As the dust begins to settle after the 2020 election, control of the Senate is still up in the air. How? In Georgia, there is a special run-off election scheduled for January 5th which will decide which two candidates will represent the state in the Senate. These two seats will determine which party or ideological agenda will control the Senate for the next two years.
As of right now, come January 2021, Republicans will hold 50 seats in the Senate while Democrats will hold 46 seats. Since there are two seats held by Independents who caucus with the Democrats (former presidential hopeful Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders and Maine Senator Angus King), in terms of ideological divide, the Senate could be split 50/50 if Democrats win both of the Georgia Senate seats still up for grabs. In the case of a 50/50 split in the Senate, the Vice President becomes the tie-breaking vote. If Kamala Harris is our VP, it is clear she would align herself with her former Senate caucus, the Democrats.
Clearly, these two special run-off elections are crucial and everybody has their eyes on Georgia as 2020 comes to a close. One of the candidates running for a Georgia Senate seat is Reverend Raphael Warnock, current Pastor of Ebenezer Baptist Church, which is well-known as being previously pastored by civil rights hero Martin Luther King Jr. Although Rev. Warnock is a pastor, it does not mean Christians should support him in the voting booth.
For one, Rev. Warnock received his M. Div and additional Doctoral degrees from Union Theological Seminary. Union is a prominent, theologically liberal seminary that made news in recent years by conducting chapel services where students confess and apologize to plants for harming them and worship ice as a “brother.” In addition to his concerning theological training, his campaign and election promises are fundamentally at odds with the teachings of the Bible.
For example, he fully supports abortion in all circumstances and has been endorsed by NARAL and Planned Parenthood. Per his campaign website, he promises, if elected, to oppose any attempt to defund Planned Parenthood and that he will support Roe v. Wade as well as judicial nominees who support it. In an interview, he went so far as to say that abortion and the support of it is “consistent” with his faith. When asked if abortion is consistent with God’s view and endorsed by God, he responded that “human agency and freedom is consistent” with his views. While God certainly created humans with free will, the Bible is very clear that the intended and proper use of human autonomy is to obey and glorify God. In fact, Paul and Peter both wrote about this topic in their respective epistles. In Galatians 5:13, Paul writes, “You, my brothers and sisters, were called to be free. But do not use your freedom to indulge the flesh.” Likewise, in 1 Peter 2:16, Peter writes, “live as free people, but do not use your freedom as a cover-up for evil; live as God’s slaves.”
Another way Rev. Warnock’s views diverge from the Bible is in regards to the topic of marriage and sexuality. On his campaign website, he promises to vote in support of the Equality Act and explicitly states his support of the LGBTQ agenda. He has argued that the concept of religious freedom is often no more than “a thinly veiled means to codify anti-LGBTQ+” views and legislation. He claims that Christians who oppose the LGBTQ agenda “abuse the name of God” and “present a false choice between religious freedom and LGBTQ people.” While Christians are supposed to love everyone, we cannot condone what the Lord calls sin. The choice between religious freedom and LGBTQ people is not a false choice as Warnock claims it is, especially when it comes to the Equality Act which elevates the rights of LGBTQ people over and above the right of Christians and other religious people to live according to their faith.
As Christians, we must be vigilant in evaluating all claims, arguments, political candidates, and their platforms against the Word of God. The label of “Christian” or “Pastor” is not enough to guarantee that something or someone is speaking the truth. Let us pray to God for wisdom and devote ourselves to studying and meditating on the Bible, so that we may know what God says, discern what is good and true, and live accordingly.