Contend Earnestly: Politics, Jesus and the USA

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Politics, Jesus and the USA


I am confused. I usually am, but hide it well. This is probably going to be my last post on politics for a little while as it gets kind of tiring to defend myself to everyone. Here is the reason. I am not going to vote...again...but I do have some thoughts on politics and Jesus as a whole. I want to just see if I can get people to think about why they are voting for who they are voting for. I also want to try and learn through this process from others who are far more mature than I am on this issue. I think in the end it might help give a glimpse into each side so that more fruitful conversations can happen. I could be wrong though, time will tell.

What Does Voting for the "Lesser of Two Evils Mean?"


From many conservatives this is the quote I get when they tell me why they are voting for who they are voting for. But, which evils are you talking about?
Killing Babies vs Killing Innocent Civilians

Now, I am against abortion in all forms. But, we also have a government right now that is involved in a "war" where we don't need to be. So, being that I believe this is the case, we are then killing innocent people for no purpose. People will say, "well innocent people aren't being killed. They aren't innocent if they are shooting at our troops." Let me ask you. If you had troops coming in and taking over your towns from another country and they were entering your house, would you try and protect your family? I think so, or hope so. I am not blaming the troops here, but just saying that my reaction would be a lot like those who are nervously reacting to the U.S. troops in their towns and villages. I "believe" in war. But, I believe in war when it is necessary. I don't believe this "war" is a necessary one at this point. Please don't see this as not supporting the troops or coming down on them, but I blame the President and those in charge of making these decisions. So, what is the difference with killing innocent babies and innocent civilians? Isn't a life a life?

This is why McCain scares me. He seems to be ready to go to war for any reason and stay in Iraq for however long it takes to "win the war in Iraq." The other part of this equation that many conservatives don't bring up is the fact that McCain BELIEVES IN ABORTION! So, the abortion issue is a dead one for this election. Killing babies is killing babies, no matter the process that takes place. So, which one is the lesser of the two evils here? Obama or McCain? I honestly can't decide. I don't know. They both scare me here.

Greed vs Socialism

This is another tough one. One presidential candidate is part of the new Republican party that seems to give extreme tax breaks to the wealthy that go further than mere trickle down economics. The other seems to believe in a quasi socialism government that takes money from the rich and spreads it around to the poor. Although I do believe in trickle down economics, I believe that the Republican party is using this as an excuse to give more tax breaks to the uber rich than need be. This starts to support the sin of greed and is a very deep evil that Jesus speaks against more than he speaks on heaven and hell combined.

Quasi socialism on the other hand is actually directly against the Bible as well. God's nation had a welfare system set up where the poor had to work for their "money" and did not receive it by mere hand outs (unless you were a leper at the city gate, but even many still just passed by in disgust). What we find in the Bible is a welfare system set up where the rich weren't allowed to glean the corners of their fields but left it for the poor to come and glean. Notice though who is doing the gleaning. It wasn't the workers of the rich or the rich themselves, but it was the poor who came and gleaned for themselves (we see this play out in the book of Ruth). All through the Proverbs we see that if you don't work, you will be poor. That the fool is lazy, the fool doesn't work, etc. Even Paul tells us that he who does not provide for his household is worse than an unbeliever. Socialism and the current welfare system fly in the face of the clear teachings in Scripture. Are there exceptions to the rule? Of course. We have those that are disabled, have degenerate diseases, etc. But we are talking about the poor as a whole here. I would encourage you to look at this video for some helpful thoughts on this issue.

So, which of these two are the lesser of the two evils? Greed or Socialism? I can't decide. They are both evil.

The next two deal with issues that I believe have more to do with a Theocracy than a democracy. Meaning, if we were a nation truly under the rule of God alone, these next two would be bigger issues, but the facts will show that we are not a Christian nation.

Divorce or Gay Marriage

I am going to really hammer something here. I don't agree with either of these. Sure, the Bible gives us two ways that a believer can divorce, and only two. One, an unfaithful spouse and the other is a non-believer who wishes to leave the believing spouse. That is it. And these are last resorts. I have told my wife that if she cheats on me, I will not divorce her. That is my decision and she has told me the same. But, my point here is that gay marriage is not what is going to kill the sanctity of marriage, but "Christians" that get divorced (unbiblically) are. Christians who say "I do" and become one flesh and then decide to divorce are killing the understanding of what it means to have a Christian marriage under the authority of God. Statistics tell us that Christians have MORE chance to get divorced than unbelievers. So, you tell me who is killing the sanctity of marriage? We should expect the unbeliever to not follow the way of the Scriptures. We should expect them to want and desire to rebel against the word of God. We should expect them to want to marry the same sex, have adulterous relationships, have more than one partner, to live with one another before marriage, etc. But, when we, as Christians, are doing the same, we need to figure out what is going on with the sanctity of marriage within the church before we try and regulate the non-Christian. Plank in eye vs speck in another's comes to mind. I truly believe that the divorce rate among Christians is far more insulting to God's institution of marriage than non-Christian gay marriage.

If we were a Christian nation, we should ban all unbiblical divorces. But, we are not a Christian nation, therefore it becomes harder to regulate. I just think we really need to figure out what is going on in our own house before we yell at our neighbors.

Freedom of Religion

If we were a Christian nation, the most abhorrent thing you could do is give way to freedom of religion. This might surprise some, but it is true. When did God ever say it was okay to allow idolatry among his people? This actually is the worst thing that the nation of Israel could do. If we were a Christian nation, then we should abolish the thought of freedom of religion. Every time someone chooses some other god (demon) than Jehovah God, that is idolatry. This is, by far, the worst crime happening in America. Never would God approve of worshiping idols in his own nation, by his own people. This is one of the reasons that I do not believe that America is a Christian nation, nor was it ever a Christian nation. It might have been built on some Christian ideals, but "close" doesn't count when speaking of our God.

Freedom of choice, when it comes to religion, is the main reason why I wonder why we allow non-Christians to choose their idols, but not choose how they live the rest of their lives? This confuses me. If we were a Christian nation, my views would completely change. But we aren't.

Pagan nations in the Bible had unbridled sex to their gods (USA does this through many facets), sacrificed their babies to their gods (USA does this through abortion), allowed polytheism (USA does this), praised the gods for their wealth (USA does this through greed and consumerism).

So, you be the judge. Is the USA a pagan nation or a Christian nation?

How do you choose between the least of the two evils? You are going to choose between two candidates where they feed greed, socialism, killing of innocent babies and civilians, devout liars, freedom of religion, unbiblical divorce, gay marriage and the list goes on. This is an honest question. I am just curious on the reasons that people vote with this thought process. It is not a loaded question, but one that I am trying to find answers to.

This is the reason that I have decided to not vote. Neither candidate is even close to my personal convictions on the issues. McCain is no closer than Obama.



14 comments:

Steve said...

Seth, I love logic. You laid out a very logical commentary on the state of our country.

And where I come back to, as I usually do when I engage my brain, is that the logic continues to show how depraved we really are, and how we cannot be sinless, and how we need the saving grace of God.

nathan said...

Hey there paps. Interesting thoughts. A few reactions on your post. With regard to "Freedom of Religion", is the governments role to dictate religion? I can't think of a religion that has successfully institutionalized itself as a governmental entity; at least not without corrupted almost every aspect of its roots. My thought here is that God works through individual hearts and reveals himself on a one to one basis. Christianity often thrives most under persecution, which underscores the point: Would we want an officially "Christian" nation?

Secondly, the democratic process is established to allow citizens a voice. Have you considered writing in someone on the ballot who fits your criteria, rather than not voting at all?

Seth McBee said...

Nate.
What up bro.

You ask some interesting questions and I will take them one by one.

You: Interesting thoughts

Me: This is by far the best part of your comment ;)

You: With regard to "Freedom of Religion", is the governments role to dictate religion?

Me: It is not this governments role for sure. It was in the Old Testament for the nation of Israel though.

You: I can't think of a religion that has successfully institutionalized itself as a governmental entity; at least not without corrupted almost every aspect of its roots.

Me: I agree with you. The OT was the closest we see, but like you state, it was so corrupted it was embarrassing.

You: My thought here is that God works through individual hearts and reveals himself on a one to one basis

Me: I totally agree and this was also the case with the OT as well. Not all who were in the Nation of Israel were God's people, only those whose heart was transformed

You: Christianity often thrives most under persecution, which underscores the point: Would we want an officially "Christian" nation?

Me: Would we want one on this earth? Not sure. It would be nice. I will say that your question underscores the greater point: the U.S. is NOT a Christian nation and never was.

But, you also have to know that you will live in a Christian nation in heaven, under one God, with no choices of religion. So, one day, it will be perfect, but that is because Christ will be the Spiritual and Physical King over all of us.

You: Secondly, the democratic process is established to allow citizens a voice. Have you considered writing in someone on the ballot who fits your criteria, rather than not voting at all?

Me: Honestly, me not voting is what pisses more people off than anything. Some believe it to be a responsibility, which I do not. I believe it is a great priviledge to vote, but have chosen to abstain. I am not sure what the difference is between voting for "Mickey Mouse" or people who have that same chance of winning or just abstaining. Until I can put my support behind a candidate I will not vote. It is a very hard choice and one in which I think long and hard about. I understand it's implications, but in the end, I choose not to vote and will pray and submit to the one that God puts into office.

I hope this helps some.

Am I weird? Yes. Am I strong on this conviction? Yes. Do I push this on others? Not at all.

I just want people to think why they vote and for who they vote for, that's all.

If they have, I am good. Whether democrat or republican or Mickey Mouse.

Anonymous said...

The problem is your pervasive insipid Christless christianity in USA. As the church goes - so does the nation.

Maybe time to get stuck into Michael Hortons book - as seen at http://www.challies.com/archives/book-reviews/christless-christianity.php

Maybe it's time for repentance to begin in the house of God??

By the way your arguments for not voting are good. There is none righteous - not one (sorry out of context) ... but seriously why would you vote for either? Neither has righteous motives or worldview. Maybe be best for all Christians not to vote and spend a bit more time getting to know Christ through His word and Spirit rather than spending all that $ and time in getting their candidate over the line.

No wonder America is the laughing stock of the rest of the world.

Different Steven said...

And by laughingstock, anonymous, you mean envy. The rest of the world still wants to move here.

Anonymous said...

Mcbee
Whaa??? Good stuff buddy but I only have one question. You are on facebook? May want to check your butt.

Flem

jen elslager said...

I'll echo Nathan -- interesting thoughts, Seth. You've stated some things in some ways I hadn't thought about before. I've been on the fence of whether to vote or not for a while. Still not completely sure what I'm going to do.

But I've believed for some time that this definitely isn't a Christian nation.

Anonymous said...

"And by laughingstock, anonymous, you mean envy. The rest of the world still wants to move here."

I'm sorry but as an Australian who has travelled widely in Europe, Asia and Africa, I can tell you that USA and it's predatory nature is not well respected (as a nation). There is no envy - only sadness and in some cases bitterness that you as a nation have behaved so unrighteously to the rest of the world. You may think the rest of the world loves you .. sorry to burst your bubble ... it doesn't.

Jen is correct - USA is not a Christian nation - nor is Australia. There has never been a Christian nation. Yes there have been nations which have seen blessing from godly men and women of Christ's church who have been enabled by His grace to place under His providence, good laws and righteous ways for the people to follow. However this is not the case with the USA now .... as teh church has slipped into unrighteous liberalism and pragmatism.... so the nation has followed.

I would put it to you again - if as an American you would want to see righteousness within your halls of government and business... then you had better start calling the church to repentance and a return to biblical christianity.

Different Steven said...

ANONYMOUS:

As an American who has spent months in Europe and Asia, and an American with friends/family living on five continents, I can assure you that if given the chance between living in the United States of America or living in County ABC, the majority of the world would choose the United States of America.

The current administration has certainly done its best to destroy American credibility and respect, but the fact remains: most people would come here if they could.

jayfersgirl said...

I completely understand why you wouldn't want to vote for President. I myself have felt the same way.
However, I would encourage you to consider the other things you have the opportunity to vote for that you may actually care about.
I don't know what's on the ballot where you live, but here in California I also had to vote (I voted by mail, so I completed my ballot last night) for Senate, Representative, City Council, transportation officials, school board, etc.
Also, we had 12 propositions to vote for -- including the infamous prop 8 which would ban gay marriage. In our city we also had about 10 measures to vote for.
So there is more to voting than just for President, so even if you left that portion of the ballot blank, there may be some things you're passionate about in your community that voting would make a difference in.

Anonymous said...

i would have to say i agree in general but not in other ways. for me it is a lesser of two evils. your argument about war breaks down where you say you "believe this war is no longer necessary" for me i can not say this if you say it is necessary at one point you should leave the people set up to deal with the people when we do leave. abortion and divorce i believe with you on except your statistics in that there is a large difference between someone who checks christian on a box and someone who tries to live it. on taxes the rich already pay most of the taxes for you and me. and i want to live in a country where opportunity is there. people will be greedy we can't help that and to punish them will not help us. on health care i do not want to live in a country wher my wife who is dealing with major health issues t die on a waiting list. so it comes down for me which is best for my family. since can't vote for driscoll (who i want)i must vote for the lesser. we can not get all we want so get whats the better of the two.

Anonymous said...

The Christian Nation exists and it does not have borders. It is comprised of individuals who are following Christ around the world, whether they know it or not (Matthew 25).

What does it mean to worship idols? Is this anything that takes our eyes off of God (Loving others and being fearless)? Couldn't this represent many things, such as comfort?

I believe Jesus wants us to have the freedom of choosing to believe in him or not. I don't think his message would parallel with him breathing down our necks and insisting that we "believe".

I almost think your stance:
"This is the reason that I have decided to not vote. Neither candidate is even close to my personal convictions on the issues."
is the stance our Christian leaders should take.

Most conservatives misunderstand democratic policies that guarantee services to the poor as socialism. No one is trying to get out of work. Human beings become depressed when they are not productive and involved. No one takes joy in being a charity case. And Christians don't enjoy handing down. About socialism: democratic policies can be spun to appear socialist as well as many republican policies.

Why join Faith with Politics? If a Nation could be governed with ALL biblical principles then people would not have a chance to be "Christian". The real issue are nations that do not allow freedom of religion for people to make the choice to follow Jesus. It is all about making a personal decision to walk with Jesus and encourage others to do the same. If we had a leader that was mandating we love God with all of our heart and do unto others...never mind this cannot happen. This "stuff" cannot be mandated, it is a choice of the heart. Jesus chose not to come as a King.

What is from God? Who can answer this on Earth. If something is from God, then that carries a huge connotation. What if we were wrong? A problem with this country now is many outsiders "think" we are a Christian nation and affiliate some of our wrong doing with Christianity. If we were a true "Christian Nation" then we would have to represent everything Christ represents. Who can do this and at the same time be willing to lose all of our power in the world. May the first be last and the last be first. Who would want to do this? Anybody who "thinks" they are qualified to lead a Christian Nation and believes they are appointed by God (I have heard this before from somebody) is definitely somebody I will never cast a vote for.
I want to elect somebody that I believe wants what is best for everybody and will allow me the choice of how I grow in my faith. I also want to be more respected around this world because people do see us as a Christian nation even though we are not.

Reforming Baptist said...

about the troops...my brother in law is in Iraq, and I agree that we are in a war that we probably shouldn't have gotten involved with in the first place. But those guys shooting at our troops are not innocent civilians who are trying to protect their homes, because our troops are not marauders. The people fighting our troops are islamic jihadists who deserve to die.

Seth McBee said...

Hey Will...

Haven't talked to you in a while.

I think you overstated your position a little as did I.

Not all are extremists, and not all are "innocent."

I would also include, since people have brought it up that the ones that die that are the most tragic in this war are the kids and women who aren't doing anything against some of our troops.

Is this happening a ton over there? I hope not. But there have been confirmed times when innocent men, women and children have died.

Those are the ones I am speaking about. Not the crazy guys trying to take out our military for the sake of Jihad.

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