When Americans go to the voting booth on November 8, 2016, we are facing a choice like we have never seen before in our history. As people of faith in our country, it is the responsibility of Christians to be a light to our nation, reflecting the value system Christ brought to earth.
In order to be that light, we need to know what the Bible teaches about the issues we will be deciding in that voting booth. We also need to know how the American government and political system works. If we do not learn these things for ourselves, then we will never be more than pawns being manipulated by the people who we let tell us what to think.
As Jesus famously taught,
“If then the light within you is darkness, how great is that darkness!”
Biblical Values in National Affairs
“Righteousness exalts a nation but sin is a disgrace to any people.”
In America, we have always prided ourselves as being a Light to the World. We saw in Day-10 of this series that this sentiment goes all the way back to the Pilgrims before they set foot on Plymouth Rock. It is worth repeating. While still on the ship bound for the New World, John Winthrop, the first governor of the Massachusetts Bay Colony, preached a sermon to the future colonists. It was called A Model of Christian Charity. He shared his vision of the purpose for the new colony. “We shall be as a city upon a hill, the eyes of all people are upon us.” These are among the most famous words in American history. They define who we believe we are as a people. With these words, John Winthrop passed a baton to future generations. As people of faith in our generation, it is our responsibility to pick up that baton. The eyes of all the people of the world are still upon us.
Spoiler Alert: There are no simple answers.
There is no clear-cut way to apply the Bible to modern American politics. As people of faith who believe the Bible contains guidance for good government, we need to look in two places. First, we must look to the teachings of Christ and the apostles in the New Testament. This is where we learn Christ-centered principles for life. Second, we must look to the Old Testament where specific laws are actually given covering a variety of public policy issues to be addressed by government.
We have to be very careful in how we do this. It is a difficult task, for at least two reasons.
First, the clearest presentations of Christian values are found in the New Testament, mainly in the words of Jesus and the Apostle Paul. But the New Testament mostly applies these values to individuals and not explicitly to nations.
The Old Testament, on the other hand, talks extensively about values that apply to an entire nation. But we have to be careful about drawing analogies for good government from Old Testament Israel. Israel was set up as both a religion and a nation. There are laws for both. In the United States, these two are separated. Only civil government is the domain of our elected representatives. To make things even more difficult, the civil laws in the Bible were written for an agricultural society at the dawn of human civilization. Without the context for why some laws were written as they were, over 3,000 years ago, we cannot apply them directly. Some are hard to apply to modern society. Some are actually barbaric by modern standards.
The best we can do is to look at the Judeo-Christian value system presented in the Bible and to look at the laws pertaining to civil government and how they reflect that Judeo-Christian value system. We draw lessons from those teachings and apply them, very imperfectly, to our modern world.
Nine Biblical Issues in Public Policy
How do we apply biblical values to public policy? This is a big question. To keep it simple, we can look at some of the major issues debated in American political elections that are also mentioned often in scripture and see what the Bible has to say about them.
We can easily be tempted to start with the hot button issues of our political party, then just look up scriptures to justify our position. Instead, we should start with the hot button issues in scripture itself.
There are six issues mentioned so often and so prominently in the Bible that we cannot help but see that they are important to God.
- Property Rights
- Poverty and Social Welfare
- Wages and Workers’ Rights
- Excessive Interest on Loans
There are three other hot button issues in our politics today that we also can find in scripture:
- The Environment
We cannot do justice to these issues in the short space we have here. Still, a quick look at what the Bible has to say about each is enough to give us the sense of what kind of the value system the Bible prescribes for our national affairs.
1. Property Rights
No other policy issue is mentioned more frequently in the Bible than property ownership. The importance of property in the Bible is underscored by its appearance twice in the Ten Commandments. Both stealing and coveting of other people’s property are condemned in the 8th and 10th Commandments. Private property forms the basis of the world economy and national prosperity. This makes it immensely importance in public policy.
Property is also one of the most difficult policy issues in the Bible to get a clear handle on. It warrants an entire book on the subject. In the space we have here, only a few words can be said.
A survey of scriptures regarding private property can be broken down into four general principles.
- God owns everything, human beings are stewards of his property
“The earth is the Lord’s, and everything in it, the world, and all who live in it”
In a general sense, all property ownership is a stewardship entrusted to us by God. We are expected to carry out our stewardship in a way that honors God and benefits our fellow human beings.
- Property ownership is secured and protected
“You shall not steal.”
“Do not move your neighbor’s boundary stone set up by your predecessors in the inheritance you receive in the land the Lord your God is giving you to possess.”
Throughout scripture, private ownership of property is secured and protected. The general principal is that God delegates the management of his resources to private property owners.
- Land use and irresponsible property use are regulated
“For six years sow your fields, and for six years prune your vineyards and gather their crops. But in the seventh year the land is to have a year of sabbath rest, a sabbath to the Lord. Do not sow your fields or prune your vineyards. Do not reap what grows of itself or harvest the grapes of your untended vines. The land is to have a year of rest.”
“If anyone uncovers a pit or digs one and fails to cover it and an ox or a donkey falls into it, the one who opened the pit must pay the owner for the loss”
”If anyone grazes their livestock in a field or vineyard and lets them stray and they graze in someone else’s field, the offender must make restitution from the best of their own field or vineyard.”
Private property ownership is not unrestricted in scripture. There are regulations on land use management and penalties for negligent use of property resulting in personal injury or property damage to others.
- Greed is condemned
“But godliness with contentment is great gain. For we brought nothing into the world, and we can take nothing out of it….For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil. Some people, eager for money, have wandered from the faith and pierced themselves with many griefs.”
I Timothy 6:6-10
The New Testament addresses property ownership more as a moral and spiritual issue than a legal one. This confuses things. The self-serving aspects of wealth are widely condemned throughout the New Testament. Voluntary giving and support for the needy is widely promoted. This was taken to an extreme in the very early days of the Church, where the believers in Jerusalem had everything in common (Acts 2:44-45). This has mistakenly led many throughout history to see communal ownership of property as a biblical model for public policy. This is nowhere supported in scripture as a general model, rather it was a limited practice appropriate for a specific time and place. Still, we cannot ignore the many lessons in the New Testament about biblical values for the godly use of private property in society. These lessons can and should be taken into consideration in forming public policy related to property.
The general biblical principles related to property are: God owns all property, and like all things, it should be used in ways that honor him. God delegates ownership of property to human beings. Private property is to be secured and protected. However irresponsible and negligent use of private property is to be regulated and subject to civil and/or criminal penalties. Altruistic uses of personal property are encouraged.
2. Poverty and Social Welfare
One of the most hotly debated issues in presidential elections is tax-payer funded welfare benefits for the poor. The Bible actually has an answer to this question.
“At the end of every three years, bring all the tithes of that year’s produce and store it in your towns, so that the Levites (who have no allotment or inheritance of their own) and the foreigners, the fatherless and the widows who live in your towns may come and eat and be satisfied, and so that the Lord your God may bless you in all the work of your hands.”
A third of all tithes (income taxes) collected were to be allocated to the Levites, immigrants, orphans and widows. The concluding words of this scripture are important, “…may come and eat and be satisfied, so that the Lord your God may bless you in all the work of your hands.” This is saying, in God’s economy, our nation will prosper more if we provide enough social welfare benefits to satisfy the hunger of our poor and immigrant populations. The implication is that if we fail to take care of the needy among us we will be less prosperous.
Funding social welfare programs through an income tax is a fairly straight-forward policy issue. A closely related issue that has been hotly debated in recent years is what we today call “employer mandates.” Should privately owned businesses be expected to take care of those in their communities who have needs?
The Bible does have something to say about that.
“When you are harvesting in your field and you overlook a sheaf, do not go back to get it. Leave it for the foreigner, the fatherless and the widow, so that the Lord your God may bless you in all the work of your hands. When you beat the olives from your trees, do not go over the branches a second time. Leave what remains for the foreigner, the fatherless and the widow. When you harvest the grapes in your vineyard, do not go over the vines again. Leave what remains for the foreigner, the fatherless and the widow. Remember that you were slaves in Egypt. That is why I command you to do this.”
This Old Testament regulation is called “gleaning.” Once again, the concluding sentence of this scripture tells why it is important. Because we are a nation of immigrants who fled oppression in foreign lands, we should never forget where we came from. That is why we should generously share with those in every generation who are new arrivals to our nation or who are struggling in some way.
We can begin to see in these verses a pattern that will emerge throughout scripture and play a big role as we seek to understand biblical values for public policy. God’s heart is for the people who are overlooked, forgotten or just left behind by the rest of society. It is impossible to read scripture with an open heart without realizing how much God loves single mothers and their children. It is impossible for us not to see how much God wants us to all chip in together and take care of the poor and needy among us. God sees every one as valuable and full of potential. He sees their hard work and their efforts to make a better life for themselves and their children. He knows they just need a helping hand from people who care. God never puts them down or treats them as a drain on society the way we do. He tells us over and over again to love them the way he does and take care of them. For the nation of Israel, he required it by law.
In scripture, the issue of poverty relief is often tied together with immigration. We have already seen that the Bible promotes both tax-funded social welfare benefits and employer mandated support for immigrants, along with single mothers and their children. The Bible actually goes farther than that and tells us the attitude we should have towards immigrants when we make our laws regarding them.
“He defends the cause of the fatherless and the widow, and loves the foreigner residing among you, giving them food and clothing. And you are to love those who are foreigners, for you yourselves were foreigners in Egypt”
God loves the foreigners living in our country and wants to give them food and clothing. We are not just supposed to tolerate them and provide benefits. We are to love them the same way God loves them. Once again we are reminded not to forget where we came from. We were in their shoes at one time.
There is perhaps no nation on earth where this is more relevant than the United States. We have a large statue in New York Harbor that reminds us of this fact. At its base are these words that we all learn in elementary school:
“Give me your tired, your poor,
Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,
The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.
Send these, the homeless, tempest-tost to me,
I lift my lamp beside the golden door!”
The extra urging in Deuteronomy 10 to love the immigrants in our country is important when we consider the case of illegal immigration. It is good public policy to set wise immigration requirements and to enforce them. It is godly public policy to make those immigration requirements as welcoming as possible.
4. Wages and Working Conditions
In addition to caring for the poor and immigrants, a policy issue spoken about in the Bible more than almost any other is wages and working conditions. It is mentioned many of times in both the Old and New Testaments. The general theme is always the same. Deuteronomy presents it this way.
“Do not take advantage of a hired worker who is poor and needy, whether that worker is a fellow Israelite or a foreigner residing in one of your towns. Pay them their wages each day before sunset, because they are poor and are counting on it. Otherwise they may cry to the Lord against you, and you will be guilty of sin.”
The idea is clear. Employees are not powerful enough to bargain for their own wages or working conditions. It is the employer’s responsibility to treat their workers fairly. There is no clear definition of what a fair wage is except to say they are depending on it, presumably for the basic necessities of life, and they need to be paid on time.
The bible talks extensively about fair wages. It also addresses working conditions. There is one clear case in Deuteronomy where workplace safety is directly regulated.
“When you build a new house, make a parapet around your roof so that you may not bring the guilt of bloodshed on your house if someone falls from the roof.”
The law is specific, but the larger principle is clear. The employer is responsible for proactively providing for safe working conditions. If there is an accident and the employer was negligent, the employer is guilty.
The overall principle of employer treatment of employees is seen in these and many other verses. It is very similar to the principles for treatment of the poor and immigrants. It is the employer’s responsibility to ensure that workers receive what today we might call a “living wage” and to take measures to provide for safe and healthy working conditions.
5. Excessive Interest on Loans
A fourth issue that is mentioned many times throughout scripture is lending money at interest. This is another example of biblical laws taking up the cause of the poor and vulnerable.
There are two passages which, taken together, reveal God’s heart towards this issue.
“If any of your fellow Israelites become poor and are unable to support themselves among you, help them as you would a foreigner and stranger, so they can continue to live among you. Do not take interest or any profit from them, but fear your God, so that they may continue to live among you. You must not lend them money at interest or sell them food at a profit.”
“At the end of every seven years you must cancel debts. This is how it is to be done: Every creditor shall cancel any loan they have made to a fellow Israelite. They shall not require payment from anyone among their own people”
The Bible’s teaching about charging interest on loans is not as cut and dry as some other issues. In the Old Testament, the Bible condemns charging any interest at all on loans to fellow Israelites. Charging interest is seen as taking advantage of a fellow citizen. However, rules are also put in place for the repayment of loans. Interest on loans to foreigners is specifically permitted. The principle seems to be that lending at interest is not condemned rather the survival needs of the poor takes precedence over the profits of the creditor.
In a modern economy, loans and interest cannot be done away with entirely. The ability to take out a loan to make an investment and then repay it with the profits of that investment is fuel that drives economic growth. In the New Testament, Jesus specifically approves of putting money in a bank to earn interest (Matthew 25:27). So interest itself is not condemned in scripture.
Charging interest on a loan where both lender and borrower mutually benefit is not being condemned. What is condemned is profiting from excessive interest that the borrower cannot afford to repay.
The Bible even takes it one step farther by granting debt forgiveness on all debt every seven years (Deuteronomy 15:1-2). The Bible warns against getting into debt. It describes debt as bondage and requires repayment of loans. However, it does not condemn people who have gotten themselves into debt. Rather, it just says something along the lines of, at the end of seven years let my people go. We now have many decades of economic research that has proven excessive personal debt is harmful not only to the people in debt but it is a drain on the entire economy. This is a great example of where thousands of years ago, the Bible was saying what modern research has now proven to be true.
The Old Testament solution of forgiving all debt every seven years is not practical in a modern economy. Still, the concept of providing debt relief as good public policy is still very relevant today.
Justice is so important in scripture it is listed as one of the reasons the Messiah will come. It is a constant theme throughout the Bible.
“Here is my servant, whom I uphold, my chosen one in whom I delight; I will put my Spirit on him, and he will bring justice to the nations.”
When the Bible talks about justice, it is usually talking about treating everybody fairly and equally.
“You shall not pervert the justice due to your needy brother in his dispute. Keep far from a false charge, and do not kill the innocent or the righteous, for I will not acquit the guilty.”
“You shall do no injustice in judgment; you shall not be partial to the poor nor defer to the great, but you are to judge your neighbor fairly.”
“Woe to those who enact evil statutes and to those who constantly record unjust decisions, So as to deprive the needy of justice and rob the poor of My people of their rights”
We have seen in the previous four biblical principles that God’s heart for the people is what motivates his laws. An overwhelming theme throughout scripture is God’s heart for people who are overlooked, left behind or oppressed by the rest of society. It is impossible to read the Bible’s teachings about justice with an open heart without picturing in our minds the people who are taken advantage of by those with power or by laws or a judicial system that is biased against them.
It is our responsibility as Christian citizens to use our vote to right those injustices.
There are two hotly debated issues today related to justice: Criminal Justice and Social Justice.
- Criminal Justice means fair and equal treatment by law enforcement and the courts.
- Social Justice means fair and equal treatment by society at large and by the businesses, organizations and institutions in society.
There are dozens of laws and warnings in scripture intended to protect the poor and vulnerable against injustice by the powerful and by the courts.
It is worth noting that there are no warnings in the Bible against the poor or vulnerable standing up and protesting when injustice is being done.
7. The Environment
The Environment has been an important issue in American politics since the early 1970s. We have seen large improvements in the health and wellness of our citizens by cleaning up polluted groundwater, reducing air pollution and addressing a host of other environmental concerns. Today, Global Warming has made the Environment a major policy issue around the world. Does the Bible have anything to say about it?
There are some regulations in the Old Testament addressing environmental issues. There are regulations for the disposal of waste and agricultural management. But it is not a major issue in scripture.
The most important guidance from scripture comes at the very beginning. In the creation story, the Bible presents us with a picture of how human beings should interact with the earth. The guiding principle is “stewardship” of the resources God has blessed us with.
“Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness; let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, over the birds of the air, and over the cattle, over all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.”
This verse has become very controversial for some people. Many Christians interpret the word “dominion” in Genesis 1 as permission to extract resources from the earth at will, without regard to the consequences of our actions. Any attempt to regulate unsafe actions are often seen as an attack on our freedom. A better interpretation is to have authority or leadership over the earth’s resources.
In a biblical view of leadership, authority always comes with responsibility.
We must read Genesis Chapter 2 to see how God intended humanity to carry out our leadership over the earth’s resources.
“The Lord God took the man and put him in the Garden of Eden to work it and take care of it”
Jesus liked to use vineyards in his analogies. We can follow his example with an analogy. Assume you own a vineyard and hire people to take care of it. What do you expect them to do? You expect them to cultivate it to yield the best crop. If they mismanage the property, you would hold them accountable and expect them to clean up the mess. If they notice something is harming the crop, you expect them to investigate and take whatever measures are needed to remedy it. If they do not, it would be negligence. The same is true of our responsibility for the earth.
It is simple really. If we make a mess, we need to clean it up. If we see a problem, even if we did not cause it, we need to fix it. If we do not, it is negligence.
Sexuality is a difficult subject to discuss when it comes to public policy. Like many issues, sexuality often becomes weaponized in political debates. When it comes up, usually it is used to attack the other side.
The irony of using sexuality as a weapon in politics is worth noting. Human sexuality is one of the most beautiful gifts, some would say miracles God has given to mankind. The Song of Solomon famously celebrates the gift of sexuality.
“How beautiful you are and how pleasing,
my love, with your delights!
Your stature is like that of the palm,
and your breasts like clusters of fruit
I said, “I will climb the palm tree;
I will take hold of its fruit.”
May your breasts be like clusters of grapes on the vine,
the fragrance of your breath like apples,
and your mouth like the best wine.”
Song of Solomon 7:6
As with the previous biblical principles we have discussed, we should seek God’s heart on any issue. When it comes to sexuality, the overwhelming message of scripture is to protect the gift of sexuality within marriage. This is a much larger issue than can be discussed adequately here. A few comments can be made about why it would be so important to God for sex to be protected within the bounds of marriage:
- Marriage and family is a representation of God’s relationship to his Church and his people
- A healthy marriage protects and nurtures children
- Sex outside of marriage can often become predatory
There are numerous laws in the Old Testament about sexuality outside of marriage. The strongest is about adultery. Adultery is found in no less an important part of the Bible than the Ten Commandments. This underscores the importance the Bible places on marriage. Sex between two unmarried adults (fornication) and sex between two people of the same gender (homosexuality) are equally condemned in scripture.
Sexuality has often found its way into American politics. In the past, it often arose as a way for one candidate to attack another’s sexual indiscretions. Enforcing sexual norms has also always been an important part of American culture. Restricting adultery, fornication, homosexuality and divorce has historically been a prominent feature in American churches and communities. These restrictions were written into the laws of states and municipalities across the country.
As a matter of public policy, the New Testament takes this issue in a dramatically different direction. This is most clearly seen in the case of Jesus defending the woman caught in adultery (John 8:1-11).
The short version of the story is familiar.
The men of the town had dragged a woman caught in adultery into the town square and were about to enforce the law by stoning her to death. Jesus steps up and says to them, “Let any one of you who is without sin be the first to throw a stone at her.” One by one, they all leave. When nobody is left except Jesus and the woman, Jesus asks her, “Where are your accusers? Didn’t anyone condemn you?” She says, “No.” Jesus says, “Then neither do I condemn you. Go now and leave your life of sin.”
Pastors teaching on this passage often point out how interesting it is that the men of the town caught the woman in “the very act” of adultery, but they did not drag the man out with her. It reveals their hearts. They were not really concerned with justice or righteousness at all. They just wanted someone to blame.
A similar story is repeated when Jesus meets the woman at the well and when a prostitute washes Jesus’s feet with her tears. The point Jesus made is clear. We need to reach out to people with compassion and understanding and not with cold judgement. He was intentional to make this point about these areas of sexuality.
Things became much more complicated in American politics when the Gay Rights movement came to prominence in the 1970s. The discussion of homosexuality changed from one about committing sexual acts to one of discriminating against someone’s sexual identity. As a society, we became aware of the concepts of gender identity and sexual orientation. It became a different conversation than a simple black and white discussion about regulating undesirable behavior. Most Christians have found themselves poorly equipped and often unable to participate in that conversation. Still this is an issue every Christian must study and decide for themselves. I have found the scriptures to be true as they apply to my life. That is my personal starting point in seeking to understand the issue.
When it comes to addressing all of these issues of sexuality, including homosexuality, as a matter of public policy, it seems that our starting point should be to follow Jesus’ example. We should reach out to people with compassion and understanding. It seems that Jesus was intentional about taking matters of sexuality out of the realm of public policy and putting them into the realm of personal ministry.
The issue became further complicated in 2015, when the Supreme Court upheld same-sex marriage in all states. It would appear that the court decision made homosexuality an important issue for the 2016 election. It would appear to be even more relevant because there is now an opening on the court. However, it has actually taken the issue off the table altogether. It was with a Conservative majority that the Supreme Court upheld the decision. It makes no difference who the next president appoints to the Supreme Court. The decision will remain.
Now the issue is no longer, “How can we legislate the meaning of marriage?” That is water under the bridge. Now the issue is, “How does the Church minister to homosexuals in our communities?” I suspect that may have been what Jesus wanted all along.
Abortion is the single most important issue for many Evangelical Christians in America. The Bible does not specifically mention abortion. It is a modern medical procedure. However, the Bible does often mention the importance of defending innocent lives.
To Christians who believe God is the creator of human life, defending innocent life is a critical issue, even if that life is still in the mother’s womb.
“For you created my inmost being;
you knit me together in my mother’s womb.
I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
your works are wonderful,
I know that full well.
My frame was not hidden from you
when I was made in the secret place,
when I was woven together in the depths of the earth.
Your eyes saw my unformed body;
all the days ordained for me were written in your book
before one of them came to be.
How precious to me are your thoughts, God!
How vast is the sum of them!”
This is one of the most beloved scriptures in the book of Psalms. King David is praising God for how much God loves him personally. Even when he was in his mother’s womb, God was watching him and had thought all about the great things he was planning for David’s life. Every Christian can relate to this psalm, because we all seek that same close relationship with our creator. We are assured that there is nothing we had to do to deserve it. Even before we had the ability to make any choices that might disqualify us from God’s love, he already loved us. He was already planning out the path of our lives.
That is how God loves every baby in every mother’s womb.
This is why Christians are so passionate about stopping abortion. It is a matter of social justice, every bit as much as police shootings of unarmed Black men.
The issue of abortion is complicated, however, because of two issues.
When does an embryo become a human being?
It is debatable whether the embryo becomes a living person at conception or sometime later during the pregnancy. At what point in the pregnancy one believes the embryo becomes a living person determines if they could support some forms of abortion or oppose abortion in all forms.
At a certain point in the pregnancy, sometime around the sixth month, the baby could be born prematurely and grow into a healthy adult. It is very hard to argue that the baby in the womb at that stage is less of a human simply because of location, inside vs. outside the womb. Earlier than that, there is room for debate.
There are two people involved
Women have historically been the victims of gender bias in all areas of life. One of the major ways women are discriminated against is by the risk or reality of pregnancy and childbirth. Employers often withhold promotions or equal pay for women because they claim the woman might get pregnant. Women also bear the full responsibility of caring for the child once he or she is born. The man always has the option of just leaving. This has cost countless women their livelihood and future aspirations, because the fathers shirk their responsibility.
The ability to have an abortion, is one of the major factors protecting women from gender discrimination. We cannot in fairness discuss the issue without acknowledging the real reasons and hardships behind the Pro-Choice movement’s position.
As Christians following a biblical value system, we approach the issue of abortion as an issue of social justice and of compassion. We must defend and protect both the unborn child and the mother.
The reason abortion is such a difficult issue to talk about is because each of the two sides only considers one person over the other. The Pro-Life movement focuses almost entirely on the life of the unborn child and rarely seeks to address the issues of gender bias. The Pro-Choice movement focuses almost entirely on the rights of the mother and rarely acknowledges that the child in an abortion is having all of his or her future rights taken away.
Once again, we should seek God’s heart on the matter. Abortion has been weaponized in American politics more than almost any other issue in recent history. We take sides and rush into the battlefield to prove our side is right, but too often forget who we are supposed to be fighting for. So, as Christians, we must ask ourselves, “Who is God fighting for?”
- To a Christian who believes in the Bible, it is undeniable that God loves all children, including the unborn child. Every child in the womb has the potential to grow up into an amazing adult. There are so many stories that prove that. Isaac Newton was born prematurely, at about six months, and grew up to be the father of modern science. We have no way of knowing how many other Isaac Newtons never had the chance to fill their pages in the history books.
- To a Christian who believes in the Bible, it is also undeniable that God loves all women, including women who are abandoned and left to raise their child alone and women who are withheld opportunities because they might get pregnant one day. Unlike the story of Isaac Newton, there are very few stories in the history books about these women. So many of them have their future potential curtailed by the needs of being a single mother or by discrimination that holds them back from fulfilling their potential. It is worth asking, if Isaac Newton was a girl, would we ever have heard about the three laws of motion?
God’s heart is for both the woman and the child. As a Christian, we have to search our own hearts about this issue. If we are not equally working to protect and support both then we are likely not being motivated by God’s heart.
Applying Biblical Values in the Voting Booth
As Christians, we are to be a City on a Hill and a Light to the World. We are to live our lives in a way that reflects a biblical value system so the world will see our good works and glorify our Father in Heaven. As the spiritual descendants of John Winthrop and the early Christian settlers of our country, we have a responsibility to take up the baton they passed down to us. We use our vote to influence our nation to uphold those same values. Our goal, as Christians, is that the United States will continue to be a City on a Hill and a Light to the World. The whole world is watching us.
We have never been perfect at doing this as a nation. If truth be told, we have been far from perfect. What sets us apart is we keep trying. We keep working to be better. That is why Alexis de Tocqueville coined the term, “the Great American Experiment.”
Throughout our history, men and women of good conscience have disagreed vigorously about how to best apply these values to our national government. We will continue to disagree today. That does not mean those we disagree with are un-American or anti-Christian. It just means we have different priorities about which biblical values we believe are most important to emphasize. Some will say that killing the unborn through abortion is the one great moral crisis in America today. They believe strongly that voting to end abortion overrides any other political issue. Others will say upholding justice for people of color and a living wage are the most important issues of the day. As Christians and Americans we must respect one another. We must value one another’s opinions.
We must vigorously debate how to best apply the values we hold dear to our political system. That is how we continue to move forward in the Great American Experiment. Still, when we enter that booth to vote, we are one people.
As Jesus famously said, and as Abraham Lincoln famously quoted,
“A house divided against itself cannot stand.”
Day 10: America is Great Because America is Good
Day 9: Nine Biblical Principles in Public Policy
Day 8: Two Things Americans Should Never Do
Day 7: Ten Key Issues in American Politics
Day 6: Which Side Should Christians Take?
Day 5: Of the People, By the People, For the People
Day 4: Which Policies are Most Biblical?
Day 3: Clinton vs. Trump in 2016
Day 2: A Vision for America
Day 1: My American Story
Election Day: VOTE!