How Christians Should Not Approach Political Change

How Christians Should Not Approach Political Change August 19, 2022

Whatever may be the case with politics in a dictatorship, in a democracy things should be different. Things should involve persuasion, the consent of the governed, free and fair elections.   And if you lose because the majority is not in favor of your view, well then you lose.  Unless you can persuade people of your view, then you should not expect outcomes that support your views. Period.  No gerrymandering, no smoke filled rooms, no going into denial and claiming conspiracy, just suck it up and admit like a grown man or woman that you lost. Period.

Let’s take for example the fraught issue of abortion.  Me personally, I’m definitely pro life on this issue.  HOWEVER, if the majority of Americans think that abortions must be allowed in certain exceptional cases (like the life of the mother being in danger, rape, or incest) then what we don’t do is force a stricter view down the throats of a majority of people by strong arm political tactics.  This is a democracy not an autocracy. You continue to try and persuade others that your view is the right one.  Note the recent result in Red State, conservative Kansas.  They rejected a total ban on abortion.

Let me be clear that I am not persuaded by flimsy arguments like ‘my body my choice’, or ‘the fetus is not a person’, or ‘I have the right to do as I please in the matter of an abortion’.   No one has created their own life.  Everyone has been born through the actions of other human beings. Your body is in the first place a gift from God, and from your parents.  That being the case you should not assume you have the right to do with that body whatsoever you want, ESPECIALLY IF IT AFFECTS THE LIFE OF ANOTHER HUMAN BEING (I.E. THE UNBORN CHILD).

Actually, since the unborn child is an unborn child, I do not think a mother should have an inalienable right to terminate somebody else’s life.  Since life is a gift from God, I don’t even think a person should have an inalienable right to terminate their own life!   All human life is of sacred worth.  What I do recognize is that we live in a fallen world, and there are no human beings out there without flaws in our world.  This being the case, sometimes people are placed in situations where a lesser of two evils choice needs to be made.  For example, if a pregnant woman, who is married and has various other young children, has an ectopic pregnancy which is very unlikely to result in the birth of a healthy child with a promising future, but rather is very likely to kill the mother if she takes the pregnancy to term, a choice for an abortion is probably a lesser of two evils choice. The alternative is depriving one’s husband and one’s other children of a wife and mother.  This surely is a far worse choice.

Now we can pray for a miracle, and we should.  But miracles are not a dime a dozen, and often God leaves the decision making in these matters in our hands after prayerfully asking for a miracle.   The polls are quite clear that a significant majority of Americans do not favor a total ban on abortions.  Unless we are naive enough to ignore the fallen nature of human nature and our world, or fail to realize that loving our neighbor as ourselves means we use persuasion, not strong arm tactics or new laws, because love involves granting others the freedom to freely agree and respond or not, then we should not be supporting state or national policies that the majority of state or national residents do not favor.  We saw what happened in the 1920s, when conservative Christians rammed prohibition of alcohol down the throats of the nation.  It was a gigantic failure and did not solve the problems of alcoholism.  The same can be said about bans on gambling. What changes human behavior is changing people’s hearts and minds with the Good News of the Gospel,  not politics that goes against the majority opinion of the citizens of a state or country.

I believe in genuine democracy, not only when it comes to tough political decisions that need to be made, but also when it comes to persuading people that the Gospel of Jesus Christ is the way forward. And this entails as well trusting God, praying for the Holy Spirit to change hearts and minds, and working hard to respect other people, even those with whom we strongly disagree.

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