Tag Archives: death penalty

Religion and Politics; Voting along religious lines…

Religion and politics; they are both hot topics, even separately they are two areas that stimulate a large amount of discussion but when you mix ’em together…whoa buddy, just watch out.

I observed a particular point-of-view that I found highly interesting after watching Jesus Camp, a documentary that followed a group of kids to an evangelical Christian summer camp.  After watching the movie, I knew people online would be all over it, in terms of discussion, so I looked up a discussion board, and sure enough everyone was getting worked up talking about it.  Amongst all the discussion, there was a group of people from the liberal side of the aisle who were horrified that people would let their religious beliefs influence which candidates or laws they would or would not vote for…scandalous I know.

There was an odd undercurrent of thought that if people voted their religious morals, then we’d magically turn into a Theocracy…showing that the slippery slope fallacy is alive and well.  What baffled me was the seeming lack of acknowledgment that we live in a republic and that we (at least used to) take democracy quite seriously.  That means we get to attempt to elect people that will represent us in government.  They were also making an odd fuss over “legislating morality.”  Folks, we legislate morality all the time, that’s why we have laws against things like murder, theft, and rape…

I can understand why someone might be upset by this, because maybe their view might not be represented…well, yes, that’s why people need to get out and vote, as well as to make their voices heard to their representatives in the different levels of government.  So, anyway, I filed this type of thought away for further analyzing, thinking that it would be a liberal gripe because of its religious nature.  Fast forward about a year and I’m discussing various laws from a religious perspective with some fellow Christian conservatives, and wouldn’t you know it, the same line of reasoning cropped up, only in a different form.  Turns out that there are some conservatives out there that do indeed think you should vote with your religious based morals as long as your thoughts on various laws line up with their thoughts, if not, all bets are off.

For the laws they like, oh, say, the death penalty…one that perhaps other Christians don’t support, all of a sudden they use the argument that God enters in and has set up rulership over others to keep the peace, work out His divine plan, etc… (which I believe) and we shouldn’t try to shift things too much…you know, like voting the way you feel lead to as a Christian.  I pointed out that the law of our land also says things like abortion is legal, so, should we not try to change that?  For some reason, no one wanted to touch that with a ten foot pole.  Yes, God sets up certain national leaders and directs history, no doubt about it.  But, He also lays a charge on us as individuals to be responsible within our own situations and cultures, and He happened to bless the USA with a representative republic…doesn’t that mean that it too is a part of His plan that we get to vote how we feel lead to in this great country of ours, even if my opinion on a law is different than yours?

Should we vote our religious convictions?  Can we vote our religious convictions?  I would think the answer to those questions would be obvious… I vote “Yes,” to both.

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Filed under Of Interest, Religion and Politics

You’re a sinner, I’m a sinner…

It’s basic Christian theology, right?  That was my immediate thought, and the way I’ve always been taught, both by pastors, family, the Bible, and yes, the Holy Spirit.  Apparently, though, there are many of my fellow Christians out there that mouth these words yet never take them to heart, and quite frankly it’s driving me a bit insane.  I don’t know if this is because pastors, teachers, and preachers out there are not teaching this, or if it has become such a pat phrase that we just nod right on by it.  Honestly, how many of my fellow believers out there read the title “You’re a sinner, I’m a sinner,” and nod right along without really stopping to think what that means?

Two dialogues this week brought this to my attention, and it is actually one of the main reasons I started this blog when I did.  The first conversation occurred on a Christian forum that I am a member of, in a thread discussing the death penalty from a Christian perspective.  Here is a paraphrase of one of the comments that appeared in the thread, “Well, I would hope that if I did anything that deserved the death penalty, that they would catch me, and carry out the sentence.”  I hate to break it to you, but we have all done things that deserve the death penalty according to the highest law in the land; God’s own law.  Has anyone really studied the stoneable offenses in the Old Testament (OT)?  There is a pretty big list including adultery, murder, not honoring your parents, etc… they earned the death penalty.  “Well,” you say, “I’ve never killed anyone, I’ve never cheated on my spouse!”  Any self-respecting Christian should have a ready comeback to that idea, straight from Christ’s own teachings, here’s a hint, see Matthew Chapter 5.  Not enough?  Many of my fellow Christians who like to push works, and even condemn others while trying to avoid condemnation themselves love the book of James, so let’s see what James tells us: James 2:10 For whosoever shall keep the whole law, and yet offend in one point, he is guilty of all. Well, now, that changes a few things, or at least it should.

The second discussion that brought this to my attention was an interview done with John Barrowman (of Torchwood fame, go Captain Jack!) on a BBC show that I watched via youtube.  One of the topics discussed was the fact that John is openly homosexual.  Also, he made mention on this show (and elsewhere in other interviews as well), that he believes in God, and was brought up in the church.  Now, this post isn’t to discuss homosexuality, but rather something more fundamental.  John made the point that it was wrong for Christians, (or “other” Christians, perhaps) to say to him that he is evil, bad, and wrong.  Not only that, but he then made the comment that he was a good man.  Two things came to mind the first was that I’m sure there’ve been some “lovely” Christians that have indeed spat on Homosexuals, called them names, and pronounced damnation on them, calling them evil, bad and wrong just because of their homosexuality, and that’s a true shame.  The second thing that came to mind, is “what theology has John, and all those condemning homosexuals for their sin without looking in a mirror been taught?”

The stance clearly presented in scripture, and by Jesus Himself, is that none of us are “good.”  None of us.  Yes, without Christ, John Barrowman is evil, bad, and wrong, and so am I, and so are you.  That’s the whole point. There is none good but God, our righteousness is as filthy rags, no there are none that doeth good… “Yup, yup, yup, you’re right, none good, yup!”  No! Don’t just agree with it, think about it.  We are all a bunch of sinners, who, according to scripture, if we break one law, we get charged with ’em all!  All of our hope, all of our faith rests solely on Christ; not on what sin we haven’t committed, because we’ve committed them all according to the word.  There’s not one mere human better than any other.

Is this post a hidden message against the death penalty, or one saying homosexual acts are fine?  By no means.  Is it a message that supports sinning so that grace may abound? I join Paul in saying, “God forbid!”  There is indeed right and wrong, and sin that we should actively try to avoid with the help and teaching of the scripture, and The Spirit.  I’m just hoping this will help even one person soak this idea in and really think about it; it is fundamental theology, and is meant to get everyone’s eyes firmly on Christ, because He is indeed the source of our only true Righteousness.  It is also meant to banish the foolish idea that any one of us is “better” or less deserving of death than any other human; our only means of escaping the death penalty in this life or the next is faith in Jesus Christ!

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Filed under Theology