“Politics or Morality”
Lou Tiscione, Pastor, Weatherford Presbyterian Church (PCA)
Have you ever had the experience of listening to someone and feeling as though your body was like a thermometer? I’ve had that feeling more and more lately. Listening to some spokesperson list issues followed by a statement like, “There are good people on both sides.” There are issues about which reasonable people may hold opposing views.
In the church there are both creedal/confessional issues and application methods. Confessional issues are like a line in the sand. If one stands on one side, the side of the Confession or Creed that person is said to be orthodox.
For example, a confession all Christian Churches affirm is “Jesus is Lord.” If another would suggest that the meaning is only relevant to those who believe that Jesus is Lord and that there are other lords under whom men may live and still be within the “body of Christ,” that person would surely be seen as a heretic. What is confessed and believed is critical to life in Christ. A “said faith” is no faith at all, see Hebrews 6:4-6.
Issues of application in churches do not rise to the level of dogma. Church government or the frequency of celebrating the Lord’s Supper are not considered moral or essential issues.
Christians live in the world but are not of the world, John 17:14-19. We who are in Christ must make decisions concerning the things we hear. The “thermometer-like” response that I have been having concerns the confusion of political issues and moral issues. When the “red” rises in me, I must fall on my knees and remind myself of the truth that God is sovereign even and especially over evil.
My purpose for this article is to aid critical thinking so as to give tools for making informed decisions. The first step is to have definitions of terms solidly in our minds. Words have meaning. Without definite meanings we would not be able to communicate with each other. The word “moral” concerns what is right or wrong in human behavior; the word “right” describes that which conforms to facts or truth; “good” is everything that is virtuous and “evil” is the absence of “good”.
All genuine Christians affirm that God’s word is in fact His word. I teach and hold that the Bible is inerrant and infallible. The doctrine of inerrancy relates to the original autographs, the original writings in Hebrew (Some portions of the Old Testament were written in Aramaic.) and Greek. Knowing this and referring to Jesus’ words, “… No one is good except God alone,” Luke 18:19, we realize that in order to know what is good we must look to God’s word.
Knowing the “good” is not an option. God said, “Woe to those who call evil good and good evil…” Isaiah 5:20. God has told men what is good, Micah 6:8. Good, right and moral are related terms. In contrast, wrong, evil and sinful are related.
Here’s the problem: many times over the past few years and more frequently over the past weeks, I have heard people say that the issue of human life is a political one and there are “good” people on both sides. The two sides are referred to as “Pro Life” and “Pro Choice.” It would be more accurate to describe the latter side as “Pro Death.” Every time I hear a news person or political candidate describe the issue of life as political, the red in the thermometer rises in me. It compels me, as a Christian to speak out on this horrible state of affairs in our Nation. We are being confronted by those who are calling evil good and good evil. They categorize life as something that is under the purview of politicians saying that human life in the womb can rightly be ended by the mother’s choice. They celebrate the merchants of death, Planned Parenthood, by calling them providers of women’s health care.
I am NOT advocating a violent response. I AM advocating the use of the minds that God has given to all of us. Human beings bear God’s image. We can think and reason. No reasonable human being would choose to end the life of a baby in the womb.
I urge you who profess Christ to think; think deeply about God’s gift of life. Think about the Lord of life, Jesus Christ by whom through whom and for whom everything is made and exists, Colossians 1:16-17.