II Corinthians 10:5

"Casting down arguments and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ."

November 6, 2008

Looking Ahead

We are saddened today for two reasons. First, that our country has elected a godless man for her next president. Second, that we, through this blog, did not do enough to convince most of our Christian readers that sticking to our values in an election is more important than winning, and that fearing God is more important than fearing a socialist. Our intention with this final Election 2008 article isn’t to “beat a dead horse” or to judge you, our readers, but our focus is on future elections and the role Christians play in them.

A common response to our articles has been that of trepidation in regards to the policies that would be enacted under an Obama presidency:

“As far as Barack Obama goes, he is more than just an inexperienced, arrogant man-he is the most extreme, communistic candidate to ever be put forth by the "Socialist Party." He would devastate our nation's economy and put the government in charge of what we the people ought to be in charge of.”

“An enemy to our conservative roots and the people of our country. He is the greatest threat put forth as a presidential candidate.”

“I just think that by voting for McCain, we would keep a worse candidate out of office. Even though McCain might support stem cell research on aborted embryos, a lot more babies would be murdered under an Obama presidency.”

“How can we be voting our values if we knowingly let Obama into office?”

“Obama will oppress the unborn and increase the devil’s foothold in society”

“Obama is the champion of pork barrel spending, earning a 0% rating from the Citizens Against Government Waste and Spending”

What comes across in these comments is that the focus was on doing everything possible to prohibit Obama from gaining the presidency (which is pragmatism), because it seems your greatest fear would be for him to hold that office. In this election, the greatest mistake that was made was that Christians did not heed the principles given to us by God. God has given us values through His Word. We did not fear Him, because we sacrificed those values, to vote for someone who contradicted them. We did not honor God because we put Christian support behind someone who didn’t support the values we hold.

Another response we got was that Scripture doesn’t bar voting the lesser of two evils. Once again, the Bible gives us principles, values, and standards by which to live. These standards must permeate every aspect of our lives, including choosing and disqualifying any candidate who doesn’t represent those standards. Just because we live in a secular society, doesn’t mean we should compartmentalize our beliefs. Rather, we must adhere to them when it is unpopular and even dangerous. (Matthew 5:13-16) How will we ever truly influence the secular realm of politics if we never take a stand by voting for our Christian beliefs?

A major issue Christians used in justifying their vote, was that it would save the lives of thousands of unborn children. Indeed, this should be a very big issue for Christians, because God hates the shedding of innocent blood. However, it is clear that neither of the two major candidates were pro-life. Is it any wonder that people didn’t feel good about voting for either one of them?
So our question is, why would you vote for anybody who kills the innocent, under any circumstance? Is this putting our support behind a candidate who God looks upon with favor? Are we putting ourselves into a position where God can bless us, when we support a candidate who supports the killing of the unborn? The general response to this was that many more lives would be killed under an Obama presidency, or that McCain wasn’t as bad. Now, humor us for a moment. Imagine that Barack Obama is running against Adolph Hitler. Suddenly, Obama is the “more pro-life candidate”. Do we as Christians now put our support and influence behind the lesser of the two killing-candidates? No, of course not! In the same way, why would we put our support behind a flip-flopping, "semi-life" candidate, when our God-given beliefs and values tell us otherwise? You can’t be part way pro-life - you either are, or you aren’t.

We said that the third party candidate most likely wouldn’t win. But at the same time, one would have to have been quite unrealistic to think that John McCain had a chance of winning, especially here in Minnesota. So, if winning is our criterion, why didn’t we all vote for Obama? As Christians, we don’t vote for the person with best chance of winning, we vote for the candidate who best represents the values and beliefs that we hold. Above all, God commands us to be faithful. Consider the story of Daniel. He was faithful and obedient to God, no matter the cost, and as a result God blessed him, even in a pagan land. Elections are a test to see wherein our faith lies. Is it in God, or a candidate? “He who is faithful in what is least is faithful also in much; and he who is unjust in what is least is unjust also in much.” - Luke 16:10 As Christians, winning is not the “end-all”, being faithful to God’s commands is. One way we honor God is by keeping the convictions He has given us. If these convictions aren’t worth losing for, then they’re not worth having at all.

So, come next election time, when it again will seem like it is the most crucial election yet, we would urge all of our readers to make their highest priority that of honoring God, no matter what – our country can’t afford to have us not to.

“Therefore, my beloved brethren, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that your labor is not in vain in the Lord.” -1 Corinthians 15:58

“If My people who are called by My name will humble themselves, and pray and seek My face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin and heal their land.” -2 Chronicles 7:14

-Daniel Wanschura
- Meagan Wanschura

In the first place, a wasted vote is a vote for someone you know does not represent your own beliefs and principles. A wasted vote is a vote for someone you know will not lead the country in the way it should go. A wasted vote is a vote for the "lesser of two evils." – Chuck Baldwin

"If you will not fight for the right when you can easily win without bloodshed; if you will not fight when your victory will be sure and not too costly; you may come to the moment when you will have to fight with all the odds against you and only a small chance of survival. There may even be a worse case: you may have to fight when there is no hope of victory, because it is better to perish than to live as slaves." -Winston Churchill


Aronne said...

“Once again, the Bible gives us principles, values, and standards by which to live. These standards must permeate every aspect of our lives, including choosing and disqualifying any candidate who doesn’t represent those standards.”

In that case, I would never be able to vote again.

“However, it is clear that neither of the two major candidates were pro-life.”

It is not clear. I recall reading a Pro-Life flier which gave the endorsement to John McCain and Sarah Palin, saying both were definitely pro-life. It also stated that a vote for a third party is a vote for Obama. Though McCain does not represent the most conservative position on any of the issues (his economic plan is almost as bad as Obama’s), his are worlds better than Obama’s. As I have said before, it depends on what you believe "vote" means. Is it an endorsement or a selection?

Let’s take the Minnesota senatorial race as an example. I voted for Norm Coleman (go Norm!). He and I do not see eye to eye on many issues, but I respect his views and his sincerity. I believe his is a godly man with good intentions for a politician. He is also one of the few of my representatives that actually makes an effort to respond to the opinions I enter on congress.org. The only other person to ever respond is President Bush, who twice sent letters through a secretary.

Anyway, I voted for Mr. Coleman not because I think he is the best man in the world to hold his office, but of the two men who would occupy the office, he is the best (and the only pro-life) candidate in the election. If I were to vote for the best man for the office, I probably would have written in Matthew O’Sullivan.

The same goes for president: you mentioned pragmatism. The alternate, idealism, is just as ineffective. If we will not vote for a man who does not share all our views, we might as well write in our Pastor’s name. WHERE DO WE DRAW THE LINE?

One issue you continued to name, abortion, is a good place to start. You contend McCain is not pro-life. His is not 100% pro-life, but is at least 95%. His positions are defensible, though not correct or justifiable. Of course, the question still remains, “Where do we draw the line?”

Now all of us must submit to the authority of our new president-elect, Barak Obama. None of us wished for this, none of us wanted it, but we have it. Something tells me this may be better for Christianity than for America. When the government begins to persecute, as it may, Christianity grows stronger. It is high time for such growth.

(Though this criticism may be premature, I don’t think Chuck Baldwin would be a better president either of the two main candidates. Despite his numerous conservative positions, many of which are badly needed in government, he seems to be a second Ron Paul, something I would avoid hardily. Both he and Mr. Paul are isolationists, something no longer an option for the USA.)

We have been given horrible materials to choose from in this election. (I think the party system has thoroughly proven its ineffectiveness.) What is the solution? The Republican party needs to get back to its roots. (Listen to some Ronald Reagan speeches!) Godly men and women need to step up to the plate in politics, never compromising morals to please the immoral. That is the best kind of Maverick of all.

Anonymous said...

Reading all these discussions has proved very interesting indeed!
I think aronne made some good points in his comment, but I was also struck by the statement in the article:

"Imagine that Barack Obama is running against Adolph Hitler. Suddenly, Obama is the “more pro-life candidate”. Do we as Christians now put our support and influence behind the lesser of the two killing-candidates? No, of course not!"

I definitely agree with aronne about Chuck Baldwin though, this was a difficult election for me in that I could not single out even a third party candidate that truly supported my values (except Sarah Palin, who was of course a VP candidate) .


canada said...

YES!!!! He got in, I knew that you 3rd party voters would take away votes from McCain, and therefore hand the presidency to Obama.

You guys think that by voting your conscience you were going to hopefully elect and "save" America with your Chuck Baldwin. Well he never had a chance and never will, so you all wasted your votes.

If you guys are so concerned about abortion as you say you would have voted for the guy who had a chance, but too late.

Anyways that was a lot of talk and debate for nothing you guys lost and we won.

Isaac Alzen said...

I agree with aronne when he first quoted the post and then said, “'Once again, the Bible gives us principles, values, and standards by which to live. These standards must permeate every aspect of our lives, including choosing and disqualifying any candidate who doesn’t represent those standards.'

In that case, I would never be able to vote again."

In a sense we are always voting for the lesser of two evils.

However, I don't agree with aronne that McCain is 95% pro-life. McCain believes that the decision on keeping abortion legal should be left to each individual state. That is basically saying that each state should hold the right to be able to decide to kill innocent lives. That's wrong and unconstitutional.

Ted Sands said...

Considering Isaac's comment, I support McCain in his stance on state's having the say. The federal government is a limited government and states should be able to govern and rule independent of each other (hence the word "federal"). Now whether each state agrees with our morality is another issue altogether. To say something immoral is unconstitutional is equating two things that aren't equal.

Isaac Alzen said...

Whoops, you're definitely right Ted. I can't believe it, but I got the Declaration of Independence mixed up with the Constitution (life, liberty, pursuit of happiness)!! That was dumb.

Isaac Alzen said...

But wait, doesn't also say in the Bill of Rights that we have the "right to life"? Many Christians believe a baby's life starts before it's conceived. Therefore, murder and abortion are unconstitutional according to our belief, correct?
State governments can't overrule the US Consitution can they? So if life starts before conception, the states shouldn't be able to declare abortion legal, right?
Maybe I'm just totally confused and wrong.

jairus said...

Great blog, very interesting! I’ve been going back and forth on this issue since last November, and, to be honest, I was glad I didn’t have to make a decision. Although I am not too impressed with the outcome of the election, perhaps it is the best thing for this country
From a political standpoint, maybe it will give the American people the wakeup call they need. This will hopefully keep moderate republicans out of the race in the future. Maybe this is what some people need to realize that their liberties are being curtailed. If it happens slowly be bringing more and more liberal conservatives onto office, we won’t notice until it’s too late. (remember the frog in the boiling water)
From a spiritual stand point, this may be what it takes to bring revival. Looking through history, all the major revivals occurred at a time of crisis. Evangelists have said that the best places to witness were the worst parts of the city where the drug dealers and gang members lived. People there didn’t need to be convinced that they had a problem. I have hopes that good will come out of this.
Also, even if it only gets worse, possibly the best thing that could happen is for persecution to come to this country. Look at what has happened in Russia and China. No, I’m not looking forward to it either, but I believe it is coming to this country. Read to book of Revelation—things are only going to get worse.
On another note,
Isaac alzen said
“McCain believes that the decision on keeping abortion legal should be left to each individual state. That is basically saying that each state should hold the right to be able to decide to kill innocent lives. That's wrong and unconstitutional.”
I am not sure that I agree 100%. The constitution has three different places that talk about this. Article 1 section 8 and article 2 section 2 clearly state the powers of the federal government (congress and the president). The office of president is actually an extremely limited one. The president is to command the armed forces, to grant pardons, and to make treaties with the approval of the senate. No mention of anything such as abortion, marriage, business, oil, environment, education, or anything else. In fact, no mention of anything of a regulatory nature, except for collecting taxes in congress. None of the major issues that dominate the election are the president’s job. Amendment 10 clearly says that anything not in the constitution is the individual states responsibility. The federal government’s job is to protect, not regulate.
However, since the issue has gone as far as it has, I would never vote for an anti-life president. It may be that the murder of an innocent life is worthy of a federal government ban. It should have never come that far in the first place. Roe v Wade, the start of the insanity, (which actually had its roots with FDR) needs to be overturned and given back to the states, first of all. I firmly agree with Ron Paul and Chuck Baldwin’s stance on the issue. I believe they have the clearest view of the Constitution.

Ted Sands said...

Issac, in the 5th Amendment of the Bill of Rights, it says "No person... shall be deprived of life, liberty, or property without due process of law..." So, the issue is now "what defines a person." This is also the issue with murder since the definition of such is "the killing of a human being by another human being with malice" or in some states, "the killing of a person by another person..." So, the argument that is raised in the abortion debate is "when is a person a person?" Is it at conception? Is it when they become able to move independently or as some would say a "quick child" in the womb? Is it when they are born and are able to live apart from the mother's placenta or, in today's technologically advanced medical field, is it when they are capable of being sustained independently of their mother on an incubator which would be at about 5 or so months og gestation? So, this is the issue. No one is denying that persons have the right to life, etc. What they are denying is what constitutes a person. What should be left to the states in the absence of agreed upon definition of "person" is law that criminalizes abortions or otherwise restricts or permits them - whether by defining "person" or simply making law that states "person or fetus" or something similar.

Trying not to open another can of worms, this is a similar issue with homosexual marriage - the definitions are key and if marriage is defined as one man and one woman, then "man" and "woman" will have to also be legally defined because they will eventually be challenged as well.

If a nation does not have Judeo-Christian morality implemented and sustained by an indwelling power a.k.a Jesus Christ/Holy Spirit, their is no end to redefinition of previously accepted terms. Defining terms and forcing a morality is putting a band-aid on a a bleeding aorta.

David Quimby said...

Dan / Meg:

This thread has been interesting... thanks for stimulating some productive discussion.

A few thoughts...

The main reason that the 'conservative' position (whether represented by McCain or someone else) didn't win in 2008 isn't ideology -- it's the 8-year performance of the Bush administration. The Bush administration had a golden, 8-year opportunity to set the stage for another 8 years of conservative government. The factors that play in the assessment are perception vs. reality, how voters interpret results as good vs. bad performance, and short-term vs. long-term perspective.

Do you view the performance of the Bush administration as good or bad? Let's summarize the main performance dimensions as Iraq, terrorism, and the economy.

- Could we have achieved more results with less resources and less time in Iraq? Does the voting public, in general, even agree that higher performance in Iraq would've been worthwhile? History will judge the utility / futility of our efforts to establish a seat of democracy in the midst of a barbaric region -- the 2008 election may be too soon to judge. My guess is that Bush could've achieved the minimum threshold of preserving conservative political momentum by preserving (not dissolving) our commitment to the Iraq agenda 'and' improving our performance on that stage. With mixed results, he left the door open for debate over our effectiveness in Iraq -- and the liberal position took advantage of that opening. Regardless of whether higher performance in Iraq was feasible, I think that American society (in its current balance of liberalism / conservatism and patience / impatience) would've needed to see more progress in order to prevent liberal exploitation of the issue.

- Despite mixed results in Iraq, the Bush administration earned a perfect score in preventing another 9/11. It's a mystery to me why the conservative position didn't emphasize this dimension more effectively -- that Obama will be soft on terrorism, even inept -- that he's ideologically aligned with advocates of terrorism like Bill Ayers (Weather Underground) and Louis Farrakhan (Nation of Islam). Obama's image was Teflon to the Jeremiah Wright episode. The conservative position should've beat those drums insistently and relentlessly until the mainstream (biased, liberal) media succumbed to the truth and shined the light on Obama's true biography. Russian president Dmitry Medvedev ordered the deployment of short-range missiles near his country's border with Poland on the day after the election; Iranian president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad congratulated Barack Obama on his victory -- the first time an Iranian leader has offered such a gesture to a U.S. president-elect since the Islamic Revolution of 1979; journalists with a pan-Arab news channel were congratulating each other on election night as if Obama were their president-elect. I think that Obama will be tested in the international realm -- and I think that we'll see another 9/11 during Obama's regime. Not that we need to fear -- our God is in control. But terrorism is certainly a dimension of the Bush administration that deserved more visibility and credit.

- The economy is in a dismal state... we could argue over reality and perception, cause and effect -- whether we're just beginning to experience the 'Clinton recession' on the 8-year lag that's inherent in a system as large and complex as the U.S. economy; whether the credit crisis resulted from conservative deregulation or irresponsible liberal community-development policies. In the end, I think that a conservative candidate could've prevailed over economic issues -- it's performance in Iraq (and under-emphasis of terrorism) that ultimately cost the election.

Because of Iraq, I'm gonna say that the 2008 election was 'unwinnable' from the conservative perspective -- even if the left presented a socialist / terrorist like Barack Obama and the right presented a conservative like Mitt Romney, Mike Huckabee, or Fred Thompson. In the week before the election, it was pretty clear that the election was 'unwinnable' by John McCain. Kinda validates your argument that voting for John McCain didn't represent a vote for a candidate who could win -- not a realistic prospect. A vote for a third-party candidate, like a vote for John McCain, could conceivably have diminished the leverage of Barack Obama's perceived 'mandate'. And the 'mandate' that a candidate / party receives / perceives is an important factor -- not as important as winning, but an important factor nonetheless. Already the liberal drums are beating for Obama to "be progressive" -- to "go big and go liberal -- and not channel Clinton-style incrementalism". Insofar as Obama perceives a mandate, he'll find justification in stepping to that drumbeat.
Obama, Be Progressive!"