R.C. Sproul on the Redistribution of Wealth, Voting and Christianity
“We have an income tax structure today that is inherently unjust. We almost never hear anybody discuss this injustice. But when God set up a system of taxation, He did things differently. God said I’m going to impose a tax on my people and it’s going to be ten percent from everybody: The rich man and the poor man are not going to pay the same amount. The rich man’s going to pay much more than the poor man, but they’re both going to pay the same percentage. They’re both going to have the same responsibility. That way the rich man can’t use his power to exploit the poor man, saying, “I’m going to pay five percent, but you’re going to pay fifty percent.” The rich weren’t allowed to do that. Nor were the poor allowed to say, “We’re going to pay five percent and the rich are going to pay fifty percent because they can afford it.” What that is ladies and gentlemen is the politics of envy that legalizes theft. Anytime you vote a tax on somebody else that is not a tax on yourself, you’re stealing from your brother. And though the whole world does it and though it’s common practice in the United States of America, a Christian shouldn’t be caught dead voting to fill his own pocketbook at the expense of someone else. Isn’t that plain? Isn’t that clear? And until we get some kind of flat tax, we’re going to have a politicized economy, we’re going to have class warfare, and we’re going to have the whole nation’s rule being determined by the rush for economic advantage at the polls. Don’t do it. Even if that means sacrificing some benefit you might receive from the federal government. Don’t ask other people at the point of a gun to give you from their pockets what you don’t have. That’s sin.
It is, of course, the American way. But we Christians should not be involved in that sort of thing. Rather we should be voting for what is right, what is ethical. And our consciences on that score need to be informed by the Word of God, not by our wallets. And so I plead with you: When you enter the voting booth, don’t leave your Christianity in the parking lot. And be bold to speak on these issues, even if it means somebody picks up a rock and throws it in your head. Because it is through tribulation that we enter the Kingdom of God. I pray for you, beloved, and for our nation in these days to come.”
Taken from this excellent article: http://www.ligonier.org/blog/2008/10/pr … -text.html
Whoever Wins The Election Should Be Served With Excellence
“Let every person be subject to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and those that exist have been instituted by God. Therefore whoever resists the authorities resists what God has appointed, and those who resist will incur judgment. For rulers are not a terror to good conduct, but to bad. Would you have no fear of the one who is in authority? Then do what is good, and you will receive his approval, for he is God’s servant for your good. But if you do wrong, be afraid, for he does not bear the sword in vain. For he is the servant of God, an avenger who carries out God’s wrath on the wrongdoer. Therefore one must be in subjection, not only to avoid God’s wrath but also for the sake of conscience. For because of this you also pay taxes, for the authorities are ministers of God, attending to this very thing. Pay to all what is owed to them: taxes to whom taxes are owed, revenue to whom revenue is owed, respect to whom respect is owed, honor to whom honor is owed.” – Romans 13:1-7
In 15 days, a new President will be elected and as a result, about half of the country will be disappointed with the results, one way or the other. Things are favoring Obama at the moment and so it appears he will be our next President, though of course, you really never can tell what the results will be until people actually start pulling the lever. The pollsters can say whatever they want right now. Many elections in the past have proved that point.
Regardless, whoever the next President is should be served with excellence, from whatever political vantage point you are coming from as a believer in Jesus. I do not endorse Obama because of his policies on abortion, economics, social issues, and a host of other things. However, as a believer who submits to the verses as cited above, if Obama is President, he should be served with excellence by those he oversees as the Commander in Chief. To not serve him with excellence, but instead serve him merely out of duty with bitterness in your heart, is to rebel against God’s authority which is then ultimately a personal issue between you and the God of the universe, (which all rebelling, in any form, is exactly that).
Many self-professed conservative Christians will be tempted to rebel and revolt in either small ways (within their hearts through a form of bitterness or grumbling) or in bigger ways (through external, unlawful means). But to do so is ultimately to rebel against our Creator. For whoever is President did not get there by luck or chance, but only got there because God would have it so in His permissive will and over-arching plan. Just as Jesus said to Pilate before He was crucified for us who believe, “You would have no authority over me at all unless it had been given you from above,” (John 19:11) so also no President or leader in any position over us is able to make it to that office unless the Lord would have it so. Nothing catches God by surprise and nothing is apart from His will.
Even more than that, even if things were to get terribly ugly in this country and people become so polarized so as to rebel in a violent way, as John Hendryx from Monergism.com has been keen to point out in an interview he did a number of years ago, the Gospel is not chained because of a political regime that is in power over us. In fact, the Lord uses those things we see as hindrances many times as the very instrument He will use to bring the Gospel to those who are wrath-bound. Just ask the Christians in China. The Communist government there sought to squelch Christianity by humiliating believers through forcing them to go door-to-door and collect residents trash. What wound up happening was the exact opposite of what was intended: the Christians began spreading Christianity by going door-to-door, and now the Gospel is spreading like a wild-fire throughout the country. God chose the foolish things of the world to shame the wise (1 Corinthians 1-2). And is that not a perfect picture of that?
Now I do not believe things will get to the point of Chinese communist oppression with Obama in power (though the Fairness Doctrine is definitely a start down that road) and conservatives who think so need to get out more and have a few conversations with the opposing political side. I’m simply making the point that even if our candidate of choice doesn’t make it (whoever that may be), as believers, we should know and remember first and foremost, that no governing authority can squelch God’s power to save and change people.
That does not mean that we should be uninvolved in the political process and not support our perspective for what we believe is best for the country, for a democracy doesn’t work unless the people are involved. But it does mean that even if things do not go the way we envision or think they should go, we should know that it is all within God’s sovereign, ordained plan and power to have it so.
Therefore, we should trust Him that He knows what He is doing in decreeing whoever the President will be. So if Obama is voted into power in 15 days, conservative Christians should submit to God and serve “President” Obama with excellence, to the glory of God, as the One who has instituted him as a leader over us. And if McCain is voted into power, liberal Christians should submit to God and serve “President” McCain with excellence, to the glory of God, as the One who has set him up as a leader over us. And we all, as believers in Jesus, should live in unity under the all-encompassing power of the Gospel to save the lost. Is that not our ultimate hope in every way to begin with, even moreso than a political regime that is temporal and fading as soon as it is instituted?
R.C. Sproul on Abortion, Voting and Christianity
By David Westerfield
On October 30, 2008
In Christian Culture, Culture, Politics, Theology
“I’m reminded of the work of William Wilberforce in England. You may recall that in debate after debate after debate, and in election after election after election, Wilberforce was soundly and roundly defeated when he sought the abolition of slavery in the British Commonwealth. But if ever there was an exercise in perseverance, it was by Wilberforce. Wilberforce refused to give up. He simply would not walk away from being the conscience of the English nation. And he publicly testified that slavery was wrong and he promised to oppose it as long as he had breath in his body. And finally in the providence of God, Parliament woke up and abolished this unethical practice that was a plague on the English speaking world.
We’ve gone through the same plague in the history of America, and thanks be to God slavery has finally been abolished in America. But I believe that slavery is the second most serious ethical issue that our country has ever faced. From my perspective the number one ethical issue that this nation has ever faced is the issue of abortion. Abortion is not a matter of private choice–not for the Christian who understands anything about the sanctity of life. The first century church made it very clear in their day, explicitly stating that abortion is murder.
I’ve written over 70 books. The book that had the shortest shelf life of all of my books was my book on the case against abortion. I talked to pastor after pastor and sought to understand why they weren’t using this material (for which we also made a video series). They told me, “Well, we agree with it but we can’t do it in our church.” And I said, “Why?” They responded: “It will split the congregation.” And I said, “So be it!” A million and a half unborn babies are slaughtered wantonly in the United States of America every year in the name of women’s rights. If I know anything about the character of God after forty years of study, I know that God hates abortion. And I could never vote for a candidate who supported abortion–even if I agreed with that candidate on every other policy position. If he supported abortion I would not vote for him and I urge you to do the same.
I know that abortion is not the number one issue in this campaign because it has become acceptable. Just like slavery became acceptable. But it cannot be acceptable to ethical people. The people of God have to rise up and say ‘NO’! We are not asking the state to be the church but we must say to the state, “Please be the state. God ordained you to protect, maintain, and preserve the sanctity of life, and you are not doing it.” So that has to be on your mind when you walk into that voting booth.”
Taken from this article: http://www.ligonier.org/blog/2008/10/pr … -text.html