We are in the thick of the political scrum! Debate after debate, pundit after pundit, poll after poll. It is pure madness.
Who am I going to vote for? I can’t tell you!
But I can tell you about some of the issues that folk in our country seem so riled-up about from a Biblical perspective. This is not an exhaustive examination of each topic, but will cover some basic principles that point to the primary truth.
“Then the Pharisees went and plotted how they might entangle Him in His talk. And they sent to Him their disciples with the Herodians, saying, “Teacher, we know that You are true, and teach the way of God in truth; nor do You care about anyone, for You do not regard the person of men. Tell us, therefore, what do You think? Is it lawful to pay taxes to Caesar, or not?” But Jesus perceived their wickedness, and said, “Why do you test Me, you hypocrites? Show Me the tax money.” So they brought Him a denarius. And He said to them, “Whose image and inscription is this?”
They said to Him, “Caesar’s.” And He said to them, “Render therefore to Caesar the things that are Caesar’s, and to God the things that are God’s.” When they had heard these words, they marveled, and left Him and went their way.” –Matthew 22:15-22
It is historical fact that the Jews were heavily taxed by the Romans. It was also taxation without representation (something we went to war for with England back in the 1700′s). Notice though how Jesus responds, pay your taxes and worship God. Give to Caesar (that is pay your taxes) give to God (that is worship or your heart). It seems just in this one verse that Jesus didn’t see the tax fight as a fight He needed to take on.
My question would then be: Why do we? You can vote however you want on the issue, but a vote is different than fighting the system and the man. If Jesus didn’t fight it, we shouldn’t fight it either.
Jesus spoke a lot about the poor and on one occasion He said the following:
“But when you give a feast, invite the poor, the maimed, the lame, the blind. And you will be blessed, because they cannot repay you; for you shall be repaid at the resurrection of the just.” –Luke 14:13, 14
Jesus clearly expect believers to take care of the poor. In fact the inspired early description of the church one of the things emphasized over and over again is caring for the needy.
“Now the multitude of those who believed were of one heart and one soul; neither did anyone say that any of the things he possessed was his own, but they had all things in common. And with great power the apostles gave witness to the resurrection of the Lord Jesus. And great grace was upon them all. Nor was there anyone among them who lacked; for all who were possessors of lands or houses sold them, and brought the proceeds of the things that were sold, and laid them at the apostles’ feet; and they distributed to each as anyone had need.” –Acts 4:32-35
The role of the church is to care for the needy and if the church won’t do, if the church has abandoned her job, then I would say the government stepping in to help which raises taxes isn’t the governments fault but it is the fault of the church (I am not talking about spending on “a bridge to nowhere”, but rather social programs to help the needy and underserved in our country), so should we fight taxes that are being used to do the things we are supposed to be doing as believers?
Conclusion: Jesus’ stance on taxes is pay them as long as they aren’t preventing you from loving and serving God, which they aren’t. Second, Jesus’ stance is that believers should care for those in need, unfortunately we don’t. So the government has stepped in, I don’t know that Jesus would denounce government for that, but He may have some words for the church (see Isaiah 58).
So where do you stand? On the Bible or elsewhere?
For You formed my inward parts;
You covered me in my mother’s womb.
14 I will praise You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
Marvelous are Your works,
And that my soul knows very well.
15 My frame was not hidden from You,
When I was made in secret,
And skillfully wrought in the lowest parts of the earth.
16 Your eyes saw my substance, being yet unformed.
And in Your book they all were written,
The days fashioned for me,
When as yet there were none of them.” –Psalm 139:13-16
Some key phrases in this scripture inspired by God:
First, “My frame was not hidden from You, when I was made in secret.” In other words when no one else knew there was a baby made, God knew.
Second, “Your eyes saw my substance being yet unformed. And in Your book they all were written, the days fashioned for me, when as yet there were none of them.” So God sees substance and life and value before we as humans are fully formed. Also, God has a desired plan for each baby before they have even lived a day outside the womb of their mother.
It would seem then based on these texts that the following text would also apply to unborn babies:
“Thou shalt not kill.” –Exodus 20:13
Conclusion: The Bible clearly teaches life begins long before a baby comes out of his or her mother. The Bible clearly teaches that taking life is wrong. As Christians we cannot let our political desires or party influence our support of life!
This one could really be labeled guns. I put hunting in though b/c every political cycle there are some pictures that surface of candidates, usually GOP candidates wearing orange vests and carrying a rifle. In this go round there have been some direct references to hunting due to the presence of Rick Perry. Folk defend the right to bear arms for protection, I don’t fully agree with that position, but I can’t find Biblically a yes or no, so my opinion on that really doesn’t matter. But I have also heard some from the NRA speak of the right to have guns for sport/hunting. And the Bible does address that issue:
“The lazy do not roast any game,
but the diligent feed on the riches of the hunt.” –Proverbs 12:27
Conclusion: Hunting for sport is wrong (lazy); hunting to eat is acceptable. You may say well laziness isn’t that bad. Read what Jesus says about lazy folk in Matthew and see what Paul writes about lazy folk in Titus. It’s not good to be lazy and therefore protecting gun rights for the sake of sport seems to go against the Bible. If you kill it, eat it or don’t kill!
“But we command you, brethren, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that you withdraw from every brother who walks disorderly and not according to the tradition which he received from us. For you yourselves know how you ought to follow us, for we were not disorderly among you; nor did we eat anyone’s bread free of charge, but worked with labor and toil night and day, that we might not be a burden to any of you, not because we do not have authority, but to make ourselves an example of how you should follow us. For even when we were with you, we commanded you this: If anyone will not work, neither shall he eat. For we hear that there are some who walk among you in a disorderly manner, not working at all, but are busybodies. Now those who are such we command and exhort through our Lord Jesus Christ that they work in quietness and eat their own bread.” –2 Thessalonians 3:6-12
The text is pretty clearly stating that a person that is able to work, but unwilling to work should not get any support. Based on this point of view Christians should take a position on welfare that would urge this type of standard.
Conclusion: A welfare system based on the Bible would look a lot different than the welfare system we have now.
So what was the point of this post?
The point of this post is maybe to point out that a Christian shouldn’t stand with one political party or believe that one political candidate is the perfect one; we should understand that no matter who we vote for, we should be honest about the fact and hopefully be willing to disagree openly with the person we voted for if their position is not in line with scripture.
As Christians our political views should be based on the Word of God! That should be our standard, any other standard is placing another God (self and our own human thoughts) above God!