Oct 15, '08 4:40 PM

Sound like a funny title?

I'm not trying to be facetious, but it is important to consider something in this election -- and virtually every national presidential race since 1976.  It is important to take into consideration the sincere, genuine intercession and prayers of God's people when judging the outcome of an election.

Pollsters (and I know a few of them) do their best to take a statistical sampling of people's opinions and intentions, and come up with something that reasonably approximates a current view of where the electorate sees things.

Some pollsters, of course, do everything they can to keep political agendas out of the way when doing their sampling.  Others -- and often ones we hear quoted in the mainstream media -- are heavily tilted to reflect a particular viewpoint and agenda.  I'd like to take some time today to cite a few statistics you may not be aware of that span the past 30+ years, and to show you why the overwhelming majority of national polls have missed their projections so drastically.

Now!  That said, Gooooooodddd Morrrrrrrnnnnniiinnnnggg!  Got my Scottish brogue working there in case you hadn't figured that out.

San Francisco Bay French Roast blended with Cascade Double-Roasted French is today's coffee.  The French Press is steeping, and it ought to be ready to pour by the time you get here.  Come on by and join me for a cup!

Not long after I lost my race for the U.S. House of Representatives in 2004, I met a pollster whose name you likely wouldn't recognize, although he works behind the scenes on both sides of the political aisle.  His techniques and sampling methods were a bit different than most of those we commonly hear about, such as for instance, Zogby, Gallup or Rasmussen.  As we talked about the polling process, I mentioned to him the great disparity between the actual outcome of the Presidential races and the numbers the pollsters had quoted on either the day before or the actual day of the election.

Because Gabe was also a believer in Jesus Christ, we discussed the impact that Christians have on the outcome of elections by taking the responsibility the apostle Paul commands (in I Timothy 2:1-3) through prayer and intercession.  Gabe was quick to remind me of the outcomes in many elections that pollsters simply couldn't gauge where God's people had been alerted to political agendas contrary to God's Word.  When their intercession was real, concerted, and in agreement with the heart of the Lord Jesus Christ, the outcomes were dramatically different than pollsters predicted.

In 1976 just days before the election, most polls showed a ten-to-twelve point difference between the candidates, and some pollsters had Jimmy Carter leading Gerald Ford by as much as 30 percentage points.  In fact, Jimmy Carter barely won the election, and he won by a single percentage point.  (I've had to apologize to my fellow-believers many times since -- and a few of them have mercilessly though humorously harassed me -- for voting for Carter.  I was, unfortunately, not among those who were praying and interceding over that election.)

1980 was a different matter.  Ronald Reagan won easily, and although there were many Christians who misjudged him at the time, believing there was a better "Christian" candidate, he went down in history as one of the greatest presidents America has ever had.  Christians had come to appreciate this man by the time his first term of office was ending and he won the 1984 election in one of the (if not THE) greatest electoral landslides in American history.

Believers were lulled into passivity during the Reagan years.  George H.W. Bush won easily in 1988 by virtue of being Reagan's Vice President.  Following the first Gulf War in 1991, for a time he held an 81% approval rating.  Then he went back on a promise to never raise taxes in order to balance the budget because of the high cost of the Gulf War.  Never mind the fact that the country bailed on GHWB, Christians began calling him "The Antichrist."  Despite the efforts of many leaders throughout the body of Christ to rally prayer for him, there was such division among Christians and particularly among Evangelicals that many were praying against his reelection.

With such division among Christians, I remarked to Della one day that God was going to permit Bill Clinton to be elected as judgment for those who spoke evil of Bush senior, and that believers would soon rue the day they helped to elect him.  It was an accurate prophecy.  Understand that the issue wasn't that folks were just speaking evil of GHWB, they were dishonoring the position and the office God had given.

Christians felt they had little to stand behind with Dole in 1996 and despite a grim record on issues of concern to believers, Clinton was easily reelected.

2000 was a different matter.  Eighteen months before the 2000 elections, the Lord spoke to Bob Jones (whom many of us know as one of the most accurate prophets of modern times) and told him He was going to raise up "a burning Bush" to lead this nation.  It was a humorous metaphor, but an accurate word.  Not long thereafter, Bob received another word from the Lord.  This time the Lord told him that if God's people would pray and intercede over the presidential elections, He would give America 16 years of righteous leadership to undo and reverse the downward spiral of the Clinton years.

Some months before Texas Governor George W. Bush decided to throw his hat into the presidential ring, his pastor and several other Holy Spirit-filled people laid hands on him and began to pray.  As they were praying, one of them began to prophesy that God had anointed him and commissioned him to become President, and that if he would remain humble before the Lord, God would ensure his presidency and protect him throughout.

Word of this began to spread slowly throughout the body of Christ, and Christians everywhere began to mobilize in prayer over the nation in ways never before seen in America.  Della and I were among many other believers who fasted and prayed for an extended period over the outcome of the 2000 election.

Meanwhile Al Gore was the darling of the mainstream media, and the odds easily favored him as Bill Clinton's VP.  As is usual with pre-election polls, the numbers varied widely throughout the campaigns, swinging wildly as the weeks progressed.  On election day, most of the polls were favoring Al Gore by an average of four to six percentage points, and a few had him leading by even greater numbers.

I'll have to admit to a certain uneasiness as the election returns were being counted, but I kept reminding myself (and Della) of what God had said.  George Bush was God's choice and His anointed to lead this nation -- not Al Gore.  We simply had to stand on that Word.

Despite a massive effort to overturn the election results -- and many of you easily remember the Florida days of the "hanging chad" -- Bush won the presidency.  Christians had prayed, and God had kept His Word.

With the help of a very "in the tank" media, John Kerry mounted a tough campaign to oust George Bush in 2004.  The mainstream media had done a first-rate job of convincing Americans that GWB had gone to war in Iraq for the wrong reasons, and that there were "no WMD's."  WMD's had never been part of Bush's justification for the war although many on the left claimed otherwise.

During my run for the House of Representatives, I was privileged to meet the Assistant Secretary of Defense during a time when he was negotiating with Bashar Assad and the Syrian government for the return of Saddam's WMD arsenal (spirited away in the early days of the Iraq War, first into the Bekaa Valley in Lebanon, and then back into Syria after Saddam was caught).  I asked him why the "no WMD" mantra by the left, and why the administration was not making it abundantly clear that Saddam actually did have WMD's.  He told me that the administration felt that without the weapons in hand the Leftmedia would never accept nor publish the truth, and that it really didn't matter.  (It was a decision that puzzles me to this day.)

Once again, Christians had a clear choice.  There simply was no contest.  John Kerry was espousing positions no Bible-believing, Holy Spirit-walking Christian could possibly support.  Were he to be elected, it would be the undoing of what progress George Bush had made in his first four years.  Christians began to rally nation-wide in prayer and intercession.  If 2000 had been a watershed in Christians praying and interceding, it paled next to the efforts mobilized by leaders in the body of Christ in 2004.

Pollsters simply couldn't take that intercession into account in their polling.  For weeks prior to the election, Bush trailed Kerry by varying percentages.  On election day once again most polls showed Kerry leading by some four-to-six percentage points, and a couple of polls had Kerry beating Bush by 12.  When the votes were counted, there were some very puzzled pollsters who simply could not figure out how they missed it so badly.  George Bush won by the largest actual plurality of votes in electoral history, and just shy of five percentage points.  It was a shocker that stunned even the most seasoned and theoretically most accurate of those who made their living by projecting election outcomes

Enter the 2008 presidential race.  A very likeable and outgoing personality, Barack Obama has the ability to mesmerize his audiences with his speeches.  Few candidates for the office of the presidency have had his ability to communicate so effectively with audiences.

There's just one problem.  Christians might overlook the fact that he has never led anything in his life, never served in an executive position, and has a zero track record to back up what he says.  They might even overlook the fact that out of 120 votes cast in the Illinois house before he became senator, he voted "present" instead of taking a position on the issue.  Christians just might be able to overlook all that IF -- and it would be a BIG IF -- he stood for the things that represent righteousness, uprightness, integrity and had a Biblical worldview.  He doesn't.

The recent California Supreme Court decision that legalized homosexual marriage evoked a letter from Obama to the Gay and Lesbian Alliance which stated in part, "As president, I will stand behind gays and the effort to normalize their acceptance in society.  I will also work to overturn the Federal Marriage Amendment banning gay marriage."

When asked a few weeks ago by author and pastor, Rick Warren, "When do you believe that life begins?" Obama answered, "....uhhh...well....I'm afraid that's above my pay grade."  He has made it clear otherwise that he supports abortion on demand, and that he would seek to legalize partial-birth abortion.

A few months ago he made a trip to the middle east.  One one day in particular, he stood up for a photo-op in front of several hundred spent rocket casings that had been fired by Hamas and Hezbollah against Israel.  He said to Israel's leadership, "I will stand with you against the terrorists."  Later that very same day, he was photographed with the leaders of Hamas and the camera caught him saying to them, "I support you, and I will do everything in my power to establish a peace agreement between you and Israel."  That's not simple naiveté: that is the reckless endangerment of Israel -- a nation we've sworn to support and defend!  

It matters not that he might have all the answers to the current economic crisis.  It matters not that he might have the right answers to dealing with issues of war and peace.  No matter how a candidate stands on these issues, if he or she supports the wholesale murder of unborn children (more than 50,000 deaths of babies since Roe v. Wade) under the mythical premise of "a woman's choice," no believing Christian can support that candidate without himself/herself suffering grave spiritual consequences for their tacit support of sin.

The Bible is abundantly clear in many, many passages that homosexual or lesbian behavior is plain, simple sin in God's eyes.  For any candidate to support this kind of wanton and deviant behavior means that no Christian who walks in a love-relationship with the Lord Jesus Christ can be in support or vote for them without themselves suffering the consequences of their support for sin.

Let's make something clear.  I am neither pro-Obama nor anti-Obama.  I actually kind of like the guy, but I am anti-sin.  What that means is that when someone actively supports and promotes sin -- anything which opposes and exalts itself above the knowledge of God -- I cannot stand in agreement with them, support them, or promote them to leadership over this nation.  Because Barack Obama has chosen a course of action and support for activities which clearly oppose the things of God, I cannot give him my support.  If I do, I come under the same judgment of sin that he promotes.  It is extremely clear.

Let's back up a bit.  It was about a year ago that the Lord spoke to me and told me that this election was going to have many surprises, that there would be some stunning events surrounding the campaigns, and finally, that the outcome of this election would be very different than the pollsters and pundits predicted.

It seems like it was roughly that same time that Lou Engle (associated with Mike Bickle and the International House of Prayer in Kansas City) renewed The Call, a national prayer movement he had begun on behalf of the 2000 elections.  Despite Lou's success with The Call in 2000, no one could have imagined how it would explode on the national scene in 2007 and 2008 in the manner we've seen.  At each successive gathering of Christians (who come together, by the way, to pray for this nation and the elections) the numbers have increased.  Literally tens and hundreds of thousands of Christians have gathered together in Washington, DC, in Miami, in Los Angeles, in San Francisco, in Denver, in Chicago, and in many other cities throughout this nation praying with one heart, one mind, and one purpose: that God would raise up righteous leadership in the White House, in the Congress, in the Senate, in the Governors' houses in every state, in state legislatures.

There's a spiritual principle here, folks, and it is revealed in a couple of scriptures.  In Matthew 18:18-20, Jesus says, "Verily I say unto you, Whatsoever ye shall bind on earth shall be bound in heaven: and whatsoever ye shall loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven. Again I say unto you, That if two of you shall agree on earth as touching any thing that they shall ask, it shall be done for them of my Father which is in heaven.  For where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them."

Then in John's first epistle, he writes, "And this is the confidence that we have in him, that, if we ask any thing according to his will, he heareth us: And if we know that he hear us, whatsoever we ask, we know that we have the petitions that we desired of him." (I John 5:14-15)

What about it?  When thousands gather together in agreement as to God's purposes, do you not think God hears and honors?  And if they are asking according to His will, do you not think God is going to show up on the scene and answer accordingly?  I promise you that He will!

Now.  To the polls.  As I write this with three weeks to go, Zogby shows Obama leading McCain by 1.9 percentage points.  Gallup shows Obama up by 7 and the New York Times shows him up by 10.  It is a rerun of 2004.  As in the past, pollsters' numbers obviously vary because of political bias.  Those polls with less bias show closer numbers.  Polls with greater bias show a greater spread.  Nothing has changed.

With three weeks to go, if Christians will stay focused and continue in agreement we will see an election outcome in accordance with the Word and the Will of God.  We will see a righteous and honorable president and vice-president who have integrity, who will listen to wise and Godly counsel and direct the affairs of this nation accordingly.  Once again, the pollsters will be scratching their heads and trying to figure out what they did wrong.

The economy of this nation is not yet at stake despite the wild ups and downs in the financial markets.  There is a shaking going on to be sure, and it will continue.  Babylon IS going to fall -- but not yet!  God is giving His people a few more years for the sake of a very great ingathering and harvest of souls.  This nation, and the world, are on the cusp of revival and renewal where we will see many hundreds of thousands and millions come to Jesus Christ.

How God's people vote in this election is absolutely critical!  I believe we will be held accountable before the Lord for our choices.  If we vote based on emotion and anger over our perception of current events and support a candidate who promises (and has a supporting track record) to expand abortion rights and legalize (and expand) homosexual marriages, we will place ourselves on the wrong side of God's Word and be held accountable.

If we vote with an ear to what the Holy Spirit is saying and support a candidate who otherwise has flaws and takes political positions we disagree with, but otherwise stands for uprightness and righteousness as far as God's Word is concerned, we will see the favor of the Lord.

"Let the pulpit resound with the doctrine and sentiments of religious liberty. Let us hear of the dignity of man's nature, and the noble rank he holds among the works of God... Let it be known that British liberties are not the grants of princes and parliaments."  -- John Adams (Dissertation on the Canon & Feudal Law, 1765)

"Liberty cannot be preserved without a general knowledge among the people, who have a right, from the frame of their nature, to knowledge, as their great Creator, who does nothing in vain, has given them understandings, and a desire to know; but besides this they have a right, an indisputable, unalienable, indefeasible, divine right to that most dreaded and envied kind of knowledge; I mean, of the characters and conduct of their rulers." selecting men for office, let principle be your guide. Regard not the particular sect or denomination of the candidate—look to his character."  -- John Adams (Dissertation on the Canon & Feudal Law, 1765)

The Blessing of the Lord: it makes rich and He adds no painful toil and sorrow!  (Proverbs 10:22)  Be blessed! 







Regner A. Capener

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