A land of religious freedom...
I've been asked if Christians have some obligation to vote. My answer, as you can guess, is a resounding "yes!". The companion question to that is whether or not faith ought to affect "every" vote. I understand the motivation for the question: modern American politics throws a lot of dirt and not much light. Words like "tolerance" and "freedom" get warped People on both sides of the church door confuse the right to vote according to moral principles with "forcing" beliefs on people. How voting devoid of conscience, or voting according to someone else's beliefs is supposed to be better, I don't know.
God’s will is for His principles to guide every aspect of our lives, and that includes voting. Christianity is not a part-time job or a membership in a hobby club. God is the creator and master of everything (1 Corinthians 8:6), and there is no areas of life where His principles do not apply (Colossians 1:16). We have a responsibility to uphold God’s will in every way we can, including through our votes (Proverbs 14:34; 1 Samuel 12:13-25).
There is a difference between “forcing” and opinion on someone and letting them know what God has to say about it. Taking a stand for morality is not the same as “forcing” an opinion on someone. In fact, the homosexual movement has been far more aggressive about “forcing” their opinions, by using lawsuits to require acceptance of their lifestyle.
From a legal standpoint, there is nothing unusual about setting limits on “tolerance”. To “tolerate” something is to allow or put up with it, even when you don’t like it. We, as a society, “tolerate” a person drinking. We “tolerate” them getting drunk. But, we don’t “tolerate” them getting drunk and driving a car around the neighborhood. There are laws against speeding because society feels that putting others at risk (by driving too fast) is immoral. There are laws against illegal drug use because of the harm those substances cause to the users and to society in general.
In the same, way, the US is very tolerant of homosexuality, in the literal sense. In a religiously free society, it is reasonable for homosexuals to say, “let me do what I want”, within reason. But it is not reasonable for society to endorse homosexual “marriages”, or pretend that homosexual relationships are exactly the same as heterosexual ones. That’s not only untrue morally, and scripturally, but it’s also not true in terms of the impact on society.
Those who participate in animal sex or child sex certainly don’t “believe that it’s so” that those actions are wrong, but that doesn’t mean we should do nothing to stop them. If it is reasonable to prohibit practices such as bestiality or pedophilia, because they are immoral and bad for society, then it’s certainly acceptable to “tolerate” (allow without approving) homosexuality without pretending that it’s morally acceptable.
Christ’s “Great Commission” to us is found in Matthew 28:19-20: “Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.” We are supposed to promote Godly values in every way and to everyone. More importantly, this means that we’re not supposed to promote “our personal lifestyle”, but the Godly behavior that comes naturally from a relationship with Christ. We are not the standard of right and wrong, God is.
March 30, 2011
A land of religious freedom...