The Presidential election is only weeks away…and it’s getting ugly out there. I mean…really ugly.
And before you think I’m just talking about the political process, the political parties, or the respective candidates, I was actually talking about you, me, us, and them…the people. And by people, I’m also especially talking about Christians.
Sometimes, I feel it would be appropriate to label how some Christians engage the Presidential election season as “Christians Gone Wild.”
Since it’s time for another presidential debate and there’s sure to be drama this week and next, and the following week, and each day leading up to Election Day on November 6 and likely some weeks afterwards, I thought I’d share with you my 10 Commandments of the Election Season for Christians in hopes that it might speak some balance, sense, and perspective to any readers – not just during this election season but thereafter; Not just in this country but in any country.
Why else am I sharing this?
Because I really want you to still respect yourself the morning after the election season.
Because I really want your friends to still respect you, too.
Know what I mean?
So, here are my 10 commandments of the Election Season
1.Thou shalt believe that Jesus remains King.
Saw this and it puts everything in perspective. Whoever becomes President, Jesus remains King. I’m not suggesting that the elections aren’t important. They are. They always are. There is much at stake. But in truth, they’re always advertised as the most important election in human history that will change the trajectory of all things for eternity.
Everyone take a breath. Breathe in. Breathe out. Jesus will still remain King. He will remain on His throne.
2. Don’t go to bed with political parties.
Yes, that’s what I wrote. Don’t go to bed.
I don’t believe that followers of Jesus should be in bed with either of the two major parties. We ought to remain “Independent” with a commitment to collaborate, listen, and engage the political system all while understanding that the political system is not our ultimate Hope or Answer. In addition, we must never lose the courage or conviction to speak prophetically to a group of people because we are lured by the power associated with politics or a political party.
When people ask if I am a Democrat or Republican, I often respond:
On what issue?
Let the Scriptures and our convictions about Christ and the Kingdom of God inform how we engage the candidates, the political parties, and the election process.
3. No one has a monopoly…
No one. No matter what they say. No matter what the experts, leaders, the Pope, Billy Graham, Joyce Meyer, Trinity Broadcasting, or whoever say. No party or candidate has a monopoly on morality, spirituality, and certainly, not the Kingdom of God
The Kingdom of God cannot be contained by our political parties or religious institutions. And thanks be to God for that!
Furthermore, we have to leave room – and plenty of room – to acknowledge that people (including our very own friends) can have differing views so please respect the integrity of other believers as they seek to live out and vote their convictions & conscious.
Enough with the statements and judgments resembling anything like this:
“How can you as a Christian vote for…”
“If you were a true Christian, you would vote for…”
Jesus died and extended grace for the Left, the Right, and everyone in between. So, stop vilifying & demonizing those who disagree with you.
4. Remain in Friendship & Fellowship
Yes. Yes. Yes.
There is neither Jew or Greek, slave or free, male or female, [Republican or Democrat], but we are one in Christ Jesus. ~ Galatians 3:28
Therefore, work to remain in friendship and fellowship.
As Christians, we need to agree that the most significant aspects of our relationship are not our politics, our political views, or our political affiliations but that we are connected together as brothers and sisters in Christ. Politics has its role. But Christ is the most significant aspect of our community.
When we serve communion in our churches, we do not have a line for the Left, a line for the Right, and a line for the Centrists.
Make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace. There is one body and one Spirit, just as you were called to one hope when you were called; one Lord, one faith, one baptism; one God and Father of all, who is over all and through all and in all. – Ephesians 4:3-6
5. Thou shalt not be a jerk.
Especially during the election season, please BE HUMAN. Please don’t be a jerk.
For goodness sake, be civil. What do you not understand?
Be civil with one another.
Be civil with those you disagree with.
And please be respectful for the political candidates.
In voicing and pursuing your convictions, you not only represent yourself but as followers of Christ, we represent Christ. This is not to suggest that we can’t have fierce convictions but there is a distinction between being passionate about our convictions and being mean-spirited and jerks. You know this and I know this. There is a difference.
Please, don’t be a jerk.
6. Thou shalt respect the candidates.
Read #5 again. I’ll wait for you.
Listen. Speaking about the respective candidates on the interwebs do not give you license to be a Ph.D in Jerk-ism and to be disrespectful. I’m talking about your snide comments, your asinine photo-shops, your comparison to Hitlers, your fill in the blank…
In my book, Obama and Romney, are both good people. They are married to wonderful women. Certainly not perfect. There are things about their positions I agree with and things I disagree with. But regardless, they deserve respect – especially for choosing to serve the country through this political process. And I really do mean this.
Breaking News: The “other” candidate is not an evil person. So, join me in praying for the President Obama and Governor Romney.
Agree or disagree. Like or dislike. Republican or Democrat. Tea Party or Coffee Party. It doesn’t matter. Lift a prayer for President Obama and his family. Lift a prayer for Governor Romney and his family. Pray for strength, conviction, and courage. Pray for safety and peace.
C’mon. Just because you don’t like Romney doesn’t mean he hates 47% of Americans. Just because you don’t like President Obama doesn’t mean that he opposes family, faith, freedom, white dogs, Asians, and human beings.
Pray for them…because one of them will be President.
7. Thou Shalt not get Played & Manipulated
Don’t get played and easily swayed. Be informed and know the issues. Don’t be a simple headline reader. Don’t be someone that just reads the RSS feeds. Be educated. Learn. Go deep.
In others words: Don’t get manipulated.
Voters (and especially people of faith) have to realize that political parties and candidates (all of them) may distort, manipulate, cajole, emotionalize, tug, and whatever other tactics to “speak” to our faith. And if we’re not careful, we can be dumbed down and influenced in such a way that “religion” becomes the ruling or dominant way we decide to vote. Who cares what a respective candidate’s views are about economics, jobs, immigration, poverty, education, foreign aid, blah blah blah as long as we know that a particular candidate and I are “equally yoked”?
8. Stay engaged in the political process.
Listen: Politics is not the ultimate answer or our ultimate hope. No political candidate should ever be elevated as savior of sorts. But get smart, be informed, and stay engaged.
Don’t get cynical. [I know it’s hard…but we need you.]
We have to engage politics because politics involves policies and policies impact people. Last time I checked people are really important to God.
9. Be informed. Be prayerful. Have integrity. Vote your convictions.
Vote your convictions.
Worth repeating again:
Vote your convictions.
And respect others. Be informed by our convictions…ultimately, as people of faith in Christ and the Kingdom of God. Rather than being blinded by one issue, be informed on many issues and pray for convictions consistent with biblical foundations and a life ethic that encompasses the whole of life – from womb to tomb.
10. Love God. Love People.
Yes, this might be the most important one so let me make it as simple as possible for you:
May our love for politics, ideology, philosophy, or even theology, never supersede our love for God and neighbor – including neighbors who don’t share our politics.
Amen. Amen. Amen.
Alright, it’s your turn.
- Any thoughts?
- What would you add?
* It’s Halloween time so make sure you read this: Please do not dress up for Halloween as blackface, brownface, or yellowface. Don’t be stupid.
** Also, if you’re reading this, I’m turning 42 this Saturday. I’ve got one birthday wish.
149 Replies to “The 10 Commandments of Engaging Politics”
I totally agree and had to put this on my facebook the other day …
“I am so thankful to live in a country whose freedoms allow me to express my opinion without fear of imprisonment, or even death. I’m glad that these opinions include supporting and cheering for the political candidate of choice.
My facebook friends are BEAUTIFUL, but some of you have displayed a spirit that is MEAN and UGLY when talking about ‘your’ opposition in this political season. It makes me sad to see this ugly and mean side of you. Thought you should know. ♥”
I just want them to answer the questions and not point fingers. I feel more confused then ever. ❤
Totally agree! Really has made me sad.
We are discussing in a lecture series at my seminary living as strangers and aliens. Here are summations of the last two lectures which, I feel, go right along with your 10 commandments.
Thanks, Eugene, for posting this reminder.
“When people ask if I am a Democrat or Republican, I often respond:
On what issue?
Let the Scriptures and our convictions about Christ inform how we engage the candidates, the political parties, and the election process.”
This is right on.
This also applies to all of the countries around the world
Soo true! Here in this part of Europe, we are all holding our breaths and praying that the candidate who’ll do the most for world peace wins. Not like the Americans who also wish for more prosperity and jobs + world peace.
I think this comment was misplaced and offensive. Believe me Americans pray for world peace. Despite what you hear about us, despite what you’ve been taught or whatever conclusions you’ve made about Americans, know this; we hate war more than Europe. This does not mean however we will shy away from it. I would think as a European you would have more respect for a country that sacrificed hundreds of thousands of lives to restore your continent. Try watching a documentary called the “world without us” and try being opened minded. You’ll see that we have and do a lot for liberty around the world. And as far as making money, yeah we like to make money that is how we pay for educations, homes, cars, healthcare and anything else we need, most of enjoy being independent. Also we give the most to charities and our government gives more and food to 3rd world countries than any other country.
Good point Samuel. Seems like other countries forget what we have given or are willing to give then in time of need.
This isn’t true. The world is looking at what the United States has done throughout its history to make war. Europe is very grateful to the United States for helping it in the first half of the 20th Century, but that does not mean that the rest of the world, including Canada, Mexico, Europe, and the other continents where the USA has made war are going to ignore the dictatorships your government has installed in the world, and the wars and massacres your military has committed.
American foreign aid is not altruistic. Its aid to “3rd world countries” does not stop starvation, except temporarily, and its purpose is to do something with surplus agricultural products purchased by the government to secure crop prices. If the US did not have the protectionist policies it does, hunger in the world would not be the problem it is. If money was given instead, local food could be bought, and not depress farm prices
I am sorry you are so angry. As a U.S. citizen who has compassion for all those suffering so much in Europe and Africa and knowing how the vast majority of Americans feel the same way and do so many things as individuals to help make a difference, it hurts my heart to read the above comment. All I can say is God bless you and may the resentment in your heart become informed and healed.
This dialog is important, but is off the subject, so I refer back the primary subject of tolerance and Christian values.
amen. Many of us as christians are letting partisan politics have more to do with our daily life than living for the Lord. We must remember no man, only God can can make this a perfect place to live.
I think it’s possible to declare oneself part of a political party without “going to bed” with them. The principles you outlined about making informed decisions and holding onto greater values than a party still apply. With that said, can’t agree more on being civil and respectful, and just plain not being a jerk. I’ve met and spoken with jerks on both sides of the political system, and I wish this season could be more meaningful and insightful rather than mud-slingy and irreverent.
YES,yes,yes Jesus is King,,, I have finally read something that makes much sense. My struggle is with number 7 how can I say I’m equally yoked with a Mormon believer that reads the book of Mormon? In Christian circles that’s call a Cult. This is what my struggle is all about in this upcoming election.
You will not be unequally yoked with a Mormon unless you marry one or go into business with one. You are not electing a pastor for your church, you are electing a president for this country. Not every king of Israel was a man of God. Some did good and some did not. Right now we have one who will not do good for this country. We need a man who is capable of turning things around and one has a history of doing so successfully. However, God is Sovereign and He will put in place the one He wants as He has always done. It is a choice of doing what we need to do and the faith to trust in the One who will do things best.
Very well, said Miss Carol! Totally agree. with you!
Totally agree Miss Carol!!! 🙂
I take issue with you about our President who has dealt with much misguided rejection and silent racial bias in doing what is right for our country. Don’t jump to conclusions about my ethnic background, I am a 67 year old white man. “First remove the log from your own eye before worrying about the speck in your brother’s eye!”
Miss Carol: So, does that mean if Obama is reelected, you will STILL support that this is God’s choice?…especially since you denounce that “right now we have one who will not do good for this country”. Also, since he was elected 4 years ago, then you must also believe that it was God’s choice…and yet you seem to “disagree” with God’s choice in that regard. An interesting contradiction don’t you think?
Apparently the Christian community no longer thinks of the Mormons as a Cult. Billy Graham has taken it off his website. That is more troubling than anything President Obama can do/ not do with regards to public worldly policies. What the Christian community needs to realize is that all sin is the same at the foot of the cross. There is only one that is unforgivable and that is rejecting the true Jesus, which Romney has proudly done. Ask yourself, do you think God is seriously prompting Christians to support someone who has rejected Him or are we just like the Jews who chose King Saul in the old testament rather than wait for David. Sorry sitting this one out. I’m accountable to God for my actions, not other Republicans.
I see no evidence that Romney has abandoned Jesus. I am not a fan of Mormonism, and I don’t care for Catholicism either, but I do believe that only God knows what is in a man’s heart. All we can do is pray and vote our conscience.
TJ — I think a Christian can vote for Romney. But you need to be aware that Romney’s position in the LDS church is the equivalent to an unpaid associate pastor in Christian churches. He’s been a missionary. He’s a devout Temple Mormon. You’re right we don’t know his heart, but Mormons don’t believe that Jesus atoned for all sin, once and for all. And they have a lot of bizarre official teachings: for example, that worthy men may one day become gods themselves.
Much as Bill Graham is highly respected, he is a man who does not singularly represent the whole of the Christian community in everything he does or posts to his website. God has given man a free will. He can work His Will regardless of what elections man make. While He can position whomever he pleases in lofty or low places, He is most ardently moved by our prayers.
In regards to #6, I would say a different thing that leads to the same conclusion. 🙂 The truth is that BOTH (and any and all) candidates (and everyone who is not a candidate) is evil. We all have sin at our core, and all of us, as Christians, are being (painfully slowly at times) made into the image of Jesus. Therefore, pray for both because, no matter how strong they are, they will fail in one way or another. Pray that God will draw them close to Himself and make them both more like him. For the glory of God and the joy of this country.
Very well, said Miss Carol! Totally agree. with you!
I agree Brady! I am so grateful to know who wins in the end! But in the meantime, we have to live here with other sinners. 🙂 And we need to be praying exactly as you said Amen!
Great attitude, thank you!
Thank you for this. I’m not sure there’s anything over which we lose our minds like politics. I would add that DOING the work we shout about so loudly is more important than voting for a politician to do it instead. If you care about the poor, go help them. If you care about education, teach somebody. If you care about abortion, go invest time and love in those moms wrestling with the decision, etc. Don’t leave the work of Christ up to the politicians.
We ought not to abdicate our responsibilities to our government and its leaders. They have a role. We have a role. We all need to do our role.
I agree with most of it, However ,I respect the “Office “:of the presidency Not Necessarily the man in the Office. That respect Can be “betrayed” Therefore it Must be “Earned”. And an Islamic Muslim Who Is Trying to Convert the Entire Nation to Islam An Anti-Americanize The United States Is Worse Than a Mormon Who is NOT Trying to make Everyone A Mormon And Believes That I Have the Right to Worship God The Way I Wish. Remember …. You Are Electing A President , NOT Ordaining A Minister!
I’ll assume you’re saying this tongue-in-cheek to be ironic.
I really hope so.
Even if you are making the comment sarcastically, I wish you wouldn’t. Beginning with the last election and continuing through this one, the hate and lies that are being spouted sadden me enormously. Without any facts to support the claims people made mean, angry comments that continue to tear the spirit of this country.
I pray for peace. For tolerance and understanding. For leadership guided by God and not a party affiliation.
Amen, Amen, Amen!!!!
I agree Patriot2012… an many of thes ecomments show an uninformed electorate. If you think Patriot2012 is wrong than I challenge you to do what Cho says… dig eep, look for other perspectives, become a student of Obama’s background rather than just mainstream babbe. Have you seen he 2016 Movie… did it challenge your perspective? have you read the book on Obama’s mentor? Have you listened to Obama’s ppeech on New Orleans? If you have done this than you simply aren’t informed.
Before Christians embrace the movie 2016, they need to know 3 things.
1. It was produced (financed) by a Mormon, Jerry Molen.
2. It was directed and hosted by Dinesh D’Souza, who was forced to resign his presidency of a Christian college in October 2012 for immorality. (He claimed there was nothing wrong with introducing a woman as his fiance when he hadn’t filed for divorce from his wife.)
3. He presents his guesses and suppositions as facts. There are plenty of websites that acknowledge his facts, but reject his leaps of logic.
I believe in reading the Book of Mormon, an the Pearl o Great Price, as well as interviewing dozens of LDS missionaries, that conversio o he masss to Mormonism is very much the intent of that cult. What other purpose would be served by spending time prostelitzing in Paris?
I agree with you Patriot2012. I love Jesus with all my heart and soul and I have to believe for whatever reason, this was meant to be. God help us if things do not change in the very near future.
…a position that is thought provoking and allows us to exercise our faith constructively, while retaining our convictions… Thanks
I agree with patriot 2012.
You rock! You are wise beyond your 42. Keep being and doing for the least, the lost, and the lonely and for God’s kingdom!
Kevin: Thank you for these words of encouragement. They mean much!
11. Follow the Guidance and Wisdom The King, our Lord, gives us.
“Honor all people, love the brotherhood, fear God, honor the king” – Saint Peter, the Apostle (I Pet 2:17)
That was a really beautiful exhortation. Thank you.
I agree with most of your post but there are certain lines that must be drawn.
How can you possibly vote for a pro-abortion President?
Not all one issues are the same. This is a defining issue for murder is wrong.
I think defining either of the candidates as “pro-abortion” (as if they are super excited about the idea of an innocent baby dying comes off as disingenuous.
The fact is it’s a complex issue that goes beyond the simple legislation for (or against) abortion. it is up to the informed voter to decided which is more likely to decrease abortion… criminalizing the act, or providing access to birth control, improving education, improving access to early childhood care for people who otherwise couldn’t afford it, etc, etc. Recent studies suggest it’s the latter, with some studies as recent as this week implying that Obamacares birth control mandate is responsible for a significant drop in abortion rates nationwide. Likewise there are studies that suggest that making abortions tougher to receive have little to no impact on the number given (just on the safety for those who obtain them).
I am not attempting to sway your vote or to change your mind on an idea you are clearly passionate about. But when you do hear Christians who voted another way, I hope you understand we aren’t voting “pro-abortion.” Many of us have thought through this issue, have researched it thoroughly and are voting our convictions.They may not be so separate from yours… just that we see a slightly different way of achieving them.
Government mandates (and our tax dollars) should NEVER be an acceptable option for abortion from a Christian perspective. Government should create the right legal framework for best solutions – NOT indiscriminately use all tax payers dollars for areas outside of their biblical mandate and in ways in which many Christians passionately disagree. Unfortunately, most Christians are not aware of what scripture actually says about the role of government. We have “evolved” more “sophisticated” theories for government than what the Bible might say. This is not to our credit – even if it helps us seem more reasonable to the world. We are called to be salt and light – and yes, some of us get ugly and personally abusive on both sides of the political spectrum (this happens among non-Christians as well) – which is not helpful either. Until we actually understand and work for more biblical forms of government, we are just another part of the political noise/conflict.
If our tax dollars are not supposed to be used for things that are against a biblical perspective as you say, than I say, awesome. Let’s refuse our “christian tax” dollars to be used for the death penalty, or refuse to let them go towards war. If we are to vote against anything that is not “biblical,” then this is a much larger discussion. You see, I am against abortion, but I find it troubling that so many “pro-life” people are only pro-life when it comes to abortion.
Luke makes a compelling argument, until you see the counter point. Clearly, we have many actions, which we see the justification for that are not “Christian” in addition to the ones that are so objected too. These issues fall on our moral character and do not lend themselves to political solutions. Too many grays to apply black and white solutions. Sorry Luke, as much as I find your view admirable, it just isn’t that easy.
Elizabeth, what ever mental gymnastics you are doing to reach your conclusions, you are fooling yourself. If the end result is abortion, it’s still murder. THAT is not a ‘complex issue’ at all. And I great up in the 50’s when abortion was illegal and I can tell you for SURE there were not hundreds of thousands of them performed every year. So whatever ‘studies’ you are referring to saying making it tougher would have no impact on the number must come from Planned Parenthood, because it’s absurd in theory and in fact. Abortion has BECOME birth control in this country. And while liberals will fight for baby seals, the blue whale, and baby kittens, they have no problem allowing infanticide of their own species. That kind of logic is beyond my ability to comprehend, and it’s despicable.
Here’s my question for you: do you believe that a pro-life president actually does anything to reduce the number of abortions in this country? And do you believe that outlawing abortion is the best way to eliminate abortions in this country? The reason many Christians who are strongly pro-life can find themselves voting for those who believe abortion needs legal protection is that many of them look back at the presidencies of conservatives and don’t see any reduction in the number of abortions during their terms. They also see that things like poverty and abuse strongly correlate with an increase in abortion rates and seek to correct those causes rather than wringing our hands over the results. They also see that crisis pregnancy centers and other similar ministries that reach out to women with unwanted pregnancies actually save the lives of unborn babies every single day.
The fact is, we imagine that a president has far more power than he actually has. Even if we managed to elect an extremely conservative president who was in office at just the right time to successfully appoint extremely conservative Supreme Court justices who, say, overturned Roe vs. Wade, abortion mills would keep on killing babies by their thousands. Given that fact, many Christians believe it’s better to take the fight against the scourge of abortion out of the arena of national politics where it’s largely moot, down to the grassroots level, which gives Christians the ability to vote according to their conscience on a broader range of issues. If your conscience doesn’t allow that, that’s fine — you should listen to it! But please know that what I’ve outlined above is true of very many Christians who vote differently than you do.
No matter how many excuses that you have as reasons that it is alright for any Christian to vote for anybody who is pro abortion the fact remains that over 50,000,000 human lives have been taken since Roe v Wade became law!!!!
Did you read my post at all? No one is disagreeing that abortion is wicked, or that it’s a terrible scourge on humanity. It would be much more helpful if you actually read and interacted with people who differ from you rather than just condemning them. Is your goal to persuade me to act differently, or just to shout at me? If your goal is to persuade, then actually persuade by demonstrating how my arguments are wrong. Don’t just call my reasoning “excuses” and then throw out an in-your-face fact that I don’t even disagree with.
So wait, your (longish) argument is that because other people have failed to be righteous we should give up trying? Brilliant. Here’s my take: a vote for Obama is a sin.
Where did I say “give up trying”? I specifically said that Christians who vote this way often focus their efforts at the local, grassroots level, supporting crisis pregnancy centers and other pro-life organizations, as well as groups that attempt to alleviate the kind of poverty that correlates with high abortion rates. What part of that is giving up?
Here’s my take: condemning brothers and sisters in Christ is something the scripture clearly calls sin. You’re risking just that with your statements in this thread. Being hasty to judge, and tearing your brothers and sisters down are also clearly called sin. Even though you and I disagree, I would ask of you what God asks of you: brotherly kindness. Kindness and honesty are companions, but kindness and sarcasm are not.
Oh my! Your comment flies in the face of the very point of the original article.
I agree with Laura. It’s too bad that many Christians don’t have the sophistication to understand what she is saying. But that’s because evangelical Christians have one of the lowest percentage of four-year college grads of any religious group in America. We’re only hurting ourselves.
I also believe abortion is a grass roots fight, but many of these crisis pregnancy centers are on the verge of collapse because giving is down due to the economy. I work closely with a crisis pregnancy center and a program for teen moms, both are financially depserate. Increased taxes and a continually depressed economy are hurting these organizations. I know our own giving has decreased due to taxes and pay cuts. Pregnancy intervention only decreases abortion if the program presents options. Many government founded centers do not counsel girls to explore options, but openly promote abortion as the easiest way to solve the “problem”. And lastly, the number of non-crisis abortions is steeply on the rise. These abortions only require a brief discussion with a pro-abortion doctor and filing some insurance paperwork. Government run healthcare, as it is currently being proposed, will pay for these abortions as well. So, in my mind, it really isn’t about RvW. It is about which canidate will promote more Godly and healthy options and which canidate will make abortions easy and more widely available. Just some food for thought.
Thanks so much for this thoughtful reply. 🙂
You are right, and I realize this when I vote. However, I still have a real problem supporting someone who voted to NOT give medical care to babies born alive in botched abortions. Then State Senator Obama listened to testimonies from doctors and nurses about the horror of finding a baby, still alive, stuck in the storage closet or trash and left to die. One nurse recalled hearing the baby crying. She went in and held the bay until it passed away. But what she did was and is illegal in Illinois thanks, in part, to President Obama.
I am with you Larry!
No mental gymnastics… just basic logic and facts. Here’s just one (of many) studies for you: http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-504763_162-57362079-10391704/abortion-more-common-where-its-illegal-where-are-rates-highest/ Please note it is not from Planned Parenthood, but from the World Health Organization. You can also look at studies from well-respected Christian organizations like Barna to see that the rates of abortions received by Christians is equal to that received by non-Christians. Illegality and shaming abortion has no correlation in reducing numbers of abortions. If you believe it does, you must also believe Prohibition was an effective method of ending alcohol consumption, and that there is currently not hundreds of thousands of people using marijuana or meth usage in this country.
Education, programs for new parents, support for new parents, access to health care, etc have been been proven to significantly reduce the number of abortions. Illegality of abortion has not. Another interesting fact… the rate of abortion was higher under GWB than it was under Clinton (source: US Census). Economy and support programs are considered major factors of that. Interestingly the anti-abortion law gains made by various states during GWB’s administrations had no impact in reducing those states overall number of abortions.
Also, please re-read my original post because I posted with the best of intent to explain another point of view that had been well thought out, prayed over and researched. You have ever right to disagree, even to say it’s wrong or not-Biblical (which I would argue) but what you actually did was post back with ridicule, sarcasm and disrespect (did you even read Pastor Eugene’s post??). I believe in the sanctity of life. I am a huge proponent of adoption, and actually am an adoptive parent (which given the number of children available for adoption in the US, is something I think if more people did would be huge in the fight against abortions). I do not like abortion. In fact, I hate abortion. I believe God hates abortions. But I do also see more than one way to fight to end it. As I said in my original post, you don’t have to agree, and I’m not even trying to change your mind (nor do I think I could), but I also shouldn’t be dismissed with disrespect. Nor should the growing number of Christians who think like me (see recent Relevant magazine article).
Amen! I don’t think anyone is in “favor” of abortion. Just because a person does not think there should be an absolute law against it, does not mean that person is in favor of it. I am very much against abortion except in extreme circumstances, however, I do not think we should make this a law. It is a personal moral issue, not a political issue and any attempt to make it a political issue will do nothing to stop abortions, legal or illegal. The key is education, resources and alternative availablility. All of us, including our president, who are against abortion should continue to seek solutions, promote adoption and provide support.
I so glad that I pray before I vote, because after each debate I just feel nothing got answered, they’re to busy pointing fingers.
love this. thanks for balancing the importance of politics with the ultimate importance of God’s Lordship.
This is just true: partisan loyalties very, very, very easily seep into spiritual loyalties. That’s called idolatry, and it’s breaking commandments #1-3. It’s as bad as anything the Israelites did while worshipping and putting their trust in other gods
Jesus is king…but we have freedom to make good or bad choices which will have a huge impact on others as well as ourselves; he didn’t promise to rescue us from the bad ones in this realm. You’re right that we shouldn’t vilify those with whom we disagree, but I think we should pursue truth and publish it, to the extent we can verify it.
I think it’s great advice. The “commandment” that bothers me the most when people don’t follow it is to respect the candidates. Probably 99.9% of the people who make disrespectful comments about the candidates would never have the courage to be in their position. I believe the candidates have earned some respect for accepting the challenge.
To my surprise I noticed a marked polarization between the political left and right after returning to the U.S. from a year abroad. (My return was in May, 2007.) In the years following, it seems to have grown worse. After reading your “commandments” words of the late, Francis Schaeffer came to mind–from his book, How Should We Then Live. I quote:
“The central message of biblical Christianity is the possibility of men and women approaching God through the work of Christ. But the message also has secondary results, among them the unusual and wide freedoms which biblical Christianity gave to countries where it supplied the consensus. When these freedoms are separated from the Christian base, however, they become a force of destruction leading to chaos. When this happens, as it has today, then, to quote Eric Hoffer (1902—1983), “When freedom destroys order, the yearning for order will destroy freedom.”
“At that point the words left or right will make no difference. They are only two roads to the same end. There is no difference between an authoritarian government from the right or the left; the results are the same. An elite, an authoritarianism as such, will gradually force form on the society so that it will not go on to chaos. And most people will accept it—from the desire for personal peace and affluence, from apathy, and from the yearning for order to assure the functioning of some political system, business, and the affairs of daily life. That is just what Rome did with Caesar Augustus.”
Hear, hear. We can’t be disengaged. We can be civil but let’s not be stupid or blind. The polarization is because Christains began to be involved again after a long ungodly hiatus. Of course evil is going to rally and sharpen its attack in response. And now when the battle for America and the world is joined as never before in our lifetimes there are Christian voices who would have us withdraw into some sort of bland relativistic “civility”. But that in itself is a strategy of the Enemy to neuter the Church. Don’t forget that God is called The Lord of Hosts more than any other name in Scripture. God is not conflict averse and neither should we be when we are fighting to uphold his righteousness.
Hit and run comments….Smh.
Won’t see you here again, will we?
Eric. What’s your beef with Christians?
Oh this is terrible. You are such a jerk.
How do we say things which should be against the character of any Christian?
Isn’t it funny how quickly so many people mask the Christianity inside of their political narrative? It does make me wonder about how strong their faith can be.
If they can wrap a political stance around their faith, it is scary to me. (other than the true Gospel of course).
Keep up the writing.
There are those out there who need to read it. And I might be one of those.
Reblogged this on thewordpressghost and commented:
As we struggle with how much our faith should guide our politics, and how much our politics should change other people,
Brother Cho has brought us a few (ten) commandments for our political season.
Read and enjoy.
i wonder how many libs will except this instead of calling people racists when they don’t agree with their views
Wow. Way to skew something well written and heartfelt into something hateful for your own political angle. Good for you. And I think you meant “accept”, not “except”. Nice.
Not really. Denying the existence of evil doesn’t make it go away. Open your eyes people. The reason we are in these straits today is that too many Christians have thought for too long that to be a Christian is to to be disengaged from “politics” or government. You can’t relativize God’s word away and say that it has nothing to do with the platforms of the two parties. Anyone who reads God’s ten commandments (not these quasi-Christian pseudo-Commandments) with an open and understanding mind can see that the Democrat platform represents evil and that while the GOP platform is far from perfect it at least is not hostile to God’s perspective on government. Don’t believe this drivel. Don’t withdraw from the battle. America needs Christians with active brains more than ever right now. Get it right and vote Romney Ryan and persuade, cajole, badger or whatever else everyone else you know to do the same. If you think that’s a wrong statement you are misguided. Period.
Romney is a Mormon, not a Christian. BIG, BIG difference. I’m not being hateful at all, I’m just stating a fact. Mitt Romney is not a Christian. He is the one you are obviously planning to vote for as president, and that is your choice, but do not be misguided yourself and think that Mormonism and Christianity are one in the same. That simply isn’t true.
Rather than badger and cajole,(because everyone just LOVES that), why don’t we educate ourselves, engage in conversation and love and respect our neighbors? Seems like a better way to spend our time and efforts.
With tongue in cheek: I see it is clear that Kona has it all figured out! This absolutism is the attitude that has thrust us into the confrontational environment we now experience in our country.
I fear for our future with all the stone wall, non conciliatory view points of a large number of our citizens. The only salvation to this situation is a willingness to find middle ground, otherwise we spiral rapidly toward our country’s demise. Hate leads to destruction.
I am a writer and political junkie…and a Christian. With all my heart, I wish I had written this!
I would add this to the be informed section “Know that there are more than 2 people running for president. There are many sites out there that can help you find out who the best one for you is. An example is http://www.isidewith.com. Most states have an info site for state elections as well.”
This is great.. thanks for this great post to refocus us.. Those who are filled with hate and vengeance will continue.. those who feel called to judge will continue.. those , like myself , who are convicted when i read a piece like this.. will be convicted and pray as suggested and remember Love is the great factor for us all.. The Love of Christ and the Love for our fellow citizen. Lets show the world.. we love even if we differ on issues.. this thread is good as the loving sincere comments out weigh the forceful angry ones.. Lets keep it that way..
I prefer God’s ten commandments. But if the author is too lazy to read those and understand their implications and do the homework necessary to really grasp the reality of which party is representing a more Godly approach to governing America then I suppose Kumbaya is a logical fall back. I prefer to live with my eyes open to truth and my ears attuned to the Holy Spirit and to be a willing and alert and vocal part of the battle rather than whimper and whine and bury my head in the sand.
There’s absolutely nothing in this article that doesn’t reflect Scripture, including the 10 commandments. Show each other respect. Pray. Don’t let our differences divide the body of Christ. Yup, those all sound Christ approved to me. Maybe you had a knee jerk reaction, skipped over the article and came right to comments?
What would Jesus do? Vote on what His Father’s Word says to live by. So use God’s Word the Bible for instructions on how to vote. Not mans’ opinions……… Who between the two follow more closely to God’s Word? One has no problem iwth killing babies and no problem with telling God He did not create one man or one woman for marriage on day six of creation. How about this, one candidates faith is wanting to convert you and the others faith is wanting to kill you.
I like your 5th commandment to not be a jerk! If one’s a true child of God Almighty he/she needs to go & voice out in every civic responsibity, this time a huge challenge, for America’s hope. As Christians we/they need our counts. Just be careful which candidate has better morals. Unfortunately one is a so-so believer; other one has distorted Christian teachings. But go out & vote, oh Christian soldier. Pray in the Spirit which one God would point to you, your vote definitely counts. Get wisdom; He will richly supply. Praise the LORD USA has this democratic government form where we have all the liberties to choose. Praise the Lord, first & foremost, the true believer has been set free – in Christ Jesus – & remember our King rules & reigns, here in our ‘One Nation Under GOD.’
All I can say is Thank you, I needed that.
Although I agree with much of what you say, it’s this kind of rhetoric that will get Obama re-elected. Christians NEED to take a stand, know what the real issues are, know what the term “socialism” means and STOP BELIEVING THAT THE MAINSTREAM PRESS ACCURATELY REPORTS (EVEN BOTHERS TO REPORT) ALL OF THE NEWS. What one hears on the nightly news, who said what in what context, who ‘won’ a debate, etc. is does NOT contain all of the facts. Make an informed decision based on ALL of the facts. It’s every Christian’s responsibility!!!!!
Thank you for this! I was recently confronted by a friend who claimed my vote was offensive both to him and to God. It’s so nice to hear a voice of civility, especially being clear that you can be a Christian and vote different ways!
Regarding “Monopoly” Why select only those that lean toward one political spectrum (Pope, Billy Graham, Joyce Meyer and Trinity Broadcasting). Why not include NPR (which I listen to daily), most universities, most newspapers, most television shows.
I respect this pushback. It’s legitimate and it’s fair.
thanks for #8, a great word for hopeless cynics! And happy birthday tomorrow…we share the same birthday!
Happy Birthday to you, too!
As a Canadian pastor in Europe, I am caught in the venom of some within my church and I grieve for them. My caution has been to remember that it is really hard to pray if your are full of anger and we are all called to pray for our leaders – all of them. Nice balanced voice of reason.
Check out this message by Tim Keller on Jesus & politics http://sermons2.redeemer.com/sermons/arguing-about-politics
I am very opinionated and tend to voice my opinion very strongly, especially during this political season. I have found that when I allow others, who think differently than me, to share their beliefs, we can find common ground. The only way to effect permanent change in a person is to pray for them and to maintain a spirit of love. It is really hard some times. At the same time you must share truth when called upon. You should not hide behind silence. Salt your words and share with a spirit of love.
I can’t think of anything I’d want to add to this, you’ve said it all and said it so well. Thank you for reminding us about what’s important – Jesus is King!
Obama is just plain scary.. his dreams are NIGHTMARES… His vision is SLAVERY! His smell is of EVIL! and there is no way with a christian conscience vote for this man. I didn’t before and I won’t this time.. he is anointed and it is not from above. He is no Messiah and he is no American. I am so sick of him I cannot stand it.
you thank obama is scary romneys grand father had five wives and thirty children if it was not against the law and enforced romney would do the same do you call that being a christian /?
Reblogged this on thereforethecross and commented:
Great post and great insight.
God bless us all,and may his will be done in this election.Great great post!
I do NOT need “liberal” politicians posing as pastors telling me to endorse things that are called an abomination by the Word of God. The problem with this generation of college-educated “pastors” is that they learned their “theology” from socialists, freudian psychologists, and athiest professors who neither believe in the Holy Bible as the Word of God or the Constitution of the United States as a guideline for our nation.
This is a good example of how the church in America is going to become A HARLOT CHURCH because it is selling out to whatever will fill the seats, whatever sells books, and whatever makes the “pastor” popular. The “POPULAR CULTURE” that has invaded the church is UNGODLY, ABHORENT, and a good example of why the Lord dropped fire on Sodom and Gomorrah…..
We need pastors and church leaders who have a Ph.D. in “Knee-ology”, not psychology. And we need churches where the Spirit of the Lord is present and welcome, not more buildings filled with self-help gurus and motivational speakers who endorse anything in exchange for selling their soul—and the souls of their congregations—to the devil. Socialism and the B ible are NOT compatible; freudian psychology and the Bible are NOT compatible; and the liberal-socialist coming out of our theological ‘cemeteries’ are not compatible with the Bible either. It’s time we taught ministerial students how to be saved, born again, and walk with the Lorde rather than how to move an audience with their antics and Hellywood special effects. Repent.
Obama and his wife “wonderful people.” Hogwash. Obama, we know is a homosexual and their marriage is only one of convenience. He is also a Sunni Muslim who is using our troops to overthrow all Shite countries. His ring is enscribed with there is no god but Allah, which is the non-christian god of the moon. I feel sorry for your flock. We have a “president” who will not salute the flag and bows to haters of America. I feel more burdened for you for God has great warnings for ministers who do not inform their flock.
Anne Nonymouse, Delightful name. And I say whoa in place of wow.
Might be time to shut down the comments section?
The saddest part is that he’s not the first person in these comments to share these beliefs, just the first not to hide it behind a few intelligent words. You can’t make things up just because you don’t like someone and the color of his skin. Democrats may not have liked W., but we never sank to this level of disrespect.
Eugene, thank you for a thoughtful, timely, and useful essay. I’m embarrassed and sickened by the several hateful and vitriolic comments above, and I consider it a privilege and an obligation to stand here as a follower of Christ and denounce them.
A lots of wasted text. Those that follow the left are not Christians. They can keep lying to themselves and others, but when they burn, they will understand why. You can’t say you follow the words of God and Jesus and support what they do.
I think you need to add, “leave race out of it.” Just because I’m voting for someone that is the same race as me doesn’t make me racist and if you vote for someone of a different race it doesn’t make better than me.
No, Andrew, that doesn’t make you racist at all. Sadly, though, Obama’s presidency has brought the racism of many Americans into the light. We see so many horrifying chicken and watermelon, Sambo caricatures of him. Sarah Palin made the “shuck and jive” comment just this week. He can’t be American or Christian because his dad was a black, African Muslim. (He grew up exposed to all religions and became a Christian when he met Michelle. Praise The Lord for saved souls!) My dad is an agnostic and abandoned me and my mom; that doesn’t stop me from being an Evangelical, committed to my family and someone who genuinely tries to be nice to everyone.
So, yes, there are tons of Romney voters who couldn’t care less about his race, but like with so many other things, the loudest and most prominent voices get the attention, giving the false impression that all Romney voters are Racist morons.
These are wonderful! Thanks
This is awesome! Thank you.
Great thoughts Eugene! We are about to launch a brand new series this week at BC called “the 3rd party” and talk about some of this stuff. Thanks for sharing. Very timely. U always write and speak with such grace and humility. I definitely respect your views and your approach. Keep sharing.
Well-said. You took the time and the guts to say what I’ve been feeling so deeply. My favorite answer to the question re: democrat vs republican: What issue? Been using that one for a long time. Love that you included it.
Best response I have heard from a person of faith concerning the election. I’m so glad for the things that are affirmed and lifted up in this post. Thank you.
I agree with Patriot 2012. You have to look at the details of Obama’s life and record.
Love love LOVE this post. I’ve posted it on my facebook page, and delared my page a “neutral zone”. I have dear friends and family on both sides of the political spectrum and even dear brothers and sisters in Christ, yet folks still can’t resist airing their hostile criticism of folks who, for their own reasons, are not voting the same way as they think they should.
Can I just say how shocked I am that your very insightful and meaningful message is completely lost on certain commenters here? .it truly saddens me.
II want to repost a verse someone already posted, but maybe if enough of us keep posting, it will get through:
“Honor all people, love the brotherhood, fear God, honor the king” – Saint Peter, the Apostle (I Pet 2:17)
To those who say that “honor must be earned”….think about the rulers of Peter’s day. Were they godly men? Were they even modestly honest and wise rulers? And yet Peter wrote that we should “honor the king” even against a backdrop of harsh, unjust rulers under whom Israel was being crushed and mistreated. We are without excuse.
I saw this on a friend’s facebook wall. I like it, but I don’t like many of the comments. I saw something along the lines of “who would Jesus vote for?” I don’t really think Jesus would vote. I think he would just go along, continuing to be awesome, and teaching. I really don’t believe the president has much influence on many of the things that people are bringing up. He can help push along some policies, but I think, when voting for The President of the United States of America, I believe you should solely be voting for the person who you believe would be the best President of the United States of America. They’re both very able bodied. I suppose it could come down to your gut feeling, but I can’t accept that something hasn’t poisoned you if you seriously call Obama gay, or a muslim (as if it was a horrible thing) or something like that. Likewise, don’t talk about mormonism like it’s some horrible plague, or things like that. If you’re going to vote, make it about who is best to lead the country in the state it’s in.
“Barack Obama has referred to his faith more times than most presidents ever have, but for many it’s the wrong kind of faith,” says Jim Wallis, head of Sojourners, an evangelical activist group based in Washington that focuses on poverty and social justice issues.
Follow the CNN Belief Blog on Twitter
“It is not the faith of the religious right. It’s about things that they don’t talk about. It’s about how the Bible is full of God’s clear instruction to care for the poor.”
Some see a ‘different’ kind of Christian
Obama is a progressive Christian who blends the emotional fire of the African-American church, the ecumenical outlook of contemporary Protestantism, and the activism of the Social Gospel, a late 19th-century movement whose leaders faulted American churches for focusing too much on personal salvation while ignoring the conditions that led to pervasive poverty.
No other president has shared the hybrid faith that Obama displays, says Diana Butler Bass, a historian and author of “Christianity after Religion.”
“The kind of faith that Obama articulates is not the sort of Christianity that’s understood by the media or by a large swath of Christians in the U.S.,” says Bass, a progressive Christian. “He’s a different kind of Christian, and the media and the public awareness needs to reawaken to that fact.”
TO READ THE REST GO TO http://religion.blogs.cnn.com/2012/10/21/to-some-obama-is-the-wrong-kind-of-christian/
“For it is better, if God should will it so, that you suffer for doing what is right rather than for doing what is wrong.” (1 Peter 3:17; NASB)
“He took his stick in his hand and chose for himself five smooth stones from the brook, and put them in the shepherd’s bag which he had, even in his pouch, and his sling was in his hand; and he approached the Philistine.” (1 Samuel 17:40; NASB)
Remaining silent or on the sidelines when we shouldn’t is sin. Jesus openly opposed evil when He was on earth, and He will be opposing evil in the most vigorous way upon His return. He expects us to oppose evil as well.
I’ll get to the point. I’m more upset by the gist of these remarks of Pastor Cho’s than I am anything that President Obama or any other leftist leader says or does.
What Cho and so many other Christians, including leaders and teachers, are essentially doing is giving a pass to Christians so they can justify their vote for a side that demands the right to murder over a million babies every year. We could go onto other issues, but I’ll just stop with that one.
Supporting the left in America these days is no different than the German saying this about the Third Reich, “Well, I’m not keen on those camps where all those Jews go, but then again, our leaders have made the trains run on time.”
First of all, most if not all of what Cho says–when you isolate each point–is spot on. It’s what he doesn’t say that is troubling. Cho’s larger point, which amounts to equivocation, is rubbish! When we side with a movement and individuals who promote, legitimize, and commit great and obvious evil, then we are guilty along with them.
It is good and right to be gentle with those caught up in their sin outside the Body. I get that. But for those who flirt with evil from inside the Body, that’s another story.
I make no bones about it. I love my country enough to fight and die for it, both against foreign and domestic enemies. IT IS RIGHT AND NECESSARY, ACCORDING TO GOD AND HIS WORD, TO STAND FOR GOOD AND TO OPPOSE EVIL! The Bible is not keen on oaths, but I made one several years ago, and I’m keeping it, and I believe God expects me to keep it.
If you think abortion is not that big of a deal, then I believe you become part of the problem! If even one abortion does not make you sick to your stomach, then do a soul check! I’m sick and tired of those who think they “stay above the fray”–on so-called holy ground–while the rest of us are doing all we can to stand up for what is right when it’s not convenient–even to the point of risking and losing our jobs.
Check your shorts and pick a lane! It’s okay to FIGHT! Sometimes we have but no choice to fight! (Eccl 3). Look at Abraham, Moses, Joshua, David, Jeremiah, Isaiah, Gideon, Deborah, Barak, etc. You don’t think they cared about their country and people? Failing to fight when we must is just as much sin as unjustified or excessive violence.
When we go to church, we should hear about what God says about the issues of the day. What are we going to do–let others outside the Body speak to these issues while we remain silent?! Let our schools, colleges, pop culture, etc., tell us and our kids how to think and vote? God’s Church and His Word should be the FIRST places we go for answers regarding the issues of the day. And yet, so many Christians would rather stick with the “safe” issues that don’t ruffle any feathers among the flock.
I leave us with this:
“And just as they did not see fit to acknowledge God any longer, God gave them over to a depraved mind, to do those things which are not proper, 29 being filled with all unrighteousness, wickedness, greed, evil; full of envy, murder, strife, deceit, malice; they are gossips, 30 slanderers, haters of God, insolent, arrogant, boastful, inventors of evil, disobedient to parents, 31 without understanding, untrustworthy, unloving, unmerciful; 32 and although they know the ordinance of God, that those who practice such things are worthy of death, they not only do the same, but also give hearty approval to those who practice them.” (Romans 1:18-32; NASB)
Awesome post! Don’t go to bed with political parties. Vote the issues. Respect the candidates. Stay engaged. Thank you Pastor Eugene for so eloquently stating what should be obvious. And thank God for intelligent spiritual leaders.
May God have mercy on us all
when people ask me if I am demitcratic or republican, I say neither, I am freedom of choice. I love theese commandments!
Reblogged this on Necessary Urban and commented:
On the day of election recovery, here’s a good few thoughts for 2016.
I do not respect any man of whatever color or political label whose purpose is to “fundamentally change” my country, who consistently promotes racial divisiveness and class warfare. I do not respect a person who promotes envy and who consistently lies or misrepresents the truth (see Bengazi) to the American public. And I certainly will not respect a Marxist (it is not an assaulting label but a clear representation of belief articulated in his own writings – if you disagree, then you have not read his writing – or words attributed to him in his books). To infer that this is a struggle between two well-meaning philosophies and both should be respected, is both naive and dangerous. It is this sort of attitude that will lead us on a personal level into further loss of individual liberty and as a country to a purposely diminished stature and influence in a very dangerous world. I could go on, in depth, much further, but simply will not take the time in this venue. There are numerous points made in this article that I can agree with, support and seek to follow. But the stance that both candidate philosophies represent simply differences of opinion that should both be equally respected I find to be naive, uninformed and ultimately abhorrent.
VERY WELL SAID WRITRGUY! So many tip-toe around his true agenda, when simple common sense should;ve prevailed.