The first of many Republicans announced their run for the White House today, with the award for being the first to officially announce going to Texas Senator Ted Cruz. Senator Cruz seems like an OK guy, reasonable conservative in some areas and best of all he has been dubbed " absolutely unfit to be running for office" by noted authority on being unfit to be running for office, the well known intellectual heavyweight Governor Jerry "Moonbeam" Brown, of the train-wreck we know as California. I can think of no higher praise than being chastened by the addled Governor of California.
Anyway, Senator Cruz of Texas decided to announce his candidacy not in his home state of Texas. Not in D.C. Not in the early primary states like Iowa or New Hampshire. Rather he went to Liberty University, the world's largest "Christian" college that has hosted such
In choosing to stage his announcement at Liberty University, a Baptist school founded in 1971 founded by the late Rev. Jerry Falwell, Cruz — who is also Baptist — signaled that he will cast himself as a principled social conservative and align himself with the evangelical voters who play a critical role in the early primary states. He marbled his speech with references to God, and told the story of his father, who left the family home when Cruz was three years old but later returned, having found redemption through Jesus.
“There are people who wonder if faith is real,” Cruz said. “I can tell you in my life it isn’t without a shadow of a doubt.”
“I believe God isn’t done with America yet,” he said later.
I agree with the Senator but I would say that God isn't done with any nation on earth yet, and none are more or less in His focus than any other. Someday the Son will reign on the new earth and the nations as we know them will have ceased to exist. Until that eschatalogical fulfillment we are left with citizens of the Kingdom of God living and witnessing to the kingdom of Caesar.
Expect this to be a theme among a number of candidates in the upcoming primary elections. When speaking to a presumably Christian audience they will invoke God, country, guns, the war on terror and apple pie, although not necessarily in that order to raucous applause. You can also be sure that God, or at least invocations of that word, will be largely absent when speaking to the Chamber of Commerce or other more secular groups. Thus it goes on election cycle after election cycle as religious Americans of all stripes get patted on the head and given a little bit of lip-service to cement their unwavering support, just like black voters are treated by the Democrats.
I don't question Senator Cruz's sincerity or his faith. He is simply following the prescribed formula for GOP primary success. Perhaps someday we will see the majority of believers ceasing to fall for this charade year after year, but obviously not this year. We are in dire need of prophetic voices within the church who will call for a position of powerlessness and weakness rather than a vain and polluting thirst for political power. Not voices who substitute the Religious Right for the even more delusional Religious Left but rather for voices that reject both as attempts to yoke the Kingdom of God with the kingdom of man. Those voices are out there and even in the cacophony of "God Bless America" and roaring crowds, their voices are being heard.
What of you Christian? Will you continue to follow the vain and doomed path of power or will you take the downward path of Christ?