• What Hath the Gospel to do with Politics?

    by Shawn Merithew on October 16, 2012

    The Answer:  Absolutely Everything.  You all knew it was coming sooner or later — something on politics and voting from the senior pastor.  Contrary to some opinions, who we are in Christ has everything to do with how we vote.

    As time marches forward, more and more is at stake in our national elections.  Generally speaking, most of our politicians (regardless of party affiliation) have failed the American public.  For the first time in history, our national debt is equal to (and exceeding) our national income (GDP).  Unemployment is up, household incomes are down, energy prices are up, product prices are on the rise, foreign relations in the middle east are in a quagmire, the moral climate continues to degrade, the biblical ideal of marriage seems to be down for the count, and millions of babies are still murdered every year in the name of convenience.

    It seems that our democratic process has become the world’s most expensive carousel, complete with politicians riding their gilded horses in circles, taking the American people nowhere.  Thankfully, the calamities of the nations can never derail the purposes of God:  “The LORD nullifies the counsel of the nations; He frustrates the plans of the peoples.  The counsel of the LORD stands forever, the plans of His heart from generation to generation.” (Psalm 33:10-11)

    So what are the plans of God’s heart?  To be glorified in creation and redemption; for His people to walk by faith, trusting every moment in the righteousness of Christ; and for wickedness to be punished as His enemies are made a footstool for His feet.  But how about specifics?  How would God have us vote?  He would have us vote in the same manner He would have us live — as a people who have Christ as Lord.  He would have us vote as a people whose consciences have been defined by His truth.

    First, He would have our vote reflect the priority of human life.  Every human being is made in the image of God and should be treated with dignity and respect from the moment of conception.  Contrary to the position of our courts, abortion is not a women’s right issue and it is not a privacy issue.  It is an issue of murder.  Any politician, party, or platform that advocates the right for women to murder their unborn children is antithetical to Christianity.  PERIOD.

    Second, He would have our vote reflect the priority of biblical marriage.  God established marriage as the life-long union between one man and one woman.  However, heterosexuals have inflicted incredible harm upon the institution of marriage, especially since the sexual revolution of the 1960’s.  And now homosexuals are seeking to redefine the institution itself.  Believers are responsible for maintaining and protecting the biblical perspective of human sexuality and marriage.  We are to do this first in our our churches, and secondly in our culture, principally through gospel ministry and participation in the democratic process.  Specifically, we should vote for candidates who will strive to maintain the biblical ideal of marriage.

    Third, He would have our vote reflect the priority of biblical financial stewardship.  Greed and the love of money are sins, but wealth, in and of itself, is not evil — it is the result of hard work, dedication, and innovation.  Furthermore, God’s command to not steal is a recognition of private property rights.  In numerous places, God warns us against the idolatry of money or worldly success, but He likewise instructs us to work hard for what we need, laboring as unto Him. (Col 3:23-24)  Our elected officials should protect and propagate such values.

    Defined by such values, human government exists to maintain order and to support the common good.  Thus, we should have a government that facilitates education, business, and job opportunities, that values genuine individual generosity, that helps to move the impoverished toward self-sufficiency instead of perpetuating poverty, and that is responsible to minimize taxation, debt, wasteful spending, and bureaucracy.

    In summary, our political perspectives are to be born out of the reality of grace.  It is by grace that we are spiritually reborn, reconciled to God, and adopted as children of God.  As God’s children through faith and citizens of the kingdom of Christ, we are to exercise dominion over the earth in a way that reflects God’s rule of creation.  Insofar as we have the privilege of participating in a democratic process, the grace of God demands that we be good sons and daughters of His righteousness in how we vote.  So consider what God values and vote accordingly this November.

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