Evangelicals & Political Engagement

The popular refrain is “both parties are flawed” or “there is no party of God.” I believe this sentiment to be sheer nonsense and an attempt to blur the issue and totally muddy the waters. I would submit to you for your sober consideration a committed Evangelical, seeking to be faithful to the Word of God, can, in good conscience, align themselves with the Republican Party, as presently constituted. I don’t offer this supposition absolutely and without qualification, but in the main, the Evangelical can, in most cases, align themselves politically with Republican Party candidates, as presently constituted.

Yet, I first believe it to be vitally important I do not or have never and will never proclaim the Republican Party is not without its issues. The mature believer easily recognizes we reside in a fallen world, so as such, understand all human enterprises are contaminated with sin. Thus, Evangelicals are the first to acknowledge that we await the return of Jesus Christ of Nazareth for an impeccable potentate to rule and reign on Planet Earth. We oft to do so more desperately by the day as we witness the sexual and moral revolution win more and more sway in the public discourse at lightning speed right before our very eyes.

When analyzing the ideologies of any political entity, the astute political observer first must endeavor to understand their national platform. In fact, at every national convention in which the Republicans and Democrats slate a presidential candidate, they first craft and approve their party’s platform as their first official act of business. Theoretically, the candidate who leaves each national convention with their party’s nomination is believed to affirm the tenets of their party. I hasten to emphasize theoretically because, again, we live in a fallen world that has every facet of the human enterprise marred by sin.

The national platform of both major political parties filters downstream down to local elections, even to the lowest level. That is because “Ideas” always have consequences. So, while it will sound like ridiculous and totally unnecessary hyperbole, I agree with my former Pastor, Wes Conner, when he would frequently posit, “I would not vote for a dog catcher if they supported abortion!”

Fair enough! I can sense some readers giving me the eye roll at this point, but I want to interject here that what a person adopts as their worldview will necessarily influence every aspect of their thinking.

Let us now look at some pressing social and moral issues that should concern Evangelicals as they seek to live as faithful ambassadors of Jesus Christ before a watching world, desperate for a vivid example of non-conforming thinking, surrendered to the Lordship of Jesus Christ, and all His Holy Word declares and commands.

Life

The Republican Party is consistently Pro-Life, while the Democratic Party is quite literally the Party of Death, cleverly but misleadingly classifying their position as Pro-Choice when in all reality it is Pro-Abortion. Quite curiously, Dr. Albert Mohler Sr. detailed on his daily podcast today (April 13, 2022), The Briefing, how the radical, liberal wing of the Democratic Party is critical of President Biden’s refusal to deploy the use of the term abortion in public. No Democratic President has employed the use of the actual word “abortion” since former President Obama. They refuse to do so because they understand how divisive the actual verbalization of this dastardly word would have upon the consciousness of even people who are rank and rabid supporters of the Democratic Party,

There is no way in the world a Democratic candidate for President of the United States knows they can run and gain the Democratic nomination if they do not fully affirm and enthusiastically affirm the right to abort the fetus in the womb. A perfect illustration of the increasing escalation of the Democratic Party’s liberal direction would be President Biden’s complete 180-degree change in his support of the Hyde Amendment. [The Hyde Amendment is named after former Illinois Congressman Henry Hyde, which forbade the use of taxpayer money to fund abortion].

Then-presidential candidate Joseph Biden was trailing badly in the 2020 Democratic primary. Many of the leading political pundits postulated if Biden did not have a strong showing in the South Carolina primary, Biden’s low support would force him to drop out of the race. It was this reality that Joseph Biden, after more than THIRTY YEARS of unwavering support and boastful affirmation for taxpayer money never being used to support abortion, changed his long-held support of the Hyde Amendment for political expediency. So much for convictional leadership.

Now, the Biden administration is aggressively attempting to eliminate the Hyde Amendment. Only they can not do so only because they do not currently have the votes due to a fifty-fifty split in the Senate (elimination of the Hyde Amendment would necessitate sixty votes in the Senate [thank God for that]).

Thus, the radical divide between the Republicans and Democrats can not be classified as “both parties are flawed.” That argument is a red herring. One party affirms life while one party is moving further and further devaluing life in open and active rebellion against what the Word of God demands as a first-order principle. I strenuously submit this is not an issue on which Christ-followers can agree to disagree at any point in the debate because:

  • Life begins from the moment of conception and is sacred from that point all the way to natural death, and, in passing, support for the Death Penalty is not a logical contradiction as God has authorized the government (which is one of the three human institutions ordained by almighty God) to legally take the life of someone who commits a grievous offense against someone created in the image of God.
  • Life is sacred, no matter the source of its conception. Meaning that life, created in the Image of God, is still sacred even if that life results from rape or incest.
  • Life is sacred, no matter the state of the status of the fetus. Meaning that life, created in the image of God, is still sacred even if the fetus is diagnosed with some malady or deformity like Down’s Syndrome, mental retardation, or whatever.

The Democratic Party, under the leadership of then-President William Jefferson Clinton, has moved from abortions being rare, safe, legal, and rare to what Catholic Cardinal Timothy Dolan coined as dangerous, imposed, and frequent.

Marriage

The Republican Party affirms, with full chest, that marriage is one man united to one woman [even my Word program imbibes in the new gender revolution] for natural life. As I typed the words, one man, my Microsoft Word program, warned me, “Some readers may find one-man dated or non-inclusive in this context. To avoid distraction, consider replacing it with a neutral term.”

Well, you can color me as outdated then all you want, but I will continue to use the masculine singular manner of communication instead of succumbing to political correction and employing gender-neutral language so as not to offend. Now, while the sensitive Evangelical never wants to be offensive, just for the sake of being offensive, the Evangelical, seeking to be biblically faithful, refuses to imbibe in moral insanity.

The Democratic Party, led by then-President Barack Obama, used its political capital to argue before the United States Supreme Court for the legalization of same-sex marriage as the Law of the Land in all fifty states of these United States of America.

Do I need to lay out further the radical divide between America’s major political parties regarding their worldview on marriage? Then-President Obama is the poster boy for how fast the ideological and moral positions of the Democratic Party have changed with warp speed. Former President Willliam Jefferson Clinton signed into law what came to be known as DOMA, the Defense of Marriage Act. That was then but most certainly not now. In a mere matter of years, the Democratic Party has moved from defending God’s institution of marriage to openly rejecting the concept of biblical marriage, period, end of story, full-stop, and all without blushing (see Jeremiah 6:15).

It is intellectually dishonest to advance the totally false notion there is not a radical difference between the Democrats and the Republicans. One, the Democrats, explicitly disobey and are wantonly hostile to God’s revealed prescriptions, while the Republicans affirm and defend the traditional understanding of holy matrimony. It is more than intellectual dishonesty; it is a downright, blatant lie of the first order.

Gender

The Republican Party affirms the Judeo-Christian understanding of gender, while the Democratic Party, as evidenced by then-presidential candidate Joseph Biden’s open declaration, during the second presidential debate with then-incumbent President Donald J. Trump, that someone as young as six-years-old has the legal and I would suppose the Democrats would argue as their “moral” right to declare their gender opposite of the sex determined by their Creator at birth.

Just this week, the Biden administration announced a plan to add the gender marker “X” to U.S. Passports. I draw the reader back to my book, Weighed and Found Wanting. It is there I recount it was then-President Barack Obama who sanctioned his Education Department to issue the infamous Dear Colleague Letter, which instructed all public educational institutions, receiving federal funds, that they had to make all public restrooms available according to the person’s preferred gender and not their gender assigned at birth.

Honestly, I have not run all week, and I have a half marathon in sixteen days and a wake-up, so I need to bring this blog article to a close. Of course, much, much more can be said, and, trust me, it has been said by more people than just me and by people who have said it more elegantly and more brilliantly.

Tragically, I know my feeble words will not find a landing spot for many professing Evangelicals, especially among professing African Americans. The vast majority of professing African Americans Evangelicals and especially non-Evangelical African Americans mock me and have totally disregarded my hypothesis. I do not disclose this to garner sympathy. I am a big boy and understand this rejection is ultimately not against me; if my exposition is biblically accurate, this rejection is against God.

It still hurts (regardless of my spiritual status before God, I still reside in this flawed human body), and it still saddens me deeply. Whether you ever come to believe me, I solely write, teach and speak as I do because I firmly believe that is what almighty God has commissioned me to do. I understand my assignment. It may well never garner me much public adulation, but if I am faithful, I will hear my Lord and Savior greet me with three precious words, “Ricky, well done,” immediately after I draw my last breath in time and space. That, my friend, will be more than enough to compensate for any and all human rejection I experience in this world.

It is wholly disingenuous to postulate there is no difference between the Democratic and the Republican Party. Just looking at what I term as the Big Three, the divide between both parties can be no more distinct and polar opposite.

Again, my postulation is not and has never been the Republican Party is the Party of God. That is a felonious accusation and obscures the pressing issue for the conscientious Evangelical. Each and every member of the Republican Party is a rebellious sinner, and I do not for one minute present the Republican Party as anything other than people just like me: flawed vessels in jars of clay.

My critics need to raise their level of logic and argumentation. As an Evangelical African American, I have only three viable options pertaining to my political engagement:

Option 1: vote for a candidate on the ballot to include third party candidates.

Option 2: Do not vote for any candidate on the ballot. I chose to do this in the 2012 presidental election between Mitt Romney and Barack Obama. In retrospect, based on now-Senator Romney’s recent vote for Supreme Justice nominee Kentanji Jackson Brown’s nomination to the Supreme Court, I am now all the more confident my decision not to vote for him was well-founded.

Option 3: vote by writing in a candidate.

The Democratic Party has volitionally made it biblically impossible for me to align with them. Thus, I am left with either voting for:

The Republican candidate

A Third-party candidate

A Write-in candidate

Not voting

I can never be absolutely sure as to what choice to make, but one thing, according to God’s revealed Word, is crystal clear, at least for me. As presently constituted, I can not, and will not, in good conscience, align myself with the Democratic Party.

As always, let me know what you think. Until then, keep your hands to the plow and seek to serve for an Audience of  One.

With fear and trembling,

Ricky Kyles DEd.Min

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