God and Presidents: A Political Story
October 30, 2016
(J) Well, today Martha and I are driving through the mountains, and we have a burning passion to kind of talk about something that relates to the elections. We’re very non-political on our blog and our podcasts, but on October 18th I did a blog entitled, “Love of the World: the Presidential Election” (God’s Choice in Our Presidential Elections). And though it’s not a political position, it’s a very political stance. And I really would hope that you all will go read it. It’s pretty amazing, and I really love what the Lord spoke and how He really kind of settled me about my stance and my position in this political election. And I think it’s real important. But as we were talking about that, and as we’ve been ruminating on the elections, and as we’ve been kind of hearing about the election, and you can’t escape the elections and can’t escape the media talking about the elections, we have, we’ve just been unable to escape it. So, we wanted to talk about this, and Martha has a story from a long time ago that really, really relates to our elections and about the political climate, and about God’s view and choice. So, I wanted her to talk about that today. And so, please bear with the driving noises, but we wanted to get this out. And so, here we go.
(Martha) In order to make the story real, I have to go back to a time when my husband was president of a bank that he and others established. And it was bought by First Atlanta. A big conglomerate gobbled up the little bank, and he was made one of the officers. And at that time the Bank of Atlanta was subject of a class action lawsuit, claiming that they had been fraudulent on some interests that they collected. The federal judge in the case put down an order that the bank was not to contact any customers who were involved in the class action suit. A class action suit means there are many people who are plaintiffs and are objecting to something. So, it is – being a banking case, it was federal, and that’s pretty big. So, my husband’s boss came to him and said, “Ok, we’re going to contact our clients who are involved in this case. I’m going to give a list, and I want you to call them and offer them something special in order to not participate in that.” Well, it was completely criminal. My husband said, “I can’t do that. That’s against the judge’s orders.” And the boss said, “If you don’t, you will be fired.” Well, we were at that time had big expenses. Our children, all three were in college. My husband came home, and he explained the situation to me, and we began to pray. And he said, “I will be disbarred if I do this. I cannot keep this information from the federal judge, because it’s a direct disobedience of…” It was her order, a female federal judge. And he said, “Martha, this is a very big deal, because it’s a bank law precedent.” So we prayed, and I said, “Kenneth, you can do nothing else, but resign. You have to. You cannot compromise in this,” and he agreed. So, he went in the next day. He said, “But, Martha, the other thing I have to do is to report the incident to the judge.” And he said, “That’s going to get me in such hot water. No other bank will hire me. It means the loss of my job, but the loss of any… Nobody would take me as hot property, but I have to do it.” So, he did. He resigned. He went to the federal judge, turned in an account of the incident, and that made the news. And on the front page of the Atlanta Journal, it told the story of Kenneth being told this by First Atlanta, that he would lose his job if he did not commit a crime, and coming home, that we prayed, and he resigned. So, as the case went on, he was called to testify, and the judge praised him for his testimony, because he had kept careful notes he made. Being a lawyer, he knew what to take to the trial. And so, the judge in her opinion, when she rendered the opinion, she fined the bank, I think it was $50,000 for disobedience to a court order. And it could have been more. I don’t remember, but she said Kenneth Kilpatrick was a credible witness. That means he was believable, and she believed him. And on that basis of his testimony alone, First Atlanta was reprimanded, fined $50,000, and we understood it was on financial pages in Japan. It was that big a deal. So, it was a big case at the time. And so, my husband went back to practice law for a while. And then in our county there was an appointment by the governor of Georgia to create a new judgeship. I think we had two at the time, and he created the third because of the population of the county. And so, a lot of people encouraged Kenneth to offer himself for that appointment.
(And when I was suddenly looking at this political campaign (2016), and I have a definite preference of who to vote for and so do all of us here. But suddenly realized I’d been through the very same thing that is happening in this campaign.)
So, my husband offered himself and two other men offered as well. The procedure to the appointment of a judge was that your peers wrote a letter for you, and the bar association of your county told the governor whether you were qualified or not. Well, the strangest thing happened. The bar association told the governor Kenneth was not qualified, which was ludicrous. He had a doctorate in law, had practiced law for years in both criminal and civil court. He was absolutely qualified. We couldn’t understand it. The next thing that happened was that there were some people who objected to him being appointed, and I understand that there was an investigation into his life to see if they could find anything to put on him, and they couldn’t. There was this big huge move to keep him from the appointment. And I said to my husband, “Kenneth, you’ve just publicly proven your integrity. You’ve just been affirmed by a federal judge of the United States. I don’t understand this. I don’t understand this opposition.” And he said, “No, you don’t understand, because if the criminal element has the judge, they have everything. It means no one goes to prison, and the judge can be bought.” He said, “They know I am qualified, and I am honorable, and that’s why they’re going after against.” And so here’s this, the governor had all this information against him. There were some letters very much in his favor, but there was considerable amount that opposed him, and was arguing for one of the other people to be the judge. So, we waited. This went on for months, and it was just agony. And I went to the Lord in prayer, and he took me to I think this couple of scriptures and gave me a promise. In Daniel 2:21, it says, “It is God who changes times and epochs. He removes kings and establishes kings. He gives wisdom to wise men and knowledge to men of understanding.” And then in Psalm 75, verse 6, “For not from the east nor from the west nor from the desert comes exaltation.” It doesn’t come from anywhere in other words. “For God is the Judge. He puts down one and exalts another.” And the Lord assured me that Kenneth would be appointed. But we had a horrific spiritual warfare and horrific warfare in the county. And it went on, as I remember for 9 months. And I kept saying to Kenneth, “No, God’s appointed you judge. He has already told me that you’re appointed.”
(J) So, you had heard the Word.
(Martha) I had heard the Word.
(J) And then you knew, because basically you knew because God told you. Then you could just stand on that.
(Martha) Yeah, but it was really shaky at times. The warfare was so horrendous, and it was warfare against us personally too. You know, aside from what was going on outside. And the governor was taking his time to make the appointment. So, we were, like we were hung out there to dry. But in the end, here’s what the governor said. I think he said this when Kenneth was appointed officially at the capitol. He said, “I know Kenneth Kilpatrick, and I know he is the best man for this job.”
(Martha) And at the time the governor’s name was Joe Frank Harris, and he and his wife were avid Christians. And somehow or other in our circle, he got to know Kenneth. And I think he had knowledge of him through the legal system in courts and so forth. Lawyers get to know each other. And so, he appointed him judge. My husband served eighteen years on the bench, and he told the story that this was the place that God wanted to get him to.
(Martha) Many, many wonderful stories of his being in the right place at the right time on the bench. I’ll tell you one letter that he got from a lady. But there were many, many times that we prayed over his work, and he was very conscious to pray a lot about the wisdom and the knowledge that God needed to give him. But he got a letter one day from a woman. She said, “I am ‘so and so.’ You may not remember me. I now live behind your courthouse in the little apartment area.” She said, “You took my children away from me at ‘such and such’ a time, and put me in jail.” And she said, “I want to thank you for doing that to me, because while in jail, I became a Christian. I began to straighten my life out. I got out of jail, and I now have custody of my children back. But I wanted you to know that you make the right decision for my life, and it saved my life.”
(J) Wow. That’s huge.
(Martha) So, if God wants a man or woman in office, they will be there. And nothing, nothing can stop it. God will have the final say. He is… In the blog John wrote was about how God sets up authorities, and we are to submit to them. And I remember one time we were in New York City, and we passed a bookstore with a big, huge picture of Bill Clinton as president writing a book or something. And I made some disparaging remark, and the Lord struck me. And I never did it again, because if God is sovereign, and He is, then who is elected is from God for His purpose. That purpose may never be known, but He has a purpose behind it all. So, I know by first hand experience that God raises up kings and takes down kings and sets up judges.
(J) Can you read Romans 13:1? That was the scripture I specifically used in my post.
(Martha) “Every person is to be in subjection to the governing authorities, for there is no authority apart from God, and those who exist are established by God.”
(J) The Amplified. Is that the Amplified? That’s not the Amplified. The Amplified slams it. There’s just… It’s amplified, truly.
(Martha) Well, in the Amplified. John’s right. “Let every person be loyally subject to the governing, civil authorities, for there is no authority except from God by His permission is sanctioned, and those that exist do so by God’s appointment.” Proverbs 8:15 and 16. “By Me kings reign and rule what is decreed what is just. By Me princes rule, and nobles, all who govern justly.”
(J) So, I really, I hope you’ll go and if you haven’t read it, I hope you’ll go and read it. It, to me, it’s our stance. It’s our position as Christians, how we’re supposed to view this, and how we’re supposed to respond to this, because this is, as I say in the post, this is one of the most volatile, nasty, vicious, catty, dirty campaigns I’ve ever personally witnessed, especially a presidential campaign. It’s just, it’s a mud slinging fest. And when we’re having all this in the media being thrown in our face on a regular basis, how are we supposed to respond as Christians? How are we supposed to respond? And I feel like I pretty clearly showed that. Do you believe that?
(Martha) Umhmm. Yes. And I think it means that we are to really find out the one God is for and stand with Him on it. I think it shows the amount of lies and warfare and treachery that has gone on in this. It demonstrates the importance of this election. We know it’s important. It’s pretty much life or death for the United States. But the horrific warfare is a signal that God’s will and purpose is important in this election.
(J) It’s indicative of the warfare. It’s a tremendous battle, and it’s a tremendous importance. So, I’m excited to see what the Lord does.
(Martha) He will have the last and final Word. And whatever that is… We believe it will be… We are praying. Nee says pray for good government. Pray for one who is to be elected who will give us, the Christians good government, so we can function and be at peace.
(J) So, I thank you for telling that story and how, you know, you had to hear the Word, know what God’s will was, and then stand in the midst of the tidal wave of opposition and of slander and of resistance to Kenneth’s position and appointing into the judgeship. And so, to me, that’s an amazing thing, because of the fact that you had to trust that God was going to be and do what He said He was going to do. There was no question. You had to stand there.
(Martha) And I wish I could remember all the episodes that we went through that were so, caused so much anguish. We couldn’t really believe what was happening. And the only explanation was because of his integrity it was happening. And I can’t describe the anguish that we went through, the tension of the whole thing. It was incredible.
(J) Kenneth was a hot potato, so to speak.
(Martha) Yes, he was. And during those months, of course, he really couldn’t practice much law, because he couldn’t take on a case that was lengthy in case he would be appointed. So, it was fraught with anguish on many, many different grounds, but we had the Word.
(J) Well, I thank you for sharing that, and I’m sorry again for the road noise. I hope it wasn’t too distracting, but…
(Martha) Well, it’s been so beautiful a drive, that’s it’s been a nice scene.
(J) Well, yeah. I wish everyone could see what we’ve seen. We’re seeing the beginnings of fall in the mountains and driving through the mountains and it’s absolutely beautiful.
(Martha) I think we’re seeing the majesty of God being proven right around us as we’re talking about His absolute sovereignty.