The First Election in Post Christian America?

The Super Tuesday results are in and both Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton are leading their respective parties.

This means we are on the verge of having an entire presidential election built on anger and envy.

Today I want to define the bigger cultural problem we’re facing in America.  Next week I will propose the short-term and long term solutions.

But first I want you to ponder the following:

Is this the first major election in post-Christian America?

One year ago I was very excited about the 2016 race. After seven dreary years of watching America be divided and transformed by a secular progressive ideological administration. I was heartened that many good people had stepped up. 2016 looked like a great year to point the American electorate back to a freedom agenda.

The Republican side included a number of good-to-excellent governors, two sharp US senators, and a couple of successful business people–with at least four of them being “outsiders” (Trump, Fiorina, Carson and Cruz). They were also a great racial mix of America–black, Hispanic, Indian (Bobbie Jindal) and white.

The Republicans had become the “Big Tent” Party.  On the other side stood two old white insiders.

I likened my initial excitement to the beginning of football season. There’d be many contests, then the playoffs, and in the end, the best candidate would prevail.

Because most of the contenders were God-fearing, conservative-oriented people, I assumed that one of them would rise to the top. That’s still possible, but not in the case of the current front-runner who could be the Republican nominee.

Let’s first look at the main remaining candidates and then size up the Church and electorate.

Hillary Clinton

It appears after Super Tuesday that she is sailing toward the Democrat nomination–though she’s a non-inspiring campaigner, a political camelion of sorts, a voice from the past, and appears to have a problem with integrity and truth-telling.

When she was asked by an NBC journalist whether she’s ever lied to the public, she looked flustered and blurted out, “I try not to!”

Try telling your wife you “try not to commit adultery.”

There’s a good chance Hillary will be indicted in the next six months for breaking the law and compromising the security of the United States with her e-mails. If not before the election, then maybe after she becomes president–whereas she can be the first POTUS in history to pardon herself.

Richard Nixon must be rolling in his grave.

Bernie Sanders

If the world were made up of utopian college students, then Bernie would be crowned emperor. You have to like his sincerity about wanting to give everybody free stuff. He’s a modern day Robin Hood (take from the rich and give to the poor) teamed up with Santa Claus. 

I wanted to write an article about him naming it “Santa Hood,” but it sounded too inner-city.

Then there’s the problem with socialism:  The second “S” in USSR stood for “Socialist” and that nation imploded economically. Cuba has been exporting socialism for years and it’s the basket case of the Caribbean. Socialist Venezuela is on the verge of collapse.

Yes, I know that Europe has many smaller social democracies. But they’re dying spiritually and economically under the paws of government control. Is that that the path that America wants to take?

Managed “socialist” economies only produce one thing over time: equal poverty for all (except for a few elites). Yet, it’s been hilarious to listen to Bernie’s college-age followers talk about socialism. Some even think it’s a form of social media!

Memo to America: It’s time to break up the monopoly of public education and begin teaching liberty again. Ignorance is not bliss. It leads to less opportunity, lower standards of living and ultimately tyranny.

Marco Rubio

He’s young, articulate, charismatic, and Hispanic. He stumbled when attacked by Chris Christie, but has rebounded and just won his first state (Minnesota). In my view he would make a young Ronald Reagan in the 21st century–a good president. He’s not as rigidly principled as Ted Cruz–but thoroughly conservative. 

It’s unfair to call him establishment. He became a senator via the Tea Party.

Ted Cruz

He’s probably the only true outsider in the race who is hated by Washington, D.C. for his principled stands. Though not as humble or charismatic as Rubio, his lawyerly, constitutional approach is refreshing. He now has three states under his belt including the large, critical state of Texas.

Howevr, notice that both the secular press and Washington power brokers hate Ted Cruz. That tells you who would make an excellent 45th president.

Donald Trump

Right now he’s the likely Republican nominee, and in my view, that’s concerning. Though I appreciate him initially taking on the entrenched Washington and political correctness, his true character has come out over the past few months and it’s not presidential.

In temperament, he’s simply a junior high bully. He’s says he’s conservative now, but lived most of his adult life as a pragmatic liberal. As president, we don’t know what we’d get. There are no core principles in Donald Trump except self expression.

Here’s the most thoughtful article I’ve seen on the Donald, written by missiologist/revivalist friend George Otis, Jr.

It is well worth your time.

The real draw of Donald Trump is a frightened and angry American electorate that is fed up with the corrupt staus quo (that’s a good thing), but is looking for a King. Trump is tall, brash, and monarch-like. And he also embodies the secrets loves (idols) of many Americans:  1)  He’s rich (money). 2) He has a supermodel wife (sex), and 3) He’s an entertainer (fame). 

That’s what many Americans desire. They personify their longing in the towering personality of Donald Trump. Hence the powerful draw of his populist message and secular messiah image.

I’m extremely worried about Trump choosing the next Supreme Court justice. That goes for many other areas of public policy. I have no such concerns with Ted Cruz or Marco Rubio.

The American Church

My greatest disappointment over the past months has been with Christian leaders and conservative pundits who have joined the Trump bandwagon. They, too, are so upset at the political establishment that they seem willing to support anything that will crush it.

But I would remind them of this simple truth: the end doesn’t justify the means. The goal of renewing our government is not worth it if done through a foul-mouthed, temper-tantrum bully who doesn’t even believe in the essence of biblical faith–needing God’s forgiveness. 

That’s horrendous compromise. It will not have a good ending. Think of King Saul in the Old Testament.

One of the saddest statistics is the number of “evangelicals” that are voting for Donald Trump (and Hillary Clinton). That tells you much about the state of the Church. We already know that many liberal denominations no longer teach God’s truth. But evangelicals have withstood the progressive tide in the past because of their born again values and biblical worldview–taught in the Bible-believing churches.

However, a Rubicon of sorts was passed in 2008 and ’12 when many Christians sat out the election or voted for Barack Obama because of his charisma. In 2016, many evangelicals are joining the Trump tsunami–which reveals one thing: a stunning failure of discipleship on the part of the Church.

(Click here to read a good article by Bill Blankshaen on Christians voting for Trump.)

The American Electorate

There are 323 million people in the United States (third largest country on earth) who are not easy to classify. But it’s increasingly clear that this generation isn’t attuned to the values of their fore bearers. A large segment of our nation fails to understand liberty, does not love or respect God, live for worldly pursuits, and nearly half the nation is receiving some kind of government support–and liking it.

Elections in free nations are cultural “mirrors”: what the people value, they will elect. Right now the majority of voters seem to be valuing a Republican Bully and a Democrat Liar. The voters appear frightened, angry, and envious of others. 

Those are not the values of a free and virtuous people.

We’ve had 45 presidential elections in our 240 years as a republic. Yes, we’ve elected some pretty bad leaders during that time (think James Buchannon, Warren Harding, Andrew Johnson, and even Richard Nixon). But during those eras, spiritual awakenings and the Judeo-Christian ethics of the people held the nation together.

We are now in vastly different territory under a mountain of moral and financial debt where virtue and knowledge are no longer the bulwark of freedom. We are about to nominate a worldly bully and a corrupt liar to run against each other for president.

Thomas Sowell agrees. Read his sobering assessment here.

Both Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton call themselves Christians. But the proof is in the fruit. Both are extremely weak in character–with Trump being childish and Hillary, devious.  Clinton’s worldview is clearly secular progressive and Trump’s is all over the map. Both of these disqualify them from guiding a free nation.

But currently they are leading the pack due to another discomforting possibility:

We may be witnessing the first election in Post-Christian America.

(Next week: “Hope Can Be Found in the Way of the Cross.”)

3 Comments

  1. Ron Boehme on March 3, 2016 at 6:33 pm

    Ron…thanks much! Well said. I'm forwarding this to many. Praying for our nation's salvation, and thankful foryour perspectives…and taking the initiative to share them with us all.

  2. Gerry Buckner on March 3, 2016 at 2:17 am

    Hi Ron,

    We sure do have a mess going on in our government, USA, and the minds of so very many people that are floating around without a clue in their hearts or minds of what truth is and that the truth is WE NEED JESUS!

    Larry and I pray that America will wake up; but we also pray that God's will is done and if things get really bad, He will continue to keep His loving hands on those of us who love Him and serve Him till we are one day at Home with the Lord.

    Many blessings to you and your family,

    Gerry

  3. Kit Hackett on March 2, 2016 at 11:45 pm

    Ron, this easily you best commentary to date. I am forwarding to various prayer connections for prayer. You have articulated well that which is on many hearts.
    Have mercy O God!
    .

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