Exactly one year from today a new president will be sworn in. I'm hoping that new president is Texas Sen. Ted Cruz. Today, I am officially endorsing Cruz for our nation's highest office.
To me, my endorsement comes down to three things: the man, his character, and his strategy for how he will clear up the mess our nation is in.
The Iowa Caucus is in only 12 days, followed eight days later by the New Hampshire primary. Cruz is surging in the polls. If he wins some of the early primaries, he will have a momentum to make it all the way to the nomination. Ultimately, I believe whoever the Republican nominee is will win. Is it possible that readers of Charisma and our websites could turn out in force and provide the extra few percentage points needed to win these early voting states?
It's no surprise our country is in a mess. Christian values are no longer valued by the mainstream. Entrepreneurship is threatened, our government is becoming more socialistic, and our security is being jeopardized as the United States fails to take seriously the threats from radical Islamic terrorists and rogue states like Iran and North Korea.
A presidential election allows the country to change direction, much like what happened in 1980 when many of the same failed policies of the Carter administration created a Reagan Revolution and created a major shift in our nation.
This year the Republicans have a large field of many compelling candidates, including several strong evangelicals. While I don't believe we should only vote for someone we might attend church with, I do believe we should do what we can to help nominate someone with our values; someone who will govern from a conservative point of view.
Many years ago Bible-believing Christians made up a majority, but that is no longer true as the country has become more diverse and more secular. But we still have a huge plurality that will make the difference if we vote together.
This time we have an opportunity to get behind one candidate. I see many evangelicals beginning to coalesce behind Ted Cruz. This is one of the reasons I've decided to endorse him during the primaries. In past years we've always endorsed in the general election, but often the endorsement was not enthusiastic but for the lesser of two evils.
Frankly, when I see the Republican debates, I could vote for anyone on the stage if I had to. I even admire Donald Trump, who seems to dominate media coverage with his antics. However, I'm concerned about the fact he is not a life-long conservative and is unproven governing. In the past, I have endorsed others like Rick Santorum and Mike Huckabee, but they don't seem to have much momentum. Sen. Marco Rubio is from my home state and I supported his run for Senate. He is a good man of faith and has many of the qualities of Cruz. But as I've researched Cruz, I decided that he stands out in the pack. His courageous conservatism is indisputable among the Republican candidates.
Cruz successfully protected the Ten Commandments and the Pledge of Allegiance as Solicitor General of Texas. Cruz defended religious liberty in public schools, the workplace and the church. And he stood up for veterans' free speech rights. One of his other endorsers said it well: "Ted Cruz's resume is just as remarkable as his courage: Cruz does not simply choose the right side in the battles that matter: He leads the battle to victory."
As a United States senator, Ted Cruz has led the fight against Planned Parenthood and Obamacare. He has defended marriage, opposed judicial activism, exposed Common Core, and worked to secure our border. He has eloquently defended our freedom of speech and Second Amendment rights.
In an exclusive interview that Jennifer LeClaire and I conducted with Sen. Cruz the week after Christmas—which we are publishing online soon—he made these promises:
- To be strongly pro-Israel. In fact, on the first day in office he pledged to begin the process to move the Embassy in Israel to Jerusalem, the one and only eternal capital of Israel.
- To implement policies that would make the economy grow 5 percent a year, compared to only 1.2 percent under Obama and an average of 3.3 percent since World War II. He would do this like Reagan did through tax reform and regulatory reform. He is campaigning on a simple flat tax, a 10 percent personal flat tax, a 16 percent business flat tax, and eliminating the death tax, the payroll tax, and all Obamacare taxes.
- To defend our Constitutional rights. After seeing the federal government assaulting the Bills of Rights almost one at a time, coming after free speech and religious liberty—to Christians in particular. He says on his first day in office he would Instruct the Department of Justice and the IRS and every other federal agency that the persecution of religious liberty ends that day;
- To rescind every illegible and unconstitutional executive action taken by President Obama;
- To instruct the Department of Justice to open an investigation into Planned Parenthood and these horrible videos and prosecute any and all criminal violations by that organization;
- To rip to shreds the catastrophic Iranian nuclear deal. The threat of nuclear Iran is the greatest national security threat facing America.
He says: "With real leadership, this country can turn around because our values are strong. It is our leadership that is at war with the American people, trying daily hand in hand with the mainstream media to undermine our values."
Christians must rise up and vote to place leaders in office who will make the needed changes or America will cease to be a shining light on a hill that has protected liberty around the world and given us the freedom to propagate the gospel around the world.
In the last presidential election, it is said that half of all evangelicals did not vote. Obama defeated Mitt Romney by only 3.5 million popular votes. In three swing states—Florida, Ohio and Pennsylvania—a combined less than 500,000 votes could have altered the election result.
This is my point: Christians can make a difference. In fact, there are enough Pentecostals to make a difference. So here's what I'm proposing to the readers of Charisma and those who come to our websites:
Let's wake up and see we must get to the polls!
Pastors and leaders, speak to your sphere of influence.
Turn out for the primaries and caucuses and encourage others to do the same. The first is Feb. 1 in Iowa. By mid-March, one of the candidates will have the momentum to go all the way.
Let's coalesce around one candidate who shares our values and worldview and who can win.
After examining all the candidates, I've come to the conclusion that Sen. Ted Cruz is the one who has the best organization, the best fundraising success and the best chance to win.
Many Pentecostals/charismatics are praying for revival but sitting out the political process. Why bother when nothing seems to change and, furthermore, the Second Coming is on the horizon?
The Spirit-empowered community has the numbers and the power to shift this election. I respect those who support other candidates. But I see the broader evangelical community coalescing behind Cruz.
I sense something is happening in our nation. People are beginning to wake up. There is more concern and more prayer than I've seen in years. It's almost like the grassroots Reagan revolution when Jimmy Carter was president.
One person cannot turn America around. But didn't God raise up a leader when Israel needed to come back to Him? Don't we now need a leader who will defend our religious rights and stop the trend led by President Obama, where the rate of decline has accelerated?
Traditionally it's the non-charismatic evangelicals who have been most involved in the political process. Yet they tend to split their votes among several conservative candidates in the primaries, which means a "moderate" (liberal) Republican might earn the nomination and often loses the White House. History shows when a genuine conservative like Reagan or George W. Bush is nominated, they win. Those in the mushy middle like Bob Dole, John McCain or Mitt Romney lose. Apparently, many are as frustrated with the Republican Party as I am.
At the same time, the only liberals who win are those who obfuscate what they really believe and run toward the center yet govern on the left.
To me this is not about Democrat or Republican. I've been registered in both parties. It's about conservative and liberal policies that either line up with our understanding of God's Word or oppose it with public policy.
What someone has called the "Washington cartel" has betrayed the American people. Too many Republicans have abused the trust of conservatives. It is time for conservatives to claim our nation for liberty and to restore opportunity: as Ted Cruz says, to reignite the promise of America.
Steve Strang is the founder of Charisma and CEO of Charisma Media. Follow him on Twitter and Facebook. Click here to subscribe to the Strang Report podcast, and here to sign up for the Strang Report newsletter.
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