There is an inherent danger to the political system and religion when the two start to get mixed. Now I know that religion and politics have gone hand in hand for a long time, but the language being used by some Evangelical Christians is not only dangerous but frightening.
Just before the New Hampshire presidential primary, Mega Church Pastor Kenneth Copland was joined at his church by the father of Republican candidate Ted Cruz. During the service, Copland announced that Cruz is anointed by God. Speaking to Cruz’ dad Raphael, Copland said, “I believe, with all my heart, that his son is called and anointed to be the next president of the United States.”
As a Christian, I believe that God calls people to various occupations and vocations, and I have no doubt that Mr. Cruz has felt the nudge of God in his life to follow the path that he is on, however, God calls and the Church confirms. I might feel called to be the Pope of Rome but unless I become that it was not God’s calling in my life. How is Mr. Cruz going to explain to his followers if he is not elected? God does not make mistakes; he leaves that up to humans. Oh, I am sure there will be some excuse of the demonic media and secular lefties in America, but without a confirmation there simply is no call. What is being advocated here is just bad theology. Let us not forget Jim Jones said he was anointed, David Koresh said he was anointed.
But the truly dangerous part comes in the mixing of this anointed leader theology with the American political system. We can argue whether or not the United States was founded as a Christian nation. I would say that it was not. It was based on Judeo/Christian ideals and morals but if the country was to be founded as a Christian nation that would have been clearly spelled out in the founding documents. Yes, there are references to God in the Declaration of Independence but only as the giver of rights. The Constitution makes no reference to God and makes it clear, in the Bill of Rights, that there is to be no state sponsored religion. What the radical right is proposing is a theocracy and not a democracy. By the way, Iran is a theocracy, and we don’t like that a whole lot.
To speak of America as a Christian nation denies the fundamental right of all of its citizens to practice their faith as they see fit. If we believe that this is a Christian nation, then how do we deal with other religions? I was involved in a recent discussion about prayer in school. The person was advocating the return of this practice, and I asked how he would feel when the Muslim child stood up to pray. His response was that he would not allow it since America was founded as a Christian nation. Well, that is simply not religious freedom. If we advocated such a stand, then we would be setting up a state-sponsored religion. I asked a similar question about a Jewish child and still have not received a response.
Without getting overly religious, I will also say that many of the policies that Mr. Cruz is advocating are not exactly in line with the teachings of Jesus Christ. Taking care of the poor and less fortunate, caring for the stranger among us, seeking out peace these are all ideals of the Christian faith, and I do not hear Mr. Cruz speaking in such terms. I have no doubt that he sincerely believes what he is preaching but to call it Christian is a leap.
I have no issue with someone’s faith being part of their political ideology and I have no problem with someone’s faith not being part of the political ideology that is what makes America great. Yes Mr. Trump, America already is great! My issue lies with this notion that God has anointed someone to be President of the United States. Sure God wants us to live a life worthy of Him and yes God calls people to all sorts of things, but we do not anoint Presidents in the United States, we fought off a government that believed in the Divine Right of Kings. The entire argument about the separation of Church and state was directly related to the state-sponsored religious idea in Europe and many parts of Colonial America.
So let us move away from this notion of Mr. Cruz or any candidate being anointed and let’s just focus on choosing the candidate that best fits the vision of the America we want. Being the best at what we were doing is to bring glory to God, and we do not have to be anointed to do that.