If people know me, it’s likely they know me as an advocate for Second Amendment rights. That is reasonable since my public persona for over 36 years has been as a political and legislative advocate for gun owners. Although I care deeply about social and spiritual issues, only friends know the specifics because I have largely limited my public appearances and communications to gun rights. I place these restrictions on myself so my beliefs and opinions on issues other than the Second Amendment will not water down my advocacy for gun owners. Until now, it has only my public communications that are limited.
I do not approach this lightly as I know it could well cost me some friends. I will be seen to attack two men who many in my faith hold in high regard, but it is solely in response to their decision to step from the pulpit and into the political arena.
I now have to break with my long-standing personal policy and speak out as a Christ-following Baptist of almost 50 years. I do so in response to what I believe to be unfounded claims by two well-known Baptist leaders attempting to get fellow Baptists and other evangelicals not to vote in the upcoming Presidential election. I find their suggestion to be lacking in any Scriptural authority and nothing more than an expression of their personal dislike, no hatred, of Donald Trump.
Before I go further, let me say that I first supported Rick Perry for President and when Rick dropped out of the race, I became an ardent Ted Cruz supporter. I wish Ted had won the primary, but he did not. The choice we Americans now face is between Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton. As I will discuss later, sitting this one out as some suggest is not an option.
People who are not Baptists are likely unaware that all Baptist Churches are independent. This is true even for Baptist Churches that are members of the Southern Baptist Convention (“SBC”). Churches join the SBC to help spread the Gospel and lead as many people to salvation in Christ as possible. In short, churches participate in the SBC as a way to obey Christ in what is known as the Great Commission, that is to spread the Gospel to all nations.
Two leaders in the Baptist faith have recently published a short video in which they attack Donald Trump, ignore our faith’s heretofore never failing efforts to end the murder of defenseless unborn children, and call on all evangelicals not to vote in the 2016 Presidential election. I find their position and recommendation to be both shocking and in direct conflict to what the Scripture teaches us about murdering children. Indeed, the Bible is replete with examples of God’s fury directed to those who sacrificed their children to false gods, yet these two men would continue the sacrifice of millions of unborn children. Why? Because they hate Donald Trump. They try to justify their position, but they fail.
The video starts out with the moderator asking about two issues. He stated, “life has always been the First Tier Issue.” He then asks Albert Mohler, President of the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville, Kentucky, “shouldn’t we vote for the candidate who says he is pro-life when we know the other candidate is not?” (He goes on to talk about Supreme Court Justices, but that’s not the subject of this discussion.)
Mohler is clearly taken aback. He starts out by saying “the life issue is paramount, not stand-alone, but paramount.” A blind man can see the hedge coming! He goes on to say, “I could not vote for someone who would do anything to expand the murder of the unborn.” Mohler then goes on to describe meeting President Bill Clinton right after appearing on the Bill O’Reilly Show and calling for Clinton to resign. (Presumably over the Monica Lewinski fiasco, but he didn’t say.) Mohler then states “I could not possibly be consistent then vote for someone who whose character I believe eclipses Bill Clinton on those very same concerns.” So Mohler puts his personal consistency ahead of what he admits is the paramount issue, that is stopping the murder of unborn children. Hang on, it gets worse because he then throws out the “do what I do, or you can’t be a Christian” not-so-veiled command. Mohler then said, “I’m going to have to be Christian in order to be a faithful American and so I’m going to find myself unable to vote for either of those two choices of our major political parties.”
I was stunned beyond description to hear the President of a major Baptist Seminary make such a statement. If you look beyond the smoke and mirrors, Mohler is saying he cannot vote for Trump because he called for Bill Clinton to resign due to a lack of moral foundation. Okay, that’s fine for him, but when he states that “I going to have to be Christian . . .” he’s now telling everyone that they can’t vote for Trump and be Christian. Thankfully, Mr. Mohler, you don’t get to make that call. That’s between my fellow Christ-followers and Christ. Here’s the bottom line, Mohler would let millions more unborn babies be murdered because he wants all Christians to sit this one out based upon his desire for personal “consistency.” That’s despicable!
Unfortunately, it gets worse when Russell Moore, President of the Ethics & Religious Freedom Commission, reportedly an arm of the SBC dealing with “public policy,” decides to continue his long-running attack on Donald Trump.
Moore also tried desperately to justify throwing millions of unborn babies to the medical pliers of the abortionists by starting off with “the life issue cannot flourish in a culture of misogamy and sexual degradation.” Showing his utter lack of compassion for babies that will be murdered in the coming four years under Hillary Clinton, Moore casually states, “If you lose an election you can live to fight another day and move on.” You can Mr. Moore, but the babies that will die by the millions while you “sit this one out” won’t live even one day outside their mother’s womb! Like Mohler, Moore than throws out another no-so-veiled claim that if you vote for Trump, you lose your very sole. He said, “but if you lose an election while giving up your very soul, then you have really lost it all.” That statement can only be described as astounding, astoundingly wrong, astoundingly callous, astoundingly arrogant. Mr. Moore claims that making the best of a bad situation and doing what you can to prevent the continuing murder of unborn children by voting, if not for the only candidate that said he is pro-life, then against the candidate who proudly promises to keep the slaughter mills running, will cost us our soul. Wow! It’s been a long time since I’ve seen such arrogance exhibited by one who claims to be not only a Christian, but a teacher of the Scripture.
I haven’t seen a lot of comments by Mohler concerning Donald Trump, but Moore has carried on a vicious campaign against him for many months, so his statements on the video are not surprising, disgusting yes, but not surprising.
Moore has blasted Donald Trump and called him every even name in the book. That's not a preacher's job and it certainly isn't a Christ-like approach. When Trump responded to Moore's months-long insults and attacks with a single, very benign response, Moore had the audacity to compare himself to Elijah and Trump (and his supporters) to the 400 profits of Baal. Mr. Moore's actions are not what I would expect from a leader of my faith.
The bottom line is this. Mohler and Moore are calling on Christians not to vote in the 2016 Presidential election. Yes, Moore said he was going to write in a name, but that reminds me of James’ warning to us when he said:
“If a brother or sister is without clothing and in need of daily food, and one of you says to them, “Go in peace, be warmed and be filled,” and yet you do not give them what is necessary for their body, what use is that?”
Yes Mr. Moore, what use is your write-in vote for someone who cannot win? Are there any more helpless and in need than unborn babies?
Either Donald Trump or Hillary Clinton will be the next President of the United States. To argue otherwise is to argue that the sun rises in the west and sets in the east. Trump may or may not prove to be pro-life as he claims. However, we can take some comfort in the fact that Planned Parenthood certainly believes he will because they are blasting him at every turn warning women that “if you want to retain your ‘reproductive rights,’ you better not vote for Trump.
Let’s talk about Mohler’s and Moore’s call to “sit this one out” and compare that to a man who literally gave his life trying to save Jews during the Holocaust. I’m talking about Dietrich Bonhoeffer. Bonhoeffer was an outspoken Lutheran Minister who very publically opposed Hitler’s extermination of the Jews. He certainly didn’t “sit this one out.” Rather than follow the calls of Mohler and Moore, he chose to follow the James’ call to not merely be a “reader of the word, but a doer of the word.” Undoubtedly, he knew his outspoken opposition to Hitler and the Nazi butchers would cost him his life. On April 8, 1945, merely two weeks before the Flossenburg concentration camp was liberated by American forces, Bonhoeffer was hanged. While it is not possible to know precisely what Bonhoeffer would say about the 2016 Presidential election, I think his words give us a very strong indication he wouldn’t sit this one out either. Both as a reflection of his time and a warning about ours, he said, “Silence in the face of evil is itself evil: God will not hold us guiltless. Not to speak is to speak. Not to act is to act.” The only act we Christians can take to come to the aid of countless future unborn babies is to vote for the one candidate that has said he is pro-life and who the abortionists fear. That candidate is Donald Trump.