Tuesday, July 10, 2018
WHAT IS YOUR POLITICAL POSITION?
Where do I stand? I don’t think the middle is a proper understanding of my position. I am trying to stand on the Rock, on the Word of God, from his “fixed” position. This is opposed to partisans in America, whose positions shift, though they are often referred to as “being on the right,” or “being on the left.” “Being in the middle” is often dismissed as a real position because people think that to oppose their point of view means you are siding with their opponents, so in an election you are declared to have hurt the vote if you don’t vote for their side, even if you can’t in good conscience vote for either side. Most political partisans hate the people in the middle and seek either to radicalize them or to dismiss their legitimacy. Ideology despises compromise.
I don’t think my position is the “middle.” Though at times, for political understanding, it might seem that way. I want to be in the correct position, God’s position, and I want to know what he thinks and what he wants, and that’s where I hope you will find my opinion. There is of course a danger to even saying such things, as some might find it outrageous that anyone could know God’s position on any particular thing concerning politics. Actually, for those who believe the Bible to be God’s Word it is not outrageous at all. It is certainly true that those claiming to believe the Bible have often come out on various sides of an issue, and so things can get a little tricky in deciding a political opinion. Yet, I maintain there is a God side of things, and it is that side to which we must conform no matter what party to which we belong.
As I have tried to ascertain God’s position on things I have sometimes found myself agreeing with those on the right, and sometimes agreeing with those on the left. People on either of those sides tend to assume, if I agree with them on one issue, that I will therefore accept all of their ideology and all of their venom for those on the other side. Far too often I have found fellow believers selling their minds to an ideological drift and becoming fairly nasty in their partisanship. These people will often tell you they are discerning, that they vote for the person or the particular issue, but their track records don’t reflect much independence (in my opinion) especially as I watch them spread “fake news.”
I am not always sure about things, not always educated about issues or personalities. There is plenty of ambiguity in the political realm and therefore plenty of room for humility, though that seems hard to find these days. If I am wrong in my understanding of Scripture or of what may be deduced by good and necessary inference from it when it comes to righteousness (moral and ethical), then I want very much to be corrected. I don’t want to be stubborn, proud, or arrogant before the Scriptures and its truth, and neither do I want to be those things before people. I need wisdom, knowledge, prudence, and discernment, continually and increasingly.
Let me be specific about some of my stands on things so the reader can understand the dilemma of position. I am opposed to abortion, so I am declared therefore to be a conservative. I am opposed to the practice of homosexuality and opposed to homosexual consensual relationships given the title of “marriage.” So, now I am even more conservative, and called other names. I am opposed to racism, I am for human and civil rights, I am for the protection of the poor and the weak, therefore I am called a liberal.
I think having a position on such things is important because when one fears God they are supposed to “hate” evil. Some things in our culture are evil and should be opposed. If I oppose an evil someone will remind me that America is not the Kingdom of God and my very opposition to certain behaviors and political opinions might lose me a hearing for my preaching. I agree about America, it is not the Kingdom of God. Yet, I believe that nations count, they are important to the life of the people who live there.
The government of any nation is important as to whether or not the people who live under it are allowed to live in a context of moral and ethical righteousness, and evil will prevail when good people say and do nothing about it. Though America is not a “Christian” nation many people live here. They are all made in the image of God, each one is important and significant, their lives matter.
As a Christian God’s love compels me to care for the well-being of all people, and that not just in an individualistic relational sense, but as a society. The Kingdom of God is active in any society when justice reigns, when love prevails, and there is peace or shalom. Righteousness is indeed where wisdom walks. These are marks and aspects of the Kingdom. Not only that but America is one place where the government takes it shape from the opinions, consensus, and vote of the people and so Believers are able to help shape it. As an American Christian I am more responsible for the government of my nation than people from many other countries simply because I have more of a possibility to change it.
So we must pray. I must pray for our President, even if I didn’t vote for him or if I don’t like the way he acts much of the time. I am thankful for him when he does something right. I must pray for the next Supreme Court Justice and I hope he is opposed to Roe vs. Wade, but I don’t want him to hurt the civil and human rights of people of color or to hurt the poor by allowing them to be exploited. I support obedience to law and the rulers over us, but demand they be held to account when they break the very laws they are sworn to uphold, and I believe that some laws are in fact unjust and should be changed, and in some cases disobeyed for conscience sake until those laws are changed. I am for love and against violence, and deeply thankful for the freedom I have to advocate, practice, and vote for these things.