Wednesday, October 18, 2017

Rendering unto Caesar What Is Caesar’s: The Christian and the USA’s 2012 Elections

Saturday, September 1, 2012, 0:00
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The 2012 U.S. presidential election is scheduled for November 6, 2012, as are elections for all 435 members of the U.S. House of Representatives and one-third of the currently seated 100 U.S. Senators. Additionally, numerous state and local elective offices and legislative measures will be voted upon.

How then is the confessional, biblical Christian to exercise his temporal right to vote? More accurately, how then is the confessional, biblical Christian to exercise his temporal right to vote based upon what “is either expressly set down in Scripture, or by good and necessary consequence may be deduced from Scripture”? [i] This essay begins by examining several relevant Scripture passages in order that the Christian voter might better deduce the answer for himself:

Daniel 4:17 – “…the living may know that the most High ruleth in the kingdom of men, and giveth it to whomsoever he will, and setteth up over it the basest of men.”

God, “who worketh all things after the counsel of his own will ” [ii], providentially and sovereignly places all rulers into their positions of authority.

Romans 13:1 – “Let every soul be subject unto the higher powers. For there is no power but of God: the powers that be are ordained of God.”

God calls the Christian to be obedient to the rulers that he has ordained and placed into positions of authority.

Acts 4:5-7, 18-20 – “And it came to pass on the morrow, that their rulers, and elders, and scribes, And Annas the high priest, and Caiaphas, and John, and Alexander, and as many as were of the kindred of the high priest, were gathered together at Jerusalem. And when they had set them in the midst, they asked, By what power, or by what name, have ye done this?… And they called them, and commanded them not to speak at all nor teach in the name of Jesus. But Peter and John answered and said unto them, Whether it be right in the sight of God to hearken unto you more than unto God, judge ye. For we cannot but speak the things which we have seen and heard.”

The Jewish religious leaders, to whom authority over religious matters had been delegated by the ruling Romans, commanded Peter and John to cease speaking and teaching in the name of Jesus. Peter and John chose to obey Jesus’ Great Commission [iii] rather than obey the contrary orders of the ruling authorities. Therefore, obedience to the rulers that God has ordained is limited to orders from said rulers that are congruent with God’s Law.

Matthew 22:21 – “Render therefore unto Caesar the things which are Caesar’s; and unto God the things that are God’s.”

God calls the Christian to carry out both his responsibilities to God and his responsibilities to the rulers that God has ordained.

In the U.S., these latter, temporal responsibilities include the election by the citizens of their rulers. The U.S. is a constitutional republic, where those elected to govern are limited in their governing powers by the terms of the constitution the elected leaders swear to uphold upon taking their oaths of office. When an elected leader exceeds his constitutional authority by taking upon himself powers not granted to his office by the provisions of the constitution he has sworn to uphold, he is a liar for breaking his oath and a thief by stealing powers not lawfully granted. The same goes for the elected leader that refuses to carry out his constitutional responsibilities.

Other Scripture passages may help the Christian voter deduce the characteristics of a godly leader:

Exodus 18:21 – “Moreover thou shalt provide out of all the people able men, such as fear God, men of truth, hating covetousness; and place such over them….”

Psalm 1:1 – “Blessed is the man that walketh not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor standeth in the way of sinners, nor sitteth in the seat of the scornful. But his delight is in the law of the LORD; and in his law doth he meditate day and night.”

And, other Scripture passages may help the Christian voter deduce the characteristics of the ungodly, of whom God demands our separation:

2 Corinthians 6:14-15 – “Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? and what communion hath light with darkness? And what concord hath Christ with Belial? or what part hath he that believeth with an infidel?”

2 Chronicles 19:2 – “Shouldest thou help the ungodly, and love them that hate the LORD? therefore is wrath upon thee from before the LORD.”

Arguably, the most important electoral race in 2012 is for the President of the United States. The presumptive nominees of the two major political parties are the incumbent president, Democrat Barack Hussein Obama, and his challenger from the Republican Party, Mitt Romney.

Matthew 7:16 – “Ye shall know them by their fruits.”

1 Corinthians 6:9-10 – “Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Be not deceived: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with mankind, Nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners, shall inherit the kingdom of God.”

Romans 1:29-32 – “Being filled with all unrighteousness, fornication, wickedness, covetousness, maliciousness; full of envy, murder, debate, deceit, malignity; whisperers, Backbiters, haters of God, despiteful, proud, boasters, inventors of evil things, disobedient to parents, Without understanding, covenantbreakers, without natural affection, implacable, unmerciful: Who knowing the judgment of God, that they which commit such things are worthy of death, not only do the same, but have pleasure in them that do them.”

President Obama claims to be a Christian, but by his continual words and deeds while in office has shown himself to be the best friend a militant, radical Muslim ever had. Mitt Romney is a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, i.e., the Mormons. The Muslims recognize Jesus Christ as a lesser prophet who is not God, but is only a man. The Mormons claim to be Christian, but believe that they can become gods themselves, and they believe Jesus Christ to be a created being and the spirit-brother of Lucifer. Both religions are what are called in Galatians 1 “another gospel,” a “pervert[ion of] the gospel of Christ”, and the preachers of such are “accursed.” Both systems of theology contain eschatologies of world domination that are completely out of accord with God’s Word.

Current U.S. President and former U.S. and Illinois State Senator Obama and former Massachusetts Governor Romney both have long electoral records of support for abortion, homosexual activism, expansion of government far beyond its constitutional limitations, and other ungodly doings (though Romney now claims to be pro-life). Both candidates advocate the continued expansion of U.S government reach into every aspect of the lives of its citizens. Both candidates support a continuation of government spending, to supposedly differing degrees, through continued borrowing above the current US$14 trillion deficit and, by implication, currency inflation that devalues the money supply and lays unconscionable debt upon succeeding generations. Both candidates have shown themselves to be habitual liars and thieves by their disregard of the constitutions they have sworn to uphold, and both candidates by their actions have made the Romans and 1 Corinthians Scriptures cited above to be largely biographical accounts of their political careers and cronies.

2 Corinthians 5:10 – “For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ; that every one may receive the things done in his body, according to that he hath done, whether it be good or bad.”

And so again, the question comes down to: How is the confessional, biblical Christian to exercise his temporal right to vote based upon what “is either expressly set down in Scripture, or by good and necessary consequence may be deduced from Scripture”? [iv] In most quarters of U.S. Christendom, the trumpeted answer is straight out of the hybrid religion of pragmatism and Christianity (pragmatianity?), also known as “another gospel”–which goes something like: “Vote for the Mormon because he is the lesser of two evils, and is the only hope for the future of the U.S.!”

Based upon the Scriptures examined in this essay, is this approach congruent with God’s sovereignty and eternal providential plan? Is this approach congruent with the type of person a Christian is to support? Is this approach congruent with the type of person from whom a Christian should be separated?

At this point, the reader may wonder, then, for whom should he vote in the coming presidential election? Should this study be dismissed as the ravings of an unrealistic idealist that has lost his common sense? Should a third-party candidate or a write-in be the recipient of the reader’s vote in lieu of the two major party candidates–thus “wasting” one’s vote in the temporal sense? Should “none of the above” be the effective choice–with the same temporal waste? Are we ready to count the cost and carry our crosses if the future brings God’s wrath upon our nation and world for its unrepentance? That, my dear sibling in Christ, is between you and God.

As each of us that are Christ’s will appear before his judgment seat where each of us will be held accountable for our actions in the 2012 election, and in everything else done in the body, upon which side of Christ’s judgment will your actions fall?



[i] Westminster Confession of Faith, I.6.

[ii] Ephesians 1:11.

[iii] Matthew 28:19-20.

[iv] Westminster Confession of Faith, I.6.

 

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Bob Williams is the Managing Editor of the Christian Observer and Presbyterians Week, holds the Master of Arts in Religion (MAR) degree from Liberty Baptist Theological Seminary, and is a Probationer and Licentiate in the Reformed Presbyterian Church – Hanover Presbytery.

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