Editor’s Note: July 4, 2016
This post was originally written on my phone during a plane ride and posted later that day after five hours of driving. As a result of the time restraints I only had time to apply headers before posting. Therefore, in this update I am adding source links to claims that were made in the post itself.
Standing in the coffee line at Charlotte Douglas Airport I spotted today’s issue of USA Today. The headline read “Supreme Court Strikes Down Abortion Limits” with picture of jubilant young women and one awkward fellow cheering in the background.I have kept silent for a while now but with the news of highly respected Christian leaders such as James Dobson
endorsing encouraging us to give Donald Trump the benefit of the doubt*, and Franklin Graham literally likening the presumptive GOP nominee to biblical patriarchs one thing has become clear to me: the time for silence is over. The world is literally on fire and while we may not be able to stop or change it, this time of shaking is the time in which the people of God must not be moved. My tone is changing as our time is changing. When the enemy had Jerusalem under siege Jeremiah brought God’s truth to the people and even the king. Isaiah prophesied judgement and redemption upon Israel before it’s destruction. Ezekiel sounded the alarm to his nation that they were coming under judgment because of their own presumptuous sins, and he was warned that to say and do nothing was to accept the responsibility of the nation itself. In other words, as Dietrich Bonhoeffer said, “Not to speak is to speak, not to act is to act.” God will not hold us guiltless if we do not stand for what He says and thereby capitulate to the sins of our nation.
*Correction: The original post stated that Dr. James Dobson endorsed Donald Trump for President. He actually endorsed Senator Ted Cruz before he suspended his campaign. That being said Dobson, along with a number of other evangelical leaders, have issued statements of Donald Trump’s recent conversion to Christianity and encouraged Christian voters to go easier on him. While not an outright endorsement, this view is aimed at rallying Christian voters who cannot vote for Trump in good conscience.
The Covenant of Marriage
What is marriage? Some would say that it is a legally binding contract between two people for financial benefit and tax breaks. If that is the case then why should we as Christians make a fuss about it? If marriage is legitimately nothing more than a legal contract than it is no different than two people entering into a business arrangement. It is for this reason that the Christians need to understand the biblical concept of covenant.
Covenant and Marriage
Covenants are similar to contracts with a few exceptions. They are agreements between two or more people as well as with God. For example, a covenant between two believers to equally share a piece of land is a vow before God that they will honor the covenant between one another. Likewise the covenant of marriage was laid out in the beginning that a man shall leave his parents home and lovingly provide for his bride just as Christ provides for His bride (the Church) and gave himself up for her. What this means is that if either one of them violates this covenant they are guilty of sin against God, their spouse, and any children they might have. God established this in the beginning because the union between these two image bearers, man and woman, is a reminder of the unity within God’s triune nature. Jesus who is one in nature with the Father displays masculine attributes (King, Judge, Mighty Warrior, etc), whereas the Holy Spirit is often described in feminine terms (Helper, Comfort, i.e. the titles given to Eve in the Garden of Eden).
Marriage and Government
The problem I have with the gay marriage decision supersedes the issue of gay marriage entirely. As a constitutional Libertarian I agree that all of our citizens deserve equal treatment and equal opportunity. What I disagree with is the governments role in the covenant of marriage. I was married nine years ago and to be frank, I literally place no value in my state marriage license. The value of my marriage comes from the union between my wife and I and our journey to grow closer to God together. We need to stop bickering about how the government needs to accommodate our religious views of marriage and start petitioning our individual state governments to get out of the business of marriage entirely.
Killing the Unborn
Christians and Abortion
Are you Pro-Life or Pro-Choice? If you are a Christian, you should have one clear answer here. We can discuss the single digit percent of cases involving rape and incest and of course life of the mother, but the vast majority of abortion cases that are in question here have nothing to do with these scenarios.
I’ve made the biblical case before: Pslam 139 and Jeremiah 1 are a good place to start. In the Greek New Testament the word brephos is used to describe the children that Jesus welcomed to come to him (Luke 18:15), the newborn Jesus in the manger (Luke 2:12), and the unborn spirit-filled fetus of John the Baptist (Luke 1:41,44). The clear fact is that it is a baby. “No! It’s a bundle of cells!” cry the pro-abortionists. Well to be honest, so are you and so are all of us. If value is not given to a life until it is wanted or loved than you have just made the case for genocide and chattel slavery.
Libertarians and Abortion
According to the current incarnation of libertarianism I am not a good libertarian. Most people in the party are semi-anarcho liberals, which is why we have Gary Johnson as our candidate for the sixty-third time (or at least it feels like it). Libertarianism is not about on-demand-abortions and legalized weed; it is about self-reliance, small government, and above all else individual liberty. In this country we are suppose to stand for the rights of all people to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. So why then are we espousing government coercion in private transactions as Governor Johnson suggested in the libertarian debate? And why in the name of all things sacred are we okay with stripping a living, breathing, heart-beating, brainwave-preset, pain-feeling baby of their fundamental right to life?
And while I’m on a roll of most likely upsetting or offending everybody, let’s go for the hat trick! Donald Trump deserves to be the GOP nominee. Period. He won the 1237 delegates required by party rules and now the Republicans have to deal with it. If they didn’t want him to be their candidate they should have done more before he won. That being said, I firmly believe that Donald Trump is a terrible human being.
Policy aside (of which Trump has provided very little in substance) he has thus far proven to fight dirty, attack his opponents family, attempt to shame and bully anyone who disagrees with him, and has run his entire campaign on character attacks. When asked if he’s ever asked God for forgiveness he said “No”. Just so you know, that’s kind of the whole basis of Christianity. And now we’re supposed to get behind him because religious leaders are saying we have to? No sir! I stand with Jesus and I will vote for what I believe. I have great respect for men like James Dobson and Franklin Graham but when they are wrong we need to be willing to call it for what I is. “But he’s a baby Christian.” So? I hope and pray that Jesus will change him and make him into something more, but even brand new born-again Christians are radically different after their conversion and it shows.
Principles? Or Losing Our Religion
I never thought I could actually identify with REM’s song Losing My Religion but in some ways I do. I feel like everything in the American Church is getting turned upside down. What was orthodox just ten years ago is now called heretical, and is truly heretical is now deemed acceptable. As Isaiah said, “Woe to you who call evil good, and good evil” (Isaiah 5:20).
My brothers and my sisters, we have to hold the line. We must not waiver. We must not be shaken. I truly believe that we were born for this time because as hard as it is God won’t give more than we can handle without a shelter to stand under. That shelter is Jesus and the Holy Spirit living within us. Many of you, like myself, have been criticized for speaking the truth And standing for what we believe in. It’s hard when people you care about and who you thought cared about you call you names and try to shame you, but you need to shake it off. Don’t give up. You are not alone. As Jesus told us, “Woe to you when all men speak well of you” (Luke 6:26).