Final thoughts before the most important election since 1860.
[But first, a note on my blog. I have added people to my blog who have liked and joined in signing the recent document, “Pro-Life Evangelicals for Biden” which I initiated. But please feel free to unsubscribe if you do not want to continue receiving my blog. TO STOP GETTING MY BLOG, click on “2020 unsubscribe” (this box is just below the SHARE bar at the end of the blog). After the election, I will get back to discussing a wide variety of topics on culture, church, theology and of course, politics.]
I have believed for many months that November 3 is the most important presidential election in 160 years. Now, just a very few days away from that momentous day, here are my final thoughts. Pray. Protect. Participate. Prepare.
November 3 poses unprecedented dangers. Powerful voices say that the vote will be corrupted by massive fraud. The President has refused to say he will accept the results. There are reports of armed militia groups preparing for violence. Massive numbers of citizens are buying guns (at about twice the rate of a year ago). The winner may not be known for several days – – resulting in massive, swirling rumors about alleged fraud. The respected polling operation, PRRI, has just reported that 86% of Americans are somewhat or very worried that there will be widespread, violent protests after November 3.
People have drawn a parallel to 1994 in South African when Nelson Mandela first ran for president. Many people expected massive violence in the weeks around the election. In response, vast numbers of religious leaders joined together in widespread fervent prayer for peace in the days surrounding the election. And the result was very little violence and a peaceful transition—with major papers around the world speaking of a “miracle”!
All religious leaders – – whatever their politics and political preferences – – must join together in the next few days to beg God for a miracle, to beg God to bring us through the next dangerous seven days without violence and with near universal acceptance of the results of the election.
I do NOT pray that Biden wins (although I fervently hope he does). And I do not want you to pray that Biden wins! God has not sent me or anybody else an email or “word from the Lord” on who God wants to win this election. But I know God wants an outcome that will be the best for our nation and the world. And so I pray vigorously that people will vote in a way that will advance God’s desire for justice, truth, freedom, respect for life – – shalom in every area. I also pray for a free, fair, safe and peaceful election.
Pastors, please have non-partisan prayers in your worship service Sunday. Lay leaders, encourage your pastors to make that an important part of the service on November 1. If you want examples of very short prayers, a longer prayer, or a liturgical prayer, go to: https://act.sojo.net/page/23663/action/1
It seems likely that there will be substantial, perhaps widespread efforts to threaten and intimidate minority voters coming to the polls on November 3. Pastors at the Polls can be a great help. Barbara Williams-Skinner has put together a fabulous, huge effort to organize pastors (in clerical garb – – collars or whatever) to be present at the polls. Their visible presence will discourage intimidation.
Go to www.turnoutsunday.com and offer to volunteer. They will provide training and tell you where to go.
Also hundreds and hundreds of clergy of many different persuasions have signed a non-partisan letter supporting free and fair elections. I have signed. If you have not, go to https://faithandelections.com and add your name.
Astounding numbers have already voted. My wife and I have already received confirmation that our “mail in” ballot has been received. (We took them personally to one of the designated places where you can drop off those ballots.) It is now too late to request a mail in ballot. If you have not yet returned a mail in ballot that you received, it is much safer now to personally take that ballot to one of the designated drop off places rather than mail it at this late date. Also, in many places, you can still vote in person before November 3. And certainly, if you have not voted earlier, vote safely on November 3.
There is an excellent website that can answer all of your questions about voting: where to drop off your mail in ballots; when and where you can vote early; your local polling place on November 3; etc. etc. Just go to https://iwillvote.com (it works for every state and county!) and you can put in your name, etc. and find out anything you need to know about how to vote in your area.
If you or your friends are still undecided about how to vote, go to the excellent document by the National Association of Evangelicals. Their document says that “faithful evangelical civic engagement and witness must champion a biblically balanced agenda.” Go to www.forthehealth.net to see the full document. You can also add your signature (scroll down to “Sign-On Statement”) as I have done.
Know where you can go now and after Nov 3 to get reliable, accurate answers to all kinds of questions related to the election.
The National Task Force on Election Crises (www.electiontaskforce.org) is a totally non-partisan group of very diverse, prominent leaders from a wide range of political perspectives. They have answers to almost any question you may ask about this election. There is also a place to contact them with your specific question. This will also be an excellent place to get reliable, up-to-date information in the likely turbulent days after Nov 3: go to TFrequest@protectdemocracy.org.
We need a miracle in the days after November 3. A miracle that brings patience, demands truth, and ignores rumors. Pennsylvania is a swing state that could determine the next president. And final results may very well not be available for several days. Worse, early results may be reversed by later results. Vast numbers of people in Pennsylvania have used mail in ballots and in Pennsylvania, mail in ballots cannot start to be counted until November 3! Almost everyone thinks that more Democrats than Republicans have used mail in ballots. More Republicans will vote in person on November 3. That means that by the end of the evening on November 3, Donald Trump may be leading in Pennsylvania, only to have that reversed in the next couple days as all the mail in votes are counted. Will the President urge everyone to remain calm, wait until every vote is counted, and accept the final results? Pray that he does and that everyone rejects violence and waits patiently. Pray for a miracle!
Pray, pray, pray—without ceasing!
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