My native state, Oregon, has garnered a reputation as a Progressive, godless, immoral stronghold. This has not always been the case, and, if Multnomah and Lane counties (Portland and Eugene) were set aside, Oregon would still be a red state.
Unfortunately, the very breathtaking, rugged beauty that ranks Oregon among the most awe-inspiring states in our Republic, was the very thing that drew Marxists, radical environmentalists, alternate lifestyle proponents, and hard-core Progressives in droves. And once settled here, those “Keep Portland/Oregon weird” Lefty radicals worked hard to turn our state into something just like the unprosperous, godless states from whence they came.
But there is hope in my state, and it can be seen every week in churches throughout now dark blue Oregon. And, in the heart of darkness, Portland and the Portland Metro area, churches are growing as Oregonians are hungry for truth and light.
This past weekend, at my church, Athey Creek Christian Fellowship (a vibrant church of 4K+ and growing), in a service Saturday night, and two services on Sunday, my pastor, Brett Meador, made the case for voting and voting biblically. Athey, like the church Meador’s family helped start in Southern Oregon, Applegate Christian Fellowship, is unapologetically Bible-centric.
Athey Creek Christian Fellowship is a body of believers desiring to know the Lord in an ever-increasing measure. We are a non-denominational fellowship associating with all who are in the Body of Christ.
We believe the Bible to be the inspired and inerrant Word of God. We place high emphasis on the teaching of God’s Word, the Bible, so that our faith may grow (Romans 10:17, 2 Timothy 3:16).
. . .
From the start, the vision for ACCF has been clear and focused: we want everything we do to point to Jesus. For us, it means that we keep things simple. Acts 2:42 outlines the model of the early church, “And they continued steadfastly in the apostles’ doctrine and fellowship, and in breaking of bread, and in prayers.”
From my first visit, and the first minute, I knew I had found a home at Athey: the music kills it and points to Jesus, uplifting hearts and souls, and the preaching is verse by verse, chapter by chapter, and 100% NOT politically correct. Just the Word, sharp and powerful. As written in Hebrews:
For the word of God is alive and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword,it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart.
And Paul’s epistle to Timothy:
All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: That the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works.
And as written by Moses in the book of Deuteronomy:
And these words, which I command thee this day, shall be in thine heart: And thou shalt teach them diligently unto thy children, and shalt talk of them when thou sittest in thine house, and when thou walkest by the way, and when thou liest down, and when thou risest up. And thou shalt bind them for a sign upon thine hand, and they shall be as frontlets between thine eyes. And thou shalt write them upon the posts of thy house, and on thy gates.
Pastor Brett Meador is faithful to plow through the Bible verse by verse in every single service. And yesterday, Sunday, November 6, was only slightly different. Perhaps because Brett began in ministry decades ago teaching kids’ Sunday School at Applegate Christian Fellowship, then leading music (Brett and his kids, Brook and Joey, are musicians and part of the music/worship teams), he’s very creative, and even humorous and self-deprecating in his delivery.
Brett began this weekend’s sermon with a heads up that he would touch on the election, or more precisely, who he would be voting for, but only because the Book we’re now in, 1 Samuel, describes the trouble Israel had with sinful kings.
He contrasted King Saul and King David: the former tall dark and handsome, yet not following God’s commandments and precepts; the latter a big-time sinner who lusted after Bathsheba, then committed adultery with her, then essentially killed her husband. Yet David is called a “man after God’s own heart” and listed in the genealogy of Jesus because David repented (did a 180° …acknowledged his sin, trued his course with God’s course) and repented big-time.
Thus the premise: both major candidates, Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump, are sinners. All of us are sinners. There is no getting around that.
Brett also stated and restated unequivocally that he had no critical words for his fellow believers who could not bring themselves to vote for president: he condemned the words spoken by Donald Trump in the infamous video recorded 10 years ago.
But Brett also implored the listeners saying that voting was a tremendous privilege we enjoy in the United States of America. He’s heard the flippant comments, “Well there’s nothing in the Bible about Jesus voting!” and laughed, “Uh…no, there’s not. Jesus lived during the time of Roman rule.”
Truth. Roman rule was tyrannical and not in the least little bit democratic…no one voted under Roman rule.
Of note: Many Christians will cite Jesus’ words in Matthew 22:21, “Render therefore unto Caesar the things which are Caesar’s; and unto God the things that are God’s,” as justification for abstaining from civic involvement.
But here’s the rub. In Israel, under Roman rule, Caesar (Tiberius Caesar Dīvī Augustī Fīlius Augustus) was the ruler, the malevolent dictator. In America, by contrast, who is “Caesar”? Answer: we the people.
Abraham Lincoln ended his famous Gettysburg Address, “…that this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom, and that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth.”
Over 30 minutes into the sermon, Athey Creekers in attendance (about 1200 per service) were anxiously waiting for the crux of the sermon — who WAS Pastor Brett Meador voting for?
After laying the biblical groundwork and the foundational premise — both Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump, like all of us, are sinners, and though our true citizenship is in heaven, still we live in a constitutional republic and have the privilege as such to cast our votes and make a difference in our nation — Brett got down to brass tacks.
Pastor Brett smiled and proclaimed, “I’m voting biblically. I’m voting for the candidate who, I HOPE, will move our nation in the direction of being a friend to Israel.” He quoted Genesis:
I will bless those who bless you,
and whoever curses you I will curse;
and all peoples on earth
will be blessed through you.
Meador also noted that our foreign policy has been a disaster under the current administration, and that began and ended with the administration’s total disdain and disrespect for Israel. Loud “Amens!” could be heard all over the auditorium.
Brett continued, “I am voting for the candidate who will move our nation in the direction of LIFE!”
Pastor Brett Meador also mentioned the importance of the U.S. Supreme Court, that the next president might nominate up to 4 or even 5 Supreme Court justices who could rule in favor of life, or, tragically, abortion. He spoke of the very good list of possible SCOTUS nominees that Donald Trump put forth.
Brett urged us all to pray and to vote. And he told us, by way of biblical exhortation, who he would vote for.
And this, my friends, is why Athey Creek Christian Fellowship and other Bible-preaching churches are growing: pastors, like Brett Meador, follow the admonition of Joshua (Yehoshuah in Hebrew…Jesus, Yeshua, being the New Testament variation):
Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.
My hope and earnest prayer today is that Believers, people “of the Book,” all across America will take up the challenge to be strong and courageous, to vote and vote in favor of Israel and life.
What’s at stake? The future of America and of Israel and of millions of yet to be born babies.
May God have mercy on America.