I confess: I honestly didn't think I'd be returning to this blog, but recent events have required us to return to the Insurgency.
We're not returning to fight - hopefully not yet. We return to prophesy - to foretell what will come for the things we prize: absolute truth, the sanctity of human life, the beautiful institution of marriage, and the rights of parents to make reasonable decisions for their children. And two persons are threatening what we hold dear.
Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton.
I won't relay to you how they came to be on the ballot. What scares me most (and the reason that I'm reigniting the Insurgency) is that we hear Christians in the streets proclaiming that we must support Mr. Trump to protect the Supreme Court from liberal judges.
Today we return once again to debunk the issue.
Why the Supreme Court Matters
Many people that I respect (and will continue to respect) say that if Ms. Clinton wins the presdiency, she will appoint liberal judges to the Supreme Court. Now this presumes that the US Senate confirms them (and it begs the question as to why we're not hearing more about the senate races this year, but I digress), but I grant them this: they're probably right.
Of course, Pres. Reagan appointed four justices to the Supreme Court (all of them leaning conservative or on the conservative side of moderate), so even if Pres. Clinton got to appoint four justices to the Court, it wouldn't be the first time this has happened. Just the first time that conservatives have been on the other side of the appointments.
Mr. Trump has created a list of possible candidates that are, all things considered, pretty conservative. Some of them (Sen. Mike Lee for example) are people that I may not personally agree with on all the issues (Sen. Lee is a Mormon, and I think that he is incorrect in his perception of Jesus of Nazareth), but I trust him: he does what he says he'll do. I don't require politicians to agree with me, but I do want to men and women in office that I can trust.
So when a friend of mine says that they are concerned about Ms. Clinton becoming the president, I understand - after all, the Supreme Court of the United States is a pretty big deal, isn't it?
What if it's not? Hear me out.
The Christian Witness in the 21st Century
It is no shock to anyone that there are many people who have...less than supportive...things to say about Christians. They are portrayed as judgmental, condescending, and don't tip well at restaurants right after coming out of the Sunday morning service.
And it's hard to say the media is biased when Christians support a man like Mr. Trump. A cursory glance around the internet will inform you of what he has said and done, and in the name of keeping this page out of the "R" ratings we will not indulge in details here.
But it baffles me how Christians are adamantly defending his statements and actions. Excuses of, "well, it was just talk" (as if "talk" is excusable: the author of James would disagree). Proclamations that "he is a sinner" as an excuse for sin, as if repentance was not required. And this point deserves a bit more elaboration.
The "Repentance" of Mr. Trump
Now in fairness, the man has issued an apology for some of the things he has said. But anyone who had siblings growing up knows that just because someone says the word "sorry" (which, by the by, is not present in the apology) and the word "repentant" are not the same words. It takes one to know one, and I'll be the first to say that I wasn't always repentant when I said "sorry" as a child.
But we can see this also from his actions. A man who is truly sorry for demeaning women, speaking with lewd words, and treating women like property to be abused and assaulted with impunity would (at the very least) close the strip casinos that he has made thousands of dollars from (and, just in case you were wondering, he was the first person to start one in the United States, just in case we forgot). He would speak with greater respect to people, and yet we see him speaking lewdly in both digital and personal venues constantly.
We do not see a repentant man - we see a man who is making a political move as damage control. And it pains me to see people defending such a man while still flying the banner of "The Christian Right."
The Impact: It Hurts Our Witness
And this hurts our witness. I don't blame non-believers who look at this story and think that Christians are hypocritical. Because we are being hypocritical.
If Former President Clinton had said these things, we'd be seeing Christians jumping up and down asking, "Hey: look at this man who demeans women! He is not fit to be president!" We know this because it happened in the 90s.
I was only a boy, but I still remember asking my mom was adultery was, and the painful discussion that ensued afterwards as my parents helped to explain to me what had happened.
But because we're afraid of Ms. Clinton, Christians across the country are willing to turn a blind eye. "Your vote doesn't mean you condone everything they say or do" they say, though it is precisely because of what Ms. Clinton says that they will not vote for her.
I agree with Rev. Al Mohler: never before have I seen so many believers act so hypocritically because of politics.
So what's the answer, Centaur? What do we do?
We must learn to be okay with letting the Supreme Court go.
The Reality of Persecution
Let's be honest: what's the worst that can happen if Ms. Clinton wins? People claim we'll lose the First, Second, and Tenth Amendments. Sure - we'll grant that. Churches may be forced to perform marriages they don't approve of, create bathroom policies they don't want to make, and Christian folk may be asked to make cakes for weddings they don't approve of. Yes, let's grant those too.
What do we have? A world similar to that of St. Paul, St. Peter, St. James - others who died in persecution because they loved Christ more than the laws of Rome. They faced great discomfort, were chased across the known world, and were prosperous in spreading the Gospel because of their witness and testimony.
What we really have on our hands is a case of Christians wanting to avoid persecution. We are afraid that the comfort that we take from our laws will be stripped away, and people will take our money, our businesses, our homes, our jobs, our livelihoods, our freedom, our very lives - which is what's happening right now to our brothers and sisters overseas.
We have a "cultural Christianity" in the United States where Christians tie their American freedoms to their Christian religion: they value their guns more than the doctrine of inerrancy. But for centuries the Church has thrived under the heel of persecution, and is the norm across the globe today.
So I'll be bold and ask the question: "Is it bad if we should find ourselves in a state of persecution?" Is it bad for our witnesses if the "cultural Christians" who love the world more than Christ are weened from our ranks? Is it bad for our witness if people see a love that is stronger than hate finally spring from the Church?
Is it so bad if we must become a people despised and rejected by men, marred beyond human likeness, as our Savior was?
Do we really lose much if we lose the Supreme Court of the United States?
Yes we do. And we must learn to count it all joy.
And that is what the Insurgency will be: a place of joy for weary travelers who love our Maker above our freedoms, our testimony above our comfort, and the approval of our God over the approval of men.
I understand if you don't agree with me. But allow me to be the prophet for a moment: a decision is coming for all of us, and it will soon be upon us. Give heed to how you will answer it.
Watching the stars,
"I watch the stars, for it is mine to watch." ~ Glenstorm, Prince Caspian