Heart-to-Heart

No pictures. No cartoons. Just a heart-to-heart today.

I am a disciple of Jesus Christ. First and foremost, I want my life to reflect His nature and character. Why? Because He truly did redeem me from a pit of my own making, and showed me His mercy (unmerited forgiveness) and grace (the power to do what is right).

Politics and government are important to me, but only in the context of wanting to ensure that they manifest Biblical truths. I grew up in a home that was not overtly political, but what little politics that did exist were Democratic. In my mind, JFK was a luminary probably chosen by God. LBJ was good simply because he was the president, and no president could possibly be a bad person.

I remember a conversation I had with a guy in my dorm during my freshman year of college. It was probably the first political conversation of any substance I had with anyone. I considered myself a Democrat by heredity, I guess. But as I told him what I believed about certain things, he just looked at me and said something to the effect, “No, those views make you a conservative. You’re really a Republican.” It was disconcerting, in some ways. I had to come to the realization that I wasn’t really what I thought I was, and that someone else could see it more clearly than I could.

As I matured, and tried to figure out how a Christian should view politics, I continued to analyze. When the 1976 election came, I thought I might support Jimmy Carter. After all, he was an avowed evangelical Christian, and bumper stickers on the cars of other Christian friends showed that they were supporting him. I probably would have voted for Carter—I really wanted to at that point—but then I read his campaign autobiography called Why Not the Best?

It was an illuminating read. Carter wrote a lot of things that made me pause, but the clincher was when he related that one of his favorite theologians was Paul Tillich. I had happened upon some of Tillich’s works during college, and knew where he was coming from: no bodily resurrection of Jesus from the grave; no literal heaven or hell. That gave me more than merely a pause. At that point, I realized just where Carter was theologically, and it wasn’t real Christianity. I also began to see that theological liberalism went hand-in-glove with political liberalism. The connection was being made for the first time in my mind. I had to vote for Ford.

My politics have been conservative ever since, but I am not your typical conservative. I don’t start with “What do I believe about politics?” My starting point is “What do I believe about the nature and character of God, and how does that affect my understanding of politics and government?” Ever since that first revelation about the connection between theological and political liberalism, I have sought to know the first principles, gleaned from the Scriptures, that should inform everything else in my life.

That’s why today, when I see evangelicals give themselves over to political liberalism, I feel this pain inside. To me, that is such a glaring inconsistency with Biblical truth that I have a hard time grasping why someone who says that Christ is the reason for everything would put their political faith in a system that makes the government into a god.

Evangelicals who vote for liberal candidates, be they Democrat or Republican, are voting in favor of:

  • Government-sanctioned abortion;
  • The promotion of the homosexual lifestyle (or at least its acceptance by society);
  • Governmental intrusion into the lives of individuals and families (violating a Biblical principle of self-government, which the Lord uses to lead us to maturity in decisionmaking);
  • Attacks on Biblical morality generally;
  • Not allowing one’s faith to be manifested in public (think of Christian teachers who are muzzled in government-sponsored schools);
  • Planned government control of the economy (which violates a Biblical principle of property—which I call “God’s school of personal accountability” for individuals).

I could go on, but I’ll stop the list there.

One of the main reasons I’ve heard for why a Christian should support liberal policies is that we should be for social justice. I am all for justice—God’s justice. But the phrase “social justice” is code for socialism. That’s where that language originated. And socialism, despite what some think, is anti-Christian. It is not promoted in the Scriptures. I would ask those who think that it may be sanctioned there to go into my category called “Biblical Principles” and read some of my postings on that subject.

My goal in life at this point (and I believe it originates in God’s heart, not mine) is to point Christians to the Biblical principles that should be the grid through which we examine everything in this world. I take very seriously the admonition in Romans 12:2, which states, “And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect.”

If you are a Christian and have been sympathizing and/or voting with the liberal philosophy of politics, I entreat you to go back to the Scriptures and continue to receive the renewal of the mind that the Lord wants to give.

I know this was a long posting, but if even one person leaves the liberal path because of it, I will consider it worthwhile.