How You Should Vote in 2016

Ribbon with the word 'Vote' on it

Don’t Worry IRS

When this sermon’s notes go up on the web, if the IRS has a bots that searching for “misbehaving” ministers, then this should set off its alarms since it is titled, “How You Should Vote in 2016.”

However, they…and you…don’t have to worry. I am not going to put our tax deductible status at risk by endorsing either candidate.

Now, if I thought God wanted me to…I would regardless of the implications…but I don’t think He does. I can tell you that the two main ones are both horribly flawed from a Christian perspective…and I suspect if I spent time checking out their competition…they also wouldn’t fair well from a biblical perspective.

It’s About You

Instead, this isn’t about Hillary Clinton or Donald Trump, it’s about you.

How you should vote, not who you should vote for.

How how you vote…and how how you participate beforehand…reflects on you.

And, I’ll be honest, this election season is sucking the life out of me…so I’m going to keep this short.

I could just skip preaching about it, but just as Paul “did not shrink from declaring the whole counsel of God” (Acts 20:27), I will not avoid painful subjects.

Principles

[Read more…]

Do You Have a 5-4 Faith?

U.S. ConstitutionIn a decision yesterday that was a win for religious freedom, the U.S. Supreme Court found in favor of Hobby Lobby and some other companies, ruling that they cannot be forced to provide insurance coverage for certain types of birth control they consider abortifacients.

Although I am more a glass half full kind of guy, I guess I don’t see this as good news? Why?

Because even though the U.S. Constitution says this…

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances.

…the victory was by only a single vote.

Liberalism generally gains incrementally, but once they win a battle it is no longer up for discussion. Sooner or later it’ll be 5-4 the other direction and, permanently, we will have government officials who know your faith better than you do, just as Justice Ginsburg does in her dissent:

[Read more…]

“Judge orders baker to serve gay couples despite his religious beliefs”

WhippingOminous words:

"While we all agree that religious freedom is important, no one’s religious beliefs make it acceptable to break the law by discriminating against prospective customers," ACLU staff attorney Amanda Goad said in a statement. "No one is asking Masterpiece’s owners to change his beliefs, but treating gay people differently because of who they are is discrimination plain and simple."

The rest of the article is available here. Basically, if you don’t want to use your artistic skills (translation: free speech) to implicitly endorse something you consider (and the church from day one has considered) sinful…too bad…something that is specifically mentioned in the First Amendment (religious freedom) is trumped by something that is never discussed in all of the Constitution (sexual preference).

This reminds me of a sermon I did called "Steppin’ Stone." In it I shared a similar case with a Christian photographer: [Read more…]

America Demands a King

One Tuesday in November…

After Tuesday night’s election, there were various reactions to the results. Although it was actually before any polls closed, one example of a response is this tweet from someone I follow on Twitter (and who follows me):

Tweet about Christians compromising during an election

A US Veteran said he felt betrayed by people voting for Obama. I could say the same thing about Christians voting for Romney! #Compromise

I suspect most of us here would not agree with my Twitter friend (while respecting his right to come to a different conclusion than us). However, given his support for Obama, I was a little surprised when, early in the morning on Thursday after the election, he tweeted this:

Tweet about deserving what we get from the election

America! Since God has given you what you wanted, don’t be surprised when He gives you what YOU deserve!

I told him, “I’m getting a 1 Samuel 8 vibe…” and he responded, “Stop looking at my notes bro! Lol!” 🙂

Getting What We Want

Well, let’s go ahead and see what my Twitter friends notes say, and then chat more about what perspective we should have for this election. It’s a bit of a long read, but well worth it:

[Read more…]

My Thoughts on This Election

My thoughts on this election, per my Twitter feed:

Christian Voter’s Guide Bible Study

Two studying about voting in the BibleFor church this morning I threw together a quick Bible study about voting (or not voting). Below is the result with a couple modifications based on member input (or you can download it as a PDF file). The Bible never speaks to voting, but there are plenty of principles in Scripture that can be applied to it. (Please also see “A Christian Voter’s Guide” and “A Christian Voter’s Guide (2012).”)

Do you have any suggestions for additions, improvements, or corrections? Please either comment below or contact us…I really appreciate any input you have.

Finally, you’ll notice I don’t actually tell you what each Scripture says when it comes to voting. Personally I think they are all applicable (otherwise I wouldn’t have included them), but I don’t want to tell you what to believe. Additionally, having the verses actually included in the Bible study sheet is for convenience—I encourage you to open up your Bible and read each in context. Again, I believe they are all applicable, but don’t trust me any more than you would a politician. Trust the Bible and the Holy Spirit leading your own brain instead. 🙂 [Read more…]

A Christian Voter’s Guide (2012)

Ribbon with the word 'Vote' on itBack in my original "A Christian Voter's Guide," I suggested some basic principles in deciding how to vote:

  • Vote based on your worldview
  • Some issue are so significant they almost dwarf all others
  • You should be fully convinced in your own mind
  • There is a lot at stake when it comes to the direction our country takes

I still stand by all of those (although I recommend you read the original article to better understand their individual applications).

This year, at least in my universe of Christians discussing politics, the most contentious issue is whether a Christian should vote at all. For instance, having both candidates claim to be Christians, but neither likely to actually be, for some, means we should vote "absent" on November 6, 2012. (This is not the only reason given for not voting.) [Read more…]

“We are not electing a pastor-in-chief” Comes Home to Roost

Man and ballot (and a pin on his nose)I highly recommend people take the time to read Geoffrey Botkin’s article, "Are We Electing a Pastor-in-Chief?" Like me, you may not agree with it all, but hopefully, like me, it'll be thought-provoking for you. For instance:

I believe that historians will discover that many Evangelicals who voted for Bill Clinton wanted him to lead a secular celebration and a secular revolution. They wanted a flamboyant moralist to give national legitimacy to their own moral experimentalism. They liked him because he was just Christian enough in image, but not reverently so. And so a legitimate phrase ["We're not electing a pastor-in-chief; we’re electing a commander-in-chief."] began taking on an irreverent flair.

A Christian Voter’s Guide

VoteThere are a good number of individuals who will find great discomfort in the title of this article. If you are a non-Christian…it may elicit fears of fundamentalists trying to elect their confederates so as to…in a nefarious conspiracy…change America into a Taliban-style Christian theocracy! Even if you are a believer, the title may be unsettling because throughout the ages the gospel has suffered at the hands of unholy amalgamations of religious and secular authority. A strong argument could be made that followers of The Way should be apolitical so as to avoid the leaven that ruins the whole loaf.

[Read more…]

God Relenting of Good

American flag with church and cross

Is America a Christian Nation?

Is America a Christian nation?

This past Monday and Tuesday I attended a conference of ministers put on by the New Hampshire Renewal Project–and I’m pretty sure you’d find the vast majority of those attending that gathering would wholeheartedly say, “Yes!” to that question.

How would you answer it?

How would you define it?  (“It” being “Christian nation.”)

For instance, to be a Christian nation would the Bible need to prophesy about us?  Some people are convinced in Scripture’s symbolism they can find our great union.  I would argue that someone really wanting to can pretty much find anything they want in the imagery of Daniel and Revelation…or elsewhere like Ezekiel 38 with “merchants of Tarshish with all it’s villages” (Ezekiel 38:13, NASB).  However, I think that we can all agree that (a) being spoken of in the Bible could mean quite opposite of being a Christian nation (they might be words “vessels of wrath prepared for destruction”–Romans 9:22) and (b) that if somehow the U.S. Is mentioned, it’s clearly not in the same sense of Israel–where God called, redeemed, and ruled that nation.

[Read more…]