Updated: Jul 27, 2020
In 2016 I was honored to serve as a member of the Platform Committee at the Republican National Convention. Nobody could have known at the time what future chain of events would occur to make the 2016 Platform so critical. Due to COVID-19-mandated protocols, a typical Republican Presidential Convention in 2020 will not take place. Consequently, the RNC suspended the meeting of the 2020 Platform Committee. Ultimately, this means that the 2016 Platform will stand for an unprecedented eight years. Though completely unanticipated by its drafters, the 2016 Platform we adopted will continue to dictate policy until 2024.
This unexpected extension of the 2016 Platform’s authority is an answer to prayer and a huge blessing. The 2016 Platform is arguably the best Platform adopted by the Republican Party in its entire history. Strong language is included: preserving our Republic and its values, upholding the supremacy of the Constitution, protecting and valuing life, and standing with Israel.
For those who are still praying about how to vote in November, one of the best places to look is at each respective party’s platform. This is where believers can see what is put forth as the core principles by which the elected officials from each party are directed. I encourage you to read both Platforms in their entirety.
As a brief summary, the following language is contained within the 2016 Republican Platform:
“We are the party of the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution. The Declaration sets forth the fundamental precepts of American government: That God bestows certain inalienable rights on every individual, thus producing human equality; that government exists first and foremost to protect those inalienable rights; that man-made law must be consistent with God-given, natural rights; and that if God-given, natural, inalienable rights come in conflict with government, court, or human-granted rights, God-given, natural, inalienable rights always prevail; that there is a moral law recognized as “the Laws of Nature and of Nature’s God”; and that American government is to operate with the consent of the governed.”
“The Constitution’s guarantee that no one can “be deprived of life, liberty or property” deliberately echoes the Declaration of Independence’s proclamation that “all” are “endowed by their Creator” with the inalienable right to life. Accordingly, we assert the sanctity of human life and affirm that the unborn child has a fundamental right to life which cannot be infringed.”
“We pledge to defend the religious beliefs and rights of conscience of all Americans and to safeguard religious institutions against government control.”
“Israel is likewise an exceptional country that shares our most essential values…Our party is proud to stand with Israel now and always.”
So, despite the tendency to view our circumstances in a negative light, as Christians, we must always take comfort in the knowledge that God gives beauty for ashes. I do not adhere to the belief that God in any way inflicts pain and suffering as a form of judgment; clearly it is the enemy who comes to kill, steal, and destroy. Yet, I am confident that no matter what attacks the enemy may throw at us, be it COVID-19, quarantine, economic shutdown, God is able to bring forth blessings in the midst of the storm.
The fact that these unusual days in which we are living occasioned the suspension of the Platform Committee and kept the 2016 Platform in place is nothing short of a tangible blessing for which we can sincerely be grateful. So, no matter what you are facing today, ask the Holy Spirit to place in your heart a confident expectation of good. Then wait with excitement to see how your mourning will be replaced with blessing, as your despair is replaced through praise!
To all who mourn in Israel, he will give a crown of beauty for ashes, a joyous blessing instead of mourning, festive praise instead of despair. In their righteousness, they will be like great oaks that the LORD has planted for his own glory. (Isaiah 61:3)