Proverbs 1:7 says, “The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge; fools despise wisdom and instruction.”
A couple weeks ago I gave a sermon to help our people think about God’s character when they vote. When you reverence, trust, delight in – the personhood of God revealed in Jesus Christ, you have started in the right place to think about everything else. Those who do not want to begin here are fools.
Here are 7 points that reflect our delight in God’s character. My prayer is that they would inform and then shape your view on politics and would guide your vote for President. In my opinion, these are in ascending order from the least influential to the greatest, in helping me make the wisest vote possible.
1. God’s Character of Covenant Faithfulness to Israel.
I want to vote for a president who would defend Israel’s right to be a nation and therefore support God’s Covenant with Israel (Zech. 2:8; Romans 11:1-2, 11-12, 24; Psalm 122:6). One day, God is going to graft unbelieving Physical Israel back into the Olive Tree of Salvation. To put an axe to the state of Israel is to cut your own legs off, and one only needs to look at world history and the nations that pick on Israel: Egypt, the Cananittes, Assyria, Babylon, The Medes and the Persians, Rome – Ask Syria how long the 6 day war lasted in 1967. You pick on Israel, you pick a fight with God.
Vote for a candidate that will honor and respect Israel as a nation entitled to her original borders when she was granted nation status in 1948.
2. God’s Character of Jurisdiction.
Even Jesus had boundaries and did not meddle. Jesus said things like,
- If my kingdom were of this world, my servants would fight.
- Who made me an arbitrator between you and me?
- What does that have to do with me?
God rules over all but he gives men the priviledge to lead with limitations, in the Family, the Church, and Government. In Romans 13:1-5, there is the limitation for goverenment , “For rulers are not a terror to good conduct, but to bad.”
Government is limited in its terror, or threat. It is not to threaten with punishment good conduct. It may not force, tax, fine, strong-arm me into good conduct – I don’t have to mow my neighbors lawn if I don’t want to, as far as the government is concerned – though God is. Consequently, it is not right for a people to expect so much from government as if it has unlimited capacity to fix the human race and force its citizens to do good things under threat of penalty. Therefore, I’m voting for:
- A President that helps its citizens to help one another.
- A President that has a biblical view of what is good and what is evil
- A President that does not believe that government can create utopia.
- A President that does not threaten good behavior with penalty, as a basic principle
3. God’s Character as a Creative & Hard Worker.
*Gen. 1:1 – “In the beginning God Created the Heavens and the Earth.” *Gen. 2:15. Adam is to work and keep the garden. He is not simply to work but keep, tend – it carries with it the idea of creativity. Work is not to be mindless, thoughtless, and insensitive. *Prov. 6:6ff – There is wisdom in looking at an ant hill in the summer and watch them gather up for the fall and come to an epiphany: “I better get off my sluggish rear-end and learn the way of an ant.”
I’m going to vote for a candidate that has a basic principle of responsibility for working hard and making your own way, giving you the freedom to succeed or fail based upon the sweat of your brow.
4. God’s Character of Justice Over the Rich and the Poor Alike.
- Lev. 19:9-18 & many passages that says that God cannot be bribed – he does not show partiality.
- The Census tax (Exodus 30:11-16) and the Tenth/Tithe Tax (Deut. 14:22-29). And the Feast of Firstfruits – (Lev. 23:9-14)
- Kindness for poor citizens and helping the poor man to become self-sustaining (Lev. 25).
In the census tax, everyone, both rich and poor alike paid the same an annual fee. In the tithe tax/offering, the man who has 10 acres of fig trees pays with one acre, the man who has 100 pays with 10, and the man who has 1,000 pays 100. Everyone pays the exact same amount for being a citizen, and everyone pays the exact same percentage on all of their income. Which means the rich man can’t use his power to exploit the poor man, saying, “I’m going to pay five percent, but you’re going to pay fifty percent.” Nor were the poor allowed to say, “We’re going to pay five percent and the rich are going to pay fifty percent because they can afford it.” What that is ladies and gentlemen is the politics of envy that legalizes theft.
“Anytime you vote a tax on somebody else that is not a tax on yourself, you’re stealing from your brother. And though the whole world does it and though it’s common practice in the United States of America, a Christian shouldn’t be caught dead voting to fill his own pocketbook at the expense of someone else. Isn’t that plain? Isn’t that clear? And until we get some kind of flat tax, we’re going to have a politicized economy, we’re going to have class warfare, and we’re going to have the whole nation’s rule being determined by the rush for economic advantage at the polls. Don’t do it. Even if that means sacrificing some benefit you might receive from the federal government. Don’t ask other people at the point of a gun to give you from their pockets what you don’t have. That’s sin.” – R.C. Sproul
In addition, just because a business man steals does not justify the government stealing from the business man. Stealing from a thief is still sin.
I’m going to vote for a President who would not steal from from his neighbor – through taxes.
5. God’s Character of Justice for the Oppressed (the poor, the orphan, the widow, the homeless, the incarcerated, the hungry, the naked, the diseased and crippled). All the verses cited on the previous point speak to this.
God goverened his people in such a way that took care of the poor and the oppressed, AND did not steal through unjust taxation at the same time. Simply, I’m going to vote for a candidate whose policies will reflect as close as possible God’s character of Justice for the Rich and the Poor Without Stealing from its own Citizens.
6. God’s Character of Sexuality that is portrayed in the Cross as the husband dies to redeem his bride. Genesis 3 & Eph. 5:22ff.
I’m going to vote for a President who would lean toward a biblical view of man and woman. One groom for one bride. Marriage is not to be defined down to accommodate a platonic, that is, a non-sexual friendship, partnership, ect. between man and woman, man and man, woman and woman, human and animal. Marriage is a sexual union between one man and one woman bound by a covenant before God and Man.
7. God’s Character Revealed in Making Man in His Image. Genesis 1. When God created man he did not just create life but also likeness in his image – we are image-bearers of the Living God.
We are not just alive we are like him: we feel love and rejection, we have self-awareness and self-conscience that is able to approve or disapprove an action as good or evil. Though made a little lower than angels yet humans are crowned with glory and honor/beauty.
Gen. 9. After the flood “Anyone who takes life – God will take your life.”
Ex. 20. “You shall not murder” – Murder a human you assault God himself.
Don’t vote for a candidate who would legalize, support, finance, mandate support of abortion through health ins. policy under threat of fine – the murder of 1.2 million of its most helpless citizens – abortion is murder.
How can any a Christian vote on Super Tuesday for a candidate who would support abortion, appoint supreme court justices who would further the holocaust upon humans in the womb and then on Sunday put money in the offering plate to support Pregnancy Information Center to help keep babies alive?
For me, this is a single issue vote. This one trumps all others – no matter what. I’ll speak to this with my next post.