Thoughts to Ponder

A Christian's responsibility.

As we get closer to the Presidential election, I hear a lot of Christians saying that they don't feel they can vote for President Bush. They have good reasons. They feel that he has abandoned the conservative Christian voters and has pandered to the moderate and even left leaning voter. I personally have a lot of problems with President Bush. I think he is too weak on abortion, on support for Israel, on homosexuality and many more issues. But I will vote for him because voting for anyone else or not voting at all is a vote for the liberal candidate in this race.

I personally think it is irresponsible for a Christian not to support President Bush, because no other candidate has a chance of winning, and this election will be a close one where President Bush needs each and every vote.

But what difference does it make? Should a Christian support the lesser of two evils if that is how they feel about both candidates? I think they should, and the reason is because there are some very distinct differences between these two men who want to lead our country. This goes not only for the highest office in the land but also every elected office. When you support a candidate you are supporting what he believes in. It bothers me that Christians are so quick to support candidates who support things a Christian should stand against.

The liberals can make some convincing arguments about how they are the party of compassion and care about the little people, but that is all they are; convincing arguments which are not rooted in truth. Study after study shows that when a person, who has the ability to work, is given a handout it just causes them to continue not to work and provide for themselves. Now I am not talking about someone who has lost a job and needs unemployment or assistance short term, but I am talking about people who live off the government for years. The Bible is clear on the subject too:

2 Thes. 3:10 For even when we were with you, we used to give you this order: if anyone is not willing to work, then he is not to eat, either. [NASB-U]

Compassion is one thing, allowing people to be slothful is another. It is not loving, it is disastrous for the person. You don't have to look very hard to see this in action. Many of the people in our country who have much of nothing have been told all their lives how unfair society is and how they don't have a chance so they should just get anything and everything they can out of the government. This has caused a whole generation of people to just sit back and demand things without taking any responsibility at all. They are victims but not because of society, because they have listened to those who claim to have compassion for them. Those who have taken personal responsibility and worked hard and have climbed out of the economic slums, instead of being heroes or role models, are instead vilified. It is claimed that they have used the very system they speak out against to gain what they have and now want to hold others back. Yet they have the answer and are willing to be vilified to tell others; hard work and perseverance will allow anyone to succeed, but it isn't always easy.

There are more differences between the candidates. The liberals are against the death penalty. Again they can make a convincing argument. They claim that innocent people are being put to death. They claim that the death penalty is not a deterrent and therefore is not appropriate. Have innocent people ended up on death row and even been executed? I am sure they have, but that is a flaw in our judicial system, not in the death penalty. Again we can see what God has to say about this issue:

Deut. 13:6-11 "If your brother, your mother's son, or your son or daughter, or the wife you cherish, or your friend who is as your own soul, entice you secretly, saying, 'Let us go and serve other gods' (whom neither you nor your fathers have known, [7] of the gods of the peoples who are around you, near you or far from you, from one end of the earth to the other end), [8] you shall not yield to him or listen to him; and your eye shall not pity him, nor shall you spare or conceal him. [9] "But you shall surely kill him; your hand shall be first against him to put him to death, and afterwards the hand of all the people. [10] "So you shall stone him to death because he has sought to seduce you from the Lord your God who brought you out from the land of Egypt, out of the house of slavery. [11] "Then all Israel will hear and be afraid, and will never again do such a wicked thing among you. [NASB-U]

Deut. 21:18-21 "If any man has a stubborn and rebellious son who will not obey his father or his mother, and when they chastise him, he will not even listen to them, [19] then his father and mother shall seize him, and bring him out to the elders of his city at the gateway of his hometown. [20] "They shall say to the elders of his city, 'This son of ours is stubborn and rebellious, he will not obey us, he is a glutton and a drunkard.' [21] "Then all the men of his city shall stone him to death; so you shall remove the evil from your midst, and all Israel will hear of it and fear. [NASB-U]

"Then all Israel will hear of it and be afraid, and will never do such a wicked thing among you." It is pretty obvious that God thinks the death penalty is a deterrent. God also puts a safety provision in this:

Deut. 17:6 "On the evidence of two witnesses or three witnesses, he who is to die shall be put to death; he shall not be put to death on the evidence of one witness. [NASB-U]

So if we would follow God's instructions, we would support the death penalty, but we would make sure that there is sufficient evidence before condemning a person.

The liberals support abortion. Abortion is taking the life of an innocent child before it is born and in some cases as it is being born. How can a Christian support anyone who supports abortion?

Jeremiah 22:3 'Thus says the Lord, "Do justice and righteousness, and deliver the one who has been robbed from the power of his oppressor. Also do not mistreat or do violence to the stranger, the orphan, or the widow; and do not shed innocent blood in this place."' [NASB-U]

Psalm 106:37-38 They even sacrificed their sons and their daughters to the demons, [38] And shed innocent blood, The blood of their sons and their daughters, Whom they sacrificed to the idols of Canaan; And the land was polluted with the blood. [NASB-U]

Every time an unborn child is aborted that child is being sacrificed to demons. The blood of the innocent has and is polluting our land.

The liberals support homosexual marriage and 'homosexual rights' which is just code for special treatment. God does not approve of the homosexual lifestyle, it is an abomination in His sight.

Under the 'homosexual rights' banner will be hate crimes laws, which if enacted will make any sermon or speech which condemns homosexuality against the law. Yes even in America where we claim to have free speech and freedom of religion it might soon be illegal to read the following from God's word:

Leviticus 18:22 'You shall not lie with a male as one lies with a female; it is an abomination. [NASB-U]

Or this:

1 Cor. 6:9-10 Or do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived; neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor homosexuals, [10] nor thieves, nor the covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers, will inherit the kingdom of God. [NASB-U]

Yes by not voting for President Bush, we as Christians could send a very powerful message to the Republican party, but by the time they listen it could be too late, because our freedoms could be lost in the next 4 years under a liberal president. President Clinton started us down that slippery slope, but even he was not as liberal as John Kerry and John Edwards.

Even if we keep a majority of Republicans in both chambers of Congress we could lose our rights. These so called conservatives haven't got the spine to stand up to the minority and get anything done. With these spineless "girlie men" running Congress a liberal president would be pretty much unfettered. But if the Christian voters decide to sit out this election as I have heard some say they will, then we could lose both chambers of Congress to the liberals. I hate liberalism, but I must give them their due, they have spines and they will stand up for what they believe and they won't allow anything to stand in their way.

As a Christian I believe we have a responsibility to support those leaders who stand for what God stands for, even if they are imperfect in doing so. I believe we have the responsibility to speak out and to make our voices heard. Pastors should be speaking out from their pulpits. That is why they are in God's service; to represent Him and His views. Sadly that is not what happens, they are afraid to speak out.

They are afraid to speak out because they are slaves to the IRS. Let me show you what God has to say about that:

Romans 6:16 Do you not know that when you present yourselves to someone as slaves for obedience, you are slaves of the one whom you obey, either of sin resulting in death, or of obedience resulting in righteousness? [NASB-U]

I am sure that tax exemption sounded good to churches when it was first instituted but it has become an albatross around the neck of the church. Having a 501(c)3 exemption has made churches afraid to speak out for fear of losing their tax exemption. They have become slaves to the IRS, not to God. God takes second place to their beloved tax exempt status. I personally believe that churches should get rid of the 501(c)3 status and start serving God again.

If you don't think this is an issue that can be used against a church to keep it silent then you should read more news.

WASHINGTON - The local Democratic Party is supporting an Internal Revenue Service investigation of an Arkansas pastor who is accused of delivering a pro-Bush sermon July 4.

The Washington County Democratic Committee issued a statement affirming a complaint filed by Barry Lynn, executive director of Americans United for Separation of Church and State, against Ronnie Floyd, pastor of the First Baptist Church of Springdale.

Americans United for Separation of Church and State filed a complaint with the Internal Revenue Service against the pastor's July 4 sermon, suggesting it endorsed the re-election of President Bush and therefore violated the conditions of the church's tax-exempt status. (Excerpt from WorldNetDaily article http://www.worldnetdaily.com/news/article.asp?ARTICLE_ID=39625)

OVERLAND PARK, Kan. (AP) - A recent Sunday found Tina Kolm changing her morning routine. Instead of attending a Unitarian Universalist service, she was at the Lenexa Christian Center, paying close attention to a conservative minister's sermon about the importance of amending the U.S. Constitution to ban gay marriage.

Kolm is one of about 100 volunteers for the Mainstream Coalition, a group monitoring the political activities of local pastors and churches.

The coalition, based in suburban Kansas City, Kan., says it wants to make sure clergy adhere to federal tax guidelines restricting political activity by nonprofit groups, and it's taking such efforts to a new level. (Excerpt from Omaha.com article http://www.omaha.com/index.php?u_np=0&u_pg=57&u_sid=1156366)

I am afraid many churches have good reason to fear losing their tax exemptions. Not because they speak out, but because if they did lose it they would lose most of the money they now depend on for support. How many people would give to their church if they couldn't claim it on their individual tax returns? I am afraid the number would be very small, which just shows who is really number one in the person's life.

I am afraid that our land is in danger. Not from the liberals, but from God. I fear that we have lost sight of who we are to serve and lost our first love. I fear that Christians are no longer willing to take a stand and be counted. I fear that by taking their marbles and going home instead of voting for a Christian President, no matter how flawed he might be in some areas, that the believers are just giving their God given rights away. I fear that what Ezekiel wrote about Judah could very well apply to us.

Ezekiel 22:30 "I searched for a man among them who would build up the wall and stand in the gap before Me for the land, so that I would not destroy it; but I found no one. [NASB-U]

I think we should voice our displeasure with some of the actions and agendas of President Bush, but we should do it in writing, not by allowing a liberal who promotes the positions of the devil (abortion, homosexuality, abolishment of the death penalty) to take office by our inaction. The apostasy that Paul spoke of is coming but woe to those through whom it comes.

Stand up and be counted. Vote for the candidates who most closely follow God's laws, whether they are perfect or not. If we wait for the perfect candidate we will be waiting a long time, He was here 2,000 years ago, but He will never run for office. When He returns He will hold office by divine right, without needing any human votes to be elected. That only leaves us imperfect candidates and we better start supporting those who are the most godly or we will pay the consequences of our shortsightedness.

E-Mail Ralph

These devotionals are written by Ralph Dettwiler, and reflect his views.

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July 2004