As a general rule, I try to stay out of politics. As a pastor, I have never felt that I should use my position to advocate for one politician or party over another. However, I do have a responsibility to advocate for Christian ethics and morality. I have a responsibility to stand for the victimized and the weak. I have a responsibility to speak God’s word and to speak for those who can’t speak for themselves.
When politics cross the line into ethics, morality, and religion, I am not only allowed to speak to these issues, I am compelled to speak to these issues. Edmund Burke is credited as saying, “when good men do nothing, evil prevails.” As such, the evil attacks against the morality and ethics of our country are prevailing because far too many good men and women have remained silent, sidelined by the attacks of liberals and fearful that their biblical positions on abortion and marriage will be vilified.
In his most recent blog, Albert Mohler writes that the 2012 election is America’s Great Worldview Test. More than politics are at stake when the Democratic Party Platform stands for the legalization and normalization of same-sex marriage and for unrestricted abortion. Mohler speaks of the abortion issue this way,
On the issue of abortion, the Republican platform states, “we assert the sanctity of human life and affirm that the unborn child has a fundamental individual right to life which cannot be infringed.” The Democratic platform states: “The Democratic Party strongly and unequivocally supports Roe v. Wade and a woman’s right to make decisions regarding her pregnancy, including a safe and legal abortion, regardless of ability to pay. We oppose any and all efforts to weaken or undermine that right.”
The worldview clash could hardly be more dramatic. The Republicans frame the issue in terms of the unborn child’s “fundamental individual right to life.” The Democrats frame the issue as “a woman’s right to make decisions” — including the explicit right to decide to kill the baby in her womb. These are two contradictory moral claims.
We as Christians have a responsibility to be informed and involved in the political process. As pastors, we have a responsibility to avoid partisan politics, but we must not remain silent when politicians seek to re-frame moral issues as mere political differences. The child in the womb is not a political issue, it is a life that must be treasured and protected. Marriage is not a social custom that must be allowed to evolve, it is a mandate and creation of God and is by definition a union between one man and one woman.
Mohler is right. This year’s election is a test of worldviews. The ultimate question is not between Barack Obama and Mitt Romney, for Christians the question that must trump all other policy questions is which party platform gives honor to the Creator. I am not blinded into beleiveing that either platform is a perfect espousal of Christian beliefs, but one platform proves to be theistic while the other can’t decide whether or not to include God’s name at all. One platform affirms the value of human life and the other degrades human life. One affirms the value of marriage as a cornerstone for a healthy society while the other seeks to tear down society by removing its most basic building block.
Believers must stand for the protection of children at all ages and for the biblical definition of marriage. Reject the media’s argument that you are some how hateful and on the far right wing fringe. Respond with facts using tools like Trevin Wax’s 3 Media-Made Myths on Abortion. Remember that you are in the majority on the issue of abortion and marriage, and above all else, remember that God’s word trumps political rhetoric.
Pastors, we must stand on the word of God. We must reject the temptation to be caught up on partisan politics. However, we must preach and advocate for a Christian worldview that shapes every area of our life–including our politics. A Christian’s political decisions must not primarily be formed by his or her own financial situation or personal preferences. The Christian should look to the word of God, and the question, “How now shall I live?” Yes, I believe that God cares about whether or not we protect the unborn, I believe that God cares about whether or not we affirm the centrality of marriage in society, I believe that God cares about how we minister to and care for the poor, I believe that God cares about how we treat the environment he has given us, I believe that God cares about how we care for the starving in Africa and India and in our backyards, and as a result, I believe that God cares about how we vote.