October 27, 2016

Good and Bad Ways to Think about Religion and Politics

by Jesse Johnson

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“Good and Bad Ways to Think about Religion and Politics,” by Robert Benne, is a little book with a great title.

Benne is American, Lutheran, and discerning. He not only understands the role of religion in our country’s past, but the role of politics in our religious present. He also has a knack for answering the basic questions Christians ask about politics, and he does so in a clear and concise way.

In a world where political books are ubiquitous, it is notable that there are so few good books that thoughtfully analyze how politics and the church should intersect (MacArthur’s, Why Government Can’t Save You, is a favorite of mine, but also an exception that proves the rule; Grudem’s Politics is good, but unwieldy). It is naive to say that the church should say nothing about the political issues of the day, and it is outrageous to argue that the church should have political change as one of its missions. But is there a good argument for a thoughtful middle ground?  

Benne provides that argument. He begins by explaining some really bad ways people have tried to fuse religion and politics. There are the separationists, by which he means those who reject that there should be any intersection between God and government at all, and the fusionists—those who say there should be no daylight between the two.

The problem with the separationists, Benne points out, is that it they end up making mockery of the Christian world-view. They claim that Christianity has nothing beneficial to offer the structure of society, and no moral guidance for government. Separationists end up producing passivity that at one extreme produces the German church under the Nazis, or at the other extreme the practical agnosticism of many American Christians who don’t see how their Sunday affects their Monday-Friday. A world where separationists had their way would have no doctrine of vocation, no just-war theory, and no comprehensive view of providence.

The problems with the fusionists are historic. The church-state model has always ended up being bad for both the church and the state. The concept of common grace is lost on the fusionists, as they seek to baptize every part of any government they are part of. Reading this section I couldn’t help but lament current Christian leaders who feel the need to say Trump or Clinton are believers, in order to justify voting for them.

The most serious problem with the fusionists is a confusion of the means/ends distinction. The church is a spiritual body made up of spiritual people meant to advance a spiritual kingdom. But the fusionist sees the church as a means to advance a non-spiritual end, namely politics. This confuses the order, Benne notes, and “instead of salvation for all, politicized religion offers salvation only to those on the right side of political fault lines” (25).

There is a better way. But before explaining what that is, Benne pokes holes in some more spurious assertions about politics and religion. First, he demolishes the idea that separation of church and state means that the church should not be active in politics. That is isolation¸ not separation. Moreover, it flies in the face of American history, where churches were involved in abolition, the end of segregation, and women’s suffrage movement. It flies in the face of current history, where liberal causes are often advanced by main-line denominations, and social justice protests are organized by churches. Our media loves to point out those partnerships, and in so doing they demonstrate that the only “separation of church and state” they really believe in concerns churches advancing a non-politically correct cause.

And this is the best part of Benne’s book. He traces out how most main-line denominations began adapting social causes at the expense of religious truth. As they did so, their leaders became more and more liberal, while their churches became more and more empty. Ironically:

When the mainstream Protestant churches and the Catholic Church are less able and willing to form their members morally and spiritually, those churches put heavier emphasis on their role as public actors. A nasty observer might note that when the churches can no longer persuade their own people they make greater attempts to get their way politically through more coercive means (87).

Ouch.

In order to avoid that failure, Christians need the basics of a theological world view in order to make sense of politics. They must understand that people were created by a holy God, and are in his image. We are exalted, but fallen. Then we need to connect that fallenness to the gospel, and the church to the mission of advancing the gospel. With this comes the means/ends distinction—improving the world by abolishing abortion is a means, the end is the advancing of the kingdom through the proclamation of the gospel.

There has to be clear understanding in our thinking of what Benne calls “the qualitative distinction between God’s salvation and all human efforts” (51). In other words, political work is not salvific. But, “that does not make it unimportant, for God has chosen to reign in another way in addition to his reign by the gospel in the hearts of individuals” (52). Here is where the doctrine of common grace is essential. God designed government to work as a form of grace to the world, and Christians should esteem it as a tool for that purpose.

Government then should be a simple expression of love to one’s neighbor, and Christians most definitely want to a part of that.

So, how should churches be involved in politics? Benne gives four ways:

Character formation:

By teaching (for example) that lying, stealing, and adultery are bad, churches act as a light to the world, and we influence the morality of society. In addition, we create the future political leaders of the world, who then would know that lying, stealing, and adultery are wrong, and presumably then would govern accordingly.

Conscience connection:

We connect the simple and straight-forward moral commands of the Bible to the ethical dilemmas of the world. We reason from our theology to our character, then to ethics. We explain: because we are in God’s image, and murder and selfishness are both sin, that abortion is also sinful. Or, because God is a God of truth, and lying is sinful, lying under oath is also sinful. Benne explains that, “[this] ‘bringing to bear’ is not a simple straight-line process, but nevertheless one that brings Christian wisdom and morality into play” (58-59).

This process assumes that churches have some ethical knowledge that would help society, and while it comes from a faith-perspective, it is formed by vigorous moral convictions. When these are deeply embedded in people’s consciences, it affects how they view politics.

Voluntary associations

In light of the ethical demands of the Christian conscience, churches should be involved in third-party organizations to advance moral issues to make our world a better place. The most obvious example is pregnancy resource centers, or pro-life advocacy groups.

Now, why the need for a third-party organization? Benne answers:

It is good that the commitment to specific policies is done by independent voluntary associations, not by the church. Identifying the church too closely with such specific policies will make it one more interest group in the contest for political influence and power, and undermine its capacity to bring a universal message to all sinners (93).

Obviously not all issues are as “straight-line in their reasoning” as abortion and perjury. This is where the wisdom of church leaders come into play.


Direct/coercive action

The final category of church involvement is when a church actually mobilizes for a political purpose. Where pastors encourage their people to “Vote no on Proposition 4” or “Vote for Arnold Schwarzenegger.” This should be the most infrequent of all approaches, Benne warns, because if every election is “the most important election ever” for the church, then the church is reduced to just another interest group in the eyes of its citizens (95).

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There are countless examples of churches using this approach wrongly—mainstream denominations in the US clearly want to advance liberal politics more than biblical ethics, so they now find themselves largely ignored. There are also examples of incidents where churches decided to stay quiet and not use this means—again, Germany under Hitler, or South Africa under apartheid (where many churches even declared their ambivalence to it in their statements of faith).

But when the moral issue is clear, there is a straight-line connection from theology—morality—ethics—political solution, and there is an effective way the church can be involved, then this becomes another tool to help advance the cause of grace in the world. Benne gives several practical steps for churches to help them think through this option (such as a church statement on the issue that reflects serious thought and which shows an understanding of the means/ends distinction, as well as which points out a number of different response to achieve a social goal; 104-5).

For those that want to think seriously about the relationship between politics and the church, I strongly recommend this book. If its practices were followed, then more Christians would rightly see government “as an instrument of God for preserving a basic order and justice that enables people to live and flourish, while ensuring time and space for the church to proclaim the gospel, which is the church’s central mission” (53).

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Jesse Johnson

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Jesse is the Teaching Pastor at Immanuel Bible Church in Springfield, VA. He also leads The Master's Seminary Washington DC location.
  • alexguggenheim

    The Lutheran theological construct of the two-kingdoms is a needed antidote in Evangelicalsm with regard to many clumsy and damaging approaches to government by Evangelicals. And for those reading this, the adoption of this construct by Reformed Calvinists, while commendable, is not the same as the Lutheran articulation.

    • Truth Unites… and Divides

      Uh, no.

      • Which part?

        • Truth Unites… and Divides

          The Lutheran 2K theology that enabled and was instrumental in the rise of Nazism in Germany.

          • Got it. Well, Benne does specifically critique that in the book, and I think effectively explains where they were wrong.

          • Truth Unites… and Divides

            Hi Jesse,

            Here’s the opening article of a multi-part theological critique of (Radical) Two-Kingdom Theology that you might find helpful:
            HERE

          • alexguggenheim

            I believe he requested something talking about the difference between the reformed calvinist 2 Kingdom view which is really a theonomist view and the historic Lutheran View.

            The Econdido doctrine of church and state is not Lutheran or reformed calvinist Kingdom theology it is an animal all to itself

          • alexguggenheim

            All I can do is roll my eyes when I read comments like that. First of all, Nazism was embraced by the masses because it was nationalism in their eyes and secondly, because none of the excesses of Hitler and the Nazi party were evident until several years after he had secured power.

            Secondly, the German Lutheran church, even before the rise of the national socialist party, had drifted into institutionalism. Their response to politics was with the preservation of their institution, not as heralds of the gospel at whatever cost.

            Thirdly, the misuse of a sound theological construct does not negate it rather, those who misuse it. They ignored Luther and Meloncthan’s (and that of Chemnitz and others) clear articulation that the kingdom on the left is divinely ordained with protocols from God to with respect to establishment principles and that the reach of establishment authority, while purposed, had limits.

            I suppose we must invalidate Scripture seeing how many times it has been misused.

            But this ridiculous accusation that it was Lutheran theology and particularly the 2 kingdom doctrine which “enabled and was instrumental in the rise of Nazism Germany” is not just tedious but a blatant demonstration of ignorance regarding the social/political factors at that time. Good grief.

          • Truth Unites… and Divides

            “… none of the excesses of Hitler and the Nazi party were evident until several years after he had secured power.”

            When was Mein Kampf published? Were the German Lutherans not aware of Hitler’s book until after he secured power?

          • alexguggenheim

            To answer your question, no. Mein Kampf was irrelevant to 90% of the German population until the very late thirties and into the scond World War. He did not need to sell the book he controlled the various media so his message was one of nationalism and that’s what the German people knew and understood for the most part which is why many embraced him.

          • Truth Unites… and Divides

            Not a ridiculous “accusation” at all. Just reporting, not accusing.

            Read this excerpt:

            “The Lutheran Church was the dominant Protestant church in Germany in the 1930s, and was an important part of German culture and history. Like all other national organizations and symbols, the Nazi Party aimed to integrate German Christianity within the Third Reich. The rise of the Nazi Party and its cooptation of the church split the Lutheran community in two.

            Martin Luther and the Nazis

            The Nazi Party had argued that Hitler held the same beliefs and goals as Martin Luther. Martin Luther had warned the Germans against the Jews, and Luther’s writings, including “The Jews and Their Lies,” had been used by the Nazis to encourage anti-Semitism in the 1930s and 1940s. The Nazis went so far as to say that Adolf Hitler was carrying on the work of Luther. The Nazi Minister of Education reflected these beliefs when he wrote, “I think the time is past when one may not say the names of Hitler and Luther in the same breath. They belong together — they are of the same old stamp.”

            The Reich Church

            Pro-Nazis in the Lutheran Church, along with members of the Reformed and United churches, formed The German Christians’ Faith Movement in the 1930s. The movement was lead by the Nazi Ludwig Mueller, who called for the unification of all Protestant churches into one national church supporting Nazi racial and nationalist ideology. The members of this movement accepted the Nazi doctrine of a German super race and the inferiority of other races, including the Jews. The Lutheran Church was merged with the Reformed and United churches of Germany to form the Protestant Reich Church, officially known as the German Evangelical Church, in 1933, and Ludwig Mueller was appointed “Reich bishop,” answering to the Nazi Party. The Reich Church banned the use of the Old Testament of the Bible based on its Jewish origin, and excluded Christians of Jewish heritage. By the late 1930s and the beginning of World War II, the Reich Church had raised “Mein Kampf” above all other books, and had replaced the cross with the swastika. This church was the dominant form of Protestant and Lutheran Christianity in Germany during the war.”

            Alex, suppose you supported the German Confessing Church and the Barmen Declaration. Would you then argue and claim that the Confessing Church and the Barmen Declaration is what a genuine Lutheran Two-Kingdom theology should look like in practice?

          • alexguggenheim

            No you are not just reporting you are accusing and doing so while ignoring the actual cause of the rise of the National Socialist Party which was the socio-economic and political situation in Germany after World War 1 would you completely ignore which makes your post absolutely ridiculous and ignorant in its claim that, “The Lutheran 2K theology that enabled and was instrumental in the rise of Nazism in Germany”.
            Hitler’s rise and the rise of the Nazi party was in a political context almost exclusively for its first decade.

            As to your reference to the Reich Church formed out of the combination of the doctrinally Lutheran Church, the only point you have is that you have a bunch of weak men. That is not the fault of the Bible new world sound Doctrine which is from the Bible.

            And to Adolf Hitler’s claim that he thought like Martin Luther well you do know he also claimed to think like our savior Jesus you do know that right so let’s throw out Martin Luther and our savior at the same time and anything that they talk. Come on now do you think through any of these things you’re saying?

            But let’s deal with Martin Luther and his complaint against the Jews in Germany. When he spoke such things he did so as a Civic member not as an ecclesiastical representative. And whether you like it or not conflicts of interest between people groups is legitimate both in their existence and expressed antagonism when those two groups have different goals and at the time of Luther the Jewish population isolated itself segregated itself and worked exclusively for their interests whenever possible against the national interests of Germany. That is called a left Kingdom criticism by Martin Luther.

          • Truth Unites… and Divides

            “But let’s deal with Martin Luther and his complaint against the Jews in Germany. When he spoke such things he did so as a Civic member not as an ecclesiastical representative.”

            Let’s.

            In Martin Luther’s book, On The Jews and Their Lies, he writes, “What shall we Christians do with this rejected and condemned people, the Jews… Since they live among us, we dare not tolerate their conduct.”

            Alex, please note the phrase “We Christians”. He’s writing as an ecclesiastical representative, contra to your claim that he wasn’t.

            Simply reporting what Luther himself wrote.

          • alexguggenheim

            He used the term Christian in addressing and appealing to civil leadership and the population who almost exclusively self-iself-identified as Christian.

            I’m other words, he was not suggesting the use of ecclesiastical resources rather civil resources the he was speaking and a civil context and not an ecclesiastical one.

            People often don’t understand that to identify as a Christian in Europe it was rather important socially and politically particularly in light of the previous couple Hundred Years War war against the invading Muslims had finally ended.

            To be European generally was to be Christian often only in name but that name represented a way of life a social and political way of life.

          • Truth Unites… and Divides

            Let me reiterate a question that you have not yet responded to:

            “Alex, suppose you supported the German Confessing Church and the Barmen Declaration. Would you then argue and claim that the Confessing Church and the Barmen Declaration is what a genuine Lutheran Two-Kingdom theology should look like in practice?

    • I agree Alex. And if you know of a post that explains the difference between the Lutheran 2 kingdom view (which I find helpful) and the more recent view coming from some seminaries, I’d appreciate it.

      • alexguggenheim

        You’ve prompted me to do some digging. Maybe I will cover this, myself, in a blog-post sometime.

  • Benders

    Your last paragraph says it all. So who is running (with a chance to win) that possibly meets the criteria of Romans 13 and who does not? Seems like an easy decision to me.

    • Believe it or not, this was written well before Trump/Clinton came to be. The point is that it often isn’t an “easy decision” and that churches should focus on character development/conscience issues. What is sad this go round is that churches are saying “easy decision” in such a way that they lose their ability to speak with authority about sins like racism/sexual assault/gambling. I don’t often agree with Russel Moore, but he makes this point very well in his book Onward, which too was written before this election cycle. Their is a hierarchy of concerns, and we can’t sell out levels 1 and 2 for level 4.

      • Benders

        And my point is that this is an easy decision based on Romans 13. I don’t believe church leadership has any business in politics. Christians however, do have a God given civic responsibility in the process. Clinton has clearly proven she only has her interest at heart, not Americans. This is the job of POTUS. What confuses me about evangelical voters is their expectation of a candidate who is clearly not a Christian, to have Christian values. So preach the gospel and vote for the person who will do the job that best meets God’s design of a national leader. Like I said…easy.

  • Karl Heitman

    Wait a sec. Lutheran and discerning in the same sentence?!

  • Adam Bohne

    I like the means/end concept brought out in this article. While government is never a means to convert the sinner, it can be used to advance the principles of righteousness, justice, etc. Even if it is unbelievers bringing about this end, it nevertheless is an end that is in harmony with the character of God. God used heathen nations, such as Assyria and Babylon, to manifest the principle of justice upon an idolatrous Israel, so it is not inconsistent say He is doing the same in our government today.

    The Christian today needs to adopt a realist approach to politics rather than one of idealism. Politics will always be corrupt, but even within a corrupt system positive outcomes can result that are consistent with Biblical precepts. It is not required that God use only believers to advance His cause. To argue so would be to argue against His sovereignty.

    We are to be salt and light in this dark world, but we cannot interpret this properly without a means/end perspective; that is, what am I to do to accomplish this? One way to fulfill this mandate by our Lord is via the political sphere. How one approaches this is determined by the individual, but considering the power and influence politics has over almost every realm of society, it is not something we should abstain from.

  • The government will be God’s instrument for order regardless if every Christian in the country decided that voting was no longer something they had any interest in doing. I decided within the last 5 years that I would leave voting behind along with political conversations. I could honestly care less who American’s vote in. God places the leader in their position and that is that. Our kingdom is NOT of this world. We are NOT called to make this culture more just, more moral. We are called to make disciples, not shape governments and cultures. Our political activities have led unbelievers to the conclusion that we want to force our Christian morality on them through political activism. That is precisely the WRONG way to go about being the church.

    Religious freedom or the notion that we have a right to religious freedom is not one of the assumptions of Scripture. I question if it should be something we lead Christians in America to think. Yes, we should pray for our government leaders and I do every week, from the national level right on down to the local level. I even pray for foreign governments and the Christians that live under them. That is what Scripture directs us to do….pray for them.

    Voting is not a thing Christians should do or should avoid. It is a matter of conscience.

    The separationists mentioned at the very beginning is a terribly mischaracterization of that group and wrongly lumps extremes together that ought not to be lumped together. A Christian that thinks they do not need to engage the political conversation at all should never be painted in this light. Paul never instructed the churches along these lines. It was as if the Roman government was perfect the silence is so loud. The instructions are very specific for Christians in the early church. Those instructions are enough for me.

    The fact is that the American experiment was an open act of rebellion against God’s word from the start. Rather than honor the king, we shot his soldiers and rejected his authority; authority that was rightly given to him by God. By refusing to submit to the king, we refused to submit to God. So much for the notion of a nation founded on Christian principles. It was a nation founded on autonomy, even independence from God.

    Submit yourselves for the Lord’s sake to every human institution, whether to a king as the one in authority, or to governors as sent by him for the punishment of evildoers and the praise of those who do right. For such is the will of God that by doing right you may silence the ignorance of foolish men. (1 Peter 2:13-15)

    How have we done in silencing the ignorance of foolish men?

    • Jason

      I agree with your assessment of the revolution. However, the reality is that we now live in a government (at least in design) of the people, by the people, for the people (and God decided this was the place for us). If you are part of “the people” than you have been placed in a position with some authority.

      I don’t honestly like it either. I’ve often wondered if it would have been less difficult to live in Rome. Sure, the government would be hunting me to throw me to lions, but at least I wouldn’t be asked to decide which predator I would be fed to.

      While I am (to my knowledge) still overstating the consequence of these decisions, I do see most political discussions of the day to be a discussion of in what manner the church will be restricted, exploited, or persecuted.

      The reality is that our sovereign God put us here, gave us authority over at least our vote, and I believe (in spite of all that I wish were true) that I should use (or not use, as may be the case for some) that in the way I have honestly determined would best serve the Kingdom of God. However, that decision cannot come by ignoring that we even have that authority.

      • I have come to reject the notion that the constitution is an addendum to Scripture.

        Some use your perspective to argue that Christians MUST vote in order to obey the “good citizen” mandate. I am strong convinced this is an unwarranted extrapolation of principles supposed derived from Scripture.

        If you are like me, then you acknowledge that Christians make up such a small percentage of the population that our vote makes no difference anyways and that our ability to influence in these ways and at these levels is non-existent. That is really not my point. My point is twofold:

        First, we are NOT called to influence a culture to be more moral. It doesn’t matter what type of government we sit under. We are called to make disciples, to preach the gospel, to be a called out, separate and holy community.

        Second, there is no one right way to vote. You cannot vote in America without voting for a god-hater as a leader. So, vote for Hilary and you have not sinned. Vote for Trump and you have not sinned. Do not vote at all and leave the government business to the heathen and you have not sinned.

        That is what I believe to be the proper outcome of sound exegesis. I am always open to correction and look forward to growing in my position and want only to think in a way that honors the name of our God.

        • Jason

          Come to reject? Does that mean you previously held the constitution as an addendum to scripture? In that case, your aversion may be warranted to distance yourself from temptation.

          Personally, I see the laws of the land in which any believer lives as the governments statements of what a “good citizen” is. We can certainly accept punishment by being less than a “good citizen” by their standards for the cause of Christ (and should, suffering in righteousness is an honorable thing [1 Peter 3:14]). In accepting punishment, we also respect the authority God has given government.

          However, I don’t see that as justifying the excuse that it “won’t make a difference anyway”. That doesn’t mean I think every Christian needs to vote. What it means is that I think every Christian who doesn’t vote should make that *informed* choice, for Christ.

          Similarly, I would never say a Christian *has* to financially support anyone one cause or ministry (though I’ve heard this argued as well). However, I will say that it is sinful to withhold support from those we know we ought to support simply because it’s easier not to (and many people today make this their habit).

          • It means that from a practical standpoint, yes, but not overtly. Just as anyone who claims that a Christian has a duty to vote, in my view is guilty of legalism and the principle that I have long since abandoned.

            In addition, however, I do not believe a “good citizen” is required to vote. I believe that God defines what a good citizen is and that means obeying the LAWS that this government puts in place so long as they do not violate God’s laws.

            From a practical standpoint, it doesn’t make a difference. We can’t make a difference. And even if we could, it wouldn’t be the right kind of difference. As I said previously, we are not called to make cultures more moral or less immoral. Our mission is not to shape the government. We have a much more serious calling than that. If you have an argument to make, I am willing to listen. But I have been around this block a few times and did not land here overnight. I have examined the views pretty thoroughly.

            I don’t think a Christian needs to justify their not voting to anyone. I simply think they are free. I am free to drink a beer or not drink a beer. I don’t need to justify to anyone why I choose to have one on occasion. The same goes for soda or a myriad of behaviors that I am free to engage in. But you and I both know that the overwhelming majority of Christians who make this an issue are appalled that a Christian would vote for Hilary and a good many of them, I dare say most, would accuse one of sinning or lacking discernment if they did vote in that direction. And that is absurd. It took me years to arrive at that conclusion. Had to have my goggles ripped off before I came to understand this.

            I do think a Christian has to support their local elders. It would not be in keeping with Scripture if you were sending funds off to someone else while benefiting from a local elder and not reciprocating that benefit in some way. I think that is clearly biblical.

            I hope that clarifies my position on this issue a little better.

    • Karl Heitman

      Ed, if you really want your feathers ruffled even more today, check this out: http://thecripplegate.com/was-the-american-revolution-sinful/

      • Wow. You are right Karl. I would disagree completely with this perspective and view the argument not so much as an argument from good exegesis as much as it is a argument from wishful thinking, respectfully of course. While I love the reformers and am a huge Calvin fan, I do think that the Baptists were right to insist that the reformers did not go far enough where the state was concerned. I am much more of an anabaptist where those views are touched upon.

  • My view is that we have wasted do much time, energy, and $$ on political activism and distraction that we are dealing with a church that has never been as incompetent as it is today. And that is my gripe. Let us get back to doctrine, to holiness, to love, to good critical thinking and discernment skills, to evangelism, to missions, to apologetics. That is more than enough to keep us busy. Politics is an unnecessary distraction that does more harm than good and adds very little value. Touch on it briefly where sinful behavior is concerned and get back to the main things as fast as we can.

    • Karl Heitman

      Given that said, how do you quibble with the separationist view? It sounds like that’s exactly what you’re advocating….

      • Good question. My position is that I only advocate what I believe Scripture advocates where the government is concerned. Submission to the governing authorities….prayer for the leaders….extending and exhibiting honor seem to me to be the Christian’s duty to governing authorities.

        To call this position a mockery is not short of insulting and unwarranted. The description of the separatist position is too broad and paints everyone who might fit in that category to one degree or another in the same unflattering light. I would challenge his argument all day long….it is a non-sequitur top to bottom.

        What is wrong with sticking to the text?

        Rom. 13; 1 Peter 2:13; 1 Tim. 2:2: Submission to governing authorities. it is a sin to withhold submission and honor where God has commanded it. Prayer for these leaders.
        (Even Jesus said this explicitly in John 19:11)

        For those who are in such positions, they have their marching orders from God for what a Christian leader ought to do!

        I do not encourage people one way or the other in terms of voting or not voting.

        I reject the belief that we are called to shape the government by exercising our right to vote.

        I reject the belief that we are to shape our culture to make it more moral. That is not our mission.

        I reject the idea that God has a candidate that is knowable to us. That is part of the secret will of God.

        I believe that those who claim that we can deduce principles from Scripture and vote in a way that honors God or in way that does not. The idea that a Christian had to vote for Romney rather than Obama is simply ungrounded and smacks of poor thinking and is hypocritical. It is an indefensible position.

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