Gradualism, Knute Buehler, and Our Big Problem this Fall


“first the blade, then the ear, then the full corn in the ear” Mark 4:28

Our Savior’s comments compare the kind of “natural” growth we see all around us with the gradual growth of the Kingdom. Like us, the King of Kings had to deal with revolutionaries, people who would only engage if immediate and comprehensive reversal could be the outcome. Jesus again spoke of gradualism being the nature of Kingdom growth when He compared the Kingdom to a mustard seed. Starting very small, it gradually becomes a dwelling place for all the nations, who willingly come to make their home in it (Luke 13:18,19).

Civil government is one of many aspects of the Kingdom. Jesus is King of Kings, after all. We don’t want to restrict the Kingdom to politics, but we are diminished if we don’t see the Kingdom as inclusive of every part of life, including government. Involvement in government is particularly needed in times like ours, where the civil government attacks our property, our vocation, our liberty, our health care, our children’s education and more. As in other aspects of Kingdom life, we should expect and work for gradual progress in good governance.

Voting is one of the most important tactics we use to fight the battle for liberty. Voting has a particular goal – electing someone who will be better than the other viable option on the ballot. The only message I intend to send with my vote is that I want this viable candidate rather than the other one. In a State like Oregon, the message is that I think this candidate might win, and that he might be less intrusive in regard to my family, my business, my church, etc. than the other one. I also intend to communicate that I am voting for the viable candidate who will most effectively bring competence to the business of governing, in a way that retards fraud, corruption and mismanagement.

That, apparently, is not the message that some wish to send. Here’s an example of comments I get about the Governor’s race:

“wether it’s Ferris Buehler or Killer Kate, going to end up with the same person”

“So yep, good luck folks, cause Oregon is going to become California over the next 4 yrs. Over taxed, living costs through the roof, homeless camps at every city exit, and the slow diminishing of rights.:,,Won’t be voting this yr”

Another party then comments:

“Plz vote for Aaron Auer he is a pastor running as a constitutionalist we can flip the vote away from Kate and the other constituents..plz vote its worth the time”

Now, I don’t know the folks who made these comments. God bless them, and I assume they are doing their best, and trying to help. I thank them for their involvement. But consider. The first comment can be a self-fulfilling prophecy. If we sit on our behinds, yes, we will indeed become more and more like California. People who worship the State rather than Jesus are absolutely NOT sitting out elections! And in terms of “flip the vote away from Kate”, the only flipping voting for Auer will cause will be flipping the victory to Kate.

Facts and history bear this out. Consider the origins of Oregon’s Senator Merkley. He is one of the most radical members of the U. S. Senate and is now jockeying for a run for the Presidency. Who gave him the national platform of a U. S. Senate seat? People like the commenters above.

Senator Merkley was first elected to the Senate in 2008, beating incumbent Sen. Gordon Smith, winning by less than 60,000 votes. The Constitution Party candidate got 93,000 votes, well over the margin of victory for Merkley. A message was sent, apparently being that some conservatives would rather have a progressive socialist as a U. S. Senator than a somewhat conservative incumbent who didn’t check all of our boxes. Conservatives “elected” Merkley.

Or consider the 2010 election. We could have stopped the dreadful legacy of John Kitzhaber by electing Chris Dudley. But again, some conservatives wanted to send a message. Kitzhaber won by only 22,238 votes. The Libertarian and Constitutional party candidates garnered almost 40,000 votes. Small government voters flipped the election to Kitzhaber, ushering in the era of Kate Brown. And this doesn’t factor in all the single-issue anti-abortion voters who didn’t vote at all.  Tragic.

This year’s Governor’s race is obviously very tight. Our biggest problem this fall is not the progressives. It is fellow conservatives. It is the people with whom I share the same goals. I am as strong a Constitutionalist and small government guy as any. I have led public prayers and worked politically for decades to end the scourge of the killing of pre-born infants. I think I have earned my credibility.

Sharing the same goals, I ask those considering not voting for Knute Buehler to reconsider that tactic. Please join with those of us who are just as committed to conservative goals as you are, and firmly believe that electing a new Governor will further that long term goal.  Send that message.



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