Three views on the "Christian" sales pitch going on for Ted Cruz from a Houston pastor, a Dallas evangelist and a conservative Jewish writer. THIS is aimed at my very good Christian friends who are missing the damage of what they are doing to their fellow brothers and sisters, as the champion Ted Cruz.
A friend of mine sent me a devotional today from a Houston pastor which articulates succinctly (along with the words of Martin Luther) what is so terribly wrong with the Big Religion jihad against Donald Trump and the fanaticism for Rafael Cruz. This includes many personal friends who are religious leaders, as well as Dr. James Dobson, Max Lucado, and even new bible thumper Glenn Beck. I directly wrote this Facebook post to Max Lucado and this one to Glenn Beck discussing this very issue. (Beck responded after learning I supported Gingrich in '12 with the idiotic accusation that Newt, the man who actually passed more conservative legislation in history - including Reagan - was a progressive liberal. No similar response to Cruz when he used an FDR quote last night.)
The notion pushed by these Christians is that Ted Cruz is a godly righteous man and Donald Trump is the devil. They even then attack OTHER Christian pastors, and Christian political leaders like Pat Robertson, Dr. Jeffress, Jerry Falwell, Jr. and Sarah Palin with hideous insults - even questioning their relationship with Jesus.
This sickens me to no end. I have no problem with religious leaders expressing political thoughts. I think it's necessary. Forget the hypocrisy of accepting that Cruz is "godly" in conduct and that they are literally encouraging fellow Christians to break the law and the Constitution by voting for him. By making the alleged "righteousness" of Ted Cruz the reason to vote for him, instead of his policies; and by censoring the REAL MESSAGE of the gospel that mere trust in Jesus Christ is sufficient to cover everyone's sins and inequities, they perpetuate the same grievous sin as the Galatians in focusing 'works' that will never make ANYONE, including Ted Cruz, acceptable to God.
Read this and then watch the video of another evangelist who believes Trump is an ass called by God...or something...
The So-Called Gospel
2 March 2016
A great deal of what is called gospel is actually law. American evangelicalism is awash in law preaching, which evangelicals misname "gospel" preaching. For example, "four square gospel" is really four square requirements, that is, the law. What God does for our salvation is turned into the things we do so that God will save us. Sometimes, what we need to do includes relatively innocuous requirements on clothing and appearance. Modesty of dress is after all a good thing. It simply does not save. Sometimes, so-called evangelicals hand out voting guides and tell people who to vote for, if they are truly "good Christians."Yesterday was primary election day in Texas, and so there has been a fair amount of this kind of "evangelical" electioneering here in the last few weeks. That kind of campaign rhetoric will get turned up a notch in November. The language of these evangelical true believers often savors of jihad, as though they know exactly which candidate is favored by God. God's favor is exhibited by the particular campaign positions held by the candidate. One candidate has been claiming that among his other stellar qualifications for office he "loves God." I am sure God is flattered to hear it. Perhaps, more importantly, God loves him in Christ (1Jn 4:19). But that is not so important in popular evangelical thought.Luther warns those who will be pastors against the redefinition of the gospel that turns it into law. Such a redefinition is not a small thing. It overturns the whole Christian faith and turns it into mere religion. This religious reinterpretation of the gospel makes a pseudo-Christianity that becomes just one religion among many, which shares with all religion legalism, ritualism, and the performance of works.
Martin Luther"I urge you, who are to be the teachers of others, to learn this doctrine of the true and proper use of the law carefully; for after our time it will be obscured again and will be completely wiped out. Today, we are still alive and are insistently urging this doctrine. However, there are nevertheless very few, even among those who want to seem 'evangelical' [Lutheran] and who acknowledge the gospel with us, who correctly understand the use of the law. What do you think will happen when we have been taken away? Right now I am not even speaking about the Anabaptists, the Neo-Arians, and the spirits who blaspheme the Sacrament of the body and blood of Christ; they are all as ignorant of this proper use and function of the law as the papists are. They have long since defected from the pure doctrine of the gospel to laws. Therefore they do not teach Christ. They boast and swear that they are intent on nothing except the glory of God and the salvation of the brothers, and that they teach the Word of God purely; but in fact they distort the Word of God and twist it into an foreign meaning, so that it is forced to tell them what they themselves imagine. Under the name of Christ, therefore, they teach their own dreams, and under the name of the gospel nothing but laws and ceremonies. And so they are and remain true to form, that is, monks, performers of works, legalists, and ritualists; all they do is to think up new names and new works."Martin Luther, Lectures on Galatians, 3.19
PrayerLord Christ, You have done all to procure our full and complete salvation. Set us free from the law that we might never again be enslaved to works. Help us to use our freedom to place ourselves at the service of our neighbor that the freedom You give us might never become a excuse for spiritual laziness. Amen.For Pastor David Rakotonirina of Madagascar, that the Holy Spirit would lead him to continue faithfully confessing the true faith of our Lord Jesus ChristFor all those who lack gainful employment, that they might find work that is in keeping with God's vocation and of service to othersFor Ellie Scherer, that she would recover fully from cataract surgery with sight restored by God© Scott R. Murray, 2016
The POLITICAL reason to not vote for Cruz is easy. A) He would never get elected in a general election and B) if he were, he would never accomplish anything. But those arguments (here) can be discussed elsewhere.
The pastor below joins many other evangelicals (a substantial majority in states who have already voted in the primary this far) who believe that although seriously flawed morally, he can fix the system that has left the country in the state that it is in. And this guy isn't just an average Sunday pastor. He's spoken at Harvard and many college campuses, and hangs out with many of the very well connected political operatives involved in national campaigns.
Pastor Lance Wallnau - Trump Is the Jawbone of an Ass.
There are a number of prophetic voices in the Christian circle who heard SPECIFICALLY that Ted Cruz is NOT God's choice. As with all prophecies, it is up to us EACH individually to discern and judge the word by the guidance of the Holy Spirit.
I personally know a couple of the Cruz endorsing pastors and was shocked with their response when I asked them to read this NY Times piece by David Brooks. Brooks is an interesting guy in that he was a liberal, studied under William F. Buckley and is slammed by both conservative and liberals for his views. Most responded with a knee jerk denunciation since he writes for the NY Times immediately calling it a liberal hit piece. They might be surprised to know that Brooks advocates morality, actually defended the Gulf War and is staunch defender of Israel. Hardly a typical NY Times liberal. But THIS excerpt from his article is very telling:
So at the end of the day, when Ted Cruz fails to win the nomination, not only will these Christian leaders have divided Christians and encouraged their followers to be 'accusers of the brethren," they also have demonstrated the very OPPOSITE of the nature of Christ both in their message of what righteousness REALLY is, and how they can attain it.In 1997, Michael Wayne Haley was arrested after stealing a calculator from Walmart. This was a crime that merited a maximum two-year prison term. But prosecutors incorrectly applied a habitual offender law. Neither the judge nor the defense lawyer caught the error and Haley was sentenced to 16 years.Eventually, the mistake came to light and Haley tried to fix it. Ted Cruz was solicitor general of Texas at the time. Instead of just letting Haley go for time served, Cruz took the case to the Supreme Court to keep Haley in prison for the full 16 years.Some justices were skeptical. “Is there some rule that you can’t confess error in your state?” Justice Anthony Kennedy asked. The court system did finally let Haley out of prison, after six years.
The case reveals something interesting about Cruz’s character. Ted Cruz is now running strongly among evangelical voters, especially in Iowa. But in his career and public presentation Cruz is a stranger to most of what would generally be considered the Christian virtues: humility, mercy, compassion and grace. Cruz’s behavior in the Haley case is almost the dictionary definition of pharisaism: an overzealous application of the letter of the law in a way that violates the spirit of the law, as well as fairness and mercy.