CultureWatch

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

CINOs and RINOs are Both Selling Us Out

Oct 18, 2016

In my books they are pretty much the same: Christians In Name Only and Republicans In Name Only. While there are many genuine Christians who reluctantly and unenthusiastically will vote for Trump because Clinton is so bad, there are plenty of folks who really believe Trump is our human messiah who will somehow make America great again.

It is the CINOs and RINOs that I offer my remarks to, not the millions of crestfallen Republicans who feel their party has betrayed them with this fraudulent candidate, nor the numerous real deal believers who will vote for him but only as a last resort.

Right now plenty of people who call themselves Christians and conservatives think there is only one absolute priority: dump Hillary at all costs. That for them is the most important thing we can possibly do, and nothing else really matters. Sorry, but it is exactly because I am a Christian and a conservative that I reject such idolatrous thinking.

There are other things far worse for the believer than having Hillary elected. One obvious thing is to drag the name of our Lord Jesus Christ through the mud as we tell the world that biblical values – along with conservative principles – really don’t matter, since the only thing that does matter is getting our boy Donnie in.

trump-8This is destroying our Christian witness and shaming our Lord – and that to my way of thinking is far worse than one or two terms of the evil Clinton. Sure, she will further increase persecution of Christians. But is that the worst thing there is?

While I greatly value religious liberty, I know that persecution is the promised lot of the believer, and the faith of the saints is often greatest during such times. We are not to seek persecution, but neither are we to avoid it at all costs, especially if it may be part of God’s hand of discipline and/or judgment on an immoral, ungodly and rebellious America.

Worse than losing more freedoms is when we lose our Christian testimony. When we no longer elevate Christ as the supreme good and seek his glory above all else, but put some human would-be messiah on a pedestal and pretend he will somehow save America, then we have betrayed our faith and made Christ secondary in our lives.

And it should be obvious that millions of folks who claim to be Christians are already doing this big time. Simply witness their dogged defence of Trump and the lousy excuses they make for his immoral behaviour. Christians rightly said we could never support someone like Bill Clinton when he did similar things, but now they say Trump can do whatever he likes and we will even make excuses for him. ‘After all, he must win no matter what.’

That is hypocrisy and that is the demolition of our public testimony for Christ. Sorry folks, but if the choice is to let America keep going down the sewer, or betraying my Lord, I know which one I will run with. Sure it would be great to somehow rescue America, the land of my birth and a country I so greatly love.

But no nation is immortal. They all come to an end eventually, and it seems clear that the US is going down the tubes fast. Barring widespread, heartfelt repentance and revival on the part of the church, I see no hope for America. I sure don’t see any hope in a Trump presidency.

And the signs of Christians selling out are everywhere to be found. When our Christian leaders actually tell us that political pragmatism must trump biblical values, then you know the game is up. Ben Carson for example effectively said that we have to put our Christian values on hold until after the election.

This is what he actually said: “I would love us to bring back our Judeo-Christian values and begin to teach those things and emphasise them at a time other than a political election – let’s do that, but right now the train is going off the cliff. You got to understand that.”

And when another Trump supporter, Jerry Falwell Jr., was asked about what he thought of Carson’s comments he agreed, saying “absolutely”. You can listen to both revealing, and frightening, interviews here:
www.theamericanconservative.com/dreher/the-ben-carson-option/
therightscoop.com/put-christian-values-hold-election-jerry-falwell-jr/

Wow. That is scary stuff. Political expediency trumps biblical values and truths. And these are so-called Christian leaders (well, Carson is SDA). That is as good a way to destroy Christianity in America as anything Hillary will do.

Let me share some thoughts from Brian Mattson from his superb piece, “Freedom or Integrity: Evangelicals, Choose One”:

As a public theologian, my paramount concern in the coming election is the public witness of the Christian community. I believe the health of society requires a strong Christian influence, and societies that lack it tend to be dysfunctional societies. Part of obeying the gospel call to love our neighbors is seeking to influence society with the claims of Christ. I also believe the two major party candidates for President of the United States are both threats to Christian public witness. Whether they are equal threats is the matter we must decide.

He then examines the very real threats Clinton poses to Christian freedoms. It is obvious she will be real bad news, as so many have outlined already (see for example the Michael Brown piece I link to below). And then he speaks to the damage Trump would do to our Christian witness:

If Hillary Clinton is a threat to the freedom of Christian public witness, Donald Trump is a threat to the integrity of Christian public witness. I understand and sympathize with Christians privately and quietly voting for Donald Trump because they cannot cope with the thought of the Clintons back living on Pennsylvania Avenue. I do not understand or sympathize with promoting, cheerleading, and excusing Donald Trump. The spectacle has been personally horrifying to me, and I believe it should be horrifying to all of us.
I have heard it said that Donald Trump is the only thing standing between us and divine judgment. I submit to you that Donald Trump is himself divine judgment. God is holding a mirror to our faces. What better representative of contemporary America than a greedy, proud, boastful, narcissistic, and licentious man? Christian reaction to this man ought to be the opposite of cheering, much less enthusiastic cheering. God’s societal judgments come, Paul tells us in Romans 1, by “handing us over” to our sins. Has he not? Donald Trump is us. Indeed, we have been handed over to two perfect representatives of American culture in the early 21st century: corrupt fools.
I believe the promotion and support of Donald Trump by Christian leaders is just as damaging to Christian public witness as the prospect of a Clinton presidency. Under Clinton, we may eventually be muzzled. Under Trump, we might be free to broadcast from the rooftops, but everyone will ignore us. Rightly ignore us.

He concludes:

Which loss is worse? The freedom of our public witness, or the integrity of our public witness? I’m inclined to believe it is the latter, for at the end of the day our integrity is that for which we are most directly responsible. Our political freedoms rest on many things outside of our control; our integrity rests on something solely within our control. I believe we will be judged accordingly.
Yes, President Clinton may usher in her progressive utopia, complete with jail time for preaching Leviticus or Romans 1. But why should we fear she who can destroy the body? Much better is to fear God. To my mind, there has been precious little fear of God among the endlessly elastic and pragmatic Christian court prophets. That, too, is a sign of God’s judgment. Read First and Second Kings sometime.
I believe the Christian reaction to this election should be sackcloth and ashes. Revulsion and repentance. I have made my decision, and all I can do is commend it to you: I refuse to lend my name to either candidate. I will either vote for a third party candidate or write in the name of somebody I can sincerely imagine as an admirable, principled leader. I do not believe this is “throwing away” my vote. I believe it is, in the wise words of Bill Buckley, “Standing athwart History, yelling, ‘Stop!’” I am calling for the Christian community to join me. Fighting for the freedom of our public witness should not come at the expense of the integrity of our public witness. This is the corner into which the Republican party has painted us.
What kind of public witness is it to sacrifice our integrity for our freedom? The message is that all of the old accusations are true: evangelical Christians are, as Cal Thomas once called them, “blinded by might.” Princes, power, and politics are their true allegiances. They live in fear rather than trust. God’s people should say, “No.” Forcefully and en masse.

I fully agree. Let me finish with the closing words of four columnists who have just recently written about the election. While all four have somewhat differing conclusions to their important articles, they all say things which I strongly concur with.

“The marriage of convenience is over, at least for now. Perhaps the best we can hope for in this sad election cycle with these two unsupportable candidates is that we do not allow a national disgrace to become the Great Evangelical Embarrassment.” –Al Mohler
www.washingtonpost.com/news/acts-of-faith/wp/2016/10/09/donald-trump-has-created-an-excruciating-moment-for-evangelicals/

“I do understand that many of you cannot find it in yourself to vote for Donald Trump, but whatever you do, do not vote for Hillary Clinton, and please encourage your conservative Christian friends not to vote for her either. To do so is to hand her the tape to gag your mouths and the rope to fasten your hands. You have been forewarned.” -Michael Brown
stream.org/be-assured-president-hillary/

“Now, it’s possible to hold The Moral Vote View and vote for Trump. But it’s also possible not to vote for either and hold The Moral Vote View. There is no binary choice here. The Moral Vote View simply asks that you acknowledge that every vote carries a cost: how far are you willing to compromise yourself to show approval for a candidate?” -Ben Shapiro
www.dailywire.com/news/9984/myth-binary-choice-ben-shapiro

“That a number of ranking Republicans, including John Thune of South Dakota, the third-ranking senator, called on Trump to quit the race and open the way for Pence, has little practical effect before the election but enormous implications should Trump be elected. So does the fact other Republican leaders, like Kelly Ayotte of New Hampshire, said they plan to write in Pence’s name when voting for president on Nov. 8. That’s also what I plan to do. These moves point to Republican members of congress potentially voting to impeach Trump. Accordingly, though I personally could not possibly vote for Trump, I will root for him to win – and then to be removed, replaced by President Pence.” –Daniel Pipes
www.danielpipes.org/17016/what-a-conservative-to-do-vote-for-pence

Freedom or Integrity: Evangelicals, Choose One

[1843 words]

10 Responses to CINOs and RINOs are Both Selling Us Out

  • Thank you Bill for steadying us voyagers and restraining us from abandoning a doomed ship before we are in site of land. As you say, far worse than loss of our ship is throwing ourselves into the raging sea, where we are bound to be lost. Far worse than the loss of our nation, our sovereignty, our freedom of speech, our economy, all that we fought for in WW11, is our integrity and our faith in the Lord Jesus Christ, who is the only rock and firm place on whom to place our feet.

    During WW11 our parents fought for freedom from the tyranny of Hitler, but it was not for righteousness or the truth of Jesus Christ we fought as was proved in the following decades where like the Israelites, who having escaped from Egypt, we plunged into all the excesses of any old slobbering debauchee and the comfort of religious compromise and idolatry.

    The good ship, SS Great Britain, which is now only a name on old maps, has had a stay of execution with Brexit, but it is only a matter of time before it becomes grounded on the rocks.

    Like- wise, SS America might have a stay of execution with Trump but it too will become grounded.

    David Skinner UK

  • America is only repeating what has happened in Britain.

    On June 2nd 2013, a macabre ceremony took place in Westminster Abbey in London, in which her Majesty the Queen Elizabeth 11 celebrated the 60th anniversary of her Coronation, in 1953.

    Sixty years ago, she was asked by the Archbishop of Canterbury, “Madam, is your Majesty willing to take the Oath?” And the Queen answered, “I am willing.”
    The Archbishop then asked. “Will you solemnly promise and swear to govern the Peoples of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, the Union of South Africa, Pakistan, and Ceylon, and of your Possessions and the other Territories to any of them belonging or pertaining, according to their respective laws and customs?”The Queen anwered, “ I solemnly promise so to do.”
    The Archbishop further asked , “Will you to your power cause Law and Justice, in Mercy, to be executed in all your judgements?”
    The Queen answered, “I will.”
    Archbishop the asked, “Will you to the utmost of your power maintain the Laws of God and the true profession of the Gospel? Will you to the utmost of your power maintain in the United Kingdom the Protestant Reformed Religion established by law? Will you maintain and preserve inviolably the settlement of the Church of England, and the doctrine, worship, discipline, and government thereof, as by law established in England? And will you preserve unto the Bishops and Clergy of England, and to the Churches there committed to their charge, all such rights and privileges, as by law do or shall appertain to them or any of them?”
    The Queen answered, “All this I promise to do.”
    Then the Queen arising out of her Chair, supported as before, the Sword of State being carried before her, went to the Altar, and made her solemn Oath in the sight of all the people to observe the promises: laying her right hand upon the Holy Gospel in the great Bible (which was before carried in the procession and was now brought from the Altar by the Arch-bishop, and tendered to her as she knelt upon the steps), said these words:
    “The things which I have here before promised, I will perform and keep. So help me God.”

    Tragically, beginning in 1967, with abolishing the laws against abortion, homosexuality, pornography, adultery she has consistently reneged on her holy vows and given her royal assent to one piece of wicked legislation after another, culminating, 46 years later, with her passing of the same sex marriage legislation in 2013 [1]. If this was not enough she also signed the Commonwealth Charter [2] which attempts to force 54 former Commonwealth countries to engage also in the wickedness of homosexuality [3].
    Romans 1 says, “Who knowing the judgment of God, that they which commit such things are worthy of death, not only do the same, but have pleasure in them that do them.”

    There are many who said that the Queen had no choice; and that were she to have refused to sign Parliament’s bills, she would have caused a constitutional crisis. Clearly she had no faith in God, who is above all nations. After all she will not live for ever. The nation does not depend upon her remaining of the throne. Her first responsibility was to God to whom she had made holy vows. She should have left the fate of Britain in His hands and not compromised by giving into Parliament. Instead of a sudden constitutional crisis, which would have woken the World up to what was happening, we have had a slow one, causing the least amount of alarm or evident co-lateral damage, like a building being demolished by controlled explosions.

    [1] Stephen Fry and the Queen. Slide to 13minutes 23 seconds
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zBy3hEpRNm8
    [2] Queen signing the Commonwealth Charter
    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2290824/Queen-fights-gay-rights-Monarch-makes-historic-pledge-discrimination-hints-Kate-DOES-girl-means-equal-rights-throne.html
    [3] Shirley Richards, a lone voice in the wilderness.
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SiIjmj9kJds

    David Skinner UK

  • Thanks David. I certainly value and appreciate freedom, democracy and the like, but as you rightly note, they cannot last long without a moral and spiritual foundation – just as the US founding fathers insisted. If we try a political fix to the former without stressing the later, we just will not make it. So the need of the hour is not who might become president, but the church getting on its collective face before God and repenting.

  • Like Queen Elizaberth 11, who seems not to refuse any piece of legislation that passes across her desk, no matter how evil, in order to save her throne and the “Constitution” , so it seems there is no depth of depravity and corruption to which either Trump or Clinton might plunge and the American people won’t endorse it, in order to save their country.

    What does it profit a nation to win its own sovereignty, yet lose its soul.

    David Skinner UK

  • Thanks Bill for the article. I have just read a couple of OpEd pieces that explain how horrific a Clinton Presidency would be. They have not changed my mind about Donald Trump – I would not vote for him.

    The challenge around the integrity of our Christian witness is a worthy cause to not vote for Trump. Let me here seem to go off on a tangent but it is related to a second ultimate better outcome to not vote for Trump. If a Clinton Presidency is chosen by the people and the worst comes to be:
    1. Abortion at any time for any reason.
    2. Infanticide for any reason
    3. Euthanasia for any age and any reason.
    4. Bestiality, Polygamy, Polyamory in addition to the current sexual abominations already legalized
    5. Execution of Christians by the State or encouraged by the State for their witness of the Gospel and warnings of the consequences of sin.
    6. Arbitrary arrest, confinement, mock trials and torture (physical or mental) of Christians by the State or encouraged by the State.
    7. Shutting down of all Christian churches, removal of all Bibles, forced shutdown of Christian businesses and forced firing of all Christians from employment.
    then our witness would be something truly of value in God’s eyes. In the end we live and, if necessary, die for our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. The harder the persecution of Christians, the better the witness we can give. Think Islamic State or Mao’s China, or Stalin’s Soviet Union.

    We follow our Saviour who has won the victory, who has conquered sin and death. We are called to be witnesses of Him to the world, still called to love all people in the World – and if any or all the above were to happen – our God would still reign, and his offer for Salvation through Jesus Christ alone would still be valid for anyone [except the unforgivable sin, but I don’t want to digress from my point at this juncture], should they turn, repent, acknowledge their wickedness, ask Jesus for forgiveness and for his perfect sacrifice to pay the penalty that otherwise justly should be meted out on them and then produce fruit as evidence of or faith over our God-given and God-foreknown lifetime.

    The harder the persecution, the greater our witness.

    Many in this world don’t listen to us now even though we have – and Bill you have – integrity in spades. Does that mean we should give up our integrity? No – God may call us to sacrifice everything because His love for a lost humanity may require our ultimate sacrifice in the temporal. It may yet bring a wavering few more into the Kingdom, or God willing, a flood. Revivals start when the people become desperate and turn towards repentance as the first step.

    Hell is final and eternal, God will see to that: he will keep the wicked there for eternity. Heaven is also final and will last for eternity: He will keep the righteous there for eternity too. I would rather Mao, Stalin, Hitler, and any sinner avoid that fate, and if God clearly calls us to pay the ultimate price, then we must.

    This doesn’t mean I seek out persecution, but it does put a Clinton Presidency, in the light of eternity, a small issue. What is more serious is her eternal destiny, as well as Donald Trumps’. It doesn’t mean I should have a martyr complex – I must still seek to be fruitful and produce the fruit of the Spirit in the time that God has given me, to be a blessing to my fellow Christians, witness in love, be cheerful, be serious, be hopeful and keep faith, bring the light of the Scriptures to unsaved people who so desperately need it, be a good father and husband, be faithful, diligent, trustworthy, be careful with money, know the Scriptures in my heart, plan my life’s activities like I will live past 100 years, yet be urgent for the time is short.

    Were Trump be elected and we lose our Integrity, then would God’s ultimate purposes be stopped forever? No, not for one moment. But woe to those who lost their integrity, and woe to the one’s would would otherwise have been saved by a courageous witness under persecution.

  • Thanks Matthew. Whatever it takes for Christ to prepare the Bride.

  • Several years ago I was doing some research on the Scottish Covenanters during the 1600’s. They refused to comply with the British government concerning the divine right of the king over the church. It was a bloody time with much persecution and even martyrdom inflicted on the brave Covenanters. Not all the pastors went along with the dissenters. They were called the “compromising pastors” On the night before he was hung, the young Covenanter pastor, Donald Cargill was visited by one of the compromising pastors who had come to try and get him to recant and save his life. He said to Pastor Cargill, “Cargill, when you die and I die we will both go to the same place. Would you have more?” “Yes,” replied Cargill, “I would have God glorified on earth.” I’ve never forgotten that incident and think of it many times as the world grows darker. There is a Higher purpose to our lives as Christians and it calls for us to keep our focus on Christ. What we do, what we say, even what we think should reflect that Higher purpose of glorifying our Lord here on earth no matter the cost.

  • Many thanks indeed for that Jo. Great stuff.

  • See Daniel 12 verse 1 and verse 10. I think we are now here.

  • Jacob Prasch casts a historical glance at the Americans’ voting record

Leave a Reply