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Some important campaign issues for Christian voters

By Glenn Roberts Jr.

Date Published: October 28, 2004

This is my last column prior to Tuesday's momentous election - some say the election of anyone's lifetime. I've heard that "the consequences of a poor choice for president could echo through the next 50 years of history." I believe that, and that's why my choice is resolute.

A recent conversation with a fellow writer prompted me to evaluate just how I arrive at my voting decisions and the "worldview" that serves to formulate my voting criterion. If my Christian faith is the paramount driving force in my life, as the Bible indicates it should be, then the Bible should be the guidebook for making all my decisions.

While the Bible does not specifically delineate the issues to consider in sizing up a candidate, it does tell me to strive, with the Bible's and Spirit's help, to seek the mind of God and determine what He would consider important, i.e. WWJD? Hopefully, I've successfully used this approach in coming up with the following important ethical issues for consideration.

1. Supreme Court justices: a small majority of our current Supreme Court and lower court justices have gone beyond their constitutionally defined task of interpreting laws passed by Congress and have in effect created new "laws" never passed by any elected body. They have imposed on us decrees that allow the murder of unborn babies (contrary to Romans 13:9) via abortion, that protect pornographers who poison the minds of children and adults (contrary to Exodus 20:17), that redefine marriage to include homosexual couples (contrary to Romans 1:26-28) and that banish prayer, God's name and God's laws from public places (violating Romans 13:3).

In taking to itself the right to decree such policies, the Supreme Court has seriously distorted the systems of "checks and balances" intended by the Constitution between the legislative, executive and judicial branches of government. The concern for justice selections has become even more pressing with the announcement of conservative Chief Justice Rehnquist's thyroid cancer.

2. Defense against terrorists: a fundamental responsibility of government is to "punish those who do evil" (1 Peter 2:14) and thus to protect its citizens. The Bible teaches that governments are responsible to "bear the sword" (Romans 13:4) and thus to use force to oppose violent evil.

3. Abortion: the Bible views the unborn child as a human person who should be protected. As David said to God, "You knitted me together in my mother's womb" (Psalm 139:13, Luke 1:44).

4. Homosexual marriage: the Bible explicitly views marriage as between one man and one woman - "For a man shall leave his father and his mother and hold fast to his wife, and they shall become one flesh" (Ephesians 5:31). This issue calls for candidates willing to push for a constitutional amendment defining marriage as between one man and one woman.

5. Embryonic stem cell research: creating more human embryos for their stem cells is making the beginnings of little babies for the purpose of harvesting their parts, and is akin to the "Slaughter of the Innocents" - contrary to the biblical commands against murder. The ethical preference is to use adult stem cells for medical research - a process that does not destroy the life of the adult whose cells are used.

6. Natural resources: God put human beings on the earth to "subdue it" and to "have dominion" over the animals (Gen. 1:28). Certainly we should value the beauty of the world and use it wisely while seeking to protect God's creation, using it as He intended.

The Bible does not, however, view "untouched nature" as the ideal state of the earth, but, rather, expects us to develop and use the earth's resources prudently for mankind's needs. (Genesis 1:28; 2:15; 9:3; I Timothy 4:4). In fact, public policy based on the idealism of "untouched nature" (environmental extremism) hinders wise development of the earth's resources and thus contributes to famine, starvation, disease and death among the poor.

Why does my list not include concern for the poor? Because it's a given criteria and because there's not a system to be conceived by man that will totally eliminate poverty. Jesus said: "You'll always have the poor with you."

My listing is today's ethical issues most grievously compromised and dealt with by society through policies hostile to biblical mandate.

It is, therefore, my responsibility, as a Christian, to consider these issues in evaluating the candidates. In fact, I find it hard to visualize how anyone, considering themselves a Christian, cannot heavily weigh these issues "lest they delude themselves" (James 1:22).

Glenn Roberts Jr. is a retired businessman who lives in Big Stone Gap. E-mail him at gerpar@mounet.com.

Copyright 2004, Kingsport Publishing Corporation. All rights reserved

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