptist steps forward with both common sense and spiritual insight to provide the perspective we need! Good words and worthy of consideration by all Christians going into this year's election, in my humble but accurate opinion.

P.S. I was young and now am old and I ain't seen nothin' like this! We have a leadership crisis in the White House and the Church House. We are in need of widespread repentance and revival, but I don't see much motion in that direction.

peter lumpkins

Max

You are much too kind brother. I only wish we could go back to bulletin inserts having a fair representation of where candidates stand with the Pastor encouraging the flock to become informed, and, after prayerful deliberation, determine to vote with integrity for the candidate that most represents and seems most pragmatically suitable to a free republican democracy founded upon the COTUS.

Sadly, I'm afraid that day will remain a wish in my ever-aging head till either I die or Jesus returns.

Lord bless...

JND

I will vote Libertarian because that's the choice that's right for me. I am most grateful that I don't get condemned for that choice here. It ought to be that way everywhere.

Good post. Good reply. Best wishes in the days ahead.

Scott Shaver

Why condemn anybody's exercise of the right to vote any way they choose as we will all collectively have to bear up under what goes into office.

However, strong words of condemnation here for self-righteous preachers, pundits, seminary professors and Southern Baptist lobbyists to DC for their whining and crying over a man they have no intention of voting for while branding the rest of us as traitors to the cause of Christ for exercising our right to do so.

May their ivory towers be the first to crumble under the new regime.

Max

Scott wrote "May their ivory towers be the first to crumble under the new regime."

On a related note: "Hillary Clinton is a threat to religious liberty" https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/hillary-clinton-is-a-threat-to-religious-liberty/2016/10/13/878cdc36-9150-11e6-a6a3-d50061aa9fae_story.html?utm_term=.53dcf35cd1f2

Lydia

".....deliberation, determine to vote with integrity for the candidate that most represents and seems most pragmatically suitable to a free republican democracy founded upon the COTUS."

Growing up my mom and dad encouraged a lot of debate on issues but when it came to how they voted they were adamant it was a private decision and a rude question to ask people. But the real issue was understanding founding principals and being informed as to how the process was designed to work. When we understand that, we know that, barring a major crisis, gridlock is very good. Passing laws should be a grueling sausage making debates that cover every angle of potential long term ramifications. When it comes to our government process is very important. It should outrage us that 9 unelected judges legislate for us.p because congress is too cowardly to debate. But that is now the new normal.

I was encouraged to lean more about these things at home than at school or college. I honestly think people would seek more independence from an "encroaching on life choices nanny government" if they understood the long term ramifications. It is probably a bit late in the game for that.

The only way this works is for the electorate to be ignorant and lazy.

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