Ramon Arias | June 12, 2017
“As to Jesus of Nazareth, my opinion of whom you particularly desire, I think the system of morals and His religion as He left them to us, the best the world ever saw or is likely to see.” –Benjamin Franklin1
“The practice of morality being necessary for the well being of society, He [God] has taken care to impress its precepts so indelibly on our hearts that they shall not be effaced by the subtleties of our brain. We all agree in the obligation of the moral principles of Jesus and nowhere will they be found delivered in greater purity than in His discourses.” –Thomas Jefferson2
The worldview of the avowed socialist Senator Bernie Sanders from Vermont has no room for Christians in government who refuse to make the State the supreme god of the land. In the nomination hearings of Russell Vought, Trump’s selection for deputy director of the Office of Management and Budget, Sanders felt the liberty to ostracize the nominee’s Christian convictions.
Sanders partially quoted what Vought wrote in January 2006 in disagreement with the suspended professor Larycia Hawkins, on December 2015, from the evangelical Wheaton College by stating Muslims and Christians worship one God. It was her theology that got her in trouble, not wearing a hijab in solidarity with Muslims. You can read here the full article about Hawkins background and views.
The issue Sanders referenced with Vought was related to an article published on the conservative website The Resurgent in defense of his alma mater where he stated: “Muslims do not simply have a deficient theology. They do not know God because they have rejected Jesus Christ his Son, and they stand condemned.”
You can see the entire exchange in the U.S. Senate video that begins in the 44th minute.
The National Review posted the full transcript of Sanders attack on Vought:
Sanders: Let me get to this issue that has bothered me and bothered many other people. And that is in the piece that I referred to that you wrote for the publication called Resurgent. You wrote, “Muslims do not simply have a deficient theology. They do not know God because they have rejected Jesus Christ, His Son, and they stand condemned.” Do you believe that that statement is Islamophobic?
Vought: Absolutely not, Senator. I’m a Christian, and I believe in a Christian set of principles based on my faith. That post, as I stated in the questionnaire to this committee, was to defend my alma mater, Wheaton College, a Christian school that has a statement of faith that includes the centrality of Jesus Christ for salvation, and…
Sanders: I apologize. Forgive me, we just don’t have a lot of time. Do you believe people in the Muslim religion stand condemned? Is that your view?
Vought: Again, Senator, I’m a Christian, and I wrote that piece in accordance with the statement of faith at Wheaton College:
Sanders: I understand that. I don’t know how many Muslims there are in America. Maybe a couple million. Are you suggesting that all those people stand condemned? What about Jews? Do they stand condemned too?
Vought: Senator, I’m a Christian . . .
Sanders (shouting): I understand you are a Christian, but this country are made of people who are not just — I understand that Christianity is the majority religion, but there are other people of different religions in this country and around the world. In your judgment, do you think that people who are not Christians are going to be condemned?
Vought: Thank you for probing on that question. As a Christian, I believe that all individuals are made in the image of God and are worthy of dignity and respect regardless of their religious beliefs. I believe that as a Christian that’s how I should treat all individuals . . .
Sanders: You think your statement that you put into that publication, they do not know God because they rejected Jesus Christ, His Son, and they stand condemned, do you think that’s respectful of other religions?
Vought: Senator, I wrote a post based on being a Christian and attending a Christian school that has a statement of faith that speaks clearly in regard to the centrality of Jesus Christ in salvation.
Sanders: I would simply say, Mr. Chairman that this nominee is really not someone who this country is supposed to be about.
There are two things to keep in mind in the above exchange: First, Sanders directly attacked the Christian faith of a nominee. Second, he violated Article VI of the U.S. Constitution states, “no religious test shall ever be required as a qualification to any office or public trust under the United States.” Will the Senate ethics reprimand Sanders and nullify his “no” vote?
Bernie Sanders is no different than many elected officials who are neophytes when it comes to the historical, Biblical principles in the foundation of this country and the U.S. Constitution. Very much how the Jews had no understanding of the Law of God, the Prophets, and the Psalms, which revealed about the coming of The Messiah, and they didn’t recognize the Christ when he arrived. If Sanders only understood what the prophet Isaiah says in chapter 53, it would open his mind to a new understanding of Christ’s work of redemption for humanity. It was Jesus the Messiah, the Christ who stated the following to the Jewish leader, Nicodemus:
For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him. Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only Son of God. And this is the judgment: the light has come into the world, and people loved the darkness rather than the light because their works were evil. For everyone who does wicked things hates the light and does not come to the light, lest his works should be exposed. But whoever does what is true comes to the light, so that it may be clearly seen that his works have been carried out in God. John 3:16-21 (ESV)
It is the God of the Bible who establishes the standards for right living, not mortal, finite men. Every human has to arrive at the conclusion that there is only one way, one truth and one life that gives meaning and purpose in Christ alone. Nations have been in social turmoil for the lack of God’s knowledge and its practical biblical applications.
Bernie’s mindset is predominant in America’s culture of intellectual and spiritual darkness and his ravaging attacks against God’s moral absolutes is a warning to all Christians. His zero tolerance for Christians in government is also happening in many areas of society. On the other hand, we have the unwavering firmness of Russell Vought’s conviction; this is also an admonition to followers of Christ to be knowledgeable of their beliefs and counter attack the decadence permeating the nation and the world and to be set free by knowing His truth.
“but whoever denies me before men, I also will deny before my Father who is in heaven” Matthew 10:33 (ESV)
“but in your hearts honor Christ the Lord as holy, always being prepared to make a defense to anyone who asks you for a reason for the hope that is in you; yet do it with gentleness and respect” 1 Peter 3:15 (ESV)