Monday, October 22, 2012

The Religion of Politics

The presidential election draws nigh.  Once again, I am not going to use this blog to endorse any political candidate.  In fact, of the major parties, I could not really endorse either of the candidates.  What I do want to talk about today, though, is the curious idea of leaving one's faith behind when stepping into political office.  This concept was best illustrated by Vice President Joe Biden in the Vice Presidential Debate.  He said, when it comes to abortion, that his Catholic faith defines who he is yet he does not believe in imposing those values on others.  Of course that is really not the case at all because his loves to impose other values that he has on other people.  For example, forcing religious organizations to pay for contraception and making all of us pay higher taxes to support special interests.  The again, is his Catholicism defined who he was as he said, he would in no way ever support abortion because his view would be that life begins at conception.  So how do we believe the faith of any candidate running for office?  The answer is not in their words, but in their fruit.
Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep's clothing, but inwardly they are ravenous wolves. Even so, every good tree bears good fruit, but a bad tree bears bad fruit.  Matthew 7:16-17 NKJV
We will know them by their fruit.  We must evaluate the work product of their lives and careers and use that to evaluate how truthful their words are.  Just about every politician will try to invoke some kind of Christianity into their rhetoric simply because the vast majority of American are Christian.  Many Christians like the candidate so much that we will make exceptions and excuses in order to justify their faith and therefore justify our vote for that candidate.  This is a practice that must stop.  We should not try to justify the faith of a candidate we happen to like, but we must justify our vote by the faith of the candidate.  Of course the faith I mean is lived faith and not spoken faith  Many claim to be Christian, but their positions on the issues and the fruit of their careers deny that faith. 

A good place to start is the faith of our current candidates.  Christians of all stripes and colors and trying to justify the faith of those candidates in order to justify their vote.  What they are really doing, however, is denying their faith.  First of all, we have Mitt Romney.  If you are comfortable voting for a Mormon then by all means vote for Mitt Romney, but what needs to stop is trying to harmonize Mormonism with Christianity.  Mitt Romney is a Mormon, he is not a Christian.  They do not believe in the same Gospel, they add a whole volume of books to the Bible, and they deny the deity of Jesus Christ.  In fact, they go so far as to teach that Jesus is the spiritual brother of Satan.  I am not going to give a comparative doctrine analysis of these two faiths, but needless to say, they are not even close to the same.  They teach a different gospel and have a different idea of salvation, and therefore they are not Christian.  We must stop trying to Christianize Mormonism in order to feel better about voting for Mitt Romney. 

On the other hand, we have President Obama.  I find it very interesting that he refuses to impose the Christian moral teaching on abortion on society yet is perfectly comfortable invoking Scripture (wrongly) and his faith to impose gay marriage on the rest of society.  He also has no problem invoking his faith to impose tax burdens on some to pay for others.  Just like VP Biden's confused theology, he seems to conveniently impose what he perceives as "Christian" values when they are his own values.  The fact that his fruit is to make abortion more convenient, and has even supported such things as partial birth abortions and even preventing the saving a born-alive baby that was in the midst of an attempted abortion.  The fact is that while so many fall all over themselves apologizing if they publicly question his faith, I will not do the same.  I obviously can not judge him as a Christian or not a Christian, but I do question his faith.  Yes, I do question whether or not President Obama is saved.  The basis of my questioning is the fruit of his life. 

The fact of the matter is that we should not have to make effort to justify the actions of another to make them seem more Christian.  Someone living for Jesus is the light and salt of the earth.  Someone living for Jesus stands for the things that Jesus stood for.  Someone living for Jesus stands for righteousness.  Someone living for Jesus lives to glorify Jesus.  Someone living for Jesus will not compromise faith or doctrine for the sake of popularity or politics.  Someone living for Jesus will have no shyness or shame in proclaiming the gospel.  It should be open and apparent.  As the Bible says, a city on a hill can not be hidden.   Can you say that about anyone running for president? 

In the end our vote is between us and God.  I am not going to tell anyone who to vote for, but we all must pray and really consider the candidate we choose.  The fact of the matter also is that voting for the two major candidates involves compromise.  None of them base their lives on Scriptural values and neither of the two will lead by Scriptural values.  One has proven that he will not and the other does not even claim to follow the Christian faith.  Choosing between the two people running is choosing the lesser of two evils.  Jesus would never compromise with evil and we must keep that in mind as we make our choice.  I know many Christian will vote for one because they fear losing their free handouts that are stolen from others.  I know many other Christians will vote for the other because they are so afraid of what the other may do without having to worry about reelection.  Both choices are votes out of fear or some unholy alliance to a political party and not about voting our faith.   I urge all of you, vote your faith and not out of any kind of fear or earthly alliance and also remember that no matter who wins the election, Jesus is still on the throne and they operate under His authority.
The God of Israel said, The Rock of Israel spoke to me: 'He who rules over men [must be] just, Ruling in the fear of God.' 2 Samuel 23:3 NKJV

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