‘False Piety and Self-Righteousness’ Used In Case Against GOP Nominee
By Jack Richardson IV
Jack L. Richardson IV is a Louisville attorney and former Chair of the Louisville Jefferson County Republican Party, member of the Kentucky Republican Party Executive Committee. He is a former student at the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, former member of the Foundation Board at Southern Baptist Theological Seminary and currently an associate of the foundation.
Editor’s Note: This article originally appeared in the Louisville Courier. Jack Richardson IV has been gracious enough to give us permission to run this article.
Nothing sparks controversy and division faster than religion and politics and rightfully so because an error in either has profound consequences. This presidential election is an existential choice between freedom and a generation of ingrained and institutionalized corruption. There will be no redo in four years if we choose wrongly.
Consequently, the opinions of those that influence the ignorant masses matter, which brings me to the significance of recent statements made by R. Albert Mohler Jr., President of the Southern Baptist Theological seminary and Russell Moore, president of the Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission of the Southern Baptist Convention, who recently weighed in on the presidential election. On CNN and in his article in the Lexington Herald-Leader, Mohler was warning people within the faith community to keep their distance from Donald Trump. Elsewhere they have said they would not vote for him.
I have been a member of the Foundation Board of Southern Seminary for years and am currently an associate of the foundation, a seminary student and have donated thousands as well as given annual grants to professors. I and others on the board could not disagree more with Mohler’s position on Trump. Moreover, many professors disagree as well, but can’t speak out.
Mohler’s house is divided.
Not all opinions are equal. Some are informed, many are not. Mohler’s and Moore’s “Never Trump” position I find borne of false piety and self-righteousness. In this election, the premise is not based upon the greater righteousness or sinlessness of one candidate over another. The correct premise is comparing the policies of each candidate and how that will impact the nation.
Trump was not my choice, but he is now.
I make no excuses for the man and if he were as bad as Hillary Clinton, his policy positions would still win the day for me.
We all know his sins. As scripture says, any man who says he is without sin is a liar, 1 John 1:8. At lease we know Trump’s sins.
We don’t know the sins of the “Never Trump” crowd, do we? Do we know the sins of those who teach and preach in our religious institutions and seminaries?
I’m sure if some of the content of the discussions in closed-door meetings of Moore and Mohler while others were present were disclosed, the hypocrisy of their stand on Trump would be humiliating and humbling. Perhaps that is what is needed.
In critical times when the choices are not good, a choice nevertheless has to be made and doing nothing is not an option. As Charles Spurgeon, one of the most famous preachers of the last 150 years, said, “There is nothing more deadly than self-righteousness.”
At a charitable banquet in September in Louisville, Mohler, with great praise, introduced as the guest speaker Dr. David Platt, author of the New York Times Best Seller, “Radical: Taking back your faith from the American Dream.” He is also president of the Southern Baptist Convention’s International Mission Board.
Dr. Platt condemned “Political Neutrality” as wrong. I wondered how Mohler was going to reconcile this incongruity in his own position on Trump.
It’s not so surprising that Russell Moore is a “Never Trumper,” as he was always fond of reminding me that he was a Democrat. Of course he could never reconcile how his support for the positions of his party was at such odds with his Christian faith yet he continued supporting what is abjectly opposed to what donors who support his institution pay him to do.
In other panel discussions, Moore justified his position by stating, “You can lose an election and live to fight another day.” No, you can’t. Clinton will pack the Supreme Court with leftists who will come after our liberties with a vengeance.
The big question I have is how many of the donors and those on the Seminary’s Foundation Board are aware of the political positions Mohler and Moore have taken. How many throughout Baptist congregations would continue to support the institutions they lead?
At a recent God and Politics Forum at the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary with Cal Thomas, Mohler tried to support his previous statements that he could not vote for Trump. Thomas clearly enunciated there and in his published columns the flaw in Mohler’s position, as have others. Essentially Mohler’s position is a wasted vote and will place Hillary into the White House. In 2012 millions of conservatives, (mostly self-proclaiming Christians) did not vote. They in effect re-elected Obama. They have relinquished any right to complain.
As Dr. Platt so aptly put it, “political neutrality” is wrong and I’m sickened and disgusted at the self-righteousness of those conservatives and Christians who believe they are accomplishing something with not voting because some candidate doesn’t measure up to their sin-meters. They deal and negotiate and choose between sinful people every day of their lives, yet become super holy and falsely pious when it comes to voting in this election. This is about policy, not personality.
Pardon my asking, but where have Mohler and Moore been over the last 30 years of Hillary Clinton’s life of political scandal? And, if my memory serves me correctly, they swallowed the camel on Romney (if they are going to be theologically consistent), but choked on the Trump gnat. It’s all contrived and disingenuous if not intellectually dishonest. There is no scriptural basis for their positions.
Hillary hates the religious community. In a speech before the Women’s World Summit on April 23, 2015, she was quoted: “Laws have to be backed up with resources and political will. And deep-seated religious beliefs have to be changed.”
The recent release this week of leaked emails show Hillary’s disdain for religion and particularly Catholics and Evangelicals. Religion is in Hillary’s cross-hairs.
At a recent fundraiser with Barbara Streisand, Hillary called millions of Americans irredeemable and deplorable. That’s totalitarian code language for you are not fit for our re-education camps (our public schools today) so you need to be eliminated.
The “Never Trump” crowd barely ever mentions Hillary Clinton in their reasoning. All the self-righteous “Never Trumpers” focus is on Donald Trump
There is no tomorrow after a Hillary Clinton presidency. There will be no electoral means for a Republican or conservative acceptable to the “Never Trumpers” to regain the White House.
Wake up! We are staring down the barrel of a permanently entrenched one-party government and ruling class. The penalty for self-righteousness in this election will be the loss of your freedoms.