Yes, I am Pro-Life

Years ago my mother was encouraged to have an abortion.  She struggled with her health.  She had two previous pregnancies.  Her first resulted in a child with severe mental handicap and her second resulted in a miscarriage.  This new pregnancy would certainly be difficult and the doctors could not guarantee the health of the mother or the child.  Yet, here I am.  Everyday I thank the Lord that my mother believed in the sanctity of human life, even if it meant her own life.  She loved me enough to risk everything just to give me a chance at life.  

Yes, I am Pro-Life.  I want every child to have the chance at life that I was granted.  I make no apologies for that.  I stand for life.  Every child is precious.  Every child is made in the image of God and therefore has purpose, value and worth.  Every single child.  Every single human being without exception.  

I also am not ashamed of the fact that my pro-life views are deeply rooted in Scripture. The Bible is the ultimate standard of truth, it is the standard by which all things are judged.  So, let’s take a very brief look at what three principles the Scriptures teach.  

Number 1 – Children are A Gift from God

Behold, children are a heritage from the Lord, the fruit of the womb a reward. – Psalm 127:3

Children are not accidents or punishments.  Children should be seen as precious gifts from the Lord.  In our fallen world, this may be difficult to grapple with.  When we consider economic struggles, shame, rape, or incest, it hard to see something anything as a gift in some situations.  But the Word of God is still true.  The blessing of a child often overcomes such struggles.  I have spoken to many moms who thank the Lord that they were able to make the right decision in a bad circumstance.

By the way, church, this is where we come in.  The birth of a child is commitment.  We are insisting women carry their pregnancies to term, we ought to be the first to place our arms around them and help as much as we can.  Let’s make sure daily needs are met along with spiritual and emotional needs are addressed as well.  This means real ministry in awkward situations.  It also means getting to know those around us instead of merely hanging out in our holy bunkers hiding from the rest of the world.  Loving your neighbors first involves knowing your neighbors.  

Number 2 – Life in the Womb Comes From God

Thus says the Lord who made you, who formed you from the womb and will help you –  Isaiah 44:2

No one is an accident.  No child who is conceived is an accident.  What a horrible thing to say.  Every child is a creation of God – a purposeful creation of God.  God does all things through His own will.  Children are created by design and purpose from God Himself.  We are also promised His help.  I understand that not all children are born into ideal situations.  But we do have the promise of God’s help.  Every child has hope.  No child has to grow up thinking he or she is trapped in a particular situation.  

Again, church, this is where we come in.  I grew up in less than ideal situations including poverty and abuse.  But there were many within my local church who took an interest in me and invested their lives into mine.  That was what made all the difference.  Let’s get into our communities, congregations and spheres of influence.  We can drop the judgmentalism and show some compassion and genuine love.

Number 3 – Those in the Womb are Called Children

And when Elizabeth heard the greeting of Mary, the baby leaped in her womb. And Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit, – Luke 1:41

Now the birth of Jesus Christ took place in this way. When his mother Mary had been betrothed to Joseph, before they came together she was found to be with child from the Holy Spirit. – Matthew 1:18

As you do not know the way the spirit comes to the bones in the womb of a woman with child, so you do not know the work of God who makes everything. – Ecclesiastes 11:5

The baby.  The child.  When Scripture refers to what is inside the womb it always uses human terms.  This world will tell you this merely a clump of cells or a fetus or something less than actual human life.  The Bible rejects all of that.  We are talking about real life.  When a mother miscarries, there is oftentimes great sorrow and mourning.  Why?  These women are not mourning a mere clump of cells.  They mourn the loss of a child.  

Of course this little blog post barely even scratches the service of a very deep and complex issue.  There are many great resources out there for those that want to dig a little deeper but I thought I would at least put a few thoughts down here to get the ball rolling

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Come Join the Party

This morning in church, one of our pastors gave us a familiar reminder from Scripture – all are welcome into the body of Christ.  Alluding to Luke 15, he reminded us all that no matter what you’ve done, where you’ve been or what you have gone through, Jesus invites you to be with Him.  At the end of each of the parables in this chapter there is rejoicing over finding that which was lost.  In the parable of the prodigal son we see rejoicing over the sinner who has come back to the father.  All are welcome to the party.  Like the angels in heaven, let’s rejoice over sinners coming to the Lord.  Don’t let your past, your addictions, or poor decisions or anything else hinder you from this party, so to speak.

That’s the great news of the gospel.  The blood of Christ cleanses us from all sin.  Anyone who will confess their sin can experience the faithfulness and justice of our Lord and will be cleansed from all unrighteousness (I John 1:9).  Anyone who is weary can come and cast their great burdens upon the Lord (Matthew 11:28), much like Christian from the classic book, Pilgrim’s Progress.  Of course we can do this, because – wait for it – He CARES about YOU (I Petter 5:7).  Not only does God love you, like He does with everyone else in a general way – but he actually cares about you in particular and wants you to talk about and give Him what is bothering you most.  What an incredible God we have.  

But, in the midst of this reminder, I felt the Lord directing my thoughts elsewhere.  I’ve been in church most of my life.  There’s never been a time I have denied Christ or denied the existence of God.  I’ve never done drugs.  I’ve never been drunk.  The truth is, while I am a great sinner – my sins are not the spectacular ones that comprise the fascinating testimonies we all love to hear.  I’m a sinner of a different sort.

Here’s the truth – I’m old.  I have come to embrace the fact that I am a curmudgeon.  Many of my sentences are prefaced with the phrase, “Kids these days…”  I don’t enjoy modern music and am not able to recognize the stars of most of the movies currently hitting the big screen.  I haven’t yelled at kids riding their bikes on my lawn yet, but I have been confused by new technology more times than I would care to admit.

Of course, this mindset has crept into my spiritual life.  I long for the day when we used to sing hymns in church – only hymns.  Hymns with five million verses to them (even though we only sing the first, third and last stanzas).  For that matter – forget projections – give me a hymnal. I like things the way they used to be.  It feels weird for me to lift my hands in praise during a particularly moving worship song.  My hands are just fine in my pockets, thank you.  I want my sermons long, in-depth and maybe a bit dry.  I even find myself wanting to sit in a pew once again.  Oh, and none of this charismatic stuff.  If the Reformers didn’t say it in the 1500’s – I probably don’t need to hear about it today…  Forget about skinny jeans, any attempt to be cool/relevant, or dismissing before noon.  Don’t even get me started about Saturday evening services…

Don’t get me wrong, there are plenty of valid criticisms about the modern church.  Many of these are well-grounded in Scripture and deserve your attention and thought.  But if I am honest, most of my problems are not grounded not in the Word, but in my security – or insecurity as the case may be.  As a typical church-goer, I like tradition.  While I’m very quick to judge the Catholic Church for lifting tradition to the same level as Holy Scripture (and I’m sola scriptura all the way – and for good reason), I also am quick to raise my own personal preferences and “the way we’ve always done it” to an unhealthy level of importance.  

Even in my own church, I find myself often uncomfortable with some of these things.  I am a church curmudgeon.  But, more than that, I am an older brother.  Let me return back to Luke 15.  While we are right to focus on the joy of the prodigal returning, there’s more to the story.  The penitent rebel who made a mess of his life was not the only one invited to the party.  In the midst of all the rejoicing – there was someone missing.  The older brother was noticeably not at the party.  The father would head out into the field to find his other son complaining about all the ruckus being made.  The kid actually had a good point.  He wasn’t necessarily wrong about his lot in life.  For many years he labored faithfully without reward or recognition.  But he was missing the bigger picture. His pride prevented him from sharing the heart of his father.  As a brother, he should be rejoicing as well.  But he was too focused on himself and missed out on the joy he could have been experiencing.  

Here is where I begin to feel convicted.  Many of my complaints are valid, but I am guilty of missing the bigger picture.  The body of Christ consists of more than just people who think like or have the same background as me.  While I am certainly not willing to compromise the gospel or any single verse of Scripture, I need to thaw out my heart and think of my other brothers and sisters more than my mere preferences.  Instead of being the old curmudgeon set in my ways, I must be able to move past my own experience and embrace what the Lord is doing all around me – even if that means taking my hands out of my pockets.

I tend to be overly skeptical of anything different from what I’m used to.  I am often guilty of a bad attitude and an unwillingness to leave a comfort zone of my own building.  Yes, I’m an old grouch.  But here’s the great news – the gospel is for me as well.  I still have an invitation to the party.  Just as the father in the parable was not content to have a party without the older brother, the Father still wants me in His kingdom.  There is room in the body of Christ for a person like me.  I am welcome.  He wants me there.  Warts and all, the church needs people like me.  The truth is – I need them as well.  I need to be around skinny-jean-wearing cool kids who talk about the Holy Spirit more than I’m accustomed to and sing worship songs that might be more emotional than I want.  I need them and they need me.

All are welcomed around the table of Jesus.  If you have made a mess of your life, come and eat.  If you are an utter failure, come and eat.  There is an invitation for the drunk, the glutton, the whore, the idolater and pridefully arrogant people like me.  Come, join the party.

Book Review – Martin Luther by Simonetta Carr

51xywxv42ol-_sy416_bo1204203200_Title: Martin Luther
Author: Simonetta Carr
Publisher: Reformation Heritage Books
Publishing Year: 2016
Pages: 63
My Rating: 5 out of 5 (1 meaning I hated the book, 5 meaning I loved the book)

Ever since Tony and Tommy came into my life, I am constantly on the hunt for good children’s books.  Not only do I want to instill a love for reading into their lives, but my greatest desire is to create opportunities to enrich their faith.  Martin Luther by Simonetta Carr is just the book to open that door.

As a teacher, I’ve come across quite a bit of children’s biographical material.  Much of it is ok and basic.  They give you the basic story and throw in a few helpful lessons along the way.  But my concern has been that they are moralistic tales that leave one with a heroic appreciation of the achievements of that individual and that’s about it.  I’m glad to say this is not the approach of Simonetta Carr.

Martin Luther is more like a theology book told from a biographical perspective.  As I read this with my oldest son, there were ample opportunities in every chapter to stop and talk about spiritual truth.  The gospel is a clear emphasis all throughout these 63 pages.  I loved exploring this with Tony, that is once he got past the fact we were talking about Protestant Reformer Martin Luther and not civil rights champion Martin Luther King…

While the theology is rich and deep, Carr is does not sacrifice historical accuracy.  The story of Martin Luther is one that captivates me and one I’ve studied quite a bit.  Yet, even I learned a few new things from this children’s book.  I also found her story-telling ability to be fantastic.  She tells a gripping tale that has you wanting to know more and keep on reading.  My son never wanted to put the book down.  I’ve already begun looking into other titles in this series.

The only real complaint I would have is that Carr is a little too historically accurate.  When writing of Luther at Worms, she leaves out his famous words, “Here I stand.”  While I recognize that historians tell us he probably did not say these words, I still like to imagine it.  Oh well…

This is a great book for both children and parents alike.  It’s accurate, reliable and interesting.  This is a great tool not only to introduce your child to Church History but also provides teachable moments to have meaningful conversations about the gospel and theology.  I only read it with my oldest son (9) as I thought it a little advanced for my five year-old.

This would be great to read next Reformation Day in October, but might also make a spectacular Christmas gift next week!  You can purchase the book here.

Disclaimer: This book was provided by the publisher for review. I was under no obligation to offer a favorable review.

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Book Review – Refresh: Spiritual Nourishment for Parents of Children with Special Needs

51s1knwpjtl-_sx321_bo1204203200_Title: Refresh:  Spiritual Nourishment for Parents of Children with Special Needs
Author: Kimberly M. Drew and Jocelyn Green
Publisher: Kregel Publications
Publishing Year: 2016
Pages: 280
My Rating: 5 out of 5 (1 meaning I hated the book, 5 meaning I loved the book)

In recent years, I have been encouraged to see the church growing in its awareness of problems previously swept under the rug or ignored altogether.  Families with special needs children, I believe, have fit into that category.  Growing up with a severely autistic brother made me painfully aware that many within the church have no idea how to encourage these struggling families.  It has never been that no one cared, it’s just that no one knew how to handle it.  It was awkward.  What do you even say?  How could you really help?  It’s been my joy to see that beginning to change.

Refresh:  Spiritual Nourishment for Parents of Children with Special Needs is a daily devotional that will be a benefit to people you know. I wasn’t sure what to think when I first signed up to review this book.  Sometimes books of this nature can just be corny – filled with happy thoughts twisted away from simplistic understandings of commonly misapplied Scripture.  I am overjoyed to say that is not the case with this book.  The authors use Scripture to encourage the soul, rebuke sin, and point weary parents to the Cross of Jesus – just what a devotional ought to do.  Frequent quotations from authors I trust such Gillian Marchenko and Ellen Stumbo give this book an extra dose of weight and credibility in my mind.

What families with special needs children are going to see as they open this book is much they can identify with.  Page after page will detail stories, events, feelings and admissions that you will shout a hearty “amen” at.  This book is intensely relatable.  At the same time, this book will speak truth to your life, even when you may be tempted to wallow in self-pity.  Yet, they will not leave you down as they encourage you with the Word and the knowledge that others are traveling this road with you.  This book would serve as a good, daily dose of inspiration that will help you through the day.

Yet, this book would also benefit the friends, loved ones and pastors of families with children with special needs.  There’s much that just goes uncommunicated.  That’s by design.  Many parents in this situation find themselves frustrated and even embarrassed.  There’s much they just don’t want to say, but wish you could know.  This book will guide you into a world you never knew existed.  It will give you insight into how to minister and love more effectively.  This book would be well worth the cost just for that alone.

Purchase the book for yourself here.

Disclaimer: This book was provided by the publisher for review. I was under no obligation to offer a favorable review.

Gospel Points – The State of the Church in Light of the Election

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It is the day after the election and many of us were hoping to see an end to all the bickering and fighting brought about by this campaign season. Yet, even among Christians we still see a people divided. On this edition of Gospel Points I chat with my own pastor Joshua Pegram (Morning Star Church in Rockford) about how God’s people are to be unified even as we may be divided along political party lines. Listen in as we discuss such topics as where to draw the line in regards to political involvement and how the church moves forward in light of last night’s election results.

Listen to the streaming audio on podomatic or download the mp3.

Other listening options:

I-Tunes
Sound Cloud
Stitcher
RSS Feed

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My Endorsements on the Illinois Ballot

US Senate – Republican Mark Kirk is pro-choice who could be, at best, labeled a moderate.  I cannot endorse him.  He is going to lose any way.  He sealed his fate by mocking the family of his opponent in their debate.  On the other hand, Tammy Duckworth seems to be your average liberal who supports abortion on demand and federal funding for Planned Parenthood.  Nothing there for me to endorse.  That leaves me with Libertarian candidate Kent McMillen.  I have my reservations here, but he is pro-second amendment and will vote to shrink the size of government.  My major reservation is his view on abortion.  When I asked him about this he replied, “I believe in a woman’s right to choose, but I am not in favor of federal funding for abortion. I would not vote to fund organizations such as Planned Parenthood. I would like abortions to be safe, rare and privately funded and if a woman was considering the procedure, it would be my hope that she has a supporting network of family, friends, her doctor and her clergy (if applicable).”  So, while I cannot approve of his pro-choice stance, his view is better than the other candidates.  I will be voting for him, but not endorsing him.

Comptroller  – Leslie Munger seems to be the right way to go in this race.  She vows not to pay legislators until we have a budget.  It’s been way too long, perhaps this might nudge them in the right direction.  She also wants to reign in reckless spending and cut waste.  However, some people I respect suggest the Libertarian candidate Claire Bell would be well qualified for the job.  I think I’ll stick with the major party in this one.

General Assembly

68th District – John Cabello.  He’s a former police officer, pro-life and generally conservative.  He’s the clear choice in this race.  My only hesitation is that he is an early supporter of Donald Trump.

69th District – Joe Sosnowski.  He’s a pro-family conservative whose voice is needed in the midst of Springfield corruption.  He also has connections with Rockford Christian School.

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County Chairman – I am supporting Frank Haney.  Of all the races on my ballot, he’s the clearest choice for me.  Mr. Haney is a conservative who will bring integrity back to the chairmanship.  I’ve had the pleasure of meeting him on several different occasions.  He’s great guy who has strong family values and a faith that grounds him.  I really like him and can’t wait to cast my vote for him on Tuesday.

Coroner – I’ll be voting for Bill Hintz.  He’s had experience in this job and seems like he would be competent.  I like that he’s made himself available on social media, something other local candidates ought to be doing.  He writes, “My commitment to our communities is to continue to practice and promote dignified care to those who have passed on, and provide support to those families and friends who are left behind.  I truly believe that we are the last voice for those who have left us. It is my mission to work very diligently to continue to provide the answers needed to support the healing process for families and friends of loved ones that we have lost.  I truly enjoy my position as Chief Deputy Coroner. I am proud of the work that I have done to serve our communities.  During the past 18 years in the Coroner’s Office, I have embraced the challenges of the investigative piece of my responsibilities.”

Judicial Retention – I will most likely be voting to retain all three judges up for retention.  I’m doing this because I honestly do not know much about any of the judges.  My decision is based solely on this website – http://www.illinoisjudges.net/subhead_retention.htm#circuit17

Constitutional Amendment

“The proposed amendment adds a new section to the Revenue Article of the Illinois Constitution. The proposed amendment provides that no moneys derived from taxes, fees, excises, or license taxes, relating to registration, titles, operation, or use of vehicles or public highways, roads, streets, bridges, mass transit, intercity passenger rail, ports, or airports, or motor fuels, including bond proceeds, shall be expended for other than costs of administering laws related to vehicles and transportation, costs for construction, reconstruction, maintenance, repair, and betterment of public highways, roads, streets, bridges, mass transit, intercity passenger rail, ports, airports, or other forms of transportation, and other statutory highway purposes, including the State or local share to match federal aid highway funds. You are asked to decide whether the proposed amendment should become part of the Illinois Constitution.”

I will be voting yes on this amendment.  It makes sense to me and will ensure budgeted money will be used on budgeted items.  It will promote responsible spending in other areas as it takes away the temptation to use these funds as a piggy bank.

 

There are other races on the ballot other than the ones mentioned here, such as county board seats and forest preserve director.  However, I found little to no information on these races.  In the age of the internet, there is no excuse for this.  If you are not willing to at least throw together a free blog or Facebook group, you are not worthy of my support or attention.

My Endorsements on the Wisconsin Ballot

phillipanderson

US Senate – this one is easy, I whole-heartedly support Phillip Anderson of the Libertarian Party.  Wisconsin didn’t like Russ Feingold so they voted him out and voted on Ron Johnson.  Now, Wisconsin voters don’t like Ron Johnson and are considering Russ Feingold – the very man they voted out six years ago.  They say the definition of insanity is…  Instead of the same old choices, Wisconsin has a better option – Phillip Anderson.  Phil is a man of faith who recognizes life in the womb and vows to defend it.   This is something you won’t hear out of Ron Johnson.  He wants to uphold the Constitution return Washington back to its Constitutional role and size. He will vote to keep us out of war and defend our right to liberty against government intervention.  He is definingly the way to go in this race.

Listen to my interview with Phillip Anderson here.

US Congress

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First District – this is also an easy one, re-elect Paul Ryan.  Since gaining the Speakership, Paul Ryan has brought some sanity back to the Republican Party.  Whoever is elected on Tuesday, Paul Ryan will be needed to oppose the tyranny that is most certain to threaten our Republic.  He is our first line of defense.  If the GOP is ever going to gain back some of its credibility, Speaker Ryan will be the key.  His better path forward is a common-sense strategy that will get our country back on track.  He’s the brightest man out there in Washington and, in my opinion, ought to be in the White House.  And, he’s got a 100% pro-life voting record and speaks passionately about the subject.

petertheronselfie

Second District – Peter Theron is the way to go here.  Peter is a friend and just the type of person you want representing you.  He’s not given to extremes and has the temperament that most of the GOP is lacking these days.  He’s pro-life and pro-business.

State Assembly

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31st District – Amy Loudenback.  I’ve always liked Amy and she’s more than earned my respect.  She’s a person of principle and is willing to stand up for conservative values.  Yet, she also is a reasonable person willing to hear people out.  She’s pro-life and a champion for school choice.

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45th District – Mark Spreitzer is not someone I could endorse in any way as we sharply disagree on just about every important issue.  But, since he is unopposed in this election, there are few good things I could say about the man.  Rep. Spreitzer is a genuinely nice person who I have had several very nice encounters with.  He’s been a great guest in my classroom and is willing to listen to those he disagrees with (even people like me).  On a personal level, I like the guy.

Referendum

Question: Shall the County of Rock, adopt the following resolution?

Resolved, that “We the People” of the County of Rock, Wisconsin, seek to reclaim democracy from the expansion of corporate personhood rights and the corrupting influence of unregulated political contributions and spending. We stand with communities across the country to support passage of an amendment to the United States Constitution stating:

  1. Only human beings are endowed with constitutional rights – not corporations, unions, nonprofits or other artificial entities, and
  2. Money is not speech, and therefore regulating political contributions and spending is not equivalent to limiting speech.

I would be voting no on this question.  While in general I like the idea of getting money out of politics I don’t think it would be very practical.  Removing money from politics (by public funding for example) would give an incredible advantage to the incumbent.  I also cannot conceive how money does not constitute speech.  Limiting the amount of money I can give to a candidate is limiting my support for him.

Instead of this, I would much rather make all contributions to political campaigns completely transparent.  Let’s publish the names of all donors along with amount they are contributing.  That way everything Is above board and we know who is pulling the strings and who is beholden to others.  That makes more sense to me than limiting liberty.

 

My Endorsements for President 2016

Yes, you read that right, I am making presidential endorsements, not merely an endorsement.  I will explain.

My first endorsement will be for independent candidate Evan McMullin, but only if you live or vote in the state of Utah.  According to the latest polls, McMullin (who is only on the ballot in 11 states) actually has a shot at the state’s 6 electoral votes.  This would be huge.  In the best-case scenario, McMullin keeps both Trump and Clinton from getting 270 electoral votes in a close outcome, thus throwing the election to the House of Representatives.  There in the House, McMullin could be seen as the moderate choice between the other two disliked candidates.  Of course, this would take a miracle, but the Cubs did win the World Series this year…  A more likely scenario is that McMullin becomes the first third party/independent candidate to receive an actual electoral vote since 1968.  A win in Utah would send a huge message that we dislike both candidates and want something better.  A vote for Trump or Clinton would not send a message at all.

However, that endorsement only applies if you live in Utah.  I, in Illinois, will not be voting for Evan McMullin.  While he is pro-life, I don’t consider him to be consistently pro-life.  He’s a war-hawk neo-con.  I don’t want to be the world’s policeman and am tired of sending our troops to places like Iraq and Syria with no end in sight and no clear mission.  Innocents killed by drones is not what I consider to be pro-life.

I make this endorsement for McMullin because I consider him a better choice than Trump or Clinton and would really love to see an independent candidate accomplish something.

Instead, I will be voting for Constitution Party candidate Darrell Castle.  While he is not my ideal candidate, I consider him the lesser of seven evils.  I’ll explain:

I cannot in any good conscience vote for Donald Trump.  I’m tempted to vote for the man only because I do see the Supreme Court as important and I desperately want to see the end of Obamacare.  Yet, I am not willing to sell out my soul for either one.  Trump is a vulgar demigod who preys on women, demeans anyone opposed to him and has promised to leave abortion laws untouched.  He has flip-flopped on every major issue.  You cannot trust this man at all.  No one knows what he really believes.  Even when it comes to the Supreme Court, he released a respectable list of potential appointees but then said he doesn’t feel confined to that list.  In fact, he even suggested his pro-choice sister would make a great justice (though said he would not nominate her because she is his sister).  You cannot trust the man.  He even flip-flopped on Mexico paying for the infamous wall he wants to build on the border.  A vote for Donald Trump sends the message to the Republican Party, we are your lemmings.  We promise to vote for whatever candidate you nominate, no matter how bad he is.  I’m not willing to do that.  Also, let’s get this straight – only names appear on the ballot, not platforms or worldviews or anything.  When you pull the level for Donald Trump you pull the lever for that man, not that party.  There is nothing on the ballot that allows you to vote against someone.  Your vote sends the message that you support Donald Trump and all that he is.

Hillary Clinton is also not an option for me.  Like McMullin, she tends to be quite hawkish when it comes to sending our troops into foreign conflicts.  Even more concerning for me is her extreme views on abortion.  She wants to do away with the Hyde Amendment thus opening the door to tax-payer funded abortion.  She adores Planned Parenthood and has opposes even the most common sense regulations to abortion and abortion clinics.  She supports even the most abominable and cringe-worthy forms of abortion – partial birth and late term abortions.  It makes me absolutely sick and outraged.  I could never even think of throwing my support behind such a person.  Not to mention those e-mails…

Green Party candidate Jill Stein is so far left that she is not even on my radar, though I am intrigued with her ideas about eliminating student loan debt.

America’s Party candidate is very interesting.  Tom Hoefling is a passionate pro-life advocate.  His passion is contagious.  I wish he had won the Constitution Party nomination.  He would have been a better candidate than Darrell Castle.  I think the only thing he and I disagree on is immigration.  I’m for amnesty and he is not.  But, even with that, it’s hard not to vote for him.  Yet, I don’t believe the America’s Party practice of not accepting any donations is not practical or realistic and will inhibit them from ever becoming a major factor.

You can listen to my interview with Tom here –  part one    part two

Governor Garry Johnson

Governor Garry Johnson

Finally, there is Libertarian candidate Gary Johnson.  I want to vote for him, I really do.  I’ve met him on a number of different occasions and find him to be a great guy.  He is very personable and genuinely wants to reduce the size and scope of the federal government.  He actually wants to promote freedom and liberty.  Of all the third-party options, this ticket has the most credibility and governing experience.  I lived in Massachusetts while Bill Weld was governor.  I liked the guy and so did many others.  However, both Johnson and Weld are pro-choice and I simply cannot ignore that.  I’m also quite upset that Johnson has simply blown his chance.  He’s received more attention than any other third-party candidate since Ross Perot but instead of capitalizing on it, he blew it.  While on nation-wide television, the guy didn’t know about the crisis in Aleppo and couldn’t even name one foreign leader.  What the heck!

You can listen to my interview with him here.

Darrell Castle

Darrell Castle

So, that leaves me with Constitution Party candidate Darrell Castle.  As I mentioned before, he’s not my ideal candidate.  He’s not inspiring and lacks a passion that a man running for the oval office ought to have.  I disagree with his views on the United Nations (I believe we ought to stay in) and he seems to be, in general, to the right of me on most issues.  The biggest issue I have is that he’s not on the ballot in my state.  However, he is a decent, honorable man who would do well if he won the job.  He’s staunchly pro-life and actually wants to govern by the Constitution.  Unlike the others running, he served in combat as a Marine in Vietnam, yet wants to keep us out of foreign wars.  Castle would balance the budget and bring sanity back to Washington.  Sounds great to me!

Listen to my interview with Darrell Castle here –  part 1     part 2

My final endorsement is simply this – vote your conscience.  In this election, I do not feel the moral authority to claim that you ought to vote for anyone.  Instead, I’ve shared with you my thoughts. These are just that – my thoughts.  I claim no moral authority and recognize that my thoughts are binding on no one.  In reality, there is no ideal candidate, or even one I feel like I can completely back warts and all.  You need to do what you feel is right.  This also includes your right NOT to vote.  But, if you choose not to vote, please remember there are some important down ticket races worthy of your consideration.  I’ve been very vocal in my opposition to Donald Trump, but in the last month I’ve stepped away from that.  Instead, I’m choosing to respect your beliefs and your conscience on this one.  You do what you think is right.

On Wednesday, November 9th, I’m hoping you and I can come back together after this divisive election and pray together for our next command-in-chief.  We’ll all breathe a sigh of relief when this one is over.

Gospel Points – Phillip Anderson for US Senate

This week on the Gospel Points podcast we focus yet again on the 2016 election. While many are focused on the top of the ticket, there are many down ticket races worthy of our attention. In Wisconsin, Republican Ron Johnson is trying to protect his US Senate seat from the man he defeated to get his job, Russ Feingold. However, these not the only two men on the ballot. Also hoping to capture this seat is Phillip Anderson of the Libertarian Party. Phillip is our guest on this last episode before the election and the candidate who has earned my endorsement in this race. Philip is a dedicated Christian with a master’s degree in applied theology. Listen in as we chat about his solid pro-life credentials, the role people of faith play within the Libertarian Party, gay marriage and the dangers of evangelicals seeking only to use political means to advance their agenda.

Listen to the streaming audio on podomatic or download the mp3.

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Anderson for US Senate