As I think about the American political scene these days, I have to wonder if American churches are selling their souls to the devil. To any theological purists that are reading this blog, please understand that I'm using the term in a metaphorical sense (in other words, I still believe in eternal security!). Nevertheless, I cannot help but wonder if many Christians are "selling their souls" in the sense that they’re making choices based on what is expedient or desirable rather than on what is morally and biblically right. I was a seminary student when Bill Clinton first ran for President in 1992. Many Christians were aware of his lies and philandering, and of his weak positions on abortion and homosexuality, but they voted for him anyway because they thought he could fix the economy. Compare that with the recent popularity of Donald Trump. His past is at least as checkered as Clinton’s, and his positions on abortion and same-sex marriage are at best vague. Nevertheless, people are flocking to him because he’s “not a politician” – whatever that means. We conservatives were irritated when Clinton’s supporters told us character didn’t matter. If we rally around someone like Trump, aren’t we essentially agreeing that it doesn’t?
My wife Celia is a political scientist. We were discussing these issues the other night, and she made a very astute comment: “Politics is a reflection of the culture.” Our political system is in such a mess because our culture is in such a mess. That is why I do not hold out hope for any politician to fix the biggest problems facing our country. Even if your candidate wins, he / she will only be able to do so much (Trump makes a lot of grandiose promises, but I suspect he and his supporters are in for a rude awakening if he wins). Be that as it may, the politicians did not create the moral and spiritual problems in America; they are merely theresult of them.
So what is the solution? Our only real hope for America is a genuine spiritual awakening. If such an awakening happens, the political problems will take care of themselves. If it does not happen, our country is in trouble regardless of who is in the White House. As Henry Blackaby often points out, true revival always comes from the bottom up, never from the top down. I hope Christians all over America will join together and pray for such an awakening. In the meantime, let us not sell out our moral convictions for the proverbial “mess of pottage”. It is not worth it.