Friday, September 05, 2008

Interesting Quote

I read this today in an editorial by Brian Fitzpatrick:

Evangelical theology teaches that a person is saved based not on how he votes, or any other action, but on whether he places his trust in Jesus’s sacrifice to pay the price for his sins. Trust Christ today and you’re “saved” today. Therefore, salvation is not so much a future event as a present possession. Once people are “saved,” however, they undergo a spiritual transformation that affects the way they think, behave, and vote.

Exactly. This is why I am astounded when people who claim to have experienced such a spiritual transformation can enthusiastically support any candidate who is in favor of abortion, infanticide, or the redefinition of marriage. I am similarly shocked that anyone with this claim can support any of these policies.

The Bible has much to say about God's standard of right and wrong. It talks about the things that God hates. It talks about the way that He created things to be. It talks about God's nature and what He is like.

It is interesting that God through the Bible does not explicitly deal with these issues. However, He does give us some very strong principles that logically bring us to certain conclusions.

God shows us many examples of marriage - including the very first one. He is very explicit about the sexual relationships that He endorses and condemns. And none of these boundaries are ever revoked in the Bible.

Similarly, it is very clear from the scriptures that God is intimately involved in life even from the womb. It is also clear from the Bible that God hates those who harm children, the helpless, and the innocent.

So I have a real disconnect when someone who claims to be saved can support either of these issues. I have read through the Bible many times, and I can only think of one very weak argument that would support abortion and none that support the redefinition of marriage.

The only way that I can conceive that a person could logically come to the conclusion that these things are alright would be for them to be operating from a different base of moral authority than the Bible. If the Bible is the ultimate authority for morality, I don't see any way to justify these things. Anyone is welcome to try to convince me otherwise. (But I can assure you that if you aren't using a holistic view of scripture you will fail.)


Anonymous said...

God hates? HATES? Would you mind providing the scripture references?

Cameron said...

Apparently it is an easy thing for "McChristians" to become duped "McVoters" by a "McSavior" celebrity who spews "McCrap."

Genuine sons of the Most High God esteem Him and His Word above all other authorities (it is the Ultimate, not penultimate Truth), and they therefore are transformed in the minds and in their voting booths. Would that this were true.

Jonathan said...

Thanks for the lexical correction, Cameron. I will remember it in the future, and I will correct it now.

Jonathan said...

Thank you, Anonymous, for raising this very important point.

Many people have a false view of God that is not based on a holistic view of the scripture. Most are comfortable with a God who is loving, a God who is merciful, a God who is compassionate; but many are uncomfortable with a God who executes vengeance, a God who is just, a God who is wrathful, and, yes, a God who hates. According to the Bible, God possesses ALL of these characteristics.

You have specifically questioned whether God hates. According to my survey (using the New American Standard Version of the Bible) I have found 16 verses that plainly state that there are things that God hates. You could extrapolate many more if you choose to assume that the things that God wants us to hate are the things that He hates.

One of the passages that I actually had in mind when writing this post was Proverbs 6:16-19. For the sake of this defense I also offer Psalm 5:5, Deuteronomy 12:31, Jeremiah 12:8, Hosea 9:15, Romans 9:13, and Revelation 2:6.

I have gone even further than that though. My search has revealed that God also abhors (Leviticus 26:30, Psalm 5:6 among others). God despises (Lamentations 2:6 among others). God loathes (Psalm 95:10 and Amos 6:8). God becomes disgusted (Proverbs 13:15 and Ezekiel 23:18). God detests (Deuteronomy 18:12, Luke 16:15, and Titus 1:16 among others). And God has declared some things abominable (Leviticus 18:22, Proverbs 3:32, Proverbs 28:9, Revelation 21:27 and many MANY others).

Do these facts negate the fact that God is love? Absolutely not! Do they negate the fact that God loves you? Absolutely not!

But they do show that God has standards. Everything is NOT OK with God.

Because there are things that God hates, and because there are things that make God incredibly angry, and because there are things that will bring God’s wrathful punishment God, in His amazing love, has provided a way of escape – the death of His Son Jesus.

This death makes it possible for people to be made right with God. It makes it possible for God to save us from our own horrible, sinful state. It makes it possible for His Holy Spirit to work in us deeply to CHANGE US so that we don’t continue to do the things that He hates. This is the very point that was being made in the quote that I opened this post with.

I urge you, Anonymous, to take the next year and read through the entire Bible, paying attention to every statement that the Bible makes about God and His divine nature. I believe that a careful and faithful reading of the Bible with this target in mind will revolutionize your picture of who God really is. I did this very thing in 2007 and found it very enlightening.

Thanks for commenting!