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Meet the Evangelicals Who Won’t Vote for Trump, Biden, or Anybody at All

They’re not apathetic. Convicted nonvoters think Christian citizenship calls for a different kind of engagement.

Despite their opposing views of who should win the upcoming election, Republicans and Democrats share a sense of urgency over the 2020 presidential race. Both parties would have voters believe that this is “the most important election of their lifetimes” and they have a responsibility to vote in the right candidate.

It’s always awkward to be a nonvoting Christian during campaign season, and this year, nonvoters really feel the pressure. The enthusiasm over the 2020 presidential election, combined with increased voting options due to the pandemic, has already led to record-setting early voting numbers. Nonvoting is assumed to be a decision made out of resignation, apathy, or lack of concern for the country.

While some religious traditions abstain from voting because they do not take part in politics at all (think Jehovah’s Witnesses) or because they separate themselves from broader society (the Amish), evangelical nonvoters say they can be politically engaged beyond the ballot box.

“I’m still involved with changing things, but I didn’t want to do that in the name of a political party,” said Natasha Kennedy, an evangelical in Washington State who has never voted in a US election and doesn’t plan to this year.

Instead, she pushes back against both parties and advocates for Christ’s kingdom without any allegiance to a political platform.

Her position dates back to when she turned 18. As she considered entering the mission field, Kennedy decided she would demonstrate her devotion to Christ and his kingdom by not voting in US elections.

Like many Christian nonvoters before her, she saw the act of casting a ballot as a sign of approval for a political power structure that in ...

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Source: Meet the Evangelicals Who Won’t Vote for Trump, Biden, or Anybody at All

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[Cfamily]Gabriel Salguero: Threading the Election 2020 Needle
« Reply #1809 on: November 01, 2020, 12:00:13 AM »
Gabriel Salguero: Threading the Election 2020 Needle

The importance of Christian discipleship in election season.

Over the last month, I have done over a dozen press interviews on the Hispanic evangelical vote and election 2020. I imagine that much of the interest is because Latino evangelicals are at the nexus of two major voting constituencies in America. There are close to 60 million Latinos living in the United States and they overwhelmingly vote Democrat. Evangelicals, who are about 25% of the US population, vote overwhelmingly Republican. Latino Evangelicals, members of both communities, are the quintessential swing voters. As the pastor of The Gathering Place, a Latino-led multi-ethnic congregation, I am, like many others, experiencing first-hand the delicate and monumental task of shepherding a political diverse congregation in polarized times. Florida is a historically significant swing state and Hispanic evangelical swing voters may be determinative, so the political commercials and campaign outreaches to our community are considerable. Indubitably, I get the question, “Pastor, how should I vote as an evangelical?” I never tell people who to vote for or how to vote but I do lay out Gospel principals for public engagement. Pastors are shepherds not autocrats.

My initial response is to remind our entire church family that evangelical is NOT a political category. Evangelicalism ought not be defined by partisan ideology but by theological concomitants. David Bebbington’s quadrilateral of conversionism, biblicism, activism and crucicentrism has always been a helpful framework for me. In addition, I point many of our congregants to the useful standard of evangelical identification that NAE/LifeWay Research has developed. That many parishioners, pundits, and politicians have defined evangelicalism in political terms ...

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Source: Gabriel Salguero: Threading the Election 2020 Needle

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[Cfamily]French Churches Heighten Security After Deadly Attack
« Reply #1810 on: November 02, 2020, 12:00:24 AM »
French Churches Heighten Security After Deadly Attack

Evangelicals pray for peace after three were killed at a Catholic church in Nice, the third incident in recent months attributed to Muslim extremists.

French evangelicals are mourning along with the Catholic church and the rest of the nation after an attacker armed with a knife killed three people Thursday at a basilica in the Mediterranean city of Nice.

“Let us be peacemakers in a French society that lacks it. Pray for our fellow citizens, whatever their religion. Let us love our neighbors, as Jesus ordered us to do,” stated the National Council of Evangelicals of France (CNEF), citing Matthew 5:9.

Police in Nice have closed all places of worship in the city, and the evangelical group advised pastors across the country to heed government recommendations to heighten security due to the threat of further violence.

The incident at Notre Dame Basilica in Nice was the third attack in two months in France that authorities have attributed to Muslim extremists, including the beheading of a teacher.

It comes amid a growing furor over caricatures of the Prophet Muhammad that were republished by the satirical newspaper Charlie Hebdo—renewing vociferous debate in France and the Muslim world over the depictions that Muslims consider offensive but are protected by French free speech laws.

Other confrontations and attacks were reported Thursday in the southern French city of Avignon and in the Saudi city of Jiddah, but it was not immediately clear if they were linked to the attack in Nice.

“He cried ‘Allah Akbar!’ over and over, even after he was injured,” said Nice Mayor Christian Estrosi, who told BFM television that two women and a man had died, two inside the church and a third who fled to a nearby bar but was mortally wounded. “The meaning of his gesture left no doubt.”

Christian leaders across France responded by crying out to God ...

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[Cfamily]John Richards: Here is Why, as a Pro-Life Black Man, I'm Voting for Biden
« Reply #1811 on: November 03, 2020, 12:00:08 AM »
John Richards: Here is Why, as a Pro-Life Black Man, I'm Voting for Biden

Speaking for those "who have questioned [the] continued, uncritical support of President Trump over the past four years."

As we stand on the precipice of what many have called the most important presidential election in modern history, Christians have a choice to make. The two presidential candidates both have imperfect agendas and less than stellar political histories. In fact, neither candidate’s platform captures what the whole of Scripture says about the issues most pertinent to the office.

With that said, I’m a Christian, Black man who has decided to vote for Democratic candidate, Joe Biden. Before you check out and assume the previous sentence is a given—since Black Christians trend toward voting Democrat—I will have you know that every year my ballot looks more like a tic-tac-toe board than it does a straight line.

Black People are Not a Monolith

I consider myself an independent who votes for candidates based on the social impact of their platform rather than that party that holds the platform. In the past, I have voted for George Bush and other Republican candidates. Not because they were a certain party’s candidate, but because their approach to governing most aligned with what I felt biblical witness set out in terms of civic leadership and its responsibility to our society and citizens on various issues.

Let me be clear from the outset, I am not writing this article as some delegate sent from the Black Christian community to state a case for voting for Joe Biden. I reject any notion that I speak for every Black Christian in America. For every pro-life, Biden-supporting John Richards there is a pandemic, Republican rally, crowd-surfing Vernon Jones. However, I can speak for a wide swath of men and women who have questioned continued, uncritical support of President Trump over the past four years.

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Source: John Richards: Here is Why, as a Pro-Life Black Man, I'm Voting for Biden

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[Cfamily]Movement Wants to Make Southern Baptists Conservative Again
« Reply #1812 on: November 04, 2020, 12:00:14 AM »
Movement Wants to Make Southern Baptists Conservative Again

A new network of pastors says it’s trying to unite the SBC. But its critics fear the opposite.

A week before the election, Truett McConnell University president Emir Caner told fellow Southern Baptists, “We are in a battle for the soul of our nation and denomination.”

Over 500 people gathered Tuesday night for a religious liberty event at the university’s campus in Cleveland, Georgia, and within a few days over 10,000 had watched on Facebook. Speakers criticized political correctness and cancel culture, urging believers to focus on biblical justice over social justice. They prayed for bold, biblical preaching and godly leadership for their churches and the country.

Radio host Todd Starnes characterized the gathering as an attempt “to save the nation’s largest denomination from a radical group of Never Trumpers and woke critical race theorists.”

The group responsible for the event is the Conservative Baptist Network. This newly formed coalition of conservative pastors and leaders worry the Southern Baptist Convention (SBC) is drifting toward more worldly approaches and away from the convictions of millions of everyday churchgoers in the pews (or, in pandemic times, over the screens)—and they believe now’s the time to do something about it.

Their concerns emerged or accelerated over the past four years when, like the rest of the country, Southern Baptists found themselves in disagreement over Donald Trump’s presidency as well as the appropriate response to rising social unrest nationwide.

‘Heartbeat’ to Stay in the SBC

What began as ad hoc meetings in late 2019 grew into a formal network in February of this year, and now the network has 6,000 members and a 54-person steering council made up of influential Southern Baptists: seminary and university presidents, ...

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Source: Movement Wants to Make Southern Baptists Conservative Again

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[Cfamily]Observing the Presidential Race and Exhorting the Church
« Reply #1813 on: November 05, 2020, 12:00:12 AM »
Observing the Presidential Race and Exhorting the Church

Churches must be stronger than political division.

Tonight is the end of what has been an ugly and vitriolic presidential election.

While American politics have always been ugly even since the inception of our country—just watch Hamilton—an argument certainly could be made that American politics is messier and more toxic than ever before in our lifetimes. However, I believe, at the very least, Americans sense the filth and dirt of American politics more than ever because of the public mediums that display the political discourse.

Over the past couple of months it seems Americans are tuning into political reality shows. Beginning with the political Shark Tank pitches of the Democratic and Republican National Conventions and involving weekly episodes of Trump’s No-Masked Rallies and Biden’s Basement, Americans have been viewing political reality shows rather than digesting substantive political policies.

Given that tonight is Election Night, I want to share three observations from this political season as well as three exhortations for the church in America.

Observations from the Presidential Race

Fear Mongering has been Prevalent.

Both parties espoused phrases such as:

  • This election is “a battle for the soul of America”

  • The “future of our democracy is at stake”

  • “You won’t be safe in Joe Biden’s America”

  • “The stakes couldn’t be higher” in this election

  • This is “the most important election” in our history

Basically, both parties espouse that if the other party and candidate wins, America is doomed.

The Other Side Can Do Nothing Right.

Each party has a slobbering love fest with their party ’s candidate. In fact, in the party ’s eyes, their candidate hasn ’t done, nor couldn ...

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[Cfamily]Louisiana Church Arsonist Sentenced to 25 Years
« Reply #1814 on: November 06, 2020, 12:00:16 AM »
Louisiana Church Arsonist Sentenced to 25 Years

He was also ordered to pay $2.6 million to the three black churches he destroyed in 2019.

A Louisiana man who admitted to burning down three predominantly African American churches to promote himself as a “black metal” musician was sentenced Monday to 25 years in prison and ordered to pay the churches $2.6 million.

US District Judge Robert Summerhays of Lafayette sentenced Holden Matthews, giving the 23-year-old man credit for 18 months he already spent in jail, US Attorney Alexander Van Hook said in a news release.

“Matthews admitted to setting the fires because of the religious character of these buildings, in an effort to raise his profile as a ‘Black Metal’ musician by copying similar crimes committed in Norway in the 1990s,” the statement said.

Matthews had shown interest in “black metal,” an extreme subgenre of heavy metal, according to authorities. The music has been linked, in some instances, to fires at Christian churches in Norway.

Matthews told the judge, pastors and congregations of the three Baptist churches that he was deeply sorry and wanted them to know he had recovered his faith in God, The Advocate reported.

He had pleaded guilty to both state and federal charges. Summerhays said that when Matthews is sentenced in state court, that judge may order the sentence to be served at the same time as the federal one.

Matthews pleaded guilty in federal court to three counts of violating the Church Arson Prevention Act and to one of using fire to commit a federal felony.

Summerhays ordered him to pay $1.1 million in restitution to Mt. Pleasant Missionary Baptist Church and $970,213.30 to Greater Union Baptist Church, both in Opelousas, and $590,246 to St. Mary Missionary Baptist Church in Port Barre.

All three were burned down over 10 days in March and April of ...

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Source: Louisiana Church Arsonist Sentenced to 25 Years

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[Cfamily]Latino Evangelicals Boost Trump in Florida and Texas
« Reply #1815 on: November 07, 2020, 12:00:13 AM »
Latino Evangelicals Boost Trump in Florida and Texas

The 2020 race draws attention to the varying interests of America’s largest minority group.

The presidential election results coming out of heavily Latino areas of the US took some by surprise, but affirmed what Latinos themselves have known all along.

More religious than Americans on average, the nation’s largest minority group is a growing part of the electorate. It’s also one that doesn’t vote as a monolith, with political priorities varying in different parts of the country and among Latinos of different national backgrounds.

“There’s a real awareness and awakening to the power of the Latino faith vote,” said Gabriel Salguero, president of the National Latino Evangelical Coalition and pastor of the Gathering Place in Orlando, Florida. “People are realizing, ‘Okay, we could be a determining vote in places like Arizona, Nevada, and Florida.’”

As surveys had projected, President Donald Trump made significant gains among Latino voters overall, thanks in part to campaign outreach directed at evangelicals.

“Latino evangelicals helped Trump to do better than anyone expected in Texas … and in Florida,” said Gastón Espinosa, a professor at Claremont McKenna College who conducted the most comprehensive study of Latino voters leading up to the 2020 election.

National Election Pool results indicated that in Texas, Trump took 40 percent of the Latino vote (about a quarter of the Texas electorate) to Biden’s 59 percent of the Latino vote. In Florida, he took 47 percent of the Latino vote (19% of the electorate) to Biden’s 52 percent of the Latino vote.

The president launched his Evangelicals for Trump efforts at a Hispanic megachurch in Miami at the beginning of the year and held a lively rally among Hispanic ...

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Source: Latino Evangelicals Boost Trump in Florida and Texas

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