Being Conservative or Liberal under the Lordship of Christ

I choose to live under the Lordship of Jesus Christ. This is my joyful response to His saving grace. Though I would be described as a political conservative, I hold supreme allegiance to Christ and the authority of His Word.  I hold ‘qualified’ allegiance to ‘conservative’ values and will always evaluate those values by the Word of God.  All humans are fallible; all political parties are fallible; all religious institutions are fallible; all news reporting is fallible. I denounce and disassociate from any conservative views and voices that I view as in conflict with Scripture.

Regardless of where conservatives may be, I will never agree with the legitimacy of same-sex marriage (an oxymoron) or same-sex sexual relationships or any sexual relationships outside of heterosexual marriage. I will always call them sin. I will never agree with the governmental forced redistribution of wealth. Though governments have a biblical right to a legitimate tax, they have no biblical right to confiscate honest wealth and to play Robin Hood. I will never agree with the use of lethal force and power simply for economic or personal gain, though I do accept the divine responsibility of the government to use lethal force in order to protect life. I will never agree with democracy (the majority rules), when democracy conflicts with the law of God.  An evil majority is still evil. I will never agree with hateful, vile language and actions that seek to diminish the life of any human being. I will never agree with abortion.

These are six of my basic convictions regarding public issues, two of which are inferences from biblical principles, while four are the unequivocal teaching of Scripture (as I see it). I’ll leave you to figure out that breakdown.

I have Christian friends, good friends, and acquaintances who espouse a much more liberal view of government and politics. Some of them hold strong allegiance to the Democratic Party. I love them and continue to enjoy our fellowship in Christ. I think many of their political views are wrong, but they also think the same of me.

However, if we both live under the Lordship of Christ and the authority of Scripture, then we both, whether liberal or conservative, should denounce and disassociate from those views and voices within any movement that clearly are in conflict with Scripture.

Living under the Lordship of Christ, we know that there is such a thing as truth and error, right and wrong, black and white, good and bad.

20 Woe to those who call evil good and good evil, who put darkness for light and light for darkness, who put bitter for sweet and sweet for bitter! (Isa. 5:20 ESV)

May we have the biblical insight to identify evil in both liberal and conservative movements, and may we have the courage to speak out against all that is contrary to the Lordship of Christ. Neither Donald nor Hillary is Jesus. Neither the Republican nor Democrat Party is the Kingdom of God.

Actually, we who live under the Lordship of Christ, whether liberal or conservative, should agree on many current issues in our society. We denounce evil, vile, hateful speech and acts. We denounce abortion. We denounce sex outside of heterosexual marriage. We denounce the use of power to oppress others. We denounce protesters who commit criminal acts, whose language is vile and disgraceful, whose hatred is base and violent. We denounce the diminishing of any human being, whether by lies, or defamation of character, or crude speech, or racism, or classism, or biased reporting.

More importantly, we agree on many things of ultimate importance. We agree that Jesus Christ is Savior and Lord. He alone is the Sovereign King. We agree that ‘there is no other name under heaven by which we must be saved.” We agree that He is Truth and that His Word is Truth. We agree that the only reliable, infallible authority we have is the Bible. We believe that Christ calls us to a unique love for other believers and a powerful love that reaches out even to our enemies. We agree that the deepest problems of humanity can only be solved by the life-giving work of the Holy Spirit. We believe that the weapons of our warfare against evil are nor the weapons of this world.

Our unqualified allegiance is to King Jesus and His Word, not to a political party, not to any politician, not to the majority or minority, and not to any philosophy of life.

 

 

The Gospel for the City in Genesis 34

Genesis 34 is one of those sad chapters in the history of redemption.  Jacob’s daughter, Dinah, is raped, humiliated, and then treated like a commodity to be traded for mutual benefits. Jacob appears ready to make the exchange of his daughter for the benefit of prospering in the land – the land already promised to him by the Lord.

When Dinah’s brothers hear of the atrocity they first object because the Hivite’s do not bear the covenant sign of circumcision. It appears already that the covenant itself has become less significant than the sign of the covenant.  For them pride of identity supersedes the blessing of covenant relationship with the Lord.

The brothers create a ruse in which the Hivite men agree to circumcision and, while recovering from the surgery, they are slaughtered by Jacob’s sons. The brothers then plunder the city and take captive the women and children.

Jacob fears both disgrace and potential revenge from the other inhabitants of the land. Rightfully so, because they have failed to be the covenant family that reflects the grace of God.

Though Jacob and his family are recipients of the covenant promise and though the sons bear the covenant sign of circumcision, it appears that cutting away flesh does not cut away the evil of their hearts. Jacob sons are worse than the pagans whom they destroy. They deceive; they take revenge; they murder; they steal; they are justified in their own eyes.  Instead of blessing the nations as the offspring of Abraham, they are morally bankrupt, destroying rather than delivering the nations of the world.

We leave this chapter longing for that offspring of Abraham who truly will bless the nations and create a new community of covenant believers that will include the nations of the world

Tragically, this story reflects the history of Christianity in the city. Christians who wear the new covenant sign of baptism often do so without having experienced the power of the gospel that transforms a sinner’s heart. They are religious, upholding the signs of Christianity, but bankrupt morally. They often are angry, bitter, unkind, and unmerciful.

The city of Philadelphia is peppered with religious edifices that stand as a sign of Christianity’s once magnificent presence in the city. However, the signs and symbols eventually became the substance, replacing the gospel of God’s grace in Jesus Christ with formalism. The signs and symbols lacked the power to overcome racism, injustice, and disregard for the poor and disenfranchised. The signs and symbols had no power to restore broken relationships or to deliver from life consuming sins. Without the gospel, these religious edifices soon succumbed to 12-step programs, conscience-soothing acts of mercy, and self-help seminars.

The city needs a resurgence of new communities of covenant believers who not only uphold the signs and symbols of Christianity, but who bear evidence of a life being transformed by the gospel of God’s grace – a life of indiscriminate forgiveness, mercy, generosity, and bountiful love.