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

outsider’s view of american politics

Here is Adrian Warnock’s point of view of American politics from over in Great Britain. He has some helpful links including one from Justin Taylor that I will look at more carefully in a minute. First two quotes from Adrian that get right to the heart of the matter:

Basically, we could say, “It’s about abortion, stupid!” What may surprise some Europeans is that the Republicans, to varying degrees, are pro-life and the Democrats are, to varying degrees, pro-abortion, with Obama, it seems, being the most pro-death candidate imaginable. Thus, for many Christians, they are single-issue voters. They want to do anything to try and prevent the genocide of babies that is ongoing.
….
In my view, one thing is certain—Christians have a moral obligation to vote, and to vote remembering God is watching them. Too many Christians do not vote, almost arguing this disengagement from the process is a spiritual act. The truth is we should be grateful for the opportunity to vote; many in this world do not have that privilege. We should also vote recognizing the Lordship of Jesus over all of our lives and becoming fully engaged in the social and political world.

these two quotes by a fellow from Britain show that he “gets it.”

while we are on the topic

while we are on the topic of the babies, here is Randy Alcorn’s recent post about why is voting for 98% pro life McCain rather than 100% pro-abortion Obama.

I’ve also been angrily challenged as to why I don’t care about other needy and dying children, only the unborn. Actually, all the royalties from all of my books go to help the needy, including feeding and clothing and relieving the suffering of children all over the world. We give to prolife work, but far more to famine relief and development. By God’s grace, over four million dollars has been distributed for people-helping causes in the last number of years, much of it to children.

It’s curious that because I’m expressing concern about unborn children, people assume I don’t care about children who are already born. I do. But neither of the two major presidential candidates is advocating the legalized killing of already born children. However, one is advocating the legalized killing of unborn children. Since it is already illegal to kill the born, I’m talking about the rights and needs of the unborn.

and further down an analogy/illustration:

However, in an imperfect world I do think there’s a difference between being completely wrong about abortion, like Giuliani, and mostly right but partly wrong about abortion, like John McCain. Nanci and I have wrestled with this, and just as we agreed in the past to vote for a third party candidate, in this case we agreed, though reluctantly, to vote for McCain in light of the only electable alternative.

Let me try an analogy to show you why. Suppose in the town you live in, there’s a lake where, for the last thirty-five years, children have been taken by parents to be drowned. Say that every day 100 children are brought to this lake.

As a town citizen, you are presented with two candidates for mayor. (You can vote for a third party, but clearly one of these two candidates will be elected.) One candidate publicly states that he believes the right thing is that the children not be brought to that lake. They should be allowed to live, except the one or two conceived by rape. By longstanding town law the 100 daily drownings are all legal, and the mayor can’t change the law. However, this mayoral candidate has publicly stated that the law should be changed, and he hopes to appoint judges who help that happen, so that 98 or 99 of the 100 children would live rather than die.

Now, the deaths of those one or two children conceived by rape should rightly disturb you. And if until now zero children had been killed at the lake, it would be evil to vote for a man willing for one or two to be legally drowned. But for thirty-five years, 100 children have been killed there each day. This man is trying to move the town in the right direction, even though he has stopped just short of a 100% reversal. No additional children will be killed if his position were in place, because those one or two children would have been killed anyway under existing law. But 98 or 99 a day would be rescued from the death they will face if his position isn’t put in place.

and don’t miss this bit on “winning.”

One of the commenters on my last blog said, “God didn’t call us to win. He called us to do what is right.” Well, to me this has never been about us winning. I don’t even know who us is. To me, it’s certainly not about Republicans winning, or John McCain winning. My concern is whether unborn babies will be protected. Sure, I want to be able to sleep at night because I did the right thing. But I also want millions of babies to sleep (or cry) at night, because my vote actually helped them live. That, I believe, is the right thing for me to do—not to vote for an ideal unelectable candidate, but to do what I can to help children live even if I have to vote for a flawed candidate to do so.

The whole thing is very long, but very well written and argued with photos. Please take some time and go read it.

Alcorn has been writing very good long pieces on this topic since October 16. Here they are:

Not Cool: Obama’s ProAbortion Stance and Christians enabling him.

Abortion Reduction by the Freedom of Choice Act?

I’m not Voting for a Man, I’m Voting for Generations of Children and their Right to Live

Just Look

after all the talking gets talked and running gets ran, this is what I think this election is about. (like I said before).

Just Look

The picture on this page is an untouched photograph of a being that has been within its mother for 20 weeks. Please do me the favor of looking at it carefully.

Have you any doubt that it is a human being?

If you do not have any such doubt, have you any doubt that it is an innocent human being?

If you have no doubt about this either, have you any doubt that the authorities in a civilized society are duty-bound to protect this innocent human being if anyone were to wish to kill it?

If your answer to this last query is negative, that is, if you have no doubt that the authorities in a civilized society would be duty-bound to protect this innocent human being if someone were to wish to kill it, I would suggest—even insist—that there is not a lot more to be said about the issue of abortion in our society. It is wrong, and it cannot—must not—be tolerated.

another one

yet another shining entry into the increasingly crowded “you don’t replace something with nothing files.”

Just wow. I don’t know how it is possible to even parody something so incredibly extreme and foolish.

Hat tip to Jonah Goldberg. As he says, there is “nothing remotely creepy” about this, nothing at all.

UPDATE: the reformed chicks babbling wonder….

I wonder if Obama’s disciples will rip off all our Christian hymns? How about, “A Mighty Fortress is our Barack?” Or “The Solid Barack?” Or “A Barack that Stands Forever?” Or “All Hail the Power of Obama’s Name?” I could do this all day 🙂 The possibilities are endless, there’s 2,000 years worth of songs sung to our Savior to rip off.

UPDATE II: Jonah also embedded the video on his Liberal Fascism blog where he put up an email from a democratic acquaintance that says in part:

But what makes all this worship ultimately an “Obamination” is two-part. One, it transparently reveals the secular Left’s need for some form of religion – be it environmentalism or Obama-worship. And two, these types of Obama videos, protester activity, etc. is the most frightening realization of your book Liberal Fascism. The smiling jackbooted totalitarians who under a smiley face stamp on your face for daring to question their status quo.

emphasis added.

The first point above is why I keep saying that this phenomenon proves that you don’t replace something with nothing.

UPDATE III: Check this out from DailyKos via Gateway Pundit

Entitled “what if Obama is the second coming of Jesus Christ?”

I’m not a religious person however I’d like to point out a funny irony that would be better suited for a cartoonist.

What if all of the religious nuts were bashing the second coming of their Christ and they didn’t even know it? Fathered by a Kenyan Muslim profit who left after his task was done. To seed a woman who in the heartland of America(a country who “is losing its way”). Then takes him on a journey of awaking across the world, then back home to spread the word of the lord through a process of education an then actions in the community.

The bible says “the lord shall come as a man whom blind followers will not see”.

So next time you run into a religious nut and they start talking about all of this deep mystical Muslim / African non-sense. Just remind them where Jesus came from, and where the human race came from. Then make up a bible quote like the one I posted above.

emphasis added.

at least they admit the quote is made up.

Weird weird times.

you don’t replace something with nothing

As I have said before several times and as I will keep saying as long as I am allowed, you don’t replace something with nothing. A post-christian, post-modern culture is not one of rational empirical scientific harmony. It is one of superstition, paranoia and worship of men.

present case in point Maggie Mertens of Smith College, who penned, “I will follow Him” Obama as My Personal Jesus.

here is the beginning. Pay close attention to the parts I bolded below.

Obama is my homeboy. And I’m not saying that because he’s black – I’m saying that in reference to those Urban Outfitters t-shirts from a couple years ago that said, “Jesus is my homeboy.” Yes, I just said it. Obama is my Jesus.

While you may be overtly religious and find this to be idol-worshipping, or may be overtly politically correct and just know that everything in that sentence could be found offensive, I’m afraid it’s true anyway.

As with many spiritual enlightenments, mine came in the middle of a bleak, hopeless period of my life. The innocent, idealistic world of politics that had shaped my childhood, the one that taught me how the president is a good guy, one who makes you feel safe, gives a speech on TV every once in a while and one you’d feel honored to shake hands with, had been slowly whittled into a deep rooted cynicism to anything politically related.

The crush of the Bush victory over Gore was only the first mar on my previously consummate ideal of the American administration. And the tragedies just kept continuing: Bush’s response to the Sept.11 attacks, the invasion of Iraq, the tax cuts for the rich, the downward spiral continued squashing my scant hope that the political world and state of our country could be saved.

Then I found my miracle. Stumbling through my hopeless world, afraid to turn to anyone with my political questions of morality, my concerns about the afterlife of the country I called home, a voice spoke to me.

emphasis added.

What do you do with religious fervor like this? For a mere mortal politician? Imagine how people like Ms. Mertens will react if Obama loses the election. Imagine how they will react if he wins and when he inevitably proves himself to be a mere human politician with all of the foibles and weaknesses inherent to the genre. What will people like Ms. Mertens do when the oceans don’t stop rising and people keep fighting and poor people still don’t have enough food and so on and so on? will they be disillusioned? will they double down on a bad bet by believing it is the evil satanic republicans at fault?

Seriously, where does this kind of thing go? Does anybody except me find the whole phenomenon fraught with menacing possibility? In case you don’t see the menace, I will let Maggie Mertens make it explicit for you with her concluding paragraph.

I’ve officially been saved, and soon, whether they like it or not, the rest of the country will be too. I will follow him, all the way to the White House, and I’ll be standing there in our nation’s capital in January 2009, when Barack Obama is inaugurated as the 44th president of the United States of America. In the name of Obama, Amen.

Whether you like it or not…. Whether the rest of the country likes it or not….. You will be saved. In spite of yourself. Hope you like the experience.

we did WHAT to Hezbollah?

ok, this strikes me as the most inexcusably foolish thing to come out of Joe Biden’s mouth last night:

BIDEN: Gwen, no one in the United States Senate has been a better friend to Israel than Joe Biden. I would have never, ever joined this ticket were I not absolutely sure Barack Obama shared my passion.

But you asked a question about whether or not this administration’s policy had made sense or something to that effect. It has been an abject failure, this administration’s policy.

In fairness to Secretary Rice, she’s trying to turn it around now in the seventh or eighth year.

Here’s what the president said when we said no. He insisted on elections on the West Bank, when I said, and others said, and Barack Obama said, “Big mistake. Hamas will win. You’ll legitimize them.” What happened? Hamas won.

When we kicked — along with France, we kicked Hezbollah out of Lebanon, I said and Barack said, “Move NATO forces in there. Fill the vacuum, because if you don’t know — if you don’t, Hezbollah will control it.”

Now what’s happened? Hezbollah is a legitimate part of the government in the country immediately to the north of Israel.

when did this happen? Has Hezbollah ever been kicked out of Lebanon? By anybody? No and No. Certainly not by the U.S. and France.

Now, how can anybody claim with a straight face that Joe Biden’s 36 long years in the Senate make him somehow qualified to do more than bloviate endlessly with made up facts? as a certain presidential candidate has said, “enough is enough.”

Hat tip to Michael Totten.

You might not know this, but Totten has been to Lebanon several times and has spent long periods of time there. He makes a career of visiting world hot spots and getting a view from the ground from the participants. He takes great pictures and writes very well cataloguing his experiences at his blog here.

Anyway, this Michael Totten adds the following with regard to Joe Biden’s foolish statement:

What on Earth is he talking about? The United States and France may have kicked Hezbollah out of Lebanon in an alternate universe, but nothing even remotely like that ever happened in this one.

Nobody – nobody – has ever kicked Hezbollah out of Lebanon. Not the United States. Not France. Not Israel. And not the Lebanese. Nobody.

Joe Biden has literally no idea what he’s talking about.