Ad Spot

December 5, 2020

Cal Thomas: Where should evangelicals go after Trump?

By Cal Thomas

Evangelical Christians have unquestionably been a loyal and largely unmovable base of support for President Donald Trump since he has been in office and in some cases before. Should the election results not be overturned by recounts or court decisions, where do they go and what should they do?

Perhaps no evangelical pastor has been a stronger and more consistent supporter and defender of President Trump than Dr. Robert Jeffress, who leads the 13,000-member First Baptist Church in Dallas, Texas.

In an essay written for FoxNews.com, Jeffress urges his fellow evangelicals to return to their first love. He’s not calling for their withdrawal from politics, but for them to focus on something that is often beyond understanding.

Presuming a confirmed win by Joe Biden, Jeffress asks, “What is God doing in this outcome? Why would He allow this to happen?”

The presumption is that the God of the evangelicals should be on the side of Republicans and conservatives, but as scripture notes, “For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, declares the Lord.” (Isaiah 55:8)

While acknowledging that “for millions of Christians across our nation” the election of former Vice President Biden and Sen. Kamala Harris “is a bitter pill to swallow,” Jeffress writes he once quoted Daniel 2:21 to Donald Trump the year before he was inaugurated: “It is God who changes the times and the epochs. He removes kings and establishes kings.”

Jeffress adds, “Human government and rulers change at God’s direction and design. Our faith and our salvation lie not in any human ruler, but in the ruler of rulers, the King of kings. The fact that God has established authorities means that by obeying the government, we obey God.”

For many that is going to be the bitterest pill of all. How can they pray for an administration that promotes values and ideologies they oppose? The scriptural command leaves no room for debate, much less disagreement.

This is another opportunity for evangelicals to obey what their leader — Jesus — commanded them to do. While He presides over governments and rulers, what influence on culture and even government would it have if evangelicals en masse began obeying His commands? As most should know and have heard in sermons in many of their churches, these include, “You have heard that it was said, ‘Love your neighbor’ and ‘Hate your enemy.’ But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, that you may be sons of your Father in heaven. He causes His sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous…” (Matthew 5:43-45)

That politics and politicians may work contrary to evangelical beliefs does not mean they have been deprived of opportunities to do good. On abortion they can support a local pregnancy help center. When it comes to reaching poor children trapped in failing schools, they can start a fund to help at least some escape to good private schools.

Poverty? A church might organize retired professionals to reach out to the poor to help them find meaningful work and train them to qualify for it. They could also visit those in prison, as Jesus commanded. It isn’t difficult to find them. Research ministries already helping and volunteer.

Jeffress concludes his essay by saying that God’s command “applies all the same, whether the emperor was the faith-friendly Constantine, or the evil emperor Nero.

“When Joe Biden becomes president, we should commend him for the things he does right. We should condemn the things he does wrong. And above all, we must pray fervently for our president. If President Biden succeeds, we all succeed.”

As Baptists might respond: Amen!

Email Cal Thomas at tcaeditors@tribpub.com.

Comments

Elections

Biden officially secures enough electors to become president

Crime

Ex-investment manager accused of defrauding NC Mutual Life Insurance Co. out of $34 million

News

NC Senate leader Berger names chief of staff

Nation/World

Two men found dead at Fort Bragg identified; no details on cause released

Nation/World

Most American troops leaving Somalia

Health

As hospitals cope with a COVID-19 surge, cyber threats also a concern

Coronavirus

Two COVID-19 deaths reported at Meadows of Rockwell, one at Autumn Care nursing home

Crime

Halifax County man charged in Rockwell vehicle break-ins

Coronavirus

Judge names third-party expert to scrutinize COVID-19, closures in NC prisons

Crime

Durham man charged, held in Rowan after three-county chase

Education

North Rowan High School pantry opens for students

Coronavirus

State officials reluctant to add new restrictions

Business

Warner Bros. will stream all 2021 films on HBO Max

Business

Artist paints new sign on recently renovated Barnhardt Jewelers building

Elections

Hand recount in NC chief justice race set to begin next week

News

Cooper eyes bipartisan panel on health care

Local

Public input scheduled, changes to downtown coming as part of Main Street plan

Nation/World

Optimism growing for COVID relief bill

Local

Spencer nails down plans for Christmas drive-in

Crime

Blotter: Man arrested for probation violation faces charges for bringing drugs into jail

Crime

Three charged with drug, weapons offenses following a traffic stop

Coronavirus

County, state set new records for COVID-19 as growing positivity rate signals ‘critical levels’ of community spread

China Grove

Growing greens: Main Street Marketplace hopes hydroponic garden will help organization grow

Education

State Board of Education delays decisions on Faith Academy, East Spencer charter school