Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Another Position To Consider

Normally on this blog I spend my words thinking about how amazing God is and how wonderful our place in this world is, about the hard work of bringing redemption to this broken world in the blood, sweat, and tears of living a fully Christlike life among the people we interact with and the decisions we make, about the responsibility each of us has to obey the commands of the Spirit of the Living God.

Recently my wife and I have made the proposition that politics is not the primary venue for the advancement of the Kingdom of God (here, here, here, and here). But rather that Christians ought to guide their political actions by the ultimate goal of the redemption of each person. That is, aim for redemption rather than winning the argument.

Though neither I nor my wife has ever claimed to speak for God, rather we muse and explore what deeply following God means, both of us would hate to lead people astray.

A gentleman named Geoff recently proposed that we might be mistaken. I have posted below his unedited comment.

I put it to you to discern by the direction of the Spirit. The responsibility lies now with you the reader. You must make your own decision before God. If the proposition Carrien and I have made is false and misleading, I pray God will save you from our folly.

It should be noted that abortion is not what our comments have been about, though we have used the issue as an example. Though this alternative view is important, you should bear in mind that we have been discussing a Christian approach to political discourse and action and not abortion as a topic in particular.

(As the text is unedited, please read "Carrien and Aaron" where he says "Carrien" as he posted this comment to both of our blog postings.)


My wife is a big fan of your blog. She was so outraged by this she asked me to read this. I'm not one to comment on blogs, but I feel you have strayed so far from God's word I had to speak up. Up until now, we've loved most of what you've written, but I'm really disappointed because the Bible says, 'Woe to them who call evil good and good evil'. I feel your logic is going down that path. Even the tone in your post betrays you- as Brenda and others have pointed out.

As one who sets yourself up to promulgate truth from God's word, you are unaware/misinformed of what God has already told us in the Bible about the role of government. Secondly, I feel you are ignorant of history, and at a time like this, no one can afford to be ignorant of history for it repeats itself.

Here's an excerpt from a blog I wrote, "Who would Jesus vote for?" I think that is the only way to look at this issue from God's vantage point.

If He were here, who’d he vote for? I mean really can we know? We have seen so much corruption in politics that we might conclude that Jesus would give up on the whole process. I know that it is so tough to think through all the issues, we have the economy, poverty, and on and on it goes. Who is really telling the truth? Can we even know with a biased media what is best for the country? Is there any definitive way to see through all this mess? I think so. As a matter of fact, I think there is one issue that cuts through all the fog, and I can say with authority represents what Jesus would most care about most, and therefore who He would vote for.

First of all, the economy wouldn’t be a driving force of whom he would vote for. Jesus had a lot to say about money, and if He were here today, He would instruct us on seeking first the kingdom, not on what is better for the American economy.

I don’t think war would be a driving force either. Jesus
wasn’t a pacifist, when he spoke with the Roman soldiers He didn’t tell them to quit the army; He told them to be good soldiers. God has been behind wars throughout the Bible, so there is such a thing as a just war, its just hard to figure out what that is.

Maybe its poverty? Jesus had a lot to say about helping the poor. But upon a careful study of the scripture He wouldn’t ask the government to take care of the poor. They can’t for the simple fact that the government can’t solve the problem of poverty. The government is missing something crucial: accountability. Just handing people money does not help them it cripples them. Jesus
would tell us that we are our brother's keeper and every Christian should be involved in helping the poor. (Sadly, the church dropped the ball on this and the government has tried to become the savior of the people). Christians this is our doing!!!

According to the Bible, God has given the government the role of carrying out justice and protecting the weak and defenseless. Genesis 9 spells it out. First, the setting; the wickedness of man was so great that God had to destroy the entire human race except for one. That’s why the flood came. Man demonstrated that he could not govern himself. So God appointed human government, because He realized the propensity of man is to exploit the weak and defenseless. This world is tilted toward the rich and the powerful. So, God said that human life was to be
guarded at all costs, especially those who can't defend themselves. By doing this He demonstrated that life has inestimable worth. Every human life reflects part of who God is. Everyone matters to God, no matter what society says.
Genesis 9:1-6“And I will require the blood of anyone who takes another person’s life. If a wild animal kills a person, it must die. And anyone who murders a fellow human must die. 6 If anyone takes a human life, that person’s life will also be taken by 
human hands. For God made human beings in his own image.”

Government’s sole role is to protect and value human life, if they didn’t everything would slip into anarchy because the strong would kill off the weak. By valuing human life as its first priority, government carries out its God-given role, and people are able to live in relative prosperity.
This is because when a society values defenseless life above everything else (money, convenience, status, expediency, etc.) they are following God's value system, which is for people to prosper and enjoy freedom. People prosper in a just society where the stronger are not able to tread on the weaker just because they can.

In Moses' day Molech was a popular god. If parents were 'down on their luck' or hit by difficult financial circumstances they would offer one of their children to this god in hopes that their luck would change and this offering would get them out of their bad situation. Through appeasement this god (through baby sacrifice and sexually immoral rituals) would deliver one from bad 
The statue of Molech was a furnace. It was heated to the point where the outstretched arms glowed red-hot. Then the baby was thrown onto the arms where it was burned alive. Listen to 
how seriously God says to deal with those who worship the god of sex and ease.

Levitcus 20:2b-5 “If any of them offer their children as a sacrifice to Molech, they must be put to death. The people of the community must stone them to death. 3 I myself will turn against them and cut them off from the community, because they have defiled my sanctuary and brought shame on my holy name
by offering their children to Molech. 4 And if the people of the community ignore those who offer their children to Molech and refuse to execute them, 5 I myself will turn against them and their families and will cut them off from the community. This will happen to all who commit spiritual prostitution by worshiping Molech.”

Even though we are not under the Mosiac law, recognize two things: 1) God takes killing of babies very seriously. 2)Those who 
witness this and do nothing, God is going to come after them!
For this election, abortion is Jesus’ biggest concern. Please don't obfuscate the issue with lesser things. Anyone who votes for someone who does not protect the unborn child is sharing in their guilt. America has executed over 55 million of her children. Who is going to give an account for that? Not just the mother or the father, not just the Supreme Court justices, and not just the presidents who appointed them, but also those people who elected the presidents who appointed the justices.

We are our brothers’ keeper! I think Jesus would say that anyone who has such little regard for human life is incapable to lead a nation toward peace and prosperity. Someone who believes it is the mother’s right to kill her child, demonstrates that above all he does not value life, but will make decisions governed 
by selfishness and expediency, not what matters most to God; human life. I believe we have a modern day god of sex and convenience; no longer is his name Molech but “Pro Choice [1]”.

[1] The Bible states life begins at conception. It also makes clear that “the life is in the blood.” God considers an unborn baby fully human. (A baby has rudimentary blood vessels by the 2nd to 3rd week).

So to claim that neither president is going to do anything about abortion is missing the point entirely. Proverbs makes is clear that "godliness exalts a nation and sin is a reproach to any people."
What this means is that if leaders of a country have God's values, they will bring prosperity; if they don't, the country will deteriorate. Why, one simple fact, God has wired the universe in such a way that if we honor him, and his laws of the universe, justice, prosperity and good fortune will generally follow. America is a great case for this, the most blessed nation in the history of the world. Why? Because this government was set upon the Judea-Christian value system. Obviously it wasn't perfect, as no government will be perfect until Jesus rules.

A leader who defends the defenseless demonstrates that He has God's value system. His judgments will be based on this value system, not on what is expedient or because he will get kick-backs. To care for little people who can't return the favor demonstrates godliness. He will treat all fairly. He will truly be a knight in shining armor for the people.

He will uphold God's laws of cause and effect. You have sex before marriage, you'll likely be a mom/or dad-and dads you can't dodge responsibility, you must father that child-not leave your girlfriend holding the bag (essentially that is what abortion does-it is sexist and destroys women). You don't work, you don't eat. You work hard you are rewarded. He will recognize that as a government official his role is to carry out justice (God's value system). He will recognize the church and respect it, not try to replace it. He will know that government's role is limited and won't overstep his bounds, but allow the church to flourish and encourage them to take care of the poor, and teach them a work ethic, etc. With lower taxes the Christians can more easily help the poor. 
When we vote for a president who supports partial birth abortion and has voted 3 times for infanticide, this is means that we as a nation have left God's value system of defending the weak and defenseless. It means that we now have a leader who will not do the right thing, but do whatever is expedient, so long as he can get away with it. What it means is that his value system will from the top down will lead this country to a place where 'everyone does what is right in their own eyes" if they can get away from it. It means that lies and deception will be the rule of the day. Citizens will no longer govern themselves, but will do whatever if they can get away with. Not to mention, Obama will probably appoint at least four supreme court justices. What value system will he use when he picks them? That is why this matters!!!

Secondly, history repeats itself.

You mention, "How about we step back and stop playing the game, and do the real work of the kingdom instead?" Carien, you commit a logical fallacy here. You cannot separate life that easily. That may work for you in a nice cozy lifestyle here in America, but that is not real life. Travel a bit, go around the world to countries where government is rife with corruption. That argument only works for Americans. Tell that to the Jews in the Holocaust. I would urge you and others on this site to watch the Netflix documentary on Bonhoeffer.

Here was a man who began his life as a pacifist, he was all about advancing the kingdom of God and didn't want to get involved with politics. But he soon realized that was an ignorant position, he very wisely realized that evil triumphs when good men do nothing. He could not sit by (however, the majority of Christians in Germany did) and watch the defenseless be executed.

As one of his few compatriots said, "First they came for the socialists, and I didn't speak out because I wasn't a socialist.
Then they came for the trade unionists, and I didn't speak out because I wasn't a trade unionist. Then they came for the Jews,
and I didn't speak out because I wasn't a Jew. Then they came for me, and there was no one left to speak for me."

God expects us to be salt and light in this dark world. He expects us to stick our neck out there and speak up and stand against evil. He also expects us to take care of the widows and orphans. Please study history and you will see how dictators rose to power because good men did nothing. History repeats itself.

Carien, with all due respect, what makes this really difficult is that I'm not really into blog reading and comments, but I had to speak up because your ignorance of God's word in this issue is really leading people astray. Jesus' harshest words were reserved for us religious leaders who led people astray. You have set yourself up as espousing God's vantage point. At at a time like this you need to be very sure you are speaking accurately on behalf of God.

In sum, God warns us that they day will be coming when the prophets call good evil and evil good. The only way you will not fall into that trap is know God's word. If you are going to espouse your political views, please make a distinction between your opinion and what God says. In all sincerity, if you are going to speak on behalf of him, make sure you know what He has already told you in his word.


What say you?

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