…the pursuit of life, liberty, and happiness…
Well, here we are at the cusp of a new era, perhaps. The political situation of the good old US of A is not to be judged alone, as if it were a separate entity from the rest of the people; indeed, the political situation, the politicians, the issues, the different stances on the issues, the different interpretations of the Constitution, “faith,” “God,” “life,” the economy, patriotism, personal responsibility vs. bailouts, all are a genuine reflection of the people, a government for, of, by the people, whether all the people are in agreement or not. The differences and divisions among the populace are very well evidenced in our government.
As one preps for voting and encouraging others to vote, for a candidate or regarding a specific issue or to actually get out and vote period, the plethora of issues to be mulled over and regarded begs for prioritization. Here is a recommended prioritizing of the issues from a Christian/biblical perspective:
1. Is the candidate a believer, a genuine Christ follower?
This is of course a very difficult to answer question, but there are two main ways of having at least a good way (since there is no possible “best” way) of determining this:
1. Do they have a personal testimony of Christ’s salvation in their own life? If “Yes,” then does that testimony ring true/coincide with a biblical understanding of salvation.
Example: Obama has said, “Well, as a starting point, it means I believe in — that Jesus Christ died for my sins, and that I am redeemed through Him.”
McCain has said, “It means I’m saved and forgiven.”
2. Do they have fruit as evidence of their right relationship with Christ, as evidence of their genuine faith, as evidence of the Holy Spirit working in and through them?
Since we may allow that these two gentlemen are perhaps not “gifted evangelists,” which is nothing about their characters just simply about their spiritual giftings in accordance with Ephesians 4:11-12, perhaps the “fruit” they would have would be much different if we were to apply the same question to a “Billy Graham,” a potential seminary professor or pastor.
But nonetheless, as a Christian, the Matthew 28:18-20 Great Commission applies to all Christians, so there should some fruit/evidence of their personal relationship with Christ by their sharing of it to others.
Specifically applying this question to political candidates, we should look at their leadership, as a Christian in a position of leadership, whether in business, church, community, family/home, government, etc. The impetus for Christian leaders is to be a representative of biblical truth in your position of leadership. So we must look at the political candidates positions on the issues and assess whether they stand for or against biblical truth: do they uphold a position of Truth, of God’s desires and purposes according to God’s Word, the Bible? This is a matter of voting records. This is a matter of what they communicate regarding their views.
2. Abortion, or “The Image of God”
A biblical understanding of people is one that understands the worth of all human life. Why? Because man was created in the image of God. This means that man alone was created in a unique way, unlike the dirt, plants, animals, water, sky, etc. This uniqueness gives all people inherent worth/value/specialness.
The worth of all human life is not relevant because some people think so, even though not all people do. ALL HUMAN LIFE HAS WORTH BECAUSE GOD THINKS SO. These are much different concepts, man vs. God. God always trumps man. [This was the basis of the foundation of the USA in the first place according to our founding fathers’ own words.]
One might try and argue that if someone doesn’t know whether a fetus/embryo/baby is a person/human/worthy at conception or at birth or five years of age, then your unsurity must not be an excuse to give freedom to kill something/someone that might or might not be a person. “Well, I’m not sure, but go ahead and kill it cause maybe it’s not a person.” This view is absurdly irrational: “Well, I’m not sure if the gun is loaded or not, but go ahead and put it to your friend’s head and pull the trigger just for kicks, just cause you say it isn’t loaded, or just cause your friend wants you to.” [Is that too ridiculous an analogy?]
The issue is that according to Christian Scripture there is a worthiness to all human life, and the clear biblical position is that life begins at conception [though “clearness” of this position is debated, it isn’t really a debatable issue when the Scripture speaking of God knowing the person in the womb].
Whether one believes this or not is not the issue. The issue is whether it is possible for life to actually begin at conception or not, for an embryo to be a human. The possibility of a human embryo to be an actual human/a person demands the necessity of not killing the embryo/the life form: it does not give license to kill because it might not be a human. To claim ignorance or not enough intelligence in the area scientifically or theologically is not an excuse, it just a reason for claiming not to know for sure. But no one would make such a claim in another instance:
While driving at night, you see a shadow in the road ahead.
Driver: “Is that a person?”
Passenger: “I don’t know.”
Passenger: “Well if you keep going, you’ll hit it, and at this speed you’d definitely kill it if it’s a person.”
Driver: “Well, since I’m not sure, I’ll just keep going. It’s not in my ability to say if it is or not.”
Partial-birth, late-term are just cute ways of saying killing babies half-born and almost born, respectively.
3. Stem Cell Research
This issue is exactly the same as the Abortion issue. Depending upon your view of “when life begins,” you will fall on one side or the other.
The creation of human embryos for research is only one extreme part of the overall issue. The issue of stem cell research involving human embryos also and maybe most importantly involves the use of “leftover” embryos from fertilization clinical use, etc. If it is a human life at conception, this is so whether implanted in a woman or still in a lab.
With a biblical understanding of life beginning at conception according to God’s regard of the life in the mother’s womb and the worth of all human life to God, the research use of human embryos is no different than me allowing my eight month old twins to be “researched on,” which is definitely going to kill them. “Here, have my children for whatever. Yes, I realize it will kill them.”
Having a sick “poster child” for the cause, Nancy Reagan or Christopher Reeves or my own grandfather [who didn’t support this but would definitely have been a candidate for his Huntington’s], doesn’t make excuse for killing human life.
4. Homosexual Marriage
For many Evangelicals/Bible-believing Christians, this is not a “make or break” issue. So why is it at #4?
Sexuality is an essential element in defining true family, true humanness, true inter-personal relationships. WIthout an accurate definition of “family,” there is no ability to accurately define any single individual. A person’s identity is not entirely lost, but it is definitely marred.
Scripture [of course, though too oft debated] defines marriage as purposed by God to be between a man and a woman for the purpose of glorifying God through love, reproduction, mutual support, order, teaching/training/discipleship of children to glorify God.
The issue of the sinfulness of homosexuality is only a part of the problem of allowing a homosexual relationship to be defined as a marriage. The real heart of the issue is a biblical understanding of marriage.
Family is a foundational piece of our nation. Family is at the foundation of our society, culture, identity, and even our freedom. Family is a motivation for upholding our freedom.
As goes the American family,
so goes America.
5. Foreign and Economic Policies
Biblically, these issues are important in that they reflect the ability of a nation to uphold its beliefs, freedoms, etc.
Foreign policy protects the country. Foreign policy helps other countries/entities/peoples.
Economic policy protects the country. Economic policy helps other countries/entities/peoples.
Also, these two both allow the US to have a voice for freedom, for the worth of human life, for Truth according to God’s Word in “the market place”/in the world.