By Chuck Baldwin
July 9, 2008
I ask the indulgence of my non-churched readers, as this column is specifically designed to challenge the hearts and minds of professing believers.
The Old Testament prophet Jeremiah faced a generation that is very similar to the one we face today, I am afraid. Political and corporate leaders had given themselves over to corruption and duplicity. The fundamental underpinnings that founded and supported the nation were being dismantled. And the spiritual leaders seemed to be powerless to do anything about it.
Accordingly, Jehovah God told Jeremiah to give this message to the people of Israel:
“At what instant I shall speak concerning a nation, and concerning a kingdom, to pluck up, and to pull down, and to destroy it;
“If that nation, against whom I have pronounced, turn from their evil, I will repent of the evil that I thought to do unto them.
“And at what instant I shall speak concerning a nation, and concerning a kingdom, to build and to plant it;
“If it do evil in my sight, that it obey not my voice, then I will repent of the good, wherewith I said I would benefit them.
“Now therefore go to, speak to the men of Judah, and to the inhabitants of Jerusalem, saying, Thus saith the LORD; Behold, I frame evil against you, and devise a device against you: return ye now every one from his evil way, and make your ways and your doings good.
“And they said, There is no hope: but we will walk after our own devices, and we will every one do the imagination of his evil heart.” (Jeremiah 18:7-12 KJV)
When these Hebrews said, “There is no hope,” they were not saying, “It’s all over. We are all doomed. It is helpless.” No, they were not saying that at all. What they were saying was, “Doing it God’s way offers no hope. We will do it our way. We will rely upon our own devices, wisdom, and strength. We can get ourselves out of this mess.” That is the spirit these people possessed.
Ladies and Gentlemen, I submit that this is exactly the same spirit that many professing Christians display today.
Most everyone, including Christian people, realize that our country is in a mess. They readily agree that a divine healing is needed. They even use the great stories and examples of the Bible to teach our boys and girls how to obey and trust God. They extol the examples of Daniel, the three Hebrew children, Simon Peter and the Apostles, etc. They use these stories to illustrate the importance of putting obedience to God and God’s principles above the machinations and demands of men.
When it comes to voting for and supporting candidates who have proven themselves to be unfaithful to the fundamental principles of liberty and good government, however, these same Christians suddenly become enamored with “the lesser of two evils,” and pragmatism. Doing right gives way to being “practical,” and standing for principle gives way to “not throwing my vote away.”
Had Daniel been “practical,” he would have stopped praying for a few weeks and stayed out of the lions’ den. Had the three Hebrew children been “pragmatic,” they would have given a symbolic bow to the statue of Nebuchadnezzar. And I can just hear Christians living in the First Century talking about how they would vote for Nero over Caligula, as he would be “the lesser of two evils.”
And from our own history, had America’s Founding Fathers heeded the advice of the “experts” and pundits, they would never have signed the Declaration of Independence and fought a war for independence. Absolutely no one gave those brave patriots any chance–any chance–of victory.
Yet, both secular and sacred history are replete with the examples of brave men and women who were willing to defy the conventional wisdom and understanding of their times to stand boldly and courageously for the principles of truth and freedom. In fact, people who dared to defy the accepted wisdom of their age almost always accomplished the truly great exploits of history. Christians, among all people, should know this best.
How has it happened, then, that Christians cannot find the courage and resolve to support principle above political partisanship? How is it that we have come to embrace “the lesser of two evils” as a legitimate philosophy of voting? How is it that our spiritual leaders seem to be more concerned about being politically correct than they are about being Biblically correct?
I believe that God is waiting for His people in America to do what He told Jeremiah’s generation to do: live and act according to His principles and trust Him with the result. Instead, many of us seem to be doing exactly what Jeremiah’s generation did: we want to be pragmatic and wise in our own eyes and do it our way.
Think what God might do in our land today if every Christian, every God-fearing man and woman in America, would simply vote their principles every time they walked into a voting booth, even if the candidate had “no chance” of winning and whether he or she was told they would be “wasting” their vote or not. I wonder what God might do? (Besides, when we vote for evil, what exactly have we “won,” even if they are victorious?)
I am reminded of one of my all-time favorite quotes spoken by John Quincy Adams. He said, “Duty is ours; results are God’s.”
When people–especially Christian people–start doing their duty and standing for truth and principle, whether it is considered politically incorrect, or unpopular, or “naïve,” or anything else; then, and only then, will God give us the results that will bring healing and restoration of our land.
So, how many of us will determine to do our duty? Or, how many of us will say, “There is no hope in doing it God’s way; I will rely upon men’s devices and do it their way”? The way we answer that question will largely determine America’s future–for good or for bad.
© 2008 Chuck Baldwin – All Rights Reserved
Chuck Baldwin is Founder-Pastor of Crossroads Baptist Church in Pensacola, Florida. In 1985 the church was recognized by President Ronald Reagan for its unusual growth and influence.
Dr. Baldwin is the host of a lively, hard-hitting syndicated radio talk show on the Genesis Communications Network called, “Chuck Baldwin Live” This is a daily, one hour long call-in show in which Dr. Baldwin addresses current event topics from a conservative Christian point of view. Pastor Baldwin writes weekly articles on the internet http://www.ChuckBaldwinLive.com and newspapers.
To learn more about his radio talk show please visit his web site at: www.chuckbaldwinlive.com. When responding, please include your name, city and state.