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Bill Kristol’s Third Party Rumors and What Matters Most

By  |  May 30, 2016, 12:30pm

Bill Kristol, editor of The Weekly Standard has been one of the leaders amongst conservatives in trying to field a third-party or independent Presidential candidate so conservatives have someone to support in November.

Yesterday he tweeted this cryptic update:

On the other hand, my friend and mentor Hugh Hewitt offered this word about Dr. Larry Arnn, also a respected voice amongst conservatives, arguing against the #NeverTrump movement and a third-party offering.

I will be very interested in seeing what comes of Kristol’s comment as I think many conservatives are becoming resigned to having no one to vote for with a clear conscience. However, a word of caution. For too long conservatives in general, and Christians in particular, have placed their hope in the next Presidential candidate.

If only we can get the right person in the White House…. If only we can get the right justices on the Supreme Court…. If only we can pass an an amendment protecting prayer in schools…. Meanwhile the culture has gone to hell.

As Andrew Breitbart was fond of saying, “Politics is downstream from culture.” And culture is not ultimately decided by who occupies the Oval Office–although there is no doubt it can be shaped by the behavior of that person. Our natural tendency is to focus on the easy button–just get that person elected or stop that person from being elected– and all will be well. But it doesn’t work that way.

No matter the outcome of this election, I was reminded of what matters most yesterday as our family gathered with several other families from church for an afternoon of fellowship and community. Relationships matter. Children matter. Faith-focused community matters.   Friendships matter. Healthy marriages matter–not just marriage in general, but your marriage in particular.

Now is not the time to pull back in fear and hide in isolation because of our poor choices for Commander-in-Chief. Now is the time to rebuild our families, our faith, and the communities and institutions that truly can make America great again. Such efforts are not made-for-tv events. They take time and plenty of persistence, but the alternative is  unthinkable.

As we pause to remember the fallen today who sacrificed so greatly, let us determine to do what matters most in cultivating healthy families and communities, even as we do what we can in the world of politics. As Erick and I write in You Will Be Made to Care:

The resurgence required to defend our freedom to believe must begin from the ground up, not the top down.

For far too long, Christians in America have looked to Washington and put their trust not “in name of the Lord our God,” but in horses, chariots and Justice Antonin Scalia. That needs to change if we are going to be good and faithful stewards of the Gospel.

That being said, focusing on building local community, growing individual faith, and strengthening the institutions of family and the church does not mean that we run from political involvement. God instituted and ordained human government. He gave ample guidance to those in authority.

As Christian citizens of a democratic republic, we have a responsibility to engage in the political process and influence it for good to the extent we are able. Nevertheless, we cannot lose our eternal perspective.