Pastor says 2016 presidential election is 'pulling at the very soul of our nation'
Posted July 20
A well-known megachurch pastor is catching attention for a recent sermon during which he said that the current election cycle is “pulling at the very soul of our nation,” and urged voters to put the Supreme Court at the forefront of concern.
The Rev. David Jeremiah, pastor of Shadow Mountain Community Church in El Cajon, California, and founder of Turning Point Ministries, further warned that the election is really about the ability to “retain … freedom.”
The Rev. Jeremiah, 75, later told The Church Boys podcast that he believes that the 2016 election could have profound consequences for the nation's future. While people say that every election is the “most important one,” the pastor contended that the end result could steer the nation in a dangerous direction.
“I can't look into the future and tell you what will happen if Hillary Clinton becomes the president, or if Donald Trump becomes the president. Nobody can do that,” he said. “But looking at all of the information that we have, and the history that we have, it would appear to me that, if this election is a referendum on the last eight years that we just experienced, it will be something from which America, apart from an intervention of God, will never recover from.”
Listen to his remarks here.
He proceeded to express his profound concern over the judges being nominated for federal courts and expressed his grave fears over what he believes will happen if Clinton wins, saying that the “Supreme Court will lean as far left as it ever has.”
And considering that many justices sit on the bench for decades, the prospects have him profoundly worried.
“What that means to the future is way beyond the importance of an eight-year tenure in the White House,” the Rev. Jeremiah argued. “Because the Supreme Court is so much more powerful, looking at it from the long term.”
With an election that has some conservatives saying that they will either sit out or write in a candidate who is not on the ballot, the Rev. Jeremiah is urging evangelicals, in particular, not to take those routes and to reconsider opposition to Trump.
“The problem is that Americans think that they have to find a paragon of Christian virtue in order to be satisfied with their candidate,” he said. “As I've heard it said more than once, ‘We're not electing the pastor of America, we're electing the president of America.’”
Rather than pushing for a pastoral option, he said that there is an important question that faithful voters need to ask themselves: “How can this candidate lead this country in a way that assures us that we have the best possible change to advance the cause of Christ?”
The pastor said that he eventually came to the conclusion that he won’t find someone who’s like him, but that it is paramount for the faithful to find a candidate who isn’t against them.
“When you put that paradigm on this current election, you don't end up with many options, because you know that the Democratic presumptive nominee is going to vote for everything that's counter to the principles of Christianity, on which I've built my life,” he said, before rhetorically asking, “How can I do that?"
And while he said that he knows that it’s potentially an election that leaves Christian voters feeling as though there isn’t a candidate whom they can revere or even like, the Rev. Jeremiah believes that people must “decide which one of these is going to advance the cause you believe in more than the other.”
He also said that the current culture has “gone so far down” and that his decision to seek the best possible option is really about ensuring that the future can be as protected as possible.
“I don't take seriously my responsibility to make the best choice — it may not be a perfect choice, but it must be the best choice, and then go execute my vote — I am being derelict as a Christian, and as an American,” he said.
Despite taking a firm stance on the issues, the Rev. Jeremiah hasn’t endorsed Trump, simply saying that his passion and messaging on the election matter is rooted in the fact that he believes his arguments are true.
“At this point in time, I have to make the best judgment I can, knowing what I know,” he said.
But while many evangelical leaders have flocked to Trump — or even cautiously offered support to the Republican candidate — others have refused to do so.
Consider that Russell Moore, president of the Southern Baptist Convention’s Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission, has repeatedly made known his deep opposition to the Republican businessman.
“What we have in the Donald Trump phenomenon … is an embrace of the very kind of moral and cultural decadence that conservatives have been saying for a long time is the problem,” Moore said during an interview with "Face the Nation" earlier this year. "And conservatives who previously said we have too much awful cultural rot on television now want to put it on C-SPAN for the next four years … with either [Trump or Hillary Clinton]."
Trump responded by taking to Twitter to call Moore a "truly terrible representative of Evangelicals" and "a nasty guy with no heart."
For now, the jury is still out on how evangelicals, among other faith groups that traditionally vote for conservatives, will conclusively react to Trump's candidacy.
The Rev. Jeremiah's comments come after Christian apologist and preacher Ravi Zacharias recently warned that American culture is "at the cliff’s precipitous edge and the fall could be long and deadly."
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