Does God Get Involved in Politics?

A survey conducted by the Gallup organization in 2010 found that one in five Americans believed that “God is actively engaged in the daily working of the world and has an economic conservative view that opposes government regulations and champions the free market.”  24 So is God for reduced government, lower taxes, and a free-market economy? Is God a Democrat, a Republican, an Independent, a Socialist, or what? Does God affiliate himself with political parties or get involved in political agendas?

The Kingdom Question

If ever there was an issue of God getting involved in politics it was in the first century. The Jewish people had endured many years under the rule of or enslaved by other governments. For centuries they had been looking for their Messiah, the Christ who would lead their nation out from tyranny into a new kingdom of rightness and glory.

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Romney’s Mormonism Doesn’t Bother Me

There has been quite a lot of discussion about Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney’s Mormon faith. How serious is his Mormon faith? Does his faith influence his politics? Should Christians vote for a Mormon for the highest office in the land? Would people become more interested in the LDS faith if Romney becomes president?

 

These questions have been discussed and debated throughout this election cycle. People have not necessarily fallen into predictable patterns in their views. Ben Stein has called Romney’s faith a “worry.” Progressive Tony Jones has written a piece called, “Mitt’s Mormonism Matters: Considering a Candidate’s Faith.” Jones expresses concern that Christians, such as Billy Graham, seem willing to set aside their convictions in order to vote for a Mormon. Here is how Jones puts it:
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Of Course I'm Political, I Believe in Jesus

Jesus is political. That’s how He died.

In this season of everyone pitching their political beliefs—including my favorite kind of naysaying, Facebook critics—Christians quickly get out of control. In the midst of it all, it’s really easy to lose sight of who is really ruler, Jesus, as Eugene Cho recently pointed out. It’s also easy to lose sight of just how political Jesus is and what that means for us.

Our Opposition Is Everywhere—That’s the Choice We Made

Jesus’ entire identity opposed the worldwide power of Rome.

Why Christians and Politics have a hard time

When your heart and soul belong to a kingdom-oriented system rather than a world-oriented one, things get tough.

Especially around election season.

The early Christians weren’t willing to concede that Caesar was God or even “god-like”. They fed the poor when others wouldn’t. They viewed people as more than “shadow” as was the prevalent worldview fed on by the masses from Grecian philosophers.

In today’s political climate, there’s a lot of demagoguery. People pander to whichever group they’re speaking to and truth becomes hard to separate from fiction.

I’m under no illusions. I don’t equate Democrats, Republicans, Libertarians or Independents as Christian. I expect the lost to behave as lost people. My base of expectation is that “all have sinned” and are fallen. So the notion of “trickle down” tends to sink in the wake of sinfulness. It’s just easier to buy a jet ski than it is to give money to the poor. At the same time, those who are interested in creating systems to capture people tend to believe that people need capturing. And yet the Christian believes in the freedom of personal choice. God allowed us to choose Him even as He pursued us.

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Since Democracy Stinks, How About a New Idea?

Democracy is so outdated. If we Americans can customize our laptops, our dream homes, our low rider trucks, and our pizza toppings, we can surely come up with a way to manufacture a custom-made President.

Choosing one candidate to represent the dreams, idiosyncrasies, causes, beliefs, and common sense of 300 million people doesn’t make any sense at all. I mean, doesn’t Washington realize that we have a very specific list of demands?

So I submit a new idea, inspired by those geniuses at Apple: iLeader.  It would fit beautifully with the American ethos of individuality and self-absorption. This impressive gadget—still several years away from a workable prototype—would allow us to be governed by a flawless, personalized platform of ideals. Call it anarchy without all the depressing chaos.

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Can a Christian vote for Barack Obama?

I voted for Barack Obama in the 2008 election instead of voting for the ticket of McCain and Palin. 

At the time, I did not understand the division and caustic nature of the upcoming 2012 election. My guess is that neither did you. The economic disaster that was 2007-2008 had not yet been thoroughly investigated and the nation had not seen the gridlock of partisan politics to the degree that the early 2010 deficit talks and subsequent supercommittee debacle produced. I was also particularly unprepared for the rather pointed, sometimes hateful, rhetoric that would flow from the more conservative ranks about the President of the United States. Let’s, though, move closer to home.

I have had relatives, Christian co-workers, and social conservatives question my faith, question whether I believe the Bible to be relevant, and question my intellect for the past few years.

Is the GOP Anti-Science?

The GOP is dogmatically anti-science. They reject the conclusions of manmade global warming, which has been accepted by virtually all scientists. And they deny the overwhelming evidence of evolution. They are anti-science, anti-knowledge, and anti-progress.  The possibility of an anti-science candidate getting elected to the White House is a terrifying prospect for it would put our economic, environmental, and political state into potential disaster. For the sake of the next generation, please don’t elect such a candidate!

If you believe this rendition, it’s likely you’ve been following the incessant portrayal of the GOP in the media. Consider a few recent headlines:  “Republicans Against Science,” “Why Republicans Deny Science: The Quest for a Scientific Explanation,” and “Rick Santorum is King of the GOP’s Anti-Science Presidential Candidates.” The list could go on. But the message is clear: the Republican Party is full of ignorant science-deniers who are a threat to the future of America (of course, exception is made for John Huntsman, who has tried to cast himself as the pro-science Republican alternative by accepting evolution and manmade global warming).

Jesus: The Hope for Israel

Genesis 32:28 records the conclusion of the wrestling match between Jacob and the angel of the LORD.  The angel tells Jacob his name will “no longer be Jacob, but Israel because you have struggled with God and with men and you have overcome.”  The name Israel means he struggles with God and the previous two blog entries demonstrated the history of the nation of Israel struggling in their relationship with God, and with men.  Although hermeneutically the text of Genesis 32:28 tells us that Jacob himself did overcome the battle with the angel of the LORD, I do not think it is farfetched to understand this verse as a prophetic utterance about the future of Israel.

Historically Israel has struggled greatly, and this has been going on for millennia.  Though there have been times of great hope, faith, and survival, there have also been times of great hopelessness, faithlessness, and oppression.  Today Israel is threatened repeatedly by Iran.  A nation who openly professes they would like to see Israel wiped off the face of the earth.  The peace and security of Israel is a matter which will not be resolved anytime soon, nor by any current political arrangements.  Whatever kind of peace arrangements accomplished through modern day politicians will be temporary.  This is not to mitigate the importance of striving for peace, for peace benefits many, but rather to understand that the real program for long and lasting peace for Israel and its neighbors is one that will be accomplished by the word and hand of the Lord. The question becomes how will Israel overcome?

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45 Things I Want in a Presidential Candidate


A year from now we will (very possibly) have a new president-elect in the U.S. As a registered voter in California, I will have zero influence in deciding the election. But that doesn’t keep me from having opinions about what kind of candidate I’d like to see succeed in becoming America’s 45th president. If I did happen to live in a state like Iowa, New Hampshire, or one of the other “primary” battlegrounds where my vote might feasibly matter, I would be looking to cast a vote for a presidential candidate who fit the following qualifications. Are there any good candidates out there?

Not Something to Cheer

A few weeks ago at the GOP presidential debate, some in the crowd cheered as Rick Perry defended his record on the death penalty. It was a horrifying thing to watch. Why is anyone cheering for the death penalty? Regardless of one’s political stance on capital punishment, it seems to me that at best it is a necessary evil–but certainly not something to be celebrated.

Perhaps sparked by the Rick Perry / audience cheering debate, the Washington Post has featured an array of columns on the issue of capital punishment in its “On Faith” column in recent weeks. Among other things, the columns have illustrated just how diverse the opinions are on this issue, even among Christians.

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