Faith before politics
Last week, we published a selection of responses to our question, ““During our turbulent and challenging times, how does your faith, religion or spirituality inform your politics?” A few readers followed up with additional thoughts that we wanted to share. The following was submitted by John Grigg, a retired Marine.
When it comes to my faith I begin with one simple statement: I'll meet you at the cross. I believe in Christ and the miracle of salvation through faith. As such I try to live my life as Christ lived His; and I fail — a lot. However, politics must follow faith; after all our government is only sufficient to a moral people.
So whatever one puts faith in, therein you will find their politics. Whether atheist, Christian, Muslim, Jewish, Wiccan, pagan, Zoroastrian, etc., politics always follows faith. Of course there are broad opinions across party lines in every religion. Thus we have the various denominations within each that fight for what they believe is right and good. Regardless of where one stands on the religion debate, we know that the scriptures are ancient texts of our ancestors attempting to leave a record of the lessons and best ideas of their time to posterity. No matter what, there is at least value in that.
I digress though: How does my faith inform my politics? I'll be as brief as possible.
1. Christ never forced his beliefs on anyone. Neither will I. If you want to be wrong you are free to be wrong. You are not free to willfully take whomever you choose with you.
2. Christ was no slouch; He would not tolerate disrespect in His Father's house. As such I will not tolerate disrespect in my house, nor on my street.
3. Life begins before you are formed in the womb, for the Word says clearly that He knew us before we were even formed. Thus, life begins at conception and abortion is murder.
4. Christ's heart said that all should receive the Word of the Lord, come to God in repentance and receive salvation. Thus it is essential to educate our youth. We must “raise a child in the way they should go.” We fail at this. We have dumbed down and
kowtowed our schools to secular thought. We must educate fully and completely to solve today's issues. Our children need to be mentally, physically, emotionally and spiritually nourished. But adults do not want their children exposed to ideas and thoughts outside their comfort zone. Oh, and maybe, just maybe: If you cannot judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree; stop teaching fish to climb trees. Teach the fish to swim and the monkey to climb and the elephant to plod.
5. Christ was against violence. Therefore, I am opposed to violence also although I am a fan of martial discipline. For do you not know that this body is a temple and we are to keep it with respect and deference to the Lord's spirit residing in us.
6. The Bible tells us to defend ourselves. The entire book of Nehemiah is about building defenses and preparing for attacks while being attacked. I believe in the absolute and complete right to individual self-defense, including from one's own government, by whatever means necessary. So, if the military can have a tank then so can everyone else. Government should have a healthy fear of its people, as its eople should have a healthy fear of God.
7. God has appointed man as caretaker and master over all the Earth. As such it is our responsibility to ensure its longevity in supporting human life and sustaining all other species of life God has seen fit to create. Everything exists for a reason and by the Will of the Lord, and thus should not be arbitrarily or capriciously assaulted. It is the responsibility of the people to maintain the animals, the plants, the space and all that is in it for future generations. Now this is not to say that we cannot, or should not, use the resources at our disposal. It takes arrogance to believe that the Earth has ceased producing fossil fuels. We can responsibly and effectively use the resources at our disposal and recycle as much as is practicable without resorting to harming our environment or our profits.
8. Christ is very clear in terms of finance, economy and labor. He tells many parables on the subject and teaches many lessons. Simply put: We are to pay taxes, give to government what belongs to government. We are to serve our fellow man: “If impressed to go a mile — go two. If a man takes your coat, give him also your shirt. If a man strikes your face, turn to him your other cheek.” We are to invest: “One buried his coin, one deposited his in a bank, another invested his coin.” Cursed was the man who buried his coin and blessed was the man who deposited and praised was the man who invested. Thus we should with our “talents” and coinage.
9. Christ came to God's people who rejected Him. Thus, He sent his disciples to all people. He sent them to every nation, creed and color. He sent them that they may be saved. He sent them because every knee will bow and every tongue will confess that Jesus Christ is Lord. Christ and God want after the hearts of men. They have written
the law on the Hhart of man with the Holy Spirit. The law is love. Of course many humans fail to understand what love actually is but 1 Corinthians 13 can clear that up rather effectively. Also, read the Greek/ Study it. Understand what was meant by what was said — not just what was written. Thus racism has no place; bigotry has no place; sexism has no place; prejudice of anything that is not intrinsically character has no place in our society, nor in our law. Therefore any law that seeks to single out a group based on race, religion, gender, ethnicity, pigmentation or age has no place in a moral society.
10. The Bible calls us to provide for the widow and the orphan. It also states clearly that “if a man will not work, nor should he eat.” That is “will not” versus “can not.” This is about willingness, not ability. Thus laws to provide for the poor and orphaned are perfectly acceptable. However, laws that force people into commerce they oppose or penalize failure to engage in undesired commerce are immoral. So, the Affordable Care Act is one of the most immoral laws ever to pass through every facet of government, tantamount to enacting national slavery to health insurance companies. Had the government provided a base level of insurance for the poor, elderly, orphaned and infirm — Medicare/Medicaid and maybe even a standard of care for all Americans — it would be acceptable. Forcing people to purchase health care against their will or penalizing them for not purchasing it and then giving that money to the insurer is nothing less than legalized extortion.
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