Politicians and Members
One of the most controversial areas of Christianity is the arena dealing with church and state. It has been said there are two things you should never discuss with relatives, especially at family reunions, they are the topics of religion and politics. Yet, these are very important areas of our lives. How the Gospel addresses them is critical for our understanding of how this should impact the ethical position of a Christian regarding politics and voting.
What makes religion and politics so controversial is that we see how one's faith is being applied within the real world. It is actually a reflection of how the rubber meets the road when it comes to personal ethics. People can get very defensive when it comes to discussing this topic because we see their justifications for policies that reveal where there heart is. However, these issues deal directly with how we relate to our neighbors and the helpless in our societies. Many would rather not have to confront what they truly value since it may bring conviction and a call by God to change one's heart attitudes.
One of the areas where we would not expect to run across this compromising attitude is the pulpits of our nation. We would expect that the men and women who represent God would be above political self-interest. Yet, the pulpits are far too often the areas where we find the most outrageous forms of compromise based on political expediency and self-interest.
An example of this is the abortion issue. Many church leaders and denominations claim to be against abortion because they say they believe it is the murder of a human being created in God's image. Yet, they openly tolerate people within their churches or politicians that advocate the murder of innocent babies. This especially becomes an issue when a presidential candidate running for office professes to be pro-life but says it would be unbiblical for him/her to impose it on other people.
The problem with that logic is that by definition government is coercive power to make people do what they normally would not want to do. Murders, thieves and rapists would definitely prefer that you not impose the force of the state upon them for their unlawful actions. The job of government is to protect the rights of people, prosecute criminals and provide for the common defense against our nation's enemies. The abortion issue deals with the right of the government to determine what a human is and whether their rights should be protected. Life is an inalienable right given to everyone by God. The government cannot breach that right since it is God-given. Giving the government and the courts that authority now threatens both the government and all individuals who may be defined by the government as not being a life worthy of being protected by the state.
This is exactly what happened with the Jews during the Nazi era. Church leaders remained silent as their own church members became part of the mass killing machine out to exterminate a whole class of people after the courts declared them to be non-human. Our own Supreme Court made a similar decision with the black slaves in America. The court decided they were not human but chattel property who should be treated as if they were personal property - not humans. Tragically many church leaders went along with the decision and failed to stand up for our black neighbors.
A church that is not willing to discipline its church members for sinful acts is compromising the ethical standards of God's revealed word. Judgment of compromised churches will inevitably follow. In America we paid heavily with a civil war that ripped the nation apart. Today it appears we are headed in the same direction with the abortion issue. God does not tolerate the shedding of innocent blood. As a nation we will all pay the consequences of tolerating sinful actions by both our church members and our national leaders.