If you live within the signaling distance of television and/or radio, you have heard these words bandied about. However, you may not have a clear understanding of what Conservative, Evangelical and/or Socialist voters might mean. In this series. we will take a good look at each label that is being pinned on or claimed by voters.
First take a look at the textbook definition of each. “Evangelical” is a word that comes from the word “evangel” and is expanded into the word evangelist and in politics – Evangelicals. First known use of the word “evangel” appeared in 1614 at the time King James ordered the Holy Bible to be converted from Hebrew – Old Testament and Greek – New Testament. It has an origin in the Arabic language and means the “Christian Gospel.” The top four definitions for the word Gospel as a noun:
1. The teachings of Jesus and the apostles; the Christian revelation.
2. The story of Christ’s life and teachings, especially as contained in the first four books of the New Testament, namely Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John.
4. Something regarded as true and implicitly believed as,”You
can take his report for the gospel.” We often hear people refer to something as being the “Gospel truth!”
Therefore, an evangelical is a person who believes in the Gospel of Christ, i.e. as found in the Gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John. But exactly what is the Gospel itself?
“Gospel is a term used over 75 times in the New Testament. While it has various nuances of meaning, it’s most fundamental meaning from the Greek is “good news.” But good news of what? According to the Evangelical Dictionary of Theology edited by Walter Elwell, “the gospel is the joyous proclamation of God’s redemptive activity in Christ Jesus on behalf of man enslaved by sin.”
Therefore, if you are an Evangelical, you believe in the Bible, the Book which tells the story of Jesus Christ, as authentic and true. You not only believe in the Gospel of Christ; but like the disciples of old, “You commit yourself to those teachings with regard to your lifestyle, choice, and behavior.” Most Evangelicals are “lay” persons in that they are not ordained as preachers, ministers, or pastors. Some denominations believe that a person must be “ordained” to perform certain roles, like the consecration of the bread and wine for communion, marrying, and other things.
So evangel is the Gospel, and Evangelical is a person who believes in the Gospel, and next we have the Evangelist. The Evangelist is one who shares the Gospel with others in order to introduce them to the Gospel – which essentially means “Good News!” There has been many well-known men in America who were Evangelists, as was the Reverend Billy Graham.
“William Franklin “Billy” Graham, Jr., is an American evangelical Christian evangelist, ordained as a Southern Baptist minister, who rose to celebrity status in 1949 reaching a core constituency of middle-class, moderately conservative Protestants. He held large indoor and outdoor rallies; sermons were broadcast on radio and television, some still being re-broadcast today.”
While Jesus, Himself, was the very first Evangelist preaching to the multitudes before His death and resurrection, there were many who came after Him and picked up the cloak of Evangelist in the Bible such as Paul the Apostle. The word Apostle literally means one who is sent out. ORIGIN Old English apostol, via ecclesiastical Latin from Greek apostolos ‘messenger,’ from apostellein – “send forth.”
From this mini-explanation of what an Evangelical is – aside from a political base in the United States – an Evangelical is a person who accepts the teaching of the Gospels – the birth, death, resurrection and the relationship of Jesus Christ the Son to God the Father, Maker and Creator of all that is or forever will be. The Christian faith is not considered a religion – but a faith. It is a faith in God and His Son Jesus Christ and not in anyone was ever born on this earth in the form of a human. Christianity is a faith that teaches that the Bible is the true and inerrant (without error) Word of God.
From these teachings, the true Evangelical voter is one who votes along the teachings of the Bible and whose values in life are reflected in their everyday life. Evangelicals had a huge influence on the Founding Fathers and those who originally settled this nation on the basis of the premise that it was to be a nation under God. Over the centuries, America was great because of that faith and today America no longer puts God first and is paying (and will continue to pay a huge price) for denying God. However, God promises to heal the nation by one (and only one) response from America.
“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 I will forgive their sin and will heal their land. 2 Chronicles 7:14
God gives us a free will and allows us to stumble and fall and forgives confessed sin and rewards repentance until He finally sees that is not forthcoming – and He says, “Enough is enough!” His Son, Jesus, came to earth in the form of a man to provide the sacrifice to make it all possible, and God will not allow His Son to have died in vain. He will not continue to bless a godless nation. No nation in the history of man has ever been more blessed and to whom much is given, much is required.
It matters little who is in the White House if the house of America falls like a house made of cards. The house of America is not only in the church house, but the houses of those who dwell in what used to be called the land of the free. Freedom is truth and the truth shall make you free. Americans voting an Evangelical candidate into the White House alone will not save America. America must recognize that it is they who will change America for the good or the bad.
President Obama is correct in one statement he has made among many incorrect ones, “America is no longer a Christian nation.” When it comes to electing his successor – will there be enough Christians to vote? Are we to limit God and the chance of seeing America “great again” by voting only those who “claim” to be a true follower of Christ Does their faith alone qualify them for being the president to all the people?
All through the Bible, God used some of the most unlikely people to be the leaders of His people. Adam lied to God. Noah was a drunkard, Moses killed a man, Judas denied Jesus, and Paul was a persecutor of Christians; and yet they were used of God to bring about His will. Should a Christian only vote for a Christian? Should a Muslim only vote for a Muslim? Should a Jew only vote for a Jew? Should a black only vote for a black? Should an atheist only vote for an atheist? Should women only vote for a woman? Should a Socialist vote only for a Socialist?” That kind of thinking will only splinter America into many small pieces.
Should people vote only for those who make campaign promises of a “car in every garage,” or “a chicken in every pot?” It was once said that promises were made to be broken and that is even more true – after election day than ever before.
God knows every heart and He knows the beginning from the end of all things and He knows the plan He has for America. But our plans are not His plans given our free will. In the Old Testament, the people wanted a king although God knew that was not His plan; but He gave them what they asked for – much to their destruction.
All American evangelicals should be preaching the Gospel and praying for those God calls to lead, He can make strong the weak like when David slew the Giant. Since God can draw water from a rock, He can use anyone for His kingdom who is willing to be used.