It has been a long heated battle between Christians and the interpretation of the United States Constitution. Is it any wonder, since we can’t come to an agreement about how to interpret the bible? Nevertheless, there are enough simple and straightforward teachings in the New Testament to give us wisdom in deciphering what is a good teaching. Pastors all over the country wrestle with how to approach political topics without violating the laws governing a 501c3. My blog is not governed by a 501c3 so I have the freedom to be honest.
I came across a passage written by the apostle Paul, which I think is important for us to consider.
Philippians 2: 3-4; ” 3 Do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves. 4 Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others.” ESV
This is precisely what I meditate on when deciding how to cast a vote for social issues in America.
Something I think we tend to forget is the Constitution is not the bible. At first thought this might be a ‘no brainer’ however, we often fall into an unChrist-like mentality that expresses itself through our brainless behavior.
Since the bible lacks in specific teachings about Christians and the Constitution, we are left with figuring things out as we go along. Let me share some thoughts about this matter.
No matter what law America passes, the Constitution is not our dictator, mediator, or otherwise when it comes to our spiritual lives. Issues such as abortion and marriage equality should not cause us to falter one bit. If the nation passes laws allowing these practices, then we will face the music of our personal convictions should we be taken into a court of law. I’m not saying Christians should break the law of the land, but some seem to think breaking such laws would be a ‘God ordained command’.
When Christians vote on matters like these, they are voting for their own benefit. They want to protect their rights to reject aborting a baby and reject being forced to lead a ceremony between GLBT couples. However, Christ himself said to look after others interests also. Here’s where the rubber meets the road.
- Do we trust God or not?
- Are we willing to face the music in defending our practices if there are laws against it?
When we vote on matters that involve religion, we need to take other religions into consideration. If we vote to limit their religious freedom, then our religious freedom will also be limited.
If you’re a doctor or nurse and are given orders by the hospital to perform an abortion, as convicted as you are against it, God’s grace is with you. You can defy orders and lose your job or your license, or you can perform the duties required and rest in God’s grace. Then we have our faith to lean on. Remember, the midwives refused to kill all the male babes and God rewarded them for their faithfulness to him.
I don’t think we need to worry about the marriage issue, since clergy reserve the right to deny performing services outside the scope of their statement of faith. There are plenty of clergy who are GLBT affirming that can perform a wedding and offer the use of their buildings. So why should we vote against making marriage equal for all adult citizens? The bible isn’t the only holy book in the nation that permits marriage. Marriage was around long before the bible was and Adam and Eve didn’t even have a wedding. In some religions, gay marriage is not only permitted, but celebrated. Who are we to limit their religious freedom?
Then we come to the real crux of the matter, fear.
Christians are afraid of being forced to go against their convictions, they are afraid of going to jail, and they are afraid of public scrutiny. Do you notice the common problem here?
The problem is fear.
Christians struggle with putting their entire faith in Christ and resist believing in his grace. They still think God is angry with them, even though the scriptures declare them clean.
When Christians cast their votes, they need to consider the Constitution since the Constitution is to protect all our rights.
“look not only to your own interests, but also to the interests of others.”
Our votes don’t hinder what the bible says, they don’t alter the scriptures, and they don’t certify a Christian’s need to adopt beliefs they don’t agree with. Many Christians don’t agree with the IRS, but they still pay their taxes.
Jesus told the people not to worry about the physical kingdom they lived in, because His kingdom is not of this world.
“The kingdom is within you.” ~Jesus Christ
The disciples and apostles lived through persecution that we have never faced. God never promises us we would live without persecution, in fact Jesus told us we WOULD face persecution. We still have not faced what true persecution is, how can we possibly say gay marriage is an issue of persecution? Maybe we need to begin really trust in God and ‘stop fearing what man can do to us’.
No matter how you vote, remember that we are God’s children, he loves us, and we are under grace.
American Christians Can’t Claim Persecution
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