Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Who should I vote for? An election overview from a biblical perspective

I've been wrestling, and wrestling hard about the upcoming American Presidential vote. I abhor the current political system, the two parties, and the corruption that is Congress.

I loathe the two candidates, based on spiritual qualifications. Obama is an abomination and Romney is lost and deluded, an enemy of God, being a Mormon. Charles Spurgeon said, "Of the lesser of two evils, choose neither."

However, standing on the sidelines as a Christian doesn't seem right, either. The first century Christians lived under a horrible dictator who burned them alive, yet the Word says we are to submit to all governing authorities. (Romans 13:1). This is because God is the ultimate governing authority who sets up kings and takes them down. Rebelling against government is rebelling against God. (Romans 13:2b)

It also didn't seem right to remain on the sidelines as an American. God, in His providence and wisdom, created me at this time and in this nation, where we do have freedom to speak, worship, and vote. I would not want to squander the gifts and opportunities He gave me, and since I am a free American, I have a right and a duty and a privilege to participate in the government He set me up in.

To play devil's advocate on myself, though, there is a limit to submission to governing authorities. My friend Pastor Phil Andrukaitis wrote in his sermon series, A Biblical Perspective on Politics, quoting John Piper here. "Scripture supports and prohibits civil disobedience. There are limits when it comes to submitting to horizontal authorities. Therefore, [John Piper said] “subjection to governing authorities is subjective, not absolute; it depends on whether the demands of the governing authorities require the Christian to disobey Jesus Christ”. Have we passed that limit? Are still within the boundaries of that limit? It is up to each Christian to make that determination for him or herself.

How do I balance my heavenly citizenship with my national citizenship?

I am not a fan of the current revival movements that focus on America as a political entity. I mean those movements that call for returning America back to a Christian nation, the 'America for Jesus' rallies, praying for America so that we would be reset to 'original factory conditions.' Blogger Erin Benzinger calls this 'patriotic idolatry', and I agree. People who call for America's return to Jesus have no idea how far the Founding Fathers were from the true God and Holy Jesus. John Adams was the most thoughtful, the most curious and the most studied about the things of God. He denied the Trinity, writing to Thomas Jefferson in 1813, "Had you and I been forty days with Moses on Mount Sinai, and been admitted to behold the divine Shekinah, and there told that one was three and three one, we might not have had courage to deny it, but we could not have believed it."

Pastor Andrukaitis explained that we are citizens of heaven, but until we're raptured or resurrected, we are also citizens of a nation here on earth. He said, "Paul and Silas beautifully illustrated their understanding of their dual citizenship when they were unjustly beaten, mistreated, and thrown into a Philippian jail. What were Paul and Silas’ reactions? They prayed and sang songs to God (Acts 16:25)."

So I am presented with a quandary...I have a national right and a God-given duty to participate in a corrupt process and thus choose between two men that at their soul-level are ungodly. This is a hard thing.

Then I listened to a 4 minute clip from an essay that's based on two sermons John MacArthur preached last week called The Campaign for Immorality. The link is to the summary of two sermons, the first sermon is:

Abortion and the Campaign for Immorality
Homosexuality and the Campaign for Immorality

Dr MacArthur doesn't talk about politics as much as he lays out the case that America is actively campaigning for judgment according to the process in Romans 1. He has spoken of this before. He has been essentially saying the same thing all along, that Divine Judgment comes when a nation rejects the basic platforms and institutions God set forth. Government, family and the Church are the three institutions God set up by Divine decree. MacArthur has been warning for years now that America is under that judgment due to our having rejected those institutions and have descended into immorality as a permeating and institutionalized level.

But this year, this time, it is really bad. In his two sermons, MacArthur shows through the bible how the two political parties, particularly one party, is engaging in a process that will drive us straight off the cliff of Judgment. He attended both Conventions and he returned to his home town stunned and aghast at how closely Romans 1 is being lived out by the decision makers in America today.

For example, taking God out of the Democratic platform, legalizing abortion, homosexual marriages, feminism, and other related government sanctioned behaviors that infringe on God's territory show us how close we are to that judgment.

It is this that he preaches on.

In the excerpt of the essay, The Campaign for Immorality, Dr MacArthur said the following, which helped me decide what to do about voting. I put in bold the parts that especially helped me come to a decision about my vote. I hope it helps you. Here is the excerpt:

-------------begin MacArthur-------------

"I’m not one to talk about politics as such, but I was essentially amazed that one of the historic parties here in the United States adopted the sins of Romans 1 as their platform. This is a new day in our country. Parties which used to differ on economics now differ dramatically on issues that invade the realm of God’s law and morality."

"In an ideal situation, their platform would mean that the government passes out condoms so people can fornicate at will. For those who happen to get pregnant in the process, platform advocates that you kill the baby at the will of the mother, up and including the ninth month."

"At the same time, it advocates a homosexual marriage, which is an oxymoron, an utter impossibility, and a gross violation of the law of God. And then to add to that, the murder of abortion, and then a platform originally leaving God out. All of that’s Romans 1. Romans 1 says God will judge, God has judged throughout human history, nations that experience sexual freedom. Romans chapter 1 lays that out clearly: the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against those who advocate sexual freedom, sexual conduct outside of marriage. And that’s an indication of the demise of a nation."

"And then Romans 1 also says that God will judge those nations that advocate homosexual behavior, men with men, women with women, doing what is unnatural. They are also haters of God, haters of God--leaving God out, advocating abortion, advocating homosexuality, advocating free sexual conduct and government-provided condoms so that everybody can do what they want. That is literally creating a platform out of what God hates."

"This is not about politics, although there are things we could talk about. You’re not voting for a pastor, you’re not voting for a spiritual leader, you’re voting for someone who has some sense of morality. Since the Bible says that the role of government is to punish evil doers and protect the good, you better have somebody in power who understands what is good and what is evil. And if you think homosexuality, abortion, sexual freedom, hating God are not evil, then you better go back and check your Bible again. How can people with that kind of agenda protect those who do good and punish those who do evil? That’s Romans 13’s definition of the role of government. We could talk about foreign policies, should we protect as many defenseless people from evil aggressors as possible? We could talk about economics, Is it right to get into irreparable debt? Is that responsibility? We could talk about that."

'We could talk about the economics of if you don’t work, you don’t eat, which is what the Bible says. But those things are not what concern me. And I’ve seen something happen in these conventions that is just stunning. The adaptation of a Romans 1 platform, sexual freedom, homosexuality on an equal level with marriage, the murder of infants, and the elimination of God."

"And by the way, I didn’t like it any better when they put God back in because that’s blasphemy. To connect God with that agenda is a horror, it’s a horror. It’s taking His name in vain. In fact, I don’t think God should be in either agenda (applause). But when you have an advocacy of support for the slaughter of infants and homosexuality, complete sexual freedom, you have a formula for divine judgment. If we have any sense of justice, if we have any sense of righteousness, if we want to make a little bit of a voice heard about what is right and about the role of government being to punish evil doers and protect the people who do right, then we better step up. I’m not sure what God has in the future, but I do know we can take His side and give Him honor."

---------------end MacArthur---------------

Pastor Andrukaitis ended his message about this upcoming election this way, "Therefore, when we enter the voting booth on Tuesday, November 6, 2012 or submit an absentee ballot prior to Election Day, remember that there is a day when each of us will give an account to God for our decisions. Please, choose wisely."

For me, the quandary about whether to even enter the voting booth and vote has been resolved. The quandary on who to vote for has also been answered.

I hope that this information, or the wealth of Christian information out there helps you resolve any dilemmas you may have on this upcoming election.


11 comments:

  1. You're not alone. I am having a hard time with stomaching that I have to choose one. Not one is worthy of my vote. I am not happy with a president avoiding Israel.. 4 years. And a mormon (I'll leave it at that).
    I understand this is God's plan, we going into this forward. Onward christian soldiers...were marching into this together. As an American I feel so lost and hurting for our country. I love this nation and our people. God bless us and keep us strong.

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  2. Thank you soooo much for all your posts!!! We have the same thoughts and discussions in our home on the many issues you have blogged about.

    We have had the same struggle regarding our vote this year. We knew we wanted to stand with God and His priniciples so we were going to put His name on the ballot. This post gave us two men we can vote for - we have not heard of them until now. What a blessing and a literal answer to prayer!!!

    Thank you!

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    1. You're welcome! The photos came from Wikipedia and the candidates' names, running mated, and parties are hyperlinked and clickable for more information.
      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States_presidential_election,_2012

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  3. A.) Obama
    B.) Romney
    C.) Christ X

    Choosing between the lessor of two evils has gotten America right in the place that it is at. I am praying about this because I have a real problem with it. Sorry

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    1. We are not voting for a pastor and we are not voting for a savior. Christ is not on the ballot.

      I agree that choosing the lesser of two evils is bad but not standing for the biblical principles of participation in the government He put us in is bad too.

      The links I offered to the two sermons at full length, which outline the principles more fully than I could here, are very helpful. Jeff, as you pray, I ask that you also read or listen to them, or at least seek Godly advice from a different mature source if you don't agree with MacArthur.

      I have a real problem with the election too. We're all tied up in knots. I believe this is for a reason, and that ti is to really make us think carefully not just about the candidates (because in my opinion neither one from the major parties is worth thinking about twice) but to get us to go deeper into the meaning of our duty in our relationship to government and to be ready to give a thoughtful explanation to Him when he holds us accountable.

      I am still not sure who I am going to vote for but at least I've decided that it is a mistake not to vote at all, which is what I *had* planned to do.

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    2. You are right in that we should vote, we do have access to God himself and may He be the one to reveal to us as we pray what to do. As it was with Job, so it is with us, nothing happens unless He allows it. :)

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  4. I have been struggling with this issue as well, and it hasn't gotten any easier or clearer for me...
    I had recently read a book by pastor Robert Jeffers titled Twilights Last Gleaming which was written before the Republican nominee had been decided. In the book Pastor Jeffers does mention that while one party may kill a body there is a danger that having a Mormon in office might lead people to follow a false religion and lead them into hell. So I am struggling with the decision that one of our choices might lead some astray and the other will lead to the murder of the unborn, and homosexual marriage etc.

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    1. Thanks for your comment. Very well said. I feel the same, Kevin. Romney legitimizes Mormonism to a degree heretofore unseen, even with Glenn Beck on the scene.

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  5. I feel I have no choice but to write in who I would like to see be president. Some say that's a vote for the president, but I disagree. It's one vote for a person I think would be well qualified.

    I am praying for both major candidates to be won to the Lord's purposes. As it stands neither will get my vote.

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  6. I think every Bible believing Christian is having a hard time with this.

    A vote for Romney might sound like endorsing Mormonism... but let's be real. At least the guy has values and morales. At the very least, atleast if he were elected president, and people talked about Mormonism - it would give us a chance to explain our faith and Jesus as our savior.

    A vote for Obama would all but label us as radical terrorists. And what good are we all if we are sent to jail under hate speech laws. We can sing and pray all we want in the jail(s), but since we could just avoid that in the first place, I say vote for the guy that would at least open doors for us to talk to others about Christ. To me, it is simple, and it's not Obama.

    Also, I'm in NC and we only had 3 people on the ballot... Republican, Democrat, and Liberatarian. There is a write in, but lets face it, no one is going to win on a write in. (Yes, I voted early) :)

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  7. Elizabeth, I am glad to see that you posted some of the other candidates that are running for the office of the President of the United States of America. I came to realize some years ago, now, that not only does the mainstream media have a bias against conservatism, but the mainstream AND the "alternative" media have a bias against third parties. I think that most people believe that they have a hard choice because they think that there are only 2 candidates from which to choose.

    Now, the so-called wisdom of the pundits states that a third-party vote is a wasted vote because at a time that is so critical as this, when our very freedom hangs in the balance, we cannot afford to allow the "other candidate" to win by taking away votes from the only "real candidate" which has the possibility of taking the election. We hear so much of "electability". I say this is all pure scare tactics to get us to fall into line with the two-party system. I heard someone else say that "A two-party system is only 1 party away from a dictatorship."

    Now, as you have pointed out, our concern, as believers, should be what is right and wrong, not what is expedient. Also, we must remember that this is only our temporary home and, therefore, we should not "stake down our tents" here. So my view is this, one should vote for who they actually believe is the BEST candidate for President according to their values. So if that is a third-party, then so be it. And if the means that the unwanted candidate gets in, then we must remember that it was not our vote that did it. God will place who he wants to place to accomplish His purposes. The real selection is God's. We simply need to be able to stand before Him and give a reason for our decisions to vote for whom we voted.

    In short, vote for who is RIGHT, not the "lesser of two evils", and then trust God will accomplish his will with whoever He has placed in office.

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