Wednesday, October 29, 2008

How should a Christian vote?

How should a Christian vote? Republican or Democrat? Conservative or Liberal? Right of Left? Moderate? How about Independent?

“Liberal” and “Democrat” are almost synonymous terms, whereas “Republicans” may or may not be “Conservative.” In fact, more and more Republicans are embracing liberal ideas about morality and economics. Independents could be anything and everything under the sun; how to define them is entirely up to you. Moderates claim to share both conservative and liberal ideas, but more often than not they tend to side with a more liberal perspective on things.

*Breathes a sigh of relief*

Now that I’ve spent some time explaining the relationship between these common political terms, I will get to the point straight away. I believe that a Christian should vote for individuals who will uphold Biblical morality. It really is that simple, if you will allow me to explain. Morality is greater than fiscal concerns, even though issues pertaining to our money (ie taxes, redistribution of wealth, social programs) are important.

To make my position even plainer, let’s say for the sake of argument that my two choices for President of the United States were (1) a Republican who supported a woman’s choice to have an abortion and (2) a Socialist who was pro-life, I would vote for the Socialist every day of the week and twice on Sunday. Please do not misunderstand me to mean that abortion is the only issue I consider during an election, but it is by far the most important from among the great host of issues. Therefore, this example should only be taken to mean that moral issues outweigh economic ones.

Next, I want to take a few moments to discuss the arguments of a loud minority within the Christian Church who, for reasons beyond me, despise those of us who vote Republican. I will proudly declare that I am a registered Republican for one reason, and one reason only: that I might vote in the Republican primaries. Being a registered Republican does not mean I agree with them on every point, especially as they have continued to inch more towards the Left. I am far more conservative than the Republican Party – on almost every issue. Regarding the Emerging Church Movement, it does boggle my mind why they, or any Christian group, would want to support a Democrat or any liberal politician.

They might screech in response, “Jesus is not a Republican! So who are you to tell me who I can or cannot vote for?!” It is true that Jesus is not a registered Republican, then again Jesus does not dwell on earth or vote in elections. However, were Jesus living amongst us today, he would certainly vote Republican over against Democrat. How do I know this? Because the Republican Party represents the lesser of two evils.

Did you notice my presupposition inherent in the last argument? I believe that Christians living in democracies are urged by God to participate in government to the best of their ability. In the Bible, a number of Christians are recorded for us as having held political office in the Roman government. Furthermore, the Bible requires of us that we submit to the governing authorities (Romans 13) because it is an authority established by God. And in a democratic society, the people are the government. It is our duty as Christians to honor God by being good citizens, which includes the responsibility to vote in national and local elections.

What about those who profess Christ yet vote for ungodly men who support evils such as abortion, and homosexual super-rights? First of all, if they are truly converted, the Holy Spirit will not allow them to persevere in the sin of voting for ungodly men. The truly converted who have not yet had their mindset corrected by the Holy Spirit and go on to vote for ungodly men are sinning. Another option is that this behavior proves these professors to be false professors (though it is impossible for us to know with perfect certainty because we can only judge men based on their outward behavior (James 2)).

If one wants to honor God, they will vote for the candidate who will do a better job of upholding Biblical morality. On November 4th, might God’s people choose the candidate that will better uphold God’s standards over against that of the world’s. Personally, I’m not a fan of John McCain, but he represents God’s viewpoints much moreso than Obama.

As a nation, we certainly deserve Barack Obama as President. But it is my constant prayer that the Lord of heaven and earth does not give us the candidate we deserve. Might our God be merciful to us for His name’s sake – that His people might continue to live in peace and prosperity. And if it be His will, might He also grant spiritual renewal and revival to America. We desperately need it.

Thanks for reading,
Rusty

10 Comments:

At 3:28 PM, Blogger Hobster said...

you write as if there were only two choices, Mr. of Base.

Forgetting something? :)

 
At 4:22 PM, Blogger Rusty said...

I completely respect the right of folks who wish to vote for the Green Party, or the Constitution Party, or others (Ron Paul) ... but the way things are right now there are only two parties that have a real chance at the White House =)

 
At 4:43 AM, Blogger Hobster said...

there are only two parties that have a real chance at the White House

As much as it disgusts me to say, you're right--"right now" anyway. But, what did you say in your post?

If one wants to honor God, they will vote for the candidate who will do a better job of upholding Biblical morality. On November 4th, might God’s people choose the candidate that will better uphold God’s standards over against that of the world’s.

Did you mean that? (I absolutely agree with that, btw) Or did you mean "the candidate who will do a better job of upholding Biblical morality and has a real chance at winning"? Morality with a side of pragmatism, or morality?

Pragmatically, if Christians consistently voted for the candidate who'd uphold Biblical morality, rather than the lesser of two evils from the "electable" parties...wouldn't we start to see a change in one (or both) major parties? or a whole new major party?

And putting pragmatics aside for the moment--isn't the right thing to do the right thing to do no matter the likelihood of success?

 
At 4:45 AM, Blogger Hobster said...

btw, I'd like to get your take on the statement I quoted at http://hcnewton.blogspot.com/2008/10/presidential-election.html if you have the time/inclination

 
At 4:19 PM, Blogger Rusty said...

Yes, I meant that we should vote for the lesser of two evils of a candidate who has any chance of winning. As far as whether my pragmatic approach is wrong or not, I do not believe it is because to vote for a third party at this point would be functionally wasting my vote.

The other reason I don't want to vote for a third party that I align more with (The Constituion Party, in my case), is because I refuse to waste my vote for multiple terms - maybe half a century until the two-party system goes away.

Theoretically, if the entire Evangelical movement agreed to vote for the best conservative, I might participate. But that would probably be the only way =).

I'll take a look at your post later on when I have time =)

 
At 8:45 PM, Blogger jseek said...

Emerging people don't all support liberal candidates. Nor does any part of it vocalize, as a whole, one candidate over the other (the same cannot be said about many other groups of believers). In fact, Doug Pagitt, someone who most would say is a forward face of Emergent Village, has been a Bush supporter. If you want to talk emergent, there's your boy. Being involved with some emerging groups through friendships, I can say that the consensus is as mixed as the general public. The majority of Christians I know who aren't supporting the Republican party are doing so because they have used Christians like man with a naive girlfriend. He can cheat on her, treat her poorly, and do nothing for her and she'll still come to him. He can promise her all her hopes and dreams will come true if she stands behind him, then never deliver on his promises. Sadly, under Bush, abortions have risen, homosexual marriage has progressed to the point that several states support it, and the Christian right still comes back like the naive girlfriend. All the while, other positions which Christians should care about, such as helping those less fortunate, living in peace with others, and maintaining a love for the domain God has given us to sheppard, have taken a nose dive. Now we can disagree on the particulars on how each of those issues are resolved, but can we honestly say we are better off today, and that the Republicans have stood up for Godliness against the mean, Pagan, Godless heathens on the Left? I doubt it. I've seen some good arguments from people for supporting liberals, and good arguments against it. All the Christian can do is vote his conscience. If this leads you to vote for a candidate who says that he will try to outlaw abortion, vote your heart. If this leads you to vote for a candidate who says he will try to help women who find themselves in that desperate place, who need to be shown love and need help, and give them that help, lead them to adoption facilities, or help them get on their feet so they can raise that child, then vote your heart. Yea, I think that last part is a little out there too, but man, we haven't done much so far. And we all know what they call a person who keeps doing the same thing expecting a different outcome.

 
At 8:51 PM, Blogger jseek said...

Heh, blogger cut me off. Anyways, just saying, I can really see both sides this election. I've already sent in my ballot, and my prayer is that God uses who He uses for His use, and not my desires. Seems His ways are higher than my ways, and whatever happens, His ways get done. Just remember though: Don't automatically think God will punish us through Obama. Hey, He might punish us with McCain OR Obama. Because in either case, creation belongs to Him, and He will do as he wishes with it. Pollsters be darned.

P.S. totally missed out on one of your fun halloween parties. But this year I had to take the kid out. Up side: Using your kid to get candy. Score.

 
At 12:19 AM, Blogger Rusty said...

McCain was not my first choice for the Republican candidate, but compared to Obama McCain is the better and wiser choice for the godly Christian. To vote for Obama can only bring about terrible things.

Most ECMers are liberal. That's a fact =); even though I am certain you are correct that there are a few EMCers who support Bush. Then again, when did the ECM ever want to be pinned down by labels? Isn't the point that they don't want to be pinned down by defined theological and doctrinal positions? =)

As far as the Republican Party "failing" to bring about various promises, I fail to see how that is relevant to this election? Your boyfriend/girlfriend analogy fails on so many levels, my friend, that I don't even want to go there =)

 
At 10:20 AM, Blogger jseek said...

But it's humorous, at least give me that :)

I just think we should trust God either way. "To vote for Obama can only bring about terrible things." Really? Can we trust that God will do what's best? Yea, I have disagreements with Obama, but I don't doubt God's will being in the right interests.

The Republican's lack of delivery is very relevant. If we are voting for them because we expect them to deliver on issues which are important to us, and they do not, then we have an problem. We're voting pointlessly. If you order pizza from a restaurant that always takes your money but never delivers your pizza, would you continue to pay them? (I know, I'm the king of funky analogies). If we truly are voting the Christian way, and voting for morality, Godliness, and our conscience, then we should be drawn to vote for a candidate who we can honestly say will do those things, whether or not they have a chance of winning. It seems that we talk a lot of trash against Democrats for not standing for Godliness and then vote for someone else who won't do it either. Our morals only matter as much as we think they will be effective. Our God vote is only good if it can elect someone with a chance. Kinda sounds half-"butted". I'll side with hobster on that: More than two choices. If you're TRULY going to vote for Godliness, morality, and your views, how can you have intellectual honesty and vote for someone who doesn't stand for those things?

The definition of "Fact" is, "Something demonstrated to exist or known to have existed." Have you polled the entire group and found out that they're liberal? Fact? Or, experience and opinion? ;)

 
At 2:37 PM, Blogger Rusty said...

Josh,

Every major leader of the ECM at best supports voting for liberals, and at worst endorses them. But as I said, Emerging Churchers don't like to be bound by labels, so it wouldn't surprise me at all to find a few who stray from the trend.

If you endorse voting for Obama, please come out and say it, because I have no idea what your purpose here is.

You say that continuing to vote for the Republican Party would be foolish and therefore we should vote for a more liberal party. Yet, what you propose is actually foolish. It is replacing a moderate candidate with a more liberal one - in this case a Socialist. That kind of thinking can only mean disaster for our country.

Can God bring about good from a disastrous Presidential candidate? Absolutely He can! But the point still remains: Obama would be the worst choice this election.

 

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