THE PRESIDENTIAL ELECTIONS: ARE MORAL ISSUES POLITICAL ISSUES OR CHURCH ISSUES?
By: Bodé Adeboyejo
I don’t know about you but I’m about tired of hearing Evangelical Christians touting the Republican Party as the “Christian Party” – the party that upholds biblical values. I am particularly tired of them touting President George W. Bush as a fellow Christian who upholds biblical values, and against abortion, gay marriage, stem cell research, etc.
If you have been listening to Christian radio, like I do, you perhaps have heard the rhetoric of some of these Evangelical Christians. These Evangelicals not only go as far as endorsing G. W. as the right candidate for the Oval Office; but even more so, try to make you feel guilty as a Christian if you don’t share that belief or conviction; short of saying that one must not be a Christian if one doesn’t vote for Bush.
They almost make you doubt your salvation simply because you don’t share their conviction; saying “how dare you support John Kerry when he stands for everything the Bible teaches against?” And if you don’t support Bush you probably don’t support the Bible because Bush stands against the same issues the Bible speaks against, while John Kerry on the other hand is for those very issues.
Listening to some of these Evangelicals passionately talk about Bush and the elections, you’d think that they were talking about Jesus Christ and the gospel! Listening to them talk about some of the issues you’d think that the Democrats were responsible for the moral laxity of the society – more so John Kerry. But what is interesting, however, is that many of these moral issues touted as political issues are not political issues at all. They are neither Democratic nor Republican issues but societal issues, particularly Church issues!
Most of the issues the Evangelicals want to blame the Democratic Party for are issues we Christians ought to take responsibility for. For instance, take the issue of homosexual marriage. No political party should be blamed for the fact that homosexual activists are pushing for gay marriage.
After all, it was neither the Democrats nor John Kerry that elected the first Gay Bishop in the Episcopal Church – some alleged Christians did! It wasn’t the Democratic Party or John Kerry that sexually molested altar boys and the parishioners – some Catholic priests did! It wasn’t the Democratic Party or John Kerry that performed same sex weddings in the Church of Jesus Christ; contrary to what the Bible teaches – some misinformed denominational church pastors or ministers did!
The society is simply a reflection of the Church! If the Church is right, it will transcend to the society. So, the fact that society is gay or leaning towards gay marriage is because the Church is gay and leaning toward gay marriage.
Take the issue of abortion for instance. The reason we are even considering whether we should have abortion, partial or whole is not because one party favors abortion necessarily and the other party doesn’t. The issue goes back to the Church. If the Church is preaching the gospel as truthfully and passionately as Jesus Christ commanded, there will be more people saved, and less people committing abortions. Also, if more Christians are adopting unwanted babies, maybe we won’t have as many abortions as we have in this country.
Therefore, rather than push its problem on the government, the Church ought to take responsibility for its failure! The Church ought to stand up and take its place in the society. The Church is the only vehicle God has in the earth to effectively make a change. If there’s going to be a change in this country, or in any country for that matter, it’s going to have to be through the Church (the Body of Christ). We are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden. Besides, no man lights a candle and puts it under a basket but on a candlestick so that it may give light to all around. We are the salt of the earth. If the earth (society) is rotten it’s because the Church (the salt) has lost its savor and its preservative attributes.
Without a doubt there are some issues that purely are societal that the government should be responsible for, but moral issues are not among them. Pushing moral issues to the government is like asking a cat to bark. The government is not capable of handling moral issues. That’s Church business. That’s one of the reasons why God placed the Church in the earth – to handle moral issues. The government cannot do anything about moral issues, no matter how many laws they make. You cannot make enough laws to curb immorality. Laws don’t change hearts; only God does through the gospel! If the Law changed hearts, Jesus wouldn’t have to come to the earth to die for the sins of humanity. Even God knew that, that was why He had to send Jesus to die for the sins of the whole world.
Before Jesus came, there was the Law (the 10 commandments). Yet in spite of the Law, the people circumvented and broke every one of the 10 commandments! The Law (the 10 Commandments) didn’t stop the Israelites from sinning. Besides, God didn’t give the 10 commandments necessarily for the Israelites to keep, but only to show them His requirements, as a Holy God. If God thought that they could or would keep the commandments, He would not have made a way out through animal sacrifices for atonement before sending Jesus.
One thing about laws is that they don’t stop people from breaking them; rather they only make criminals out of people. What the people need is not a change in laws but a change of heart. And only God can do that through the gospel of Jesus Christ.
But before the Church can effectively make a change in the society, it must first make a change in itself. The church first has to repent of its own sins of homosexuality, adultery, abortions, sex-abuse, back biting, lording over God’s heritage, etc. 2 Chronicles 7:14 says that “If my people, (the Church) which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.”
If many of these Evangelicals share the gospel, with the same passion and intensity they shared their rhetoric on George Bush and the Republican Party, perhaps, there would be less sinners, and a less morally bankrupt society, so much so that some of the issues that are likely to influence this coming election, won’t even be an issue at all.
So, if you choose to elect Bush or Kerry next Tuesday, let it be because of your conscience and conviction, and not because of some rhetoric.
Let government be government, let Church be Church, and let God be God!
P.S. While it may seem as if this piece is biased and is an endorsement of John Kerry or the Democratic Party, let me say that it is NOT! Rather it’s intended to make people vote their conscience, whether democratic or republican without any guilt feelings. More so, it is to make the Church take responsibility for its failures rather than blame the government.
This article was written a few days to the 2004 Presidential Elections.