Can Christians Forgive Newt?

Newt is quickly moving up in the polls, which means it is time to re-vet the longtime Washington politician.  That means its time to rehash Newt’s past.  Newt has come out saying that he has reconciled with God and has worked to put his family issues in the past.  The question is if that will be enough for the remnants of the Moral Majority and the Christian Right.

Newt may square up pretty well against Romney and Cain right now.  Cain is embroiled in a sexual harassment scandal with three possible outcomes, only one of which can benefit him.  The first outcome, Cain slips up and is proven guilty.  This will end his Presidential ambitions.  Second outcome, there is no clear resolution and the Cain decision comes down to public opinion.  This could hurt Cain’s chances if Newt continues to emerge as a strong contender on ideas.  Third outcome, the facts come out and completely discredit Cain’s accusers.  The mere injustice of the attempt to destroy Cain could easily rocket him to the top of the Republican field as a martyr of the racist left.

Romney’s religious status may not be the nail in his coffin in a matchup with Newt.  While Romney’s Mormonism turns off many conservative Protestants, Newt’s Catholicism will have the same affect on that same small portion of conservative Christian Republicans.  Overall, Mormonism and Catholicism won’t change the score for either of them.  However, Romney’s fidelity and family life is a major point in his favor.

Conservative Christians can be a funny breed.  Morality and grace are a constant tension for Christians.  I John 1:9 says that if Christians confess their sins, Christ is faithful and just to forgive them.  Therefore, if Newt has truly confessed and repented of his infidelity and divorce, he is forgiven.

Can Christians forgive Newt?  Can they overcome his past?  The question Newt has been facing over and over as he rises in the polls is whether character matters.  Newt’s answer is pretty good.  Yes, character matters.  Yes his past has not demonstrated the character he wants to see in a President, but that past is 30 years ago.  Newt’s mention of himself as a grandfather drives home the point that he is much older, and much more mature.

Newt can win, but he has to win over social conservatives first.  This means Newt has to find forgiveness from more than just God.

7 Responses

  1. I am a born again Christian. My first thought about Newt’s baggage is #1 …and Obama doesn’t? #2. I have baggage and My Lord forgave me. We need to forgive others if they repent. I view Newt as repenting with his life changes. I’ve been for Newt since Palin dropped out. I have given him my money and bought his promotional materials. John Birch Soc claims he is not for limited govt. He certainly has made mistakes in his policies in the past, but now I believe he sees the light. His strongest claim is balancing the budget during Clinton’s years. If GOP fails to chose Newt, Romney will have to do. I just hope he doesn’t get too politically correct in his debates.

  2. Once in a Presidential campaign meeting with Steve Forbes, I showed distain for a sarcastic comment made by one of his supporters about Bush Jr which reflected the man’s doubt as to Bush’s Christian experience.

    “I believe he has had a genuine religious experience,” I said.”

    The room got quiet and someone said, “I thought you did not support Bush in the primary.”

    “Just because someone is a Christian doesn’t mean you should vote for them!” I retorted. “Don’t you know any Christian you don’t think should be President?”

    No one is more “evangelical” than me but churches across the nation are full of the forgiven with most not having one person in them prepared to be President.

    What we have to ask Newt is “are you prepared to lead our country in an honorable way?” and yes, “has the public venting of your weaknesses adequantely lessen your ego enough to function with other bright minds and strong wills?”

    No one can ever know the heart of any man/woman-heck, we don’t even know our own.

    I do know this, a point I have made here before, if it were not for the world wide crises that brought Winston Churchill to power, England would probably never have put him there. Talk about an ego and crude to boot! The evangelicals of today would pitch a fit if he ran in the 2012 GOP Presidential primary!

    He was certainly not an “evangelical” Christian although he had a strong resolute Christian worldview that guided him and literally saved the world as we know it.

    If we are in the most desperate hour that many conservatives claim, we need a Churchill, warts and all!

  3. Great comments, guys. To what extent do you think Christians will forgive Newt, but still not support him because they believe his infidelity demonstrates a serious permanent character flaw?

    • I believe, like the lady commenting before, some will take the stance that he is repentive and move on. Even Churchill recognized his weaknesses and was upfront about them. (An interesting piece of insight into Churchill is Billy Graham’s very revealing and candid telling of their one and only private meeting that Graham was only willing to disclose after Churchill passed.)

      It is still a little early and the 3R Republicans (and 2Rs for that matter) need to see more of him. He needs to remain patient no matter how many times the subject comes up.

      With most, it will matter how he behaves himself, how he continues to respond to the questions and, I believe most important, how he carries himself when around his wife. Do they show mutual respect and do they have a sense of humble yet forthright demeanor?

      It would be great to see him with his children and grandchildren.

      It is still not clear yet if he is the same ole’ self-gratifying Newt or a wiser, more grounded man that can lead with a sense of balance and kindness along with the Gingrich gravitas. You got to love him for his steely eyed retorts and demands on the media, especially the last group of almost wierd debate moderators. They were a piece of work!

      One can only hope that Newt has made true amends with his soul-a few more good ole’ Baptist sermons can’t hurt. They can put the fear of God in ya fast-ha!

      • Grace, if you are interested to see how he treats Calista, his wife, I can share an experience. Earlier this summer I visited with Newt and his wife at a Council Bluffs golf course. They showed their movie about Exceptionalism in America. What I saw between the two, was respect for each other as Calista also promoted her child’s book. Towards the end, they sat together signing books and autographs and visited with guests.

  4. I appreciate the comments but this is not about me and whether or not I will vote for Newt. My remarks were more geared toward the discussion. Quite frankly, and not apologetically, I am not going to vote for Gingrich because his wife writes children’s books, although others might.

    The question was whether or not the so called “evangelical” vote might be won for Newt. I have some very good credentials on that subject and my comments were more for the discussion at hand and for Newt who, hopefully, can appreciate any ideas.

    Similar to others on this site staff, nearly any GOP candidate is better that Obama in my mind. As for Gingrich, I learned to appreciate him long ago. I was genuinely grieved in the beginning of this primary campaign season to see him lose his footing. In fact, I have written about that and found myself pleading for him to regain himself. Clearly he has, but there is more to ground to conquer if he is going to remain in the top tier.

    What interests me is that we end up with a solid, well vented candidate that can trouse Barack. This is my goal

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