Tag Archives: America

I’m a “5-Issue” Voter

Today is election day in America.

Today is the day we Americans – the ones who care – take advantage of a blood-bought privilege to determine who will represent us in the governance of our nation, from local races all the way to Washington, D.C.

Now, it’s only a “mid-term” election, but it’s still very, very important. That is why I will head to the polls with as much gravitas as I would should this be an election to determine the President of the United States.

Some people will vote solely along political party lines. Others will vote based on “who’s best for the job.” They are the ones who claim to put person over party,”principle over politics.”

But let’s be honest, folks: this election (as was the last one) is far more complicated than simple either/or choices. No one is perfect, so it’s not always easy to say there’s one candidate that’s clearly better than another. And, to be fair, depending on where you live and who’s in charge, party affiliation isn’t always a black-and-white issue.

However, there are some issues that help guide how I will vote in each election. Some folk like to think of themselves as “single-issue voters.” I, on the other hand, am more like a “5-issue voter.” Therefore, I thought I would share them with you this morning, just in case you are looking for any last-minute advice.

5 Deciding Issues

1 The First Amendment. Without a doubt, the Constitution is always under attack. One reason is because so many are woefully ignorant of what’s in the Constitution – most have never even read it! But when it comes to whom I vote for, I will NOT vote for someone who threatens to dismantle my right to free speech and my right to worship. To be specific, I will oppose a candidate who wants to enact legislation meant to silence the pulpit, chill open discussion of ideas, or restrict Christians from participation in the public square.

2. Right to Life/Life of the Unborn. Let me be very clear, I will not vote for any man or woman who condones abortion on demand. Granted, the choice might get complicated if both candidates believe the same on this issue, but differently on others, but as a general rule, if there is any other choice, I will not vote for a person – or a Party – that supports and condones the willful and unnecessary destruction of innocent human life in the womb.

3. The Second Amendment. This is America, not Europe or Australia. I will not vote for someone who wants to take away my right to bear arms. George Washington said: “Firearms stand next in importance to the Constitution itself. They are the American people’s liberty teeth and keystone under independence.” For a more amplified defense of this position, I would refer you to an essay by Walter E. Williams of George Mason University (the source of the above Washington quote) entitled “Constitutional ignorance.

4. Originalist Judges. It is tragic that so much power is now placed in the courts. Yet, knowing the way things have been going as of late, it’s probably not going to change any time soon. Therefore, it is more important than ever for an informed voter to cast his vote for a candidate who will support the selection and nomination of judges who will not seek to write law but enforce it. It is also important that the candidate support the selection and nomination of judges who do not try to imagine what the Founders were thinking, but what they wrote. It is not the responsibility of the judge to change law based on his or her opinion of it; it’s the job of the branch that writes the law in the first place – Congress.

5. Freedom. Believe it or not, most people are clueless as to what a genuine “right” is. That is why we have seen laws like the Affordable Care Act passed. Because many claimed healthcare to be a natural human right, Americans were forced to give up actual rights in order to keep from being fined. Any “right” that imposes a “duty” on another is not a true human right because it cannot be enjoyed simultaneously by both individuals. For a great explanation of what is a legitimate human “right,” I would encourage you to read the following piece by Professor Charles W. Baird: “#10 – ‘I Have a Right!'”

So there you have it. These are the issues that help guide how I will vote in each election. I hope they help.

Now, go vote!

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Filed under Abortion, America, community, current events, politics, voting

Preach Civility At the Very Least!

To be honest, I’ve had people tell me that I preach too much politics from the pulpit. Some of them have been members of churches where I pastored, and some of them have left to find other places to worship (presumably). But if you think I’m going to apologize at this point, you’re mistaken.

I have nothing to apologize for (not even for ending this sentence with a preposition – which I despise, by the way). Despite what the complainers may say, I don’t stand behind a pulpit and tell people whom to vote for or what party to which they should belong. When the subject needs to be addressed, or especially when it falls in line with a topic within an expositional study of Scripture, what I do is address the issue from a biblical position so that believers know what the Bible has to say. After all, if the Word of God is to be our rule and guide for life, shouldn’t it guide the way we act as citizens?

During the last presidential election cycle I never once told anyone to vote against Hillary Clinton and for another candidate. However, I did not hide what I believed would happen, specifically to the churches of America, should Hillary Clinton be elected president, and I based that entirely on her statements and precedent set by the past administration. But at the same time (and I have the recording to prove it), when preaching through the book of Acts, I came to the passage where Paul dealt with an oracle that had a “pythian spirit” and warned against the dangers of electing a man who considered Paula White a spiritual counselor.

The fact of the matter is that, as a shepherd, a pastor has the responsibility to not only preach biblical truth but to apply that truth in the context of the lives of the congregation. After all, why teach of the “sufficiency of Scripture” if I don’t practice what I preach by offering Scripture as a guide for every-day decisions? Especially when those decisions can have a real and tangible bearing on the future of the whole congregation!

Yet, there will be those who disagree with me. They will condemn any preacher like me who dares address any subject that might overlap with an official party platform. Even the appearance of disagreeing with a politician’s actions or beliefs will be used as an opportunity to say that I’m too political.

Is it too political to preach against slavery?

Is it too political to preach the dignity of humanity as the result of being made in the image of God?

Is it too political to preach that women and men are of equal value, not only before God but in the Church?

Is it too political to preach that Jesus loves children and doesn’t want them – or widows – to starve?

Is it considered too political to preach against killing infants in the womb? Evidently.

Is it too political to preach against infidelity, lying, immorality, etc.? Depends. If it’s about Donald Trump, then it’s all good.

Is it too political to call for prayers of peace? To pray for our leaders? During the Trump administration, evidently yes. Now, if I were to be like another pastor who said, “God d**n America!”, that would be just fine.

But I digress.

What about civility? What about praying for our leaders? What about loving our enemies? What about giving our enemies food when they are hungry and something to drink when they thirst? Again, that’s all too political if you don’t support same-sex marriage, abortion, transgender scout leaders, sex education in kindergarten, and anything else that winds up falling under the liberal left’s rainbow umbrella.

But now we have elected officials and public media calling for harassment, abuse, and even harm against anyone remotely connected with the current administration. Does the Bible have anything to say about that? And, if the Bible does address these issues in clear and blunt language, isn’t it worth preaching?

Bless them that curse you, and pray for them which despitefully use you.  – Luke 6:28

I exhort therefore, that, first of all, supplications, prayers, intercessions, [and] giving of thanks, be made for all men;  For kings, and [for] all that are in authority; that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and honesty.  For this [is] good and acceptable in the sight of God our Saviour;  Who will have all men to be saved, and to come unto the knowledge of the truth. – 1 Timothy 2:1-4

Recompense to no man evil for evil. Provide things honest in the sight of all men. If it be possible, as much as lieth in you, live peaceably with all men. Dearly beloved, avenge not yourselves, but [rather] give place unto wrath: for it is written, Vengeance [is] mine; I will repay, saith the Lord. Therefore if thine enemy hunger, feed him; if he thirst, give him drink: for in so doing thou shalt heap coals of fire on his head. Be not overcome of evil, but overcome evil with good. – Romans 12:17-21

I guess if Jesus and Paul said it, it must be too political.

But I don’t preach politics; I preach the Word.

I charge [thee] therefore before God, and the Lord Jesus Christ, who shall judge the quick and the dead at his appearing and his kingdom; Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all longsuffering and doctrine. For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears; And they shall turn away [their] ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables. – 2 Timothy 4:1-4

That’s the real reason people get upset. I really hate it for them. I really do.

But I have a charge, and I must give an account to God, not man. So, I will preach.

Would to God we had more pastors who’d do the same.

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Filed under America, politics, Preaching, Uncategorized

The Magnificent Fifty: Foundation of Faith (Oregon)

Salem, Oregon (Artist: Susan Cassidy Wilhoit)

Oregon Bill of Rights, Article 1, Section 2 (1857)

All men shall be secure in the Natural right, to worship Almighty God according to the dictates of their consciences.


To read the introduction to and purpose of this series, CLICK HERE.

This is the final installment in the series (unfortunately, I posted them in the order I took the pictures, not in alphabetical order). I hope you’ve enjoyed them as much as I’ve enjoyed sharing them with you.

Let me know if you find putting them all under one tab at the top of the blog useful. I’d love for them to be shared, and that might make it easier.

God bless, and God bless these United States of America!

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The Magnificent Fifty: Foundation of Faith (Ohio)

Columbus, Ohio (Artist: Susan Cassidy Wilhoit)

Ohio State Motto (1959): With God, all things are possible*

In 1997, the American Civil Liberties Union filed a lawsuit challenging the constitutionality of the motto. A three-judge panel of the U.S. Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals ruled 2-1 in 2000 that the motto violated the separation of church and state. in 2001, the full court in a 9-4 decision reversed the decision of Its own three-judge panel declaring that the motto does not violate the separation of church and state.

*based on Matthew 19:26


To read the introduction to and purpose of this series, CLICK HERE.

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Memorial Day: A SEAL’s Comments

“Memorial Day is a time to honor the lives of those who would rather die than take a knee when our national anthem is played. But they will fight and die for the rights of those who kneel.”

Robert J. O’Neill (U.S. Navy SEAL, Retired)

Click HERE to read the original opinion piece, “SEAL who shot bin Laden: Don’t wish me a happy Memorial Day”

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The Magnificent Fifty: Foundation of Faith (New Mexico)

Santa Fe, New Mexico (Artist: Susan Cassidy Wilhoit)

Constitution Preamble (1911)

We, the People of New Mexico, grateful to Almighty God for the blessings of liberty.


To read the introduction to and purpose of this series, CLICK HERE.

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Filed under America, Apologetics, community, Culture Wars, Faith, God, politics, The Magnificent Fifty

The Magnificent Fifty: Foundation of Faith (Nebraska)

Lincoln, Nebraska (Artist: Susan Cassidy Wilhoit)

U.S. Supreme Court – Nebraska Legislature (1893) To invoke Divine guidance on a public body entrusted with making the laws is not …an “establishment” of religion or a step toward establishment; it is simply a tolerable acknowledgment of beliefs widely held among the people of this country.

Chief Justice Warren E. Burger delivered Court’s opinion in Marsh v. Chambers, 463 U.S. 783

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Filed under America, Apologetics, community, Culture Wars, The Magnificent Fifty