Friday, February 26, 2016

A Word from God in the Ted Cruz Campaign

On the right in Arkansas, the grassroots are split between Trump and Cruz. The establishment is solidly behind Rubio. People have been uglier to each other over this one than any election I can remember. It's sad, especially since we will have so little to do with the final outcome. Arkansas is a small state and our delegates will very likely be awarded proportionally and thus diluted. Still, many supporters of the campaigns have an almost religious fervor.

That is not surprising as the GOP in particular has made an deliberate effort to fold religion into politics, which I consider a very different thing from folding politics into religion! In the case of the Ted Cruz campaign there is a claim from the candidate's father (Rafael Cruz who is a pastor and has often been a surrogate for his son on the campaign trail) that they had a word from God that Senator Cruz was to run for President. I will just let Rafael Cruz tell the story:
"After the church service, we all gathered at the pastor's office," said Cruz, who is a pastor himself. "We were on our knees for two hours seeking God's will. At the end of that time, a word came through his wife, Heidi. And the word came, just saying, 'Seek God's face, not God's hand.'"
Cruz said he then felt as if a "cloud of the Holy Spirit" had filled the room.
"Some of us were weeping, and Ted just looked up and said, 'Lord, here am I, use me. I surrender to you, whatever you want,'" he said. "And it was as he felt that was a green light to move forward."
Look, I know that some folks think that the idea of God speaking a word to someone is spooky or even nutty. I am not one of those because if God exists there is nothing unreasonable about the idea of His impressing a message on the mind of someone who has been seeking His will for a specific question for months. I don't think there is any magic formula where God is obligated to inspire someone to speak a given message, just that He can. His options are always open. I am not saying that should be the norm. Most of us have Bibles gathering dust on our shelves and it is perfectly understandable if the Creator of the Universe declines our invitation for Him to tell us something when we don't pay much attention to what He has told us already!

I don't claim to be a guru or anything, but I do know something about who God is. Based on what I know about our Heavenly Father, that message sounds like something He might inspire someone to say: "Seek God's face, not God's hand." What father wouldn't tell a child who is always asking them to do stuff for them that they would rather the child desire to know them than the child desire their help to do something? It's a message even earthly fathers can relate to.

But did you notice something about that message? Even though Cruz took it as God telling him to run for President, the word did not say anything about running for President. If anything, I would take it as a message to NOT run for President, since God is saying that he preferred that Cruz spend his energy learning more about who God is rather than spend it seeking His help for any specific task. That's how I took it anyway. Ted Cruz took it as permission to run for President.

This kind of reminds me of the advice of the Oracle at Delphi to King Croesus. He asked if he should go to war with the Persians. He was told if he did, he would destroy a mighty empire. He took that as a green light to start the war. It turned out that the mighty empire that got destroyed was his own. The king was hearing what he wanted to hear, not what was actually said, to his ruin. Don't we all though?

So either Heidi Cruz really got a message from the Almighty or she did not. If she did, either Ted Cruz heard what God was saying, or like King Croesus, heard what he wanted to hear instead. If the latter, it leads to the next question, "is Cruz going against God's will for him by running for President?"

I can hear the supporters howling at me now for even asking the question. Look, I am not saying that God does not love Ted Cruz. I am sure that He does. I am just saying maybe He did not want Ted Cruz to run for President. That's not bad, it does not mean that God thinks any less of him. God did not tell me to run for President either! So I'm not OK, you are not OK, and Ted Cruz is not OK, but because of the shed blood of Jesus Christ, we're OK. Salvation is by grace, not by works and just because someone does not become President does not make them any less of a Christian. It doesn't mean he is wrong on any issue. It just means that is not what God wants right now. God does not always let the best win an election, often He let's the candidate that a population deserves win the election.

If supporters refuse to consider the question of whether Cruz heard only what he wanted to hear right now, on the eve of battle, I can understand. There is no time for self-doubt. But if he fails to win on Super Tuesday (his most favorable ground), if he is behind in the polls when we move on to winner-take-all states, if he drops out of the race, shouldn't you come back to it?

Can people look back at that time and ask what was accomplished by the Cruz campaign besides earning a reputation for shady campaign tactics and a base that has gone into hyper-drive heaping personal insults on those who support some other candidate? If God did send a message to Heidi Cruz perhaps it is not for her husband alone, but for all of his supporters as well? We want God to do something big, to kick somebody's tail for us, to elevate us on High, when what He wants from us is to desire to fellowship with Him, to get to know Him. Even if Cruz did take a real but vague message the wrong way, good can come of it- if the Christian right can be introspective enough to see themselves in any of this.


Blogger Joe said...

Hey Mark, I also don't presume to know what God said to the Cruz', but it seems to me you're probably right. As you stated, to seek God's face would be to know him, but to seek his hand would be to receive guidance. Perhaps God's hand is gone from our country, therfore we must seek his face to regain his hand?

9:47 PM, February 26, 2016  
Blogger Mark Moore (Moderator) said...

Well I think seeking His face has to be the goal. If we are seeking His face to gain his Hand then that is kind of like a gold digger- being with a guy because of what he can do for her not because she is attracted to who the guy really is.

I just don't see that Cruz is bringing the best out of his Christian supporters. Its bringing out the worst in them. I have seen plenty of times when Christians would confront say, people who think homosexual unions are the equal of real marriage, and the other side would be spewing anger and hate and the Christians would calmly explain the reasonableness of their position. It was apparent who the haters were. It was apparent who would bend the truth to advance their agenda and who was trying to seek truth. It is not apparent to me here.

7:08 AM, March 02, 2016  

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