Who Should I Vote For?

June 27, 2024

Host: Dr. Isaac Crockett

Guest: Hon. Jeff Coleman

Note: This transcript is taken from a Stand in the Gap Today program originally aired on 6/27/24. To listen to the podcast, click HERE.

Disclaimer:         While reasonable efforts have been made to provide an accurate transcription, the following is a representation of a mechanical transcription and as such, may not be a word for word transcript. Please listen to the audio version for any questions concerning the following dialogue.

Isaac Crockett:   Hello and welcome to the program. I’m Pastor Isaac Crockett. I am the pastor at East Lawrence Baptist Church up in the northern part of Pennsylvania. I actually live in New York, pastor 10 miles away in Pennsylvania and enjoy being a co-host on this program. My guest today is, feels weird calling him a guest because he’s so much a part of our programming, but he’s usually on the other side of the microphone, and some of you may remember him. He’s the author of the book, with all due Respect, recovering the manners and civility of political combat. We’ve talked about that. He’s also a very close friend of Sam Rohr and of all of us co-hosts and all of our production team, and he’s somebody who we lean on a lot for help with things, everything from production to ideas and guests. That guest slash friend slash part of the team is Jeff Coleman. And so Jeff, thank you so much for taking some time. I know you and your family have made some time here in the middle of some things going on to be on this program, but thank you so much for being on with us today.

Jeff Coleman:     Oh, it is so good to be with you, Isaac, and on a pretty exciting day in the history of our country in many ways.

Isaac Crockett:   Well, that’s right. Tonight we are having an interesting debate and people kind of up the on things. But as you and I were discussing ahead of this program really for a lot of different reasons, this is a historic debate, but one of the reasons I want to talk to you about it is because debate is kind of in your blood. You’ve done debating, you’ve been in political office, so could you maybe just tell us a little bit about yourself? We hear from Sam and about his time in office and you and he overlapped and then you helped him with things. So maybe just a little bit of that context for those who are listening.

Jeff Coleman:     Well, I’ve, I guess spent, I’m almost on the 4th of July, I’ll turn 49, and I’ve spent most of my life, probably from age 12, 13 on up in politics, working to elect political candidates, helping people prepare for debates, participating in debates, running for office. And when I was very young, just out of College Liberty, I ran for the State House in a democratic district in southwestern Pennsylvania. And by God’s grace and with help of a lot of friends, won that seat, served two terms, and then left to and formed a communications firm, which has since then been helping people get elected. And I’ve really felt a conviction over the past decade or so about the way that Christians are engaging in politics. Most of us really don’t think about how we do it. Most pastors are saying, you need to get involved, you need to register to vote, you need to support candidates, you need to stand up for your issues, and you drive by minivans in the way to church loaded with bumper stickers. But often the big question is how are you actually engaging the culture around you to persuade people, not just say what your position is, not just say, I’m a proud supporter of this candidate or the other candidate, but what are you actually doing? And how should a Christian engage that process to persuade and convince people? So that’s to me, almost a full-time ministry of helping believers do combat, engage the system in the right way.

Isaac Crockett:   Well, that is great. That reminds me of Ephesians six with the spiritual warfare we have going on. And today the title of this program is Who Should I Vote for? And it’s not just intended to be about this election or that election, but just this general idea about who am I really following? Am I seeking first God and his kingdom because we all are building some sort of kingdom, either our own kingdom or somebody else’s kingdom or God’s kingdom. And so this idea of who should I vote for? But I love that the overall perspective to it. Am I convincing people to choose godliness in the way of God, the way of righteousness, the kingdom of God? Well, with that though, there is this important debate tonight and we keep hearing about it. Why is it so important? Or maybe what are some of the important parts to this debate that we’re looking at coming up between President Trump and President Biden tonight?

Jeff Coleman:     Well, just stepping back, looking at the big picture, I think everyone is seeing this as a rematch and Americans love rematches. We love rematches. When an Evander Holyfield or a George Foreman come back out of retirement, there’s a lot of hype right now about Mike Tyson coming back into the ring and everyone wants to know, Hey, what happened since you were in the ring last? So when you’re looking at a Biden and you’re looking at Trump, we have seen them in individual environments that both of their handlers have controlled Trump’s. People really enjoy the live environment. You notice they’re smaller rallies by design, but he’s still with essentially a live audience. The president for different reasons has very controlled presidential kind of rose garden strategy. So you have two men though, who have not been on stage for a while, and I think many people are so curious about this because you don’t know how both of them are approaching.

Jeff Coleman:     We really don’t how they’re going to be approaching the prep for this event. So will they come in hot wound up, amped up gloves off? Will they try to show a different side of them because they realize that both men have almost equally high negatives. Almost 60% of both of them of Americans say we’d rather have somebody else 70% say we would love a different choice. So we’re really looking at two men who have defined themselves over the course of their public life, from one from real estate to entertainment to politics, another really just one long political career. You’re coming to 2024, what else is there to say? And tonight will be a question of is there anything new that either person can do to persuade people who aren’t already committed to another candidate who are open for it? So that’s why the stakes are incredibly high in this debate.

Isaac Crockett:   That’s interesting. Is there something new, speaking of new, this is historic. I dunno if you’d like to comment on that because we have two presidents and I don’t know if that’s ever been done in a debate before and two people who just ran against each other the last election cycle. I don’t know if that’ll be important or what you think of that. For the history books,

Jeff Coleman:     Our history, American history debate wasn’t a part of the prerequisite to run for president. You had your debate or the screening process was largely happening to political bosses, people within the state, political systems, the wis, the Democrats, the Republicans, the progressives, all the parties that have dominated the political stage today from the Kennedy 1960 forward today a requirement, the ultimate test of your ability to showcase your adeptness at communication, knowing that that’s probably one of the number one jobs of the leader of the free world is to be a communicator, is the debate. Now, when you have had two men who have won elections in significant and decisive ways, had their influence in a period of history, both equally a four year period of history, both very tumultuous times, both have big long records of major leadership decisions, both have done wildly controversial things and both have been examined because of social media, because all of us are journalists, we all have iPhones, we all have social media, probably more mentions, more likes, more shares, more photographs, more videos shared about these two men than any other men in history. And it is unprecedented, I think, to have two men who have both shared the office of president one right after the other on stage. And it’s in recent memory,

Isaac Crockett:   An unprecedented presidential debate. We’re going to take a quick time out to hear from some of our partners. I want to come back and continue asking Jeff Coleman some more questions about this debate, but more importantly about candidates in general and who we should vote for. We’ll be right back on Stand in the Gap today. Welcome back to this Thursday program. I’m Pastor Isaac Crockett and joining me today is a good friend of Stand in the Gap Media and Sam Rohr and of all of us co-hosts really. And that is Jeff Coleman. Jeff was sharing with us his time involved helping candidates his time as a candidate. He served alongside of Sam Rohr and the Pennsylvania State House for a number of years and then has been a part of helping other people get elected, but really has a desire to see Christians think biblically about what we are doing in the political realm and seeing how it affects us, these ministers of government, ministers of the gospel, all of us working together for God’s kingdom.

Isaac Crockett:   And so Jeff, we were talking about this debate, and I don’t want to harp on this too long, but this is a historic moment because the first time to have back to back candidates like this in a long time, I think since 1950s, I think the first time ever to have two presidents, a former president and a sitting president running against each other and having a debate like this. This hadn’t happened in a long, long time, but they weren’t debating like this. So a lot of interesting things to come on. Alright. Now they both have some big negatives with court cases against Hunter Biden with court cases against Donald Trump. They have both changed their positions on some things of policy and on some of the people around them. I mean, just a lot to look out for. I want to talk about candidates in general and some about these candidates, but just want to pick your brain a little bit. You who are an experienced debater, an experienced candidate, an experienced elected politician. What are some of the things that as a Christian, you are going to be looking for tonight that you could share with the rest of us when you’re watching this big debate and watching these two guys who we’ve heard so much from ’em in the past, but what has changed or what is the same in 2024? I’m just curious to pick your brain on what you’re looking for, what we should be looking for.

Jeff Coleman:     Well, Isaac, I think it’s really important for people who identify as Christians, people who say I’m a Christ follower and because I follow him, this informs the way that I see the entire world. This is how I see my citizenship on earth. This is how I view my citizenship in heaven. This is how I view my civic duties and responsibilities. I think what has happened, unfortunately, to too many people who identify as Christians is we have become kind of people in the stands. We put on a jersey for a particular team. We put on the bumper sticker, the hat, the yard sign, and we say, because this candidate has told me at some particular point that they’re going to stand with me and they’re for me. I’m going to overlook certain pieces of their life, their character, their family, their record, even their positions, their inconsistencies, because they’re much better than the other person.

Jeff Coleman:     And this is really happening on both sides. I can give you Christians now who will make a passionate case for why they put the blue jersey on or the Red Jersey on a Christian looking at this debate tonight, shouldn’t be looking at this as the UFC championship. Shouldn’t be looking at this as a pay-per-view fight. Don’t go get the popcorn, don’t make this entertainment. Don’t post about it as if this is, Hey, he lost his temper or he tripped, or did you see his tie or his microphone fell off? All of the things that you might if you’re watching a sporting event

Isaac Crockett:   Or fly on his head like what happened with Mike Pence?

Jeff Coleman:     That’s right, absolutely. Yeah. Did somebody cough too much? Did they drink water Too many times. Let people who are involved in the infotainment kind of news industry make those kinds of judgments and evaluations about people. Christians should be thinking very critically both about what a candidate says and what they don’t say. Does a candidate tonight who claims to be pro-life, do they make a case for what happens in the post row era? What is your vision for protecting unborn life? For someone who aligns with a political party who believes that marriage is between a man and a woman, or that children deserve to have a mother and a father? What is your vision for an institution that is declining? Now you may say, well, they’re strategically not mentioning any of those issues because they’re going after a new segment of voters. That’s not our problem. When Christians become strategists and essentially treat the candidates on stage as if they’re just an extension of an entertainment franchise, and we’re not really insisting on platforms, policies, positions that align with our worldview, we’ve really abdicated any real role of being a believer in the public square.

Isaac Crockett:   Well, we have about five, six minutes here for me to try to fit a bunch of questions in. So let me just say this, looking at broader than just these two candidates for president, but this would apply even tonight about looking at a candidate. Is it appropriate to say, well, is this candidate a Christian? Is that an appropriate thing for us to be looking for?

Jeff Coleman:     So it is appropriate to ask what their worldview is. If someone identifies as a Christian, it certainly raises the standard for their behavior. I think it’s less about does not being a Christian disqualify you than it is? If you identify as a Christian, does your behavior meet those expectations? So it really, it’s incumbent on the Christian identifying themselves. And many candidates across the country identify as Christians, but their lifestyle, their life tell a very different story. Those are the people you really have to hold accountable.

Isaac Crockett:   Okay, based on that, and again, I can’t help but think President Biden and former President Trump because both of them have people that are pushing for them that would say a similar statement to this, I’m voting for a president, not for a pastor. I see that you said this about Biden and I can’t deny it. I see you said this about Trump and I can’t deny it, but I’m voting for a president, not for a pastor. How do you respond when people use that statement

Jeff Coleman:     Skiddish about that kind of an argument? Because you begin to say that we’re separating character from policies. You really are undermining the entire foundation of society. If you say, look, yes, my banker cheats me a little bit, or he cheats other customers, but he doesn’t cheat me, you go, I’m not going to go to that bank anymore. If it’s every fourth customer, the Starbucks line or the Chick-fil-A is dishonored or cursed at, doesn’t that impact the whole thing? Character has always been the measurement of how we decided ultimately the leaders that we choose. Now, what happens? Of course, I hear people saying, well, what if neither of them has proven to have character? Both of these men are liars. Both of these men have been inconsistent in significant deep ways in their lives. Does that change the standard that the Bible calls for? You can say, well, there are flawed leaders throughout the Bible that God uses.

Jeff Coleman:     Absolutely, God can use anybody. You can use a stone. But when it comes to the point of our selection as believers, if Christians aren’t sitting out election sometime out of matter of conscience saying Neither man or woman meets the standard, you’re not going to get my vote, or you’re not going to be able to come and speak at my church, or I’m not going to put the yard sign up, guess who notices? The political consultants begin to notice the decline in support because political consultants track every data point. So knowing that Christians lose a lot of leverage when we just say, Hey, sure, you can change your position on abortion, you can change your position on taxes, whatever. It doesn’t matter. As long as there’s a sense that you’re still on my side. I think we have to be very, very careful about renting our Christian witness for political candidates and for political purposes.

Isaac Crockett:   You’re giving us a lot to think about. Jeff and I like this. Don’t go into this just looking at as cheap entertainment. Oh, did he do this right or did they, but look at the substance of what they’re talking about, but then look at the context of this person, what they’re saying outside of the debate. And again, this goes beyond just this debate tonight as we look outside of it and we are down to the final two minutes here, is it legitimate for us to look at the families around these men, to look at their wives, to look at their children? Is that a legitimate part of weighing out whether or not to vote for a candidate?

Jeff Coleman:     Certainly when you’re hiring an employee, you say you want to get a sense of do they prioritize and honor their relationships? Are their families not, are their children successful in making a lot of money? I think most of us as believers now know that that is a bar that is too low. But you want to know how do you treat your spouse in private interactions? How do you treat the people who wait on your table? So many pastors and politicians, there are wonderful orders in the front of the room, but when you see how they treat the secretary or the doorman or the bellman or the bellhop or whoever’s carrying their luggage to the airport, you go, wait a second. Or how they tip? Often those are indicators, and I’m not saying you’ve got to check all the boxes, but a family and relationships are good clues. Do you have friends and relationships who are honest with you and can hold you accountable and you can speak truth? Or do you ultimately as a person, as a politician, as a leader, believe you’ve got a corner on that truth? And there are no wise counselors in your orbit, kind of Nebuchadnezzar and Daniel in the Bible.

Isaac Crockett:   That’s very good. And Jeff, even as we’re talking about this, I’m remembering a few years ago conversations I was having with some Godly people about some of the presidential candidates. And as we were talking about the candidates, I kept thinking about myself and thinking, oh, you know what? If I was on that stage, how would I be evaluating myself? And that’s one of the things as we were looking at this, I think we want to look at the hypocrisy in the mirror too and make sure that we as a Christian, that our ultimate goal is God’s glory and the good of his kingdom. And then ask the Lord to help us to see the things we ought to see and to give us wisdom in this. And so a lot of opportunity to do that when there are these very public candidates going out in public ways, doing things.

Isaac Crockett:   It gives us a time to do soul searching ourselves and then to pray and ask the Lord to help it be clear to us which way to go, how we vote, not just on that paper, not just for that candidate, but how we vote with our lives, where we invest our time, our money, our social media, where’s all of that pointing and hopefully is showing a biblical worldview to those around us and pointing others to Christ. So much more to talk about with that. But we do have some more questions for Jeff when we come back. I’m going to take another time out to hear from some of our partners and we’ll be right back on Stand in the Gap today to talk some more about what’s going on with candidates and who we should vote for. Welcome back to the program. I’m Pastor Isaac Crockett.

Isaac Crockett:   My guest today is Jeff Coleman, a good friend of our program, good friend of Sam Rohr. And what we’ve been doing is looking at who I should vote for. I’ve been looking at the debate coming up tonight and just in general what it means to be a Christian and that our vote would be seen not so much our vote, just one person or one vote here or there, but that in general what we are about, what kingdom we are pushing, what kingdom we are serving, what king we are serving, and that we would be showing people the light of Jesus Christ, even by our political involvement and by all means as Christians, looking at ways to be involved in our culture, even in politics. So that’s what we’ve been talking about. If you’ve missed the program up to now, I would encourage you to go back and listen to it.

Isaac Crockett:   You can get our Stand in the Gap app. It’s really easy to download the Stand in the Gap app. It’s free and it has all of our archives. If you haven’t done that yet and you have a smartphone, I would really encourage you to try that. I think you’ll love it. We also have stand in the gap media.org, and that’s another one that you can get some good things there. Tim, our producer will correct if I’m wrong, I think that’s standing gap media.org. Yeah, but I would encourage you to go back, read the transcript or listen to the whole program. Jeff, I’d like to ask you about what trends are going on when it comes to candidates. It’s not just the presidential candidates that we’ve been talking about, but for a long time. There’s a lot of celebrity involved with politics. I remember as a kid and other millennials my age or younger may not recognize some of these names, but I remember my dad would give advice to liberal and conservative candidates and politicians and was beloved by both the conservatives seemed to agree with him and connect with him on more levels.

Isaac Crockett:   But I remember an event, even Charlton Heston, the actor, he was getting involved with the NRA. I remember meeting him. He was opening for one of our friends at Sandy Patty’s house. He was a neighbor to us in Anderson, Indiana. And some of that stuff, I think of even my distant relative, Davey Crockett, getting elected to Congress with President Andrew Jackson, who had been general Andrew Jackson. Davey Crockett in many ways was more of a celebrity back then than he was a politician. And so I hear a lot of people talking about maybe concern that politics is just becoming a celebrity kind of thing, but I’d be curious, and people sometimes point to Ronald Reagan and forward curious, Jeff, if you see any change in trends, our celebrities influencing us more politically, are there other things that are changing in the trends with our political candidates?

Jeff Coleman:     Well, I guess maybe let me take you behind the curtain. In the world of political consulting, which I’ve been involved in, which is the process of helping those candidates get elected, and the first thing today is selecting candidates. So when you, for example, if the Republican National Committee or the Republican Congressional Committee decides that there’s a vulnerable Democrat, there’s an aggressive recruitment process. Now, there are two measurements that the recruiters look for. Number one, their ability to raise money. Do they have a lot of money themselves they’re willing to spend? Do they have a network that they can tap that will be able to raise 2, 3, 4, 10, 15, 20, $30 million depending on how competitive the race is? And then the other is name id. And those two measurements, I mean, are they known? Have they heard of them before? Now a hundred years ago, what would we have been asking for?

Jeff Coleman:     We asked, we would kind of treat this the same way you would a job resume. Who are you married to? Where do you live? How long have you lived there? Do you have stable relationships? Do the people in your community respect you? That’s why these 19th century candidates, the James Garfields and the McKinleys and all that were recruited or they would conduct their campaigns from the front porches. People would come from all over the country and take their measure, ask them tough questions. Today we’re in a very dangerous spot, I think politically because the only people now that are able to get elected are people with megawatt celebrity status, which means they don’t have to have a consistent record over the course of their lifetime. They just need to be TikTok, Instagram, Facebook, ready for their closeup. So you look at people like the Rock, other celebrities right now we’re wondering after Biden and Trump, who are the next rounds?

Jeff Coleman:     Taylor Swift for president. A lot of people are saying that. He’s like, well, that’s absurd. Not absurd. In an environment when the measurements are money and celebrity. Not saying we have not had celebrities in the past or people who have been on screen, big screen, small screen, famous authors, poets, writers, but right now, because we have the goldfish attention span as voters, we are looking for people who are loud, flashy, can engage, curse a little, yell a little, get angry a little, and then for Republicans say, Hey, but we love Christianity and we stand for your values. And that feels like a very, very low benchmark. I’m really suggesting we’ve got to go far back and reconstruct some old standards of how we evaluate candidates.

Isaac Crockett:   That’s an interesting idea of going back to go forward. And so as Christians, what might that look like moving forward by going to some things that maybe used to happen, and again, I’m not suggesting it for this, the candidates that are out there right now, but looking forward four years, eight years, 10, 20 years in the future, how do we as Christians get involved in a way that helps push us towards like our money says in God we trust?

Jeff Coleman:     So let’s do this. Let’s pretend that the debate isn’t happening tonight and this is not the election that we’re having and we’re just Christians getting together on a Wednesday night at our church praying for God to raise up a good mayor, a good councilman, a good school board director in some cases, a good alderman, a good state representative, a state senator. What would we go for? Knowing what we know about human nature, knowing what we know about the problems in our community, we would look at the problems in our community and say, who has the right temperament, the attitude, the heart for these to deal with these kinds of problems. Who is wise? Who has wisdom, who has a supportive family and advisors and accountability around them? That’s how we would pick leaders. Now, for those who step into the arena and say, I’m a Christian, it is not enough for you to be put on your palm card, went to Liberty University or Bob Jones University or attend First United Methodist Church. None of those things are evaluators of whether or not you really are an actual Christian. What does Jesus say about that? You’ll know them by their fruits. So do these candidates exercise, love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, gentleness, goodness.

Jeff Coleman:     Those are the kinds of measurements we need to have for political candidates because if you don’t have them, there’s going to be a moment in their mayoralty or when they’re a senator, member of Congress or president when there’s going to be an event that will call into question all of those traits. And if you get somebody who’s wrong, you may get some short term gains, but at some point their character will reveal the flaws that were never confronted early or the fact that they have no accountability and your community will raise its taxes or you’ll have a Supreme Court ruling and you’ll say, well, what happened? Well, because we made a small little compromise at the beginning with the kind of candidates we thought were worthy of serving in political office. That’s why these elections, the election process before the election really matter.

Isaac Crockett:   We often hear that term elections matter or elections have consequences. This is the most important election. It seems like every year it is the most important election up to that date, but the selection process leading to the election, I love that that puts a lot more context there. It helps us to think about that. What are we doing in that selection process? Well, our time is almost out in this segment, but Jeff, I remember a time quite a few years ago, early on in my ministry at a church plant, I was working very diverse, very multicultural, and I remember coming into the church during election season in that area, and there were two different ushers both wearing a pin for opposing candidates welcome you into the church and the two of those guys could love each other, hug, shake hands, but it feels like the environment we’re in now, you don’t see that happening. Is there a way, is it possible when we go to family groups or even within a church family to disagree on politics and still love each other?

Jeff Coleman:     I think the short answer is of course, because that has never been the measurement that Jesus has for first of all, it is not a political affiliation, is not an indicator of your heart condition. You may not like the views and the values of a person represented by the other party, but it does not lessen your obligation to love them. If you and I are on an international flight and we’re flying to let’s say India, and on that flight you’re the only Americans, and you look at the American on the plane, you hear English, you gravitate to them, what do you ask them? Hey, where are you from? Oh, I know that. And then you find in about 15 minutes you find all the way things you have in common. What we do in America today is we say, Hey, who are you voting for?

Jeff Coleman:     And immediately that becomes a point of division. What happens to the gospel? The gospel becomes a casualty, the good news of Jesus Christ and redemption that’s available through him. Those conversations between people who are Democrats and Republicans don’t happen because politics is the first now measurement of whether or not we think they’re a good person. Think of all the families that relationships that fall apart because the daughter or the son is engaged to not a convicted felon, but a Democrat or a Republican. This is a really unusual time, and I think it’s testing a lot of our assumptions about who we are as Christians.

Isaac Crockett:   I think it does take some of that self acknowledgement that we need to say, well, I have to love my enemies and I don’t think of them as an enemy, but maybe I do. And so I need to be willing to do that and do it without compromising the truth, without changing our love for the Lord too. But to show love to them, show kindness, listen to them, and be willing to find ways that we love each other in all of these things, even with family members who maybe aren’t Christians especially, it’s important for us to show our love to them. Well, we are coming up to another break to listen to some of our partners. We’re going to come back and hope to wrap up all of these things in our program today on the stand in the gap today. We’ll welcome back to this program, and as we’re getting ready to finish, I really enjoyed talking with Jeff.

Isaac Crockett:   I mean, he and I talk on a regular basis and with Sam and different ones, but it’s been helpful, Jeff, the way you’ve kind of opened up the perspective of what’s going on sometimes behind the scenes, it’s so easy to sometimes focus on the final two guys left in an election, but I really like how you’ve peeled back the layers into the whole process of selecting those who will then be elected and encouragement of how we can get involved. And you and Sam both are examples of folks who have gotten involved and gone out as candidates and become political ministers for the government. I really appreciate that. Before we get into final questions and solutions here on this program, I’d love to just, if maybe somebody’s listening and they’re saying, you know what, I’d like to reach out to Jeff with maybe a question or comment, or maybe they just want to know more about the work that you do. How could somebody find out more about that, about the work you’re at or even contacting you?

Jeff Coleman:     Sure. Well, they can just feel free to email me directly. It’s just Jeff JFF at Churchill, like winston churchill media.org. That’s also the website, churchill media.org. And look, I know a lot of things that I’m saying today don’t feel like the mainstream view of politics, and I kind of mourned the fact that I can’t, growing up a teenage Republican and a young Republican and then being a Republican state lawmaker, not having the ability to just wave the flag as a partisan makes me feel a little bit homeless. I want to be able to, I think now in this season of life, say I wear one jersey and I’m a believer, I’m a follower of Jesus. That means mean I don’t participate. I don’t register to vote. I don’t choose a party. But what it does mean is that I have a different allegiance. And when people in my own party don’t comport with my values and views, I have the freedom and the liberty to speak out. And I don’t have to think about, Hey, it’s going to hurt my guy or the woman I’m supporting because I’m not playing that game. We’re arguing for what God’s standard is in the public arena and not what our opinions are as amateur political strategists.

Isaac Crockett:   That’s very good. Well, as we close, I grew up in a family where on one side of my family, on my dad’s side, the name Crockett, goes really far back all the way back to the Revolutionary War. And then of course, Davey Crockett was the grandson of the original Crockett that came over and things. But on my mom’s side, my grandfather, he got saved in the Dutch underground by watching Christians give their lives for refusing to become a part of the culture there, of the Nazi system that was ungodly. And it had this life-changing, obviously effect on him. And as he was able to, he made his way to America. Then he went back over to Europe and then they came back to America and he became a citizen. And he just loved this country for the freedoms in the history, for what it stood for. And I think sometimes that gives me some interesting perspective. So as we are wrapping things up, we’ve talked about some things that could improve and as Christians, what we should be looking at somewhat. But I’d love to see that maybe mixed with the encouragement of what we do have available to us here as Americans and as Christians, first and foremost.

Jeff Coleman:     Well, I think sometimes that we think that the whole American experiment rises and falls on us because it is a representative Republican. We’re told that our participation or lack of participation will make or break the country. But that kind of butts up against a bigger idea, which is the sovereignty of God, that as long as God wants to use America, all flaws, failures, successes, achievements, a weak military, a strong military, whatever that is, he’s going to keep America alive and he’s going to use, thankfully people like you and me and people who are listening to keep the experiment alive. But when he’s through with America, and I hope it isn’t anytime soon, but when he’s through with it, he’ll raise up, he’ll continue to, his purposes won’t be thwarted. So we can participate in this process and not feel fear and anxiety and hopelessness. We don’t have to call our friends up and say, Hey, did you hear the latest thing about the other person in this race? We can actually call ’em and say, Hey, how are you doing? How’s your family doing? How have you been lately? And you don’t have to get them to agree with you on all your political opinions. And when Thanksgiving comes, you can have people who may be disagreed with you on the election over for dinner and show them the love of Christ. We don’t need little barriers like politics getting in the way of the main mission of why we were placed on the planet at this particular year.

Isaac Crockett:   That’s great. That’s a good way to put that. We keep using this word perspective, put that in order, put that in perspective, that we can be concerned about people’s souls even if they disagreed with us on something politically. As we get ready to close, what are some ways that we can pray for our nation, for those candidates that are going to be elected to lead our nation and for us as Christians, to take the lead in showing people and helping our nation as Christians, as people with a strong biblical worldview? How could we pray towards that for our nation?

Jeff Coleman:     Well, maybe just make it a little more simple. When you think of a person who you know you’ve heard of, it could be watching the debate tonight, and you see the anchor woman or you see the people are running the cameras, you get a little glimpse of the universe of people who is surrounding these two candidates. And if instead of yelling at the tv, just quietly praying for that person, for them to come to know the peace that passes understanding. When you’re looking at President Biden or President Trump, think about the ultimate aim of our prayer should not be, Lord, help them win. Help them to defeat and destroy the other person, but help them somehow through this experience. Meet a Christian in the hallway, maybe a reporter, someone who can extend the love of Christ who doesn’t have an agenda for them or their lives.

Jeff Coleman:     These two men are men ultimately who will be in the ground probably in the next decade or shorter. And between now and the day they meet God, God has to we know, do an enormous work in both of their lives. What would it take? What would difference would it make to have all the Christians in America praying for both men? Then going to the polls with your conscience. You have a free conscience to say, I’m going to vote for this person or that person based on how God has informed your understanding of the constitution, about the laws, about policies. And then you can go to bed that night and say, I’ll wake up in the morning no matter who is elected, God is still on the throne. He’s sovereign. He’s in control of my little life, and he’s in control of the whole country. Man, what a different way of approaching politics. I think that kind of prayer would be freeing.

Isaac Crockett:   Wow. That is great, Jeff. Thank you for that. And I thank you for your testimony, for your encouragement to us today to look beyond just the voting booth, but to look to the glory of the Lord and to trust in his providence in all of this. But at the same time, not to shirk civic responsibility or to compromise truth in any regard. And what a great reminder of seeking first the kingdom of God and living after his righteousness. Jeff, I’m just so appreciative of the friendship that we have here at a PN and at Stand in the Gap media with you and for what you’re doing. And thank you for taking this time out of your schedule to be with us. Let’s close in prayer. Our gracious, heavenly Father, we thank you that you are eternal and that you are good. You are also righteous, and you are in control.

Isaac Crockett:   And as our creator and our sustainer of life, we come to you now because we can do nothing else. And we thank you for your daily bread. We thank you for the light that you give us so that we can walk this path of life. And I pray that we would trust in your providential care, that you would care for us. I pray for both President Biden and former President Trump tonight and all of their teams around them that what is done might show us truth and might as Christians draw us closer to you will Lord and I pray for this nation, I pray that this nation might trust in you, pray that the people of this nation might awaken to their need for Jesus Christ as savior. And I pray that in all things we would give you the glory as we seek to build your kingdom above and beyond anything else in this world. We love you. It’s in the powerful precious name of Jesus Christ and through the power of your Holy Spirit, we pray these and thank you, father. Amen. Well, thank you, Jeff for this great time of talking. Thank you for listening today. We wouldn’t have this program if it wasn’t for you, our faithful listeners. And so until next time, I pray that you will look for opportunities to stand in the gap for truth wherever you are.