Quick, what’s your take on immigration?
Well that depends if you’re a Republican or a Democrat.
What’s your take on abortion?
Again, it depends on if you sport the elephant or the donkey.
On helping the poor.
On Syrian refugees.
On systemic racism.
Even on sexuality.
Of these many hot button issues, where do you go to get your guidance? Sure, there is the Sunday School answer of “Jesus” or “the Bible,” but it only takes a stroll down Facebook lane to see Christians are getting their answers to these moral and spiritual dilemmas from the mouth of the elephant or donkey, not from the Lamb of God.
According to Wikipedia, the current ideology of the Republican Party are as follows…
Its current ideology is American conservatism, which contrasts with the Democrats’ modern liberalism. The Republican Party’s platform involves support for free market capitalism, free enterprise, fiscal conservatism, a strong national defense, deregulation, and restrictions on labor unions. In addition to economic themes there are important social-conservative policies (particularly opposition to abortion and same-sex marriage), and traditional values, usually with a Judeo-Christian ethical foundation. Once dominant in the North-East and the Midwest, the party’s core support now comes from the South as well as conservative Catholics and evangelicals in the South and across the country.
And the current ideology of the Democratic Party are…
The party’s philosophy of modern liberalism advocates social and economic equality, along with the welfare state. It seeks to provide government intervention and regulation in the economy. These interventions, such as the introduction of social programs, support for labor unions, affordable college tuitions, moves toward universal health care and equal opportunity, consumer protection, and environmental protection form the core of the party’s economic policy.
…After the racial turmoil of the 1960s most southern whites and many northern Catholics moved into the Republican Party at the presidential level. The once-powerful labor union element became smaller and less supportive after 1970. White evangelicals and Southerners became heavily Republican at the state and local level in the 1990s. However, African Americans became a major Democratic element after 1964. After 2000, Hispanic and Latino Americans, Asian Americans, the LGBT community, single women and professional women moved toward the party as well. The Northeast and West Coast became Democratic strongholds by 1990 after the Republicans stopped appealing to socially liberal voters there.
Christians analyze the Republicans versus the Democrats then make their conclusion on which one they think is closer to God’s heart. Then they preach from the rafters their party’s colors, typically not caring much about how they say it or who it hurts.
But shouldn’t it be the other way around? Shouldn’t we first look at God’s heart, which is clearly articulated in the Scriptures, then analyze each political party according to that authoritative lens? If we did so, we would weep in mourning to find how both parties fall so pitifully short of God’s heart and weep that a person is forced to pick one at all, when so many biblical issues are still on the other side. Taking a look at the above Wikipedia lists ought to leave us scratching our heads. How could so many seemingly random moral, ethical and spiritual issues be hodge-podged together (you must like this type of health care AND this view on immigration AND, AND, AND…or you must like this view of abortion AND this view of economics AND, AND, AND…) and then presented as if this compilation is somehow worth dying for.
Let alone how Wikipedia points out how Evangelicals or Catholics or Judeo-Christian folks are supposed to align. Excuse me?
It’s like we are just pawns in a big game of money and power. How did we become these pawns? I think there’s a similar psychological element to those who live or die with their favorite sports team. Our inner pride to be right and the rush we get from winning have been tapped into. Our political parties brainwash and blind us with hype and get us to focus on what’s best for us as an individual. Since when did following Jesus revolve around what was best for us as individuals? If you read Jesus’s teachings, there is no way on earth he’d get elected. For one, no political party would have him as he easily shatters their molds and for two, our society (Christians alike) would reject him in a heartbeat for all of his talk about giving oneself up and putting others above self.
Have you ever noticed how Christians argue for their political party waaaaay more passionately than they do for Jesus and his teachings? (Way, way, way, waaaaaaaay more passionately…)
This last year of politics has left me pretty sad about the state of Christianity. How we really think God is a Republican or Democrat. How people who say the Bible is their authority completely ignore it and beat the drum of their party as if it were the words of God himself.
A Case Study: Abortion
I really think it comes back to the brainwashing done to us by both parties respectively. Take a case study of the white Evangelical voting calling card: abortion.
White Evangelicals (myself included) are quick to point out how unbiblical and unethical abortion is. Even though it’s legal, we will tell you the law is unjust and must be changed. We will picket and lobby and rally that this law in unjust, unbiblical, and must be changed.
Now compare this reaction to illegal immigration from Mexico. The knee jerk response of most white Evangelicals to this issue is, “They shouldn’t break the law. Read Romans 13:1-5, we need to submit to and obey the law.”
Why does one issue of oppression get “the law is unjust and must be changed” and the other “We need to submit to and obey the law?” If as a reader, you immediately dig in your heels ready to fire off your answer to how abortion and immigration are so different, you are both missing the point and proving my point. My point is, why do we care so much about what the Bible says about one issue (abortion) but not at all what it says about another (immigration)? How sad a state when so many Christians, on so many issues, do not care what the Bible says.
Could it be we’ve all been duped by our political party to believe that they already stand for the Bible so we don’t need to bother looking things up anymore?
Well, newsflash: they don’t.
Did you know Jesus, Mary and Joseph were refugees and immigrants? Did you know the Bible says the following about immigration:
Leviticus 19:33-34 “ ‘When a foreigner resides among you in your land, do not mistreat them. The foreigner residing among you must be treated as your native-born. Love them as yourself, for you were foreigners in Egypt. I am the LORD your God.
Psalm 9:9 The LORD is a refuge for the oppressed,
a stronghold in times of trouble.
Matthew 25:34-35 “Then the King will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father; take your inheritance, the kingdom prepared for you since the creation of the world. For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in
Did you know immigrants are oppressed people (click to read what God thinks about oppression), not “rapists” and “criminals” as our president-elect used as fear-mongering to stir up hatred and racism in our country. Did you know there is no path an undocumented Mexican immigrant can take to become documented? There is no “line” to wait in. And the vast majority of Mexican immigrants are here so their children don’t die of starvation and can have a real future (this is not a crime, Christians, and is the reason most of our ancestors came to this country as well). THIS IS AN UNJUST LAW. Not only is there no way to become documented, being undocumented allows business owners to treat migrant workers like slaves, abusing them while they have no rights whatsoever (and the rest of us profit off the cheap labor they provide). Slavery ain’t cool, folks. Just like abortion laws, these laws need to be changed, picketed, rallied around, and protested. And just like we show Jesus’s love to unborn children, we need to show it to immigrants and refugees. Did you know the Hebrew word for what most closely represents an immigrant is found 92 times in the Old Testament alone? (More on Scripture & Immigration here from World Relief)
What’s so sad about this, about how we treat politics and policies like they are our favorite sports teams, where we always have to win and be right and crush the opponent, is there are readers right now saying, “Why doesn’t he have an article like this about abortion?” If you are in that boat, you are again missing my point and proving it at the same time. I’ve written extensively on the injustice of abortion and will continue to. It’s not an either / or, like your political party has taught you. We’ve been brainwashed by people who want our vote that our side is the righteous one and the other side is the evil one.
The purpose of this case study is to show how selective we are with the Bible and how quick we are to rush to what Donald Trump says instead of what Jesus says.
Or to what Hillary Clinton says or Ted Cruz or Bernie Sanders or whoever says, instead of what Jesus says. We love all of these people’s words, and will fight for them, more than we will for Jesus.
This past year proved that.
Romans 13 doesn’t end by telling us we should just blindly follow whatever our governing authorities tell us to do. It ends up giving a “you can put all your chips on this law” law just a few verses after telling us we need to submit to our governing authorities:
whatever other command there may be, are summed up in this one command: “Love your neighbor as yourself.” Love does no harm to a neighbor. Therefore love is the fulfillment of the law. -Romans 13:9-10
Yes, this is referring to the Old Testament laws, but it also has to do with fulfilling the civil laws just talked about in the preceding verses. If there is a law that contradicts loving your neighbor has yourself, a law that does harm to your neighbor, it needs to be changed, protested, lobbied against, and picketed, regardless of what an elephant or donkey say about it.
We are called to radically love our unborn neighbors.
We are called to radically love our undocumented immigrant neighbors.
We are called to radically love our Muslim Syrian refugee neighbors.
We are called to radically love the poor.
We are called to radically love our neighbor, period!
This is the fulfillment of the law.
(Oh, and for the record, you cannot radically love someone while simultaneously deporting them, forever severing them from their children.)
If you disagree with this, you disagree with Jesus. Choose this day whom you will serve: The Republicans, the Democrats, or the LORD Jesus.
As for me and my house, we will serve the LORD.
- Ep. 92: Ken Wytsma on Chronic Pain, Compassion Fatigue, and a Theology of Suffering - February 5, 2024
- Ep. 91: Control & Hope Beyond Our Circumstances - December 13, 2023
- Ep. 90: Juanita Rasmus on Learning to Live in the Unmerited Love of God - November 10, 2023