Wesley Biblical Seminary
“You’ve got to help me with a question,” said the caller. “Tell me now, can you in any way be a Christian and vote Democrat?”
I have been doing talk radio for 15 years or so, smack dab in the middle of the Bible Belt. Believe me when I say that, through the years, my listening audience has considered the social agenda of the Democrats and voiced the same question on the air at least a couple of hundred times.
- Abortion on demand
- The homosexual agenda
- Slow dismantling of the Judeo-Christian tradition, not the least from left-wing judicial nominees
- Public monopoly of education and a secular humanistic curricular emphasis
- Welfare dependency (government is your “daddy”)
This is not the stuff of Jesus, I dare say. So, can you be a Christian and vote Democrat?
My question for the caller: “Hey, man, what does it mean to be a Christian — to be saved?” There was momentary silence on his end so I just continued. “We are saved by grace through faith in Christ Jesus. Period. The Republican Party cannot save, although that is news to some. The Democratic Party can’t save, and that is obvious to most. But politics or political positions cannot and will not save us. “For we are saved by grace through faith in Christ Jesus.”
This columnist started paying attention to politics sometime during the Nixon years. Last time I checked, there was still a sign in the basement of our old house in Kansas that declared, “Nixon’s the One!” But it would take some pretty rose-colored glasses not to see that the GOP and its players have transgressed legally and in the realm of common sense just as much as their counterpart Dems.
For those of us who thought that Republicans and Christian faith rode tandem, we of the faith have been riding on the same bike as welfare-promoting, law-breaking, greedy, pork-barrel enthusiasts who have about as many sex and financial scandals as those with polar opposite political proclivities.
“The Kingdom of God doesn’t fly into our country on Air Force One!” someone once said. That is a timely reminder in an election cycle. Nor does that Kingdom fly into our states on the gubernatorial Lear jet.
Political power and ideological platforms cannot save. And the Kingdom of God is bigger than our corridors of power and our political solutions.
Even so, my faith, grounded hopefully in Holy Writ and an intimate relationship with God, leads me to be pro-life and to hold a strong view of heterosexual marriage and a conviction that the Judeo-Christian worldview belongs in our nation’s schools. I believe that disciplined liberty, not license, is the path to a healthy society with a hopeful future and that a dependency mentality virtually enslaves the poor and impedes them from knowing that hope.
Not all people share my views. I think they are wrong, of course. And sometimes wrong to the tremendous detriment of our nation, our families, and ultimately the world. If someone gets converted under my ministry, I will also try to disciple them into core cultural convictions on abortion, family, freedom, the poor, etc. But not all will agree.
Will they be in heaven? Actually, it reminds me of a George Whitefield story.
During a strenuous season of theological debate, one of Whitefield’s Calvinistic disciples asked him if they would see the Arminian John Wesley in heaven. Whitefield thought for a moment and admitted that he didn’t think they would. The disciple grinned.
“No,” said Whitefield, “for he will be so close to the throne of God and we at such a distance, I doubt we’ll get a glimpse of the man.”
Humility, those who have attended Sunday school might remember, is a biblical virtue. Even, and perhaps especially, in a political and cultural war.