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Politicians, Voting, and the Gospel
I don’t particularly enjoy writing or thinking about politics. Frankly, politicians are stale, and to a large extent, just talking heads—they are a cliché and I would call them irrelevant except that the policies they put forward have an impact on our lives, and in the midst of all the godless ideologies we are all force-fed, we need clarity in our age of mass-confusion.
Christians particularly need hope, discernment, courage, and clarity in calling evil “evil” and good “good” otherwise, we are in trouble, and by trouble I mean the kind that starts with “woe" (Isaiah 5:20-21).
Starting Out On a Hopeful Note
But, allow me to begin on a hopeful note. Christ has all authority in heaven and on earth (Matthew 18:18). The king’s heart is in the hand of the Lord (Proverbs 21:1), the earth is the Lord’s and the fullness thereof (Psalm 24:1) and the civil magistrate is God’s servant which means civil magistrates will give an account to the Lord for how they govern (Romans 13).
In light of this, I am not worried one bit about the state of things. He who sits in the heavens laughs (Psalm 2:4) and his laughter is one of judgment. All of this should produce peace for God’s people.
This is why Christians should not lose heart. This is why Christians should be joyful instead of angry and despairing. Jesus holds the scepter (Genesis 49:10-11) and no one is going to snatch it out of his hands which means that no one is going to snatch you out of his hands (John 10:27-29).
Now, in light of all this Christ-driven hope I want to talk about stewarding our votes as Christians and why it matters and I want to begin with Democrats first.
If you think that voting for the Democratic Party as a Christian is still a viable option you are either (a) deceived, (b) dishonest, or (c) compromised. You can’t eliminate enough carbon emissions to justify the wickedness that this party demands to be legalized and that we all collectively assent to. They want our words, they want our money, they want our children. This isn’t hyperbole, this is genuinely the platform.
The Democratic Party is a party of conviction unlike the many Republicans who are in large swaths, pragmatists doing or saying whatever they think the voter base wants to hear in order to secure votes—it’s insultingly obvious.
And in their zeal and conviction Democrats have gone to great lengths to communicate that they are the progressive party and they think this will build some Utopia but in reality, their policies lead to barrenness. They don’t think this of course, but that is the sum of their worldview—it’s desolate. That is the word that constantly comes to my mind the more I survey their ideology. It is like something you read about in some dystopian novel—nothing grows—everything (everything) dies (and the irony is not lost on me that they think they are going to save the planet).
The Democratic Party is the political party that advocates and successfully advances through the power of storytelling—abortion on demand. And when that doesn’t work, it is the party that advocates for the mutilation of those same children. The storytelling part comes in when phrases like “Women’s Rights” or “Trans Healthcare” are used. The storytelling part comes in when they use scare words like “White Christian Nationalism” “Far-right” “single-issue voters” “homophobic” “transphobic” or really any of the “phobics”.
Furthermore, Democrats have actively sought to create barriers between parents and their children. For instance, homeschooling is described in such a way that you’re to imagine some sexually twisted inbred, isolated family. This is why the Dugger Family is the poster family in their worldview for what homeschooling is and why documentaries can be made about them that warn against the “dangers” of homeschooling.
The Democratic Party is the party that advances ideologies that confuse, young, vulnerable, and developing children on issues of sex, gender, and marriage and what constitutes a family.
The Democratic Party is the political party of “birthing persons” and “gender fluidity”. It is the political party in which a man can pretend to be a woman, compete in a women’s sport, and be given a trophy for being the strongest or the fastest “woman”.
The Democratic Party is so far out to sea that many in the party think people like Bill Maher are raging right-wingers. Now there are two main reasons why I think voting for a Democrat is untenable although I’m sure if I tried really, really hard I could think of more.
Reason 1: Doing so contributes to advancing all of these wicked ideologies that harm image-bearers.
We shouldn’t be “single-issue voters”, but it is absurd to think that every issue is of the same importance. As Christians, if we can’t see that the lives of our children both in and out of the womb are more important than what the polar ice caps are doing then we aren’t thinking clearly (and this is without mentioning God’s promise to sustain the seasons for as long as he wants—Genesis 8:22… oops there I go mentioning it).
But as Christians, we believe that God created men and women in his image. There is a uniqueness to man. Our Triune God created us out of nothing and we do not possess the authority to harm fellow image-bearers in ways our Creator has not authorized.
And knowingly voting for candidates that put forward policies that harm image bearers is participating in the actual harming of those image bearers. That is a part of living in a Democratic Republic—we participate.
We. The. People.
Abortion legalizes the murder of an individual and pretends there is no God to whom we will give an accounting to. The legalization of so-called “Trans-medicine” mutilates an image bearer and tells the Creator “You made a mistake”.
Allowing men to pretend to be women is harmful and unloving to both men and women. Exposing children to pornography and sexually explicit literature and calling it “education” and “tolerance training” is child abuse.
Allowing men and women to expose themselves in public in drag queen parades instead of arresting them for indecent exposure is harmful to society at large. We know this, we are responsible for what we know.
In other words, when we vote for people who propagate these things, we are complicit. Again this is a stewardship issue. We live in a country where we elect our officials. We get a say. We can say, “enough” or we can perpetuate the problem and put people in positions of power that make policies that harm image bearers. Don’t do that.
Reason 2: Christians must be clear-headed on good and evil for the sake of the gospel.
Let me quote in full the passage of Scripture I referenced earlier:
20 Woe to those who call evil good, and good evil;
Who put darkness for light, and light for darkness;
Who put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter!
21 Woe to those who are wise in their own eyes,
And prudent in their own sight! (Isaiah 5:20-21)
Christians must be the conscience of our society and this means that we must humbly and faithfully herald the good news of the gospel of Jesus Christ and spread the gospel call to all its edges. And this requires us to be specific.
Vague, general gospel calls are not enough. What is sin? What sins are to be repented of? Is this blood of Jesus sufficient for even the worst of sins? What about sins that are crimes? We need to call sin out specifically so that we can apply the sufficient blood of Jesus to those sins. In order to do that we must be clear on what the Bible calls “sin”.
When Christians do not have clear categories for good and evil, the call to repentance becomes increasingly unclear and then just non-existent.
Now here is a question:
How could we possibly be clear on calling for repentance and faith specifically when we are using our votes to advance the ideologies that God opposes?
It is the Democrats that are increasingly making calls for repentance of particular sins “hate speech” or “bigoted speech”. Why would we consciously vote for people who seek to hinder our ability to call for repentance of sins and faith?
Now you may say, we don’t need favorable conditions to call for repentance and faith in Christ and I would agree. John the Baptist was beheaded by a government official for telling him he was unlawfully married. But if John the Baptist had a vote, I am quite certain he would not vote for a man who would behead him for heralding the gospel.
I’m going to herald the gospel regardless, but if I can vote to keep my head on my shoulders, I’m going to do that too.
Now Do the Republicans
Now don’t misunderstand me, I am not saying that the clear choice is Republicans either. I have already mentioned that many (perhaps even most) of them are, at their core, pragmatists. I recently posted a picture on social media of something I received in the mail from one of the Republican candidates for Senate and it summarized well what I’ve noticed for some time:
Many Republicans use abortion to their political advantage.
Before Roe V. Wade, they campaigned to work to get it overturned. After Roe V. Wade was overturned, many of them are working to keep it legal.
In the very state I reside in (Virginia)—a “middle ground” approach to abortion was taken up by the Republicans. It is what our Governor, Glenn Youngkin calls the “Common Sense” approach and on my more cynical days, I think he put it forward as a way to carve out a future presidential career. This approach includes allowing for abortion for up to 14 weeks and to allow abortion in cases of rape and incest. Now, this approach is many things, but it isn’t pro-life.
And this is where a debate comes into play amongst people who vote Republican. I am hopefully level-headed enough to know that a Republican who allows for abortion up to 14 weeks is better than a Democrat who allows for abortion up to birth. And it really is divided like that—we are that polarized with our two-party system whether you acknowledge it or not. Democrats run on the platform of abortion on demand and Republicans do not. Republicans are a mixed bag. And this means that not every Republican is worth our vote, but some are. Going back to Virginia, while I am glad for any incremental measures against abortion, it does not follow that the Virginia Republicans are pro-life. They are not pro-life and they are being deceptive if they call themselves pro-life.
How Should I Vote As A Christian
I think Christians should tier the issues. Your first-tier issues should be non-negotiable and issues like abortion and LGBTQ+ should most definitely be in there.
As it relates to who to vote for, I have at times voted for Republican candidates, but I have also voted third party because I’d rather vote according to the values and convictions that I have as a Christian than along a particular party line. This is not wasting my vote—this is a stewardship issue according to a biblically informed conscience.
Now I can sense that some of you reading this may say to me, “Joey, you’re not voting for a pastor so don’t look for one in your politician” and I will grant you that. However, biblically speaking, I am voting for a deacon, aren’t I?
3 For rulers are not a terror to good conduct, but to bad. Would you have no fear of the one who is in authority? Then do what is good, and you will receive his approval, 4 for he is God’s servant for your good. But if you do wrong, be afraid, for he does not bear the sword in vain. For he is the servant of God, an avenger who carries out God’s wrath on the wrongdoer. (Romans 13:2-4 ESV)
That word in verse 4 translated as “servant” is the word diakonos which is the same word from which we get our English word, deacon. So according to Scripture, I am electing a deacon.
Like many of you, I think the best thing for our country is for the two-party system to go away. I am hopeful that we are perhaps closer to that than ever before, but perhaps I’m wrong.
The bottom line is that I think Christians should be issue-driven voters and when we are voting for someone, character really does matter. Sadly, the options are often not great.
The Wrath of God
I want to talk about the wrath of God for a moment.
After the elections this week, it is clear that we live in what is largely a pro-abortion country. We have offered up the lives of 60 million children to Molech. We have sexually exploited our children and legalized castrating them to Ashtoreth. All of this does something to us—corporately speaking. But more than that it is the evidence of something.
It is evidence that our country is under the wrath of God.
“18 For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who suppress the truth in unrighteousness, 19 because what may be known of God is manifest in them, for God has shown it to them. 20 For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even His eternal power and Godhead, so that they are without excuse, 21 because, although they knew God, they did not glorify Him as God, nor were thankful, but became futile in their thoughts, and their foolish hearts were darkened. 22 Professing to be wise, they became fools, 23 and changed the glory of the incorruptible God into an image made like corruptible man—and birds and four-footed animals and creeping things.24 Therefore God also gave them up to uncleanness, in the lusts of their hearts, to dishonor their bodies among themselves, 25 who exchanged the truth of God for the lie, and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever. Amen.26 For this reason God gave them up to vile passions. For even their women exchanged the natural use for what is against nature. 27 Likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust for one another, men with men committing what is shameful, and receiving in themselves the penalty of their error which was due.28 And even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a debased mind, to do those things which are not fitting; 29 being filled with all unrighteousness, sexual immorality, wickedness, covetousness, maliciousness; full of envy, murder, strife, deceit, evil-mindedness; they are whisperers, 30 backbiters, haters of God, violent, proud, boasters, inventors of evil things, disobedient to parents, 31 undiscerning, untrustworthy, unloving, unforgiving, unmerciful; 32 who, knowing the righteous judgment of God, that those who practice such things are deserving of death, not only do the same but also approve of those who practice them.” (Romans 1:18-32 NKJV)
Those are chilling words when you think about where we are as a country. It is the only explanation for the insanity that we see all around us. God is giving us the leaders we deserve because we are under wrath. God is giving us the policies we deserve because we are under his wrath. We are under his wrath because we have turned and worship what is created instead of the Creator and the only way out is true, biblical repentance.
How We Get Out of the Mess We’ve Made
We do not get out of this mess overnight and we certainly don’t get out of it through legislation alone (though, I am for good legislative measures). We get out of this through gospel proclamation. The gospel of God is the only thing potent enough to turn wicked stony hearts into hearts of flesh that love God and love his righteous Law. The problem is, that the Church doubts the potency of her own message. Yet, we are reminded:
18 For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God. 19 For it is written:
“I will destroy the wisdom of the wise,
And bring to nothing the understanding of the prudent.”
20 Where is the wise? Where is the scribe? Where is the disputer of this age? Has not God made foolish the wisdom of this world? 21 For since, in the wisdom of God, the world through wisdom did not know God, it pleased God through the foolishness of the message preached to save those who believe. (1 Corinthians 1:18-21 NKJV)
The message of the cross is the power of God and the power of God is what we need—it is what we all need. The obsession our society has with sexual immorality, genitalia mutilation, and infanticide is evidence of a sin-sick heart that hates God and the way God conquers his enemies is by subduing them with the gospel. If the church loses sight of this then we are missing out on such a grand opportunity to participate in God’s great plan to save a people to himself.
And here’s the deal: this will work. This will be successful. This Great Commission task will be accomplished.
We just need to resist pragmatism. We need to resist trusting in the prince. We need to flee despair, bitterness, and anger. Instead, we need to fear God, be patient and faithful in our labors, and be brave in how we speak. Also, we need more joy. Be joyful.