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Charismatic Puritan

Right doctrine leads to right thinking, and right thinking leads to right living.

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Location: Gaithersburg, MD, United States

Jealous for the truth, beauty and majesty of our glorious risen Savior.

Sunday, January 22, 2006

Politics and a Sovereign God

I have a friend who attends a large, local evangelical church with a reputation for reasonable biblical theology. In a recent conversation with me, she said she thought the church should stop talking about abortion and gay marriage because those are political issues. I was stunned.

She continued to wonder why the church doesn’t teach more about anxiety. Anxiety, after all, is a sin because it demonstrates a lack of trust in God, and many people are anxious including her. She said she wanted to know the “mind of Christ.”

I agree that anxiety is a sin, but the consequences of a woman waking up in the night, anxious about whether or not she will be a good mother when her baby is born are vastly different than if that woman murders her innocent, defenseless unborn baby in the womb because she was anxious about whether or not she will be a good mother. I admit that both speak of a lack of trust in God, both are sins for which the Prince of Glory died, but anxiety is transient and murder is final. Murder is a violation of God’s image and a violation of a commandment. When the baby dies, there are no opportunities for amending the situation. The baby is dead and that mother is guilty of murder.

What does the mind of Christ say about abortion I wonder? No actually, I don’t wonder. Where the Bible is purposeful and clear we can speak with full confidence about God’s revealed will. His word is clear that murder is a sin. His word is also clear that His hand formed us in the womb and that He knew us from eternity past, such that killing the unborn is still killing a creature made in His image and qualifies as murder. I can say with as much confidence as any mere human, with access to Holy Scripture, can say that the mind of Christ is reviled by the thought of His image being destroyed unjustly.

The larger question is, really, what defines a political issue such that the church doesn’t need to discuss it? When does sin become a matter for the “political process” such that Christians – ambassadors of God’s pure and perfect law to the unsaved world – can abdicate any responsibility for upholding righteousness? As Wayne Grudem (as part of a series called “The Cross and the Culture War”) said, “If Christians will not speak out about moral and ethical issues, who will?”

If God is the complete sovereign ruler of the universe that He has created – as He says repeatedly in His word – then there is no sphere of human activity or natural occurrence that He is not concerned with and which we shouldn’t possess some Biblical thought regarding. This is not to say that there is a clear Biblical description of how trade policy with China should be developed, but there are underlying principles that should inform it. It does, however, mean that where God has clearly spoken, saying such things as the fact that He considers homosexuality an abomination, the church must stand up and speak the truth. God cares about these matters or He would not have spoken about them.

The Gospel is the foundation of civil society. Politics is the means with which we enact our worldview. Christian worldview must be informed by the Gospel as its foundation. When we abide by the lie that we must keep our religious mouths shut and proceed only on strict secular, that is, atheistic, grounds, we permit all kinds of atrocity. We become like the world and fail in the Great Commission. A sovereign God demands that His standards of righteousness be upheld by and for all people.

Some good places to be convinced and convicted:

Dr. Mohler’s Blog and Commentary
World Magazine Blog
Between Two Worlds
Challies Dot Com