Thursday, November 15, 2018

Abortion, and Why Christians Can't Vote Democrat


While I unabashedly admit that I am politically conservative, I don’t think there are a lot of political issues that have a set Christian viewpoint. I’m not ready to say, “Jesus would have lowered taxes,” or something to that effect. And I think it is important to not make political views into biblical views if there’s no a scriptural backing.

But there is one that, so I’d think, is pretty clear in scripture. Abortion is more than just a political issue, but it is that, and it is typically an issue surrounding elections.

In writing this, I am operating under the assumption that a Christian is anti-abortion. If you as a Christian support abortion, I’d encourage you to check out a book I read, a collaboration of some great writers. It’s called the Bible. It might change your perspective.

So assuming there is a basic understanding of human equality in God’s eyes, we have to take the practical step in our political decision-making.

Christians, you can’t vote for Democrats.

I’m not saying that voting Democrat makes you not a Christian or implies you aren’t a Christian, because the candidates we vote for don’t determine our salvation, though I all but heard it in 2016. In fact, I have well-respected and good friends that have done so.
Photo via The Odyssey Online

Nor am I saying that being a Christian means you have to vote Republican. I know on the surface this seems partisan, but I’m not saying to be Christian is to be Republican, and I’m not saying don’t vote for Democrats just because they’re Democrats. I’m saying don’t vote Democrat because of what they support, and if Republicans were pro-abortion I’d say don’t vote for them. It just happens, in this case, that an entire political party is wrong. (And like the Planned Parenthood and NARAL endorsements, it makes knowing who not to vote for a little easier.)

Now, like I said, I disagree with the Democratic Party on a lot of issues. (To be fair, while I agree with a good part of the Republican Party’s platform, they have a knack for choosing nominees who either don’t share some of those beliefs or are too cowardly to do anything about them. We waited two years with no repeal of the Affordable Care Act, no defunding of Planned Parenthood, etc.) Most of these issues, however, are not gospel issues.

But it’s different with abortion. There is such an obvious answer in scripture and it strikes at God’s heart by killing innocent humans created in His image.

I’ve heard the argument that abortion is but one of many issues and shouldn’t make or break a vote. I’ve even heard actively pro-life people made fun of for being “single-issue voters.” Consider this.

If a candidate lines up with us on everything else, but supports the legal killing of Jews, would we vote for him? If everything else checked out but she thinks it should be legal to kill black people, should we vote for her? If he thinks killing the elderly because we don’t want to take care of them is morally acceptable or even good, should we vote for him?

I mean, it’s only one issue, people. So he’s wrong on that little issue of killing innocent people if they meet or fail to meet certain criteria, but his economic policy is great. He wants to waive our student loans and he really knows what he’s doing with national security. Why should supporting the legalized killing of a group of human beings be a deal-breaker when he has so much else going for him?

If that is a deal-breaker, and we believe the preborn are equal to us and deserving of the same protection, why is it okay to vote for someone who supports the legalized killing of one group of human beings but not ones who support killing other groups of human beings?

The problem in the church is that we pay lip service to the equality of the preborn, but we don’t actually believe it. Otherwise support for the killing of a group of innocent human beings would be appalling enough to make everything else not matter. While Planned Parenthood is lying with their “3 percent” line, even that small amount would moot any positive contributions and make them evil. The same is true of candidates.
Photo via The Odyssey Online

Now, what about that rare Democrat who is anti-abortion? I would ask a follow-up. Will he/she still back the Party in relevant decisions? For example, in the 2009 vote for Speaker of the House, where the Democratic majority selected Nancy Pelosi, the known pro-life Democrats in the House—Collin Peterson, Henry Cueller, and Daniel Lipinski—all voted for Pelosi. The Speaker has enormous power in determining what legislation comes to a general vote, and I would question where these men prioritize their anti-abortion beliefs if they want a Speaker who will do all she can to prevent pro-life legislation from having a chance. Supporting the Party who holds to a pro-abortion view will stifle any progress to prevent the injustice.

Pro-life Democrats are going the way of the Whigs, so this probably won’t be a huge issue in the future. While I would not automatically discount a pro-life Democrat, I would hesitate to determine that his/her commitment to life is greater than his/her commitment to the Party.

But for the vast majority of Democrats, there is a commitment to the legality of abortion. We saw how far they’ll take it during the Kavanaugh deliberations. They’re much more committed to death than the Republicans are to life.

We need to repent of our complacency or complicity as this injustice continues to take place.

I’m not going to shun you or question your salvation if you’re voting for Democratic candidates. But I will question you on how you can consider the preborn our equals when you’re voting for candidates who vow to make sure they keep dying.

Thursday, November 1, 2018

Lessons from Paul's Sojourn in Corinth

Our definition of success and God’s definition of success don’t always match.

Have you ever had that moment when the Spirit tells you to talk to a person, and they completely reject what you have to say? It has left me asking why God put me there in the first place. I’ve seen this before in my life. The Spirit tells me to go talk to someone and he completely rejects what I have to say. Did I pollute God’s voice with my own thoughts? If not, God, why did You put me up to this in the first place?

Ancient Corinth. Picture via Realm of History.
When Paul came to Corinth from Athens, his ministry initially seemed mild. He was making tents with Aquila and Priscilla and reasoning in the temple for a while. But then God called Him to something more.
And when Silas and Timotheus were come from Macedonia, Paul was pressed in the spirit, and testified to the Jews that Jesus was Christ. And when they opposed themselves, and blasphemed, he shook his raiment, and said unto them, Your blood be upon your own heads; I am clean; from henceforth I will go unto the Gentiles. –Acts 18:5-6

Being “pressed in the spirit” is from the Greek word sunechó, which means “to be held fast,” “to be seized,” “oppressed,” “afflicted,” or “constrained.” It does not directly tell us that this is of the Spirit, but it’s a logical jump to make. An individual with a close walk with God will experience being “pressed in the spirit” by the convicting work of the Holy Spirit.

Paul was urged to go all out in preaching the gospel to the Jews in Corinth. But, in our eyes, he saw no success. The Jews in Corinth opposed him and blasphemed.

It could have been easy in that moment to look at what transpired as failure. His goal was to convert, and it didn’t happen. But we have to look at it with Heaven’s eyes.

Think of the wider, long-term consequences. This was a huge moment in Paul’s ministry for two reasons. First, the Jews in Corinth heard the gospel. That’s never a bad thing, no matter the reaction. Now, if they choose to reject Christ, they do it in full knowledge, and no one else can be blamed for their unbelief. They were given the opportunity, and that’s all we’re responsible for.

Second, this was when Paul doubled down on bringing the gospel to the Gentiles, which was still a fairly new thing. It was a watershed moment that illuminated Paul’s path that God had laid for him.

William Borden. Picture via The Traveling Team.
It’s not that God used failure. There was no failure. We define success in numbers or stories. God defines it in obedience. He knows the end. We have to trust Him, obey Him, and leave the consequences to Him.

We could look at the lives of people like William Borden or David Brainerd. Surely dying in your 20’s before your ministry takes off is a failure. Surely being born into poverty and the victim of abortion attempts is failure. Surely Joseph being a slave and a prisoner for years is failure. Surely Jeremiah’s ministry of being ignored and ridiculed was failure. But in all these things God had a purpose.

Surely a man’s ministry ending in crucifixion is failure. But it was our salvation.

God’s ability to exercise His Providence is not predicated on our understanding. Our following Him is never failure.

The lesson to learn from Paul’s time in Corinth is that the Spirit will call us to do things that will end in failure in the world’s eyes. We have to trust that God sees the bigger picture and has a reason for what might seem futile in our eyes.