Is McCain able? The line is in the sand

After watching this short video clip you may begin to understand why I voted for Keyes in this year’s Florida presidential primary and why I hope Alan Keyes becomes our Constitution Party candidate, and ultimately the president of the United States. Wishful thinking? Perhaps.

I have been continually bullied by proclaimed conservatives like Gary Bauer who is in reality quite unabashedly more sold out to a party than a set of non-negotiable values. He insists that a vote cast for anyone other than McCain is a wasted vote and therefore believes it is imperative that we “close ranks”. Why does it always come down to fear? Why are we considered less than patriotic for principle-based voting? I’m quite frankly tired of being manipulated to violate my conscience that I believe is heavily influenced by the residence of God the Holy Spirit.

I contend that it is sometimes necessary to willingly take a few steps back in order to eventually take gargantuan leaps forward. Yes, I do believe a vote for Keyes may in fact be in essence a hanging Obama chad, which ultimately could spell disaster on many levels. So am I therefore obligated to vote for McCain, a man so distant from my faith-controlled values? In dreaming of casting my ballot for McCain I wake up in cold sweats knowing that I have sold out to expediency over righteousness. At what point do we as believers draw our lines in the sand and say, “Enough is enough!”

I reached that position 2 years ago after watching George W. Bush, who Bauer proclaimed savior of Republican Party, literally wreak havoc on the basic tenets that “W” so exuberantly asserted. I voted for him in 2000 and then against my better judgment again in ’04. Just a short while before that ‘04 presidential election I had been challenged by long time friend Debbie Beckett to consider a candidate from the Constitution Party who more accurately reflected our values. At that point I felt that it was too late to make such a move. I argued that the Supreme Court’s balance of power was at stake and therefore I could not in good conscience veer from another Bush term.

Well, I’ve seen and had enough. If the Republicans are not going to act in a manner consistent with the Biblical principles I hold dear (most of which were stated in the party platform) then I cannot in good conscience continue to endorse this charade.

Over the past 7 years we have been spent into oblivion and during the first 6 it was at the hands of a consolidated Republican monopoly that I had always dreamed would take us to the promised land of righteousness and prosperty. Back in ’94, I was convinced that Newt and the boys, along with the emergence of the Contract for America, would turn things around in favor of Biblical principles i.e. against big government, abortion on demand, and for traditional values.

Joe Scarborough in his book (on my nightstand), “Rome Wasn’t Burnt in a Day (2004), describes how all but a tiny handful of those newly elected congressmen (dedicated to the tenets in that contract) abdicated their commitments so quickly. After the greed-facilitated Washington social network took its toll even their pledge for term limits was abandoned for the trash heap.

And where did Colon Powell, the man most responsible for our invasion of Iraq, go? What is he saying today about our war with Iraq? What does Colon Powell’s former Chief of Staff, Colonel Larry Wilkerson, have to say about WMD and Iraq? 

Listen, I am not becoming a shill for the Democrat Party. Far be it! However, I do believe that as Christ-followers we should do everything in our power to obtain and dispense truth. Do I believe everything Wilkerson says? No. Do I think Colon Powell’s departure from the repub party should have been a red flag? I think so.

What I do know is that I can’t continue to support policies and principles that are in direct conflict with Holy Scripture. It’s quite clear that this administration had the intention to wage war against Iraq before they took their places in the Oval Office—a full year ahead of 9/11. The baloney about WMD, democratizing and freeing the Iraqi people was mere window dressing necessary to dupe the America people. I don’t say this lightly becaus this is a rather a rather sad commentary on the veracity of this administration’s personel. I spent days researching this issue in hopes that I would not confirm my growing suspicions. I vehemently defended this adminstration again pariah Michael Moore and yet I’m forced to report that I believe there was at least a modicum of truth behind his attacks.

If that is claim is doubted then consider the views of Paul O’Neill, a two-year member of the Bush cabinet as Treasury Secretary. These revelations are problematic at best. Sure O’Neill had an axe to grind but are we to continue to trivialize the comments of all those who at one time took prominent positions within the administration? And lest we think this has nothing to do with Israel, then we are naïve. Watch the video below as well as the You decide 2004 video regarding O’Neill’s book, and the 60 Minutes Interview.

It has been through the realization that, although important, political operatives cannot exact change on this land and many times do things deleterious to our freedoms—they will never supplant or subvert our role as ambassadors of the Kingdom. In my view change will never spring from a top-down strategy. Certainly we don’t relish placing those in power that are in opposition to that which is good, decent and right, but we must know that God is always in control no matter who it is that governs us. It will most certainly not make the ensuing difficulties more palatable but it will lend the necessarily confidence to forcefully proceed in spite of the odds.

Jesus wasn’t murdered at the hands of men but by God’s sovereign decree. Rulers are in the palm of God’s hand.

  • So Pilate said* to Him, “You do not speak to me? Do You not know that I have authority to release You, and I have authority to crucify You?” 11 Jesus answered, “You would have no authority over Me, unless it had been given you from above; for this reason he who delivered Me to you has the greater sin.” John 19:10-11 (NASB)
God did not abrogate His thrown 2,000 years ago and He certainly hasn’t done so in 2008. It is only through His children, living in a manner consistent with the principles laid down in Scripture, which will afford us the kind of existence we treasure. The propagation of the Gospel is our only hope.

In AD 27 when Jesus launched His public ministry it was apparent that Jews wanted an earthly Messiah. They desperately desired to have a powerful political figure lead them out of the hundreds of years of oppression and bondage. But their Messiah didn’t come as an earthly King and He never will. How long will it be before we realize that the Kingdom will never be about flesh and blood? Jesus said:

  • My kingdom is not of this world. If My kingdom were of this world, then My servants would be fighting so that I would not be handed over to the Jews; but as it is, My kingdom is not of this realm.” John 18:36 (NASB)
The Apostle Paul wrote:

  • Now I say this, brethren, that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God; nor does the perishable inherit the imperishable. 1 Corinthians 15:50 (NASB)
Our Kingdom is spiritual. The New Covenant blessings of righteousness, salvation, resurrection, eternal life, sanctification and redemption are purely spiritual. That’s why the Gospel does not come with persuasive speech but by the power of God. (Rom 1:16) This Kingdom cannot be and never will be observed for it is only through the eyes of faith that it can be “seen”.

This is how Jesus answered the Pharisees when they confronted Him about an earthly Kingdom:

  • Now having been questioned by the Pharisees as to when the kingdom of God was coming, He answered them and said, “The kingdom of God is not coming with signs to be observed; 21 nor will they say, ‘Look, here it is!’ or, ‘There it is!’ For behold, the kingdom of God is in your midst.” Luke 17:20-21 (NASB)
Do we make the same mistake longing for the types and shadows when the King is already before us—when His spirit already inhabits our very being? We cannot “see” because we are still partially blinded by the veil of Moses (2Cor 3:13-18). The veil that should have been fully lifted in Christ still clouds our view because we don’t see with the eyes of faith. For we know that without faith it is impossible to please God yet most of us live lives controlled by empiricism—and I might add the same empiricism that guides the atheist.

  • Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen. Hebrews 11:1 (NASB)
In my humble opinion I think we have a crisis of faith within the church. We exalt the natural but yet it is only the spiritual that is permanent. For goodness sakes I’m not some sort of Gnostic seeing no temporal value in anything physical. However, are the eternal blessings of God physical in nature? God’s Kingdom can never be prevailed against because it is not of a physical/natural nature.

The King told us when He would return and yet we cannot “see it” because the eyes of our faith are too dim. Paul tells us that the orderly progression is first the types and shadows manifested in the natural/temporal—then comes the reality which is wrought in the spiritual/eternal through the person and work of Christ Jesus.

  • However, the spiritual is not first, but the natural; then the spiritual. 47 The first man is from the earth, earthy; the second man is from heaven. 1 Corinthians 15:46-47 (NASB)
Our faith must never take rest in the earthly atmosphere deemed conducive to the propagation of the Gospel. It should not be shunned but no matter the environment, the Gospel cannot be defeated. Matter of fact, it was through persecution that the early church thrived.

The Apostle Peter, writing in approx AD 67, knew that the earthly Roman authority was not ultimately in control of his destiny. Times were very grim from a material/temporal perspective. Many of his compatriots had already been murdered for their faith. Peter was abundantly aware that the Judaizing scoffers (2Pet 3:4) were out in full force when he wrote, “The end of all things is near” (1Pet 4:7)—“the glory that is about to be revealed” (1Pet 5:1)—“He is ready to judge the living and the dead” (1Pet 4:5). It had already been 36 or 37 years since Jesus’ “this generation” proclamation and the natives were growing restless—Jesus had not yet arrived. Aid was just around the corner. The Thessalonians had been promised near term vindication. The stage was set to see the faithfulness of God poured out to all the oppressed. Peter along with every Apostle was martyred and yet through inspiration he wrote:

  • Submit yourselves for the Lord’s sake to every human institution, whether to a king as the one in authority, 14 or to governors as sent by him for the punishment of evildoers and the praise of those who do right. 15 For such is the will of God that by doing right you may silence the ignorance of foolish men. 16 Act as free men, and do not use your freedom as a covering for evil, but use it as bondslaves of God. 17 Honor all people, love the brotherhood, fear God, honor the king. 1 Peter 2:13-17 (NASB)
Peter knew that his marching orders came directly from the Lord Jesus Christ. Physical death was not his enemy and neither is it ours. That’s why he did not fear the political establishment that merely controlled his earthly estate. (Mt 10:28)

Why have I taken this particular path to help dispel the myth that we must dutifully vote for John McCain or we will lose ground? I think we need the confidence to know that our hope is not in an earthly leader. Peter and the early church believers thrived in an atmosphere of contention and opposition to the Gospel. Governments can attempt to remove the mention of God from the public square but it will never be successful. As long as we are there the presence and power of God is as well.

At this point as I reflect back on my life I have made the commitment to attempt to leave this place in better stead then when we arrived. How can that be objectively quantified? I’m not altogether certain but one thing’s clear, we are not where we once were. This admission is not one of defeat but of reality. How can we get the train back on track?

It cannot and will not be accomplished solely on the back of the political system. I believe that making disciples in all nations is the only legacy I want to leave behind. If believers begin to take the claims of Christ seriously, the political process will change and the religions of Islam, atheism and Judaism will be defeated. This is our promise if we make Jesus both Savior and Lord of our lives.

In closing consider Gordon James Klingenschmitt’s reasoning for not voting for John McCain.

Let me state for the record that I believe John McCain stands closer than Clinton or Obama to Biblically sanctioned values. But then again so does Jeremiah Wright as compared to Adolf Hitler. The fact is that McCain is so far off the mark that it prompted James Dobson to say, “I would not vote for John McCain under any circumstances”. Be that as it may, I’m looking far past the next 4-8 years. I think we must begin to plan for the long haul and stop this short-term thinking. Sadly many Christ-followers believe (and I think it cannot be supported Biblically) that we won’t even be here 25 years from now and in so doing they have unwittingly taken themselves out of the game.

Regardless of eschatology I think this short-term mentality must be confronted and debunked. We must develop a worldview consistent with the implications of a resurrected Savior. Defeatism must be abolished and relegated to the pre-AD 70 generation to which it was prophesied. Positive change can and will occur when we in mass begin recognizing that the redemptive plan of Christ has been completed. Death has been destroyed and we are free without encumbrance to follow the law of Christ!

Our victory will only come as a grassroots effort where righteousness is the prevailing influence and in the context of the greatest commands.

  • Jesus answered, “The foremost is, ‘Hear, O Israel! the Lord our God is one Lord ; 31 and you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart , and with all your soul, and with all your mind, and with all your strength .’ 31 “The second is this, ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself .’ There is no other commandment greater than these.” Mark 12:29-31 (NASB)

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