After nearly $25 million, two volatile years and unrelenting accusations by the media, the report from special counsel Robert Mueller, the attorney appointed by the U.S. Department of Justice to investigate the Trump campaign in the 2016 presidential election, finally concluded in late March.
Much to the dismay of the progressive left, the liberal-dominated major media and the disappointed throng who simply still can’t accept the results of the last election, the report found that there was no collusion on behalf of the Trump campaign with the Russian government or operatives.
Mueller wrote: “The investigation did not establish that the members of the Trump campaign conspired or coordinated with the Russian government in its election interference activities.”
For those who hate the conservative agenda of President Trump, which has defended religious liberty, protected the unborn and facilitated the appointment of two well-known conservative judges to the U.S. Supreme Court-—an accomplishment that will bear fruit for decades—the news was quite a shock.
I am grateful that the chaos and conflict that hung over the presidency is now behind us. My hope is that the powers in Washington can now work together for the good of the American people, passing legislation that is beneficial for the entire country. This is what we need if we want to see our nation move forward, not the endless diatribe that has gripped us for the past several years.
The Bible says that a “kingdom divided against itself cannot stand” (Cf. Mark 3:24), and a nation that is in the constant throes of partisan bickering will never make real, sustained progress on the many pressing issues that we now face at home and abroad.
I realize how exceptionally difficult progress will be, however.
If you look at the 2020 presidential challengers, you’ll see just why. Their views on moral issues like abortion and same-sex marriage are diametrically opposed to a Biblical worldview.
Imagine these viewpoints being espoused by presidential candidates just a few decades ago. It would have been unthinkable, and that just shows you how very far we have gone down the slippery slope of humanism and progressive leftist rationale that leaves no room for Biblical values. Make no mistake, the long-held convictions of Christians are under a severe attack from those who are godless and are bent on punishing us for our beliefs.
For example, on the horizon is a campaign orchestrated by such groups, promoting the “Equality Act.” The Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission of the Southern Baptist Convention has called it the “most invasive threat to religious liberty ever proposed in America.”
The campaign features video endorsements from Hollywood actors such as Sally Field and Jamie Lee Curtis, along with endorsements from a host of other celebrities. At the heart of the proposal is the designation of categories that place gender and sexual orientation in the same protected class as the Civil Rights Act of 1964. Observers note that if the current proposal became law, it would be catastrophic to religious liberty. The Equality Act would effectively erase religious legal protections under federal law.
But I am grateful that God has given us at least a window of opportunity where many public officials are still concerned about religious liberty, as has been the case with the Trump administration.
Just a few weeks ago, the ministry of my good friend Dr. James Dobson scored a tremendous victory for religious liberty when U.S. District Judge Robert Blackburn ruled that his ministry did not have to provide abortifacients as part of their insurance coverage.
That legal fight had been raging for the past five years, with organizations like Dr. Dobson’s threatened with exorbitant legal fines under the Obama administration.
Dr. Dobson was grateful for the outcome, but he warned us to keep up our guard. “We have won the battle, and give God all the glory in it, but the forces arrayed against us are still fighting an ongoing war. There will be more battles. Now, more than ever, we stand together with those defending life and the freedom of religion in the public square.”
How right he is.
There are some who say to me, “Franklin, don’t you know we have lost the culture war? Why are you fighting so hard?”
Well, first of all, I don’t think we have lost the culture war. It’s true that many in society have abandoned God, but He hasn’t abandoned His people. We are standing on the power of His Word as we fight for religious liberty, the lives of the innocent unborn, and seek to protect our children and grandchildren—trusting that He will fight for us even as the culture becomes more and more hostile.
Just look at Jack Phillips, the Colorado baker who was vindicated by the U.S. Supreme Court and later by the state of Colorado. He stood firm for more than six years for the right to live by his Biblical convictions. What if he had given up? What if he had decided it wasn’t worth the effort? Thank God he didn’t, and I hope and pray his victory will be a stepping stone for many more believers who have refused to bend to the warped morality of our corrupt culture.
Most of all, I realize the culture will only be changed as the Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ is advanced. It is Christ alone who takes an unregenerate man and transforms his beliefs and actions. That’s why I am busier than ever proclaiming Christ in Festivals this year around the world. Jesus saves men and women, and they in turn influence their homes, communities and workplaces with the Good News. The Gospel really is the “power of God” (Romans 1:16).
Besides, I am not the kind of guy who is going to back down to the forces of evil. That’s just the way the Lord made me. I will “work while it is still day” (Cf. John 9:4), for the sake of the Gospel, leaning wholly on His might.
Photo: Ron Nickel/©2018 BGEA