McCain/Palin: Time to pause and reflect…

4 09 2008

Mark Twain once said, “Whenever you find yourself on the side of the majority, it is time to pause and reflect.” While conservatives and evangelicals are tripping over one another to jump on the McCain/Palin bandwagon, I’ve had this nagging feeling that usually comes along with a “too good to be true” sales pitch. There are serious questions raised by the prospect of a McCain/Palin administration which, it seems to me, those who hold to the infallible authority of the Bible need to stop and consider, before rushing with the crowd to anoint the new saviors of the republic. Other authors have addressed some of these questions much more competently than I could, so here are some links to articles that I hope you will read with an open mind and an open Bible…

[Disclaimer: The opinions expressed in these articles and essays are those of the respective authors. You may not, and probably will not, agree with all that they have to say. But the points and questions raised in these selections are worthy of consideration and ought not to be casually dismissed.]

A Letter of Encouragement to Vice Presidential Candidate Sarah Palin from a Sister in the Lord and the Wife of a Christian Pastor, by Rebecca B. Morecraft

Did McCain Make a Pro-family VP Pick?, by Voddie Baucham

Should Christians Support a Woman for the Office of Civil Magistrate?, by William Einwechter

Women’s Rights Women, by Robert Lewis Dabney

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7 responses

5 09 2008
Toby Brown

The Bible has little to say about worldly authorities. We hear accounts of their activities at times and also we hear of encounters with them, but there is very little biblical material about how a government should operate. I think making the link between a Christian home, a Christian fellowship and the operations of the local government would be a real stretch for anyone.

Certainly our tradition does speak of the desire for a godly magistrate and our Christian duty to pray for those who lead our country/people, but to make God’s mandate for the church as being the same for a government in the world smacks of theocracy.

I still think that Jesus’ teaching on giving to God what is God’s and giving to Caesar that which is Caesar’s is a needed corrective to our political aspirations.

5 09 2008
dwcomin

Thanks for the comments, Pastor Brown, but I can’t say that I agree with you on this one. The Bible speaks very directly to civil government. In fact, while our Confession of Faith recognizes that the laws that God gave to Israel as a body politic are no longer specifically binding upon nations, it does add an important caveat…

WCF 19.4 To them [Israel] also, as a body politic, He gave sundry judicial laws, which expired together with the state of that people, not obliging any other now, further than the general equity thereof may require.

The laws once given by God directly to Israel possess a “general equity” because they are rooted in God’s perfect wisdom in providing a moral and judicial code to govern a nation. We are to read God’s laws given to Israel as a body politic, and apply the general equity to our own national governments. The Bible does not speak to us only as a spiritual people with spiritual concerns, but gives us direction regarding our status as members of families, communities, and nations. When we read God’s Word as it speaks to governments and political matters, we are to apply the general principles to our particular situations.

5 09 2008
Toby Brown

Well you have to understand that I come from the Southern line of Reformed theology, that takes the position that we are to be–in the Church–hesitant to speak on secular politics. I think the alternative to that is to become Political Church and go down the road to either selling out to worldly power games or diluting the church into a political activist gathering.

But certainly those of good faith within the Reformed community disagree about how to engage our leaders and governments and the choices they make, while we take the position of speaking the truth of God’s Word to those in power.

(And you can call me Toby!)

5 09 2008
dwcomin

Thanks Toby! Regarding the Southern line of Reformed theology, I think of men like R.L. Dabney, who certainly never hesitated to speak out, or write, on political matters. Dabney’s Discussions are filled with articles and essays on the political topics of the day. Like John Calvin and John Knox, he understood that the Kingship of Christ was not restricted to the “spiritual” sphere of the church, but that “God has made Him head over all things, to the church.” We certainly are called to speak the truth of God’s Word to those in power, and they are obligated to obey God’s Word because He is the Sovereign over nations and governments as well as individuals.

I certainly don’t advocate the Church being a politicized institution. Church and State are distinct and separate institutions, but BOTH are ordained by God and governed by His authoritative Word in their respective spheres.

6 09 2008
Toby Brown

Thanks Doug for a great discussion! I’ve got more to think about…

6 09 2008
Linda M Au

The thing I struggle with is just how pragmatic to be about my voting. If someone is a relatively better choice than the other candidate, is that good enough? How much better would he/she need to be? How close to my theology? You can carry this so far as to vote only for one’s cloned twin!

I often assume that we do so many other things based on pragmatism (which isn’t defined as automatically evil) … so why not voting? Why not move more slowly toward more and more biblically sound leaders? Must we wait for that totally Reformed candidate to step forward before we can participate? Or does God work in increments even in politics? He certainly is working in small increments in rolling back the Curse and in converting the nations….

Just a few “devil’s advocate” thoughts….

P.S. The fact that she hunts moose is just a plus, really. 😉

6 09 2008
dwcomin

Thanks for the thoughtful comments, Linda. I’ve written on the subject of voting pragmatically in another post: . see “Of two evils, choose neither.”

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