I vividly remember, as a presidential candidate, Bill Clinton going on MTV. As a kid who definitely wanted his MTV, I thought this was amazing. This was a candidate who cared about us. My mother and I watched this together, and Clinton was asked simply, “Boxers or briefs?” He answered, and I thought my mother was going to faint. The channel was immediately changed. I was in utter confusion at what the big deal was. I thought it was neat that I and the presidential candidate shared an affinity for the same undergarments. I ask why she changed the channel, and I proceeded to receive a lecture on the importance of integrity, morality, and class. It is time that I share this wisdom from my mother, but not aimed at any politicians or our current presidential candidates, but aimed directly at us evangelical Christians. We must remember the importance of integrity, morality, and class, or we, not any politician, will lead our nation away from God and toward destruction.
Much of the nation is shocked and appalled, at the deeds and words of the two major party political candidates. It seems every week or so we learn of another lie told by Hilary Clinton and another disgusting comment made by Donald Trump, but what I find even more appalling is the morality limbo evangelical Christians are performing to support their favored candidate. We are bending lower and lower and lower.
There are few things we need to recognize during this election season before it’s too late. First, we are in a cultural war between good and evil, God and His enemies, salvation and Hell, and this election is only a single battle. We need to drop this attitude of win this election at all cost because the cost might just be our own soul and the souls of our neighbors, co-workers, classmates, and our own families.
I believe in the moral truth that has been historically taught by evangelicalism. The bible is the word of God. Jesus died for our sins and rose again to give His followers forgiveness and new life. Faith in God though Christ is the key to transformation and everlasting life. Each life is created and valued by God. I believe historical evangelicalism is morally true, but if we compromise the moral high ground of the truth of God to win an election, we will lose our ability to impact the hearts of our communities.
To compromise the morality and the integrity to which God’s word clearly calls us, in order to win an election or defend a political candidate will destroy our personal testimony and our opportunities to lead others to faith in Christ. Think about it. Are you going to listen to a person telling you how you should change your life if you think they lack morality?
Second, this election is about far more than the Supreme Court. Dig into American history. The Supreme Court never interprets the constitution in a vacuum. They always interpret the constitution through the lens of the American people. Jim Crow laws were upheld time and time again, until the will of the people changed the moral lens through which the justices interpreted the constitution. Leading your neighbors to Christ and discipling them to be active Christians in the world will do more to shape the Supreme Court than any presidential election.
I know, I know abortion is at the heart of many evangelicals’ political platform. It is at the heart of mine as I strive to be pro-life across the board whether it is in regard to the unborn, various races and genders, nationalities, etc. In the Declaration of Independence, our founding fathers stated the first right is to life, and now, America does not give that right to the unborn. I want to see that changed too, but we will not see that changed by getting our souls dirty. We will only change the culture’s view in regards to abortion and other issues if we stand firmly upon the truth and the morality of God. Compromising morality, integrity, and class so that we can fill Justice Antonin Scalia’s seat on the court with our judge, will ultimately damage our nation and the gospel.
We will not be affective lighthouses with dirty windows.
Third, stop defending immorality and sin. I hear evangelical democrats tell me about Colin Powell’s server, and I hear evangelical republicans tell me about Bill Clinton’s treatment of women. Neither of those defenses mean anything to the actions of the two major party candidates. Right is right, and wrong is wrong. As evangelicals, we must defend truth. These various defenses are like me punching my sweet mother repeatedly in the face and looking at you and saying, “I am not Lizzie Borden.” Defending the indefensible again destroys our witness for God and for truth.
Lastly, your vote is not only a statement of your political beliefs, it is a statement of your morality and integrity. We evangelicals need to be reminded of that. This election, or any election, is not worth losing our witness for the gospel of Jesus Christ. I keep hearing to win the culture war in America we must get our boots dirty…No, no, no, no, no, no, NO!! To win the culture war for the souls of American individuals, we must keep our boots impeccably clean.
Our nation will not be significantly changed by any election. Our nation will only be transformed by the gospel. Compromise our morality and we will be ineffective evangelists, and that my friend, will lead to the downfall of America faster than any elected official.
Take my mother’s wisdom to heart. This election season, live with Christian morality, integrity, and class. In November, vote with the same. The hearts and souls of our neighbors, co-workers, classmates, and families are at stake. People keep telling me Never Hilary or Never Trump…I am calling all Christians to Never Compromise the word and truth of God for any reason and especially for any election. If evangelicalism calls me to compromise God’s truth and morality for this election, I will no longer be an evangelical. Never compromise the gospel.
Truly, Jesse Colbert