How did we get to the point where just about every election win or loss for the Republican Party becomes a political win or loss for evangelical voters? It is not just the consecutively defeated Republican Party that has to reassess its political strategy and future, politically invested evangelical Christian leaders must also face the discomforting realities of losing to Mr. Obama and the Democrats twice in four years. While Republican pundits are blaming their defeats on their party’s inability to attract sufficient numbers of non-white voters, evangelicals must not see the election’s results purely as a matter of political strategy.
Unless evangelicals learn the right lessons from their resounding political defeats in 2008 and 2012, they will soon be doomed to being a political gong - loud and noisy but not necessary to contribute to an orchestra.
So what are some of the realities that evangelicals must face, urgently?
1. Evangelicals are not political king makers anymore. They must rethink their political role, if any. Should this not be the right time to begin putting some holy distance between the evangelical community and the Republican Party?
2. Evangelicals no longer have a unifying leader. The days when Pat Robertson, James Robinson, Jerry Falwell, and Ralph Reed rallied evangelicals and other Christians into a “moral majority”, those days are gone. This time around, Rev. Franklin Graham seemed to have twisted the arm of his 94-year-old father, Evangelist Billy Graham, to run that full-page ad in the Wall Street Journal in an attempt to rally the evangelical troops. But not even that could withstand the Obama wave. By the way, that move was so unlike the Billy Graham that we know: throughout his ministerial career, Dr. Graham has been a spiritual father to Republican and Democrat presidents alike.
3. Popular mega church pastors like Rick Warren, Joel Osteen, T.D. Jakes, and others are not interested and would probably not be successful in taking up the mantle of political leadership for evangelicals. Other mega church pastors like Robert Jeffress and John Hagee who are political enough to desire that role would not be accepted by a sizeable number of evangelicals. Thus, for years to come, this leadership vacuum will remain.
4. Evangelicals have failed to reach this generation of young people with the gospel in ways that would move Christian youths to apply their Christian beliefs to how they vote. I am referring here specifically to our Christian youths' devotion to protecting the right to life of an unborn child, and that marriage is a covenant relationship solely between one woman and one man.
In the 2012 election President Obama won 60 percent of the youth vote, probably including youths that attend evangelical churches and schools. Only 36 percent of youngsters voted for Romney, the evangelicals’ guy. Our youths do not seem to share our beliefs about the sanctity of human life and the integrity of biblical marriage, or other matters seem more important to them than those fundamentals.
5. Evangelical leaders cannot afford to keep endorsing or promoting Republican candidates, or any political candidates for that matter. That is not their biblical role, unless they want to be more devoted to being followers of Moses, Elijah and John the Baptist than following the examples of Jesus Christ, Peter and Paul.
We would be hard pressed to find in the pages of the New Testament the role of political activist for the Christian minister, especially as it concerns replacing one head of state with another. We do have a biblical role to champion the cause of the oppressed - as exemplified by the lives of William Wilberforce and Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. - but that is not the same as regime change.
Will politically charged evangelicals finally learn what King Uzziah learned the hard way, that even the God of Heaven has put in place a division of labor, specializations of service for politicians and preachers (2 Chronicles 26:14-21)? The moral of Uzziah's demise is this: The politician must not do the ministry of the preacher, and the preacher must not presume the role of the politician! The one (politician or priest) who insists on crossing that line of demarcation may end up with dire consequences far more devastating than leprosy, or serial defeats at the ballot box!
“Uzziah, it is not your job!”
In a separate blog, I will attempt to explain what evangelical pastors should do through our church families, once we accept the reality that the political arena of electoral politics is not our main hangout. I get it now like never before!
Source: Foxnews.com/opinion, Christianpost.com,