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Tuesday, November 20, 2012

A Christian Perspective on the Election

This is a great and insightful article written by my dad. Well worth your time reading.

A Christian Perspective on the Election

At this point after the election the biblical perspective on it is still vague and a more cogent and clearer response is needed.  The Christian perspective on the results of the election is being missed by most but it is important and should be clearly explained because the Christian view is not just another subjective, weak-minded opinion but a foundational concern.  The Christian view has been caricatured and misrepresented as insignificant and meaningless.  Neal Boortz, for example, insults those expressing Christian views by calling them “turbo Christians.”  Sometimes Christians themselves have cultivated this misconception.  Thus, public dialogue has exploited this misrepresentation of Christianity and the result is serious…the gospel message appears meaningless and shallow.  However, a biblical perspective on matters of politics is not only relevant but is one that provides objective meaningfulness to all matters of political debate.
First, it must be understood that the strength of a government is borne out of the moral principles which undergird it.  Conversely, a weak government is one which rests on weak moral principles.  The reason the civil government of the United States has endured and has been so resilient is because of the moral foundation upon which it rests.  Thus, the reason we should be concerned for the United States at this point in history is not because of the political direction which it has now turned but the moral principles which this political force seems to embrace.
Before continuing, the question about whether the United States is a Christian nation is a silly one but one that has to be addressed in order to understand the truth of the Christian perspective.  Claims that attention be drawn to moral matters are not the same as an attempt to make our country a theocracy.  The level of argumentation that concludes that Christians want to make this a theocracy by people like Neal Boortz is naive and “for entertainment purposes only.”  Moral principles are the heart of any political discussion but talking about them openly is almost completely censored.  So, most political talk today is only about peripheral issues and the foundations of political points of view, which are really all that matter, are avoided and dismissed by straw man arguments, ad hominem arguments, hasty generalizations or some other logical fallacy.
However, it is precisely in understanding the moral principles of this government that real progress can be made in answering the political questions before us today.  For example, the discussion about gay marriage seems to hover around the periphery of the issue.  Can gay couples make just as good or better parents than straight couples?  That is irrelevant in this debate.  The real issue is a choice between accepting the objective truth about what God has said about marriage or replacing it by a subjective truth of consensus developed by man.  The more debates like this orbit around the foundations of what, how and why people believe what they believe the more intellectually weak we become as a culture and the weaker our government is.
A foremost example of the misapplication of Christian principles and precepts is the dependence on government that many “Christians” cultivate.  Also, an incorrect Christian response to the “moocher” problem is to ignore it or not identify it for what it is.  It took the atheist Ayn Rand to highlight this problem and the Christian response has been unclear and vague.  Dependency on government by “moochers” and absconding with tax dollars by “looters” is not at all biblical.  The biblical response to this is clear:  being dependent on government and taxing others to feed this dependency is a “basic principle of the world” that is simply sinful.  A philosophy such as this cultivates the lordship of government and thus, opposes and hinders lordship to Jesus Christ.  The foundation of such a mindset enfeebles the Christian message and should be strongly opposed by Christians.  Instead, substantive response to this problem is missing from Christians because what the Bible says about problems like this is ignored and public debate rarely goes that deep.
So, it is not issues like the “moocher” problem, abortion, gay marriage, etc. that the Christian is concerned with as much as it is the moral reference points that are used to support and promote these issues.  The Christian is only “answering a fool according to his folly” by arguing on the surface of issues.  Rather, these debates must be turned vertical, that is, directing them to the moral principles that undergird them.   If the Christian perspective loses objective truth as its reference point, then it loses its importance and relevance.  Therefore, a Christian perspective that focuses only on peripheral, subjective truth is irrelevant not only to civil society but to the God Christians serve.

Tom Carpenter

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