This is not idealism. It is the primary tenet of the NAR dominionism. They present the issue of abortion as the only deal breaker out there. Never mind that a president cannot end Roe - only the Supreme Court can and we already saw that it was Republican Supreme Courts that gave us and reaffirmed Roe. We also saw from Bush that what we hear as a promise does not always end up with what happens in reality. What is absolutely reprehensible here however is the assertion that how we vote will determine somehow our final judgment. Listen to me very carefully - it will not. According to the Leeman principles one could have voted for every pro-choice candidate while alive and they get into heaven. That includes Nixon. That includes all of the Republican appointed Supremes who gave us Roe. That includes Hastert, Gingrich and Livingston. That includes the million dead at the hands of Bush and the other dead from his father's Iraq War. That includes all of the Republican roll backs of regulation that lead to the destruction of God's creation. That includes all of the poor people who were further impoverished while the rich got bloated and richer. That includes voting for a thrice married, thrice unfaithful, grab the woman by their genitals president who likes to buy off porn stars he slept with. That includes voting for a Mormon in 2012. Oh, and how has it gone to advocate for all of that in exchange for their promises of ending Roe? We can play this game all day long. Bottom line is when we stand for judgment, we will only answer for our lives and once again, thank God for that.
7. Is it morally permissible to not vote or to vote for a candidate that is certain to lose? It depends. Ordinarily, I believe it's morally better to vote than not to vote. God has given us a stewardship with the blessing of a vote, and we don't want to be like the servant who buried his talent in the ground. Why should we vote? For the sake of love of neighbor and justice. That said, nowhere does the Bible say a person must pursue love and justice by voting. Therefore, if a person is convinced in his conscience that he'd be sinning by voting for Jack and Jill both, I would say he shouldn't vote for either, so long as he is fully convinced in his mind (see Rom. 14:5). Perhaps slightly better than abstaining from voting is to vote for a candidate that one's conscience can accept, even if that candidate is certain to lose, because you're still participating in the election process and formally registering what you believe is right and just." - Jonathan Leeman
This is what I mean by the influence of NAR theology within the church today. I am still assuming the best of intent from Mr. Leeman but the notion that God has blessed us with the vote or given us stewardship over the government is simply untrue. It is however exactly how every seven mountain dominionist thinks. The usage of the parable of the talents is equally noxious. In that parable the three servants do not vote. They invest what has been entrusted to them for the sake of their Master. If you want to make an argument that this means what we do for the kingdom fine, but a secular vote to see who leads a carnal nation has nothing to do with the kingdom. Just look at the parade of false teachers the current president surrounds himself with! Do you think it is a good thing that his spiritual advisor is Paula White? Even if we allow the tortured argument that our vote is for loving our neighbor, the choice is still between two unbelievers who do not care one whit about the cause of Christ. Leeman seems to realize the silliness of this argument as he tries to split the bill but I am not buying it. Then he reduces all decisions that might be sinful to how we feel about it? Seriously? Just as long as we are convinced that our choice is somehow righteous? We already know it cannot be!
8. With regard to church membership, your motives matter. Moral evaluation among Christians operates in two gears. Gear 1: our determination of right and wrong. Gear 2: our determination of wrongs that, apart from repentance, require excommunication or removal from membership in the church. What's key here is that not every moral evaluation in Gear 1 will downshift into Gear 2. You might be personally convicted that a certain vote is probably sin (Gear 1), but for any number of reasons decide that it's not a sin for which you would recommend excommunication. For instance, I believe it's ordinarily a sin to vote for a pro-choice candidate, by virtue of principles 1, 2, and 6 above (Gear 1). Furthermore, if someone was voting for the pro-choice candidate because of his or her support for abortion, I would probably recommend excommunication (Gear 2). Christians absolutely must not support abortion. Suppose, however, a fellow church member told you she was voting for the pro-choice candidate in spite of the candidate's view on abortion. She hates abortion, yet she says she's unconvinced the pro-life party is actually pro-life. She cares about other issues, too, and she sees other strategic considerations in play (see principle 9 below). I would still affirm my own conviction that she was probably sinning for her support of that candidate (as an unintentional instance of Romans 1:32), and I would want to persuade her otherwise. But I would still affirm my willingness to come to the Lord's Table with her. In short, a fellow Christian's motives do make a difference, at least in terms of how I would relate to someone as a fellow Christian. And here the difference between because of and in spite of is meaningful. Does this mean Christians should accept any potential vote so long as the person says they're voting for a candidate in spite of the evil aims of the candidate? No. When the occasion comes that a party exists almost exclusively for the purpose of wickedness, when a particular evil becomes an entity's raison d'etre, then at that point churches should consider excommunication for party membership or support. For instance, it's difficult to know how someone could vote for the KKK in spite of its racism and not because of its racism. The KKK exists expressly for the purpose of racism. To be sure, there's no mathematically precise way to determine when that moment for a major party comes. For the Nazi Party, that moment arguably came in 1934 with the Barmen Declaration. Yet every instance involves a judgment call, and every church, as led by its elders, needs to ask the Lord for wisdom, moral clarity, and courage to make that judgment." - Jonathan Leeman
Wow. I was hoping we could get to the end with the only offensive part being the notion that we will stand in judgment for our vote but excommunication? Wow again. We have already reviewed why this NAR type thinking is so wrong. According to Jonathan Leeman a Christian should never vote for a pro-choice candidate. He considers it a sin to do so. That means you are hell bound unless you vote for his candidates. His pro-life candidates, which we all must admit are in the Republican Party. So he thinks that there are no moral issues in voting for a member of Satanic cult like Mitt Romney, because after all he is pro-life. Once again, the man who sleeps with porn stars, grabs women by their genitals, divorces two wives, cheats on three, multiple bankruptcies, overtly racist, and thinks he has nothing to ask God for forgiveness for? He's ok because he pretends to be pro-life? If I were to ask which candidate was most likely to have paid for an abortion in their lifetime I am pretty sure we all would guess the same one. Millions of dead Bush? He is ok because he swore he was pro-life, right? People voted for Dennis Hastert for decades while he was molesting little boys but hey, at least he says he is pro-life right? Are we sensing the point of the idiocy of voting solely on a topic that is merely a promise and an unfulfilled one for decades? Now, I would not hold you in judgment or consider excommunication for all of these sins listed for the people you may have voted for but Leeman actually believes in that as well as an eternity in heaven based upon voting for something that never came to pass. Sorry, that is unbelievably wrong bordering on idolatry.
"9. In the final analysis, ethically evaluating our votes involves both moral principles and strategic calculations. We need to view any given vote within the larger and highly elaborate game of democratic governance. A game, of course, consists of several periods and many moves. Plus, you don't judge the success or failure of a game by any one period or move. You judge each move by how it contributes to the outcome of the whole game. And the game of politics transpires over multiple election cycles. If the first principle above laid the foundation upon which the rest of the principles built, this last principle is the earthquake that shakes the building and makes the whole structure of our moral evaluation look a little less sturdy. For instance, suppose a friend tells you he intends to vote for candidate Jack who supports something you both believe is wrong. Yet due to a host of realpolitik considerations, he believes voting for Jack is a better long-term strategy for your shared cause. It's hypothetically possible he's right, though you seriously doubt it. How then do we morally evaluate his action? You might still warn him he's probably sinning in his vote, but also affirm that you're not ready to break fellowship with him because he's seeking a good end. What's crucial, however, is that his overall goal must be to overturn the intrinsically unjust law, as in principle 3 above. He cannot wave off the injustice and say, "Well, it's never going to change. I might as well focus on other things." His heart would need to cry out against the injustice. In short, a smidgeon of flexibility might be permitted only at the tactical level, not at the level of what his heart and actions must be set against." - Jonathan Leeman
Yeah, no. Can you seriously imagine standing before Christ and hearing, "well I would love to let you in but Clinton in 96? C'mon!" The notion that your vote contains the possibility for sin is ridiculous and dangerous. If true, all Christians should simply abstain from voting, period. No sense taking the chance of the unintentional sin that was mentioned once in Leviticus and meant for the nation of Israel. I will close with my favorite analogy for these matters. This country, this world, is the Titanic. It has already struck the iceberg and I have seen how the movie ends. Trust me, the ship is going down. You cannot revive the ship. You cannot hope and pray the ship behaves better to stay the coming wrath. As the church we are charged with one thing and one thing only. That one thing is not to try and figure out which politicians are morally superior and which are child molesters in hiding. That one thing is not to vote. It is however to spread the Gospel of Jesus Christ far and wide. Jonathan Leeman's evangelism plan starts with telling half of the church they are going to hell because they refuse to vote for the candidates Leeman votes for. That is not a good plan.
The Gospel is us telling the lost who the lifeboat is. Politics is arguing over who is best to navigate the ship into its icy grave. I hope that is a clear enough choice for all of us.