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We are blessed in this election cycle with multiple candidates whose campaign positions are conservative and value based. For that, I am thankful. But to me there are a few areas that set Senator Ted Cruz apart, and I am honored that he asked for my endorsement:

He is a Christian. Being a Christian is not a requirement for holding public office, but I do appreciate that Senator Cruz shares a clear testimony of being born again through the blood of Christ. There are many politicians that claim the title “Christian” in an election cycle to gain support from evangelicals. Senator Cruz has been unashamed of Christ through the years, before in the Senate and now in the broader political arena of running for President of the United States.

He is courageous for religious freedom. I’m concerned about the slipping religious freedoms in America today. (My recent minibook describes how Christians must learn to live and witness as a minority here in the United States.) I’ve been grateful for Senator Cruz’s acknowledgment of our threatened freedoms and the marginalization of Christians, and I’m thankful that he’s grafted this issue into his campaign platform.

He is compassionate toward the unborn. Scripture is clear on the humanity of unborn children (Psalm 139:13–16; Jeremiah 1:5; Luke 1:44; Matthew 1:18). I’m thankful for Senator Cruz’s compassionate stand in the Senate for unborn children who cannot protect themselves. In recent months, he worked to bring votes to the Senate floor regarding abortion and Planned Parenthood’s federal funding—with the goal of protecting defenseless children.

He is consistent on the definition of the family. Senator Cruz has been consistent and clear in standing for the traditional definition of the family. God created two distinct genders (Genesis 1:27) and instituted the family (Genesis 2:24). Jesus confirmed that marriage is to be between one man and one woman (Mark 10:6–8). I’m grateful for any person in a public office who will stand for the biblical family.

He has held to his convictions. Many politicians will say one thing to gain a vote but then promote another agenda once in office to advance their career. Although I can’t ultimately say that I agree with every Senate vote Ted Cruz has ever made or every position he will ever take, I can say that he has been honest in voting according to his campaign promises and reflecting the constituents who elected him. Whether it be in support of Israel (a position I believe determines, in part, God’s blessing on America, Genesis 12:1–3), defense of the unborn, defining the family, or holding to a conservative and accountable view of government, he has worked to advance the convictions on which he was voted into office.

In the last presidential election, many Christians did not vote. We must not repeat that in 2016. In the United States of America, we have the privilege of electing our government. I am well aware that only a revival of true repentance will change America, but that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t do our best to elect leaders who stand for righteousness. Your vote is your chance to make your voice heard. Lift your voice then in support of biblical values.

Although I’m aware that there may be differences among Christians concerning the size of government, quantity of taxes, etc., we must recognize the importance of moral issues, and we must stand unified in the definition of the biblical family, the defense of the unborn, and the support of Israel.

I intend not only to endorse candidates who espouse biblical positions on moral issues, but to encourage every candidate who is even close to a biblical position, to talk to friends in the community about the moral issues of our day, and to keep preaching on what the Bible says concerning these issues. I intend to keep personally sharing the gospel of Jesus Christ with people in our community so their life and worldview can be changed by God’s grace. I want to do everything I can so that when my race is run, I will have a clear conscience toward God, toward men, and toward my children and grandchildren.

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Paul Chappell is the senior pastor of Lancaster Baptist Church, where he has served as the pastor since 1986. He is the president and founder of West Coast Baptist College, Lancaster Baptist School, and Striving Together publications. He has written several books, and his “Daily in the Word” radio broadcast is heard five days a week on over eighty stations nationwide and in some foreign countries. He is a frequent speaker in Bible conferences throughout the United States and around the world.