Jentezen Franklin: Count the Cost — and Vote
We are calling on all of our churches to join together November 6-8 to pray, fast, and vote.
In one of the most emotionally charged election seasons in recent history, two questions I am asked wherever I go are who I am voting for and how I could possibly support either candidate. My response is always the same: First, in regard to my vote, I do not endorse any political party or any political candidate, and I never have. As a private citizen I do give my vote to the candidate whose social agenda is closest to the values I hold dearest and that I believe most closely aligns with biblical values.
As a pastor, I challenge my congregation and television audience to do their own research and to vote for the candidate whose values they align with the most, especially as it relates to the five most critical issues for the church: sanctity of life, religious liberty for our churches and for Christian businesses and organizations, marriage as God defined it in the Bible, the vacancies on the Supreme Court and the support of our most treasured ally, Israel.
Two Wars in Every Major War
In every major war that has ever been fought, in any land, there are two wars going on at the same time. The first is the actual physical war, taking place on the battlefield. The second war is where battles are truly won or lost, and that is the propaganda war that is waged by the media to win the hearts and minds of the people who make the decisions to support or withhold support. This is what is happening right now in America and the propaganda war is at fever pitch.
I am not blind to the faults and imperfections of either candidate. But I also see it for what it is … tools in the propaganda war designed to distract us from what matters most.
Isn’t it amazing that you can turn on one major news network and get a set of stories and views on the news of the day, and then turn over to another major news network and get an entirely different take on the same set of events. It is almost as if you are living in two different Americas.
That really is the issue at stake in this election cycle, propaganda aside. There are two entirely different views of America being presented to us by two entirely different candidates, especially as it relates to the sanctity of life, religious liberty, the traditional family, filling vacancies on the Supreme Court and the support of Israel. History has also shown us that this war will be won or lost based not on what is best for America, but on whose propaganda campaign can hold the most sway over the voters.
Most, if not all, evangelical Christians share the same mind on these core issues, but I am disheartened when I hear so many Christians and Christian leaders say they are either not voting, or they are voting for the candidate that embodies the opposite of the values we hold as critical. I am not blind to the faults and imperfections of either candidate — and the past behavior of both candidates is absolutely indefensible. But I also see it for what it is … tools in the propaganda war designed to distract us from what matters most.
Serving on Donald Trump’s Evangelical Advisory Board
In the spring of this year I was asked to serve on an Evangelical Advisory Board for Donald Trump, along with some pretty amazing men and women of God. Most will never know that Donald Trump told the pastors who have been advising him that when he turned 60 years old, a change took place and that he prayed and asked God into his life. Only God knows what actually happened in that moment, but he told us that this experience changed him profoundly.
While serving on the advisory board of pastors and Christian leaders, I and the other pastors also speak strongly into Donald Trump’s life, and we hold nothing back, and we have also had many moments of strong prayer and intercession. That is what good spiritual counsel does.
And I know that Godly men and women have been given an open door to speak boldly into the life of a candidate for the highest office in the land. That matters.
One of the men I serve on this board with is well known author and television talk show host James Robison. He said it best when he said, “Nobody who has put their faith in God should be held prisoner to their past.”
Robison has shared some of his experience with the advisory board, as he’s been able to travel with and speak directly into Mr. Trump’s life. He traveled with the candidate for two days last week, and made the statement that in 55 years of public ministry, he has never been received with more graciousness, sincere appreciation, humility and genuine seeker-interest. He went on to comment that throughout his entire ministry, anyone who has received him with that openness has ultimately become a bold witness for Christ. We’re praying Mr. Trump will be no exception.
The Supreme Court
In the last debate, the nation watched in anticipation of the showdown between two very flawed individuals, with so much focus on statements made over a decade ago. But what I will remember most is when they were asked about the Supreme Court and what values they consider most important.
The distinctions between the two candidates were stark. One candidate’s campaign recently released a list of potential Supreme Court nominees, all of which are judges who will uphold the Constitution without attempting to legislate from the bench. Any honest evangelical would commend this list of nominees, looking for someone who is very much like the late Justice Antonin Scalia, while the other candidate said, to millions of viewers, the very opposite.
Franklin Graham said it like this: “Our nation’s many sins have permeated our society, leading us to where we are today. But as Christians we can’t back down from our responsibility to remain engaged in the politics of our nation.” Graham also highlights the importance of the Supreme Court nominations that the future president will make.
“Trump and Clinton scandals might be news for the moment, but who they appoint to the Supreme Court will remake the fabric of our society for our children and our grandchildren, for generations to come.”
Prayers Heard in Heaven, Votes Registered on Earth
In regard to which candidate or politician I support in any race at any level, my answer is also the same as it has always been. First, our churches pray for our leaders regularly whether we agree or disagree with their policies and stances. Second, when called on for counsel by a governor, senator or even a presidential candidate from either party, I will always respond and, after much prayer, I will give counsel — as I have on many occasions.
But what should matter to all evangelicals is that Donald Trump has reached out many times these past several months to evangelical leaders nationwide for counsel, understanding and for prayer, with nothing expected in return. That matters.
And I would do the exact same for Hillary Clinton if I were called and asked. In Mark chapter 2 Jesus said that he did not come to call the righteous, but sinners.
There is a propaganda war that is raging in this country and it is full of manipulation, lies and distortions with one goal in mind … to keep evangelicals from voting. I am not asking anyone to vote for a flawed individual, but make no mistake, there is much at stake in this election and I do challenge you without reservation to pray, fast, and then to get out and vote your values … vote your faith. Too much is at stake.
We are calling on all of our churches and television audience to join together November 6-8 to pray, fast and vote. Join us as we make our prayers heard in heaven, and our vote registered on earth.