Signs and Wonders
Associated Press/Photos by (Romney) Al Behrman and (Obama) Pablo Martinez Monsivais

Signs and Wonders 10.31


The trifecta. Real Clear Politics projects a Barack Obama win, with 294 electoral votes. Nate Silver (who called 49 of 50 states and all 35 U.S. Senate races in 2008) projects an Obama win, with 299 electoral votes. Intrade’s online betting site projects an Obama win. So, I would like to propose a deal: If Obama wins, would all my conservative friends please stop saying the polls are biased? On the other hand, if Mitt Romney wins, would all my liberal friends quit saying they’re not?

Marriage surge. Speaking of polls, a recent one taken in Washington state suggests that support for marriage seems to be shifting. The Washington legislature passed a same-sex “marriage” bill in February, but pro-family supporters got enough signatures to have the matter placed on the ballot: Referendum 74. An Oct. 24 poll has support for Ref. 74 below 50 percent for the first time (49 percent). Voters who say they will reject the measure have risen to 45 percent since tracking began in July. If other states are any indication, it’s likely to be even closer. It has become so politically incorrect in liberal circles to be against same-sex “marriage” that some moderates will publicly say they’re pro-gay “marriage” or undecided, but when they get in the voting booth they vote for traditional marriage. So far, every state that has voted on same-sex “marriage” has voted against it. This year, homosexual activists are putting a lot of energy into the four states voting on the issue, hoping to break their long losing streak and create a new narrative: that the tide has turned on gay “marriage” in America.

The Sandy effect. Global markets were up Tuesday, though trading remained subdued as Wall Street remained closed for a second day because of Superstorm Sandy, which is still battering the East Coast. The New York Stock Exchange’s decision to remain shut marks the first time weather has stopped trading for two consecutive days since 1888. In Europe, major indexes in Britain, France, and Germany all closed up more than 1 percent on Tuesday. Investors will continue to monitor the progress of the storm to assess the financial impact. So far, experts estimate the cost of the damage is approximately $20 billion, with about half of that insured. At least 50 people have died. What the impact on the election will be, no one knows. Some suggest it could put the brakes on Romney’s momentum and give Obama a chance to look presidential. Others say it will hurt early voter turnout, which tends to favor Obama. Several of the major polling firms suspended polling, so we may not get another snapshot of the political effects of Sandy for a few days.

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Remembering Wittenberg. On Oct. 31, 1517, 495 years ago today, Martin Luther nailed his 95 Theses to the door of the church at Wittenberg. The rest, as they say, is history. Luther’s primary complaints were about the practice of selling indulgences. That argument sounds old and quaint today—unless you consider this: Prosperity gospel and seed-faith preachers such as Joel Osteen, Richard Roberts, Benny Hinn, and many more have messages that sound remarkably similar to the ones Luther railed against. Patti Roberts, former wife of Richard Roberts (and daughter-in-law of Oral Roberts), wrote an exposé on that theology, in which she said, “I have a very difficult time distinguishing between the selling of indulgences and the concept of seed-faith inflated to the degree to which we had inflated it.” Phil Cooke, whose The Last TV Evangelist also critiques the seed-faith movement, wrote, “Johann Tetzel, the most aggressive of the Dominican friars selling indulgences had a saying: ‘As soon as a coin in the coffer rings, the rescued soul from purgatory springs.’ It doesn’t sound that different from today’s “Plant a seed to meet your need.”

Warren Cole Smith
Warren Cole Smith

Warren is vice president of mission advancement for The Chuck Colson Center for Christian Worldview and the host of WORLD Radio’s Listening In. Follow Warren on Twitter @WarrenColeSmith.


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