For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, declares the Lord.
For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts. -- Isaiah 55: 8-9 (ESV)
I get it beloved. I understand that since this is the only world we know and live in, it becomes difficult to fulfill our biblical role as pilgrims and sojourners. It's like that joke told in all churches where the pastor asks how many people want to go to heaven and after the raucous affirmative response, he then asks -- how many want to go today? Suddenly the crowd is less enthusiastic. This is especially true in this country where Christians fancy themselves as stalwart in their faith but routinely fall for the most carnal, fleshly, and worldly false theologies out there. Why? In many other countries in this world, Christ is all Christians have and He is always sufficient. Not because they expect some temporal deliverance but because they have the eternal blessed assurance of life everlasting. Thus they have truly overcome this world through Christ because they view themselves correctly as merely passing through it.
The truth is that Christians in this country like the world. We like living in Sodom. We like the excess and yes, we like the sin. Sure we will shake an accusatory finger at the world and act pious but the reality is that we do not want to die to self. We like self quite well thank you very much. Carry my cross? Can't we get someone to do that? I have blessings to get to. I have windows of heaven to stand under. Into this carnal breach within American Christianity stepped the New Apostolic Reformation. They provided a jingoistic, nationalized, and politically activated faith for Christians who liked the promises of eternal life but also liked being active in Babylon. I have written before about the damage the NAR continues to wreak throughout the church in this country and how many churches may not even see that they essentially are NAR churches. The same goes for contemporary Christian thinking as we constantly see people stretching the Bible to fit their personal politics into it. This past election should at least teach us the dangers of politicizing faith. The above link is to a recent article written by the president of a seminary located in North Carolina. I assume only the best of motives in his writing. This is apparently part of a series of articles he has done regarding Christianese. The phrase he tackles today is "Jesus is neither a Democrat nor a Republican." He examines this phrase by asking what people might mean when they use it and if it is accurate. Let us reason together to see if the NAR thinking has even infiltrated seminary theologies.
"1. The phrase could simply mean that the Bible doesn't speak to politics. I suppose one possible interpretation of this phrase is that it means that the Bible doesn't address political issues; it is simply silent on this matter. The Bible is only interested in redemptive issues and should not be made to determine which political views are right." -- Michael Kruger
Unfortunately, we see a false premise right from the start. According to this logic there are correct political views and incorrect ones. This is a purely carnal logic. There is nothing biblical about it at all. There is also a vast difference between the Bible speaking about a topic and instructing behavior regarding that topic. There are the politics of man throughout the Bible but nowhere does God decree one as being righteous over another. He allowed Israel to choose a monarchy, which most today would say is not a good form of government. Kruger would continue on this opening point:
"But, is that an accurate portrayal of the Bible? Sure, we can agree that the Bible doesn't use the terms "Democrat" or "Republican," nor does it make statements like "you should vote for the political party that"." But, that doesn't mean the Bible provides no principles or guidance on how to evaluate a political party. Thus, there is no reason to think the Bible cannot address political issues. To suggest otherwise is tantamount to suggesting the Bible cannot address the question of evolution because "it is not a science book" (to use another cliche'). The problem with such an argument is that it only allows the Bible to speak to so-called "religious" issues and not "secular" ones. However, the Bible itself does not honor this religious-secular distinction--all the world is God's and he has a say over everything in it. Moreover, almost every political issue has an ethical dimension to it. And surely the Bible speaks to ethics. Thus, we cannot say that political issues are "off the table" when it comes to what the Bible teaches." -- Michael Kruger
This is where the arguments start getting too nuanced. The main problem stems back from the false underpinning. Because Mr. Kruger believes that there are correct and incorrect political views, he therefore believes the Bible can be leveraged to evaluate political parties. He is still dealing however in the carnality of man. Look, can a Christian use the Bible to determine which way they ought to vote? Sure. The problem is in the declaration of absolute certainty when we are ultimately dealing with evil. There is no righteous political party beloved. Perhaps one Christian might vote for the Democratic candidate because they evaluated that they were a better protector of the creation God has blessed us with and has a long record of standing up for the least in society, you know, widows and orphans. Yet another Christian may decide that because the Republican candidate claims to be "pro-life" that they are compelled to vote for them. Using the thinking of Mr. Kruger, one of them made a mistake but the reality is neither did. The ethics the Bible speaks of is related to our lives and our walk. The Bible is a book for believers. What Christo-political forces in this country constantly seek to do is force their beliefs upon people who according to the Bible view the things of God as utter foolishness. Why? This is not a theocracy and the truth is that most Christians would not survive a true theocracy. So why do we think that the problem is found in the behavior of people who do not know God? That is the center of NAR thinking. That Christians need to take over the secular world and theocratize the world. That if only we could get those goats to behave like sheep then we can experience revival. But what are we chasing to be revived? Not the church but rather the world. This is inevitably where one ends up when defending carnal politics. Kruger continues:
"2. The phrase could simply mean that neither political party lines up entirely with what the Bible teaches. Even if both parties are flawed to some degree, the real question still remains, namely which political party is the closest to the principles and ethics laid out in Scripture? After all, at the end of the day, the Christian still has to go to the polls and vote for someone. And surely he wants to vote for the party that is closest to the teachings of Scripture." -- Michael Kruger
There is a term that summarizes this thinking. It is called the lesser of two evils. Make no mistake beloved that is what is being espoused here. To ask which party is closest to the ethics of the Bible is to ask which is less evil. I am fine with this line of evaluation as long as one does not lose sight of the fact that they are ultimately advocating for evil. God does not care which carnal candidate we have determined in our self-serving pseudo-piety to be an evil of a lesser variety. The other glaring error here is the assumption that a Christian MUST vote. That is simply not supported anywhere in Scripture. The point Mr. Kruger also overlooks is that a person or party might be deemed "ethical" but still unchristian. When you seek who is "closest to Scripture" exactly how far away are they anyway?
"I think the claim that both parties are equally flawed is highly problematic when one considers that Democrats and Republicans have near opposite political platforms on almost every major issue. Is it really likely that there would be two parties with nearly opposite values and ethical positions and, at the same time, neither would be closer to the teachings of Scripture? I suppose it is possible. But, is also very unlikely." -- Michael Kruger
Once again because of the false NAR underpinning to his thinking, Mr. Kruger cannot see what is wrong with his position. Both parties are inherently flawed and evil. Of this there is no doubt. Neither party cares for the cause of Christ. That is the point he keeps missing. Whoever the two parties put forth, their platforms, cares, goals, and dreams are all carnal. They are all based on advancing this world -- not the eternal life to come. Even within the carnality however, the assumption made is that all parts of one platform must be like the other parts. That God thinks the same linear and political way that we do. Is it possible that God would be pro-life and believe in taxing the rich at higher rates? Or course! Such possibilities seem lost to Mr. Kruger. He continues:
"3. The phrase could simply mean that there are good Christians who are both Democrats and Republicans. The problem, however, is that an implication is usually drawn from this fact, namely that there is no right or wrong way to vote. If Christians are on both sides of the political spectrum, it is argued, then neither political party must be better than another. But, once again, this line of reasoning just doesn't work. The fact that there are Christians who have differing positions on an issue does not mean the Scripture supports both positions equally (which would be contradictory if you think about it), nor does it mean the Scriptures are necessarily unclear about the issue." -- Michael Kruger
Let me state unequivocally that there is no right or wrong way to vote. Michael Kruger is simply wrong. This is straight up NAR theology that seeks to place righteousness where it does not belong. Let me demonstrate this very simply. It is quite obvious that Mr. Kruger is pro-republican, which is to be expected from a Christo-political operative. I assume therefore that he voted for Mitt Romney in 2012. Mitt Romney was not only a Mormon but he was a direct descendent of one of the 12 founding apostles of Mormonism. He gave 25% of his substantial wealth to the Mormon Church. If you understand Christianity at all you must conclude that Mormonism is a satanic cult. It was founded by a delusional pedophile in the 1800s who claimed an angel visited him and gave him a new gospel, even though the Bible says he should then be accursed! He added two full books to Scripture, another violation of the Bible. I am sure that Mitt Romney is a swell fellow by the world's standards but there is no way any Christian should have ever voted for him. When you are focused on this world and the lesser evils you forget that you are not evaluating spiritual things. You are taking the Bible and trying to use it to apply spiritual truths onto carnal people but in the case of Romney most Christians overlooked spiritual truths in their pursuit of their carnal preferences.
The fact that there are Christians in a political party different from our own certainly means we should show them charity, love, and respect--after all they are brothers and sisters in Christ! But, it does not therefore mean we throw our hands up in the air and say that politics doesn't matter or that the Bible has nothing to say about such things. -- Michael Kruger