Jeff Bartell

A "bottom line" kind of guy

My View of Christians and Politics

I live in Ohio, you know, the swing state that historically determines the winner of the presidential elections.  We are bombarded with political ads on TV these days.  It’s irritating.  I have not blogged for several months now and I thought I would break my silence with a few thoughts on Christians and politics in general.  These are just my thoughts and observations.  I am not trying to make everyone agree with me.  Maybe some of these thoughts will resonate with you too.

  1. If you’re Christian you must be Republican!  Do I really believe that?  No way.  Does that mean I am a Democrat?  No way.  I do think that the Republican platform is generally more socially conservative and therefore more in line with Christian values, but to think that Christian = Republican (and visa-versa?) is crazy.
  2. VOTE!  I do not follow politics much (reasons to follow) but I do think that we ought to vote.  It is a right and a privilege that many have fought and died to protect.  You also have the right to abstain (especially when none of the candidates are worthy of your support), but if you do abstain from voting, please do not complain about whomever wins the election!  I feel the dilemma of not liking either presidential candidate this year, but I will vote – not “FOR” any candidate, but rather “AGAINST” one of them.  That’s the best I can do as a citizen of this great nation with the current choices available.
  3. The USA is in Trouble.  For several years now the general elections for president have been pretty close to a 50/50 split.  The winner wins by a slim margin.  That continues today.  It shows that our nation is divided.  Mark 3:24-25  And if a kingdom be divided against itself, that kingdom cannot stand.  And if a house be divided against itself, that house cannot stand.  My fear is that we are on a downward slide that, if we don’t repent as a nation and turn back to the Lord, will be the end of the USA as a world super-power.
  4. The Biblical view of human governments (as I see it).  The Bible describes God dealing with nations beginning with Israel in the book of Exodus.  They are God’s chosen nation, by no merit of their own, but simply by God’s sovereign choice.  At that time, Israel enjoyed divine grace and help in the building up of their nation.  Over time, Israel rebelled against God and God judged them in many ways, ultimately by causing them to go into captivity to the Babylonians.  Since that time (~606 BC), the world has been ruled by Gentile nations (like the USA).  More importantly, God has allowed a spiritual force behind this shift.  Spiritually speaking, the devil is currently given the control of all the kingdoms of this world.  Luke 4:5-6  And the devil, taking him up into an high mountain, shewed unto him all the kingdoms of the world in a moment of time.  And the devil said unto him, All this power will I give thee, and the glory of them: for that is delivered unto me; and to whomsoever I will I give it.  God has allowed (for various reasons) the devil to control the human kingdoms (governments) of this world at this time in history.  Anyone receiving the post of “world leader” (according to Luke 4) must receive it at the hand of the devil.  I know that is a hard statement and many reading this will disagree, but simply taking the word of God at face value and simply believing what it says leaves us with this conclusion.  Confusing?  What does that mean to me?  Well, for me it means that I don’t get too excited about any political election, especially on a national level.  I will vote, but I won’t argue, fight, lose sleep or spend endless amounts of time, money or energy campaigning for any candidate.  Which leads to my last point…
  5. The Current Political Craze.  I have noticed more and more Christian people get very emotionally drawn in to the current political race.  I have seen people read, study and follow every detail of debates and issues.  I have seen people willing to defend “their candidate” even if it meant being mocked or embarrassed.  Christian people flock to political rallies and go door-to-door to spread flyers and propaganda for the candidate of their choice.  If only they would demonstrate that level of zeal and involvement for the kingdom of God!   Deuteronomy 28 is a good chapter to read if you want to know what really works to experience change in a nation for good.  Basically, it says that obedience to God’s commands brings God’s blessings in tangible ways and rebellion against those commands brings judgment.  As believers in Jesus Christ and the Bible, doesn’t it make sense to spend our time, money and energy promoting a Deut. 28 lifestyle rather than corrupt human governments?  Do you remember when Christians used to “rally” in public, go door-to-door with gospel tracts, post signs in their yards, willingly initiate gospel conversations and debate with others the merits of giving our lives to Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior?  What ever happened to those days?  (OK, so forget the details of methodology, but think about the zeal put forth for the cause!)

OK, call me old-fashioned, but I want to intentionally invest my few and fleeting years on this Earth in something that matters.  Eternal life is a bit more important than human government, don’t you think?  Let’s re-think our priorities and determine to make a difference that will last for eternity!  I realize that I may get many and varied comments on this post.  I welcome your thoughts.

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Comments: 8

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I absolutely agree. I plan to vote, but my hope for the future doesn’t lie in who gets elected president. My hope is in Jesus Christ. I agree, Eternal Life is way more important.

 
 

That was awesome and so true. It was convicting to me personally! Don’t wait so long to blog again!

 
 

My views on government in this country loosely follows that of the Roman empire.
In the beginning Rome had it’s basic laws set in stone for the country to follow(like our constitution).
The ruling body was the senate(similar to our system), set up to uphold the laws. Rome prospered.
Prospered so much that the government and the people in general became currupt, greedy, and pushed their own agendas to the point a powerful leader was needed to restore order (an emperor).
The senate was useless with quibbling and infighting.
Rome began a long downward spiral that lead to it’s destruction.
Do I see parallels with the USA? Yes.
Can it be tied into christian beliefs? I think so.
So I vote using my personal convictions as a guide.
One thing for sure, my facebook page will have a lot less input from politicians after today:)

 
 

Thanks Jeff. I appreciate those views and agree we should invest in something that matters. Winning souls for God’s glory should be first. Here is a copy of a post I put on facebook earlier:
I don’t claim to particularly like either candidate, but I feel it’s important to God & country to cast a vote based on the candidate that most closely reflects the foundations of our country and aligns closest to God’s views. I don’t believe it’s un-Christian to be invested emotionally in the election and to stand up for my beliefs. It is because of my Love for God, and my devotion & service to Him that I proudly take a controversial stand publicly. There is a vast difference between the candidates. It does matter how you vote. Ignorance isn’t something to be proud of. There is something at stake here. My faith isn’t in a person, but my faith will be affected by a person. The fundamentals of our country are in question. One candidate wants to fundamentally change America. I don’t want our fundamentals to be changed because our fundamentals are based on freedom of religion and, in part, Biblical Principles. So, because God is first, for me, and I live for His Glory, and not my I own, I will pick the candidate who most closely aligns with God’s values, and encourage others to do so as well.

 
 

Jeff,

You don’t know me but I attended FBC for 30 years. Your blog post is amazing and you could not be more right on. Keep on telling the truth.

 
 

Oh, how I wish I would have read this a few weeks ago. Very well stated and very well backed by scripture. As always your deliverance of he word has opened my eyes and put these issues in perspective. Thank you for posting this.

 
 

Amen.

 
 

The Biblical view of human governments (as I see it).
God gives us three models of human governance; The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly

The Good
1) Deuteronomy 1, This is the model of human governance that this country was founded upon.
Deu 1:15 So I took the chief of your tribes, wise men, and known, and made them heads over you, captains over thousands, and captains over hundreds, and captains over fifties, and captains over tens, and officers among your tribes.

The Bad
2) I Samuel 8, This is the model of human governance this country (and the rest of the world) has become.
1Sa 8:11 And he said, This will be the manner of the king that shall reign over you: He will take your sons, and appoint them for himself, for his chariots, and to be his horsemen; and some shall run before his chariots.
1Sa 8:13 And he will take your daughters to be confectionaries, and to be cooks, and to be bakers.
1Sa 8:14 And he will take your fields, and your vineyards, and your oliveyards, even the best of them, and give them to his servants.
1Sa 8:15 And he will take the tenth of your seed, and of your vineyards, and give to his officers, and to his servants.
1Sa 8:16 And he will take your menservants, and your maidservants, and your goodliest young men, and your asses, and put them to his work.
1Sa 8:17 He will take the tenth of your sheep: and ye shall be his servants.
1Sa 8:18 And ye shall cry out in that day because of your king which ye shall have chosen you; and the LORD will not hear you in that day.

The Ugly
Well,that would be the second half of the tribulation. Very happy I won’t be around for that.

And as Paul Harvey would say – That is the rest of the story.

 
 

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