O God, stamp eternity on my eyeballs…
Upcoming Election: A Different View
October 19, 2012Posted by on
By Rev. Rusty Lee Thomas and Rev. Flip Benham
Patrick Henry in his famous Give Me Liberty or Give Me Death speech commenced his impassioned plea with these august words:
“No man thinks more highly than I do of the patriotism, as well as abilities, of the very worthy gentlemen who have just addressed the House. But different men often see the same subject in different lights; and, therefore, I hope it will not be thought disrespectful to those gentlemen if, entertaining as I do opinions of a character very opposite to theirs, I shall speak forth my sentiments freely and without reserve. This is no time for ceremony.”
This article is written on the behalf of Rev. Flip Benham who has wrestled with the Scriptures to determine the mind of the Lord concerning the upcoming election. It is an election that many consider to be the most important in American history. It is an election that could very well determine whether or not America descends into a third world status or we begin the monumental task of reforming the church to restore America to her Biblical roots. Roots which produced the freest, most prosperous nation this poor fallen world has ever known. A nation that was once considered “A city on a hill” and “A beacon of liberty to the nations of this world.”
As Patrick Henry pointed out when it comes to weighty matters, “very worthy gentlemen” have strong opinions and differing views. When it comes to the choice of Romney and Obama this election, men and women of God we respect have adamantly made known some of their views.
Some say, “A vote for the lesser of two evils is to vote for evil still.” We agree. Some question, “Is it possible for a Christian in right standing with God to vote for a Muslim/Communist or a cultist who happens to be a Mormon? Some believe no true Christian could ever vote for Obama and his God hating party, while others declare, “A vote for Romney is to sin against God.” To those who truly fear God, this election has created great confusion.
Some have been convinced to simply stay at home and leave the ballot blank. Not an option for the true Christian – your vote is the currency of your virtue. Others are opting to vote for a third party candidate like Virgil Goode of the Constitution Party. But the Constitution Party has not done its due diligence to run to win. It has no plan down ballot. It simply runs a Godly and principled man every four years for President. Still others, realizing their Christian duty to vote yet not able to cast their vote for the scoundrels that are running, will write in the name of a Godly person that would be qualified for office and represent our Lord well.
Here is an attempt to put this election in a Biblical perspective discovered in the book of Jeremiah. It will prayerfully shine an angle of light from Scripture that provides an overarching Biblical context to discern the nature of this historical election. While this article will not dictate who people should vote for, it will prayerfully present another view from the Bible that may help guide their decision.
Rev. Flip Benham preached this message during our States of Refuge Campaign this September in Little Rock, Arkansas. He asked me to put it in writing. Before initiating his message, however, I would like to add some personal commentary. For years there has been battle raging within the Republican Party. It is the moderate Republican establishment verses the evangelical Christians or Tea Party. It is a conflict between “fiscal conservatives” and “social conservatives.”
Fiscal conservatives tout limited government and responsible spending. They seek to tame the avarice of the federal beast to protect their bottom line. They are liberal, however, when it comes to the burning social issues of the day, such as abortion, homosexuality, Islam, etc. Evangelical Christians, on the other hand, discern the connection between America’s spiritual and moral decline with the litany of woe afflicting our nation. The Republican establishment seeks to suppress this view, while evangelical Christians seek to highlight it.
The Republican establishment desperately needs the votes of evangelical Christians to stay in power. After all, evangelical Christians are its base, yet it refuses to implement the Christian vision for America.
Mitt Romney represents, in my mind, the last man standing in the old Republican establishment. The establishment has for years foolishly offered candidates like Bob Dole, John McCain and now Mitt Romney. Mr. Romney, whether or not he wins the election, represents the “death rattle” of the Republican establishment’s control. If our nation survives this upcoming election without imploding, there is a wave of leaders coming who have been prepared by God Himself to take over – Tea Party.
These folks refuse to sell their birthright for a mess of politically correct pottage being shoved upon them by the Republican establishment. These are statesmen who are well aware that they cannot defeat the liberal, Marxist, ungodly, Democratic agenda until they first dethrone the Republican establishment.
R.L. Dabney exposed this conflict well by stating:
“This is a party (Northern Conservatives) which never conserves anything. Its history has been that it demurs (shows reluctance) to each aggression of the progressive party, and aims to save its credit by a respectable amount of growling, but always acquiesces at last in the innovation. What was the resisted novelty of yesterday is today one of the accepted principles of conservatism; it is now conservative only in affecting to resist the next innovation, which will tomorrow be forced upon its timidity and will be succeeded by some third revolution; to be denounced and then adopted in its turn. American conservatism is merely the shadow that follows Radicalism as it moves forward towards perdition. It remains behind it, but never retards it, and always advances near its leader. This pretended salt bath utterly lost its savor: wherewith shall it be salted? Its impotency is not hard, indeed, to explain. It is worthless because it is the conservatism of expediency only, and not of sturdy principle. It intends to risk nothing serious for the sake of the truth.”
In other words, the Republican establishment may whine about the assaults of radical progressives against our nation, but inevitably ends up defending the political ground the progressives gain. Yesterday’s issue they opposed becomes today’s issue they defend. Conservatism really is pretend salt.
God revealed this battle in the Republican Party most recently in the ordeal that Senate Republican Candidate Todd Akin from Missouri has endured. The establishment threw him under the political bus for his gaffe on rape and abortion. Principally, however, Mr. Akin was right. No innocent child should be put to death for the crime of his father. He courageously took on the exception clauses of the Republican Party which provide a loophole for abortion so large that a Mack truck could drive through it.
The Republican Party bosses immediately demanded he withdraw from the race and withdrew all support from him. They hate and fear the “Jesus” that resides in Mr. Aiken’s heart far more than they fear losing the possibility of a Republican majority in the United States Senate. Congressman Akin has refused to give in to the establishment’s bullying tactics. If he wins the senate seat, it will serve as a harbinger of what is to come for the Republican establishment. The sooner the better as far as this author is concerned.
Jeremiah’s Commentary on Israel (America)
Providentially, right before this historic election, we happen to be reading in our Operation Save America Bible reading schedule the book of Jeremiah. Though it has huge relevance as it pertains to the history of Israel, there are certain Biblical truths gleaned from Jeremiah that can easily serve as a commentary to the pathetic spiritual and moral state of America.
After God called Jeremiah as a youth to serve as a prophet, He declared, “Behold, I have put my words in your mouth. See, I have this day set you over the nations and over the kingdoms, to root out and to pull down, to destroy and to throw down, to build and to plant.” Jeremiah 1:9, 10. The Lord then challenged Jeremiah that he was going to need spiritual and moral grit to withstand the opposition he would surely face. “They (speaking of the prophets, princes, priests, and people of the land) will fight against you, but they shall not prevail against you. For I am with you,” says the Lord, “to deliver you.” Jeremiah 1:19
In Jeremiah chapter two, the Lord uses Jeremiah as His prosecuting attorney. The prophet brings charges against the nation of Israel for her spiritual adulteries, idolatries, and sacrificing her children in the Valley of Ben Hinnom. “Has a nation changed its gods, which are not gods? But My people have changed their Glory for what does not profit.” Jeremiah 2:11. Even the heathen do not change their gods. They serve them with all the passion and fury of hell. But God’s people discard Him like a piece of trash. “For My people have committed two evils: They have forsaken Me, the fountain of living waters, And hewn themselves cisterns-broken cisterns that can hold no water” Jeremiah 2:13.
Benham had this to say about this change that led Israel from the heights of God’s blessings to the depths of His judgments. Does this same change have any impact upon America today? Benham explains:
“We are witnessing in America today a change of epic proportions. Though this change began decades ago, God has given us a visible manifestation of a paradigm shift that has fully arrived. Barack Obama is that sign. He is a judgment from Almighty God shouting in our ears that we have chosen to cast the God of the Bible, the God of our Pilgrim Forefathers, and the God of our Founding Fathers, to the ground. Yes, Barack Obama is a sign from God Himself that we have chosen to abandon Him and His laws for new gods and a new set of laws. Many call this change, liberation – God calls it rebellion.
“We, in America, have become like a kite on a string that believes it can soar to the heavens if only it could break the chains of the confining string. Little does it realize that once the string is cut, all possibility for flight ceases. It is, after all, the string that enables the kite to fly…It was God, His Law, and His Son who enabled America to become great. God was the string that enabled the little kite called America to soar. It was His providential hand that made us free unlike any nation before us. It was His design that America would be “a shining city set on a hill” that the world might know that the Lord is God…But, as time passed; we forgot His many blessings and providences. We forgot the unseen hand that lifted us to these heights. We grew tired of Him. We were wearied by His moral constrictions. We desired to be free from Him, to do what we want. In essence, we became our own gods. Barack Obama said it best, ‘We are the people we have been waiting for. We are the change we have been looking for.’ We changed gods, we cut the string!
“We forsook God, the spring of living water, and hewed out cisterns, broken cisterns that could not hold water. This represents change at its worst. We became a law unto ourselves. We rejected God and His law and replaced Him with ourselves, doing what was right in our own eyes. The book of Judges puts it this way:
“After that whole generation had been gathered to their fathers, another generation grew up, who knew neither the Lord nor what He had done for Israel. Then the Israelites did evil in the eyes of the Lord and served the Baals. They forsook the Lord, the God of their fathers, who had brought them out of Egypt…They provoked the Lord to anger…In His anger against Israel the Lord handed them over to raiders who plundered them.” Judges 2:10-14.
“Please note the italicized words. Then the Israelites did evil in the eyes of the Lord. There was a standard that judged between good and evil. God was the author of that standard. When Israel strayed from Him, He judged them by sending raiders upon them (The threat of Islam anyone?). After suffering at the hands of these raiders, God’s people would become painfully aware of their sin, repent and cry out to God to save them. As soon as they cried out, God rescued them from the hands of their enemies. He immediately responded to the cry of repentance.
“But there comes a dramatic change in the last five chapters of Judges. “In those days Israel had no king; everyone did as he saw fit.” Judges 17:6. God’s people had become totally debauched with no standard at all. Everyone made up his own standard of what was good and evil. Everyone did as he saw fit. God could save His people from any enemy but He would not save them from themselves. They became as God. They cut the string.
“This change represented the complete abandonment of Almighty God and His law. Though His Name was continually on their lying lips, their hearts were far from Him. It did not happen all at once, nor was anyone really aware that the change had taken place. But now there was no standard. Hosea calls this a “spirit of prostitution” that led them astray. There was no way to distinguish between good and evil. There was no king. There was no judgment. There was no judge. There was only everyone doing as he saw fit. Without judgment God can dispense no mercy, for no one knows to repent. Mercy triumphs over judgment indeed, but it cannot be dispensed apart from judgment.
“Yes, universal change has come to America and it does not bode well. The election of Barack Obama is simply the culmination of the movement (rebellion) from One God (Jesus) and standard of Law (the Bible) to other gods and standards of law. It is a movement from content to form (having a form of godliness, but denying its power). It is a movement from justice to fairness (fairness is the greatest enemy of justice for it has no standard). It is a movement from creation of wealth to redistribution of wealth (from capitalism to socialism). It is a movement from biblical love to tolerance (biblical love demands we get involved and make judgments while tolerance sits back and demands we say nothing). It is a movement from character to performance (it doesn’t matter your character so long as you perform). It is a movement from individuality to uniformity (The unique image of God shoehorned into the uniform mantra of the state). It is a movement from liberty to bondage, from joy to despair, from life to death.”
God used Jeremiah to confront Israel with her radical rebellion so that she would repent and return to Him. He called Jeremiah to go to the different gates of Jerusalem but first, to the gate of the Lord’s house (judgment begins in the House of the Lord) and there proclaim this message:
Stand in the gate of the Lord’s house, and proclaim there this word, and say, ‘Hear the word of the Lord, all you of Judah who enter in at these gates to worship the Lord!'” Thus says the Lord of hosts, the God of Israel: “Amend your ways and your doings, and I will cause you to dwell in this place. Do not trust in these lying words, saying, ‘The temple of the Lord, the temple of the Lord, the temple of the Lord are these.’ “For if you thoroughly amend your ways and your doings, if you thoroughly execute judgment between a man and his neighbor, if you do not oppress the stranger, the fatherless, and the widow, and do not shed innocent blood in this place, or walk after other gods to your hurt, then I will cause you to dwell in this place, in the land that I gave to your fathers forever and ever. Behold, you trust in lying words that cannot profit. Will you steal, murder, commit adultery, swear falsely, burn incense to Baal, and walk after other gods whom you do not know, and then come and stand before Me in this house which is called by My name, and say, ‘We are delivered to do all these abominations’? Has this house, which is called by My name, become a den of thieves in your eyes? Behold, I, even I, have seen it,” says the Lord. Jeremiah 7:1-11.
Perhaps it was national pride that kept Israel in a state of delusion. They trusted in their position as God’s people, rather than the God who made them a mighty nation. If anyone spoke contrary to their favored position, they were false prophets to be stoned to death. Jeremiah, in their minds, was one of those false prophets. He was a traitor to be executed, not a true prophet to be heeded.
Israel kept this mindset even to the time of Christ. John the Baptist confronted this same mentality as Israel leaned on being the physical seed of Abraham, rather than repenting and receiving God’s grace and mercy of salvation through the Messiah, Jesus the Christ. John declared, “Therefore bear fruits worthy of repentance, and do not begin to say to yourselves, ‘We have Abraham as our father.’ For I say to you that God is able to raise up children to Abraham from these stones.”
The American Church has found herself in this same spiritual state. She has changed gods and knows it not. A spirit of prostitution is leading her astray. “This is the way of the adultress; she wipes her mouth and says I have done nothing wrong.” Proverbs 30:20. How can we expect the Republican Party or any Party, for that matter, to get things right when God’s church has lost her way? This theological rationalizing away of her own sin has led America to cultural corruption. The church in America has failed in her duty to be salt and light, Matthew 5:13. Therefore our enemies rule over us.
Israel rejected all calls to “…return O backsliding children and I will heal your backslidings” Jeremiah 3:22). She refused, which leads to the crux of Rev. Benham’s message. Because they refused to harken to Jeremiah’s message, they were taken into captivity and those who hated them ruled over them (Jeremiah 29:1 and Psalm 106:37-42). They were subject to tyranny and unjust laws.
Benham relates Israel to our current plight. He states:
“We are now in Babylon, in captivity with enemies of God ruling over us. The great paradigm shift has taken place. We have changed gods. We have moved from one standard (the Bible) and God (Jesus), to multiple standards (everyone did that which was right in their own eyes) where every man becomes a law (god) unto himself. The manifold judgments of God are upon us.
“This once great nation built upon the Liberty that comes only from the Spirit of God in Christ, has become a laughing stock to the entire world. Instead of being a shining city on a hill proclaiming the greatness of our God, we have become a sewer gushing our squalor and filth throughout the entire earth. We have become slaves just a surely as those in Jeremiah’s time that were taken to Babylon for seventy years of captivity. They would be kept there until true repentance was their cry – seeking God with all of their heart. What was God’s message to them during this time in captivity serving under a vicious pagan king?
“Thus says the Lord of hosts, the God of Israel, to all who were carried away captive, whom I have caused to be carried away from Jerusalem to Babylon: Build houses and dwell in them; plant gardens and eat their fruit. Take wives and beget sons and daughters; and take wives for your sons and give your daughters to husbands, so that they may bear sons and daughters-that you may be increased there, and not diminished. And seek the peace of the city where I have caused you to be carried away captive, and pray to the Lord for it; for in its peace you will have peace. For thus says the Lord of hosts, the God of Israel: Do not let your prophets and your diviners who are in your midst deceive you, nor listen to your dreams which you cause to be dreamed. For they prophesy falsely to you in My name; I have not sent them, says the Lord. For thus says the Lord: After seventy years are completed at Babylon, I will visit you and perform My good word toward you, and cause you to return to this place. For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the Lord, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope. Then you will call upon Me and go and pray to Me, and I will listen to you. And you will seek Me and find Me, when you search for Me with all your heart.” Jeremiah 29:4-13.”
This is an amazing admonition from Almighty God. It sounds treasonous to even entertain such a thought, yet it was God’s will. He commanded His people to seek the peace of Babylon for “in its peace you will have peace.” What? Seek the peace and serve a pagan enemy with the most abominable of tyrants, Nebuchadnezzar? He ripped the mother’s of Israel open and killed the children in their wombs. He killed the sons of King Zedekiah before his very eyes and then plucked those eyes out of his head and let him live with the memory of the last thing his eyes ever saw.
Why would God do such a thing that seems so contrary to Who He is? I’ll tell you why. God’s people were nowhere near true repentance for the murder of their children at Tophet in the Valley of Ben Hinnom. Oh, they wanted deliverance from the Babylonian hordes, but they had no desire whatever to stop the shedding of innocent blood. They had been warned again and again by the prophet Jeremiah for twenty-three years that God’s judgment would not tarry forever. It didn’t, and they were taken into captivity by a pagan king who thought he was God. They would be there for 70 years.
Why 70 years? The people of Israel would not repent. Indeed, they could not, for a “spirit of prostitution” had blinded their eyes to their own sin. Until they repented of that sin, there would be no deliverance for the nation Israel. It took 70 years in Babylonian captivity for God’s severe mercy to overcome the hardness of Israel’s heart. But when it did, His people cried out to Him in true repentance, and deliverance by God’s providential hand came through another pagan king named Cyrus. For God knows the plans he has for us, plans to prosper and not to harm us. Though his judgments fall, if we return to Him with all of our hearts in true repentance, He will be found by us.
The church in America has been blinded by this same “spirit of prostitution.” We are having church every Sunday morning while the blood of innocent children is flowing in the sewers underneath our magnificent edifices. Like Israel before the Babylonian captivity, we have rationalized that we can keep killing God’s children and come into the temple of the Lord and be safe. Nothing could be further from the truth.
We fell asleep watching “Leave it to Beaver” and awoke in Babylon with Barack Obama as headmaster. This is change we can really believe in, but only those who have eyes to see, see! Both Obama and Romney represent God’s judgment upon America. We are being ruled by those who do not know the Living Lord Jesus Christ.
We are living in a period of our own Babylonian Captivity – but we can vote. Israel could not. So how do we determine who to vote for in this Babylonian Captivity? God commands us in Jeremiah 29 to seek the peace of the city where I have carried you away to be captive; build houses, plant gardens, take wives, beget sons and daughters, give them in marriage that they too may beget children and increase in the land; “…for in its peace you will have peace.” Work for the peace of a nation ruled by pagans, cultists, Marxists? Yes! Which candidate do you believe will give us the greatest prospect for peace and prosperity in this time of God’s judgment upon our nation?
Remember, Israel’s captivity in Babylon was brought about because of her shedding the blood of the innocent (child sacrifice) at Tophet in the valley of Ben Hinnom. That is why Jeremiah was told three times not to pray for the well-being of these people (Jeremiah 7:16; 11:14; 14:11). The people wanted God to save them from their enemies but had no intention whatever of stopping the shedding of innocent blood. God had to bring her face to face with her sin and He did it by bringing her into Babylon for 70 years.
It was in Babylon, that pagan city under pagan kings, that Israel’s hard heart was plowed up and she repented of her many sins and cried out to God for mercy. He knew the plans He had for her. But He had to bring her to repentance before He could pour His mercy into her. He desires mercy, not sacrifice.
Jeremiah chapters 30-31, explain more vividly the entire restoration process (His refining fire) used to bring the nation Israel to confession and repentance and ultimate healing. It is also in chapter 31 that we have our first glimpse of the New Covenant that would be ushered into us through Jesus Christ our Lord.
Right now in America our wound is incurable. “This is what the Lord says: ‘Your wound is incurable, your injury beyond healing. There is no one to plead your cause, no remedy for your sore, no healing for you…I have struck you as an enemy would and punished you as would the cruel, because your guilt is so great and your sins so many.'” Jeremiah 30:12-14.
Neither Mitt Romney nor Barack Obama nor any other candidate can solve what is ailing us. Blood is coursing down the corridors of our schools, workplaces, and streets. God is draining all of our wealth. Our enemies are ruling over us. America has become a laughingstock before the whole world. And we are dragging God’s Name into the sewer of our own sins. God seeks to make His Name glorious – and look at what we have done to it.
“Is there no balm in Gilead? Is there no physician there? Why is there no healing for the wound of my people?” Jeremiah 8:22. The wound is incurable because we will not apply to the Great Physician nor use His remedy. We believe that if we elect the right guy we will be fixed. Not so! God is fixing to get us into a bigger fix that can’t be fixed so that He can fix us. Seventy years in Babylon seems like a mighty long time, but that is what it took for God’s people to finally realize that it was their sin (the shedding of innocent blood at Tophet) that needed to be repented of.
Do you believe the Church of Jesus Christ is ready to repent of the sin of child-killing in America today? Not hardly. She thinks everyone else should repent but she will go on her merry way allowing children to be slaughtered with nary a finger lifted to rescue those being led to the slaughter. Until we, the Church of Jesus Christ, repent of our apathy and indolence toward these precious preborn children there is no remedy for our sin. As Jeremiah was ordered by God not to pray for the well-being of this people, neither should we be praying for the well-being of the recalcitrant Church. But we should be praying for the well-being of our nation, pagan and as sorry as it is, because in its peace, we will have peace. We must do this for our children and our children’s children.
When God’s church finally stops looking for Republicans, Conservatives, Independents, and Constitutionalists, to bring an end to the abortion holocaust savaging our nation, and repents, and begins to love her neighbor as herself – God Himself will bring healing to our land.
“Abortion will come to an end in America when the Church of Jesus Christ makes up her mind it will come to an end – and not one second sooner!” It is at this point that we will see that there is a balm in Gilead and a Great Physician there. He has been waiting for almost 40 years.