For those who have been watching, and even for those like me who haven’t been, events this week in the political arena have caused the subject of abortion to take center stage in national rhetoric. I am always extremely reticent to “say” anything about politics because I don’t want to add to the undo attention it already receives from the body of Christ. Yet this sudden focus on the very core the political allegiances of the Church hold the potential to bring clarity to what is often a muddled matrix of ideology and emotion. So it is in this hope that I will venture to offer a few thoughts.
The GOP presidential ticket brazenly declared on Monday that it would not oppose abortion in certain circumstances. This is not surprising, but it should be appalling. Furthermore, it should settle once and for all that the living God – the God of the spirits of all flesh – is not on the side of any candidate in this election. He is for Himself, He is for His glory, and He is not for the man who confesses the faith of a cult that perverts the truth of His majestic Son and who would not oppose murdering a human life if certain conditions were met. When will this lesson be learned? The last republican president was touted as the quintessential Christian candidate, and then he publicly and unabashedly denied the uniqueness of Jesus on multiple occasions.
I respect an individual Christian feeling the civic (and even moral) responsibility to cast a vote toward what they feel is the lesser of two evils in order to curb abortion to whatever degree possible through those channels. Yet it must be soberly stated in precisely these terms – as a choice to lessen evil rather than a choice for righteousness. With what has now been so clearly stated by the candidate himself, it is simply inexcusable to still try to use God or religious sentiment to bolster a political agenda.
Our hope for change in this nation is not found in the government and the political processes that shape it. We are to honor the government, submit to authority, and pray for those who rule. There is, however, no biblical basis for these structures being the aim of our hope as believers or the vehicle of true justice. The historical precedents of attaining this misplaced ambition are disastrous. Any time in its history that the Church, Protestant or Catholic, has possessed the capacity to wield political force the results have been abysmal. I appreciate Christians who have a desire to serve within local or federal government in order to be a witness of Jesus and labor for positive things in society. Just as in the fields of business or education, this is a commendable thing. It is also a different thing altogether from the body of Christ corporately seeking to garner political influence or forge political alliances in order to promote its values.
The response to the current situation from the political machine will be to continue to grope for some way to bait Christian voters and use them for their cause. I am hoping the response from Christians voters will be to at last sever their alliances with the power-bases of this world and turn to Jesus with a renewed commitment to prayer. I speak of prayer not only for the ending of abortion, but prayer that the sojourning character of the Church would no longer be obscured through affluence and influence; prayer that the Church would boldly, sacrificially, and compassionately declare the surpassing worth of Jesus over and above whatever else it might say; prayer that the Church would herald the Day when He will come and take over all of the nations of the earth (including America) and establish a kingdom of everlasting righteousness.