While cleaning out some old files this week, I ran across some quotes that I had set aside two decades ago when I was teaching on the off chance that I might use them in class. This isn’t school, but I think it’s time to use them.
One of the quotes came from a “Collier’s Magazine” interview with Mark Twain, that was published in September 1905. Mark Twain was actually the pen name for Samuel Clemens (1835-1910), an American humorist, novelist, and satirist. Clemens grew up in Hannibal, Missouri, a Mississippi River port. This gave him the background he needed to write his two most popular novels, Tom Sawyer and Huckleberry Finn. Every boy – and many girls – when I was growing up would read those two adventure stories. Unfortunately, today a bunch of socialist crackpots would demand those books be outlawed since they contain characters who were slaves or freed slaves. I can imagine what Twain would have said about our current mess, but that is for a different article.
His quote that I saved is also for these times. Twain said, “Whenever a Christian votes, he votes against God or for Him, and he knows this quite well. God is an issue in every election; He is a candidate… His purity and His approval are there, to be voted for or voted against…” Christians’ ignorance of and ignoring of which candidates’ policies support Christian freedoms and which ones attack them is perhaps the greatest sin of our day. I’ve said many times that if Christians don’t spread the light of God’s grace into the political arena, then only the forces of darkness will have any say in how our country is governed.
I concur with those who say that God’s first priority is not the preservation of America; rather it is the preservation of the souls of men and women. However, if those men and women have truly had a life changing encounter with the living God, then their voting will reflect the values of God’s heart.
But there is more that the Christian should do than just voting. There is more than campaigning for candidates or even becoming a candidate. A quote by Methodist theologian E.M. Bounds, a contemporary of Mark Twain, also made its way into my old files. Bounds said,
“Few Christians have anything but a vague idea of the power of prayer; fewer still have any experience of that power. The church seems almost wholly unaware of the power God puts into her hand; this spiritual carte blanc on the infinite resources or God’s wisdom and power is rarely, if ever, used – never used to the full measure of honoring God. It is astounding how poor the use, how little the benefits.
“Prayer is our most formidable weapon, but the one in which we are the least skilled, the most averse to its use.”
Those who have had that life changing encounter with God will want to talk with Him about the people and circumstances around them. We very much need that this year. In 2016, the prayers of the people led to God’s miracle of Donald Trump winning the presidency over the odds-on favorite, Hillary Clinton. This year, with all the ballot fraud and election rigging that is going on all over the country, we again need a miracle from God to not only retain the presidency and pick up seats in the Senate, but also to regain control of the House of Representatives, so that Nasty Pelosi does not control the results of a disputed election.
The oft quoted, seldom followed 2 Chronicles 7:14 reads, “If My people who are called by My name will humble themselves and pray and seek My face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from Heaven and will forgive their sin and heal their land.” God was not talking just to the nation of Israel. Christians are also God’s people, and America was once a land blessed by God. Because we have wandered away from God and have allowed godless socialists to fill our children’s minds with ungodly nonsense, we are in the mess we are in. We cannot resolve it without God’s intervention, but we also need to recognize that we are the hands and feet of God on this earth. We have a responsibility, and we as a nation are failing to fulfill it.
The preambles of all fifty state constitutions acknowledge God’s hand in providing our freedoms and our blessings. We need to reclaim the fervency that caused that gratitude to be firmly associated with our governments. And the reason for that is provided by another quote from my old files. William Penn, the founder of the colony (later Commonwealth) of Pennsylvania, said, “Those people who will not be governed by God will be ruled by tyrants.” If you don’t believe him, just watch the news.
Steve “Doc” Troxel, Ph.D.