I get pretty nervous when I hear politicians talking about what they heard from God. It’s really sad we can’t use the scientific method in religion. It would be so easy to disprove these words from God. Here’s how you could do the experiment. Get any number of believers in a room who said they got a word from God and as soon as any of them disagree on a specific point, you can determine that one of them isn’t hearing from God. Or when one of them claims that God told him/her to run for president and they are one of the earliest candidates to drop out, you can at least infer a possibility that they weren’t hearing from God. Or maybe God wanted them to get bigger speaking fees or a show on Fox. In that case maybe he did tell them to run.
So today I happened across this video with Ted Cruz’s father Rafael Cruz and megachurch pastor Kenneth Copeland. Rafael was recalling the events preceding the decision for Ted to run for president. It was a 2 hour marathon prayer session wherein Ted’s wife heard the voice of God. See the details below.
He said that after the church service, the family gathered in the pastor’s office. There, they spent two hours “on their knees” in prayer before the senator’s wife said something that triggered the final decision.
“I remember the final word came from Ted’s wife, from Heidi, and the word from the Lord was, ‘Seek My face, not My hand,'” Cruz said. “And I’ll tell you, as that word came—’Seek My face, not My hand’—it was as if a cloud of the Holy Spirit descended on that room. And all of a sudden we were all worshiping.
“And the words that came out from Ted’s mouth were, ‘Here am I, Lord, use me. Let Your will be done.’ It was total brokenness, and I’ll tell you, I believe that God has raised him up for such a time as this.”
Now, in Ted’s defense, he didn’t say he heard the “word from the Lord” but he was certainly an active participant in this prayer meeting. He’s also clearly a very intelligent man who knows that even in a vastly Christian country like the US, people get nervous when candidates claim to be hearing voices.
I’ve been around believers my whole life and I know most of them can distinguish where the natural world ends and the supernatural world begins at least in their daily activities. They can successfully navigate the world, hold jobs, etc. But in my mind the risk has to be taken into account in the voting booth as to whether this new president is going to act in a way that is deleterious to our country “because God told him to.” Believers definitely do think they are hearing from God in some manner, even if not audibly.
Case in point: George W Bush had a revelation from God about the war in Iraq. Apparently God was fully on board with this debacle. In the interim we have learned what a disaster that war has been to the security and stability of the United States. There is a real case to be made that we have destabilized that region, empowered Isis to fill the vacuum, empowered Iran by empowering the Shia majority in Iraq, and put our nation on a disastrous financial footing. So Jeb Bush’s ridiculous answer (about knowing what we now know he would still go to war with Iraq)notwithstanding, was God the best foreign policy advisor President Bush had at that time? George W Bush was asked by Bob Woodward at the time if he had gotten advice from his earthly father George HW Bush and famously responded that he had a “higher father that I appeal to.”
Another telling sign of Mr Bush’s religion was his answer to Mr Woodward’s question on whether he had asked his father – the former president who refused to launch a full-scale invasion of Iraq after driving Saddam Hussein from Kuwait in 1991 – for advice on what to do.
The current President replied that his earthly father was “the wrong father to appeal to for advice … there is a higher father that I appeal to”.
So my concern isn’t merely that we have a believer in the White House. Every president we have had at least claimed to be a Christian. My concern is for the true believers who are acting with the largest economy and military in the world acting on God’s behalf. Because I’m not voting for God’s foreign policy. He’s got a pretty piss poor track record.