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Listen to the 10 min audio
Read the transcript:
TOM LAMPRECHT: Harry, I’m sure you and your fellow citizens of Alabama are somewhat pleased that Alabama is no longer in the headlines of the national news night after night. Of course, I’m referring to the Doug Jones/Roy Moore senatorial race.
It’s interesting to see the response to that race. Chuck Schumer said that this was a rejection of Donald Trump. The Washington Post declared that Trump-ism has bottomed out in the Moore candidacy. The New York Times counted it among examples of stark repudiations of the first-term president.
As we look at the post-mortem of this senatorial race, no doubt, right within Briarwood Church, you have people that are highly disappointed with the outcome of the race and you have other people who think this is a good thing.
What should our response be to one another as there’s probably a diversity of opinions of who to vote for and how it turned out?
WHY I DON’T ENDORSE
DR. REEDER: I do not support candidates or parties and I do not oppose candidates or parties. I do address platforms, I do address policy, I do address positions. I don’t think it’s fair to my congregation for me to take a public position on a party or a candidate because that automatically transfers to them, whether they vote that direction or not.
Jesus said, “You are to teach all that I have given to you.” That means that a Christian is to think through how to function as a citizen of the state.
I don’t want Christians to get lazy and say, “Well, who’s the pastor voting for? That’s who I’ll vote for.” I want them to develop a Christian world and life view to own their process and own their vote before the Lord. But then, now, how can I cast my vote in a way that honors the Lord? And then you get to a vote like this and, Tom, it’s tough.
CHRISTIAN VOTERS SHOULD CONSIDER 5 THINGS
I think it was going to be a close election – everybody predicted that because of the Moore candidacy, in general, and then came all of these allegations. And, when that happens, the believer has got to do two things at a moment like that.
Tom, you will remember, back in the presidential election, you and I did a couple of programs on what is the paradigm that a Christian prayerfully goes through and we actually did a program on “the next right thing” after these allegations came out. Therefore, we’ve done programs on this and tried to lay out the Biblical principals to prayerfully come to a voting decision: character first, No. 2, content of the positions of the candidate, No. 3 competency, No. 4, conviction, and No. 5. community witness.
We’ve worked our way through that and we revisited that when the allegations came out. When the allegations came out, a Christian who takes character as No. 1 has got to consider these things. Are they credible and are they true? To find out if they’re true, you go through a process – we call it “the court” and people are innocent until proven guilty. But, now, you’ve got a situation where you’ve only got a couple of weeks and you can’t determine if they’re going to be true or not, so are they credible?
And then, when a Gloria Allred shows up, the allegations then become less than credible. And then, when one of the individuals says, “Well, I forged this,” then they become less credible. But then you have other individuals that speak so all of those things are impinging upon people as they work their way through it.
EVANGELICALS HAD 4 OPTIONS
I believe evangelicals came to four possibilities, four options.
Option No. 1: “Do I vote in order to express my support of the allegations and the fact that I think that renders a candidate inappropriate for the office? I’m going to vote for Doug Jones.”
When people came to me with that, I said, “Forget Doug Jones as a person. Let me tell you his platform.” Can an evangelical vote for somebody who actually supports the killing of the unborn all the way up to birth – no restrictions – supports Planned Parenthood and supports the fabrication of same-sex marriage? Is that really an option for a believer?
Anybody that takes a whole class of human beings and puts them in jeopardy by public policy – including tax-payer funding for abortions – to me, that platform is no option whatsoever.
Option No. 2 is: “I’m not sure about the allegations. If I elect him and they do an ethics probe, then we’ll find out if they’re true or not. If they’re true and they don’t seat him, then the governor can appoint someone. Because of the platform of the Republican Party, I am going to go ahead and vote for Roy Moore. I’m just going to do it because the issues of a Supreme Court justice appointment, a correct vote on Planned Parenthood, which is now being investigated, all of that’s just too important. I do not want a senator from Alabama who is indistinguishable from a senator from Massachusetts who is fully committed to the secular progressive agenda embraced by the state – not all of the citizens, but the state of Massachusetts.” I don’t accuse them of being insensitive to the allegations.
The No. 3 option is: “I’m not going to vote,” and that’s a tough one for evangelicals. Evangelicals highly value the sacrifice that men and women have made to give us the right to vote and that is a very difficult decision.
And then the No. 4 decision was a write-in candidate and, as you know, there are 20,000 people that made that decision, which would have taken the election the other direction. Basically, what they were saying was this: “I will not vote for Doug Jones and his platform and I cannot, at this point in time, vote for Roy Moore, but I am going to vote. I am not going to sit it out because, if you sit it out, how can you critique what takes place later because you didn’t vote, period. I am going to vote so I’m just going to write in a candidate.”
THE ONLY INEXCUSABLE OPTION
Here’s what I’m telling my brothers and sisters, evangelicals. First of all, I thank the Lord for you. I have grown to love Alabama so much. I love my home state, North Carolina, but I have grown to love this state and the people in it and I realize the angst that they went through.
And I will say this: If you voted for the platform represented by the Democratic candidate, I want to come and tell me how, as a believer, you can vote for someone who, intentionally, is going to legislatively and with your tax money, kill a class of people. To me, that is Hitler-ian. I do not think that that is a choice for a believer.
But the other three choices: “I’m sitting it out,” I don’t agree with that, but I understand how you got to that. “I’m going to do a write-in candidate,” that could be criticized by political science, but I understand why you say, “I cannot vote for this one and I will not vote for the other one.”
Then those who said, “I’m going to go ahead and vote and let this ethics investigation find out if these allegations are not only credible, but are actually true. And, if that’s true, then we’ll be able to send somebody else to the Senate seat,” I understand how they could arrive at that.
But, now that the results are in, how should believers respond to it? Tom, I want to talk about how believers must respond on the Wednesday program, but I also want to say this, Tom: I believe, as believers, you’ve got to give the judgment of charity to other believers in this process. Please understand that, for committed, engaged, evangelical believers who are serious about what they believe, they did not have choices that they could go and join a parade.
This was a tough process so I understand all of those difficulties. Now, I am praying for how we respond to it and how we respond to each other. Now, where can we go from here?
Tom, and I also want you to know this and I want my brothers and sisters to follow along with me: I am now praying for Roy Moore that, if these allegations are not true, he will be able to take a course to get the honor of his name back and, if they are true, then the victims will be properly cared for and have the issue of justice and come to a point where they can forgive and rise above those things.
I am praying for them, I’m praying for Roy Moore, and I am also praying for our elected senator, Doug Jones, that the Lord will thwart the platform he ran on and I will pray that the Lord will work in his life, even as He has worked in the life of many who have been elected who have stood against a Biblical world and life view but, in the providence of God, He uses them to advance His kingdom.
Dr. Harry L. Reeder III is the Senior Pastor of Briarwood Presbyterian Church in Birmingham.
This podcast was transcribed by Jessica Havin. Jessica is editorial assistant for Yellowhammer News. Jessica has transcribed some of the top podcasts in the country and her work has been featured in a New York Times Bestseller