Vote your conscience or vote your faith

rtm3039

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Ok, here is another set of questions presented for discussion. This is what I call a “double whammy,” because it merges faith and politics. I am in the middle of a discussion with a friend (actually, my best friend) regarding politics. He is (or at least claims to be) a right leaning COnservative. His main argument against Liberals is that they do not believe in God and are doing all they can to remove God from the equation.

I did a quick search and came upon one survey (Religious Landscape Study; Belief in God my political party). The data is a bit old, 2014, but reflects that a belief in God does appear to be associated with political ideology. When asked if their faith in God is obsolete, responses indicated 73% for Republicans, 62% for Independents, and 55% for Democrats.

I really never gave thought to how one’s faith has a play in one’s political ideology. I am, and have always been, a member of the Independent party. I am this way, because I have political views that come from both sides of the isle. I have strong conservative views on national defense, fiscal responsibility and government overreach. I have liberal views on most social issues.

""I'm for morality, but morality goes beyond sex to human freedom and social justice. We as clergy know so very little to speak with authority on the Panama Canal or superiority of armaments. Evangelists cannot be closely identified with any particular party or person. We have to stand in the middle in order to preach to all people, right and left. I haven't been faithful to my own advice in the past. I will be in the future" (Billy Graham,

So my question is this: Is there merit to the idea that we practice politics consistent with our faith? Or, should we practice political agnosticism?

Reference:

https://www.pewforum.org/religious-landscape-study/compare/belief-in-god/by/party-affiliation/
Merritt, Jonathan (February 21, 2018). "Billy Graham, the Last Nonpartisan Evangelical?". The New York Times.

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rtm3039

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Ok, here is another set of questions presented for discussion. This is what I call a “double whammy,” because it merges faith and politics. I am in the middle of a discussion with a friend (actually, my best friend) regarding politics. He is (or at least claims to be) a right leaning COnservative. His main argument against Liberals is that they do not believe in God and are doing all they can to remove God from the equation.

I did a quick search and came upon one survey (Religious Landscape Study; Belief in God my political party). The data is a bit old, 2014, but reflects that a belief in God does appear to be associated with political ideology. When asked if their faith in God is obsolete, responses indicated 73% for Republicans, 62% for Independents, and 55% for Democrats.

I really never gave thought to how one’s faith has a play in one’s political ideology. I am, and have always been, a member of the Independent party. I am this way, because I have political views that come from both sides of the isle. I have strong conservative views on national defense, fiscal responsibility and government overreach. I have liberal views on most social issues.

""I'm for morality, but morality goes beyond sex to human freedom and social justice. We as clergy know so very little to speak with authority on the Panama Canal or superiority of armaments. Evangelists cannot be closely identified with any particular party or person. We have to stand in the middle in order to preach to all people, right and left. I haven't been faithful to my own advice in the past. I will be in the future" (Billy Graham,

So my question is this: Is there merit to the idea that we practice politics consistent with our faith? Or, should we practice political agnosticism?

Reference:

https://www.pewforum.org/religious-landscape-study/compare/belief-in-god/by/party-affiliation/
Merritt, Jonathan (February 21, 2018). "Billy Graham, the Last Nonpartisan Evangelical?". The New York Times.

Rtm3039
This is interesting:

Romans 13:1-8 (NIV):

13 Let everyone be subject to the governing authorities, for there is no authority except that which God has established. The authorities that exist have been established by God. 2 Consequently, whoever rebels against the authority is rebelling against what God has instituted, and those who do so will bring judgment on themselves. 3 For rulers hold no terror for those who do right, but for those who do wrong. Do you want to be free from fear of the one in authority? Then do what is right and you will be commended. 4 For the one in authority is God’s servant for your good. But if you do wrong, be afraid, for rulers do not bear the sword for no reason. They are God’s servants, agents of wrath to bring punishment on the wrongdoer. 5 Therefore, it is necessary to submit to the authorities, not only because of possible punishment but also as a matter of conscience.

6 This is also why you pay taxes, for the authorities are God’s servants, who give their full time to governing. 7 Give to everyone what you owe them: If you owe taxes, pay taxes; if revenue, then revenue; if respect, then respect; if honor, then honor.

8 Let no debt remain outstanding, except the continuing debt to love one another, for whoever loves others has fulfilled the law.
 
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Sorry can you clarify is this another one of those " discussions" or did you want to start a debate where you pick one side and argue it to death while throwing stones at the other side?

Billy graham was friends to all the PUSAS it seems. Although I have read his autobiography that he felt Nixon, who left in a scandal with watergate, was not being honest with him all the time. Apparently Nixon was a quaker or raised that way. I do think no matter what religion you are raised with, doesnt guarantee you will always stick with it.

Jimmy Carter as far as I know is the only born again christian president. I dont know what side he represents but I think party lines can become blurred. You could be either side and be a christian for either I reckon but since Christ is the cornerstone...it seems hes not right or left. But the foundation of it all.
 
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This is interesting:

Romans 13:1-8 (NIV):

13 Let everyone be subject to the governing authorities, for there is no authority except that which God has established. The authorities that exist have been established by God. 2 Consequently, whoever rebels against the authority is rebelling against what God has instituted, and those who do so will bring judgment on themselves. 3 For rulers hold no terror for those who do right, but for those who do wrong. Do you want to be free from fear of the one in authority? Then do what is right and you will be commended. 4 For the one in authority is God’s servant for your good. But if you do wrong, be afraid, for rulers do not bear the sword for no reason. They are God’s servants, agents of wrath to bring punishment on the wrongdoer. 5 Therefore, it is necessary to submit to the authorities, not only because of possible punishment but also as a matter of conscience.

6 This is also why you pay taxes, for the authorities are God’s servants, who give their full time to governing. 7 Give to everyone what you owe them: If you owe taxes, pay taxes; if revenue, then revenue; if respect, then respect; if honor, then honor.

8 Let no debt remain outstanding, except the continuing debt to love one another, for whoever loves others has fulfilled the law.
This is interesting because reading the history of america is a history of rebellion to the british crown. It would seem an entire nation is founded on independecne involving rebellion against their mother country who were in authority at the time.

In my country we have a treaty of waitiangi, precisely so that our country could be governed fairlly and not descend into lawlessness. Which the europeans settlers were in danger of doing. Half were good citizens, law abiding, and the other half were mercenaries out to make a profit, so when they met Maori who were here at the time it divided the nation.
 
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rtm3039

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Sorry can you clarify is this another one of those " discussions" or did you want to start a debate where you pick one side and argue it to death while throwing stones at the other side?

Billy graham was friends to all the PUSAS it seems. Although I have read his autobiography that he felt Nixon, who left in a scandal with watergate, was not being honest with him all the time. Apparently Nixon was a quaker or raised that way. I do think no matter what religion you are raised with, doesnt guarantee you will always stick with it.

Jimmy Carter as far as I know is the only born again christian president. I dont know what side he represents but I think party lines can become blurred. You could be either side and be a christian for either I reckon but since Christ is the cornerstone...it seems hes not right or left. But the foundation of it all.
I'm sorry Lanolin, trying to find an instance where I have thrown rocks any any side. See, this is one of those moments where words make it appear as if there is a certain level of hostility in the meaning.

It's a discussion and I have already taken sides (independent with views that wrong both right and left).

Well, I believe Christ would also swing right and left. Considering abortion to be murder is a wring to the right. Providing offerings to serve those less fortunate is a wrong to the left.

PUSAS? Do you mean POTUS?

I agree. I grew up Roman Catholic and I am not one now.
 
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This is interesting:

Romans 13:1-8 (NIV):

13 Let everyone be subject to the governing authorities, for there is no authority except that which God has established. The authorities that exist have been established by God. 2 Consequently, whoever rebels against the authority is rebelling against what God has instituted, and those who do so will bring judgment on themselves. 3 For rulers hold no terror for those who do right, but for those who do wrong. Do you want to be free from fear of the one in authority? Then do what is right and you will be commended. 4 For the one in authority is God’s servant for your good. But if you do wrong, be afraid, for rulers do not bear the sword for no reason. They are God’s servants, agents of wrath to bring punishment on the wrongdoer. 5 Therefore, it is necessary to submit to the authorities, not only because of possible punishment but also as a matter of conscience.

6 This is also why you pay taxes, for the authorities are God’s servants, who give their full time to governing. 7 Give to everyone what you owe them: If you owe taxes, pay taxes; if revenue, then revenue; if respect, then respect; if honor, then honor.

8 Let no debt remain outstanding, except the continuing debt to love one another, for whoever loves others has fulfilled the law.
This is just another case of misquoting the bible. You have to keep things in their context. Go back to Romans 12:1 to see to whom this is addressed:

Romans 12 King James Version (KJV)
1 I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service.

Chapter 13 obviously speaks of people in the church, not worldly rulers. Satan is the god of worldly authority.

Luke 4:5-6 King James Version (KJV)
5 And the devil, taking him up into an high mountain, shewed unto him all the kingdoms of the world in a moment of time.

6 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.

"Delivered unto me," get it?

"6 This is also why you pay taxes," The NIV is mistranslated there.

Romans 13:6 King James Version (KJV)
6 For for this cause pay ye tribute also: for they are God's ministers, attending continually upon this very thing.

God's ministers, not elected officials. God does not tax people.
 
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Ok, here is another set of questions presented for discussion. This is what I call a “double whammy,” because it merges faith and politics. I am in the middle of a discussion with a friend (actually, my best friend) regarding politics. He is (or at least claims to be) a right leaning COnservative. His main argument against Liberals is that they do not believe in God and are doing all they can to remove God from the equation.

I did a quick search and came upon one survey (Religious Landscape Study; Belief in God my political party). The data is a bit old, 2014, but reflects that a belief in God does appear to be associated with political ideology. When asked if their faith in God is obsolete, responses indicated 73% for Republicans, 62% for Independents, and 55% for Democrats.

I really never gave thought to how one’s faith has a play in one’s political ideology. I am, and have always been, a member of the Independent party. I am this way, because I have political views that come from both sides of the isle. I have strong conservative views on national defense, fiscal responsibility and government overreach. I have liberal views on most social issues.

""I'm for morality, but morality goes beyond sex to human freedom and social justice. We as clergy know so very little to speak with authority on the Panama Canal or superiority of armaments. Evangelists cannot be closely identified with any particular party or person. We have to stand in the middle in order to preach to all people, right and left. I haven't been faithful to my own advice in the past. I will be in the future" (Billy Graham,

So my question is this: Is there merit to the idea that we practice politics consistent with our faith? Or, should we practice political agnosticism?

Reference:

https://www.pewforum.org/religious-landscape-study/compare/belief-in-god/by/party-affiliation/
Merritt, Jonathan (February 21, 2018). "Billy Graham, the Last Nonpartisan Evangelical?". The New York Times.

Rtm3039
Deuteronomy 30:19 King James Version (KJV)
19 I call heaven and earth to record this day against you, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing: therefore choose life, that both thou and thy seed may live:

This is always the question. God gives you choices by which you can live, and He tells you which is the best choice. But God does not send political candidates. After all, God commanded His people to have no king, and no laws in the land outside walled cities. So you are going against God's will right from the start.
 
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rtm3039

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This is interesting because reading the history of america is a history of rebellion to the british crown. It would seem an entire nation is founded on independecne involving rebellion against their mother country who were in authority at the time.

In my country we have a treaty of waitiangi, precisely so that our country could be governed fairlly and not descend into lawlessness. Which the europeans settlers were in danger of doing. Half were good citizens, law abiding, and the other half were mercenaries out to make a profit, so when they met Maori who were here at the time it divided the nation.
We have one of those here too; The Constitution for the United States. And, just to make it interesting, the document was born as a result of our rebellion against our "mother country." Go figure.
Deuteronomy 30:19 King James Version (KJV)
19 I call heaven and earth to record this day against you, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing: therefore choose life, that both thou and thy seed may live:

This is always the question. God gives you choices by which you can live, and He tells you which is the best choice. But God does not send political candidates. After all, God commanded His people to have no king, and no laws in the land outside walled cities. So you are going against God's will right from the start.
Saul Mine, can you elaborate on your comments a bit?

rtm3039
 
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Sorry yes POTUS I mean President of the United States of America. The head honcho, the big chief.

We call our leader the Prime Minister. Supoosedly because shes the first minister and meant to be in the ministry. We have govt departments that are ministries of this and that. Which is funny because not all politicans in fact many of them arent believers so you wonder what they think a ministry is.

Everyone ought to have a ministry of some sort.
 
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Is there merit to the idea that we practice politics consistent with our faith? Or, should we practice political agnosticism?
All our views are colored by our experiences and our faith. So too with our choices in the voting booth. They should reflect our values as individuals who follow Christ.

However, avoid thinking that since you are a Christian and because of your beliefs you hold a certain view, this means that your brother in Christ in the next booth will be compelled to hold compatible views or vote the same.

Yes, the evangelical right is quick to assert its views and gets a lot of attention, but the body of Christ includes many 'progressives' who are just as committed to following the leading of the Lord, and find that it leads them in a politically different direction.

As I look at politics in the US today, I am truly dismayed by both major parties that are more concerned with being the party in power able to dictate policy that they know the other will abhor. Sometimes it appears that winning the argument is more important than serving the people.
 

rtm3039

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Sorry yes POTUS I mean President of the United States of America. The head honcho, the big chief.

We call our leader the Prime Minister. Supoosedly because shes the first minister and meant to be in the ministry. We have govt departments that are ministries of this and that. Which is funny because not all politicans in fact many of them arent believers so you wonder what they think a ministry is.

Everyone ought to have a ministry of some sort.
Lanolin

Well, as I am sure you know, we break our government down to three branches (executive, legislative, and judicial). PUTUS and his Cabinet are in the executive. In theory, most laws and the budged is with the legislative and the interpretation of the law (as it measures up against the Constitution) is done in the judiciary.

Unfortunately, the lines are not all that clear, as each branch appears to have a method in which they can do the work of the other branches. What you all call ministries, we call departments and the key players are the members of the Cabinet.

To be honest with you, it’s kind of like an up-side-down zoo, there the animals feed the visitors.
All our views are colored by our experiences and our faith. So too with our choices in the voting booth. They should reflect our values as individuals who follow Christ.

However, avoid thinking that since you are a Christian and because of your beliefs you hold a certain view, this means that your brother in Christ in the next booth will be compelled to hold compatible views or vote the same.

Yes, the evangelical right is quick to assert its views and gets a lot of attention, but the body of Christ includes many 'progressives' who are just as committed to following the leading of the Lord, and find that it leads them in a politically different direction.

As I look at politics in the US today, I am truly dismayed by both major parties that are more concerned with being the party in power able to dictate policy that they know the other will abhor. Sometimes it appears that winning the argument is more important than serving the people.
Siloam,

I totally agree. At some point, our politics shifted from serving its citizens to winning against the opponent. I really get disappointed, when I see people turn ugly against each other just because they hold differing political opinions. I also find it unpleasing to see people hold politicians like they are God's messengers. One of the main reasons I turned off my social media is because it had become a source of unwanted political commentary that is either hard left or hard right. I've never understood this, as I have always believed that, in politics, most answers are somewhere in the middle.

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Sorry can you clarify is this another one of those " discussions" or did you want to start a debate where you pick one side and argue it to death while throwing stones at the other side?

Billy graham was friends to all the PUSAS it seems. Although I have read his autobiography that he felt Nixon, who left in a scandal with watergate, was not being honest with him all the time. Apparently Nixon was a quaker or raised that way. I do think no matter what religion you are raised with, doesnt guarantee you will always stick with it.

Jimmy Carter as far as I know is the only born again christian president. I dont know what side he represents but I think party lines can become blurred. You could be either side and be a christian for either I reckon but since Christ is the cornerstone...it seems hes not right or left. But the foundation of it all.
Only three U.S. presidents — Thomas Jefferson, Abraham Lincoln and Andrew Johnson — have been unaffiliated with a specific religious tradition.


Belonging to a Christian denomination of course does not make one a Christian.
 
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Deuteronomy 30:19 King James Version (KJV)
19 I call heaven and earth to record this day against you, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing: therefore choose life, that both thou and thy seed may live:

This is always the question. God gives you choices by which you can live, and He tells you which is the best choice. But God does not send political candidates. After all, God commanded His people to have no king, and no laws in the land outside walled cities. So you are going against God's will right from the start.
Saul, would you care to speak to Daniel 2:21-22......…..
“He [the Most High God] changes times and seasons; He sets up kings and deposes them. He gives wisdom to the wise and knowledge to the discerning. He reveals deep and hidden things; He knows what lies in darkness, and light dwells with Him.”

And also Romans 13:1...…...
“All authority comes from God, and those in positions of authority have been placed there by God”.
 
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Some people dont vote at all because they believe that politics and church dont mix.
But maybe it depends on your country and the parties whether their candidates are believers. Or not. Some have christian parties with christian values. Whether they follow through or not is the gamble I suppose.


Even the pharisees who was like a party of govt at the time in Jesus day (pharisees, saducees) had some believers in their midst eg Nicodemus, who secretly believed in Jesus and snuck out at night to learn from Him instead of toeing the party line, which was against Him.

When it talks about election in the Bible, its not meaning the people choose or vote themselves to be Gods people. Or their leaders.Its actually God doing the choosing.

This is very different from a democracry where people vote who they want to lead. Or even having a king. God didnt wsnt his people to have a human king, who would be flawed and could sin and lead his people astray...He was already Their King! Thats why he sent his only begotten son, Jesus, in the flesh, to be our King.
 

rtm3039

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Only three U.S. presidents — Thomas Jefferson, Abraham Lincoln and Andrew Johnson — have been unaffiliated with a specific religious tradition.


Belonging to a Christian denomination of course does not make one a Christian.
Major,

I guess, when you think of it, maybe any religious affiliation might prevent a sitting President from serving the entire country. It is obvious that religion does play a roll in getting elected, so I am pretty sure we are no where close to electing someone that does not claim to hold faith in God.

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All our views are colored by our experiences and our faith. So too with our choices in the voting booth. They should reflect our values as individuals who follow Christ.

However, avoid thinking that since you are a Christian and because of your beliefs you hold a certain view, this means that your brother in Christ in the next booth will be compelled to hold compatible views or vote the same.

Yes, the evangelical right is quick to assert its views and gets a lot of attention, but the body of Christ includes many 'progressives' who are just as committed to following the leading of the Lord, and find that it leads them in a politically different direction.

As I look at politics in the US today, I am truly dismayed by both major parties that are more concerned with being the party in power able to dictate policy that they know the other will abhor. Sometimes it appears that winning the argument is more important than serving the people.
Unfortunately, on both sides of politics are those individuals who have made "Politics" their RELIGION.

To them, it makes no difference what the Word of God says, they are going to vote for the party they like.

There was no better Christian than my father. He was from the depression era and believed with all of his heart that President hoover a Rep started it and Pres. Roosevelt ended it.

If a rattlesnake ran for President, my father would vote for it if it ran as a democrat.
 
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Major,

I guess, when you think of it, maybe any religious affiliation might prevent a sitting President from serving the entire country. It is obvious that religion does play a roll in getting elected, so I am pretty sure we are no where close to electing someone that does not claim to hold faith in God.

rtm3039

I do not know the leval of those mens faith, only what they claimed. I do know that Carter and Bush 2 were committed Christians.
 

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Unfortunately, on both sides of politics are those individuals who have made "Politics" their RELIGION.

To them, it makes no difference what the Word of God says, they are going to vote for the party they like.

There was no better Christian than my father. He was from the depression era and believed with all of his heart that President hoover a Rep started it and Pres. Roosevelt ended it.

If a rattlesnake ran for President, my father would vote for it if it ran as a democrat.
Major,

Yes, I know way to many people that vote their party, regardless of who the actual person is. I have voted almost as often for the right as for the left. I focus on the person and what he/she has to say on issues I find important. I do this, but know that, once they take office, their position will change.

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I have always believed that, in politics, most answers are somewhere in the middle
I am not sure I would agree here. This presupposes that there is some kind of continuum and that there is a specific 'correct' answer some place near the middle of that continuum.

There are issues that one brother may see as 'obviously' requiring a specific stance. He should work toward that resolution, but he should not assume that anyone that does not share his views are a tool of his enemy. Instead, we should seek areas of agreement, and find ways of dealing with the more intractable disagreements without 'beating' the other. There is a difference between finding an equitable compromise on issues and compromising one's belief.

As long as it is one side gaining control and then stem-rolling the other (or otherwise thwarting their position), as soon as the majority changes, the side newly gaining power will attempt to wipe out the accomplishments of the prior power. The result is an exaggerated swing in the was government serves the people.

The key is not so much running toward the middle as it is having our politicians become statesmen that can forge equitable agreements and recognise when the other side offers a solution that may not be to our specifications, but finds an alternate way of addressing concerns.
 

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I am not sure I would agree here. This presupposes that there is some kind of continuum and that there is a specific 'correct' answer some place near the middle of that continuum.

There are issues that one brother may see as 'obviously' requiring a specific stance. He should work toward that resolution, but he should not assume that anyone that does not share his views are a tool of his enemy. Instead, we should seek areas of agreement, and find ways of dealing with the more intractable disagreements without 'beating' the other. There is a difference between finding an equitable compromise on issues and compromising one's belief.

As long as it is one side gaining control and then stem-rolling the other (or otherwise thwarting their position), as soon as the majority changes, the side newly gaining power will attempt to wipe out the accomplishments of the prior power. The result is an exaggerated swing in the was government serves the people.

The key is not so much running toward the middle as it is having our politicians become statesmen that can forge equitable agreements and recognise when the other side offers a solution that may not be to our specifications, but finds an alternate way of addressing concerns.
Siloam,

Ok, that was well stated, articulate, and a better take than my position. However; could you not say that your comment "... when the other side offers a solution that may not be to our specifications, but finds an alternate way of addressing concerns." is, in fact, finding a way towards the middle?

I do grant; however, that there are issues which really do not have a common point that is found in the middle. Off hand, I am thinking of something like abortion. This is a right or left position, with no equitable position in the middle (I think).

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