Last week, something happened I never thought I would see. The Rev. Billy Graham stepped into the political realm and virtually endorsed a presidential candidate. This week he is encouraging us through a series of ads to “vote for biblical values,” and as a Christian, I couldn’t agree with him more. There’s only one problem. Which biblical values should we vote for? Red biblical values or the blue ones? You see, it’s not just the states we’ve divided into team colors.
In the red camp, we have Christians who believe we should vote according to the verses in the Bible dealing with life in the womb and marriage between a man and a woman. For them, once you discern which candidate supports the right view of these issues, decision time is over. You vote Republican.
In the blue camp, however, there are Christians who believe we should vote according to the verses in scripture dealing with our obligation toward the poor and downtrodden and the sacred responsibility of caring for God’s creation. For these believers, the choice is also a clear one. You vote Democrat.
Now, maybe you believe in all the above – the red and the blue biblical values. You just don’t think the government has any business regulating or overseeing the Church’s work. You believe the Body of Christ is much more equipped and better empowered to tend to these matters. Ok, but still… from which camp are you speaking? You don’t think the government should be in the business of providing for the poor, or you don’t think the government should mandate who can be married? It seems to me that both camps want the government involved and removed at the same time.
Voting biblical values. It’s really not that simple, is it?
What is simple, however, is that when we assume real Christians vote a certain way and publicly profess that to be so, we hurt people we love. Here lies the tragedy, the real downfall that should be feared by all Christians. If we walk away from this election with either man in the Oval Office, the cause of Christ will live on in you and in me, but not if we unknowingly destroy the love we have for one another. Scripture is very clear about that. They shall know we are Christians how? By our love for one another.
Therefore, before making that comment about real Christians voting a certain way, remember that your words may very well damage the love you share with other Christians, loved ones who honestly feel led to vote according to another list of biblical values or another philosophy as to which scriptural guidelines should be yielded to government oversight.
We must be so careful, so full of care, because losing an election is one thing, but losing our love for one another is just simply too high a price to pay for any political party or candidate. So, go ahead and speak your political convictions, but please, please go the extra mile and make sure you don’t forsake the greatest biblical value of all: love God, love people.
Really great post; I couldn’t agree with you more.
Regarding this link: https://lisamyers.org/2012/10/24/voting-biblical-values WE NEED TO GET OUR PRIORITIES STRAIGHT!!! My husband and I vote on abortion, marriage, and Israel issues first and foremost. We focus on helping the poor through my own efforts and through various organizations. Individuals and the church as a whole are supposed to care for people. The biggest issues facing us today are the holocaust of the unborn, the attack on Christian values/faith, and supporting Israel. As for the economy vote for someone who will help build small business which helps grow the economy, give people jobs, and relieves much of the poor issue. We CANNOT compromise the unborn, marriage, or Israel for the sake of the poor! And by the way, the Dems do not have a monopoly on helping the poor. Republicans also are concerned about the poor, but we are more concerned about getting the poor better education & JOBS so that they have a greater sense of purpose. Of course, anyone who truly needs assistance should get it. We don’t buy into the notion that Dems are the only ones that help the poor. So, vote most important issues first. Look at the bigger picture. — OH, and if you want to vote Biblical values, don’t forget it was the Dems who rejected GOD during their convention!
You talk about hurting the people you love. What’s more hurtful than killing the life within you – a mother killing her child? To say that publicly defending the unborn means that we lack love for those who don’t agree with us and are hurting them is ridiculous! One doesn’t follow from the other. Not all evils are equal, and saying it’s fine to kill your own child is far more evil than not giving free stuff through government programs. In your ‘blue camp’ you talk about the poor and downtrodden and the sacred responsibility of caring for God’s creation. This definitely includes the unborn, and therefore the blue camp can’t say they are doing this if they ignore the unborn. The ‘red camp’ also believes in caring for the poor in God’s creation, and have been doing so forever. Catholics are known for their work in caring for the poor through donations and charitable organizations throughout history. The poor have always been helped by Catholics and their programs and will continue to be, but we cannot be silent when it comes to a mother being told that she has a “right” to kill her child. This should never be called ‘normal’ or ‘natural’ or a ‘right’. If this “right” was justifiable, then parents should have a ‘right to kill their one or two or three-year-old, etc. for the same reasons that a woman may have used to abort her unborn child.
That is why it is so important for people to make a ‘choice’ before a child is conceived. Once the child is created, we have NO RIGHT to KILL a defenseless baby. That is the difference between the ‘red’ and ‘blue’ camps.
was the thing to do\’. I also didn\’t agree with the ask and ye shall receive bit. Sure, thigns will come your way, but not everything may be in your best interest. I\’ve also never been baptized. I had a minor traumatic experience at summer bible school once that left a really bad taste in my mouth. I was pressured to get baptized even though I was not ready and not comfortable and was told many thigns that really frustrated and scared me. Anyway, thanks for the post.
What a wonderful, wise, and humbling article. There are many, many values addressed in the Bible, and I think you have reminded us than no matter where we focus our efforts regarding community and politics – and BOTH parties have noble causes – our priority is to not lose focus of the command to love each other. When asked what was the greatest commandment, Jesus’ response was clear. We’re to love God first and most, then to love our brothers and sisters and neighbors. However we choose to support our nation and our communities, the Bible clearly tells us that we must love each other as we go about it.
Thanks for the reminder.
Why does this ‘love’ never include a responsibility to the most vulnerable among us? The Bible also clearly tells us Thou Shalt not Kill. Love of God, Love of neighbor … following God’s commandments shows God our love for Him. You are all choosing to remain blind. We cannot say we are committed to love, and then not put defense of LIFE above all other issues. We cannot claim to love if we turn a blind eye to the slaughter of our own children.
Thanks Shannon for getting past the huffing and puffing of others and speaking the essence of Jesus; His love, His amazing, amazing love. Very thoughtful and good article. A wonderful reminder to not lose sight of what mattered to Jesus. Thanks to my friend Nikki for posting it on her wall where I could see it.
Donna K, in the same way you claim the “red camp” can care for the poor without making it the foundation of their platform, so can the “blue camp” care for the unborn without making it the platform of theirs. One party seeks to aid the poor through legislation and government programs; the other through the efforts of churches and charitable organizations. One party seeks to end abortion through legislation; the other endeavors to end the need for abortion through education, healthcare, and provisions for those women who find themselves in an unplanned pregnancy. Neither camp is turning a blind eye; each is extending a helpful, non-judgmental hand. And when we realize that all life is precious – an unborn child’s life, a poor person’s life, a gang member’s life, a homeless person’s life, a mother’s life – then we must respond with love, and provision, for all of them. Political parties may debate which aspects of those endeavors are more honorable, but the Christian’s call is clearly to love and provide for all of them.
I feel compelled to add my perspective. There is no way I could fully expound on this subject without writing a novel, therefore I will cover the high points. I can imagine the adage “never discuss politics and religion” started since they are very much one in the same. Hate is a very strong word, but I will say that I HATE, LOATH and otherwise DISDAIN religion. To be clear, religion by definition, is man’s attempt to reconcile himself with God. Furthermore, since I don’t have the ability to do so, God reconciled me to Him through Jesus Christ. Few other single attacks on God’s children has been more successful than religion in the church. How does this attack work? It polarizes and amplifies differences (perceived or real) between groups, pitting them against each other instead of unifying them. The same tactic is and has been used in politics. For example, if you care about the poor you will align with the Democratic party. If you think abortion is wrong, you will join the Republican party. Simple. Effective. Emotional. How much easier could it be to distract you and your neighbor while a thief comes in and steals everything under everyone’s nose? Many of the arguments I see presented are bickering over semantics. It is the equivalent of arguing over which method is “best” to sink a ship.
Perhaps everyone is focused on the wrong thing(s)…?
The resounding theme of history is that we do not learn from it. Humans have a long history of choosing identities through groups, reminiscent of “If you are not for us you are against us”. The proverbial line in the sand has been drawn, so which side do you stand on? The question is flawed. The question assumes there are only two choices (in the case of Blue vs Red). What if both sides have the same goal, but a different method to achieve said goal? Do you agree with that goal? If neither side has an answer that aligns with truth, logically neither side has the correct answer. God tells us through the prophet Hosea that, “My people perish for a lack of knowledge.” We still do. Without taking scripture out of context, my intention is to expose that we as a people are not “seeing the forest for the trees”. The best lies are filled with truth to support the deception. Based on God’s word, he does not want us to be ignorant of the devices and methods being used against us and gives us the tools to be educated to defend against them. A study of the history of Rome, England, global events surrounding World War II, and the effects of the cold war with the Soviet Union should answer the causes of the social, moral and economic issues we face today. I would argue that the communists and marxists are winning – it just took longer than expected. More specifically, look into the teachings of Marx, Lenin, Stalin, Nietzsche and Darwin then compare to what you see happening in the economic, political and educational systems of the United States of America. What effects of those world views have on humanity? (Note, they do not involve God – thus His truth). Does the definition of “Hope” or “Change” mean what you think it does? If someone says they believe in (g)od, do you assume they believe in the same God you do? Don’t take my word for it, research it, come to your own conclusions. This has all happened before and is happening again – as a nation we are too busy to see what is going on in our own “house”.
As a Christian we do have absolute truth, and that truth is available to us. I urge anyone and everyone to Ask, Seek and Knock for the answers. The Lord also tells us “Behold, I send you out as sheep in the midst of wolves so be shrewd as serpents and innocent as doves”. Do we as a people understand the basis of our convictions? Can we hold those convictions based upon an absolute truth and still show love, mercy, and kindness? We have been given a perfect example and empowered to do so! Are we blindly following winds of doctrine into an trap? I assure you, God does not want us to be ignorant of the devices and methods being used against us, and gives us the tools to deal with them.
What is evil? How do you define evil? I implore everyone to look through a world view of absolute truth and remember the verse “All the ways of a man are right in his own eyes.”. That verse from Proverbs tells us that human nature is to define good and evil from our own perspective. Therefore, avoid being a “Good Nazi.” What is a “Good Nazi”? The brown shirts executed millions of people out of pure hatred and evil, yet do you think most of them saw themselves as evil? Why? Because they compared and measured themselves by the standards they themselves created. Please don’t judge yourself by your own standards and righteousness, but only in the light of His righteousness.
Psalm 4:6 (KJV) There be many that say, Who will shew us any good? LORD, lift thou up the light of thy countenance upon us.
To God be the Glory forever!
Thank you, Justin