Intermezzo: President-Elect Joe Biden – Chosen By God

The Electoral College on Monday began voting to make President-elect Joe Biden’s victory in the 2020 election official.(NBC News) “According to an NBC News tally, Biden was leading Trump by 240 votes to 229 as of 4 p.m. ET. Biden will mark the occasion with an address to the country around 7:30 p.m. ET on Monday.”

Finally, after five weeks of “officially” calling the election, a major news network is finally admitting they made a mistake. Well, not in so many words, like “We’ve been lying to you all month.” But NBC News just announced the Electoral College vote which would “make Joe Biden’s 2020 victory official.”

Since the Associated Press called the “official” results on the night of November 3rd, most of the mainstream media echoed this theme, calling Trump’s contesting “baseless, without evidence, a false narrative” and other pejorative terms to make sure we all “knew” that there was “nothing to see here, folks.” In spite of significant irregularities and multiple legal affidavits affirming suspicions of voter fraud and machine tampering (subject to criminal prosecution if lying), the courts, including some judges appointed by Trump, avoided the conflict to stay out of politics.

Whether the outcome of these complaints by the Trumpers would have changed what Democrats expected to happen, it disturbs me that the media continued to pile on that he was “trying to overturn the election,” when what his legal team was trying to do was assert that the election was not over until the legal challenges had been heard.

Unfortunately, inaction is itself a form of action, and only God can assess whether the judges were just afraid of the leftist mobs that would attack if they validated any of the questions, or if they truly believed that Trump’s team had no legal basis for challenging the election processes in the contested states. I am not a lawyer and have not read any of the briefs presented to the courts. In any case, unless Trump “pulls a rabbit out of the hat” (as I have referenced his winning before), and gets Congress to refute the Electoral College, throwing the election into the House of Representatives, then Biden will have prevailed, however dubiously.

Thucydides, about 400 years Before Christ, said in his History of the Peloponnesian War, “In a democracy, someone who fails to get elected to office can always console himself with the thought that there was something not quite fair about it.” While this is true in any democratic/republican election, it is particularly concerning that this election was SOOO close in the so-called “battle-ground states” that it is very possible there were illegal activities that delivered the election to Biden.

However, as a Christ-follower I must keep in mind that it is my Father who actually determines our leaders per Daniel and Paul in the Bible: He removes kings [presidents] and sets up kings [presidents].”  (Daniel 2:21) “Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.  Let every person be subject to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and those that exist have been instituted by God.” (Romans 12:21-31:1) Thus, whether illegal actors or incompetent officials were responsible in human terms for the outcome of this election, I must admit that God has chosen the Biden/Harris ticket for our next president and vice-president.

That does not mean Christ-followers should simply lie down now and let the pro-abortionists, the Green New Deal, and the antisemitism of the BDS congress people bowl us over into submission to ungodly activities. But we must tread carefully and make sure the places we take stands are, in fact, places Jesus would stand. We ARE supposed to be “little Christs,” the derisive term that initially got us called Christians. It may be that some of us will have to take stands as Jesus did before Pilate and the Sanhedrin and allow ourselves to be crucified. Isn’t that what being a “little Christ” means?

As a Christ-follower, I am enjoined by the apostle Paul to pray for Joe Biden and Kamala Harris. NOTE: we are to pray FOR them, not against them. (See https://capost2k.wordpress.com/2020/04/05/who-are-you-praying-for-during-this-wuhan-virus-crisis/.) This may be difficult if you voted for Trump, but I did not write the rule book. You may want to check out Forgiving What You Can’t Forget by Lysa TerKeurst for some guidance on dealing with what many of us consider “unforgivable sins,” remembering that there is only one thing that goes by that ID. And Ms. TerKeurst addresses how one deals with the frustration of forgiving someone who does not want or ask for it; well worth reading.

So whether you voted for our President-elect or the current President, let your faith grow into Jesus. God did not make a mistake. Now, how will we react to what God is going to do in our nation? How will we participate in what God wants to do for our neighbor?

Intermezzo Guest Blog by Mimi Ly: Dershowitz: Biden is Not the President-Elect

Alan Dershowitz at the White House in Washington on Jan. 28, 2020.

Dershowitz: ‘Biden Is Not the President-Elect’
By Mimi Nguyen Ly of The Epoch Times November 17, 2020

Harvard law professor Alan Dershowitz said that Joe Biden is not the president-elect but is entitled to describe himself as such.

“The president-elect doesn’t get named as president-elect until at least he has 270 state certification of electors, or his opponent concedes. Neither of that has happened as of now,” the high-profile lawyer told NTD News.

He added: “I think that he is entitled to describe himself as the president-elect. At the moment he’s won 305 or so electoral votes and President Trump is entitled to dispute that. That’s freedom of speech. That’s politics. Neither is entitled as a matter of law or constitutionality to say that they are the president-elect.”

Dershowitz, who served on Trump’s legal team during the Senate impeachment trial earlier this year, said he believes the Trump legal team is seeking to have the election forced into the House of Representatives, by not letting Biden reach the 270 electoral college votes required to secure the presidency. Republicans have a 26-23-1 state delegation majority in the House of Representatives.

One possible way the Trump campaign can legally get electors to not vote is that if the challenges in court haven’t been resolved, some state secretaries of state, many of whom are Republican, may refuse to certify the vote by mid-December, Dershowitz said.

“That will be challenged in court. And that will be a mess, it would create a constitutional crisis of a kind we haven’t had before,” he said.

He noted that Trump’s lawyers are counting on a constitutional provision that moves the election to the House of Representatives if there is no definitive winner in the Electoral College by mid-December.

“I understand why the Trump legal team is trying to have the election thrown into the House of Representatives. That’s their constitutional right. And I can’t condemn them for using every possible legal recourse. That’s what lawyers do.”

“I think that the lawsuits in the end will not bring about a reversal of fortune for Donald Trump,” he later added. “I think that on January 20, Biden will be elected president and inaugurated as President of the United States, but I have no criticism of the Trump team for fighting and battling and trying everything they can legally, ethically, constitutionally, politically, to try to preserve his presidency.”

Trump’s campaign or legal team haven’t publicly described what specific kind of strategy they are employing. Broadly speaking, there are two kinds of lawsuits that have been filed by the Trump campaign in several states, according to Dershowitz.

“One I call the kind of wholesale constitutional lawsuits, like in Pennsylvania, where they’re challenging legally, whether all the votes that came in after Election Day have to be discounted, even if they were voted, even if they were submitted before Election Day,” he said. “That’s a constitutional challenge based on Article Two of the Constitution. It’s wholesale and involves many, many thousands of votes. And that has a good chance of succeeding.”

“The other challenges are retail challenges. They are case by case in a few people who shouldn’t have been eligible to vote, voted. Was there fraud? Was there a computer glitch? Those are much harder, because those require actual trials, witnesses’ evidence, and they will take time, and it will be very hard for them to succeed,” he said.

He said he is aware that Trump’s lawyers have spoken about potential computer anomalies that, if they turn out to be true, could trigger a “major disruption and shift.”

“We’ve never had anything like this before, because we’ve never had computers play such a major role in the election … The big challenge is whether or not there were computer malfunctions that turned many, many thousands of votes away from Trump and toward Biden, if that turned out to be true. And again, I haven’t seen the evidence. I’ve just heard the lawyers talk about it. That would change a lot of things.”

“And, of course, the American public would be very upset because they’ve been told by the networks who the winner is already. Remember that the networks don’t declare the winner, legally and constitutionally.”

NTD News reporter Christina Kim contributed to this report.
Bold and italics added.

Are We Free?

For this is the will of God, that by doing good you should put to silence the ignorance of foolish people. Live as people who are free, not using your freedom as a cover-up for evil, but living as servants of God. (Peter, the Apostle)

One of the most disconcerting features of our society is the “celebrity culture” into which too many Christ-followers have bought. Mega-church pastors, television evangelists, or best-selling authors (or bloggers) all beguile us into thinking, “Oh, if so-and-so said it or did it, it must be right.”

But when one of them falls from grace, the message of Jesus gets blamed as if HE was the culprit. Paul warned the Romans, “You who boast in the law dishonor God by breaking the law. For, as it is written, ‘The name of God is blasphemed among the Gentiles because of you.‘” But this is not just a problem for prominent religious leaders.

If any of us who name the Name of Jesus as our Lord hate our enemies and only love those who look like us, act like us, talk like us and vote like us, we will embarrass our Lord. If we fail at the most basic principles of living in the Spirit, the Name of God will be blasphemed.

In our current time, the election of our president is pressing us to take sides, to declare if we are Trumpers or Bideners. Will Trump’s legacy be one of lying, cheating, and disgracing the Constitution or will Biden’s potential presidency be one of destroying the Republic and advancing communism against half of the country?

Let me suggest we are FREE. We who call ourselves Christ-followers are free from the politics of the Democrats or Republicans because our citizenship is higher and more secure than anything either party can offer. I am not proposing that we ignore political issues, and some may be called specifically to follow Jesus into the fray of civic rivalries. However, most of us are needed on a different “front” of battle: the contention for the souls of our families, neighbors, friends and colleagues.

Unless God has called us to join a political party, we are commissioned to a much freer and better task than merely getting a temporary “master” elected. We must trust the Maker that He has chosen our next president (see Daniel 2:21) and we will still be called to live as free men and women under whatever earthly rulership He has chosen for us.

This was true of Paul when he was in prison for The Name. It has been true for many martyrs and believers throughout history since Jesus ascended. And it may even come true for some of us if we hold to His call with grace and composure, refusing to obey men rather than God.

No one is truly free unless he is free in his spirit. It never ceases to amaze me that some foolish people think conversions to ideas can be forced.  No heart or belief is changed by holding a gun to one’s head and demanding the victim to say words.  However, “if the Son sets you free you will be free indeed!”  If our citizenship IS in Heaven, then no power on earth can constrain us from doing what is right for our Master.

And His call is clear, one by one we must persuade, inform, and demonstrate that Jesus is who He claimed to be.  It is for freedom that He has set us free, “for you were called to freedom. Only do not use your freedom as an opportunity for the flesh, but through love serve one another.  For the whole law is fulfilled in one word: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’” (Galatians 5:13-14)

So I challenge you (and myself), are we free?

What We Know So Far ;-)

The election of our president was not a landslide for either candidate as some had predicted. It was, in fact, a reflection of the wider divide in our country between worldviews of our culture and of what a president needs to be. So our 45th was not assured on Tuesday night that he would continue to serve, and our potential 46th was not certain he would replace him. My brother sent me this perceptive graphic analysis.

There have been several clear-sighted responses to the election process that are finally filtering into the Christian media and reminders that our presidents do not get to choose themselves. If you followed a link in last week’s blog, October 31, 2020, I noted a reference to Daniel 2:21: HE removes kings [presidents] and sets up kings.”

The God Who Is Here, our Creator, the Maker of Heaven and earth, the sustainer of the universe, has not been caught off guard. His sovereignty is still intact and He is still on His throne. His plan for the ages is still progressing and will find its fulfillment in the return of Jesus as was told to the original disciples on the Mount of Ascension: “This Jesus . . . will come in the same way as you have seen Him go.”

He remains King of kings and Lord of lords. The Bible still gives us guidance for every issue we face in our daily lives, whether that includes how to accept and work with an egomaniac as president or a half-asleep abortionist. The bottom line is our president nor any human government is going to bring in an age of enlightenment, pure justice and mercy and peace. Only the Prince of Peace will accomplish what our hearts desire.

He is still alive at Father’s right hand to make intercession for us, and though we may not get everything we wish for when we pray, He will supply every need, even if that is grace to face death and thus participate in the resurrection of our Lord.

Remember, Jesus, not our president nor our government, is still our only way to Heaven, our only means of salvation, the only author and finisher of our faith. Our neighbors still need to know that He loves them, and they need to know that WE love them. Even the rioters and murderers need to know this, maybe “especially” so, and we may be the means for them to understand His love as he plants it in our hearts for them.

In another blog, I will comment on why He allows men like Nebuchadnezzar, Genghis Khan, Adolph Hitler or Donald Trump/Joe Biden to take rulership over us for certain periods of time. But rest assured, He has chosen our next president through our participation, and He is setting a stage for events we cannot yet see clearly. But we remain confident in the end result: Jesus will reign.

The Electoral College Map as estimated by new outlets as of 11/06/20

Three Days: Then What?

“You keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on You, because he trusts in You. 
Trust in Yahweh forever, for Yahweh God is an everlasting rock.”
Isaiah 26:3-4

With an “election” just three days away, listen to the pundits: it will either be a landslide for Joe Biden or Donald Trump; or it will be a razor thin win that will be contested in courts all the way up to the day the Electoral College convenes on December 14 . . . or beyond!

However, what will be our response as Christ-followers to the election? Evangelicals, as a voting group, have put their hat in the ring with Trump; other Evangelicals, such as John Piper and leaders in Christianity Today have questioned the wisdom of voting for a candidate so far removed from a Christ-honoring life-style; as if “Catholic” Joe Biden represented a better option?

Perhaps disciples of Jesus should be less focused on this election, and more concentrated on how our witness is affected by aligning with any political party. That is not to say we should not vote, nor do I mean that we should not participate in the discussions and debates about the directions of our nation. However, those discussions should always bring us back to sharing the preeminent love of Jesus for those with whom we disagree. It should not result in a withdrawal to “our corner” with only those who agree with us.

There is a sovereignty of God that will not yield to Democrat or Republican propaganda; He will determine our next president no matter how hard we pray for a particular outcome. This is not an abdication of faith. I can tell God as forcefully as possible that I want a certain candidate elected, and if that is not God’s will, I will join Peter when Jesus told him to stand down, calling the conspicuous lead disciple a devil! “Get behind me, Satan! You are a hindrance to me. For you are not setting your mind on the things of God, but on the things of man.” (Matthew 16:23)

This is where too many North American “Christians” are today! We want our comfortable middle-class religion that is easy-living and does not disturb us with issues of turning the other cheek, loving the poor, inviting the disenfranchised into our homes, giving more than merely “out of [our] abundance.”

How many of us support missions in Kenya but will not invite a black family to supper; too many of us do not even know a black family to invite! Who among us has befriended a Muslim family that needs more than Mohammad can offer? What about the college students who are living together unwed? Are we so offended by their lifestyle that we cannot show them how much we and Father love them? How much strain do you think an abortion assistant must go through before becoming calloused to the disposed “body parts?” When was the last time you talked to anyone about their eternal soul and what will happen if they have not accepted Jesus?

What really matters to us? Consider how much time do we spend praying for our lifestyle choices and comforts to continue? Compare that to how much time we pray for our president or his successor. Now, let’s get meddlesome: How much time do we spend praying for friends who do not know where they will spend eternity!? Have we inadvertently bought into a “prosperity gospel” that promises we should never have to suffer because God loves us? He will “fix” whatever we find disagreeable?

Jesus went to the cross in God’s will and by Father’s plan. Three days later He came back from the dead; yes, think about that – we believe even death could not destroy Him who is before all things and by whom all things hold together. But He could not have risen from the dead unless He first went to that cursed cross!

And do not think that we will be spared affliction, just as Peter warned those first century followers of Jesus: “Do not be surprised at the fiery trial when it comes upon you to test you, as though something strange were happening to you.  But rejoice insofar as you share Christ’s sufferings.” (1 Peter 4:12-13)

So now with three days till the “election,” if it is even finished then, what will we do with these three days? Hole up in our hidey-holes and pray that God will give us the elected officials we want? Or can we find or make an opportunity to share the love of Jesus with someone who may not even realize they need Him?

Intermezzo Guest Blog: Say A Prayer For The President

Prayer should be such a constant part of following Jesus, at first I thought I would pass on passing this along. But then Scripture continually exhorts us to pray and Jesus set this as our example. So I offer this guest blog in hopes that we will join Ms. Kristian (yes, that is her real name 🙂 ) in praying for our president whoever may occupy the White House. Christianity Today is an excellent resource for perspectives on issues of faith and practice; well worth the subscription! c.a.
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Politics should not  matter when it comes to lifting up our leaders.
Bonnie Kristian – October 20, 2020

Though I have never contributed to a time capsule, penning this column seems a curiously similar exercise. As I sit down to write, summer is blazing. Joe Biden handily leads President Donald Trump in the polls, but I can’t claim to know who will win.

When you sit down to read this, the presidential election may or may not be over. The results may or may not be announced. Between pandemic occasioned mail-in ballots and the lawsuits and recounts I expect will follow, this column seems to me a distant, ominous smear on the calendar of a helter-skelter year. What can I write to such a future?

There is one certainty, however the election ends: A president of the United States will be chosen, and he will be in dire need of prayer.

Calls to pray for political leaders are familiar to evangelicals. We know Scripture requires it: “I urge that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and thanksgivings be made for everyone,” writes the apostle Paul in 1 Timothy 2:1–2, “for kings and all who are in high positions, so that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and dignity” (NRSV throughout). We know, too, that prayers are commanded no matter what we make of our leaders’ politics. We pray for their prudence and success for the sake of our neighbors, even if we would never give them our vote.

But I think we can pray more. Here are four ways to pray over a president, whoever he may be:

Pray honestly, but with mercy.
Around the time of the 2012 election, billboards appeared in several states, urging passersby to pray Psalm 109 for then-President Barack Obama: “May his children be orphans, and his wife a widow. May his children wander about and beg; may they be driven out of the ruins they inhabit” (Ps. 109:9–10). Imprecatory Psalms like this appear in Scripture because God wants us to speak truthfully to him (Job 42:8). We should not conceal our emotions in prayer, as if we could fool God. But at the same time, as bitter honesty is preferable to decorous pretense, so mercy in our prayers is better than cruelty.

Pray for winners and for losers.
The Covid-19 pandemic; a summer of police brutality, protest, and riot; and Trump’s cunning omnipresence in our political conversations have combined to intensify what is already the most intense date on the political calendar. For many Americans, this election feels apocalyptic. I don’t think forecasts of widespread violence over its outcome are correct, but neither can I confidently dismiss their possibility. For those whose candidate lost, we should pray for calm, endurance, and comfort in what may be a moment of real fear. For those whose candidate won, we should pray for responsibility, humility, and grace. Insofar as conscience permits, let us “rejoice with those who rejoice, [and] weep with those who weep” (Rom. 12:15).

Pray for wisdom, peace, and justice.
Every presidency is much shaped by its staff, and the space between Election Day and Inauguration Day is a crucial time for the selection of presidential advisers. “Where there is no guidance, a nation falls,” says Proverbs 11:14, but bad guidance can take a nation down also. Prayers for peace are needed, because our Constitution assigns the president perhaps his most unfettered power in the conduct of war — and its conclusion. And some policies of every presidency, whether at war or at home, inflict unjust harms. We should pray for our president’s victims, for their receipt of justice and restoration.

Pray for perspective and discipleship.
The presidency, we must remember, is not everything. Who occupies the Oval Office cannot singly determine every course of the next four years. In the smaller scheme of things, many policies that most affect our daily lives are set at state and local levels. There is good to do in our communities, whatever happens in Washington. In the bigger picture, the president is not our true king and America is not our true kingdom. Our hope is in Christ, not “in princes, in mortals, in whom there is no help” (Ps. 146:3). Neither is the president our exemplar, the life around which we conform our own. Still, let us pray that discipleship will cultivate in us any of his virtues we admire — and that sanctification will excise from us any of his vices we revile.

Bonnie Kristian is a columnist at Christianity Today.

Since All These Things Are Thus To Be Dissolved, How Should We Then Vote?

The title of this blog comes from 2 Peter 3:11 with a little tweaking: How should we then vote?  I received constructive criticism from a dear friend after sending out an email encouraging everyone to vote.  He strongly suggested I should have instructed each to vote as a Christian: against abortion and same sex marriage, and for freedom of religion … and a life free from mob rule, etc.

However, John Piper recently wrote, “I remain baffled that so many Christians consider the sins of unrepentant sexual immorality (porneia), unrepentant boastfulness (alazoneia), unrepentant vulgarity (aischrologia), unrepentant factiousness (dichostasiai), and the like, to be only “toxic” for our nation, while policies that endorse baby-killing, sex-switching, freedom-limiting, and socialistic overreach are viewed as “deadly.” Both are deadly.”

You have heard it said “If you find the perfect church, do not join it as it will not be perfect anymore!” 😮  There is no perfect church and there are no perfect candidates.  So we are always left with the choice of the lesser of two evils, no matter who is running for office.  Randy Alcorn in Heaven said (the book, not the address 😇) “Christians should be involved in the political process, and we can do much good, but we should never forget that the only government that will succeed in global reform is Christ’s government.”  We are called to be “salt and light” in this ever-darkening world, and part of our witness is that our neighbors see how we apply our Christian worldview in deciding for whom we vote.

Another friend, though, perhaps the wisest and most influential in my life, expresses remorse that the Evangelical community has so strongly embraced President Trump that we have alienated half of the nation to our witness for Jesus.  Their reasoning is understandable if our allegiance to a political party seems to take precedence over our allegiance to another King.

Jesus and His followers were not very attached to this present world, and it was that “other-worldliness” that brought on suspicion, persecution and even martyrdom, not their allegiance to any earthly ruler.

Perhaps the worst day in history for Christianity was when Emperor Constantine became a Christian.  Suddenly it became “popular” to carry the Name.  Meetings in homes were no longer viewed as subversive; it rapidly became politically, economically and socially advantageous to be “Christian.”  The result was the Christ-following communities were infiltrated by pretenders and like “sheep in the midst of wolves,” their innocence quickly became overrun with those who were CINO (Christian In Name Only).

What the enemy could not accomplish by persecution was achieved by subtler means, getting half-hearted “disciples” to mimic the words and practices of the Christians until one could not be certain of any faith.  Like many in churches today, if they showed up for the meetings, paid some offerings and generally supported the Church, they became accepted to even lead.

This is not to say the Church was entirely corrupt and of no value.  Like “weeds among wheat,” Father allowed the Church to continue growing.  Many good things came from this acceptance into general society, such as Constantine’s call for a Council of Nicaea to clarify certain issues of doctrine, as well as other Councils.  Many church “fathers” such as Irenaeus, Jerome and Augustine explored great truths for the Church, exhibited both by their lives of commitment and their extensive writings.  However, the Church continued to slide gradually into political and societal priorities and became less interested in the other Kingdom, “not of this world.”

Alasdair MacIntyre ended After Virtue with a warning of “the coming ages of barbarism and darkness.”  We in our generation may well take care to prepare for renewed persecution and ostracization if we espouse that there is another King to whom we are allied, not the Republican nor Democratic parties (nor any fringe parties, either).

“Love your neighbor. Love the stranger. Hear the cry of the otherwise unheard. Liberate the poor from their poverty. Care for the dignity of all. Let those who have more than they need share their blessings with those who have less. Feed the hungry, house the homeless, and heal the sick in body and mind. Fight injustice, whoever it is done by and whoever it is done against. And do these things because, being human, we are bound by a covenant of human solidarity, whatever our color or culture, class or creed.
“These are moral principles, not economic or political ones. They have to do with conscience, not wealth or power. But without them, freedom will not survive. The free market and liberal democratic state will not save liberty, because liberty can never be built by self-interest alone. I-based societies all eventually die. Ibn Khaldun showed this in the fourteenth century, Giambattista Vico in the eighteenth, and Bertrand Russell in the twentieth. Other-based societies survive. Morality is not an option. It’s an essential.”
Jonathan Sacks, Orthodox Rabbi, Morality: Restoring the Common Good in Divided Times

These are instructions such as Jesus gave.  My only point of divergence from the good Rabbi would be the expectation of the Holy Spirit empowering us to fulfill such behaviors.  We who follow Jesus must, I say MUST, exhibit that same love of our Lord that prayed over his crucifiers, “Father, forgive them for they do not understand what they are doing.”

Anita and I already voted and my friend and critic would approve, but I did not vote to please him or you.  And if you think you voted for someone other than I did, let’s sit down and talk about our rationales.  There should be no hate, no antagonism, no animosity.  Even if you were my enemy, even if you were my crucifier, my Master calls on me to show you love; and that we voted differently hardly makes you an enemy just because we disagree politically.

So finally, how should we then vote?  Do not vote as a Republican, Democrat, Independent, etc., but vote as a Bible-believer, a follower of Jesus; one who takes this responsibility very seriously.
And what else?  Pray, pray, pray for the coming elections.  Yes, “pray without ceasing.” Also “pray for all who are in high positions, that we may lead a peaceful and quiet life, godly and dignified in every way.

And pray, pray, pray for your country.