Voting for "Biblical Values"

Saturday, October 27, 2012 Bryan Hudson 0 Comments




Every presidential election, we hear or read the phrase, "Vote the Bible" or "Vote for biblical values." I don't get excited about superficial and simplistic statements. I think folks should simply say what they believe: "Vote against Obama. Vote for Romney or ANY Republican candidate, because the GOP is the only party that God approves."

In truth, The most important biblical value is the Bible itself. In the truest sense, there is no such thing as "biblical values,” though we are called to be “salt and light” in our generation. Either one believes and lives by the Word of God or not. In my view, "Biblical values" is a term used by people and organizations with political agendas that intend to influence Christians to favor the Republican Party, often without regard for the entire scope of issues of concern to all citizens. 

I am politically independent. I vote for Democrats, Republicans and independents based on whom I believe is the best man or woman for the given job. There are some believers that I would not allow to work on my car, because being a Christian or having "biblical values" does not always equate to being qualified. People who say they only vote and act in line with "biblical values" are either inconsistent or ill-informed. For example, below is a list of companies that support Planned Parenthood. Many of the same people who say they only do "biblical values" patronize these companies. (http://www.lifenews.com/2011/09/12/pro-life-group-lists-companies-backing-planned-parenthood/)

Voting is not a spiritual exercise, it is a civic exercise with limited spiritual implications. These spiritual implications are always subject to examination, post-election or event. We can easily discover the veracity of predictions made by Christians and preachers (Anyone remember Y2K? Do you remember who said what? I do!). One example of a prediction that we can judge today is, "Letter from 2012 in Obama's America," (a fictional account) by Dr. James Dobson (http://www.wnd.com/files/Focusletter.pdf). 

There have been warnings of dire consequences of Obama's election in 2008 and 2012 from the likes of Charisma Magazine and so-called “prophetic,” "Dominionist" and "New Apostolic Reformation" movements. (http://unsettledchristianity.com/strang-report-the-consequences-of-this-election-are-high-so-pray/ and http://www.theoakinitiative.org/oak-leaf-31#.UIxRE457yuE) We also hear similar dire warnings from politically conservative Christians, who too often seem self-righteous in the "infallibility" of their views.

Christians who “spiritualize” and "prophetic-ize" elections have a spectacular record of failure. They get it wrong...almost always. The reason for the record of failed predictions is simple: God is not listening to these folks nor speaking to them on such matters because He only listens to the counsel of His own will. Ephesians 1:11 says, "In Him also we have obtained an inheritance, being predestined according to the purpose of Him who works all things according to the counsel of His own will."

We should remember that the early church thrived, howbeit amid persecutions, during an empire ruled by the likes of Augustus Caesar and Nero Claudius Caesar (who was particularly evil and was probably on Paul’s mind when he wrote 1 Timothy 2:1-2.)

Invariably, "biblical values" comes down to two issues: abortion and gay-marriage. Both of which I oppose, but believers with political agendas use these two issues to drive votes for political candidates who "say" they are pro-life and anti-gay marriage. Candidates extract money and political power from these folks. When people challenge me on how I could have voted for President Obama in 2008, some try to chastise or intimidate me with accusations of promoting abortion and gay-marriage. It is the old "guilt by association" argument (that cuts in all directions!)

In response, I ask these questions:

1. What have you done in the past six months to prevent conditions leading to abortion? 
2. How have you personally worked to prevent abortion?
3. If Roe v. Wade was overturned today, would abortion become illegal in the USA? 
4. If abortion became illegal, what sentence would you impose on women and doctors for the crime of "abortion/murder"?
5. Since gay-marriage is a states-rights issue, what have you done to keep marriage between a man and a woman in your state?

I usually find that people have not considered these questions because many are not actually motivated to understand social issues or directly help pregnant women or people struggling with homosexuality. (I certainly have not done enough!)  We seem to think that voting for a "pro-life" politician absolves them of personal responsibility to actually do something to prevent abortion or help women with crisis pregnancies choose life. I see mostly partisan politics parading as spiritual substance. 

Today, we are mostly motivated by rhetoric, symbolism and superficial signs of "Kingdom" action. Republicans say they believe in “small/, limited government” but want the government to define marriage and make abortion illegal (I don't have a problem legally defining marriage as opposite sex). This hypocrisy is stunning, and the Christians just go along with it because of “biblical values.”

If we actually wanted use “biblical values” as a basis of action, we would OBEY the Bible in regards to: Caring for the poor; Praying for our leaders; Preventing oppression of the poor by the rich; Addressing inequality; Calling out lies told by politicians; Acting against the exploitation of weak people; Promote fair criminal justice; Dealing with divorce/immorality among believers; Addressing racism, Exposing doctrinal error, and more. 

Instead of taking responsible action, what we see is politically motivated zealotry, not Christ-centered, love-motivated action.

This presidential election cycle presents a very interesting problem for people who like to "spiritualize" elections. Many are convinced that President Obama is some combination of a America-hating /Socialist/Muslim/Kenyan/quasi-American. By any fair-minded measure, Barack Obama is an excellent example of a man, father, husband, and American. 

Dutch Sheets, considered a prophet by many, stated plainly that Barack Obama is a "muslim." (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wD7OIjjALlI). 

Here's the problem I have with these kinds of statements: If the President is not a Muslim (which he is not), then such proclamations are lies, if not walked back. A lie (or "untruth" if you will) is a serious matter. Even when President Obama is dead wrong on issues such as abortion and gay marriage, this does not grant permission or authority for believers to misrepresent the man, his family, or try to elevate conspiracies and lies into legitimate arguments. Nor is it acceptable to disrespect a sitting President. There is also a lack of accountability within these movements and an absence of correction when errors are committed. 

The GOP nominee for President is former governor Mitt Romney, who is a Mormon. The same people who say they stand for "biblical values" are supporting a candidate whose religion elevates a false prophet (Joseph Smith) and promotes a religion that has no relationship with historic, biblical Christianity. They claim that the Book of Mormon is equal in authority to the Holy Bible (certainly NOT a biblical value!) The Church of Latter Day Saints would have been rejected by Christ, the Apostles, and church fathers if it had existed in their time. In our time, anyone who knows the Word of God understands that Mormonism is unbiblical. However, because Mr. Romney claims to embrace "biblical values,” he is now recognized as "God's choice" to lead America (or “Take America back” as is often said--"back" from whom?). There are no end of negative statements, "prophecies," and random statements warning us about the impending doom of an Obama re-election. There’s a lot of presumption going around.

Some predict judgments if President Obama is re-elected (since judgments didn't happen during his first term), but none warn of any consequences of electing a Mormon Priest as President of the United States. Personally, I don't see judgments on America regardless of who is elected. I find it very interesting that people look for judgment on America if a man who says he is pro-choice and supports gay-marriage gets re-elected, but look for revival, awakening, and blessing in America if the man who is a Mormon priest gets elected.

We should know better. The salvation and destiny of people who live in America and the world is not subject to the President of the United States. God and His plan are bigger and better than that. If we Christians repent and live right, we can have revival!

Regarding matters of "God's judgment" in this dispensation, I believe the following: "Therefore judge nothing before the appointed time; wait till the Lord comes. He will bring to light what is hidden in darkness and will expose the motives of men's hearts. At that time each will receive his praise from God." (1 Cor. 4:5) As much as men insist on determining the "appointed times," they do not know and will not know until the Lord comes!  

God reserves this right to Himself:  “But it is God who judges: He brings one down, he exalts another.” (Psalm 57:7)