Our great nation seems hopelessly divided as we get ready to vote in this year's election in November. And yet, this great divide happened before in 1857. Understanding what happened 159 years ago is the KEY to discerning the current spiritual issues surrounding the coming election that will significantly affect America and the world until our Lord Jesus Christ returns.
Now when it comes to politics, Christian leaders should avoid endorsing a candidate. Such endorsements can be confusing and very divisive. However, what every leader should be doing is informing people about the Biblical principles that are in play in every election. If you know these Biblical principles, it goes a long way in sorting out the candidates and how to vote. Without that discernment, all we are left with is the media, our "feelings" and the last sound bite we heard from someone.
Sadly, there are millions are Christians who may not even vote in this election for a variety of reasons. This is NOT a new pattern. The nation has paid a terrible price for the silence of Christians in the past. And while some may not agree, there is no Biblical reason for a Christian not to always vote or speak up as citizens in every election. Without the "salt and light" of the Lord (Matthew 5:13-16) working through the lives of His people, any society will sooner or later collapse under the weight of sin. We see that happening right now as America heads toward moral and spiritual collapse. Silence is truly deadly!
The single most important Biblical issue to consider when looking at any candidate is their beliefs and voting record on the Life Issue. In other words, what is their position and record on abortion? The Life Issue is the single best litmus test when picking any candidate because this issue is ultimately connected to every other issue one way or another. If we had time in this article, we could see how the Life Issue can be directly tied to our national debt, economic woes, immigration chaos, growing taxes, healthcare collapse, failing schools, injustice in our legal system and Constitutional revisionism and loss of freedom. There is NO area of life left untouched by it.
The reason why this is such a good litmus test is because the Bible is very clear that the Lord alone is the Lord of life. Therefore, all life is sacred and the single purpose of any government and political leadership is to protect the life of its citizens as a way to honor God, the Source of all government. As a result, a government that cannot protect its citizens has violated the purpose and foundational calling of all government. You see this exact thinking by our Founders in the Declaration of Independence of July 4, 1776 when it states,
We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed...
This foundational purpose for all government was tested in the U.S. Supreme Court decision of 1857 that ruled against a slave named Dred Scott. The Court ruled that Dred Scott did not have full standing as a citizen because he was a slave and so the Court ruled against him. This terrible Court decision deeply divided America into a growing culture war between North and South, slave and free. It raised the question of whether or not America would deny one class of human beings the rights of personhood and life guaranteed in the Declaration of Independence or not. The answer came less than 4 years later as the Civil War engulfed the nation in an all out war claiming the lives of over 600,000 soldiers in 4 short years. We are STILL reaping the bitter fruit of that terrible war.
Sadly, the exact same thing happened in 1973 in the U.S. Supreme Court decision of Roe vs. Wade that allowed the removal of rights from another class of human beings, the unborn and opened our nation to unrestricted abortion. Like the Dred Scott decision, the Court failed to protect the life of its citizens as outlined in the Declaration of Independence. Since Roe vs. Wade was enacted over 60 million citizens have been aborted. Once again the government failed in its primary duty of protecting the life of its people. Like the Dred Scott decision, that terrible decision has engulfed the nation for the past 43 years in a growing culture war that is still dividing us by creating radically different views of life and the fundamental purpose and role of government. It also has raised the central question about whether or not there is room for God in our Nation as the Author of Life and all government. America was founded as a place for freedom of religion NOT from it.
As a result, when a candidate of any party cannot support and protect the life for every citizen of every race at every stage of life, they should be disqualified from holding public office. IF that principle had been upheld since 1973, this would be a radically different and better nation today. Regrettably, the understanding of how to even define life has seemingly fallen into the hands of clever lawyers and politicians that have failed us in their primary responsibility to protect the life of our nation. The results of this "New Civil War" in America have been devastating to all of us....and the worst may yet be ahead. No society can survive when life is not valued and protected.
All of the above leads to a simple, but clear litmus test for every Christian and every Constitutionally minded American. Any candidate that does NOT make the protection of life their number one priority is not deserving of our vote. While candidates and the media may try to hide this issue from the public with other issues, it is NOT hidden from the Lord. Clever political ads and campaigns that promise "goodies" to voters is not the primary purpose of any government. Therefore, the Life Issue is NOT some "fringe" item for a few "crazy" Christians. It is THE issue that defines and clarifies what government is suppose to be about, its limits on power, our values and faith as a Nation, the painful lessons we learned from Dred Scott and the Civil War, who we are today, what we stand for in this election cycle, and where we are going in the future as a people.
In closing, let's hear from our Lord as He challenged the Israelites in Deuteronomy 30:19, "I call heaven and earth to witness against you today, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and curse. Therefore choose life, that you and your offspring may live." No Christian can ever sort out all of the issues of any election. We may not even like the candidates we end up voting for in the end. And yet, the Life Issue is still the one issue that offers us a place to begin. Our deepest desire for a great President or any other elected official is a spiritual one that expresses our heart's cry for the Lord Jesus to come back to rule and reign. That day is drawing closer with every election cycle. Even so, come Lord Jesus!