What are the most important things for a Christian to consider as he votes?

Our nation is racing towards the climax of the election cycle. Right now we are in the middle of the presidential primaries. On Tuesday the states of Michigan, Mississippi and Idaho will be having presidential primary elections. Every election leaves the Christian with a some very difficult decisions. The Bible informs every area of the believer’s life. This includes electoral decisions. How does a careful Christian honor God in his voting choices? Because no election is a clear cut choice between good and evil the Christian has to give more weight to certain issues when casting his ballot. What does the Bible says are the most important things to consider when voting?

Proverbs 14:34 says, “Righteousness exalteth a nation, but sin is a reproach to any people.” Christians must consider which candidates will promote Biblical righteousness. The likelihood of finding a candidate with whom you agree completely is almost nonexistent. The possibility of finding a candidate who has a largely Biblical morality seems to be getting slimmer and slimmer. The reality is the Christian will probably have to chose the “lesser of two evils”. In doing so, much discernment must be exercised. The Christian must not vote for candidates who have built their political platform on the promotion of immorality and godlessness. Whenever possible, Christians should seek to vote for those candidates who have shown themselves to be promoters of Biblical righteousness (not necessarily of the ten commandments, but of those things which are in line with Biblical morality).

Romans 13 declares that God ordained the government to be a terror to evil doers. One must select officials who will punish evil. Government officials, from the lowest to the highest, are the servants of God. He appointed them, even the worst of them, to restrain evil. This means elected officials must be restraining evil in their own lives. Proverbs 29:2 says, “When the wicked bear rule, the people mourn.” A wicked man in power is not going to promote justice. He is not going to restrain evil. The Christian should seek those leaders who are honorable men of integrity that will uphold justice.

A Christian should not vote for a person just because the candidate professes of Christianity. While some politicians do have a credible testimony of salvation, far too many take the name of a Christian to attract Christian voters. A competent person of integrity may lead with greater ability and righteousness than a nominal Christian who crafted an identity to attract Christian votes. Nor should a Christian vote with the assumption that the right leaders will fix America. While our elected officials wield great influence over the direction of America, the needs of this nation are heart needs. The transformation of the heart is only accomplished by Christ. No elected leader, no legislative body, no judge and no system of laws will ever make a person truly righteous. Vote with hope but do not place that hope in men. Trust in Jesus, hope in the eternal kingdom He has secured and remember only the gospel will change this country.

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What can be done about racism?

Racial differences are surface differences of color and culture. Beneath the trivial external variations all men are created in the image of God. The American religious landscape is dotted with perverse teachings claiming certain ethnic groups are not created in God’s image. Some have said the curse of Canaan is why black people will be slaves or poor. Some have said that blacks are not actually descended from Adam but from another group that was created by not given a soul like Adam and Eve were. Similar stupidities have been spouted about Indians, Mexicans and Eskimos. No teaching of racial superiority or inferiority is found in the Bible. The Biblical reality is that every person who has ever lived is a descendant of Adam and Eve. As a result, every person of every color and culture bears the image of God. Every person on this planet carries within the unique mark of the semblance of the Divine. All men share a common origin, common heritage and common created representation of God. Racism is not only an attack on others, it is an attack on the image of God.

The problems between ethnic groups are not caused by the intrinsic differences between groups. The problems between the races are caused by the intrinsic similarities between all people. Men do not hate others because they are different. Men hate others because of the sin, pride, selfishness, jealousy and hatred that resides naturally in every human heart. “For we ourselves also were sometimes foolish, disobedient, deceived, serving divers lusts and pleasures, living in malice and envy, hateful, and hating one another.” Romans 3 describes all men, “Whose mouth is full of cursing and bitterness. Destruction and misery are in their ways.” Racial violence and tensions are not because a few men are racists. The problems between races are just one expression of the universal selfishness and hatred that characterizes all mankind without Christ. As long as men are without Christ they will find an excuse to hate others. The solution is not found in taking down all nationalistic or tribal symbols. The solution is not fostering dialog between different groups. The solution The solution is replacing the commonality that divides with a commonality that unites. The solution is the transformation of the heart and relationships that can only be produced by Christ.

This transformation and unity is to be modeled withing the church. Jesus prayed that all His disciples would be one, even as He and the Father are one. The church is a community that is characterized by it’s cross cultural communion. In the church station, privilege and importance are not defined by familial heritage, personal income or political power. In the church “there is neither Greek nor Jew, circumcision nor uncircumcision, Barbarian, Scythian, bond nor free:” In the church all the redeemed are “all one in Christ.” The work of Christ on the cross has removed all national, language and culture barriers between people. In Christ, Christians are made members of a new people group. Christians are now a “holy nation, a peculiar people.” Surface diversities are nothing when compared to the essential unity between men. Racism will end when man’s sin nature is replaced by the new nature of Jesus.

How should Christians respond to the legalization of same sex marriage?

The recent Supreme Court decision does not bode well for Christians who intend to remain true to the Bible. The implications are far reaching and have yet to be fully considered. Most conservative Christian observers recognize that churches and Christian institutions will have to accept homosexual marriage or face legal censure. The fact that America’s Supreme Court has even made such a decision speaks volumes about the spiritual and moral condition of this nation. If anyone was holding onto the notion that most Americans are Christian, the recent decision should banish such folly. The days ahead demand Christians think rightly. This right thinking will be careful to avoid several potential pitfalls.

Though many are deeply concerned, believers must not fear. Those who are students of history and Scripture rightly expect the folly of our day to end in chaos and wrath. The natural consequences of sin hint that the current linguistic and sexual anarchy will necessarily be brief. At the same time, the cultural climate seems poised for great hostility towards those who refuse to bow before the new sexual tyranny. Many warn that Christians are in danger of finding themselves “on the wrong side of history”. In response, the heart cry of the believer must be, “The LORD is on my side; I will not fear: what can man do unto me?” (Psalm 118:6)

Christians must never forget that God is in complete control of all things and is accomplishing all His purposes in the nations. Remember two crucial truths from the Old Testament. The judge of all the earth will do right, no matter how vile the wickedness and powerful the rebellion of man. God “doeth according to His will in the army of heaven, and among the inhabitants of the earth: and none can stay His hand, or say unto Him, What does thou?” (Daniel 4:35) No decision made by the Supreme Court, no law passed by Congress, no decree of the President and no conspiracies of nations will hinder or prevent the plan of God from being accomplished. “I am God, and there is none else; I am God and there is none like me. Declaring the end from the beginning, and from ancient times the things that are not yet done, saying, My counsel shall stand, and I will do all my pleasure.” (Isaiah 46:9-10)

Do not allow the present darkness to lead to despair for the progress of the gospel and the future of the church. The New Testament declares that things will get worse and worse. Wickedness will run riot, depravity will surround and saturate the church and if it were possible even the saved would be swept away by the immoral tsunami. When things reach their worst, Christ will return. Despite all that, the church will continue, the gospel will go forward, souls will be saved and God will be glorified. Remember, “Greater is He that is in you than he that is in the world.” and “I will build my church and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.”

Beware of building, even unintentionally, a theology or sense of security based on the popular news outlets, talk show hosts or political experts. The news is never an accurate reflection of what is going on in the world. Besides the bias of every news station and the agenda of every talk show host the unsaved are never able to understand God’s sovereignty over every event, every political decision, every up and every down. Consequently, even the most expert investigative journalism will miss crucial facts of the story. The rest of the story is only glimpsed in the promises of the Bible. Let the Word of God define all belief about God, this world and things to come. Find all comfort and security in the God of the Bible. Learn from the Psalms to look through circumstances to the Almighty God who protects His children and accomplishes all His purposes.

Do not bow before the cultural mandate and support or promote immoral behavior. Do not fall into the trap of confusing immoral cohabitation with the God created institution desigend to reflect His love for His church. The pressure to forsake the Biblical truth will increase, but no matter what the cost or consequences, Christians must refuse to accede to the depraved demands of the new sexual rebellion.

In the end, refuse base confidence, joy, peace, security or comfort on the circumstances. Learn to say with Paul, “We are troubled on every side, but not distressed.” Keep focused on “the things which are not seen. For the things which are seen are temporary: but the things which are not seen are eternal.” (2 Corinthians 4)

How should Christians respond to the recent Supreme Court ruling on same sex marriage?

By this time Christians all across America have heard about and responded to the recent decision by the Supreme Court. Tens of thousands of words have been written on this issue, before and since the decision to make same sex marriage legal for the nation. A wide range of responses have been suggested. For some professing Christians, the response has been joyful. For many others, the response has been anything but glad. Those who have followed this ministry know that Everlasting Truths affirms the Biblical position that homosexuality in all forms is sin. Same sex marriage is not something to be celebrated but mourned.

A full discussion of the Biblical response would need to address several different levels of relationships. A few hundred words does not allow for a full discussion, so this article will consider the response of a Christian to a government which has completely run off the moral rails. Before getting into the Biblical instructions, it is worth noting the historical setting of the books of the New Testament. The Roman Empire was filled with depravity the level of which America has not yet reached. Things that would today be seen as heinous and criminal were accepted as normal throughout the Roman Empire. To those who opposed the wickedness of Rome, very few options were available. Dissent could easily result in imprisonment. Christians found themselves persecuted throughout the empire. The instructions of the Bible were not written to a Christian people in a Christian nation. They were written to Christians in the middle of an empire full of immorality and persecution.

To the individual Christian the Bible makes a number of very clear statements. Two passages summarize the main points of how a Christian should respond. 1 TImothy 2 teaches that Christians are to pray for the government. The Christian must pray earnestly and diligently for every level of governmental leadership. The Bible does not teach the believe to pray for power or prosperity in the nation. The prayers of the Christian are prayers for the promotion of peace in the nation and peace for the Christian so he can live a Godly life without opposition and so the gospel can be spread without hindrance.

Romans 13 teaches that every government, even a vile, wicked government, is of God. Therefore, submit to the government. Though in this matter, and maybe others down the road, the Christian will have to disobey the laws of the land, this does not excuse the Christian from obedience to the all the rest of the nations laws. A Christian cannot justly refuse to pay his taxes because the government promote wickedness. Submit to the government in all areas save those which would directly cause the Christian to violate the Word of God.

Honor the government. Every individual in leadership in the nation has been given his authority by God and is to be treated with respect and reverence. Though Christians should abhor certain morals, must oppose some decisions and will disagree with many policies, all such differences must be expressed in a respectful fashion. The Christian is commanded to show honor and respect to the individuals entrusted with rule in our land.

While the Christian must at all times honor the nation’s leaders and in most cases must obey the civil laws, the Christian cannot obey the mandates to support same sex unions. No Christian should support same sex marriage, regardless of the dictates of justices or the consequences to Christians. Fines and imprisonments are real possibilities. No matter the threats, Christians cannot go along with the flow. The Christian must continue to speak the truth, no matter the consequences. “Honour all men. Love the brotherhood. Fear God. Honour the king.” (1 Peter 2:17)

Do conservative Christians want America to follow the Old Testament laws?

In some of the many debates about morality, a few have accused conservatives and Christians of wanting to put America under Old Testament law. The implication is of a fundamentalist movement that wants to enact a Christian version of Sharia law. The angry retort accuses Christians of thinking America should burn witches and stone homosexuals. Is there any truth to this? Do Christians think American law should be like the law of Moses? What should Christians think about the laws of Israel and their application to America today?

Most conservative Christians do not secretly yearn for a day when America is under the law of Moses. The law of Moses was a unique system of laws unfit for use in any other country of the world. The law of Moses was not just a religious law. It described the right ways of worship andd sacrifice. It defined right and wrong, commanding some behaviors and forbidding others. The law of Moses was more than religious law. The law of Moses was also civil law. The laws given to Moses by God described how the nation of Israel would be governed. It assigned punishment for crimes, maintained civil order and directed those who arbitrated God’s law. At that time Israel was a theocracy, a government by God mediated through His prophet Moses. Israel had no elected leadership, no constitution, no king, no ruling body. God was Israel’s supreme ruler and He ruled directly over the affairs of the nation.

Most Christians are not seeking to turn America into a theocracy. Such an effort would be futile and contrary to God’s commands for Christians today. God has never commanded the church or individual Christians to establish a Christian nation ruled directly by God. Christians have been commanded to exert a positive influence on the morals of others. Christians recognize that the moral laws found in the Old and New Testament are God’s unchanging standard of right and wrong. Christians would love to see the nation move to a place of obeying those moral laws, but Christians do not desire to overthrow the existing system of government to enact a pseudo-spiritual political agenda.

The focus of all Christians should be on a goal higher than the passing of new laws or the defense of existing laws. The Christian recognizes that human behavior is the symptom of the evil that exists in every human heart. As a result, the Christian’s goal is the transformation of the heart. The Christian must not be content to be a lobbyist or legislature. The Christian must be anxious to tell the gospel to everyone he meets so the heart of individuals will be changed by the power of God. Only when the heart of a man is changed, turned from sin, cleansed by God and made new, will he be able and wanting to obey God’s laws. The laws of a nation can only order the actions of a people, they can never change hearts.  Christians are not interested in making America a theocracy like Israel, but are anxious to preach the gospel to every creature.