Monday, November 5, 2012

Scripture vs. Society: Politics

This is definitely a difficult post for me, especially in light of this monumental presidential election tomorrow. To be quite honest, I've been staring at my laptop screen for the past half hour completely at a loss for words, not only because I'm not remotely into politics, but because this is a hot button issue that I'd like to be able to address clearly and in a way as to not cause unnecessary hostility.

I think a good place to start, that is often overlooked is Psalm 33:12
"Blessed is the nation whose God is the Lord."
I really don't think it gets anymore simple than that. God blesses nations who look to Him, honor Him, and acknowledge Him as the Lord. And I believe at one point, that was the United States, but lately we have really been straying from God as a nation. Do we claim God as our Lord anymore as a nation?

Thomas Jefferson believed that the Bible was "the cornerstone for American liberty"and put it into our schools because of it. Now there are no traces of Christianity left in our public schools out of respect of "political correctness".

Abraham Lincoln said "the philosophy of the schoolroom in one generation will be the philosophy of government in the next". When I heard this, I got instantly nervous for this country. And I don't want to come off as some religious nut with an agenda, but really think about that last paragraph for a minute.

So what should we do as a Christian community on election day? Does the Bible really have much to say about politics?
Romans 13:1 "Let every person be subject to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and those that exist have been instituted by God."
But wait, I thought the people picked the president in this country?  We do...but we also have to remember that God picked the president long before our world even existed. 

All I'm trying to say is, I just believe that that's how God is trying to work through us to institute our authorities. He is giving us the rulers we ask for. It's our responsibility to make sure we choose leaders that support biblical values, not just go for the lesser of two evils (even if it feels like we don't have a choice). 

I know that statement has caused some tension due to Billy Graham's very public plea for citizens to do this, but I think he was 100% right in this opinion.

But what are these values that we are looking to our political authorities to hold? How should we vote?
  • I will vote for the most pro-life candidate, because God hates the shedding of innocent blood. 
    • Proverbs 6:15-19 - There are six things that the Lord hates, seven that are an abomination to him: haughty eyes, a lying tongue, hands that shed innocent blood, a heart that devises wicked plans, feet that make haste to run to evil, a false witness who breathes out lies, and one who sows discord among brothers.
  • I will vote for the most pro-Israel candidate, because God blesses those who bless Israel and curses those who don't.
    • Genesis 12:3 - I will bless those who bless you, and him who dishonors you I will curse, and in you all the families of the earth shall be blessed.
  • I will vote for the most pro-debt reduction candidate, because the borrower is a servant to the lender.
    • Proverbs 22:7 - The rich rules over the poor, and the borrower is the slave of the lender
  • I will vote for the most pro-work candidate because God says if a man (able-bodied) does not work, let him not eat.
    • 2 Thessalonians 3:10 - For even when we were with you, we would give you this command: If anyone is not willing to work, let him not eat.
  • I will vote for the most pro-marriage candidate, because God is for marriage as defined in:
    • Genesis 2:24 - Therefore a man shall leave his father and his mother and hold fast to his wife, and they shall become one flesh.
  • I will vote for the candidate who most closely believes government's purpose is to reward the good and punish the evil.
    • Romans 13:1-7 - Let every person be subject to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and those that exist have been instituted by God. Therefore whoever resists the authorities resists what God has appointed, and those who resist will incur judgment. For rulers are not a terror to good conduct, but to bad. Would you have no fear of the one who is in authority? Then do what is good, and you will receive his approval, for he is God's servant for your good. But if you do wrong, be afraid, for he does not bear the sword in vain. For he is the servant of God, an avenger who carries out God's wrath on the wrongdoer. Therefore one must be in subjection, not only to avoid God's wrath but also for the sake of conscience. For because of this you also pay taxes, for the authorities are ministers of God, attending to this very thing. Pay to all what is owed to them: taxes to whom taxes are owed, revenue to whom revenue is owed, respect to whom respect is owed, honor to whom honor is owed.
  • I will vote based on God's word.
    • 2 Timothy 3:16 - All scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction and for training in righteousness.
  • I will vote knowing that whoever gets elected, God is the one who puts all men in authority.
    • Daniel 2:21 - He changes times and seasons; He removes kings and sets up kings; He gives wisdom to the wise and knowledge to those who have understanding.

All this to say. We (Chelsey and I) are not telling you who to vote for. We are not endorsing any specific candidate. We will both vote according to what I shared earlier and implore you to do the same with careful prayer and consideration. No matter who is elected...we need to remember that he is a sinner and cannot lead our country in a perfect manner. We can be confident that God has placed him in authority and we can trust that God's plan is the best one. Therefore, we can as always, continue to pray for our leaders...and obey the laws of the land as God has instructed us to do. We will never have a perfect president...but we have a perfect God. As long as we put our faith and trust in the one who reigns over us won't really matter who is elected because we are already taken care of by the God whose plan cannot be thwarted.

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