"THE SPIRIT OF FEAR" CONTROLS MANY CHRISTIANS
Under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, the Apostle Paul instructed believers that "God hath not given us the spirit of fear" (II Tim. 1:7). Yet, "the spirit of fear" is exactly what many Christians demonstrate every time they vote for President of the United States. In fact, it is hard for me to recall a single presidential election when the "spirit of fear" has not been the overriding motivation for the way most Christians voted. And this same "spirit of fear" seems to be the motivating factor in the hearts of Christians again this election year.
I well remember the 1996 presidential election. As a radio talk show host, I was inundated with Christian callers frantically lobbying me to support Bob Dole because of the "frightening" prospect of having four more years of Bill Clinton in the White House. The "spirit of fear" propelled millions of Christians to vote for Dole even though they knew that by doing so they were compromising many of their deeply held conservative convictions.
As we all now know, in spite of Dole losing the election, America survived Clinton's second term, all the fear mongering notwithstanding. In fact, in many ways, the country fared better under the Clinton's second term than it is faring under the current administration.
When Clinton left office we had large budget surpluses, an unconstitutional, Gestapo-like Patriot Act had not been passed into law, we had not experienced the massive terrorist attack of September 11, 2001, our troops were not languishing in another no-win, meaningless war half way around the world, gas prices were not climbing to over two dollars a gallon, and millions of illegal aliens had not been promised amnesty.
To be sure, the reason for much of the country's positive readings at the end of Clinton's term had more to do with the fact that Republicans in Congress often actually behaved like conservatives (unlike now) and served to stalemate a Democratic White House. In Washington, D.C., gridlock is always a good thing!
In 2000, Christian conservatives again were obsessed with "the spirit of fear" of a Gore presidency and G.W. Bush was narrowly elected. Today, many Christians seem to believe that Bush has ushered in the Millennial Kingdom, the reality that America may actually be worse off under Bush notwithstanding.
Now, once again, another election year is bringing out "the spirit of fear" in the hearts of millions of Christian conservatives. We constantly hear statements such as, "Think of how bad it will be under Kerry!" "Kerry will destroy America!" "Kerry is the worst thing that could happen to our country!" This is the same endless, mindless fear mongering we have been hearing for years.
Yet, the injunction of the Apostle Paul remains the same: "God hath not given us the spirit of fear." So, where does this spirit come from, if not from God?
Obviously, this "spirit of fear" comes from Republican pundits, and sadly, from many Christian pulpits, which have become nothing more than Republican propagandists. Christian conservatives seem to have forgotten that "the battle is the Lord's," and all that God requires of us is that we be faithful to truth and do right.
In other words, a Christian's decision should never be based upon the potential outcome of his decision, but upon the rightness of his decision. As John Quincy Adams succinctly stated, "Duty is ours; results are God's." Notice, "the spirit of fear" is totally absent from that statement. Accordingly, "the spirit of fear" should be totally absent from a Christian's life and thinking.
Therefore, when it comes to voting, Christians are obligated only to cast an informed vote based upon their convictions of right and wrong. Who wins and who loses is God's business, not ours.
The truth is, Christians do not need to fear a Kerry presidency or a Hillary presidency or any other presidency. The only fear that should consume their hearts is the fear of God! Remember, the Scripture says, "The fear of man (even Democrats) bringeth a snare" (Proverbs 29:25).
During a speech at Hampton University last year, comedian Bill Cosby made a profound statement that needs to be taken to heart by every Christian conservative today. He said, "God can't find a way if you are in the way." Obviously, God can do anything He wants to do with our help or without it, however, Cosby's point is well taken.
The probability of God doing something great and wonderful in our political elections is greatly hindered by "the spirit of fear" that dominates the hearts and lives of His people. Instead of standing courageously upon God's principles and promises, Christians are cowering in fear before political pollsters and parties. Instead of deciding to bravely vote their convictions, they bow sheepishly before the intimidations of politicians. Instead of trusting God to multiply their votes into a great miracle, they timidly regurgitate the redundant themes of pragmatism and fear.
Who knows what God would do in America if Christian people would again cast off this insidious "spirit of fear" and start living and voting according to their beliefs and convictions.
Therefore, I challenge every Christian who reads this article to study the record and policies of John Kerry and G.W. Bush and compare them to those of Constitution Party Presidential Candidate Michael Peroutka. Then, without "the spirit of fear," vote your conscience! Try it. Who knows what God may do? And whatever He chooses to do, you and I can face our Savior with the confidence in knowing that our lives were not controlled and dominated by "the spirit of fear."
© Chuck Baldwin
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