A popular pastor and author who is planning to write in a candidate for president next week is being challenged on his thinking.
"Desiring God" author John Piper contends that there's more than one kind of death. Abortion, unhealthy sexual practices, and several other policies liberals typically champion surely cost many physical lives – but Piper argues that the sins of sexual immorality, boastfulness, vulgarity … especially in a leader … can destroy a nation. They're are not just deadly, according to the author – they're deadly forever. And although he never mentions the two major-party candidates by name, Piper isn't backing either on Election Day.
Christian apologist Dr. Alex McFarland disagrees and says not all sins are equal. "I don't think it's wise nor [is it] biblical to say 'Well, Donald Trump may be pro-life, but he's so arrogant and distasteful that would be equally bad.' No," he says.
Piper says Trump-like sins move out from centers of influence and infect whole cultures; then he points to the strife over the last five years as proof. McFarland acknowledges that, yes, culture is infected with strife – but he contends one can't really pin that on Donald Trump.
"Piper is essentially saying this: 'If I vote for Trump, I am complicit with his carnality.' No, you're not," the apologist suggests. "If you could stand against the killing of unborn babies and you don't, then you would be complicit."
McFarland says most of America's pastors who are politically neutral right now or even anti-Trump may be theological professionals, but they're political and governmental amateurs.
"Even if you had Mother Theresa vs. Billy Graham, that would have been, still, two fallen humans," he says. "Every election is the lesser of two evils – and in this case, it's not hard to figure out. Clearly, imperfect as he is, Trump is the lesser of two evils."
Speaking of evil …
In the final days of a closely contested Senate race in North Carolina, Democratic Senate candidate Cal Cunningham is avoiding uncomfortable questions about his extramarital activities. Whether his strategy alters the outcome of his contest with GOP Senate incumbent Thom Tillis will depend on whether swing voters are set on removing Tillis and potentially ending GOP control of the chamber – even if it means a replacement facing a sex scandal.
McFarland, whose ministry is based in North Carolina, is convinced the revelations about Cunningham's private life are helping Tillis gain in the polls.
"[Those] revelations … have really shocked a lot of people, his own supporters included," McFarland tells OneNewsNow. "And I think that conservatives are very hopeful that Thom Tillis will win this election because Tillis is a conservative Republican."
Character matters, says the Christian educator – and it's apparent that North Carolinians are becoming apprised of Cunningham's character.
"He lives a lawless, immoral life because Cal Cunningham is part of a lawless, immoral political party," McFarland offers. "And for these reasons and others, Thom Tillis is accelerating in the polls because North Carolinians do have a moral compass and that's why they're not voting Democrat."
And there's another factor that could be problematic for the Democratic hopeful: the U.S. Army Reserve is now investigating Cunningham. The military hasn't said for what, but adultery can be punishable under the military code. Cunningham served three active duty tours with the Army Reserve.