Monday, September 21, 2015

Should Christians be Republican or Democrat?

With the election cycle in full view and debates raging over who may be the next nominee in each political party, the question of faith and politics will always come up in our dialogue with others. Is there a distinct political party that Christians should be more favorable towards? Can you be a Christian and subscribe to a specific political party? Will God be happy with us if we vote for the Republican candidate rather than the Democrat, or vice versa? These questions are common and reasonable for any Christian who desires to please God in all that they do and in this article we will attempt to answer them from a Biblical perspective.

First off it is important to understand the role that our culture and upbringing has on our political preference. Depending on our background and the political preference of our close relatives and friends we all have an underlying propensity toward a certain political party whether we realize it or not. Many people identify with a certain party on this basis alone and really have no idea what that specific party believes or if they agree with all of the statements in the "party platform." With this in mind we must not be quick to judge people based upon the political party that they claim to subscribe to. It would be unreasonable and unfair to judge the genuineness of a persons relationship with God based solely upon the political party that they have an affinity for.

Regarding political affiliation. As it relates to political affiliation we must begin by reviewing the "party platform," and next the political candidates themselves, comparing their beliefs with what the Word of God teaches. Out of all political issues, the Bible puts the heaviest emphasis on the category of social issues. The reason for this is because God cares deeply about our spiritual well-being as a Nation, I believe every other political issue is secondary to this in God's eyes. BiblicalQuestions.net does not endorse any political candidate who personally affirms the killing of the unborn, and the legitimacy of gay marriage. These two issues are the reason that a large portion of the Republican vote is comprised of Evangelical Christians, because the Republican party generally opposes these two issues. The Bible consistently forbids both of these practices (Ex. 20:13, Prov. 6:16, Leviticus 20:13, Romans 1:26-28) and as Christians we are obligated to do all that we can to prevent political candidates who condone these issues from ever entering into office.

The other three issues that many have questions regarding are immigration, foreign policy, and tax policy. Regarding immigration the Bible tells us that we are to treat "aliens" with respect (Leviticus 19:33-34), but it also does not encourage the breaking of laws (Romans 13:1). This means that we should be kind and receptive to those who decide to immigrate to America, we should support working towards a simple process for people to use if they would like to do so. At the same time we should be careful not to condone illegal immigration in "the name of compassion." Regarding foreign policy the Bible tells us that we should "seek justice" (Micah 6:8), and that "Israel is the apple of God's eye" (Zech. 2:8). This means that we should only support war that is predicated on serving justice to wrongdoers (Romans 13:4), and we should oppose all candidates and policy decisions that treat the Nation of Israel with antisemitic contempt. Regarding tax policy the scripture says "give unto Caesar what is Caesar's" (Mark 12:17). This is an area of scripture where God doesn't comment heavily. In the Old Testament people paid tithes to the temple, but no specific taxes to the government were outlined to secular nations. Jesus basically said "pay your taxes." This means that whether you are for higher taxes or lower taxes it doesn't make much of a difference to God as long as you do not encourage tax evasion or encourage people to use tax dollars to avoid contributing to society (2 Thess. 3:10).

 So, "Is there a distinct political party that Christians should be more favorable towards?" It depends on the candidates that are available to choose from, we must all do our due diligence (1 Thess. 5:21) to evaluate the candidates and see if they believe according to God's Word, you may find candidates from any party that do not agree with the totality of their party platform. "Can you be a Christian and subscribe to a specific political party?" Yes, as long as you do so in good conscience toward God and you have studied thoroughly to conclude that the party is fairly consistent in their Biblical beliefs. Prayer and reading your Bible will always help in these matters. "Will God be happy with us if we vote for the Republican candidate rather than the Democrat, or vice versa?"  God is looking at our heart. Nobody can fully trust or know everything about every candidate. God is expecting us to be prayerful and use good judgment, if we do this, He will be pleased. All in all we must be committed to voting our Biblical values as best as we can at election time. Many Charismatic candidates are sure to show their talents off this political season, but we must be careful to vote for the candidates who show character rather than the candidates who show charisma. God bless and happy voting!

For more inspirational content SUBSCRIBE to my YouTube channel.

photo credit: http://votechecker.org/

Friday, September 4, 2015

Should Christian public officials disobey laws that go against their conscience?


Much talk concerning Kim Davis, the Kentucky clerk of court who was jailed for not issuing gay marriage licenses, has spawned regarding the topic of civil disobedience. In this article we will take a brief look at Kim's specific situation, what the Bible says about civil disobedience, and then how that specifically relates to public officials such as Kim Davis who intend on disobeying laws that go against God's Word and their conscience.

Prior to the Supreme Court ruling on gay marriage that happened in June of 2015 Kim Davis took the oath of office as a county clerk in Kentucky (November of 2014), which was an oath to uphold Kentucky law. At the time, Kentucky had a ban on same-sex marriages in place. After the Supreme Court decision took place Kim Davis refused to issue marriage licenses to gay couples citing her religious convictions. Other arguments occurred pointing out that Kim took an oath to defend the laws that were in place at the time she took her oath of office and therefore she deserves an exemption on issuing same-sex marriage licenses until the end of her term. Eventually a judge ordered Kim to issue the licenses, and Kim disobeyed the order resulting in contempt of court and being remanded to federal custody.

The Bible commands submission to governing authorities (Romans 13) in all situations unless they are being commanded to do evil in direct opposition to what scripture commands. The first instance of Biblical civil disobedience is in Exodus 1 when the Hebrew midwives refused to kill infants as ordered by the Pharaoh. We find other instances in the Old Testament such as Rahab in Joshua 2 when she disobeyed the king's order to produce the Israelite spies, instead she protected them in good faith towards God. Several other instances of civil disobedience exist flowing all the way into the New Testament, specifically in Acts chapter 4 and 5 in which the Apostle Peter ultimately disobeyed the command given by Jewish authorities to not preach the gospel saying, “We must obey God rather than men” (Acts 5:29). It is important to understand that we are to submit to all governing authorities in all situations, the only time we have grounds to object is when we are being forced to do something which the Bible indicates to be sinful. The Bible does not support anarchy nor Nazi submission to law that results in breaking God's laws.

Our conclusion regarding the Kim Davis situation is this: It is not a black and white issue when it comes to whether or not Kim should have resigned or demonstrated conscientious objection. The Bible requires us to civilly disobey laws (in a non-violent manner) that contradict God's Word, it also does not specify whether or not we should resign or remain in office to take a stand in Kim's given situation, both are legitimate expressions of denying personal approval of gay marriage. This decision becomes personal between Kim and God. If God has called her to remain in office and take a stand then she is right in doing so, if God calls her to resign she is also right in doing so. Some may argue that dispensing a gay marriage license is not sinful in particular, the question we need to ask ourselves in that regard is "can we issue the license in good faith toward God?" The Bible says "whatsoever is not of faith, is sin..." This is something that we need to deeply consider. BiblicalQuestions.net does not condone issuing the licenses and recommends resignation, but we also recognize that God does call some people to stand and fight in certain situations. All in all we need to pray for Kim, and pray for all others related to this matter, no matter how we feel about they way she handled the situation. The fact that they have jailed her is absolutely outrageous and should bring great concern to every person of faith in the country. This could be the start of a slippery slope that leads to greater frequency of incarceration for people of faith. We resent any legal action that results in jailing an individual for demonstrating their religious convictions, that is not the American way, ever!

Written by: Kyle Bailey, M.Th.

For more inspirational content SUBSCRIBE to my YouTube channel.

Photo credit to: http://images.enstarz.com/data/images/full/74490/rowan-county-clerk-kim-davis.jpg