I am not going to blindly defend Neil Gorsuch, but I am going to ask that he be given a fair trial. To be clear, I strongly believe a "fetus" is a person, at the moment of conception. And I strongly oppose the murderous law of human abortion, on which I've written, here, here, here, and here (among other places).
While good-intentioned as these arguments may be, I reject them for at least the following reasons: (1) The political atmosphere is only a byproduct of the cultural war, which we evangelicals as a whole have given up on long ago. If we're to worry about tainting our witness to the world, it must start first and foremost with the cultural war, (2) We have a solid history in Scripture where our fellow-saints were able to live in good conscience, given the circumstances around them, with supporting immoral people in office (or a position of political power) and even helping them attain such a position. The situation we face today is similar. And we would do well to follow their example. (3) Seeking the world's approval should be the furthest thing from us - even when it comes to politics.
What probably didn't come across in my last post as much as I should have stressed, is that either of these options (Trump or Hilary) is a judgment from God (Prv. 16:4; cf. 1 Sam. 8:7-8, 9-18).
I did say it in the last post, but I probably didn't stress it enough.
And I'm certainly not going to tell you to vote for Hilary. What I am going to do is write down the principles I believe we have in Scripture when our nation is faced with such a choice as is before us today, and what I plan to do in light of them.
But before I do that, let's go in reverse order as to why I'm not going to tell you to [fill in the blank]:
And often enough (and what I believe we've experienced) He installs wicked rulers, in part, as a judgment for the sinful acts of a nation (Prv. 16:4; cf. Judg. 2:11-15). Of course, thankfully, in His mercy He relents from judgment when a nation collectively repents (Jon. 1:2, 3:10; cf. 2 Chron. 7:14; Dan. 9:1-19). That's something to which we ought to pay great attention in our lives today!
Repentance is still an option; and a viable one at that!
But what of what kind of repentance are we speaking? And how do we go about doing it?
Obviously, like in any area of life, we need to take into consideration what the whole Bible says about a situation, and not just limit ourselves to pet proof texts. Yes, our true citizenship is in heaven (Phil. 3:20), yet our marching orders from the Lord Jesus Christ, to whom all authority in heaven and on earth has been given, are to disciple all nations of the world (Mt. 28:18-20). Discipling includes applying His Lordship to every area of life - even the politics of this world (Rom. 11:36, 13:1-7; 2 Cor. 10:5).
Why we shouldn't vote for Trump - in just one passage of Scripture:
Precious in the sight of the LORD
In addition to that, clearly something does need to be done to help prevent such tragedies from being so frequent. I think we would be hard pressed to disagree with the idea that ultimately what will reduce or eliminate these tragedies is the mass conversion of individuals to becoming Christians through the power of the Holy Spirit, which He will use by the preaching of the gospel to the unsaved, and then training Christians in full-orbed discipleship in our churches.
In the meantime, I wish to express the following thoughts on what it means to be a Christian in the face of these types of situations.
Cursed be anyone who perverts the justice due to the sojourner...
With the threat of undercover terrorists it seems a little difficult to sort out. I get that.
But on the other hand - while I realize there are still practical issues to wade through carefully - if we turn to God's Word where it actually speaks to socio-political ethics - it does seem to clear up pretty well what our obligations are. So what are our obligations?
All I wish to do is to call attention to the false dichotomy being imposed in the chant: "Do your job or resign." For one thing, Kim Davis, by neglecting to issue marriage licenses to homosexual couples, is doing her job. The State of Kentucky Constitution reads thus:
I'm not going to take the time here to lay out a case as to why that is an abhorrent ruling in the eyes of God (Lev. 18:22, 20:13) and why gloating over it as Obama did will only incur further wrath on himself and his nation (Ps. 2:10-12).
What I also will not be doing is claiming myself to be sitting on a mountaintop, waiting for God's judgment on America because of this ruling and, in my mind, even far more gruesome sins (like the 3 million babies we kill each year in terrifying ways). No, I'm not sitting on a mountaintop, waiting for God's judgment on a sinful nation.
What I'm saying is that the church has already been doing that very thing for far too long; and we need to repent from that method of Christian living.
I don't pretend to be immune to this phenomenon; and I confess that I even went through it myself a couple years ago (I do think God has brought me past it at this point - but I'll leave that to the reader). This situation has been seen a lot recently within the church due to the advent of the Young, Restless, and Reformed movement. But I think a similar thing is going on in our culture with regard to politics. Perhaps it would be called the Young, Restless, and Libertarian.
I'm not here going on the offensive against the libertarian system. I have many Christian friends with a libertarian viewpoint in regard to politics, and they are not the aim of this post. My aim has to do with those who claim libertarianism while still being in that cage stage where they can hurt themselves and others.
A chief case-in-point is an article I came across the other day entitled, 6 Ways Parents Teach Their Children Socialist Values (shared on Facebook a mere 3.5 thousand times). Now I agree that parents often do inadvertently teach their kids socialist values. But the author of this article is not giving a Biblical worldview assessment of that situation nor in the answers he proposes.
I don't know if he's a Christian or not (Reformed or otherwise), but regardless I do believe his article needs to be addressed.
Greater love has no one than this, that someone lays down his life for his friends.
His lament was for both of them (2 Sam. 1:23): Jonathan, who was like a dear brother to him (2 Sam. 1:26), and also Saul (2 Sam. 1:24), who tried to kill him (1 Sam. 19:1, 20:33). David lamented and was grieved over both of their deaths that occurred as a result of the fallen-world calamity we call war.
People feel pain. The loss of loved ones and even the loss of past enemies can reduce the strongest of men to tears beyond counting. And I say again, this is no small thing. War is not a trivial matter. In the words of one of my good friends: "War is a hellish death machine, an unfortunate consequence of fallen man's condition."
I said, "You are gods, sons of the Most High, all of you;
Herod the Great is a prime example of an unjust ruler. It wasn't that his power was being threatened that spurred his unjust decree to kill all children two years of age or under (Mt. 2:16). It was that he thought of it as "his" power at all. He was in a role appointed by God to act under God's authority carrying out God's vengeance upon evildoers (Rom. 13:3-4). Ignoring that, he carried out his own vengeance on innocent lives.
While the Bible is certainly not a "textbook" on how to vote, I believe it has clear ethical standards that are worthy of our attention when going into the voting booth. Whether you're voting for a candidate or an issue there are always moral implications that go along with how you cast your ballot.
Of course one blog post won't suffice for all the different situations; but I think it's doable and relevant to lay down some practical considerations in the area of levies regarding property taxes. These generally appear on many local election ballots, and I believe the Bible has some clear principles and implications for this that are at least worth considering prior to next Tuesday...