John Piper’s ambiguous words this week missed the point.
The Pastor, author and respected teacher posted a raw shakedown of the U.S Elections, saying both Trump, and Biden are an ill wind that will reap no national good.
Therefore, Piper wrote, vote as you will, but as for me ‘I won’t be endorsing the devastation.’
Piper was right to assert his allegiance to Christ over party, platform and policy. He was right to question the superficial protestations about Christian faith which seem permanently glued to the Trump presidency.
Piper was half-right to assume that for Christians the choice in this election is between Government, and Jesus Christ.
On one side there’s a party as far from Christ on the issues of civil liberties, classical liberal freedoms, life, and livelihood, as any Western political party has ever been this side of Germany in the 1930s.
On the other is an incumbent President, who’s been consistently harassed, attacked, falsely accused, and maligned, by the latter group simply for having the power they want.
Look at the political, and theological trends which accept appeasement as the only strategy to deal with slow toxins poisoning Western societies, of apathy, and of blind tolerance, of redefinition, the language of “resetting”, of administering to the world a false doctrine that considers “niceness” a crucial Christian trait.
Buoyed by Piper’s comments, and an apparent excitement at possible divisions within the Evangelical camp, Eternity News seems to have been working the “Trump isn’t nice, so don’t vote for him” card, hard.
Niceness is faulty yardstick.
The devil, for example, is prone to make himself look “nice.” As Paul, talking about false Apostles, wrote: ‘for even Satan disguises himself as an angel of light.’ (2 Cor.11:14)
Good isn’t always nice. “Niceness” is nearly always a trait of malevolence.
An “ethic of niceness” is a false doctrine. It’s what the late feminist and political scientist, Jean Bethke Elshtain meant when she directed cautionary words against reducing the Gospel to universal benevolence:
‘Christianity is not an exalted or mystical form of utilitarianism. Jesus preached no doctrine of universal benevolence. He showed anger and issued condemnations. These dimensions of Christ’s life and words tend to be overlooked nowadays as Christians concentrate on God’s love rather than God’s justice. That love is sometimes reduced to a diffuse benignity that is then enjoined on believers. For Christians living in historic time and before the end of time, the pervasiveness of conflict must be faced. One may aspire to perfection, but living perfectly is not possible. To believe one is without sin is to commit the sin of pride and to become ever more boastful in the conviction that a human being can sustain a perfectionist ethic.’ [i]
Presidents may serve well, but they’ll never be Jesus Christ. If that’s what John is looking for this side of the Parousia, he’s going to be in constant retreat, taking a good portion of the church with him.
Piper is right that ‘bad company corrupts good character’ (1 Cor.15:33), but all-in-all his words are problematic. They encourage Trump’s enemies to read Piper’s concerns about “character” through the lens of this “niceness” false doctrine.
Despite his protests to the contrary, Piper’s “no” to the 2020 election is not just an abandonment of his civic duty. Considering how high the stakes are, his “no” is tantamount to moral abdication.
As Charlie Kirk pointed out in his own flawed brief response, John Piper doesn’t know Donald Trump personally, yet here he is making judgements on him, and those who do know him.
John misses the point. Beyond a flawed citizen President taking on powerful, career politicians, lay the greater conflict of truth vs. falsehood.
In the context of the Church, if we fail to bring a confession of Jesus Christ up against the clear, and present false doctrines woven into the current Democrat platform, we’ve failed, not only in our civic duty, but as Christians.
[i] Elshtain, J. 2008, Just War Against Terror: The Burden Of American Power In A Violent World Basic Books Kindle Ed. (p. 100-101)
Ronald Reagan had a unique distaste for career politicians sucking wealth out of D.C.’s tax-payer funded tenure. Most too often more in tune with self-service, than public service. He also had a keen dislike for the faulty, seized-up mechanical inner-workings of Washington.
Reagan was a citizen president. He poked fun at the self-importance of the political class, and wasn’t afraid to include himself in it.
Talking to a gathering of Independent television stations two years after being elected to office, Reagan quipped,
‘”I sometimes think that government is like that definition – that old definition of a baby. It’s an alimentary canal with an appetite at one end and no sense of responsibility at the other.”
Reagan came to office at the end of a dismal decade. In large part because Reagan was, as John O’Sullivan also wrote of Thatcher and Pope John Paul II, ‘one of the apostles of hope’, when despair, fear, and doom, was the order of the day.
The 70s were turbulent. Global instability was everywhere.
The mid to late 60s were an open wound. Peace in Vietnam War was won, and then lost by diplomatic fumbling. Americans were confronted with deep state political corruption, and suffered through a series of fearmongering, joyless Presidential leaders from Republicans to Democrats.
The biggest issue of them all was the “Energy Crisis.”
Concerns over the “Energy Crisis” – a decline in domestic energy production, coupled with Lyndon Johnson’s environmental restrictions, and an OPEC embargo (a consequence of America’s support for Israel during the Yom Kippur War), resulting in high oil prices – was echoed by both sides of the political aisle, coupled with apocalyptic projections, and big government solutions to them.
Republican, President Richard Nixon’s proposed energy rationing, was later extended by Democrat, President Jimmy Carter, who, in 1979, told Americans that the “energy crisis” was here to stay. Then tabled a policy around big government control, such as mandatory rationing. (The 1970s version of “the new normal.”)
Carter’s panic rode on the back of urgency, caused by a drop in global oil supply, a consequence of the 1979 Islamist, Iranian revolution.
His six-point plan delivered the same year, included an increase in taxes, ‘mandatory conservation, gasoline rationing’, ‘expanding public transportation’, and creating a new government department to oversee energy rationing, and conservation.
Carter’s speech wove the “energy crisis” into a “crisis of confidence,” telling Americans that they were losing their sense of purpose, and needed to act:
“I’m asking you for your good and for your nation’s security, to take no unnecessary trips, to use carpools or public transportation whenever you can, to park your car one extra day per week, to obey the speed limit, and to set your thermostats to save fuel. Every act of energy conservation like this is more than just common sense, I tell you it is an act of patriotism.”
Carter’s blame shifting by way of his infamous “crisis of confidence” gave Reagan an edge.
Who said in return that,
“it’s true there’s a lack of confidence, an unease with things the way they are, but the confidence we’ve lost is confidence in our Government’s policies…there remains the greatness of our people, our capacity for dreaming up fantastic deeds and bringing them off to the surprise of an unbelieving world.” (NYT, 14th November, 1979)
“I’ve always thought that the common sense and the wisdom of the Government were summed up in a sign they used to have hanging on that gigantic Hoover Dam. It said: “Government Property. Do Not Remove.” (29th June, 1987)
It’s often said that we don’t vote for individuals, we vote for political parties, their politicians, and their current policy platform.
The 2020 choice for Americans gives this axiom resonance.
Similar in many ways to the context of Reagan vs. Carter in ’79.
One side speaks of hope, freedom, individual responsibility, perseverance, ingenuity, and protections for civil liberties.
The other speaks of crisis upon crisis; of doom, and destruction. From which they preach that only the political class, correct alignment with Leftism, and big government can save us.
Such as, Joe Biden’s “dark winter”, the alleged crises of “institutional racism”, “an unbeatable, Covid-19,” “the new normal of wearing masks, enduring lockdowns, and losing livelihoods in economic shutdowns”; unhealthy fear of conservatives in the supreme court, and apocalyptic “climate change.”
Joe Biden is too entrenched in the game to see that he is the D.C. “swamp”, that leftist activists, are part of the establishment, dancing Carter’s “crisis of confidence”, bureaucratic two-step: the art of blaming others, and looking busy while achieving nothing at all.
On this basis, a vote for Biden is a retreat into darkness. It’s a vote for a “crisis of confidence”; a vote for career politicians who are guarded by leftist activists, and guided by the idolatry inherent within their ideological nonsense.
As Ronald Reagan said in 1964,
“You and I have a rendezvous with destiny.”
“We’ll preserve for our children this, the last best hope of man on earth, or we’ll sentence them to take the last step into a thousand years of darkness.” (A Time For Choosing)
[i] Cited by Karl Menninger, 1976. Whatever became of Sin? p.142
[ii] O’Sullivan, J. 2006. The President, The Pope & The Prime Minister, Regnery Publishing
Google the phrase “Trump supporters threatened with Civil War.” All that pops up is a bunch of wishful thinking mainstream media articles from 2019 pushing false claims that Trump had threatened to start a civil war if he was impeached.
These stand alongside more recent articles where leftist outlets have gone to the fringe of American society, in search of the wackiest Trump supporting American with a gun they can find, in order to slap on them the tag “Trump supporter prepares for civil war.”
With the media’s Spidey senses fine-tuned to this alleged Trump induced threat of Civil War, there’s a very noticeable absence from major news organizations about reports that Trump supporters have received letters actually threatening them with civil war, should Trump lose the upcoming U.S. election, and refuse to leave the White House.
At least three people are known to have received the anonymous letter, which states:
“You have been identified by our group as being a Trump supporter. Your address has been added to our database as a target when we attack should Trump not concede the election.”
Outspoken celebrity, James Woods posted a scanned copy of the letter onto Twitter captioning it “This is being sent al over the country to American citizens who have dared put Trump campaign signs in their yards.”
According to WMUR police are investigating the origin of the anonymous letters, saying that these are felony level criminal threats because they contain threats to “burn homes down and cause injury, but it could also be with the postal inspectors, something on the federal level.”
Silence from most in the mainstream media is another example of the national media, yet again, playing defense for the opposition.
They remain uninterested in news of serious, compromising material found on Hunter Biden’s alleged laptop, and they continue to shuck, and jive, when it comes to asking Joe Biden questions about his knowledge, and reported connection to the material.
Had these letters threatening civil war been sent to Biden supporters, or Hunter Biden been Donald Trump Jnr. it’s a given that mainstream media, and their gatekeepers on social media, would be dedicating wall-to-wall airtime to it. Complete with experts, and panels examining the evidence, speculating on how this impacts the Biden/Harris ticket.
At a recent meet and greet with Democrat Presidential candidate, Joe Biden, Kenosha resident, Porsche Bennett, refused to read from a script, opting instead to speak what was on her heart.
Bennett told Biden and others present at the Kenosha, Grace Lutheran Church, “I’m just going to be honest, Mr. Biden. I was told to go off this paper, but I can’t.”
Her five-minute testimonial, published by C-SPAN, voiced the need for people to recognize the difference between “peaceful protests” and “violent rioters”.
Bennett addressing Biden, called for less words, more action.
Speaking to the Leftist riots which hurt the black community in Kenosha, she upheld the important distinction between protesting injustice, and unjust mayhem.
“We are heavily angry. There is a difference between a protester and a rioter. Blacks are tired of what’s going on. We came together to help get this community together.”
Her repeated calls for “action”, inadvertently condemn decades long weak Democrat governance, and keep-the-status-quo career politician Republicans. Such as failing – dead horse – programs and poor government policies, in Democrat cities and states where (controversially named) black-on-black crime is high (see Chicago and Detroit).
As Bennett said,
“We have heard so many people say, we will give you this and we will give you that. We have yet to see action.”
She noted the high presence of law enforcement in black communities, but failed to make any connection between police force presence and higher crime rates, asking,
“Why are there more police officers in black neighborhoods? Why are we more targeted than anyone else? We want action. We want to be treated just like everyone else. This didn’t start with Jacob [Blake].”
Bennett then hit out a point which, in context, lands squarely at the feet of Democrats, and the bureaucratic caste, declaring:
“For so many decades we have been shown we don’t matter.”
Racism was the implied cause, but not specifically mentioned.
Bennett’s decision not to read, verbatim, a list of demands written for her by ‘Black Lives Activists Kenosha’, appears to have been a refusal to blame her community’s problems solely on the us vs. them, white against black, ethnic division, and obsession with melanin, which fuels the momentum of the Marxist BLM party-line.
The takeaway message from Porsche is that discrimination remains a primary concern for the black community. Her refusal to read out BLAK’s list of demands also acknowledges that injustice crosses ethnic lines, and melanin – abuse of power by authorities is a community problem. (Even though some are more impacted by this than others.)
As the issue of corrupt law enforcement officers abusing their powers show.
During his visit, Biden talked up education, social development, and local issues. He followed Donald Trump’s lead in visiting the 100k strong small city that was trammeled by radical leftwing riots, in response to the police shooting of Jacob Blake.
The riots were triggered by online footage of an attempt by police to carry out an arrest warrant on Jacob Blake that went horribly wrong. Blake, who was carrying a knife at the time, was shot multiple times from behind after he resisted arrest, and repeatedly refused requests to stand down. Police administered first aid, and Blake survived the incident, but suffered serious injuries.
The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel essentially described the key difference between Trump and Biden’s visits to Kenosha was the focus on law and order. ‘Law enforcement was a central presence and theme of Trump’s visit, but not Biden’s.’
Porsche Bennett’s free speech address to a leading Democrat, is a stand against special treatment, as much as it is a stand against treating a community group unfairly because of their shade of melanin.
It’s an indictment on poor governance, specifically, that of Democrats, who are elected time and time again in these states and cities. With the hope that promises made about building the community through empowering individuals with opportunity will be kept.
Injustice in response to injustice, escalates injustice.
The essence of Porsche’s testimony is lost if it’s read solely through the white-oppressing-black, Black Lives Matter (the movement) lens.