Friday, September 7, 2012

The post my wife wants to see... pt 2

     If you're like this gal and appalled that I'm questioning the unspoken golden rule of Christian politics (vote REPUBLICAN!!!), here's some more reasons that might convince you to put away the pitchforks and torches (for now, at least!):

Ohh, the humanity!!!
     1.  A vote for anyone but Romney is a vote for Obama? Even though Christians live in this world, our view and choices are to be motivated and informed with the next world in mind.  This is in direct contrast to a fundamental pillar of the modern philosophy of our culture.  To put a name on it, pragmatism:  a thing is good, successful, right, etc. if it works.  And the degree a thing is good is the degree to which it works.  It's truly disheartening to consider the overwhelming role this philosophy plays in our unconscious decisions, and even in American evangelicalism (big rabbit trail there, but I'll save it for another day).  I can't deny that, from our human perspective, a vote for a third party candidate is unlikely to work (to get that candidate elected).  But we know from Scripture God often does things that seem foolish to men:  using the uneducated to be His spokesmen (Amos 1:1, Acts 4:13), picking the small and the weak to be His most prominent leaders (Ex 4:1,10, I Sam 16:7, Jer 1:5), etc.  Our first and highest goal is to be living examples of how radically different it is to pursue God and His pleasure; not achieve conservative hegemony and dominance in America.  Our vote can be a powerful testimony in that vein.  Ask yourself please:  does Mitt Romney, his background and his policies glorify God?
     2.  I am skittish about my last point, but we must deal with it... can we vote for a Mormon?  First off, I don't want to be misunderstood:  Romney clearly has the right to run for any office in our land.  Article 6 paragraph 3 of our founding document states:  "no religious Test shall ever be required as a Qualification to any Office or public Trust under the United States."  Our nation is a secular one (along with modern-day Israel... again, another day!), and the accurate intent of "separation of church and state" is to ensure our country does not become a theocracy.
     That said, our question is better framed as "what part should a candidate's religion play in our decision?"  Tragically, in our society, religion is largely seen as a minor factor in a person's private life, separate and inconsequential to public life (hence the common cowardly response to abortion:  "Privately, I'm against it, but publicly, a woman has a right to choose"!).  But Mitt Romney is an exception to this:  I previously assumed he was a rank-and-file Mormon, and as such, not intimately acquainted with what his church teaches.  I was dismayed to learn Romney held the post of "Ward Bishop" (equivalent to pastor) and so not only endorses Mormon beliefs, but teaches them. So clearly, a person's religious beliefs are a fundamental part of their worldview and we should weigh them as a factor (not THE factor) in giving them our support.  Conceivably, if there were only 2 candidates in a race, and if the Mormon one had a strong record of support for issues in line with biblical morality, I believe a Christian could cast their vote for said Mormon with a clear conscience.  But neither of these "ifs" apply to the 2012 election;  as demonstrated previously, Romney is compromised in his record on the issues, and Virgil Goode (the Constitution Party candidate) identifies himself as Baptist and attends Pleasant Hill Methodist Church.

     I believe this puts the nail in the coffin... with a Christian (according to his professed beliefs) candidate with a much more biblical stance on virtually every issue, the only reason to vote Romney is that he's more popular.  Christians are equated to sheep in Scripture, but not because we follow the crowd... we are to follow our Shepherd, Jesus.

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