- - Wednesday, February 3, 2016

(1) Why Christians Can’t Be Silent About Politics: What this weird election season should remind the Church, by Drew Griffin (Relevant)

My time in politics—spent obsessing about races and running campaigns—was defined by one inescapable reality: You participated in politics, you didn’t shape it.

Every election cycle, especially presidential cycles, was defined by the absence of real meaningful choices. Of course, there would be a lively primary process, but for the most part, “the establishment” would choose and put forward its candidate; and the people would be forced to choose based on what they were given. People participated, they did not create.

Over the last 15 years, with maybe a few exceptions, we have all embraced this kind of simplicity in the election process. The two big parties put forward a few candidates, and then you take your pick. Many of us have been content simply to turn our minds off until November and suffer the consequences that inevitably follow.

As Christians, we should neither fear uncertainty nor bemoan complexity. Rather, we should be eddies of calm during currents of change.

It is indisputable that this is election cycle is different.

(2) Iowa Results Show GOP Race Is Now Cruzin’ for a Bruisin’, by David Brody (CBN)

What this victory in Iowa proved is that when a candidate authentically courts evangelicals with their time, a near-perfect ground game along with lots of money to propel it, evangelicals will respond. And when they respond in record numbers like they did in Iowa Monday night, they show that they are more than a force in American politics; they’re a game-changer.

(3) Iowa caucuses: Southern Baptists ‘highly involved’ (Baptist Press)

Tim Lubinus, executive director of the Baptist Convention of Iowa, agreed that sharing the Gospel and meeting spiritual needs is believers’ top priority. Still, he has been open since October about his support for Cruz, believing silence “is a more awkward response” than stating his preference among Iowa’s politically vocal population.

Lubinus was a “caucus captain” who spoke for Cruz at his precinct in Ames, Iowa, and later volunteered as a Cruz delegate for the county GOP convention. Leading up to caucus night, he made phone calls for Cruz and campaigned with yard signs and social media posts.

Last fall, Lubinus helped schedule Cruz’s father, evangelist Rafael Cruz, to speak on Christian civic involvement for 10 minutes at the state convention’s annual meeting.

“Several pastors” volunteered on the campaigns of specific candidates, Lubinus told Baptist Press, and Iowa Southern Baptists engaged in “friendly discussion” of the caucuses despite their varied candidate preferences. “All acknowledge there are several candidates to choose from and no candidate is perfect.”

(4) Jim Daly writes: I Know Why the Government Went after Pro-Life Investigative Journalists: For those determined to speak out according to our deeply held beliefs, the price tag is becoming increasingly steep (Christianity Today)

We also must ask why, as citizen journalists, Daleiden and Merritt are not protected by the same laws that have shielded countless of their fellow reporters down through the years. Undercover journalism is nothing new. To the contrary, it has been used time and time again to expose criminal activity, and it is widely accepted as a journalistic practice.

(5) Meet the Evangelicals Who Hate Donald Trump, by Sarah Posner (Rolling Stone)

***I’d disagree with the “hate” language, but perhaps “strongly oppose” would fit.

Evangelicals closely allied with the Christian right’s political activism are dismayed by Trump’s bombast, his lack of biblical literacy and his belated and disingenuous efforts to pander to their concerns, such as abortion and Supreme Court appointments. To them, a possible Trump nomination would cause “hundreds of thousands and maybe millions literally having a crisis of conscience” in choosing whether to vote for Trump or the Democratic nominee, says John Stemberger, president of the Florida Family Policy Council, an affiliate of Focus on the Family.


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