a Christian approach to the election

As I mentioned below, Adrian Warnock linked to a blog post by Justin Taylor on a Christian approach to this election.

Justin’s post is just outstanding. Go read the whole thing. His post is mainly a response to this John Piper video on the election so watch it first then go read Justin’s whole post.

Some points that Justin makes that I would like to amplify.

on Single Issue politics quoting a John Piper paper from 1/1/95:

Here’s the thesis: “I believe that the endorsement of the right to kill unborn children disqualifies a person from any position of public office.” Piper ends by saying that his conviction is “never to vote for a person who endorses such an evil—even if he could balance the budget tomorrow and end all taxation.”

Can I just say “amen”? this is the perspective that people who understand God’s heart should have. (wow, Keith, that was kind of a bold thing to say, are you sure?) Of this fact, I am sure. I can point you to verse after verse after passage after passage throughout the scripture where God insists that “true religion” is to care for the widows, orphans, the poor, the powerless, the weak, the oppressed etc. etc. etc. God gets very angry in scripture at the children of Israel who think only of themselves and their own comfort instead of those weaker and less fortunate. Jesus repeatedly challenges the Pharisees by telling them that if they understood mercy and caring for the weak, then they would have a better understanding of God than memorizing and keeping all of the law. If you want specific verses/passages etc, just let me know in the comments and I will fill up an update with example after example.

It is difficult to imagine a group of people that is weaker and more oppressed than unborn babies in the United States the last 35 years. Approximately 40 to 50 million of them have been unceremoniously exterminated over that time. Statistically, by far, the least safe environment for a child in this country over that time has been in his or her mother’s womb. Our great shame.

Then Justin makes another great point:

(1) The fact that God ordains all things (i.e., his secret will) has a limited effect on our decision making. It can’t prescribe how we act, but it can prevent us from having the wrong perspective (e.g., anxiety, fear, despair, misplaced trust, etc.). But in terms of interpreting events, the main way to read providence is backwards (as John Flavel wrote: “Some providences, like Hebrew letters, must be read backward”).

(2) The fact that God ordains means ensures that our actions have significance. The ordained outcome can never be seen as an excuse for complacency or fatalism.

In other words, we can accept God’s complete sovereignty in the outcome of this election, but still get out and vote as if the outcome depends on us. Believing in God’s sovereignty is not fatalism.

finally, Justin gets to the meat of the coconut:

Now with all of that said, you may be surprised to hear me say that I really do resonate with Piper’s underlying point. Politics can easily become a source of idolatry. We are dual citizens with a higher allegiance to the City of God. If our candidate loses, we should not grieve as the world grieves. And yes, there will be something enormously significant, historic, and amazing if we elect our first black president.

But . . .

But I want to plead with fellow evangelicals to recognize that this is a watershed election with regard to abortion. Barack Obama has promised to make signing the Freedom of Choice Act his first order of business in the White House–and with a Democratic Congress, he will be able to make this happen.

emphasis added.

Our Kingdom is not of this world. as I said before, no matter what happens in this election, our King will still be on the throne and in charge of all things. Thus, it makes no sense for us to grieve over the outcome of this election as those in this world to whom it means everything.

Here is Justin’s list from the Knights of Columbus of all of the incremental gains in the war against abortion that would be lost with the stroke of a pen if the Freedom of Choice Act is signed into law:

The Knights of Columbus recently catalogued the many small successes achieved in the pro-life political process since 1973:
The Hyde Amendment, which restricts federal funding for abortions;

The federal law banning partial birth abortions, which was finally upheld by the U.S. Supreme Court in April 2007;

The “Mexico City Policy,” which has barred the use of federal taxpayers’ money to pay for abortions in other countries;

Laws in 44 states that preserve a parental role when children under 18 seek abortions;

Laws in 40 states that restrict late-term abortions;

Laws in 46 states that protect the right of conscience for individual health care providers;

Laws in 27 states that protect the right of conscience for institutions;

Laws in 38 states that ban partial birth abortions;

Laws in 33 states that require counseling before having an abortion;

And laws in 16 states that provide for ultrasounds before an abortion.

With a stroke of the pen, all of these would be gone.


Justin’s parting thought, I would like to adopt as my own. He nails it with this:

I believe evangelicals should care deeply–though not idolatrously–about this election, and that they should do what they can to stop, or at least slow, the slaughter of the innocent. Voting is one of the things you can do. I encourage you to do it, and to do so with a view toward the weakest and most defenseless members of the human race–3,700 of whom are being killed every single day in the United States


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