Wednesday, November 26, 2008

another "brief" response

Okay cuz, let me begin with a disclaimer: the jabs are in good fun. Other than that, feel free to take what I say personally.

I do appreciate you posting your veritable cornucopia of words which, if nothing else, certainly serve to prove the point that knowledge is often eternally distant from wisdom (<-note the playful jab). By the standards of the political principles you say it is a Christian's duty and responsibility to act upon, well, Christ was a failure. He was a fool for not setting up an earthly kingdom and establishing a government which would produce the moral trickle-down effect you claim earthly government can achieve (if you don't claim it, you certainly hint at it). And Cuz, I know where you stand theologically, so I can't believe for a second that you think man has been endowed by his Creator with any "right" other than to go to Hell...I know that's the only right I've ever earned or deserved. So, as far as supporting that governmental ideal, well, I don't.

As for our responsibility to stand up to a government who would propogate the slaughter of the innocents, I point you to the only case where this has truly happened: Christ...the only innocent, delivered up by his own people, and slaughtered by the government, yet he made no answer for himself.

I'm sure you have experienced the urge to blurt out, "you just don't get it!", when you are conversing with someone whose calvinistic coffers of theological understanding are not quite full when they say (as they often indeed do....to quote your example here), "well, it's God who changes men's hearts, so I don't have to go evengelize". You used that as an example of what you see being the logical end of my point of view. So my response to you is, YOU JUST DON'T GET IT!

You began your diatribe by saying, "Let us begin where all questions of Christian duty should begin, the Bible"; if you began there, you certainly didn't linger long. You did provide some interesting historical perspective and praise of the governments of men (yes, God appointed those governments and leaders and purposed them to affect the lives of all, just as He did Pharoah and Ceasar and Hitler and the local governing authorities in the darkest jungles of Africa, who, according to scripture, have all been used to work together for good for those who love Him are are called according to His purpose...so I hold George Washington and Abraham Lincoln and Adolph Hitler and Albert Phish all in equal places of honor). As to your assertion that I quoted no scripture, well, I did.

Render unto Ceasar the things which are Ceasar's, and unto God's the things that are God's.

Let me try to simplify this. My Rabbi would not spend His time changing the world from the top down, as governments intend to do. My Rabbi went to the sinners, straight to them, and changed their lives personally so that they were able to govern themselves. Show me a Christian who does that AS they are marking their initials next to a candidate, and I'll pat them on the back. Let me ask you (and whoever else is reading this) a question: how many girls have YOU stopped from getting an abortion? Not by picketing and screaming hate, and not by voting for someone who you hope will do the job for you, but by engaging them and loving them for who they are, regardless of what they will decide, and showing them that life and love are the most blessed gifts from God? How many have you invited to church after you found out they had an abortion? I have never voted in any election; I have stopped several girls from getting abortions, and I have done so by following the example of my Rabbi. Would my time have been better spent watching CNN? Would my time have been better spent waiting in line to cast a vote?

You say there's no empirical evidence for my claim that a state making abortion illegal would not decrease the abortions. In a very real sense, you are correct: the evidence was thrown out with the trash. I will not soften my rhetoric on this point, I will not abort my argument just because it seems harsh or pointed or bold. Oh so many Christians think I don't care about abortion because I don't vote, but the truth is that I care too much about it to waste time putting my hope in this wretched American government that is nothing close to what it began as or was intended to be. Sin is predictable, and so are the behaviors of those who practice it. People always find a way to sin, especially if you tell them not to do something (See Genesis 3). You state that my philosophy, or your understanding of it, means that we should legalize heroine or murder...don't you see the flaw in your logic, the flaw that affirms what I have been saying? Heroine and murder are already illegal, and it is still widely used and abused. These actions are evidences of what is in the heart, and what is in the heart is not controlled or stifled by ANY government of men. I know your counter argument, so no need to raise it here for my sake.

The real heart of the matter is this: Murder....don't murder; use heroine....don't use heroine; abort your fetus....don't abort your fetus. None of these courses of action will keep you out of Heaven, but all will get you into Hell. A well maintained government will only provide Hades with souls that may burn a little cleaner.

Again, if Christians would take the time they waste on supporting polititions and instead spend it actually doing what we are commanded to do, which is caring for the orphan and the widow, following the example of our Rabbi and engaging sinners and saved alike one-on-one and pouring our lives into them (paying our taxes along the way, for this is what belongs to Ceasar) then the state of the government wouldn't matter because you would have a people so engulfed in spreading the selfless love of Christ that they wouldn't have time to WORRY about economic growth, mortgages, tax increases or whether the person they voted for is effectively making people live lives that, according to the letter of the law, appear "Christian".

So, Old Glory and those who fly her high can have my taxes. But I will spend my time governing myself by the grace and guidance of God almighty, and hopefully people won't ask me how I voted, but will instead ask me to give an answer for the hope that I have. I put no confidence in princes, but wholly trust in God, and Him alone.

He gets my vote.

By the way.....it's good to hear from you Cuz!!!

2 comments:

Shane said...

I hesitate to respond, out of fear that Spurgeon's cigar will be put out by the wind blowing in from Colorado.

Whenever a person makes a claim abou the Bible, and more specifically about what God would have us do as Christians, then the burden of proof is on that person to proffer evidence in support of his position.

The question you present is this: whether it is a sin for Christians to vote?

By dogmatically stating that Christians should not vote, you are thereby stating that it is a sin to do so.

As scriptural support for your thesis, you state, "render unto Caesar . . . ." With regard to government, that verse is about taxes and nothing more, and commands Christians to pay them. Perhaps your decoder ring found additional meaning with regard to voting that I missed.

In short, you are the one who has made the dogmatic assertion that Christians should not vote. You cite no verse that comes close to supporting that view.

Arminius at least had some verses that seemed on point.

It is a general proposition, based if nothing more on Paul's discussion of Christian freedom in Romans, that Christians are free to do what they will absent clear and convincing evidence from Scripture otherwise (either with regard to specifics or principles). The default position is freedom. Before you take away Christian freedom, you must have at least some basis. You've provided none.

I'm no Lockean with regard to rights (but I'm glad my government buys into the notion). And I appreciate what you say about personal involvement with people. But it doesn't take ten seconds to vote, and on the whole, I'd rather have a nation with low taxes, low interest rates, property rights, and no abortion, than the alternative.

And speaking of theological viewpoints, I have Calvin in my corner. You can't get more Calvinist than that!

Shane said...

Oh, one more thing---I left the Bible quickly in my initial response, because I'm not sure it speaks to the issue except in the manner I intimated---which I still presume you'd disagree with.

The Bible being silent on the issue, and there being no underlying principles forbidding voting, I go with Christian freedom.