Tuesday, November 04, 2008

Why I'm voting for... gulp... McCain

Regular readers will know that I have never been a fanboy for McCain. Search his name on this blog, and you'll see some scorching comments. I've never thought that much of him as a Senator, and he was at the bottom of the list of my choices in the GOP primaries.

Yet I'll be voting for him today, unhesitatingly and with great enthusiasm.

Some have been waiting for me to explain why. I think I can be brief and pointed: I really already answered the question.

Some will go to that link and sputter, "But... but that isn't a list of reasons why to vote for McCain! It's a list of reasons why you can't vote third-party, or not vote."

Correct. And so, it is a list of reasons why I'm going to vote for McCain. Because there are only two other options, and they're not wise nor responsible nor rational options, as I argued at length.

Well, there is a third option: I could vote for Obama.

Frankly, I wish I could. Unlike scores of black voters (like the lady on this meta, at 11/03/2008 06:05:00 PM), skin-color has never played a part in my voting choices. But I will say this: were I presented with two candidates of equally acceptable convictions and character and resume, and one were white, the other black — I'd be inclined to the black candidate. Just to put another stake in this country's shameful history of racism, and to realize King's dream.

But Obama is not that candidate. I do not believe a Christian can morally vote for Obama.

Why not? There are scores of reasons, but one is sufficient. Obama's advocacy for child-murder. His position is not inadequate. It is not unacceptable. It is not deficient. It is not regrettable.

Obama's position on abortion is monstrous.

You vote for him, you are complicit. You have no excuse. You can never look back at Hitler's Germany and scold those who assisted his Hellish designs. You're them.

"Okay," you say. "But you still haven't told me why I should vote for McCain."

Again I say, I really have. He's the only other option. McCain is the only one who can stop Obama from turning back all legal advances in restricting abortion as his first act in office, with the stroke of a pen.

So now I'll be very simple: I'm voting for McCain because I know basic math.

I'm not a genius; my dear wife goes more in that direction than I. But I do know one very important mathematical fact:

One is a larger number than zero

"Oh," you say. "Yeah. Deep." Hang on.

What are the chances that McCain will appoint judges who actually read and respect the Constitution? The worst reading you can come up with is "One percent." (Any honest person will put the number far higher.)

What are the chances that Obama will appoint judges who actually read and respect the Constitution? Zero percent.

So what are the chances that McCain will constitute a Supreme Court that will undo the abominations of Roe and Doe? The worst reading you can come up with is "One percent." (Any honest person will put the number far higher.)

So what are the chances that Obama will constitute a Supreme Court that will undo the abominations of Roe and Doe? Zero percent.

McCain has a very good career pro-life voting record. I think his rating with the pro-aborts is zero (a good thing, in this case).

Now, admittedly, McCain is not the hardcore, pedal-to-the-metal, doctrinaire, gung-ho "purist" that I try to be and would prefer.

But he picked one as his running-mate. Now, that gives a clue as to what he might pick for the bench.

Which brings us to Sarah Palin. The abortion issue is why I was going to vote for McCain grudgingly; Obama's complete disqualification to me as a thinking Christian would make it a more enthusiastic choice; Sarah Palin is why I'll do it with joy. And she's why I did the previously-unthinkable: I gave money to McCain. Twice.

I've explained scores of times with scores of links in previous posts why I think she was a brilliant choice. She doubles his credibility on the pro-life issue. Whatever McCain is, Palin is a conviction-politician, someone who has shown strong, principled leadership and decision-making. You know, like Deborah, like Esther, like the Proverbs 31:10-31 woman.

Perfect? No. That would be Jesus, and... well, and nobody.

A tonic for Washington?

You betcha.

So McCain would be better; but even more, VP is a great loading-bay for the next president. This was a failure of W's. He picked an excellent VP for governing; but one who would never follow him. And he groomed no one. In fact, he allowed himself to be unjustly trashed, thus creating a nearly impossible chore for his would-be successor. But that's a topic for another post.

Are those all the reasons I'm voting McCain? Nope. But they're sufficient.

So I will eschew the candidate preferred by our enemies and haters, and vote for the one the worst people fear the most.

Final plea to my readers in contested states

Do you live in Pennsylvania, Ohio, Florida, Colorado, or any other battleground/contested state? Then I'm pleading with you: vote for McCain.

If you want to make a statement, make a sign. Put it on your car, in your yard. Write, "In a better country, Barr (Keyes/Baldwin/Whoever) would have a shot!!!" Put a frowny-face on it. Put an angry frowny-face on it!

But vote for the only man who can can actually prevent Barack Obama from opposing virtually every distinctive value you hold as a Christian, and very possibly your right to express opposition or protect your family; the man who will lurch our country in the direction of child-killing extremism.

I could wish it were otherwise — I do wish it were otherwise.

But the only man who can do that is John McCain.

Postscript: very busy these days, may or may not get to "Don't miss these" today. I have one more essay in mind, it comes first. Also have one at Pyro. Writing two sermons, working. Busy day.

UPDATE: I'd meant to put this in the body. Shaun Marksbury makes a very good case for voting McCain over Obama; read it.

55 comments:

Mesa Mike said...

Again, a work around is needed. Click here to reply.

Dan, you probably messed something up on your template when your changed you banner picture.


Oh, and I voted already today. Didn't vote for any Marxists or baby killers, though.

Michael said...

I think the gist of your arguement is - there is only one man running for President this election: McCain.

If the Deomcratic party would come back to basic morality we could get a two party system again.

It the dems could just drop NARAL like the toxin it is America could move forward but when Islamic nations look down on us for barbic policies I think we should re-evaluate.

DJP said...

As I said, I didn't change anything. The banner is on Phil's server, and he just switched graphics. He doesn't have access to my templates or settings (though he could if he wanted). So it's something else. Besides, he made that switch be a day or two back, and comments still worked.

JackW said...

Do I agree?


YOU BETCHYA!

"Doctor" Matt said...

I live in Ohio, and I voted this morning for McCain! Failing to have the time to find out the nitty-gritty on the issues myself much of the time, I heavily rely on your blog to steer me to the right sources and give me good insight. Thanks!

Stan McCullars said...

Thanks for all the time you have put into researching and writing about this very important topic.

Your analysis has been brilliant.

CR said...

DJP:I do not believe a Christian can morally vote for Obama.

That is absolutely, correct. And this is going to offend some people I'm sure, a Christian cannot morally not vote or vote third party because that will also help Obama win. And if the principle which I've outlined before is that we are to do good in the city we live in and since your vote does no good, but in fact, may even do worse, then not voting or voting third party is morally wrong. And you should be ashamed of yourself. Sorry, but that needs to be said.

President Bush won the election with 85% of the evangelical vote and he did a lot of good for the unborn with two SCOTUS appointments, signing the partial birth abortion ban and refusing to federally fund new destruction of embryos.

If Obama is elected one of his first executive orders will be to reverse Bush's executive order and fund new embryonic stem cell research. That is on all your consciences and you should be terribly ashamed and guilty of that.

Terry Rayburn said...

Dan,

Great job this election season!

I agree completely.

I would just make one addition:

You wrote, Obama's position on abortion is monstrous.

You vote for him, you are complicit. You have no excuse. You can never look back at Hitler's Germany and scold those who assisted his Hellish designs. You're them.


I would add, "If you vote third party or don't vote, you are also complicit."

I will always say, "Vote your conscience".

It's just sad that some Christian consciences are sentimentally based instead of being informed and biblically effective.

I compare it with casting a write-in vote for Jesus Christ (a far superior candidate to any third party one).

Ricky Rickard said...

Dan,

You sold me on not voting for Obama several months ago. I truly appreciate that, because I feel you kept me out of severe error. So, as I have said many times before, Thank You.

Now on to today. I read (and re-read) all of your posts on McCain and third parties, particularly because I live in Ohio. I prayed. And I went and voted this morning for Bob Barr. I know that you disapprove of that decision. I just hope it doesn't get me banned as I very much enjoy coming to your blog and interacting.

Take care today, and God Bless!

Rhology said...

"he picked on as his running mate".

Misspelling catch - FYI.
Nice post.

CR said...

Very disappointing, Ricky. Looks like we failed.

I don't know how the election will turn out in Ohio, but if Obama wins in Ohio, you have a lot to feel terribly guilty of and ashamed about. Sorry, there is no nice way to say this.

DJP said...

Good heavens, no, Ricky. You're not going to be banned for how you voted!

But I'm forced to agree with Carlo.

)c:

Carol Jean said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Carol Jean said...

mesa mike said "
Oh, and I voted already today. Didn't vote for any Marxists or baby killers, though."

Probably OT, but last night I was working a phone bank for a Republican candidate and I spoke to both Marx AND Castro on the phone! (not surprisingly, neither plans to vote for my candidate). Bambi too. This is Ohio, so we were starting to think ACORN had hacked into the phone system (and yes, I was that annoying person calling at dinner time!)

Ricky, as a fellow Ohioan, I'm sadly disappointed in your wasted vote, or rather, your vote for Obama.

Andrew said...

Where is Lieutenant Pratt at this critical hour of decision?

I want to know if and how he voted.

I'm on the edge of my seat in suspense!!!

Jennifer said...

Long-time lurker here. I'm a Bible-believing Christian and a registered voter (unaffiliated in party) who's been praying about this issue for months. I know that no matter how I vote today, I'll walk out of that booth in great sadness and probably holding back some tears. I don't want either of these men for President. But I know that God's will is going to be done, no matter what. That is a HUGE comfort to me as a sinner, because no matter how hard I try, and no matter how certain I may be sometimes of the rightness of my actions, I still make some terrible mistakes.

It sounds like most of you wouldn't view what I'm about to do in the voting booth as a mistake, but my conscience is struggling with it terribly. I live in a state that hasn't endorsed a Republican candidate in eons, but I know I'm responsible for my vote no matter what. So I understand Ricky (and others) when they explain to me their struggles, their prayers, their research, and how they STILL feel like they'd be searing their own consciences if they vote for either of the two front-runners.

For Christians like us, there's already an incredible amount of sadness, bordering on guilt. But we have to do what we have to do.

I was incredibly sad to see people heaping MORE guilt and shame on their struggling brothers and sisters. Respectfully, I'd like to ask you to imagine Jesus saying some of the things you've said to Ricky to someone like, say, Peter, when he denied Christ. "Very disappointing, Peter. Looks like I failed. You have a lot to feel terribly guilty of and ashamed about. Sorry, there's no nice way to say this." I'm typing this with tears in my eyes. I can't even imagine Peter's heartbreak and would never compare it to what I and others like me are feeling today.

Ricky did, I think, a brave thing: He confessed to voting third party when he didn't have to, when he knew it would be a very unpopular statement. I may not be voting the same way Ricky did, but I believe him when he says that he's struggled and prayed. And if he's sinned against God with his vote--if any of us have ever sinned against God with our votes (I KNOW I have!)--I thank Jesus that, because of what He's done, there is no condemnation for us. Without that promise, we'd have no hope on this earth.

Ricky, your vote has been cast and you can't take it back. Mine will be cast in an hour or so. We'll both be held accountable. I thank you for struggling and praying about what you should do, unlike so very many people who will be voting blindly and ignorantly--or not voting at all. Grace and peace to you, and to all of us. May God have mercy on the United States of America, and may He direct the heart of the new "king" in such a way that pleases Him.

Stan McCullars said...

Dan,
I don't think people understand what an election is all about or what a vote represents.

A vote isn't an oath of allegiance to all a candidate stands for. It's not a preference for someone to replace Jesus in his Kingdom. It's also not a vote for who we wish could get enough votes but doesn't have enough support to win it.

If the candidates were equal, and they're not, a protest vote might be legitimate. This election does not have two equals. It has one candidate who has a seemingly unquenchable bloodlust regarding the unborn.

I think Jesus' words in Matthew 18:10 are appropriate here: See that you do not despise one of these little ones.

DJP said...

Jennifer, what if Peter came to Jesus and said, "You know, I struggled and prayed and prayed about denying You, but I just felt like it's what my conscience was constraining me to do, so I think that denying You was the right thing to do"?

NOTE: I am simply taking your example. I DO NOT equate Ricky's foolish and regrettable vote with denying Christ!

DJP said...

Andrew! Don't feed the trolls!

Carol Jean, thanks for your work!

Rachael Starke said...

Stan - your comment re: what a vote and isn't is right on, and another way that many Christians are revealing themselves to be disappointingly ignorant.

I'm praying/hoping that one of the good outcomes of this whole exhausting process is a thorough reexamination of the entire voting/electoral process. Don't all Americans want a fair process that ensures that each citizen's voice is heard? Aren't all of us tired of having our side accused of cheating, thieving and trickery? My guess is that we're about to go through another 2000 scenario where the decision takes many days and lawyers.

Ricky Rickard said...

If Barack Obama wins Ohio, or even the election, the blame, the shame, and the guilt should fall exactly where it belongs: on the people that voted for and supported Barack Obama.

I have many things in my life that I feel guilt and shame about. My vote in this election I don't see as one of those things. That is my opinion.

I do want to say thank you Dan, as you have behaved towards me as a true brother in Christ during all this, even when I didn't necessarily return the favor. Most Christians would have written me off when I stated I was going to vote Obama. You (and a lot of your readers) did not. You were kind at all times, forceful when necessary. So again Dan, I say thank you.

CR said...

Jennifer: Respectfully, I'd like to ask you to imagine Jesus saying some of the things you've said to Ricky to someone like, say, Peter, when he denied Christ. "Very disappointing, Peter.

Jennifer, are you aware of the testimony in Luke's gospel when Peter denied Jesus? (Luke 27:60-62). Luke writes that after Peter denied Jesus three times, Jesus turned and looked at Peter? Peter remembered what Jesus said and wept bitterly. You ever been looked at like that, Jennifer? I have.

Now, we can't look at Ricky like that on cyberspace. No one forced Ricky to divulge how he voted. I don't know what he expected for us to do when he divulged his vote. Jesus didn't have to say anything to Peter but just give him one stare. So, Jesus did something, which made Peter even feel worse, he looked at him. He didn’t have to say a word.

I also want to reiterate something that Dan said, lest there be any confusion, I also, I’m not equating Ricky’s actions to denying Christ.

CR said...

Ricky: If Barack Obama wins Ohio, or even the election, the blame, the shame, and the guilt should fall exactly where it belongs: on the people that voted for and supported Barack Obama.

No, Ricky, and Terry said it best, you are complicit because you didn't vote to prevent an Obama win. I think Dan has explained very well on that issue and I'm not going to regurgitate it. But let's wait for the election results. It may be part of God's design to show mercy still.

And again, I don't go around and ask people who they vote for. But you were the one that divulged your vote. I'm sorry if you were looking for approval it, but you won't get it from me and you shouldn't.

DJP said...

To be even more emphatic, I care about Ricky, he's welcome to talk about anything that anyone can talk about.

But I think what I think about that one decision, for the reasons I developed.

mikepettengill said...

So I only get CNN here...so my news is a little slanted...by the news I have been hearing the election was held three weeks ago and O won 542 of the electoral votes...men cried...women fainted...children bowed at the alter...McCain only received four votes, himself, his wife and two illegal votes from dead O relatives in Chicago.

The good news is I mailed in my ballot a month ago...I wish I could get my ballot back and vote for O.

Confusidly,

Mike, Chairman of Honduran residents for Keyes who toss their ballots in the trash can next to the toilet with the used tp

Ricky Rickard said...

Carlo,

You are right. I did not have to divulge who I voted for. I also did not ask for or expect approval when I revealed my vote. I am well aware of your opinion in this regard, as well as Dan's. I told Dan previously I would take what he has put together into consideration, and I did. However, at the end of the day, I could not bring myself to vote a candidate that I have so many fundamental differences with. In order to perserve my standing as not being banned, I am going to leave it at that.

jazzact13 said...

--I don't know how the election will turn out in Ohio, but if Obama wins in Ohio, you have a lot to feel terribly guilty of and ashamed about.--

No, he wouldn't.

The Republican Party is the one that should feel guilt and shame, for giving us such a lukewarm choice.

Rick, you have no need to feel shame for voting as you saw fit. For myself, my own vote was for neither of the big two.

--Ricky, as a fellow Ohioan, I'm sadly disappointed in your wasted vote, or rather, your vote for Obama.--

Over the top, Carol. He did NOT vote for Obama. Nor is his vote wasted.

DJP said...

If you're going to participate, you need to follow the conversation, Jazz, and everybody doesn't need to prove everything he's already proven to you in every comment.

In other words, yes, the bad vote is the bad voter's (Ricky's) fault, and yes, a pro-lifer's vote for Barr was in effect a vote for Obama. As we've discussed at some length.

Shootingsparks said...

you schitzophrenic Zionist Jew propagandists gave it your all in the 2008 disinformation season, but it was all for naught..

Kate said...

I understand the reasoning that a vote for a 3rd party candidate in a swing state is a vote for Obama. However we are guaranteed the right to vote by our Constitution. Our brother in Christ Ricky prayed about his vote and he voted his conscience. He did not do so lightly. It was not sin, it was his conviction and his choice.

Additionally, if Obama wins Ohio by MORE THAN ONE vote, it will not be Ricky's doing. Yes, one vote matters, but statistically the probability of Ricky's one vote being THE deciding vote is so low that it approaches zero.

Ricky, God bless you for voting as you saw the Spirit leading, rather than for pragmatism.

DJP said...

Looks like Obama has the anti-Semite vote sewn up.

Surprise!!

DJP said...

Again, nobody says casting an irresponsible vote was Ricky's right. It simply was not right. That, and the "pragmatism" dodge, were addressed at length here.

Kate said...

I read that. I just happen to disagree. In this country we can vote for whomever we wish. I repeat, Ricky voted his conscience, and he should be commended for it, not made to feel that he's done something terrible.

Andrew said...

Kate said,
We are guaranteed the right to vote by our Constitution

and

In this country we can vote for whomever we wish.

You are not making any sense. Nobody is disputing the right to vote or the freeness of that decision.

In this country we can do a lot of things that we should never do. So just because we have been given a right in the Constitution (which was written by men), it does not follow that all exercises of that right are righteous, holy and just.

By that logic you should be commending CR for exercising his right to free speech in expressing his disappointment in the meta. And by that you could commend Rev. Wright for his "exercise" of free speech.

I repeat, Ricky voted his conscience, and he should be commended for it, not made to feel that he's done something terrible.

Saying so doesn’t make it so. And repeating yourself also does not make it so.
Particularly when your repeated plea, "conscience vs. pragmatism” was so thoroughly addressed in the post.

Why comment if you are unwilling to interact with the relevant content already posted?

Kate said...

Maybe we have differing opinions as to the relevant content. You - or at least others who commented before you - see the relevant content as being that Ricky "threw his vote away," and that in voting for a 3rd-party candidate, he has essentially voted for Obama.

I see the relevant content as being the fact that an American exercised his right to vote, and because he didn't vote the way that some people thought he should, he is being torn down for it and made to feel guilty about it. It makes me angry that he is being attacked when he did NOTHING WRONG.

Not only that but he is a Christian brother and we are commanded to love the brethren, not attack them. If he is in sin then yes, by all means, follow the principles laid out in Matthew 18 in hopes that he will repent and be restored. But if he is not in sin, then there is no reason to make him feel that he is.

It is true that just because we have the right to do some things doesn't mean we should, and there are many examples of that. Free speech is a good one. We are allowed to say just about anything, but as Christians we are charged with the extremely difficult task of taming the tongue (and by extension our fingers on the keyboard).

It is also true that many people have fought and died for our right to vote. Granted that right is not given in the Bible, but we have it and therefore it, like everything else, is given to us by the Grace of God.

I am a peacemaker at heart and I long to see the Church unified. It breaks my heart to see us divided over non-salvific issues, such as this election. Whether McCain or Obama or an unlikely 3rd party candidate wins, God is still sovereign and in control, and the mission of His Church is to still save the lost, not to politicize everything - and worse yet, to call something sin which is not sin.

Why Ricky came here and stated that he did not vote for McCain, I don't know. I certainly wouldn't have done so because what would be the point? But he did, and for that he is being punished by statments like "if Obama wins in Ohio, you have a lot to feel terribly guilty of and ashamed about. Sorry, there is no nice way to say this."

My point is that Ricky has NOTHING to feel guilty or ashamed about. For people here to say that he does is tantamount to saying he is in sin. We should only feel guilt IF WE ARE IN SIN, and that guilt is meant to bring us to repentance. Guilt that does not lead to repentance sears our conscience. Guilt for something that is not sin is a lie from the Devil himself.

Lieutenant Pratt said...

Andrew-

I'm here but I'm no longer commenting. DJP has made it clear that he does not value any comments that do not support his flawed premises.

I'll leave it at this, I did vote today but like Sarah Palin said, I don't have to tell anyone how I voted.

Kate- Good statement. Some of these guys need a good dose of repentance and ought to feel guilty about how they have treated their brothers in Christ.

DJP said...

Yes, Kate, you offered exactly that opinion before:

1. Ricky has a right to a foolish, irresponsible vote.

2. He shouldn't feel bad when he casts a foolish and irresponsible vote if it makes him feel good.

No one disputes #1.

#2 has been refuted at length. Repeating it over and over, as you are doing, (A) doesn't undo the refutation, and (B) violates Rule #1.

It's perfectly Biblical to reprove brothers who do foolish things. If they're wise, they'll learn from it; if they refuse to learn, they mark themselves as fools. In the former case, they benefit; in the latter, it's all on them (cf. Proverbs 9:7-9, 12; 12:1; etc.)

You really have to take the whole Bible, and not just isolate a couple of themes and mold them to the culture.

Otherwise you end up doing something both fools and immoral, like voting for the most up-front pro-abort extremist every to run for the Presidency on a major ticket.

In that case, if you're a Christian at all, you are likely to so harm your moral judgment, that you end both standing and falling for all sorts of foolish things.

Jennifer said...

This seems, to me, to be the argument being made here:

1. A vote for Obama is immoral and therefore a sin against God. If you vote for Obama, you're just as responsible for the abortions performed under his leadership as the people who didn't do enough to oppose the Nazi agenda who themselves are just as responsible for the Holocaust as the people who dropped the Zyklon B pellets into the gas chambers at Auschwitz. (This is what I got from the statements about complicity.)

2. If you do not vote for McCain, you are, in essence, voting for Obama. (In which case, see point #1.)

Please, can you tell me if I've misunderstood the general view here? I don't want to misrepresent anyone. Essentially, if you didn't vote McCain, you sinned.

DJP wrote:

“I DO NOT equate Ricky's foolish and regrettable vote with denying Christ!”

I chose that example deliberately: It's the most striking instance of betrayal I can think of. Would you agree that Peter's action was sinful?

The point I was trying to make in referring to it was that Peter sinned and betrayed the Savior, and yet the Savior's response was noticeably lacking in condemnation. Was Peter convicted of sin? To quote Gov. Palin: "You betcha!"

Another great example of what I'm talking about is the woman caught in the act of adultery. Both Peter and this woman could have, as you suggest, attempted to defend their actions by claiming that they'd "prayed about and considered them" but then went ahead because their consciences felt fine. But we know that such arguments would be irrelevant, because God's Word is extremely clear about adultery and denying Christ.

I'm not advocating the Jiminy Cricket notion of “letting our consciences be our guide.” I do see them as sinful, because of the fall, just as the rest of our “heart” is sinful (our emotions, our intellect, our will). However, when a Christian brother or sister is actively praying and studying the Bible, seeking God's heart on a matter that appears, to them, to be more nuanced than others may view it, I prefer to extend grace and to pray that God will make things clearer.

I've already spoken about my own struggles. I understand that a vote isn't a "blanket approval" of everything a candidate says and does, and yet, like you, I also understand that when you tick off that box, you are in a very real way giving your assent to that candidate's policies and choices. Especially when you know them beforehand.

This doesn't apply solely to Senator Obama. If I vote in such a way as to endorse Obama/Biden, I will feel the weight of the sinful choices they make. However, the same goes if I vote for McCain/Palin. Some may vote joyfully for McCain/Palin, but that's not the case for me and many like me. I cast my vote today in fear and trembling, and I don't think it's fair to imply (as one commenter has) that someone who's struggling in this way just doesn't understand the election process or what their vote means.

I desire to do right before my God, and my vote is just one area of stewardship that He's given me. It's one of those hard choices we have to make in this life. This is something I take very seriously and soberly. Our choices this election year are sad to me; it's sad that these are the "best" these parties have to offer.

CR wrote:

"Jesus didn't have to say anything to Peter but just give him one stare. So, Jesus did something, which made Peter even feel worse, he looked at him. He didn’t have to say a word."

I am familiar with the passage you referred to, and it does say that Jesus looked straight at Peter. But it doesn't say how—that is, it doesn't describe Jesus' expression, does it? Clearly, Luke is linking these events; there's a causality there: the rooster crows, Jesus looks at Peter, Peter remembers what Jesus had told him would happen, Peter leaves and weeps over his sin.

But I feel we must be very careful not to read into the Biblical text what isn't there or what we want it to have said. I find it interesting that you believe that Jesus cast a disapproving, disappointed (stern?) look at Peter. (I have indeed been looked at like that.) I have always believed (though the text is silent here!) that Jesus looked at him with an expression of love—after all, in a very short time, Jesus was going to lay down His life for this man.

One reason I've believed this is that He'd told Peter that this denial would happen beforehand— “Simon, Simon, Satan has asked to sift you as wheat. But I have prayed for you, Simon, that your faith may not fail. And when you have turned back, strengthen your brothers."

Where's the disappointment? Where's the condemnation? The tone, to me, is sad, but ultimately encouraging. Christ was comforting Peter before he'd even committed his sin! (Wow! That amazes me to no end!)

To sum up, then, if voting for a third party candidate IS a sin (and I'm not convinced that it is), shouldn't we be careful to follow Jesus' example of dealing with those in sin? Pray for conviction, restoration to the Father? Is it really all right to tell them they should be feeling terribly guilty and ashamed--and leave it at that? Where's the Biblical support for this?

God's Word convicts me powerfully and effectively, but it's also lavishly gracious. I rely on that grace--who am I to withhold it from another?

Carol Jean said...

Kate said, "Additionally, if Obama wins Ohio by MORE THAN ONE vote, it will not be Ricky's doing. Yes, one vote matters, but statistically the probability of Ricky's one vote being THE deciding vote is so low that it approaches zero."

But what if Ricky took others with him? What if 50 - or more - Ohio lurkers of this blog were emboldened by Ricky's actions to do the same?

I recently spoke to a family that was heavily influenced by Doug Phillips' and Vision Forums' POV that a woman should not under any circumstances be VP or president. They will be either voting 3rd party or not voting at all. How complicit are DP and VF in the outcome of this election? (if these people only knew what I, a woman, have been doing in the dark of night in an office building with a bunch of phones!)(I'm guessing they wouldn't let their homeschooled kids play with my homeschooled kids anymore).

Sure, you can be a fatalist and say, "It's all in God's hands." And, it is. However, it would take a major, OT-like act of God for a 3rd party candidate to win. I think it was Todd Friel I heard say something like (paraphrase) "Unless God sends a powerful delusion over the people, there is no way the third party candidate is going to win."

Stan McCullars said...

Kate,
I hope you're not involved with teaching the next generation.

So if someone living in Germany a few years ago would have voted for Hitler knowing his policy regarding "the final solution" you're saying that would NOT have been sin. Or would that person needed to pray before being absolved?

The US Supreme Court says women have a constitutional right to have abortions. If a woman prays about it and then pays someone to dismember her baby is that also NOT sin?

Give me a break.

Stan McCullars said...

I wonder if Lt. Pratt voted to dismember little babies.

I guess it wouldn't matter since he volunteers in a crisis pregnancy center.

Yeah.

Terry Rayburn said...

It's now about 9 p.m. Central Time and the race is essentially over.

Obama has won.

He has promised that the first thing he will do is sign the Freedom of Choice Act.

That means there will no longer be ANY restrictions on abortion.

The following victories won in the abortion fight will be immediately reversed:

• the Hyde Amendment, which restricts federal funding for abortions;

• the federal law banning partial birth abortions, which was finally upheld by the U.S. Supreme Court in April 2007;

• the "Mexico City Policy," which has barred the use of federal taxpayers' money to pay for abortions in other countries;

• laws in 44 states that preserve a parental role when children under 18 seek abortions;

• laws in 40 states that restrict late-term abortions;

• laws in 46 states that protect the right of conscience for individual health care providers;

• laws in 27 states that protect the right of conscience for institutions;

• laws in 38 states that ban partial birth abortions;

• laws in 33 states that require counseling before having an abortion;

• and laws in 16 states that provide for ultrasounds before an abortion.

Congratulations to all who failed to vote against Obama.

Lord have mercy.

DJP said...

Absolutely right. It was indeed a vote of great moral clarity, Terry.

That "Christians" found it so troubling and complex and all tells us more about the state of the professing church than we wish we had to know.

I'm with you. Barring a dramatic turnaround, those who didn't vote to stop Obama have swept aside DECADES of hard work and progress for the unborn, have put a scalpel in his hand, and have said, "They're all yours. Have at 'em."

It would be a disgrace beyond my ability to capture in words.

DJP said...

Oh, Terry, and I meant to add:

You said "Lord have mercy." That's what I've been praying for, for weeks.

It's looking as if the mercy may have been all used up, and it's time for long-overdue judgment.

Stan McCullars said...

Dan,
You're being so harsh. Don't you know that those "Christians" who support the dismemberment of babies prayed about their decision?

Excuse me while I go vomit.

Jennifer said...

I voted for Senator McCain, but it looks like Senator Obama's my President. My pastor continually reminds us of Proverbs 21:1 and 1 Timothy 2:1-2. Our hope is in Christ alone.

"That 'Christians' found it so troubling and complex and all tells us more about the state of the professing church than we wish we had to know."

As someone who identifies with that "troubling and complex" group, I can only assume you would include me in the "Christians" group--false converts or apostates. I urge you, though, please be careful when you make such sweeping statements. It's a serious thing to imply that someone with a conflicted conscience isn't a Christian.

You don't actually know the hearts of all your readers. You don't know how long someone's been in the faith or what their struggles are. Not everyone has been a Christian for as long as you have, Mr. Phillips. Not everyone has studied and thought for as long as you've been privileged to do. Some of us are recent converts, and we're making mistakes all the time.

Remember the "weaker brethren." Not everyone who posts a dissenting opinion is a "troll" or an unbeliever. I regret, now, sharing so much. It was a foolish thing to do, and "ashamed" is a pretty good word for how I'm feeling. But perhaps that's gratifying to some here. I won't "troll" you any longer.

Stan McCullars said...

Murderers are not the "weaker brethren." It doesn't take too much discernment to realize that murder is wrong.

Murderers are those that will not inherit the Kingdom of God.

"Christians" act like it's something to pray about.

Jennifer said...

Yes, I know I said I wasn't going to "troll" you any longer, but this comment was jaw-droppingly outrageous and deserves a response:

"Murderers are not the 'weaker brethren.' It doesn't take too much discernment to realize that murder is wrong."

Mr. McCullars, did you read my comments in this thread? Where, in any of them, did I advocate murder? Where did I advocate voting for a pro-abortion candidate? (I absolutely believe abortion is murder, BTW.)

The focus of ALL of my comments has been the idea that there are people out there--some of whom ARE Christians, despite the prevailing sentiment here--whose consciences have troubled them when they considered voting McCain over a third-party candidate.

I'm one of those, AND I very much identify with the "weaker brethren" that Paul speaks of--hence the mention of "weaker brethren" in my last comment.

I've got a LOT of growing to do in the faith, but does this make me a "Christian" (read: non-Christian)? Seriously? Are you adequately equipped to make that judgment about me? Does my salvation hinge on whether or not I voted McCain today? Because that's news to me! My Bible must be missing some chapters! I don't usually employ sarcasm, but in this case, I can't see any way around it.

I voted McCain, but apparently I'm almost a murderer for having wanted to vote third party. Is a person whose conscience was troubled and who DID vote third party a murderer? Seriously?

If so, then shouldn't we be praying like crazy for people like Ricky? Wasn't his vote WAY beyond "foolish" and "regrettable" as people here have called it?

As you've said, the Bible is VERY clear about murderers not being welcomed into the Kingdom of Heaven. Shouldn't all those who've voted third-party in this election be called to repentance? Murder is a heinous sin and a serious accusation.

Stan McCullars said...

Shouldn't all those who've voted third-party in this election be called to repentance?

Certainly.

Murder is a heinous sin and a serious accusation.

Yes it is. And it is an appropriate accusation for those who support abortion.

DJP said...

StanDon't you know that those "Christians" who support the dismemberment of babies prayed about their decision?

Maybe I should add that the 25 Thing's I've Learned: "Praying before you do something foolish or immoral doesn't make it NOT foolish or immoral."

Stan McCullars said...

Dan,
I'm glad to see you're still learning. ;)

Thanks again for your hard work in this election.

DJP said...

Very kind of you, Stan. Thanks. I did everything I could think to do. As usual, it wasn't enough.

Kate said...

Jennifer,

I agree with your sentiments and your efforts to persuade us to be unified in Christ, and to pray for our new President-elect. If you would like to dialog further, feel free to post on my blog or look me up on facebook. You can find my blog by clicking on my blue underlined name above the post.

Jay said...

you are ignorant. why is it that christians say that the constitution is being misinterpreted any time they don't like a decision that was made?

the republican party is mostly going to be dead until they come around on abortion and stop letting extreme religious folks set the platform.

republicans are hypocritical.
how can you claim to want the government out of your life on some issues but not others? e.g. believe you have the right to own a gun and do what you want in your own household but then think it's okay for the court to control what you can do with your body?

why do republicans support the DEATH PENALTY?

can someone explain that?

DJP said...

Very simply - and, I must say, I wonder how you got to the age where you have internet access, but have never met someone who can answer such elementary questions.

1. We believe we have the right to own a gun because the Second Amendment guarantees it.

2. We're not talking about the mother's body, we're talking about the child she carries.

3. Death penalty for guilty murderers. Not innocent babies.