Sunday, January 23, 2005

Whose Morality

A man I correspond with asked me a question about our responsibility as Christians with respect to voting, especially as it relates to issues that seem to be forcing our opinions on others. God has given us as Christians certain commandments and principles to guide our lives, but should we impose these on others through our vote? This morning, in a message on respecting life, our pastor mentioned a couple of passages that caught my attention. The first is in Romans 13 and speaks about the reason for respect and obedience to the government: “For rulers are not a terror to good works, but to evil. Do you want to be unafraid of the authority? Do what is good, and you will have praise from the same. For he is God’s minister to you for good. But if you do evil, be afraid; for he does not bear the sword in vain; for he is God’s minister, an avenger to execute wrath on him who practices evil.” The second passage is from I Peter 2:13, 14 “Therefore submit yourselves to every ordinance of man for the Lord’s sake, whether to the king as supreme, 14or to governors, as to those who are sent by him for the punishment of evildoers and for the praise of those who do good.”

Even though the pastor wasn’t making this particular point, I began to think about the fact that in both passages, the job of the government is to oppose evil. The problem we have in our culture is that no one agrees as to whose definition of evil should be followed. Is murder evil? Certainly virtually all people would say it is. When we ask the same question about homosexuality or abortion or gambling, the number of people who say these are evil varies widely. But we as Christians are obligated to accept God’s definition of evil, are we not? It is God who told us the purpose of government in these verses and it is “evil” as God defines it that must be opposed and “good” as God defines it that must be established.

In our day, the concept of absolutes has virtually disappeared. If the legislature or Supreme Court makes something right, then we assume it is right. We must remember that the absolutes are given by God and not by us or our institutions.

Therefore I believe the answer to the young man’s question is that in our voting we should vote in favor of those candidates and those resolutions that stand for the right and against the evil as God defines it. In many cases this will impose a morality on our society that not everyone agrees with. But if it is right in God’s eyes then we will have served Him well by providing ourselves with a government that accomplishes the purposes for which He designed it.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Thanks Roger for sharing your view on our responsibility as Christians on voting.
This world view lines up with the Bible as you accurately point out.
While pondering what you said, (taking this a step further) I thought about how we need to consider what the Bible says also about our responsibility after our leaders are in office.
1 Timothy 2
1Therefore I exhort first of all that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks be made for all men, 2for kings and all who are in authority, that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and reverence. 3For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Savior, 4who desires all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth.

A plug here for a web site devoted to this:
Because Jesus lives...steve