Than the past few weeks with the reactions to the passing of Florida’s “Wait till eight” bill and the leak of Alito’s draft decision on overturning Roe v. Wade. The unhinged reactions from people who have done remarkably extreme body modifications to themselves is literally the demonic manifesting their screams of defeat into the physical world.
I don’t want this blog to be about politics, so I’m not intending for this post to be political – but it is going to venture close to that edge. And especially in light of how perilous I think it is to misrepresent God in a matter, note that these are thoughts I hold lightly – theories of what I think I’ve observed, not to be taken as true without weighing and testing.
Relatively early on in the 2016 election season, I believe I got a word from God from the Book of Habakkuk. Habakkuk’s story is of crying out to God about how awful the Babylonians are, and God not only agrees, he says they’re even worse than Habakkuk knows – oh, and God is using them to bring judgement to Israel. It’s definitely not the answer that Habakkuk is expecting from God. Coming back to now, the word I got wasn’t so much about destruction as much as change – God was very much actively at work in the world and going to shake things up quite a bit. And watching the 2016 election season and the early years of the Trump presidency, there are events and aspects of what I saw that I very much believe was God at work. Please understand, I’m NOT saying anything about whether Trump and his policies were good or bad, but that God had decided to put Trump in place precisely as a foil to expose issues and elements of our society to deal with. This seemed especially apparent with things like the #MeToo movement getting created specifically to try and take out Trump, and ending up exposing a whole bunch of people close to the creation of the movement. Interestingly, one of my pastors a few years later admitted that he got a very similar word of God regarding Trump during the 2016 election.
In this direction, I think the biggest way that God used this entire period is almost like that old Latin saying, “Whom the Gods would destroy they first make mad.” I see this as somewhat true on both sides of the political aisle, but especially most apparent with the incredible insanity of how far from reality many with Trump Derangement Syndrome have gotten. Certainly not everyone who opposes Trump has TDS, but his very presence somehow broke many of his opponents (although I would say it also broke some of his more fervent supporters, too). On top of that, he caused such polarization that the Democrat party has pushed to its extreme and radical fringes. The previous big-tent party that could have disagreement on issues is gone, and has kicked out almost everyone with a moderate voice (such as Tulsi Gabbard). What is left are the politicians who embrace the policies on the left (and yes, there are policies on the right that would meet this criteria as well, but they’re not in power right now) that are the most evil and demonic. Dismissal and disdain of God, late-term (or even post birth!) abortion, freeing felons from prisons (while locking up people for failing for follow COVID protocols) and removing punishment and penalties from theft and rioting, the wink-and-nod that causes floods of illegal immigration, or the blatant embrace of false narratives that deliberately seeks to divide people, specifically as a bid for political power. There are a lot of policies and positions on all sides that I’m perfectly willing to debate what’s best, what’s moral, etc…but the policies leading the way with Democrats right now are demonstrating just how malicious and evil they (the policies) are by the absolute human misery they’re causing in the real world, right now: Incredible crime spikes in our cities, and rape, misery, and death at the border up almost 10x. And here’s where I see God: those evil, fringe positions are now front and center. And here’s the other place I see God: everywhere I look, Christians are now realizing they need to step up in society. They can’t try and live a quiet Christian life on their own, but need to engage in their communities, at all levels. Finally, the last year has upset so many things in our world – I can’t help but see that, just from the opportunities for change available, God’s hand is everywhere.
Taking the Lord’s name in vain doesn’t just mean what most people think it means. The more important meaning is to not misrepresent God’s position on a matter. This applies to all sorts of things that Christians take stances on, but I think most of all when Christians take a stance on political issues. Be very careful when doing so. Sadly, you see all too many people side with political correctness and claim that positions contrary to what Christians throughout all of history have believed are now what God believes. That’s not to say that the church has always been correct about everything…but I wouldn’t be so quick to discard conventional wisdom without going through significant examination on how those positions came to be.
Where I do think that the Christians have often erred on issues is not in what the moral position is, but in how it should be enforced in society.
“October 6, 1774
I met those of our society who had votes in the ensuing election, and advised them
- To vote, without fee or reward, for the person they judged most worthy
- To speak no evil of the person they voted against, and
- To take care their spirits were not sharpened against those that voted on the other side.”
― John Wesley, The Journal of John Wesley
On number 2: realize we’re all sinners. You’re voting for a sinner, and you’re voting against a sinner. And on number 3: we’re all made in the image of God. Don’t let politics put up a wall against connecting with other people.
I think it’s legitimate to criticize policies and actions, but one should refrain from attacking the person. And even the criticisms should be done in a Christian manner.
While I have a different blog to journal my thoughts about politics and current events, and I don’t intend to post much in this blog about either topic. However, there is one discussion I’ve had a few times, on my faith-based moral justification for being a libertarian. So there are a few items worth mentioning on the subject.
- I am in favor of legalizing many unsavory and currently illicit or illegal behaviors. This is not because I support those behaviors, but because I think that the law and government force isn’t the best way to stop or discourage those behaviors. Trying to stop drunkenness by banning alcohol gets you gangsters and intrusive government enforcement, and the more effective way for society to deal with the problem is Alcoholics Anonymous and church-led 12 step programs. People, as long as they’re not directly hurting others, should be allowed to make bad decisions regarding their own life, and the church should try and love and teach society to help them make better decisions. As a side note, and here’s the main faith tie-in, this pretty much mirrors how God set up this entire world: a neutral space to give people the freedom to learn to choose him.
- Similarly, I don’t think that Government programs to help the needy are compassionate. Taking money from one person to give it to another isn’t compassion, and supporting a program that does so isn’t either. Especially when such programs are always incredibly inefficient compared with private, usually religious charities that do the same thing.
- Lastly, and maybe most importantly, people tend to make politics too important in their lives, and turn politics into a sort of religion. One of the main reasons I support libertarian positions is that I think that we should do what we can to minimize the importance of big politics in people’s lives, and hopefully they’ll learn to fill those aspects with God instead.