Some of you, especially those on the left side of the political aisle, are scratching your heads over Ben Carson's recent surge in the polls. I get why you're surprised, but you shouldn't be.
This has definitely been the year of the outsiders in the Republican race, but this "outside" group may be more multifaceted than you think. Many people supporting outsiders are not just tired of business as usual from the beltway establishment. They are not just aghast at the disastrous direction in which this nation's economy and foreign policy are headed. They are also heartsick and horrified over the nation's moral and spiritual decline -- their defeat after defeat in the ongoing culture war that is raging in this country.
Actually, it may be too charitable to our side to say there's a war going on. It's more like a relentless one-sided assault from the secular left on Judeo-Christian and traditional values, and conservatives have yet to declare war in return.
Despite the mainstream media's anti-religion propaganda, it is Christians who are more tolerant, societally, while leftists want to force Christians not just to tolerate their cultural preferences, but also to embrace them. Christians aren't the ones who are trying to turn long-standing societal mores upside down, and they aren't the ones who've declared war against the left's cultural or "spiritual" practices.
Consider some recent examples.
Item: President Obama, as commander in chief of the leftist cultural army, has trampled on the religious and conscious rights of Christians -- e.g., forcing employers to offer abortifacients -- after promising he wouldn't and while still denying he has.
Item: Big Brother has investigated and punished a high school football coach for praying on the 50-yard line even though the coach did not force any of his team or students to join him. This is not only a gross perversion of the Establishment Clause of the federal and state constitutions; it is an attack on religious liberty. I don't care what any crazy court may say in the future. This is a ludicrous and outrageous abuse of authority by any standards of sanity.
Militant secularists and many atheists are especially nervous when people exercising their religious rights attract others, by their wonderful examples, to voluntarily join them, as students and players did with the coach -- even players from opposing teams. Let's not be naive. For these militant leftists, it is not "live and let live." It is "we'll live the way we want to, but we won't allow you to."
Item: These groups have called for boycotts of the city of Houston after the sensible citizens recently rejected an objectively offensive measure allowing transgender people to use public restrooms designated for the opposite biological gender. Disgracefully, CBS is supporting them, as is The New York Times, which has called Houston voters "bigots" and "haters" who are "destined to lose one day." Are we really talking about this?
People are rightly appalled and are crying out for someone in power to fight back. Ben Carson and certain other Republican candidates are doing just that in defending Judeo-Christian values, and this is another reason for their appeal.
A recent Pew poll shows there has been a modest drop in overall rates of belief in God and participation in religious practices among Americans. But an already overlooked aspect of this poll is that religiously affiliated Americans are as observant as before.
Many Christians have finally awakened from their slumber and understand their values are under assault and that their opponents are less innocuous than they earlier assumed. They realize they have to do more than complain to their neighbors. They need political leaders who will respect faith-based voters and will fight for religious liberty in the government and in the culture.
Many are beginning to realize that we are suffering from what some have called a God-void in our society. God created us in His image as spiritual creatures, and if we don't honor Him as individuals and as a society, we will find substitutes to fill this God-shaped void in our souls.
I am obviously passionate about politics, but I think we sometimes lose sight of the most important things in life. Sometimes in the midst of our political battles we Christians must take a deep breath and remind ourselves of transcendently important matters. We need to know what and why we believe and especially the divine written source of those beliefs.
That's one reason I've written a new book that is coming out Nov. 9: "The Emmaus Code: Finding Jesus in the Old Testament." It is a companion to my last book, "Jesus on Trial," in which I trace my own spiritual journey from skeptic to believer and present the evidence that convinced me of Christianity's truth claims.
The Emmaus Code is a laymen-friendly Old Testament primer, and shows the foundational importance of the Old Testament to the New Testament, its ongoing relevance for Christians, and its Christ-centeredness. For Christians the entire Bible is about Jesus Christ and this book attempts to demonstrate that with abundant proof.
We must value the entire Bible, not just the New Testament, for the Old Testament is the only Bible Jesus had -- and he affirmed it as divinely inspired. I hope "The Emmaus Code" will persuade you of these truths and give you hope in the midst of this assault on our religious liberties.