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58 Responses

  1. Michael says:

    That first link is really good…

  2. Xenia says:

    From the first link:

    ” They will vote not so much for Donald Trump — with his uncouth speech and incessantly immature tweets — as they will vote against the worldview of the Democratic platform. ”

    Yep, that’s it for my husband and me in a nutshell. For us, it’s no longer enough to hold ourselves aloof from the fray, we feel we have to actively resist the Forces of Darkness with our votes.

    I think Donald Trump is senile, and he never was a great person in the first place. But the people who support him are the ones fighting to hold back the Culture of Death… at least, for a little while longer. Those are the Americans I am aligning myself with, although not in every area. But they are the ones resisting Big Gay and they are the ones who are fighting against abortion.

    Trump has some Culture of Death issues, too… but they are not as all pervasive as the program the Left has in mind for us and our children. To quote Michael’s favorite phrase, the Democrat’s agenda is from the pit of hell.

    If you read some my of old posts, you see this is a turn-around for me. But the Left overplayed their hand. A homosexual candidate, “married” to another man, is bragging they they are planning to be parents. he won the Iowa Caucus, looks like. Can you imagine this abomination of a “family” living in the White House?

    So… some of you came to this conclusion years before I did and I said some harsh things about you. Please accept my apologies; you were right all along.

    However…. I still hold you accountable for allowing Trump to become the Republican candidate in the first place, when there were 10 better people in the running. You wanted to stick it to the Libs, I get that and maybe you didn’t think he’d really win, but next time, please find a better candidate.

    So it’s not that Trump is a clear-minded model of Christian virtue, it’s that the people who support him care about the same things my husband and I care about. We care about some other things, too, but we had to make a decision.

  3. Michael says:

    Xenia,
    I think that article and your follow up can help us gain understanding about this phenomenon.
    I appreciate you taking the time to explain your thinking process.
    What would you say to those of us who think our border policies are fostering another culture of death? I can’t vote for either because I have to choose whose death is allowable…

  4. Xenia says:

    Michael, yes, the border issues are the “other things” I was referring to.

  5. Michael says:

    Xenia,
    I wrestle with some of the same issues you do…I’m especially tired of the approval of every sexual deviancy.
    I think though that when the voting pendulum swings back there will be hell to pay…we’re caught in revenge cycles that will ruin us…

  6. Xenia says:

    I think the Democrats suppose that so many of us are offended by Trump that we will vote for them no matter what moral atrocities they champion, which has emboldened them.

  7. Michael says:

    Xenia,
    I sadly think you’re right…

  8. Duane Arnold says:

    Michael/Xenia

    Sorry, I simply cannot, morally or ethically, embrace a pragmatic ethic in which the end justifies the means. Augustine, who is referenced in a few of today’s articles, did so and lived to regret it.

  9. Michael says:

    Duane,

    That’s why I don’t think there is a place to fit into this process for many of us.

  10. Em says:

    The possibility of that gay lifestyle promoting mayor being elected to the Presidency of this nation concerns me as history would indicate God would not ignore the choice – that said a truly Faith-filled Christian segment of the population MIGHT stay God’s judgment..
    If the Democrats chose Pete B as their candidate, would those Christians who are dissenting holdouts still not vote? That just doesn’t seem right as we are not electing a cleric to a church office … ? … ? ?

  11. Jean says:

    Pete B”s lifestyle choice does not affect my lifestyle choice one bit, neither does his position on abortion. Christians are not forced to be gay or have an abortion.

    When you vote for Trump, his policies actually hurt and bring death, disease and illness to innocent victims. You are voting for decreasing and actually removing healthcare options for vulnerable people; you are voting for inhumane policies for asylum seekers (conditions of which the USA is partially culpable); you are voting for the destruction of the environment, loss of habitat and biodiversity, and increases in cancer causing chemicals released into our air and water; you are voting for generational theft and increasing consolidation of our national wealth into the hands of a 1% aristocracy, which corrupts politics the news and the justice system; you are voting for reduced educational opportunities and upward mobility for the working class by defunding public education; you are voting for less safety for American citizens by refusing to deal with the cancer of near unregulated gun ownership.

  12. Kevin H says:

    I very much appreciate the first link. I also appreciate the following which is a response to the first link: https://thewayofimprovement.com/2020/02/11/the-problem-with-the-reluctant-trump-voter-a-response-to-andrew-walkers-national-review-essay/

    While both authors would disagree with the other, they approach discussion of the issue in thoughtful, respectful, intelligent manners. If all Christians would be able to approach Trump and politics as a whole in such a manner, I don’t think we’d have nearly as much of an issue in the first place concerning Christian or evangelical support of Trump.

  13. Dan from Georgia says:

    I may vote this year a for President, but I also have to deal with my conscience and make a reasoned decision based on what I believe. I refuse to “hold my nose” or go the “lesser of two evils” route (yes, I’m virtue-signaling…so what), but I also do care about our nation AND world. God’s judgement doesn’t center around the White House (why does Canada still exist as they have had gay marriage for way longer than the U.S.?).

    And I can’t just say “morality matters” when Bill Clinton was in office, then give a mulligan to Donald Trump, and then be incensed again IF Peter B get’s into office. As you can see, I am not convinced that we will undergo judgement if Peter B is elected. Perhaps we are already under judgement?

  14. bob1 says:

    Health care is literally a life-or-death issue for many.

  15. Dan from Georgia says:

    Addendum…like I stated, I may vote this year, but as it’s only February I have ample opportunity to think and pray about some things.

  16. Em says:

    Dan from GA, you ae not alone in wondering
    Jean and those who subscribe to your assessment of the dangers upon us with Trump in the Whitehouse, there was a time (mid 20th century) when folks got sprayed with DDT to combat fleas and lice. Science got smarter as ot should where all such dangers are concerned. It isn’t a government responsibility – IMV. Your concern for the weak and poor should channel through church projects IMV again, not the government.
    Reading a book titled “Unmasking the Bureaucratic State” has made me realize what we will lose by making our government the keepers of our lives . But i am of an earlier generation – taught to be our brothers’ keepers and suspicious of group think.
    Right or wrong? Time will tell.. ?

  17. Michael says:

    Em,
    Many folks don’t belong to a church and most churches barely have enough in the budget to stay open.
    The idea of the church doing social programs is long, long, gone.

  18. filbertz says:

    but individual believers can volunteer to work within various charities and non-profits that are doing amazing work, are well-funded, but need workers–boots on the ground. It could be a win-win in that christians actually be tangible salt and light in the public places. I say this as a teacher in a public school, my ministry options are limitless.

  19. Duane Arnold says:

    Michael

    “The idea of the church doing social programs is long, long, gone.”

    Additionally, there are areas, such as health care, which to some degree are dependent upon good government or, at least reasonable regulatory policies. As you know, someone close to me is a Type 1 diabetic. When she was diagnosed in 1997, a vial of insulin was $21. The same vial of insulin today is $332. She requires 3-4 vials a month to stay alive. Sometimes the “invisible hand of the market” is not so invisible…

  20. Steve says:

    Great article on why Christians vote for Trump.

    As a Canadian I really didn’t understand Christians who voted for Donald Trump – I would have just spoiled my ballot. Then I came across this CNN interview https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7htCtJaySnc and while I went into it thinking “what right-wing tunnel vision will Eric Metaxas be espousing here?” I came out understanding the divide in the US much better.

    Jean says that the left’s (Pete B’s) positions don’t have any effect on how we live, but that interview showed it’s not true. If you don’t keep your “religious” views to yourself and accept the secular laws about reproductive rights and sexual orientation, you are considered to be lawless…

    Now I understand a lot more… and am thankful I live in Canada where Christians are already a remnant…

  21. Steve says:

    The white evangelical echo chamber article is in my opinion openly racist.

  22. Dan from Georgia says:

    Thanks for your kind replay Em. It’s refreshing to talk politics without the conversation degenerating into name-calling and questioning one another’s salvation!

  23. Laura Martin says:

    Thanks kindly for the link! Hope it helps more learn about Bowler’s newest book.

  24. Jean says:

    “If you don’t keep your “religious” views to yourself and accept the secular laws about reproductive rights and sexual orientation, you are considered to be lawless…”

    Let’s get a few things straight:

    I can accept the secular law without violating my allegiance to Jesus, by not engaging in homosexuality or participating in an abortion.

    Furthermore, when it comes to lawlessness, the Church is called in Revelation to be a witness to the victory and rule of Christ. Practically by definition, the witness is given through not only preaching (that is perhaps the least of it, since preaching occurs in church), but in the lifestyle of Christians. That witness depends on the contrast between, on the one hand, those who worship idols, money, false prophets, etc., or profit from violence, oppression of the poor, slavery, etc., and those, on the other hand, who worship the Triune God and love their neighbor; they are those who don’t engage in idolatry, don’t oppress the poor, don’t engage in violence, don’t worship money, etc.

    Most conservative Christians would rather legislate morality while withholding the Gospel, so as to live comfortably without the contrast of kingdoms, instead of being a living witness (a/k/a living sacrifice) and suffering the contrast, as the Bible clearly says is the vocation of the Church during these 3-1/2 years.

  25. Em says:

    Conservative Christians wish to live comfortably… Don’t we all, but conscientious pastors are preparing their charges to live for and in Christ, as witnesses. .. A strong case can be made, however, for the Church being removed from the planet during the time, the last 3 1/2 years when the vials of God’s wrath are poured out onto the earth – following the first 3 1/2 years some of us call the seven years of intensified Tribulation
    Or so it seems to me – to some of us… ?

  26. Jean says:

    There is not so much as a hint anywhere in Revelation of the Church being removed.

  27. The New Victor says:

    JWs and sexual abuse scandals… sad, but about this, the rest of the Church (or the “real” Church, have you), can’t throw stones. It’s pathetic that he secular world has to address this to exact justice… though that is biblical.

    Kate Bowler’s book sounds interesting. It’s my observation that the women’s ministry in my CC is indeed about socializing, and being good wives and mothers though I see nothing wrong with supporting family unity. They also call for male volunteers to serve females during women’s Tea, etc.

    No volunteer calls go out for men’s activities, however, and no similar events exist. Once a month informal men’s breakfasts happen, and men (especially those skilled tradesmen) are called to volunteer for church upkeep.

    It kind of reflects the secular world: women need validation and they work for it (advocating for themselves); men also do, but the validation comes from providing.

    Meanwhile, the $750k church rennovation, in addition to the PFM debacle, has turned me away. Not attending the last month, we had a good excuse due to our hacking and coughing due to the viruses going around the area the last month, but I really need to get us somewhere.

  28. Nathan Priddis says:

    Whats on Pastors Minds:
    I see tech and digital trends is dead last at 7% responding as important.
    -Not surprised.
    -I think its a big mistake in an evolving society.

  29. Em says:

    Amen – we need to be smarter than we are about “tech and digital trends.” it is an absolutely hackable technology (computers) – the idea of forgoing paper ballots for electronic voting is the height of naivete – i’d best most churches could find someone that could educate them on the basics and then we’d be smarter than the world about that 🙂

    Jean @ 7:33 … yes there is… we aren’t mentioned after the 4th chapter, although exactly when we are removed is open to debate

  30. JD says:

    Not much about What’s on Pastor’s Minds includes the welfare of the flock. No surprise there.

  31. Jean says:

    “we aren’t mentioned after the 4th chapter, although exactly when we are removed is open to debate”

    The following passages are addressed to the church on earth:

    Twelve, seventeen: “Then the dragon became furious with the woman and went off to make war on the rest of her offspring, on those who keep the commandments of God and hold to the testimony of Jesus. And he stood on the sand of the sea.”

    Thirteen, ten: “If anyone is to be taken captive, to captivity he goes; if anyone is to be slain with the sword, with the sword must he be slain. Here is a call for the endurance and faith of the saints.”

    Thirteen, eighteen: “This calls for wisdom: let the one who has understanding calculate the number of the beast, for it is the number of a man, and his number is 666.”

    Forteen, twelve: “Here is a call for the endurance of the saints, those who keep the commandments of God and their faith in Jesus.”

    John is calling on believers in the churches to persevere, to wait on Jesus and overcome evil.

    I will repeat: There is not even a hint that the church is removed from the earth in Revelation. The message by contrast is to persevere and witness, taking comfort in the fact that God is in control and is coming soon and is making all things new. Rapture theology IMO is a major distortion of the message of Revelation.

  32. JoelG says:

    Re: Pragmatic ethic when voting

    Has there ever been an ideal candidate in a Presidential election where one doesn’t have to compromise ones beliefs in one area or another?

  33. Michael says:

    JoelG,

    It may be just my imagination, but there used to be a “sane” middle where we settled on things.
    Now we have to choose between extremes…and I can’t make those choices.

  34. Dan from Georgia` says:

    JoelG and Michael,

    This is where I am sitting right now in my future possible voting. Many people say “we are voting for a President, not a Pastor” – i.e., the President’s morality doesn’t matter. But when one of the choices represents something evangelical Christians disapprove of, then morality DOES matter. Seems like we are voting for a moral leader?

    In 2016 my lack of voting was because 1) I failed to register to vote in my new community, and 2) my conscience wouldn’t allow me to vote.

    I am not sure there ever was an ideal candidate, but it seems like we are getting more and more extreme in our choices. And in our reactions to those choices.

  35. JoelG says:

    I think you guys are right, Michael and Dan. The choices seem much more extreme. After everything I’ve learned here at the PP about the border I can’t vote DT. I may just write-in my dog. ?

  36. Em says:

    Tis true that, for a Christian, praying for those in authority over us accomplishes far more than our vote does… IMNSHO

    Jean and i should not dialog on matters of Faith as we start from different premises as to what the Church is…. I would contend that, in the timeline of history many are under the blood of Christ, past and future that are not the Church
    God keep, Jean. ?

  37. Michael says:

    Dan,

    We live in strange times…with few real options.
    Either extreme could be the end of the Great Experiment…

  38. Michael says:

    “After everything I’ve learned here at the PP about the border I can’t vote DT.”

    That gave me enough encouragement to get through the rest of the day…thank you.

  39. Duane Arnold says:

    Michael

    All our options are relative… not absolute. Augustine recognized the concept of justice being the quality by which we measure imperfect options. So, for Augustine, the question is, ‘relative to perfect justice or equity, how does this state or that state measure up?” The more arbitrary the state is in its relationship to justice and the rule of law, the less desirable that state becomes. For instance, in essence it is not the law that has created the issues on the border, but rather the arbitrary enforcement or non-compliance with the law. For myself, I consider what constitutes a just society and try to measure the options accordingly.

    “Remove justice, and what are kingdoms but gangs of criminals on a large scale? What are criminal gangs but petty kingdoms?”

  40. Jean says:

    “The more arbitrary the state is in its relationship to justice and the rule of law, the less desirable that state becomes.”

    I think this thought was shared by the 4 Federal Prosecutors who resigned over the President’s arbitrary intervention in the Roger Stone sentencing to help a friend who is now a convicted felon. In my entire life of following federal politics, I don’t think I’ve ever witnessed the level of the abuse of the rule of law that we see in the current White House.

  41. Michael says:

    Duane,

    I think I’m personally at a point where my disgust with certain things on one side blinded me to other disgusting things on the other side.
    All my disgust blinded me to the kingdom and put my soul at risk.
    I think I’m stepping back and evaluating it all…and posts like yours are helpful in assessing things.

  42. Michael says:

    Let me commend everybody on this thread…it’s been thoughtful and helpful.

  43. Nancy Holmes says:

    I want to thank Steve for his comment yesterday (Feb.11, 4:13 pm).

    “The white evangelical echo chamber article is in my opinion openly racist.”

    When I read his comment, I wanted to read the article to see what he was talking about. Well, I have read the article and I am genuinely puzzled by his comment and wish that he had elaborated on his opinions regarding the “openly racist” element present in what was said.

    I have always believed that racists and racism and racists statements are all about divisiveness. I did not see that article as an attempt to be divisive. My understanding of it was that its intent was to reveal a problem and promote ways of fixing it. Perhaps Steve’s opinion disagreed with the author’s position that there was even a problem. If so that could have been addressed without resorting to an inflammatory term like “racist.”

    I did note that the author revealed that he is a Japanese American and did so at the very beginning of his essay. So that was certainly “open” of him. Would the same essay written by a openly stated fully white person been termed “racist”? Is Steve suggesting that only 100 % white people can rebuke other white people? Inquiring minds want to know…

    By the way, I am 100% “white” and I did not experience the article as racist–“openly” or otherwise.

  44. Michael says:

    Nancy Holmes,
    That was really well said…thank you.

  45. Jim says:

    ” They will vote not so much for Donald Trump — with his uncouth speech and incessantly immature tweets — as they will vote against the worldview of the Democratic platform. ”

    I’ve only said this about ten times here. I don’t understand why this would come as some revelation, unless people think that everyone believes that “our leaders” have ever been moral.

    The founders where charged with amending the Articles of Confederation, but instead chose to tear them up, lock the doors, and create a monster.

    It’s been downhill from there.

  46. Duane Arnold says:

    Jim

    I’ll take the Constitution and the Federalist Papers any day of the week…. and twice on Sundays,,,

  47. Jim says:

    Duane,

    Compared to what we have today, I agree. Unfortunately, you seem to be making an ends justify the means argument.

  48. Duane Arnold says:

    Jim

    Not at all, I just don’t think we can resort to a Status Quo Ante…

  49. Babylon's Dread says:

    I’m often confusing and more often confused but I had to launch a near investigation to find the reference to Kate Bowler’s new book in the link given. Finally ‘command F’ saved me and I found it linked at the bottom.

    That the linked page was about women ministering added to the confusion.

    I was actually thinking that Kate was very late to the conversation about women preachers but her book turns out to be refreshingly cast at a part of the discussion that is underutilized and unexamined.

  50. Michael says:

    BD,

    Kate Bowler is so refreshing…I’m really glad her work s getting traction.

  51. Babylon's Dread says:

    It is very confusing and polarizing to live in a truth shaping world. No one tells the truth with great care. Everyone is presenting a version of the truth that fits our agenda. Further, in a time when all language is deconstructed the matter is more complex. The thousands of years of human history sadly attest that we resolve these things violently. The rhythms of history affirm that the cycles of this violence attest that we are overdue.

    All over the world radical leaders with power grabbing agendas are seizing the reigns in nation after nation. We are gravitating towards the kind of leaders who use violent means to achieve tribal and personal goals.

    I do not think I am being alarmist or fear mongering to simply say that something truly ‘dreadful’ is afoot. Hope I’m wrong. Here at home we hate each other. The State of the Union speech was a hate filled event the populist notions notwithstanding. It is clear that our political leaders despise one another. And we polarize behind them.

    My journey to India was shocking. No one in the west is seriously talking about the radical Hindu state that is being formed by their leader. Concerning China we moralize about trite things like NBA stars while the most frightening surveillance state in history is being perfected, with our technology. I could go on to nation after nation. What to do?

    What to do indeed, in the Christian community tribes hate each other as much as any political parties and never has their been more vitriol blessed by more people aimed at ‘the _____ church’ which is usually modified by whoever has the most righteous posture.

    I also briefly looked in on the high priests of our culture on Sunday night and never has self-righteous preening manifested itself in more privilege masquerading as suffering saviors. Holywood has it all and now they actually have an unspoken contest as to who can take their 45 seconds and spew more wokeness. It should be a new category.

    Ok back to looking for the groundhog and the hope of summer.

  52. Michael says:

    BD,

    I completely concur…with the addition of the fact that I believe the next generation will have to deal with China on our southern border…because we made it clear we would not be good neighbors…

  53. Michael says:

    So…if I were king I’d make everyone read this article and write a paper on it…

    https://www.cardus.ca/comment/article/the-political-captivity-of-the-faithful/#.XkWVJSoXAcQ.twitter

  54. Nancy Holmes says:

    THAT is a really meaty article. I’m gonna have to chew on it some more!!

  55. bob1 says:

    The author is a long-time expert on Christianity in America. Very worthwhile piece. Thanks,
    Michael, for posting it!

  56. Chris Long says:

    While there are some believers who seem to have a starry-eyed love affair with Trump, I think for many believers they recognize he’s a very flawed individual that doesn’t represent Christ, but they also recognize that as a leader, he’s done some good things and that he is very favorably aligned with several concerns of Christians. He seems to care about religious liberty, abortion (even going to the Right to Life march), and so forth. Many also feel that policy wise, he has instituted many policies that are helping the country (financially, etc.). And many also tire of hearing him be attacked constantly by clearly biased “news” reporters and by Hollywood celebrities… I just think there are a good many believers who recognize Trump is a flawed person but support many of his policies and when compared to what those on the other side are offering to want for (or do to) our country, that is a very attractive position for many believers. I absolutely understand why many believers support him and would vote for him over the other options available.

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