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Bill Muehlenberg's commentary on issues of the day...

Three Spiritual Realities Concerning the US Elections

Oct 11, 2016

I am not a prophet, and I am not inspired. Only the Word of God can be depended on to provide absolute truth. But after nearly a lifetime of Christian experience, thought and study, I can offer what are some very strong convictions I have, and throw them out there for your consideration.

These three things I am about to share are among the most strongly held beliefs I have had as a believer. They come from the very depths of my soul, and I feel compelled to share them, regardless of how they will be received. As mentioned, none of this is infallible, but it is something that lies so very heavily on my heart that I feel compelled to share it.

america-20One. This election is about the just judgment of God on America and the West.

I have been saying this for months now. I simply can see no other way around this. How else can we explain the situation we find ourselves in? To end up with the two most corrupt, decadent, immoral, lying and arrogant pagan candidates in memory is not only incredible in itself, but it must mean that God is rightly bringing his very just and long overdue judgment on a decadent, corrupt and ungodly America – and by extension, the rest of the West.

If God is bringing his righteous judgment on a nation that has squandered its Christian heritage, told God to get lost, and has embraced every sort of unrighteousness and immorality, then I say ‘Bring it in God’. We can plead for his mercy, but we certainly deserve his judgment.

I will keep praying that God might somehow be merciful to this once great nation. But I will equally rejoice if he unleashes his fully justified wrath on this wicked and godless nation. And of course judgment must first begin with the household of God, so the church is every bit as much in need of judgment as the surrounding secular culture.

Two. This is far more than about just politics, but it concerns the church of Jesus Christ.

All this is much, much more than mere politics. Politics is of course very important and impacts all of us, one way or another. But spiritual matters are even more vital. And since the church of Jesus Christ is being fully dragged into this, we must take this with the utmost seriousness.

I have already written about how so many in the church have thrown out their commitment to biblical moral absolutes, and are now simply card-carrying moral relativists. The excuses made for the latest revelations of Trump’s despicable behaviour confirms all this: billmuehlenberg.com/2016/10/09/moral-relativism-winning-evangelicalism-losing/

We are utterly destroying our witness and testimony before the whole world as we spruik for a debauched, arrogant pagan womaniser. And we do it proudly and happily. And we do it foolishly thinking it will somehow make “America great again”.

Plenty of committed Christian leaders have spoken out on this wretched idolatry and apostasy. Britanny Pounders shares my heart here in her piece, “Trump and the Apostate Church: The Destruction of a Testimony”:

I sat in church yesterday morning and I just felt grieved. It was hard for me to participate. In fact, I left early. The amount of “church people” who are dismissing this entire debacle as acceptable and normal, and attacking the voices who are saying, “no, this isn’t who we are!!!” makes me question everything. Do I even want to leave my little girl in the nursery with groups of people who feel it’s morally acceptable to defend this all for the sake of their party? The amount of church leaders who work in the youth groups who aren’t fighting this on a spiritual front and remaining silent leaves me wondering why bother? Where are the courageous men who are standing up and leading our boys towards Christ and demanding that they not become a part of the group who gives it up to go along? These are the men and women I entrust influencing the spiritual lives of my family… where is the righteous outrage? Where is the accountability as a body towards one another?
And for those of you who are wondering, I can assure you, my church is probably symptomatic of your church. The Church as a whole is destroying their testimony, their integrity, by their silence or outright acceptance.

As Collin Hansen of the Gospel Coalition puts it:

An aspiring president of the United States can brag about sexually assaulting women and still claim the backing of many if not most of the older stalwarts in the Religious Right. Trump can maintain nearly all his evangelical support in the voting booth despite unrepentant lying and cheating. But these same leaders still insist on a traditional, biblical ethic when it comes to views on same-sex marriage in evangelical ministries. You can say we’re electing a commander in chief and not a Sunday school teacher. You can say that God often raises up pagan leaders to deliver his people from their enemies. But no one is fooled by your arguments. They can see you will apparently excuse anything in a Republican nominee so long as the alternative is a manifestly unqualified Clinton. And they will conclude that they don’t really need to listen to you when it comes to “traditional, biblical ethics.”

Or as Kevin Baird has rightly said:

It is time for conservative Christians and in particular evangelical leadership to tell Donald Trump…”You’re fired”. You are fired as our nominee. We are asking that you step down for the good of this nation. Reason? Total and complete undermining of our concerns, objectives and goals as Biblically-based Christian citizens. A complete loss of moral authority to bring leadership to moral concerns and an inability to execute a campaign that solicits the evangelical base….
We are not hirelings for the conservative movement. We are not window dressing for what’s left of the Republican Party. Our voice cannot be prostituted for the pragmatic cause of defeating the evil Clintons. It is time to call this WHOLE political system to account. We have spent untold hours excoriating the Clintons through the years (which was and is well earned), but we cannot now put our head in the sand acting like our principles do not matter because OUR candidate must prevail. If you do not think a watching world is taking note…I can assure you they are. Does it feel like they are exploiting this moment for their leftist agenda? Yes, it does. But we have no one to blame but ourselves as we let our anger rule our primary voting. That fact, however, is not justification to stay quiet now.

Andy Couch says this:

There is a point at which strategy becomes its own form of idolatry—an attempt to manipulate the levers of history in favor of the causes we support. Strategy becomes idolatry, for ancient Israel and for us today, when we make alliances with those who seem to offer strength—the chariots of Egypt, the vassal kings of Rome—at the expense of our dependence on God who judges all nations, and in defiance of God’s manifest concern for the stranger, the widow, the orphan, and the oppressed. Strategy becomes idolatry when we betray our deepest values in pursuit of earthly influence. And because such strategy requires capitulating to idols and princes and denying the true God, it ultimately always fails.
Enthusiasm for a candidate like Trump gives our neighbors ample reason to doubt that we believe Jesus is Lord. They see that some of us are so self-interested, and so self-protective, that we will ally ourselves with someone who violates all that is sacred to us—in hope, almost certainly a vain hope given his mendacity and record of betrayal, that his rule will save us.

Exactly. Forget the “But Hillary…” baloney I hear a million times a day from the Trumpites. What matters here is Jesus Christ, and his reputation. Right now his name is mud, and the whole world can see the rank idolatry of millions of evangelicals who put Trump on a pedestal while dragging Christ through the dirt. Enough already.

Three. This is part of the separating and sifting work that God is bringing on his people.

The separation of the sheep from the goats, or the wheat from the tares, of course centres on Jesus Christ and what we make of him. But by way of extension, this election cycle is bringing all this into sharp relief, especially when it comes to Christians and Trump. There we see a very real division and separating process, even with brother turning against brother.

This election is certainly bringing out the divisions – big time. And so much of it involves this simple thing: do we regard Jesus Christ and him alone as the answer to our problems, the one who we alone can trust in, the only one who can make America great again?

Or are we now putting all that faith and trust in a bogus political messiah? Have we as the people of God sunk so low that we now almost seem to be saying, “For me to live is Trump…”? I have never witnessed in all my Christian life so much hideous idolatry and blasphemy when it comes to this man.

Millions of believers seem to have made a pact with the devil: ‘You make America great again through Trump, and I will throw out every single biblical truth and value I used to hold to about the importance of integrity, character, humility, godliness, righteousness and so on.’

Yes they really do seem to be that bad. And I have personally witnessed all this hundreds of times now. I have been on the receiving end of all this damnable Trump worship. For example, I have been called just about every ugly and filthy name out there by ‘Christian’ Trump supporters, all because I will not join in their devotion to Trump.

I can truly say I have only experienced this much hate, abuse, ugliness and poison from a few other groups, such as the militant homosexuals and angry atheists. When things get this bad, you know something sure ain’t right.

When people who claim to be followers of the Lord Jesus Christ can treat fellow believers with such utter contempt, derision and hatred – all because of a political candidate – then you really have to ask about their spiritual bona fides. Jesus made it perfectly clear that if you claim to love God but hate your brother, you are none of his (1 John 2:9-11; 4:20-21).

So this really has become a sifting time, where those whose supreme allegiance to Christ is being clearly identified, while those who are carnal and fleshly, and think that politics alone can save us, and all moral principles must be sacrificed in order for the right candidate to win, are also being fully exposed.

Thankfully not all Trump supporters are idolatrous apostates. But far too many are, and it is to those people I speak here. There is only one thing these people need to do: they need to get on their faces before Almighty God and repent of their idolatrous worship of this pagan pretender to the throne.

And the exact same thing can be said about any Christian who is doing the same with Hillary Clinton.

America today is at a crossroads. But more importantly, the American church is at a crossroads. And the whole world is watching. Will we sell our souls to the devil for mere political gain, or will we proclaim that Jesus Christ alone is Lord and Saviour?

www.libertyjuice.com/2016/10/10/trump-and-the-apostate-church-the-destruction-of-a-testimony/
www.washingtonpost.com/news/acts-of-faith/wp/2016/10/08/this-is-the-last-spastic-breath-from-the-religious-right-before-its-overdue-death/?tid=ss_fb
drkevinbaird.com/wp/2016/10/09/its-time-evangelicals-said-to-donald-trump-youre-fired/
www.christianitytoday.com/ct/2016/october-web-only/speak-truth-to-trump.html?start=1

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30 Responses to Three Spiritual Realities Concerning the US Elections

  • Spot on, Bill.

  • I’m reminded of Matt 9:37-38 (NRSVCE) ….
    “Then He said to His disciples, “The harvest is plentiful, but the laborers are few; therefore ask the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into His harvest.”
    We just need to remember what happened with 12 anxious men when the Holy Spirit came done upon them!!!!

  • Well said, Bill.

  • This is a great sifting time of the sheep from the goats etc, alright. The comments from Australia and from around the globe, let alone within the American electorates, provide a great opportunity for concerned Christians in all walks of life. It seems to me that the best approach is to come out of the woodwork and ask appropriate questions of our leaders, both in our churches, and more particularly in parliament. Bill, you might like to moderate a few such questions. I guess that as in the US as well as here, we could ask or even plead for solid Christian leaders to emerge who are prepared to tell like it is and in such a loving way that they leave no opportunity for criticism. I am praying, believing that this will occur in both the US and in Australia.

  • I like your comment and suggestion, Brian.

  • Those whom the gods wish to destroy they first make mad.

  • So Bill, in practical terms, are there any rules pertaining to the US election process whereby both candidates can be dismissed? Of course I’m aware that this could have happened with Hillary in the email scandal, but didn’t, because the US Attorney General’s conclusion was that Hillary had no case to answer. And again, despite all the notoriety surrounding Trump, it seems nobody is prepared, or able to, force him out of the race to the White House. What does he actually have to do in order to be expelled as a candidate?

  • Yes of course Sandra. There are many to choose from, as I discuss here:

    https://billmuehlenberg.com/2016/07/26/5-common-myths-us-elections/

  • I note Trump is refusing to withdraw his nomination, even when the numbers (and commentary) indicate he has no chance of winning, and indeed could bring down the right wing of Congress with him.
    It reminds me of pharaoh who reached the point of disobedience where his heart was hardened, and there was no going back. Could it be that God has set this in motion, as part of the plan to cleanse the Church and punish the evil ways of decadent America?

  • Is there a third or fourth candidate to vote for?

  • I have sent through some of Bill’s article to folks in the States to advise against voting for Trump. Recently in a conversation from someone who has arrived back from the States, she told me that Trump is a sinner who has done many appalling things but that Hilary has an evil look on her face.

    While Hilary is hugely damaging to America, I still believe that Trump has dangerous aspects that are similar to the rise of Hitler. Sure America doesn’t have hyperinflation (although it has a huge debt problem) but aside from Trump’s morals, past actions and current untrustworthiness, I am concerned about the dangers of a demagogue being elected to public office.

    Really both candidates are awful and remind me why I have not voted for the main ‘left’ or ‘right’ parties in New Zealand for more than 20 years. We are a smaller scale, but the wickedness and untrustworthiness of our leaders – Helen Clark and John Key – has made it impossible to consider voting for them.

    While not for one moment minimizing the fact that voting for Trump is I believe contrary to what a Christian can do, it would be good to get some decent articles up on Hilary Clinton. (Maybe Bill there are a good number of articles already, just let me know and I’ll have a search.) One or other is going to be President sadly and it is wise to be totally aware of the potential for evil under her – to a degree that I think is like Obama. I hope such articles do not drive people away from Hilary into Trump’s arms, but we need to be fully aware of both candidates and their capability to degrade and damage a great nation.

    Finally, America is more than just one person. There are many righteous and brave individuals who inspire us as a family every day. Their good work will continue, regardless of how dark the nation becomes.

  • Dear brother Bill,
    I’m so sorry for all of the abuse that so-called Christians have dumped on you. Their behavior towards you reminds me of the Pharisees and their despicable treatment towards Jesus, our beloved Lord and Savior. Jesus said that our behavior towards others, good or bad, is as if we had done it to Him. Well, for their own sakes, I hope these people repent. I continue to pray for you. Many blessings,
    Joan

  • Thanks, Mandy.
    As I am not eligible to vote for the US candidates, it would not normally be easy to pose questions of Trump or Hillary, or the other candidates that are apparently more suitable. Strangely, I thought I heard Trump on the phone this morning to Light FM in Melbourne. If it was not a hoax, it would have presented an interesting opportunity to quiz him on what he really felt he could do (on specific subjects) for the US once elected.
    In Australia, we can easily email our MPs as we often do with petitions. I have observed that the automatic replies often ask that for important queries or requests for action, that you phone their office or otherwise spell out your question. Bill Shorten is surely now expecting us conservatives to ask him why he gives so much weight to the few LGBTIs who say that they expect to get derided for their call for so-called marriage equality to be legalized. if indeed traditional marriage is something that can truly be legalized or specified.
    Now that the plebiscite has been called off by Bill Shorten, it is strange that he seems to be happy to go quiet on the subject until maybe the next federal election. Our Lord works in mysterious ways. Surely we should be posing questions much more often to our elected representatives than we currently do.

  • @Sandra Lewis

    For the past few months I’ve been going back and forth between Castle (Constitution Party) and Maturen (American Solidarity Party). Either could be a possible choice for Christians who cannot stomach Trump.

  • Brother, you are so right. Judgement will come because we, the Church, have raised an idol before God. Both candidates are godless people. Proven in their fruit. ROTTEN. The stage is set.
    I know what I will do….Pray, on my knees, before the throne of God, Father, have mercy in your righteous judgement. We are guilty of forsaking you, for another. We rend our hearts, crying, Abba, Father. Help us. We’ve lost our way. We are nothing without you. Our families, our churches, our nation, is nothing without you. You are our first love.
    Speak to us Lord, your servants are listening…

  • Just a thought but “Let him who is without sin cast the first stone.” His remarks 11 years ago were offensive beyond measure, but it has been reported that Trump has become born again as a result of his meetings with religious leaders. No man can truly know another man’s heart but before I cast my ballot I intend to continue to seek the Lord in prayer. I do believe that we are on the cusp of judgment, but there are many examples in the Old Testament of judgment being averted because the nation of Israel repented of their sins. That is my prayer for America.

  • Thanks Susan. Sadly offering the ‘first stone’ passage has become for many a rather tired cliché, used to excuse sin and justify the unjustifiable. Of course we are all sinners, but that does not mean we must never speak truth and point out evil.

    And yes of course only God knows the human heart. But we must be biblical here. Consider just two important texts:
    -“Therefore bear fruits worthy of repentance.” -John the Baptist, Luke 3:8
    -“You will know them by their fruits.” -Jesus, Matthew 7:16
    I pray every day that BOTH Hillary and Donald get saved, or that they get removed, but I will not be gullible and naïve here. Until I see some genuine evidence of biblical repentance here, I sure will not foolishly jump on the Trump bandwagon.

    And yes you are quite right to pray for America that real repentance would take place. That is the only thing that can avert God’s just judgment. And this must begin with God’s people. Bless you as you pray through how you proceed here.

  • Bill, I just want to say thank you for being such a voice of reason, especially during this depressing election cycle here in America. I am so disheartened by Christian leaders in America, who I at one time respected, but who have now sold their souls for political gain. We as Christians failed to vote for men who truly believed in our founding principles and Christian values and instead voted for a man who cares only about himself.

    Thanks again for being a voice of reason. Keep up the good work!

  • Many thanks indeed Brandon. Much appreciated.

  • Thanks David. Yes I am aware of Dobson and others who are running with this. My reply is quite straightforward and I actually offered it just above! Let me share it again, slightly expanded upon:

    Of course only God knows the human heart, and he alone knows who have been truly regenerated by the Spirit of God. But we must be thoroughly biblical here. Consider just two important texts:

    “Therefore bear fruits worthy of repentance.” (John the Baptist, Luke 3:8)

    “You will know them by their fruits.” (Jesus, Matthew 7:16)

    Thus I will not be gullible and naïve here. Until I see some genuine evidence of biblical repentance, I sure will not foolishly jump on the Trump bandwagon. And the simple truth is this: if Trump really has been regenerated, the first thing he should do is withdraw from the race, end this charade, and get his own house in order.

    And of course it is standard fare for presidents – even pagan ones – to have “spiritual advisors”. Obama even has them! It is a good PR exercise if nothing else.

    I pray every day that BOTH Hillary and Donald will get soundly and wondrously saved. If that does not happen, I pray that they will be removed from their positions of power and influence one way or another. In this we can pray with David in Psalm 109:8 “Let his days be few and brief; And let others step forward to replace him.”

  • I have heard it said that God can use sinners to work out his purposes. Trump has been compared to David a womaniser and Sampson who is portrayed as a man governed by his human passions . Yet David and Samson are named among the men of faith in Hebrews.11:32. What Samson did when pulling down the temple of Dagon was not a last minute step of faith; it was the last of long line of steps.

    Trump shows no sign of being a man of faith. Christians have nothing to hope for him, judging by his crocodile tears over Kim Davies.

    They are American turkey wishing for Christmas.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rR9EQobGlhQ

    http://www.breitbart.com/big-government/2015/09/05/trump-on-kim-davis-i-believe-both-sides-of-the-picture/

    David Skinner UK

  • Thanks again David. I have now penned an entire piece on the rumour of his conversion, and in it I also talk about this dodgy comparison between him and King David:

    https://billmuehlenberg.com/2016/10/12/is-trump-a-christian/

  • You said this: If God is bringing his righteous judgment on a nation that has squandered its Christian heritage, told God to get lost, and has embraced every sort of unrighteousness and immorality, then I say ‘Bring it in God’. We can plead for his mercy, but we certainly deserve his judgment.
    I cannot think of a Godly person in Scripture who would have said this. Abraham, Moses, Daniel. Godly leaders in Scripture pleaded with God for mercy even in bad situations. If God chooses this time to bring down His fierce judgement, so be it, but prior to the fact, it is not my place to ask for it. It is my place to ask for love and mercy toward the just and the unjust, especially in light of the fact that so many people still support Israel, and God blesses the nation that does so.

  • Thanks MaryAnn. Then you sadly may have not read the Bible very well. You may not have read the prophets. You may not have read the Psalms. You may not have even read Jesus, especially in Revelation. The Bible everywhere talks about Gods just judgment. I have documented this plenty of times. See these pieces for example:

    https://billmuehlenberg.com/2014/09/05/jesus-justice-and-vindication/

    https://billmuehlenberg.com/2016/01/19/divine-justice-overcoming-evil-is-good-news/

    https://billmuehlenberg.com/2012/02/02/the-imprecatory-psalms-part-one/

    https://billmuehlenberg.com/2012/02/02/the-imprecatory-psalms-part-two/

    https://billmuehlenberg.com/2015/02/18/when-vengeance-is-an-honourable-and-a-god-honouring-thing/

    These pieces contain many dozens of passages on this. You may need to go back and check out Scripture a bit more carefully. Sorry, but I have to stick with Scripture here thanks.

  • Yes Bill -a sifting.
    Seems like more and more chaos. “Seems” like more chaos if the biased media is listemned to.
    1. Why are we only hearing about these two candidates??
    2. Why does the media get away with so much lies and bias??
    3. Why do we never hear Scripture mentioned by candidates??
    4. Why are we being encouraged to look to a President or a party to be our “Messiah” ??
    5. Why is our Education system so ungodly??
    Hmmmm very depressing. A curse upon the land.
    BUT within all this earthly mess, God is doing something, As you say, Bill -sifting. All happens for His purposes, He’s allows all this….(Job comes to mind)
    We only find peace in the storm when we find Him. His kingdom is found “In” the storm, …inspire of the storm. The storm will continue to rage, and rage. – a Fallen world (Genesis).We need to look at finding Him, The away, The Truth and the Life. He gives His peace…to do this we need to stop looking at the storm itself.

    Also … who is our brother?(or sister – to be PC)
    We have blood brothers yes.
    We have Christian brothers…(brothers in Christ)??
    Are our enemies our brothers?
    Dare I say, is DJT or HC a brother/sister??
    Is Almighty God not in total control after all? He allows evil for HIS purposes.
    He uses situations for His purposes.
    I don’t excuse any sin at all but God deals with sin.
    God is using situations to hopefully wake people up.
    God can use people, a storm or the jaw bone of an ass.
    Regardless- the time is NOW. The urgency for each individual is Now.
    Do individuals have HIS peace and right standing with God the Father now. (Reminds me of the Christmas Carol “Hark the Herald Angel Sing”) “Peace on earth and mercy mild God and sinners reconciled”

    Do individuals understand the significance of Jesus ? That he came to reverse the curse?
    I wait for the day in USA, UK or Australia for a political leader to actually share the Gospel of Jesus Christ and his shed blood to their nation.
    Perhaps We talk in circles and deliberate too much in the public space.
    We’ve been called to Declare in love John 3:16 in the public space as much as possible.

  • Thanks Roger. It is comforting to find others who also grieve over the deplorable situation in America right now. And yes, I have written about Calvin and his take on wicked rulers:

    https://billmuehlenberg.com/2016/02/27/calvin-on-wicked-rulers-and-gods-judgment/

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