I had the misfortune of seeing Ted Cruz's victory speech after his win in Iowa the other night. I had tuned into Fox News hoping to see how Trump was taking his second place finish and I was treated to a long-winded affair from Cruz that left me wondering what it means to be both a Christian and a career politician these days. Let me tell you about it.
Cruz, flanked on the stage by his Baptist preacher father, began his speech by saying, "To God be the glory." For those of you who are not Evangelicals, that is a formulaic way of saying that the person making the utterance attributes to God the events that have taken place. It is a good phrase to use when courting the Evangelical vote in this country since they will generally blindly follow anyone who tells them what they want to hear (of course, that makes them no different than any other voter, they just have some religious things they want to hear rather than the constant litany of more common statist propaganda). Cruz was clearly making a point to Evangelicals. He wanted them to know that he is one of them and he appreciated their support.
Not more than a minute or two went by before Cruz came to the point in his speech where the deity he truly believes in was identified. He was making a long list of points about how the next GOP candidate for King of the Socialist Democracy of Amerika will not be selected by the career politicians who infest the RNC, nor by the media, nor by some other groups of people I have already forgotten. No, Cruz insisted, the next King will be selected precisely in the fashion he had just been selected, "by the sovereign will of the people of the state of Iowa."
Once again, if you are not an Evangelical, you might not be familiar with the theological buzzword 'sovereign.' It has become very popular in recent years as the branch of Evangelicalism known as Neo-Calvinism has risen to power. Sovereignty is an attribute rightly and properly ascribed to God and God alone. Saying that God is sovereign is confessing that the God of the Bible is in control of all things and working them out according to His purposes and for His glory. That is part of what Cruz meant to say when he began his speech by saying, "To God be the glory." But once Cruz started speaking his true god was revealed. His sovereign god is the voice of the people. Cruz is a committed believer in the religion of democracy.
God has an opinion about what Cruz said the other night. When Ted proclaimed glory to God he needed to follow that simple assertion up with some practical application. Maybe he should have turned to his father and asked him to come up with some good sermon applications that he could deliver as a part of his speech. A career politician announcing that he is seeking to live his life to the glory of the God of the Bible should follow his pronouncement up with some sort of positive assertion about the importance of the moral and civil law of God found in the Bible being the law of the land. Cruz, and every other career politician who has ever professed to be a Christian, has stubbornly refused to do that. Using 'God' words and sharing emotional statements is one thing. Taking seriously the moral claim God has upon the lives of the citizens of this idolatrous land is quite another thing entirely. Ted invited God to his victory celebration and then quickly dispatched Him to the back wall where He could watch and remain silent.
None of what I have written so far is the main point of today's blog post. I just wrote these things to make a point about all of those career politicians who claim to be Bible believing Christians. They are not. They are hypocrites, every last one of them. Today, however, I am more interested in a story I read in my Denver Post a week or so ago about Ted's religious practices. The title of the article was, "Cruz runs a religious campaign, but tithing is not on the candidate's agenda."
Orthodox (not in the sense of a national orthodox Church but in the sense of a theological orthodoxy) and historic Christians have always maintained the moral necessity of the tithe. For those of you who do not know what a tithe is, let me explain. Tithing is the practice of giving ten percent of your income to the local church to which you belong. Evangelicals will sometimes talk about it but, for the most part, tithing is another one of those historic doctrines Evangelicals have found to be burdensome and inconvenient, so they ignore it.
I don't know for sure but I would bet that if you asked Ted's dad, the Baptist preacher, if he believes in tithing you would get an affirmative answer. Clearly his son does not. The newspaper reported, "Ted Cruz sometimes sounds more like a preacher than a presidential candidate, praising the transformative love of Jesus Christ and promising to defend religious liberty. But the Texas senator rarely evokes the biblical tenet of tithing, the mandate that 10 percent of possessions be donated to the church." The author of the story does not get things quite right here. Tithing is not based on net worth, it is based on income. One does not tithe ten percent of one's possessions, as the author suggests. But I think you get the point anyway.
The story goes on to inform me, based upon tax return information Cruz released to the media, that "Cruz doesn't tithe. He and his wife donated less than 1 percent of their income to charity and nothing to churches, including to their own in Houston...Cruz has said that he and his wife were more focused on using their seven-figure annual income to build a financial foundation for their family and his two daughters." Well there you have it. Ted Cruz ignores the financial needs of the church of which he is a member and focuses on the family instead. Ted also ignores the clear teaching of the God of the Bible about tithing. That is a dangerous thing to do.
God gives us His opinion about the tithe in Malachi 3: 8-9 where He declares, "Will a man rob God? Yet you are robbing Me! But you say, 'How have we robbed Thee?' In tithes and contributions. You are cursed with a curse, for you are robbing Me, the whole nation of you." Evangelicals dismiss this passage because it is found in the Old Testament and, for them, the Old Testament is scripture emeritus, having no authority over their lives at all. I suspect Ted takes the same position. The fact that Evangelicals and Ted declare God's opinion about the tithe to be in error does not change the fact that God is not lying when He commands His people to tithe. It also does not change the fact that God will curse all those who ignore the clear teaching of His Word and refuse to tithe.
Ted long ago sold his soul to the devil. When he decided to become a career politician, and align himself with the Beast of civil government, he closed the door on any meaningful relationship with the God of the Bible. No matter what he says it is impossible to appraise the man apart from the way he behaves, and the way he behaves is not good. He is a career politician who rejects the law of God, adopts the myth of neutrality in the public square and is embarrassed by God's moral claims upon him and others. As a result he does not tithe, nor does he call for God's law to be enshrined as the law of this immoral and covetous country. I conclude that Ted Cruz is a thief in the eyes of God. In case you don't know, that is not a good thing to be.