By, Susan Kuebler
I do not consider myself an evangelical Christian, except perhaps in the tradition of St. Francis of Assisi. He told his followers, “Preach the gospel at all times. If necessary, use words.” But I do respect some of those leaders who identify as “evangelical.” Billy Graham especially and his son Franklin has done good work with his organization Samaritan’s Purse.
History tells us that “the church was built on the blood of the martyrs.” Those people willing to die rather than deny their faith because the government was against them. Even today, around the world, we see examples of Christians facing persecution, imprisonment, and death to defend their faith. But not in America.
The religious right has traditionally supported the Republican Party, although some of them did have trouble swallowing a Mormon, Mitt Romney, as the nominee in 2012. Their reasons may be varied, I believe that most of them sincerely believed that the GOP best aligned with their beliefs and values.
But what I have heard coming from so-called leaders of the evangelical movement have not only profoundly disturbed me, they have done considerable damage to the message of all Christians from both the left and the right. To become a Christian means accepting more than just a religion, it means accepting a way of life, as well an entire world view.
Jerry Falwell Jr. said that we have to “put Christian values on hold until after the election.” Ben Carson, using essentially the same words said: “Sometimes you put your Christian values on pause to get the work done.” To quote the Geico ad, “That’s not how it works. That’s not how any of this works.” As a Christian, you never put your values on hold. Those values are what sustain you as a follower of Christ, that support you during the “dark night of the soul.” St Paul said it best in 2 Timothy 4:67 “I have fought the good fight. I have finished the race. I have kept the faith.”
Christians must continue to fight the good fight. That doesn’t mean we have to win whatever the cost. We must finish the race. We don’t have to win if winning means sacrificing our beliefs. And we must keep the faith, no matter the circumstances, the pressures, the politics of the day.
Jesus told us to take up our crosses and follow him. He never said we could put them down if they become inconvenient.
Jesus never said, “Blessed are those who hunger and thirst after righteousness when it is politically expedient.”
Ask yourself this question: If you were put on trial for being a Christian, would there be enough evidence to convict you?” From their statements, Jerry Falwell, Jr. and Ben Carson should get off scot free.
“For what shall it profit a man, if he gains the whole world, and lose his own soul?” Mark 8:36
But for Trump? Trump?