Contact: Rev. Rob Schenck, email@example.com
WASHINGTON, May 14 /Christian Newswire/ -- The following Op-Ed piece is made available to all publishing entities without charge for publication provided it is published in its entirety, together with its by-line and with the biographical information on the author that follows the main body.
Why Giuliani Will Not Be a Nominee
By Rev. Rob Schenck
Faith and Action, Washington, DC
Rudolph Giuliani has a huge problem--and so do all other candidates that approach abortion as he does. Their huge problem are both their obviously untenable moral positions on abortion, as well as the huge number of pro-life activists and our many allies. We just don't like equivocation or ambivalence.
Jesus Christ said, "A house divided against itself cannot stand." (Matthew 12:25) St. James said, "A double minded man is unstable in all his ways." (James 1:8) It appears that Rudy, and possibly other candidates, are at war with their own consciences over where they will stand on this supreme moral, social and religious issue.
In the Book of Revelation, Jesus Christ warned the church at Laodicia, "because you are lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will vomit you out of My mouth." (Revelation 3:16) Simply put, Jesus prefers an abject sinner to an equivocator.
Of all people, Rudy should realize leaders must be straight talkers. They cannot send what we preachers call, "an uncertain sound." The American people respect confident leaders who say what they mean and mean what they say. We crave public officials who call a spade a spade. We want you to take a stand one way or the other. I may disagree with you, but I will respect you for standing your ground.
Sadly, Rudy's "I do but I don't," and "I will but I won't" palaver about abortion undermines the image of the strong, take action leader New York and the country needed after 9/11. But it also shows his Achilles' heel that some had hoped to wish away. It's his moral constitution. Rudy has made a series of disastrous moral choices in his personal life that will haunt him throughout his campaign. That weakness unfortunately compromises his capacity to speak with authority on moral issues, especially abortion.
Now, Christian conservatives like me do believe strongly in conversion and change; it's what the Gospel is all about. Sinners do turn to saints; drug addicts are delivered and live clean; criminals do repent and are redeemed. But these "converts" are marked by crystal clear testimonies of conversion. They will never be perfect (as none of us will be), but they evidence steady progress toward holiness of life and thought.
Rudy has yet to share with us a "sure word of testimony" and display evidence of progressive "sanctification." These are really important factors for Christian conservatives of every stripe. And, in the end, they will prove the sine quo non of our votes for a nominee.
Before he makes any more pronouncements, tortured explanations or crafts any more nuanced position statements on abortion, marriage or God, Rudy needs to go to church and visit the altar rail for an extended dealing with God. As we Evangelicals say, he needs to "pray this through and find his peace with the Lord." Then he needs to rise from his knees and testify to what the Lord has done!
Until Rudy can give that testimony convincingly, I'm afraid he will never have enough "amens" from the congregation he needs so badly.
Rev. Rob Schenck expresses his personal opinion in this editorial. For identification purposes only, Rev. Schenck is president of the National Clergy Council in Washington, DC., founder of Faith and Action, a Christian mission to Capitol Hill and is chairman of the Committee on Church and Society for the Evangelical Church Alliance, America's oldest association of Evangelical ministers, churches and institutions. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.