A Pastor Speaks: Decide to Vote, as if Your Life Depends Upon It

By Jentezen Franklin Published on September 30, 2016

In 1938 Supreme Court Justice George Sutherland penned these words, “The saddest epitaph which can be carved in memory of a vanished liberty is that it was lost because its possessors failed to stretch forth a saving hand while yet there was time.”

Those words are just as true in this century as they were in the last. Injustice is not a new concept, and oppression is not an invention of our modern society.

Neither is sin. Neither is evil.

I believe this election is the most important election we have faced in modern history. In the last four years, we have watched as the Supreme Court legalized gay marriage, despite being banned in 31 state constitutions by popular vote, and countless other assaults on religious liberty in this country. That decision alone is second only to Roe v. Wade in its devastating effects on the moral compass of our nation.

As a result we have watched as Christian business owners and Catholic hospitals have been sued for not providing services that were contrary to their deeply held religious beliefs. Courts have also mandated that a person can determine their own sex and choose which bathroom they want to use based upon how they feel at that moment.

America is changing, and it’s changing because 25 million registered Christians chose not to vote in 2012. We are getting the government we deserve by our apathy, but in 2016 we have an opportunity to stop this assault on our religious liberty.

Consider It

There is a Bible story in Judges 19:22-30 that is rarely preached. It is the story of a Levite who found his wife dead, clinging to the threshold of his house after being raped and beaten repeatedly by evil men. She was left for dead.

The husband’s grief turned to outrage at the depravity that had come to his nation. He determined that he had to take action … drastic action … and he sent one piece of her body to each tribe of Israel saying, “Consider this, take counsel, and take action! This is what we have become!” The nation was reviled and then united to speak up and take action that changed the course of their history.

As we look at the pervasive attacks on religious freedom, we find the hands of Lady Liberty are on the threshold of the church.

These are the hands of millions of unemployed Americans, the unborn, alcoholics and drug addicts, law abiding citizens living in cities with escalating crime rates, racial division and its next generation facing an uncertain future. We stand today at what Franklin Graham refers to as “The intersection of history as we know it.”

Over the last 10 years, it has become fashionable in the church to feel like we are “above it all.” We leave all that “government stuff” to the “government people.” I disagree with those too high and lofty to engage in the political process.

I agree with Christian evangelist/speaker James Robison, “We must reject the thought that the spiritual is to be separated from the governmental. Transformed people transform the culture while standing up for what is right. Jesus said believers are the ‘salt of the earth.’ Salt protects and preserves the precious. He went on to say ‘If we lose that effect, then we are good for nothing but to be trampled under the feet of men.’ And so it is in our day.”

Take Counsel

It’s time to unify. It’s time for Baptists, Methodists, Pentecostals, Presbyterians, Catholics, Charismatics, and anyone else that calls Jesus Christ their Savior and Lord, to put down their arguments on the places where we differ and join forces on the issues we have in common.

Otherwise, we will not overcome the spiritual wickedness gripping our nation.

There are no perfect candidates in any election. However, as Christians, we have to ask ourselves which candidate aligns closest to what the Bible teaches about the sanctity of life, religious liberty, conservative Supreme Court Justices, the rule of law and the support of Israel.

Speak Up

I say this with no hesitation: it’s time for the church to speak up and take a stand. We must take this stand, whatever the consequences.

I am asking the church to stand up and be counted … to let our prayers be heard in heaven, and our vote recorded on earth.

I am asking for four very specific calls to action, because “faith without works is dead!”

  1. Register to vote NOW!
  2. Pray as if the survival of our culture and this great nation depended on it NOW!
  3. Fast with us, and others all over the world, November 6th-8th
  4. Vote to make your voice known

The hands of a dying nation are on the threshold of the church.

Consider it. Take counsel. Speak up … and slumber no more.

There is still time.

Every vote matters.

 

Jentezen Franklin is the Senior Pastor of Free Chapel, a multi-campus church with a global reach. His messages impact generations through various outreaches and his televised broadcast, Kingdom Connection. Jentezen Franklin is also a New York Times best-selling author and he speaks at conferences worldwide. www.jentezenfranklin.org

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  • Greig Altieri

    Very powerful and well stated. It’s time to stand against the tyranny of an out of control government that neither knows God nor fears him. If the righteous won’t stand who will?

    • JonathanMcFerry

      Every side views themselves as righteous. What makes you more righteous than those on the left?

      • Gary

        God is the standard of righteousness. If you measure things against God’s standard, you find that the left is unrighteous entirely. Not that others are perfect, just closer to being right. If you reject God’s laws as the standard, then what remains is just human opinion, which has no validity as a moral standard.

        • JonathanMcFerry

          No, that’s not the answer. I’ll help you out: the answer is “nothing”.

          • Charles Burge

            Your excellent line of reasoning and your preponderance of supporting evidence have completely won me over. Good job.

          • JonathanMcFerry

            Was I talking to you or trying to win you over? I was unaware.

          • Gary

            What “moral standard” are you using to make that determination?

          • JonathanMcFerry

            Common sense.

          • Gary

            Common sense is NOT a moral standard. You don’t believe morality has its basis in God, so the only thing left is to base morality on human opinion. Are you using your own opinions, or those of someone else? And if someone else, who is it?

          • JonathanMcFerry

            I developed my own opinions. Namely, that if an action or lifestyle causes suffering to no one, you should be free to practice it without government or anyone else’s interference. That seems like a very common sense view to me, and, although I understand people may have different views due to experience or dumb stubbornness, frankly I have never completely been able to comprehend why everyone with even one iota of common sense hasn’t come to the same conclusion. You and your ilk are directly against personal freedom, which is why I hold you in low esteem. Liberals, although to an arguably lesser extent, are the same.

          • Gary

            Everyone has opinions. But not all are valid. What is it you want to do that I am keeping you from doing?

          • JonathanMcFerry

            You personally, nothing. If I tell you I live with my husband and several other people on a shared property where we collectively raise our children to be godless Commies, you can’t do anything about it other than saying your nasty little piece. (I don’t, by the way, so save your breath.)

            But if you were in charge, what would happen to those of same-gender proclivities? Wiccans? People who live in a commune? Polygamists? Anyone of a different view? I think I know the answer; I’ve seen your posts. You despise all those who practice their personal freedom and wish hell upon them.

            The views you espouse are distasteful to me, especially since those who hold the same views as you – or possibly even worse – are experiencing a surge in power and becoming more vocal lately. In the States, anyway. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: thank Zeus I live in “godless, socialist” Canada. People like you are all too common down south.

          • Michael Gore

            “But if you were in charge, what would happen to those of same-gender proclivities? Wiccans? People who live in a commune? Polygamists? Anyone of a different view? I think I know the answer; I’ve seen your posts. You despise all those who practice their personal freedom and wish hell upon them.”

            Are you suggesting that if these other groups were “In Charge” they would all adopt a live and let live attitude? Are we really seeing that behavior from the LGBT community now that they have seized considerable political power? Especially in Canada? Are Christians allowed to “practice their personal freedom” when it comes to speaking out against Same-Sex marriage and other LGBT practices? The same people who were all about tolerance and love seem to have gained a rather fascist bent now that they hold sway in the culture.

          • JonathanMcFerry

            FYI, the word fascist means nothing anymore other than “some political opinion I don’t like”, and using the word makes you look foolish. And going back to your other words, personally I would rather Christians be silenced than LGBT people. LGBT people are trying to get Christians to stop discriminating. Christians, on the other hand, want LGBT people to stop existing. Which is worse? I know my answer. I would rather the LGBT get their wish and the Christians are forced to bake cakes for them (oh! horrors!) than Christians get their wish and stop (serving, hiring, or treating like human beings – pick one) LGBT people at their whim. Some “charity” Christian organizations won’t even let homeless LGBT in from the cold. And if you want stories and sources, I’m more than happy to do a simple Google search, although I’m not sure why you would be incapable of doing one of your own.

          • Gary

            Why can’t you allow people to associate with who they want?

          • JonathanMcFerry

            Your question makes no sense in context. Specify.

          • Michael Gore

            fascist does not mean “some political opinion I don’t like” when it is used in an informed way. I am not using it in that manner and will not allow you to redefine it as such.

            I would like your source for this “Christian” organization that won’t let LGBT homeless people take shelter. I suspect there is either more to this story or it is made up. My search has only turned up a shelter not allowing a same-sex couple to stay at the shelter “together”, not that they were unable to stay at all.

            As to your claim that it is better for Christians to be silenced, it think it shows my point about fascism better than I could. People in the LGBT movement and those that support it are fine with propagandizing and lying about the motives and beliefs of Christians (which it seems you don’t understand if you claim we want them to “stop existing”) and are all to happy to do to Christians what they often falsely claim Christians do to them. That seems like a concession of my point.

          • JonathanMcFerry

            Another FYI, fascism is a very far-right political view which specifically opposes “deviant” sexual behavior. The dumbest of 10th-grade history class students knows this. So your use of the term means nothing in context. Sadly, almost no one’s use of the term means anything anymore. People truly have redefined fascism to mean “something I don’t like”. My grandfather lived under fascism in Portugal, and I can tell you, you have no idea what fascism is. I suspect you would define it as “really bad meanie gays who make me bake them cakes”. If you knew anything at all about the reality, you wouldn’t use the word so inappropriately, flippantly, and lightly.

          • JonathanMcFerry

            I guess The Stream won’t let me publish a comment with a link, as I’ve tried twice. Simply Google Salvation Army LGBT discrimination. There is a wealth of information from all kinds of sources. And sadly, the Sally Anne is only one organization. There are more, and worse.

          • Gary

            I too am happy you don’t live in the US. I only wish you lived on another continent. I don’t have to wish hell on anyone, wicked people are going there whether I like it or not. I don’t care if you live in a commune, or if you are a communist. As long as I am not required to participate in your life, and as long as I have the freedom to avoid you (discriminate against you), I’m good. The government of the US is trying to force me to associate with people I don’t want to associate with, and I do have a problem with that.

          • JonathanMcFerry

            So, Gary, you want the government to force gays to wear a pink triangle so you can identify and avoid them at all times? Is that it? If not, please clarify.

          • Gary

            I just want the government to allow everyone to have freedom of association. That would mean no anti-discrimination laws for private citizens.

          • JonathanMcFerry

            So you would like the ability for your business to refuse service to certain groups? I have a few questions about this. 1. What kind of business do you own? 2. How will you decide who you discriminate against? Do you run background checks on all customers to see if they have a same sex partner or declared themselves an atheist? 3. Do you support others’ ability to discriminate – e.g., if a gay baker refuses to serve Christians, or a restaurant refuses to serve Trump fans, are you on their side?

            If you are not talking about business, I’m confused about your meaning. What does “discrimination as a private citizen” mean to you?

          • Gary

            Any business should be free to decline to do business with anyone for any reason. People are free to refuse to do business with any business they want for any reason they want. I think businesses should have the same freedom.

          • JonathanMcFerry

            You didn’t answer any of my questions. Nice try. Answer the questions.

          • Templewind

            Thank you for (finally) revealing something of what motivates you. No wonder you support Hillary.

          • JonathanMcFerry

            I don’t, and never said I did. I’m simply a sane person who would rather see her in charge than Trump.

          • Templewind

            For we dare not make ourselves of the number, or compare ourselves with some that commend themselves: but they measuring themselves by themselves, and comparing themselves among themselves, are not wise. -2 Corinthians 10:12

      • Michael Gore

        I’d say it’s what people stand for that would make them more or less righteous, not the fact that they claim to be righteous. Unless you subscribe to relative morality, then there is no way to make any claim of moral superiority by anyone.

        • JonathanMcFerry

          Moral relativity actually results in a very simple claim: whoever’s morals do the least harm are the best. Of course, then you can argue what sort of morality causes the least harm. Conservatives argue that gay marriage harms “the family” (which has become a meaningless buzzword of late); liberals argue that not allowing gay marriage harms those who want to marry. You get the point.

          • Michael Gore

            “Moral relativity actually results in a very simple claim: whoever’s morals do the least harm are the best” – Sorry, I can’t let you smuggle an unjustified moral standard in as your foundation. You have to be able to explain how you can start with a moral standard like “doing the least harm is the best” before you can even get that albatross off the ground. This is the fatal flaw of Relativism. It denies any objective standard then tries to start with one. The only consistent starting point for moral relativity is to affirm that no moral standard is better than any other. If you do otherwise, you have abandoned the position of Relative Morality.

          • JonathanMcFerry

            I’m not a hard relativist, I admit that. I follow a soft form of moral relativism, if you want to get technical. Don’t all cultures agree in some way or another than suffering is bad? I think starting there is reasonable. Suffering is negative, and beyond that, you can pick and choose your moral standards. In fact, I think Christiandom is one of the only cultures where suffering is, to a point, seen as positive.

          • Michael Gore

            Suffering can be seen as a positive in Christianity because we see purpose and meaning in all things. The reason suffering can turn out positive would be because God can produce something of a greater good through it. We would never see suffering for it’s own sake as good.

            I don’t think that just starting at suffering as bad is a position that can give you consistent morality, even if you could give a justification for that starting point. It’s just too vague.

            Can I kill somebody if, through the use of modern drugs, I could guarantee that they would not feel pain or suffer as a result? If it makes me suffer to assist somebody who is in need, shouldn’t I be morally justified in withholding help in order to avoid suffering?

            I’m just giving some examples of things popping into my head where a starting point of suffering is bad and not suffering is good is inadequate to arrive at any sort of workable morality. But not only do you have to justify the starting point (and saying everyone agrees is not a justification), but you would have to be able to justify any other moral standards you add to it to actually make it useable.

            I don’t think being a “soft” moral relativist is any more tenable of a position to hold as being a “hard” one, unless you give up the ability to make any moral distinctions that have any obligation.

          • JonathanMcFerry

            It is pretty vague, yes. That’s why I added the part about it being a starting point to develop a more complex ethical system from. Some believe suffering for others is noble. Some don’t. What a lovely, complex world we live in.

          • Michael Gore

            You are fooling yourself. A world where everyone gets to decide for themselves what is right and wrong is not lovely, it’s horrible. Some people choose to love, some choose to hate. Some to help, and some to kill. Relative morality can only be consistent when it says that both are equally valid.

          • JonathanMcFerry

            Did I not say I was a soft relatavist? I don’t necessarily believe that “both are equally valid”. But if YOU actually believe what you wrote here – ” A world where everyone gets to decide for themselves what is right and wrong is not lovely, it’s horrible” – then you’re the one fooling yourself. That IS the world we live in. Every single person and every single tribe and every single culture has developed their own personal view of the world and morality, no two people are the same and every one of the seven billion on earth thinks their view is the good and right one. How will you decide which view is right out of seven billion?

          • Michael Gore

            Differences in moral opinion do not mean there is no objective standard. I can adjudicate between conflicting moral claims because I believe in an objective, universal standard for moral behavior that transcends all time periods, people groups and cultures, which is grounded in the very Character of God, the only one who would have the authority to make such a claim on everyone. You deny that such a thing exists, and so are unable to consistently make moral judgements when different groups are in conflict on moral issues.

  • Alfy

    Why should I vote. I will never support the Democarat platform so that leaves the Republican platform since I only have two choices. Republicans have said they will not support planned parenthood as part of their party platform. The platform just passed this resolution , the ink isn’t even dry , and they pass the Zika bill giving money to you guessed it, planned parenthood. How many other promises will they go back on , if history is a guide they will break most of them. Help me pastor why should I vote ?

    • Gary

      I agree that almost every politician is a born liar. And a hypocrite. I wish I had a solution to that problem. I think the US will soon self-destruct. If a foreign enemy does not destroy it first. Not a happy future for the US.

  • JonathanMcFerry

    If I lived in the US, I would indeed vote to stop a crazed, unqualified galoot from getting control of America’s arsenal of nuclear weapons. Hillary may be corrupt, but you would have to be blind, insane or both to prefer Trump. Am I ever glad I don’t live in the US – always, but now more than ever.

    • Gary

      It is Hellary’s corruption that leaves Trump as the only option. Since Trump has never been in government, you don’t really know what he would do. But you do know what Hellary would do, and its bad.

      • JonathanMcFerry

        It’s “Hellary”‘s corruption that leaves Dump – sorry, Trump – the only option. And it’s Trump’s glaring incompetence and childishness that leaves you with no option.

        • Gary

          I have no illusions that Trump will be a good President. But even if he proves to be incompetent, he is preferable to Hellary who I am certain will be a disaster.

          • JonathanMcFerry

            Ms. Clinton may have rumors of corruption and poor health swirling around her, but at the very least she is a competent politician with experience in the field, not a crazed businessman with no idea how to run a country. By the way, both the Clintons AND Trump have rape accusations swirling around them, but in Hillary’s case it was her husband who bears the unsubstantiated accusations, while Trump has been accused by his own wife of raping her. Which is why I have to laugh every time someone thinks bringing up Bill’s rape accusations is a valid argument against Hillary.

          • Gary

            Bills sexual misdeeds are his own. Hellary has an abundance of her own faults. She is a liar and a crook, at best.

          • JonathanMcFerry

            Actually, at best, she is a politician with decades of experience, including in the White House. On the other hand, Trump, at best, has decades of experience with business. Not with running a country. Try running a country like a corporation and see how that works out for ya.

          • Gary

            Hellary has never run anything except an influence peddling business. And she thinks if she gets to be president, she can really cash in.

          • Templewind

            A decade of experience at selling out the American People. Exactly the same as most other “experienced politicians”. Our country is in need of critical changes if we’re going to survive as a nation of laws.

            Why haven’t you revealed the country in which you live? Let me guess. A 3rd world hell-hole or one flooded by Islam and being forced to give up their national sovereignty?

          • Templewind

            Stop lying. Bill Clinton has settled cases for sexual assault, but even that is beside the point. Hillary worked as Bill’s bully to destroy the lives of his victims for 30 years. All Trump’s former wives are voting for him. Again, stop lying.

        • Templewind

          Many of us, at least the informed citizenry, much prefer an “incompetent” (though he’s not) over a culture of criminality that has already corrupted our FBI and Justice Dept.

    • Templewind

      You are simply regurgitating the fear-mongering put out by the media. Trump indeed needs to be schooled on some issues of which he’s on the wrong side, but he’s admittedly taken those positions from the media also.

      That fact is…..they (MSM) lie about just about everything. Trump is and will be able to gain more informed positions, once he is exposed to them by Gen Flynn. He (Trump) is teachable when presented with the truth. Hillary Clinton prefers the lie over the truth!

      BTW, since you don’t live here, your opinion is irrelevant to our lives.

  • Joe

    Vote for Hillary or one of her biggest supporters for the past twenty years… hmm. Why should I even vote for president?

    • Templewind

      For one, if Hillary Clinton is elected you will undoubtedly have 17,000+ Islamic Terrorists living in the United States the 1st year of her presidency!

      That number represents the Pentagon’s own numbers (per LtCo Anthony Schaffer) of 17% of the 100,000 Obama pledged for the next year. This must be stopped but Clinton is on record as saying she wants a 550% increase of the Obama target.

      • Joe

        I understand that, but what will trump do? No one knows. I guess we should just vote again, and again, and hope that may be this guy isn’t like the congress that was elected by the tea party in 2010, and do what he says he will do.
        We know that Hillary will destroy the country, and we should realize that trump will destroy the country, but at a slower pace.

  • enigma721

    What part of Trump being Pro-Life, Pro-Christen, don’t you people (Christians) understand?? I come back to the “Stream” ever so often to see if it has dawned on you who the candidate is who is on your ( and America’s ) side on all the MAIN issues. Jobs, The Border ( you lock your doors), Stopping Tons of illegal immigrants when we don’t have enough jobs now, Lower Taxes, Cut back on Regulations, School Choice ( Including Christian !). Not something said 20 years ago. What he wants to do NOW.

  • enigma721

    Hillary CANNOT win on the Issues, so her whole campaign is based on scaring you. Well I have read numerous reports of her cursing or going BALISTIC over nothing. She only Talks!! Donald is a Doer & a natural born leader who took a million dollar gift from his Dad, and turned it into over 10 Billion. Donald is a Builder who has created thousands of jobs. Hillary left the White House broke, but she turned her Sec of State job into a “Pay for Play” influence position and made millions from Saudi Arabia and disasters like Haiti. See book or movie called “Clinton Cash.”

  • Peter

    I would vote if you presented to me decent candidates.
    A good analogy would be, If I went to a restaurant and there were only two choices on the menu:
    1. Year old meatloaf with mold all over it.
    2. A fish from 2 summers ago that you could smell from the next room, that was ‘fresh’ at one time but not now.
    I would walk out of that restaurant saying, “No Thank you, I’ll pass on any of your choices.”

  • Susan

    God heard the prayers of his faithful people in America and he answered in a most unconventional way with a most unconventional leader who is fearless. Perfect, no, just like everyone of us. Donald Trump has gotten the attention of America and the world. He is pro life and has a pro life Christian vice president. He understood the peril at the door of the church and at the very foundations of America. I can’t think of anyone else who could be so unconventional, outrageous, and spoke truth to the corruption. He was someone no one could ignore. He shook the politically correct system to it’s core and it wasn’t pretty. We all need to be shaken out of apathy and I can’t think of another person who could do what he did. God appoints leaders and this time the leader is pro life, pro Christian and pro American. I am thankful and awed by the Lord’s faithfulness to those who stood in the gap and prayed. And there were many. May God bless America and may America be the standard God raises up to defeat the purposes of the enemy. We are living in prophetic times.

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