How should a Christian vote? We should be aware that a candidate’s position on important social issues reflects his view of Scripture altogether. For example, President Obama has declared that he is a Christian. So I accept at face value that he is a Christian. However, he does not find the Bible particularly helpful when looking for direction for public policy. In his “Call to Renewal” speech in 2006 he declared, “And even if we did have only Christians in our midst, if we expelled every non-Christian from the United States of America, whose Christianity would we teach in our schools? Would we go with James Dobson’s or Al Sharpton’s? And which passage of Scripture should guide our public policy? Should we go with Leviticus, which suggests slavery is ok and that eating shellfish is an abomination? How about Deuteronomy, which suggests stoning your child if he strays from the faith? Or should we just stick to the Sermon on the Mount—a passage that is so radical that it’s doubtful that our own Defense Department would survive its application. So before we get carried away, let’s read our Bibles.” Now, although President Obama believes that the Bible may be helpful for personal spiritual growth, he apparently finds that the Scriptures are irrelevant when it comes to providing guidance for public policy. According to the President the Bible is filled with arcane, confusing, and contradictory statements that no one could possibly make sense of, much less apply to our country.
Now, the subject of biblical interpretation is outside the scope of this devotional. But any serious student of the Bible realizes there is a difference between the Old Testament, the old covenant under which Israel existed, and the New Testament, which outlines the code of conduct for Christians today. To reach back into the Old Testament and find some old arcane laws to try to prove that the Bible is irrelevant in public policy would be like our going back to the United States Constitution and looking at the Eighteenth Amendment and saying the Constitution is irrelevant because it prohibits the consumption of alcoholic beverages. Of course the Eighteenth Amendment was supplanted by the Twenty-First Amendment, which repealed Prohibition. So today if you want to know what the Constitution says to us about the consumption of alcohol, you don’t go to the old amendment, the Eighteenth Amendment. You go to the newer amendment, the Twenty-First Amendment. It’s the same with God’s Word. If you want to know how we are to conduct our lives and our government today, you don’t go to the Old Testament. You go to the New Testament, which has supplanted the Old Testament.
Anytime a politician tries to disparage the Bible with similar statements to those of President Obama, that politician is telegraphing to the electorate that God’s Word is incapable of providing guidance for today’s issues. As Christians, we should be wary of voting for a candidate like that.
Today’s devotion is excerpted from “How a Christian Should Vote ” by Dr. Robert Jeffress, 2011.
Scripture taken from the NEW AMERICAN STANDARD BIBLE®, Copyright © 1960,1962,1963,1968,1971,1972,1973,1975,1977,1995 by The Lockman Foundation. Used by permission.