impact would 33 million "voter guides" have on
the 2000 Presidential elections? The Sunday before
an election, more than 33 million voter guides will distributed providing
voters with information on how candidates stand on key issues
believed to be important to Christian theology.
"Christian Right," largely funded by the 1.4-million
member "Christian Coalition" provides funds for
securing key spots in government which will assist in establishing
the conservative "Christian majority" of this
country. The result? "Coalition leaders claim their
voter guides helped Republicans prevail in 50 important
races. According to People for the American Way, a liberal
activist group, 60% of all the candidates affiliated with
or strongly supported by the religious right won their races"
(TIME, November 21, 1994).
politicians than ever owe their jobs to the organizing and
financial support supplied by religious right groups their
expectation is that the right-wing agenda will receive top
priority in the next two years" (NEW YORK TIMES, November
Issues Are at Stake?
on Sexual Preferences
in Foreign Aid
Gun Control Laws
perception of the Christian Right includes the sincere belief
that the "liberal left" has betrayed the heritage
of the founding fathers of our country and has created a
system which deprives them, the Christian majority of this
land, of their moral, economic and religious rights. They
believe they have a God-given mandate to take control to
set matters straight.
of the Liberal Left?
the "liberal left" can be accused of, one fact
is certain: In the last hundred years, social, political
and economic reforms in the United States temporarily defused
many internal revolutions which might have erupted from
the masses of discontent common folks unable to make ends
the solutions have not been broad enough, nor able to really
solve any social or economic problem permanently. Still,
what will come if those meager reforms are now rolled back?
Who will help the poor, the dispossessed? "For he shall
deliver the needy when he crieth; the poor also, and him
that hath no helper. Will help come from President Clinton's
"New Covenant"? or from God's New Covenant? (Psalm
72:12; Jeremiah 31:31) But when?
a Christian be Politically Active?
what legitimate part should the Christian take in influencing
or supporting policies of governments?
are the convictions espoused by the Christian Right scriptural?
In many issues, they are. Certainly the integrity of the
family arrangement is scriptural. The God-given privilege
of procreation should be cherished and protected. The alternative
lifestyle "families" are unequivocally forbidden
in the Bible.
really is the life-line of the Christian to God. Who would
deny that resource? In addition, the moral and practical
implications of gambling are devastating—and addictive.
God's justice calls for rigorous punishment of crime. What
is a Christian's responsibility in regard to these principles
of God's Word?
with "the kingdoms of this world"-the inequalities,
inconsistencies, the unrighteousness-is understandable.
The Christian is to "Lift up a standard for the people"
(Isaiah 62:10) and "Let your light so shine before
men" (Matthew 5:16). Does holding up a standard and
letting our light shine give authority to work with earthly
governments? On the contrary, Jesus said, "My Kingdom
is not of this world" (John 18:36). He taught his disciples
to pray for a future Kingdom, "Thy Kingdom come, thy
will be done on earth" Jesus was not a political reformer.
Jesus spoke of the "new wine" of his Kingdom which
could not be poured into the "old bottles" of
the current society and government (Luke 5:37,38).
the worthies of old, Christians are "pilgrims and strangers
on the earth" (Hebrews 11:13) whose "citizenship
is in heaven" (Philippians 3:20 NAS). Thus while Christians
need to exemplify God's principles of righteousness in their
lives, they are not to force these principles on the world
in Public Schools
should be taught in the home. Children should be encouraged
to pray in school, at McDonald's and everywhere. But organized
public prayer does not need to be practiced in schools.
student may pray just about any time he or she wishes and
does not need state legislation to allow or disallow that
privilege. "From the vantage point of the Golden Rule,
it [arranged prayer in schools] is undesirable. A lone Baptist
student in a mostly Mormon classroom in Salt Lake City would
quickly come to empathize with the Jewish pupil surrounded
by Southern Baptists in Tennessee. Do we want our elementary
school children getting the message that their faith is
unacceptable and foreign to their classmates? The student
of the minority faith will have three choices: insult her
classmates and teacher (and embarrass herself) by leaving
the room, plug her ears and try to pray her own prayer,
or else listen to others' prayers every day for 12 years
of public schooling." (CHRISTIANITY TODAY, January
9, 1995, p.18.)
exercises in public schools is not a new debate. A quote
from 1906, THE NEW CREATION, sums up,
our reverence for the Bible as the Word of God, we believe
that the fact that the Jews are opposed to the teachings
of the New Testament that some infidels, skeptics, Buddhists,
Theosophists, etc., are opposed to the Bible entirely in
view also of the fact that all of these classes are taxed
for the support of the schools and required to take advantage
of them-it would be both just and wise to omit religious
exercises in the schools and ignore the Bible as a religious
book rather than give offense to so many who do not agree
with us" ("Parental Obligations," p. 542,543).
the Military Budget
issues advocated by the Christian Right are not even in
harmony with a Christian spirit or are even directly opposed
to Christian teaching. These issues, however, are consistent
with the theology of the Christian Right.
Jesus exclude the United States when he said, "My Kingdom
is not of this world then would my servants fight"?
What is a Christian to do with a gun in his hand? "He
that lives by the sword shall die by the sword," Jesus
said. Our early Christian brethren died in the arena rather
than bear arms for the state.
would Christians promote military readiness when God's program
is total disarmament? "He maketh wars to cease unto
the end of the earth; he breaketh the bow, and cutteth the
spear in sunder; he burneth the chariot in the fire"
this time when the poor of this country and the poor of
the world need help from the wealthiest nation in the world,
why would Christians instead promote spending on carnal
weapons? God's indictment on ancient Sodom gives pause for
consideration, "Behold, this was the iniquity of thy
sister Sodom, pride, fullness of bread, and abundance of
idleness was in her and in her daughters, neither did she
strengthen the hand of the poor and needy" (Ezekiel
the Christian Right believes they are setting up God's Kingdom
now in the United States—then a military priority
would be consistent with that theology.
limiting welfare benefits, toughening immigration laws and
decreasing foreign aid reflect a Christian attitude or solution?
Neither do these ideas sound like the platform of God's
Kingdom: "Good will unto all men." No, but a limited
view of God's grace which says only a few professing Christians
will have any blessed future-relegating out whole continents
of humanity to a torturous eternity—has to have some
effect on attitudes about people and life in general.
Christian at the "Center" of God's Will
the Christian may not participate in and promote the reforms
of our society, the Christian is deeply sympathetic with
the poor groaning creation (Romans 8:22). The true Christian
attitude longs to bless and help his fellow man—in
God's way, in God's time.
Kingdom solution is not an illusionary pie-in-the-sky answer.
The establishment of "peace on earth" will be
gradual. The first step will be disarmament, converting
military resources into peaceful resources, "They shall
beat their swords into plowshares" (Isaiah 2:4). Everyone
will be an "immigrant" into this Kingdom, yet
there will be no "foreigners." It will be crime-free,
"They shall not hurt nor destroy in all my holy mountain:
for the earth shall be full of the knowledge of the LORD
as the waters cover the sea" (Isaiah 11:9). There will
be no food or housing shortages because there will be work
for all, "And they shall build houses and inhabit them;
and they shall plant vineyards and eat the fruit of them.
They shall not build and another inhabit; they shall not
plant and another eat" (Isaiah 65:21,22).
Kingdom will be a learning time, "When thy judgments
are in the earth, the inhabitants of the world will learn
righteousness" "They also that erred in spirit
shall come to understanding" (Isaiah 29:24). Justice
and equality will be the norm, "Judgment also will
I lay to the line and righteousness to the plummet: and
the hail shall sweep away the refuge of lies" (Isaiah
28:17). There will be no ineptness in government, no specially
favored constituents, no failed campaign promises—only
God's fulfilled promises and only God's power effectively
blessing and favoring all. Why will this Kingdom government
be effective? "I will put my law in their inward parts,
and write it in their hearts; and will be their God, and
they shall be my people" (Jeremiah 31:33). Instead
of temporary reforms, there will be everlasting answers
to man's deepest needs—beginning with the heart.
God's Kingdom Political?
God's Kingdom for which every Christian has prayed for 2,000
years political? Of course it is. It will replace the "kingdoms
of this world" (Revelation 11:15). To be consistent
with their prayers, though, Christians are not to involve
themselves in this world's politics, but wait for the Kingdom
of God. Then they may participate as competent rulers and
sympathetic judges (I Corinthians 6:2; II Timothy 2:12).
Then prayers in schools will not be an issue at all. Praising
God in every continent will be universal, "According
to thy name, O God, so is thy praise unto the ends of the
earth Let the poor and needy praise thy name O praise the
LORD, all ye nations: praise him, all ye people" (Psalm
48:10; 72:21; 117:1).