Calvin University's official student newspaper since 1907

Calvin University Chimes

Since 1907
Calvin University's official student newspaper since 1907

Calvin University Chimes

Calvin University's official student newspaper since 1907

Calvin University Chimes

Biblical perspectives for campaign 2012

In less than a month, the polls will be open and we will decide who will be our president for the next four years — the incumbent Democrat, President Barack Obama, or Republican challenger Mitt Romney. This is a pivotal election for the future of the United States.

The recent political conventions provided insight on the varying agendas of the two major parties. The 2012 Democratic Party platform unequivocally supports abortion (ideally taxpayer-funded), same-sex marriage, unrestricted access to taxpayer-funded contraception (ideally a mandate, even for religious organizations), and embryonic stem cell research.

In his timely sermon, “The Campaign for Immorality,” pastor John MacArthur spoke about the pressing issues surrounding the 2012 presidential election.

“I’m not one to talk about politics as such, but I was essentially amazed that one of the historic parties here in the United States adopted the sins of Romans 1 as their platform,” said MacArthur. “This is a new day in our country. Parties which used to differ on economics now differ dramatically on issues that invade the realm of God’s law and morality.

“The Democratic Party has now made the sins of Romans 1 their agenda. What God condemns, they affirm. What God punishes, they exalt. Shocking, really. The Democratic Party has become the anti-God party, the sin-promoting party. By the way, there are seventy-two million registered Democrats in this country who have identified themselves with that party and maybe they need to rethink that identification.”

At the 2012 Democratic National Convention, controversy arose after the references to God and Jerusalem were taken out of the platform. Eventually, the omissions were reversed and these references were added back. But would God approve of this immoral agenda for the United States?

In blatant disregard of what the scriptures teach, President Obama has made clear his support for protecting the “right” to murder unwanted, unborn children. There is no ambiguity in the Bible regarding the human status of unborn children, as referenced in Job 3:16, Psalms 51:5, 58:8, 139:13; Ecclesiastes 11:5 and Isaiah 44:2.

In his 1809 letter to the Republican Citizens of Washington County, Md., Thomas Jefferson stated, “The care of human life and not its destruction is the first and only legitimate object of good government.” And we have a major political platform and a president that explicitly supports Roe v. Wade, the court ruling that trounced on this foremost objective of good government.

MacArthur said it exactly right in his recent sermon: “To me it is ironic that those who pride themselves on defending the rights of the weak, murder them in the womb when they are the most weak. What kind of hypocrisy is that?”

As for marriage, Jesus himself clearly reaffirmed God’s definition of marriage in Genesis.

“And He answered and said, ‘Have you not read that He who created them from the beginning made them male and female, and said, “For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh?” So they are no longer two, but one flesh. What therefore God has joined together, let no man separate’” (Matthew 19:4-6, NASB).

I often hear Christians say that we should not enforce the Christian definition of marriage on those who disagree with it. But as Christians we are exhorted to not just keep God’s definition of marriage within our churches, but to keep marriage respectable among everyone: “Let marriage be held in honor among all” (Hebrews 13:4a, ESV).

As Christians, how can we support a president who espouses these unbiblical principles?

On the other hand, Romney and the Republican Party are far from perfect.  There are numerable problems, imperfections, shortcomings and weaknesses of both political parties and candidates.  But the 2012 Republican Party platform and Romney’s political positions do not flagrantly flout biblical principles.

In his open letter to Christians, “Our Nation Has Lost Its Way,” evangelist Franklin Graham exhorts Christians to prayerfully consider this upcoming election and use God’s word as the benchmark for casting votes.

“Does your vote count? You bet it does. Now is the time for people of faith to stand up for clear biblical standards and for our freedom to live by those standards,” said Graham. “Christians need to be careful how they vote this fall, not just nationally, but also on the state and local levels. What are the candidates’ positions on issues in our culture that are clearly addressed in the word of God? We need to elect leaders who believe in the sanctity of life, and who defend and fight for God’s definition of marriage between one man and one woman.”

Both political parties have flaws. Both parties are imperfect human establishments riddled with failures, faults, and shortcomings. Government, political parties, and politicians are all areas affected by the Fall, and as such have been imbued with sin.

But the reality of sin and its all-encompassing scope does not mean we should disregard the upcoming election, or dismiss both candidates and parties since they are not perfect. None of us are.

But what is certain is that either a Democrat (Obama) or a Republican (Romney) will be the president of the United States for the next four years. The sanctity of life and marriage are issues clearly addressed in the Bible — and now we have a choice between a candidate who defends them, and a president who defies them.

Christians must take a stand this election. This is not a political issue. This is not a Republican versus Democrat, or a conservative versus liberal issue. This is a matter of what is Biblical versus what is clearly not.

The positions of Obama and the Democratic Party platform endeavor to thwart the biblical decrees concerning life and marriage.

Ronald Reagan once said, “If we ever forget that we are one nation under God, then we will be a nation gone under.”  Has that moment come for the United States?  If our nation continues in this direction, we are inviting God’s judgment.

Of the four candidates on the two party tickets, Obama is the only self-professed evangelical.  I don’t know his heart or his motives — only God knows (1 Corinthians 4:5). But we can judge from the policies he supports and the positions he advocates; we can recognize people by their fruits. “You will know them by their fruits. Grapes are not gathered from thorn bushes nor figs from thistles, are they?” (Matthew 7:16).

Yes, Romney is a Mormon.  But we are not voting for our pastor or minister. We are voting for the president of the United States. So we need not make our support completely contingent on a candidate’s religion or theological stances. Romney shares numerous biblical, traditional values with many Christians.  He supports the biblical definition of marriage, he defends the lives of the unborn, and he firmly backs the religious liberty of individuals and organizations.

In addition to the spiritual condition of individuals and churches, the Bible also addresses the spiritual condition of nations. In Psalm 144:15, David writes: “How blessed are the people whose God is the Lord!” Psalm 33:12 reads, “Blessed is the nation whose God is the Lord, the people whom He has chosen for His own inheritance.”

As Christians, this election is important — as is every election — because it will affect the moral and spiritual trajectory of this nation as a whole. And by the current spiritual temperature of the United States, our nation is inviting God’s judgment by the immorality which is increasingly promoted in our society.

Although our nation was established on Judeo-Christian values by many Christian founders, the United States is not an exemplar Christian nation today. Our society and culture is embracing and encouraging immorality; a major political party is promoting these sins. And yet the Church in America has remained largely silent, not wanting to get involved in the mire of political polarization and partisanship.

But once again, this is not a political issue. This is an issue of what is biblical versus what is not. On Nov. 6, as Christians, will we base our votes on political bias, or favoritism, or self-interest?  Or, will we make a stand and use the inerrant word of God as our guide? I pray that we take a stand for God, for his kingdom and for righteousness’ sake.

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