This is not a cartoon or picture day. I just want to share what’s on my heart.
I write this blog daily as a Christian first, a conservative second, and a Republican third. I want my Biblical worldview to be the basis for all my comments. When I look at our society as a whole, our government and politics in particular, and the history that serves as the background for both, I want to be sure that my opinions are faithful to Biblical truth.
I do critique other Christians at times because I’m concerned when they wander from Biblical prinicples and support policies that are at variance with the Biblical worldview they claim to hold. I never want those criticisms to be censorious. The goal, instead, is to confront for the purpose of drawing them back into the fold. I don’t know how successful I may be at that, but I am attempting to write in that spirit.
Although I classify myself as a conservative, there are times I disagree with others who call themselves conservatives. American conservatism, while much closer to the Biblical pattern than liberalism, is not always grounded in Scripture. When it is not, I say so.
I have never voted for anyone but a Republican. I speak at Republican gatherings. Republicans come from a number of worldviews, some of them in opposition to what I believe. Yet there is no real comparison between Republicans and Democrats overall in fidelity to basic Biblical tenets and government philosophy. It’s more like a contrast. Until Democrats dump their devotion to abortion and gay rights, I cannot be united with them. Until they turn away from a humanistic socialism, I cannot be part of their party.
That said, I will roundly condemn any Republican departure from sound policy based on Biblical truth. My allegiance is to truth first, not to any political party.
Throughout my academic career, I have spoken out for the premise that Christians need to be involved in government, politics, and all other endeavors that affect and influence society. Jesus calls us to be salt and light. I hold to that position firmly.
Yet I also recognize that what we are experiencing on this earth is temporary. After all is said and done, after all the politicking, teaching, and activism, this too will pass away.
That perspective is what makes Christians unique as they approach public policy. We want to do what is best while we can, but we also know there is an eternity that awaits. If we focus too much on this world, we are likely to be drawn into its ways. When that happens, there is no difference outwardly between us and everyone else who is involved in politics and government. And that is a poor testimony.
A couple weeks ago, after speaking at a Republican meeting, I received an e-mail from someone who had been there. He was complimentary about most of what I had said, and he was polite. He was also homosexual, and he told me that he disagreed with my views on that issue.
My reply, I trust, was cordial as well, yet I could not back down from what I believe. I told him that, from the Biblical perspective, homosexuality is a sin. I also said that while I am quite interested in what happens in the political realm, the spiritual was of greater significance. Unlike some Republicans, I cannot look the other way and pretend this is a non-issue. Leading people away from sin and into the new life of forgiveness and holiness through Christ is the highest calling of all.
Evangelicals have a habit of predicting the end of the world. I want to be cautious. I have no precise prediction. Yet I do believe that everything we see around us is coming to an end, and perhaps sooner than we think. I rejoice in that. It means that a new heaven and a new earth will appear, and the One who will reign over it will administer perfect justice and perfect love.
As the apostle Peter has said,
But the day of the Lord will come like a thief. The heavens will disappear with a roar; the elements will be destroyed by fire, and the earth and everything in it will be laid bare.
Since everything will be destroyed in this way, what kind of people ought you to be? You ought to live holy and godly lives as you look forward to the day of God and speed its coming. That day will bring about the destruction of the heavens by fire, and the elements will melt in the heat.
But in keeping with His promise we are looking forward to a new heaven and a new earth, the home of righteousness.
As the early Christians repeated in their worship: maranatha! [Come Lord Jesus] I echo that sentiment. May He find us faithful when He does return.