As we come up for air at the beginning of the week and survey the political landscape all I can say is WOW! Through all the campaign debris this year it occurs to me as I peruse our nation’s history that we’ve had “WOW” before! As a matter of fact Pastors were even involved in the ruckus. The early Pastors of the republic were not shy… in fact John Adams observed, “The Philadelphia ministers sermons resounded like thunder and lightning against King Georges despotism” A great example of clergy involvement is from Lexington Massachusetts …. On the night of April 19, 1775, the night of Paul Revere’s famous ride. What many forget is that he rode not only to alert the militias the British were coming but also to warn two famous patriot leaders there, John Hancock and Sam Adams. John Hancock, remember him? He was a devout Christian who signed his name on the Declaration of Independence larger than the rest saying he wanted King George to be able to read it without his spectacles! He was very wealthy and helped finance a lot of the revolution. When he pledged his life fortune and sacred honor he meant it. Put his money where his mouth was. Then there was Samuel Adams… He was the organizer on the committees on correspondence, the face book of that day which was instrumental in seeing to it that information flowed to all the colonies. Many called him the Father of the revolution. The real thing to remember however is where these guys were staying that night in Lexington. They were staying at the home of a pastor by the name of Jonas Clark. A pastor who was not only outspoken on the cultural issues of his day but called his congregation to understand their calling to be salt and light engaging culture in the face of great danger. Well, the British did come and Pastor Clark would later say, “from this day will be dated the liberty or the slavery of the American world.” The shot heard round the world took place right in the shadow of the church. You see Pastor Clark fought for freedom… Well, so do we, which brings me to the subject of my column today.
You see, this election matters to me for a number of reasons but let me just give you three. The first reason is my grandchildren. You must know that the next president will appoint not one but up to perhaps four United States Supreme Court Justices and this election will determine not only who they will be but what kind of world my grandchildren grow up in. As it will be a world where as William Bennett writes, “public schools will be mandating that transgender students be able to use the bathrooms and locker rooms of their choice without having to prove their gender identity.” Perhaps no issue more directly impacts the lives of our children than this. A liberal Supreme Court will undoubtedly force states to comply. The consequences will be catastrophic leaving parents and teachers unable to respond.” They will inherit a world where Christians are being beheaded, Christian chaplains are being purged and First graders can no longer be called boys and girls. The destruction that does to young men and women is incalculable. And that’s just what my grandkids will face.
Secondly, my calling will be directly affected by what happens at the ballot box in November. Not the next day or the next week but every indication is that within the next ten years things could dramatically change if Justices like former Justice Scalia are not appointed. My friend Jim Garlow writes, “Freedoms come in “threes.” Political freedom, economic freedom and religious liberty coexist together. Take one away and the other two will eventually disappear. One cannot exist without the other two. The genius of America is that it had all three, until recently.” Just this week I read the words, “There is only one Supreme Court vote needed
to finish off Religious Liberty. Recent decisions made by the afore mentioned supreme court have already changed the religious landscape and if the court moves in a more liberal direction the risk of churches and pastors being greatly restricted or even banned from sharing the gospel… which leads me to the last reason.
Lastly this election matters to me because it will affect the rest of my life! A supreme court that is no longer shaped by the Constitution our founders gave us will probably last for the remainder of my lifetime. Most estimate that up to four liberal Supreme Court appointees would change our nation for at least the next 50 years. I’ll be gone, but my grandchildren will endure it. This I cannot fathom, so I remind us all… this election matters! This election will shape the rest of my life, and yours!
Tim Throckmorton is the former Executive Pastor of the Plymouth Heights Church of the Nazarene in Franklin Furnace Ohio and the Portsmouth First Church of the Nazarene in Franklin Furnace, Ohio. He is currently the Senior Pastor at Crossroads Church in Circleville, Ohio.