Archive for the category “Politics”

A whirlwind of post-election thoughts

Mark Kelly writes at kainos:

Facebook lit up tonight with fires of celebration and flames of damnation. Followers of Jesus ought not to be warming themselves at either blaze. The results of this election are not a cause to celebrate; the President’s re-election does not establish justice and will not ring in the Kingdom of God. By the same token, anyone who placed his hope for America’s future in the challenger was either deceiving himself or allowing others to do it for him.

So many thoughts are swirling in my head, I know there will be no sleep any time soon. Better to get them out of my head and onto “paper.”

Read the post by clicking here.

Social justice and the Christian voter

Joe Carter writes at patheos.com:

“History is a voice forever sounding across the centuries the laws of right and wrong. Opinions alter, manners change, creeds rise and fall, but the moral law is written on the tablets of eternity.” – James Froude

When it comes to historical hindsight, modern Christians have a tendency to believe that we would always have sided with the angels, particularly when it comes to opposing institutionalized evil. We believe, for instance, that we would have been abolitionists decrying the injustice of slavery in Britain and America.

We believe that if we lived in Germany in the 1930s we would have recognized the inherent threat of Nazism and openly condemned Hitler’s regime. And we white Southern Christians have no doubts that we, unlike our parents and grandparents, would have stood with Dr. King and our other civil rights leaders in fighting to end racial segregation.

We can’t truly know, of course, what we would have done in the past. As much as we prefer to think that we would have stood against oppression and injustice we must not forget that many honest and otherwise admirable Christians were swayed more by the zeitgeist than by the redemptive power of the Gospel. But while we can’t know how we would have faced previous trials of moral courage, we have an opportunity to test our mettle against one of the greatest tragedies in American history—abortion.

Every election season we’re reminded that God is neither a Republican nor a Democrat. From this obvious truth many people draw the conclusion that their choice in candidates is therefore morally equivalent. It isn’t. While it may be perceived as presumptuous to tell anyone who they should vote for, I truly believe that no Christian should in good conscience vote to re-elect the most pro-abortion president in America’s history.

… The sad and incontrovertible fact is that Barack Obama is deeply committed to protecting and expand just such an institution evil. Under his watch, his administration has championed the destruction of the innocent and the Democratic Party has enshrined abortion as an essential right. No longer is the mantra to keep “safe, legal, and rare.” Today, the Obama administration and the DNC unequivocally support abortion on demand and opposes any efforts to limit the practice for any reason—including sex-selection and partial-birth abortions.

For that reason Obama should be ineligible for the votes of Christians who take the demands of social justice seriously.

Many Christians, though, will attempt to rationalize their decision by claiming that they are not ‘single issue’ voters. These believers never explain, however, what issues they believe take precedence over defending innocent human life. Whether the government should tax the rich more heavily or whether more can be done to protect the environment are positions on which Bible-believing Christians can honestly differ. But the demands of social justice require that we protect the weak and the innocent. And in America, none are more vulnerable and in need of protection than the unborn.

… A Christian can be pro-life or they can vote for Obama. But to do both exhibits a disturbing level of cognitive dissonance. … However, refusing to cast a vote for Obama does not require supporting Mitt Romney. The Republican candidate has his own history of supporting abortion and embryo destruction—at least when the thought it would help him get elected. He also has a history of changing his position when flip-flopping is the prudent electoral move. Romney is considered a ”pro-life” candidate only because he is flexible enough to support the pro-life cause when it’s electorally convenient. In contrast, when it comes to abortion, Obama is a man of firm conviction.

… History has placed before us an opportunity to rectify an evil that has plagued our country since 1972. When we cast our vote for president we must do so not on the basis of the next four years, forty years, or even four hundred years. We must do so from the perspective of eternity, knowing that we will someday have to answer for our decision before our Creator.

Read the entire article by clicking here.

Three thoughts about justice on election eve

Multiply Justice is trying to carve out some common ground where followers of Jesus can focus on shared values about God’s kingdom coming “on earth as it is in heaven.” We want to see Christians working in harmony to live out God’s will for “the least of these,” the poor and oppressed so desperately in need of hearing good news and experiencing abundant life.

In a nasty political campaign like the presidential race in the United States has been, that’s no easy matter. We have been deeply distressed at the tone of rhetoric coming from both candidates and supporters. Ugly words have been hurled, arrogant lies told with appalling ease. Very few people seem to be engaging the campaign with a positive vision of an America cherishing the love of God and passionately pursuing its highest ideals. We have only the slightest hope that Nov. 7 will be anything but a day of anger, recrimination, and accusation.

We have not endorsed a candidate or party platform, and we aren’t under the impression many would pay attention if we did. None of the options on tomorrow’s ballot should be satisfying to anyone who is focused on pursuing Kingdom justice from a biblical worldview. Politics, of course, always involves compromise. Any political party with two members will face a floor fight over at least one issue at its annual convention. But none of the options before us displays any real heart for social justice or offers a plan for making America a more just society. Both of the major parties are committed to a big government approach to social welfare that causes far more harm than good. Not only will it continue to drive the country into bankruptcy, but it will continue to trap ever more people in poverty and dependency. We believe the power-hungry elites of both parties would be just fine with that.

As you prepare to cast your ballot tomorrow, we want to leave you with three thoughts:

Justice. We need candidates and parties concerned more about the good of the people than electoral success and the perks of office. Many of our people already have no hope of making decent lives for themselves, and that number is growing rapidly. We need leaders willing to rise above partisanship and forge a partnership — an alliance between key segments of our society that can effectively attack the giant problems that oppress the weak and threaten everyone’s future.

Life. Life issues must be taken much more seriously. None of the major parties gives more than lip service to life issues. One party has been openly hostile toward concern about the casual way abortion is used as birth control and the trauma disproportionately inflicted on poor minorities. Another party panders to conservative evangelicals, telling them what they want to hear to gain their vote, with no intention of actually doing anything. And nobody at the top is saying anything about the wide range of life issues that ought to concern a civilized society.

Freedom. When the framers of the U.S. Constitution sat down to establish the Bill of Rights, the first issue they addressed was religious freedom. They plainly said the law must not be used to establish religion or to prohibit its free exercise. Successive American administrations have allowed religious freedom to erode, and the current administration has attacked it directly. The Affordable Care Act (Obamacare) in general and the HHS contraception mandate in particular pose extremely serious threats to religious freedom, but neither candidates nor their audiences seem concerned. A government that can force business owners to pay for insurance covering procedures they find reprehensible is a tyranny that has only begun to explore the ways it can extort its citizens. We should not be comfortable with a tyrant whose oppressions only afflict others, because that tyrant — or one from the other party — will soon turn his attention to us.

We all should exercise our right to vote in an earnest, thoughtful manner, mindful of both the well-being of the poor and the prosperity of the country. We all should pray that the process goes smoothly and we aren’t subjected to the interminable lawsuits for which the U.S. is famous or the violent social unrest that characterizes banana republics.

And if, on Nov. 7, you’d like to set your sights on 2016 and work with other believers to advance Kingdom justice in this country, drop us a note. We can get you hooked up.

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