Of course I neither blanket endorse everything Romney says or stands for nor that of a Republican Senate. And I certainly realize there are several reasons to vote for Romney and a Republican Senate (or several reasons not to as your case may be). But I do think some issues are more important than others. And I personally have a strong conviction about government and its role to protect life (Rom. 13:1-7) by enforcing certain laws in society - in particular, "You shall not murder" (Ex. 20:13). And yes, I'm talking about abortion.
But before I get into that, let me at least give a very scratch-the-surface take on what it seems the Bible has to say about the Christian responsibility in politics. It's true that nowhere in the Bible did there exist a democratic republic form of government that we have here today in the U.S. (at least that we're supposed to have here in the U.S.).
But that doesn't mean the Bible has nothing to say regarding the believer's involvement in politics. To start, even the New Testament says the government ordained is to be for our good (Rom. 13:1-7) and that we have a responsibility to pray for the government leaders - and not just pray for them with no specific cause in mind, but to pray for them in a way so that "we may lead a peaceful and quiet life" (1 Tim. 2:1-2).
It is also clear from the examples of both the Old and New Testaments that at least some of us have a responsibility (if not all of us who are in a position to do so - see Esther 4:12-17) to do what we can to persuade our government to do what is just and call our government officials out when they are violating God's standards for justice (Ex. 5:1; Judg. 2:16; 1 Sam. 13:8-14; 2 Sam. 12:5-7ff; 1 Kgs 13:1-2ff, 18:17-18, 21:17-19; Jer. 22:1-30, 27:1-11, 37:6-10; Esther 4:12-17; Matt. 14:3-4; Acts 4:19).
Now I realize, there are many out there who will vote for Obama (for whatever reason). I also realize there are many out there who on principle will not vote for Obama, but also on principle cannot bring themselves to vote for Romney (for whatever reason - his stance on foreign policy, or "he's not that much different than Obama," or the fact that he's a Mormon, or…[fill-in-the-blank]). And so posed with this problem they see themselves as having to settle for the lesser of two evils or simply vote for conscience sake on an alternative candidate who aligns more with their principles.
The practical problem with this is that regardless of any other third party candidate's principles, beliefs, or stances, only one of two candidates will be the President of the United States for the next four years: Barack Obama or Mitt Romney.
And posed with this practical problem, the question has to be asked, with this being the case, what is the Biblical responsibility for a Christian in today's America?
Do we ever find in the Bible a point where God's people were posed with this same problem? Of course not precisely - because as already stated, there never existed a democratic republic in the Bible. But there are many times when the people of God did have a choice between two imperfect candidates for their government - one who would allow them to live peaceful and quiet lives, and the other who would take them down the path to societal destruction.
One's mind is first drawn to the story of Rehoboam and Jeroboam. Rehoboam was clearly an economic disaster for the nation in one sense and was so foolish in his work that most of the nation turned against him. But in doing so, they opted for the "greater of two evils" in that they made Jeroboam king over them. Jeroboam - who by his evil ways gave the greatest impetus for the nation of Israel to abandon their worship of the one true God. Now regarding economic hardship vs. freedom to worship the one true God, the nation that had the greatest success (Judah) was the one that worshiped the one true God - where their success came when both the people and the leaders were doing what was "right in His eyes."
Now were either of these men perfect on all the issues? Obviously not. And were there probably other candidates with better principles for leading the nation? Absolutely (consider all the righteous prophets, etc.). But clearly the nation as a whole had only two genuine candidates. And just as clear, one of them was better in the more important issue.
One more example, and this has to do with the end of Judah's sovereignty as a nation (their sovereignty ended in large part due to the sinfulness of their nation's leaders - Jer. 22:11-30; 2 Kgs 24:3-4 - something to keep in mind). They were given two legitimate choices. Now were there "good" people who had good credentials to lead the nation? Without doubt there were! But for God's reasons, in His providence Judah realistically only had two legitimate choices: (1) stay under the leadership in Judah, or (2) surrender to the leadership of Nebuchadnezzar (Jer 21:1-10).
In one option they would be submitting themselves to an unbeliever and pay with their lives and the lives of their children. In the other option they would be submitting to an unbeliever (who would later become a believer - Dan. 4:37), but by doing so would be submitting to their Creator-Redeemer God, submitting to a government that ultimately gave them the opportunity to live quiet and peaceful lives, and would be safeguarding a future hope for themselves and their children.
Yes, there were godly people in Judah who would have made great political leaders (consider Jeremiah and even Daniel). But realistically there was no third-party candidate option. It was clear they only had two legitimate options which God gave them. "I set before you the way of life and the way of death" (Jer. 21:8).
And while it's clear that it is God who "rules the kingdom of men and gives it to whom he will" (Dan. 4:32), it's also clear that he gives His people responsibility in the matter (Dan. 4:27; cf. Jer. 21:8-10).
Which brings to me to why I'm voting for Romney and a Republican Senate and why I think you should too.
God's word is clear: "You shall not murder" (Ex. 20:13). And especially when it came to the destruction of a nation that He favored for so long with his blessing, His word specifically said it was being brought to destruction because of the "innocent blood" that was shed, which "the Lord would not pardon" (2 Kgs 24:3-4).
2013 marks the 40 year anniversary of the passing of Roe v. Wade. 40 years of this nation's systematic, government-sanctioned murders of over 54 million innocent lives. Think about that on each word at a time: "54" "million" "innocent" "lives". These people - and they are people - were not attacking anyone; they were not declaring war on anyone; they were not willfully threatening the lives of anyone. And so there is no legitimate Biblical base at all for why they should be killed. And yet our nation has legalized their murders.
Surely this is a terrible sin in God's eyes. That alone should cause us to repent without hesitation. But even in practical terms, we have to realize that God will bring our nation to judgment if or when we pass that threshold of His patience (patience in giving us time to repent).
"Righteousness exalts a nation, but sin is a reproach to any people." (Prv. 14:34)
Do not think it's just the Jewish people who were destroyed as a nation because of their sin. The Babylonians after them (Jer. 27:7; Dan. 5:1-31), the Persians after them and the Greeks and Romans in their turn (Dan. 2:36-45) - each were destroyed for their sinfulness as a nation as prophesied in God's Word (Hab. 1:13; 2:8ff; cf. Ps 58:11, 96:11-13, 98:8-9). And even before the Jews it was just because of the absolute sinfulness of the Canaanites that the Jews were given orders to take over that land. "For they did all these things, and therefore I detested them" (Lev. 20:23).
[FYI: One of the major "all these things" they did was child sacrifice (Lev. 20:1-5).]
I realize America has a lot more sins than just abortion. But certainly you can't think that the death of 54 million innocent lives is something regarding which God will look the other way. As evangelical Christians we rightfully have such indignation for Hitler's Holocaust and the atrocity of his killing 6 million innocent Jews. So should we not see the horror of America's atrocity of killing 54 million innocent Americans and have nine times the indignation? We should see this atrocity and shudder in fear!
And I realize abortion is controversial in our society. But as Christians, the very ones who are saved eternally by the willful sacrifice of the innocent lamb, we have no way to justify killing the innocent - least of all the innocent who are helpless to defend themselves! If we do think it's justifiable, so far have we come from the early branch of our faith:
"For us murder is once for all forbidden; so even the child in the womb, while yet the mother's blood is still being drawn on to form the human being, it is not lawful for us to destroy. To forbid birth is only quicker murder. It makes no difference whether one take away the life once born or destroy it as it comes to birth. He is a man, who is to be a man; the fruit is always present in the seed."
The early church was known for their rescuing unwanted children who were left to die by the Roman society. It's my hope that the Christian church in America will in this regard go back to her roots.
And so what does this have to do with Romney and a Republican Senate in the US today?
In 1973, seven unelected government officials decided what would be the law - not by means of interpreting the original intent of the constitution, but by means of legislating from the bench. While this is in complete contradiction to how the government and its balance of powers is supposed to work, it happened. And because of it, America has legalized 54 million murders (and counting).
Romney and the Republican platform oppose the majority decision in Roe v. Wade. And this is how it affects our future:
As it stands, the Supreme Court is the most powerful entity in our nation. While true they have a Judge to whom they themselves must give an account, as it pertains to our nation and what men have to say, there is no higher appeal than to the nine Supreme Court Justices.
All unelected officials. All appointed for a lifetime term. And all knowing that what they say, goes. The blessing in this is that in God's grace there are at least four who seemingly always interpret the law according to its original intent and leave the making of new laws up to Congress - the way our government was originally set up.
However, there are four other justices who seemingly always interpret the law according to what they think it ought to mean and in effect pass their own laws apart from Congress ("legislate from the bench"). This is a clear blurring of the separation of powers our government is supposed to have.
And there is one man - probably the most powerful man in the nation - who is a consistent swing hitter, sometimes siding with the originalists (conservatives) and sometimes siding with the progressives (liberals). And so right now there are nine Supreme Court Justices, four of whom want to play by the rules and do what is right, four of whom have no regard for the rules and want to do according to their own wills, and one who seemingly cannot make up his mind.
Why bring all this up? Because the following will be their ages in 2013:
Ruth Bader Ginsburg - 80 (L)
Anthony Kennedy - 77 (S)
Antonio Scalia - 77 (C)
Stephen Breyer - 75 (L)
Clarence Thomas - 65 (C)
Samuel Alito - 63 (C)
Sonia Sotomayor - 59 (L)
John Roberts - 58 (C)
Elena Kagan - 53 (L)
Four of them (two liberals, one swing, and one conservative) will be in their late 70s / early 80s in 2013 and into the next four years. If even one of them retires (whether from the bench or from life) it could considerably change the fate of our nation.
But it truly depends on who is elected as President of the United States and who is elected into the Senate. Why? Because the President appoints the Supreme Court Justices, and the Senate approves his appointee(s). If Obama is re-elected and this situation presents itself you can bet your life that he will appoint a liberal judge and a Democratic Senate will approve it. If Romney is President we have every reason to believe he will appoint a conservative judge and that a Republican Senate will approve it.
So if even one of these justices retires in the next four years, consider what we have to look forward to:
But let me ask you, how many people do you know wait until they're 79-84 years old to retire? And there are four of them who will be those ages in another four years.
And so I have to believe, if you want your country back to its original form of government, if you want to see a majority of conservative "originalist" justices, if you want to stop the government sanctioned murders of millions and millions of innocent lives in this nation - you only have one choice.
Yes you can vote for your third-party candidate. But you know in reality, there are two options that God in His providence has set before you. And just like in ancient Judah, we may not like either of the options. But those are the only two options He has given us. And now we must decide.
And so I only ask that you consider, if even just for a couple minutes, if the Scriptures do say something about the Christian's responsibility in the role of government and in the life of society. Do the Scriptures say anything about the responsibility of believers to "judge the cause of the poor and the needy" (Jer. 22:16), to look after those who can't look after themselves (Ja. 1:27), to protect life - especially of the innocent (Ex. 21:23, 22-25)?
God's Word to the Jews in exile was this: "Seek the welfare of the city where I have sent you into exile, and pray to the Lord on its behalf, for in its welfare you will find your welfare" (Jer. 29:7). I realize we're not the Jews and we're not in Babylonian captivity. But we are God's chosen people, living as sojourners in this world. And if righteousness exalts a nation, it surely seems to be a legitimate inference that as we seek the welfare of our nation (moral and upright laws), by and large we will find our own welfare.
Do the Scriptures give us good reason to willingly elect government officials who we know will do all they can in their power to stop the government sanctioned murders in our nation and the horrendous spilling of innocent blood?
I think they do. And I think the response at this time in our nation, when faced with two legitimate options is to choose the one that will clearly give us the opportunity to live quiet and godly lives - and to have lives, period - for those who are yet unborn.
I think when faced with these options as they appear to us today, the option of choosing to stop a large part of the murderous path that our nation is on, or not - the clear choice can't be anything else than Mitt Romney and a Republican Senate.
Pray about this. Read your Bible. And vote according to what Scripture working with your conscience dictates.
As for me, I realize there are plenty of issues. But I know there are some that are more important than the others. And I will be voting to do all that I can to stop the infanticide.
Speak up for those who cannot speak for themselves, for the rights of all who are destitute.