Friday, January 01, 2016

Ted Cruz Is (Sorta) Right

Gentlemen (and Ladies), Start Your Pandering!

If you can bank on anything you can bank on this: 2016 will see an unprecedented level of pandering by Republican politicians toward evangelical Christians, their most loyal and reliable lapdogs. It started early with Senator Ted Cruz calling for an "energizing" of the Body of Christ. Ted sez:
“If we awaken and energize the body of Christ– if Christians and people of faith come out and vote our values– we will win and we will turn the country around,” Cruz told volunteers on a conference call Tuesday.
Cruz also said that he is organizing a coalition of pastors in early states including Iowa and South Carolina.
“We’re working to have a lead pastor in each of the 99 counties in Iowa, 99 pastors are organizing other pastors,” Cruz said. “We’re doing the same thing in South Carolina, organizing pastors in 46 counties to motivate and organize other pastors.”Cruz warned that, as the election nears, the attacks on his campaign will become more vicious.
“I want to tell everyone to get ready, strap on the full armor of God, get ready for the attacks that are coming,” he warned. “Come the month of January we ain’t seen nothing yet.”

Unfortunately a call to energize the Body of Christ to campaign for, donate to and vote for Senator Cruz is likely to get a more positive response than a call to energize the church to reach the lost or support native missionaries in third world countries or strive for biblical literacy in the church or feeding the poor or....well for anything the church is actually supposed to be doing. Cruz and other politicians are doing what the church has failed to do for hundreds of years, namely uniting various congregations, organizations and denominations to a single cause. In fairness, sure there is a lot of the same thing going on among "progressive" churches but let's be honest, they are killing themselves off so quickly that they will be a non-factor in 2016 and probably be largely nonexistent by the time the 2020 elections roll around. You can hardly get three evangelical pastors from the same town to work together on anything but when politics are the topic you can get statewide coalitions of clergy.

Why is it that when we are facing a Hillary Clinton presidency the church will unite together but when we are talking about actual works of ministry we still see each other as competitors instead of brothers? I think the answer is mostly based on distrust of Christians that are different from us and of course money. 

Instead of manning the phones and putting up yard signs for political candidates, imagine if we harnessed that energy to encourage Christians to help support and encourage each other. Instead of calling people to offer them a ride to the polls maybe we could visit our neighbors and see how we can help them. Heck, if we could just get more Christians to actually read, study and ponder their Bibles they would recognize that putting on "the full armor of God" has absolutely nothing to do with the presidential aspirations of Ted Cruz. 

Unlikely I know but if the morning of January 1st is not a time for reckless optimism, when is?

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