So What's This All About?

In case you didn't know, I'm in the multi-year-long process of posting a Christian devotional at the TAWG Blog. The TAWG Blog is, and always will be, mostly apolitical. For the most part, Bible-believing Christians will find little to disagree with there. But I also firmly believe that God's word can--and should--inform everything in life, and this should include politics and popular culture. How should we vote? How should we respond to hot topics such as abortion, capital punishment, taxes, and other issues? Which party, if either, is closer to the Biblical ideal? Tony Campolo and Ron Sider, Evangelicals whose political leanings are on the Left, have made the case in several of their writings that God wants his followers to vote politically on the Left more than on the Right. At times, some of them have gone so far as to equate voting on the Left with obedience to Christ, either subtly or not-so-subtly contending that the converse is true as well: If you vote Republican, you're sinning against the Savior.
I don't agree. I think that to the degree they actually resort to the Bible, they're misinterpreting it. With a whole bunch of caveats, I think politically conservative positions are a lot more compatible with the Scriptures than the Leftist positions.
Just to clarify, I would never accuse people who disagree with me--especially siblings in Christ--of what they accuse me of. I don't judge my own heart, much less anyone else's, and I don't equate political disagreement with theological fidelity to God. I have no reason to doubt their love for the Lord and "for the least of these," but I believe that they're sincerely wrong.
So there are two main purposes for this blog. One is to make a case for my political beliefs based on Scripture. The other is a bit more vague, basically to work out my political beliefs and figure out what's based on Scripture and what's based on my own biases. I certainly don't have all the answers. Some of this stuff I'm still figuring out. And I'm certainly open to correction. As long as you make your case civilly and based on Scripture, feel free to make a comment, and I promise I'll post it and consider your arguments thoughtfully and prayerfully. Who knows? Maybe we'll learn a little something from each other.
May God bless our common striving together towards both the "little t" truth and "Big T" Truth. Our watchword here is a line from C. S. Lewis's The Last Battle: "Further up and further in!"

P.S. -- Below on the left is "Topics I've Covered" which lists everything I've posted topically. It's come to my attention that some people would like to see everything just listed for them. If that's you, you can get it here. Thanks to my friend Stephen Young for the tip!

Thursday, January 3, 2013

A Précis

Alright, here goes:
1)                 I'm in favor of capital punishment for (some) murderers.

2)                  I believe that in general government should be limited to doing what only government can do.

3)                 This includes a drastic reduction in government welfare to the poor, since I believe that in general it should be handled by the A) individuals and B) then the church when A) falls short.

4)                  I believe that the main purpose of government is to enforce laws, keep the peace, and protect its citizens from enemies foreign and domestic.

5)                  I believe that abortion should be illegal except in the case where the mother's life is threatened. No, that does not include rape or incest. I believe in capital punishment for murder, and the unborn child is not guilty for anything his/her father has done.

6)                  I believe a Progressive income tax is wrong, and that the steeper it is, the more it resembles theft and disobedience to the 10th Commandment. In fact, I believe that about 90-95% of the Left's philosophy is based on a wholesale rejection of the 10th Commandment.

7)                  I believe that wealth is not a zero-sum game. If my neighbor becomes more wealthy, that does not take wealth away from me. Poverty--in and of itself--is not a virtue, and wealth--in and of itself--is not a crime nor a sin.

8)                   I believe that the world, in general, is a rough neighborhood, and that it is essential for peace and prosperity in the world for the American military to be strong. In fact, humanly speaking, the U.S. military has done more for peace and prosperity in the world, by fighting and deterring bad guys, than any other human institution.

9)                 In general, I don't trust calls for "reasonable" restrictions on gun ownership. Gun control, again speaking generally, does much more to keep guns out of the hands of law-abiding peaceful citizens and does little to nothing to keep them out of the hands of criminals.

10)              I believe in property rights, going back to the 8th Commandment. Yes, it's true that ultimately I don't own what I "own," God does. But just because I don't own my own property in that sense doesn't negate the fact that my neighbor doesn't own my property either. Theft is a sin, even if the thieves can get a majority vote.

11)              Speaking of majority votes, I don't trust "democracy" as such. A lynch mob can be "democratic." I believe that this country has been, and should continue to be, a representative republic. That means that we elect leaders, and they vote on most issues (in most cases referendums are bad ideas), and they must justify everything they do by a strict reading of their powers as stated in the Constitution. If they can't point to something in Article One, Section Eight, they probably shouldn't do it.

12)              Having said all this, I'm fully aware that there are a lot of Bible-believing Christians--people whose salvation I'd never doubt--who disagree with me on one or more of the above statements. There are plenty of Evangelicals who agree with me theologically but who disagree with me politically. That's fine. We can worship together, witness together, encourage each other, and challenge each other to be better followers of Jesus. But I believe that the above statements--to various degrees per topic--can be substantiated by a careful and thoughtful reading of Scripture. And in the days to come, I'm going to make that case.

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