I thought about including this material under beliefs and affiliations, but then realized a separate page was needed. We live in a political climate more polarized and charged with vitriol than I have ever seen in my lifetime. Most people I meet are so entrenched in their political persuasions that discussion is fruitless. Cable news is pure opinion, and one need not even turn on the TV to know in advance what this or that talking head will say on a given topic or issue. Politicians are in continuous campaign mode.
So let me just bottom line it. Jesus is not a Republican or a Democrat. He is not a member of the Tea Party or any other party. He is no one’s poster boy or windup doll. When He was on earth there were zealots who wanted to own Him for their cause, and He repeatedly told them that, My kingdom is not of this world. This has not changed, nor will it ever.
If you are a Bible believing Christian, as I am, you will naturally hold to positions on a few moral issues that are hot potatoes in today’s culture. You are free to hold these convictions and to support whatever candidate you wish, and you really ought to vote your conscience. If you are a preacher or teacher, or even a parent, you need not apologize to anyone for maintaining your beliefs in your home and personal life. You should be ready to give a reason for your faith when questioned (1 Peter 3:15).
But when it comes to social policy we must remember that we do not live under a theocracy. The state does not run the church, nor vice-versa. There are behaviors, for example, that we would hold to be immoral from a biblical viewpoint–such as lying. No one will deny lying is wrong–but it is not illegal. Adultery is wrong morally but it is not technically illegal. When a kid steals a dollar from his mom’s purse we are right to condemn the behavior, even though we do not call the police and have the child arrested.
That being the case it seems best to me to hold to a classic Libertarian position with respect to social policy. I happen to think drunkenness is a sin. But it is not my job or the job of the state to intrude into your personal life as long as you are not breaking a civil law when inebriated by beating up your wife and kids, getting behind the wheel drunk, or giving booze to minors. If you were a member of my church and I knew you were sleeping with your next-door neighbor’s wife, I would definitely confront you and condemn the behavior as immoral. But as a matter of social policy I am not sure it would be practical to pass a civil law forbidding adultery. Immoral, yes. Illegal, no. Even if you were paying the neighbor woman twenty bucks a crack (prostitution, technically), I am not sure the state would need to be policing such things. I would go so far as to say that while I do not support the practice of getting stoned on pot, I am not sure it is practical to criminalize pot-smoking and waste wads of tax money housing and feeding people for blazing up in the privacy of their homes–again, provided they are not breaking an existing law or in some way harming others. Let’s face it, the so-called war on drugs has been a colossal flop.
This Libertarian philosophy carries over into my beliefs around foreign affairs, military action, and social reform. It is not government’s role to be Big Brother to the world. Military action is justified only when there is a direct threat to the safety of the nation and its citizens. From what I see in Scripture the role of government is to protect and reward those who obey the law and to punish those who break the law. Period. It is not the role of government to provide services from cradle-to-grave. No one is entitled to anything from the government.
Having said all this I would like to clarify something for the reader who might not share my religious and political views. This is a bible-based Christian site. I make no attempt to hide this or apologize for it. The First Amendment of our constitution allows me to share my beliefs and views openly in this forum. I do not attempt to purposely offend anyone, but I do recognize that offense is inevitable when we discuss biblical moral themes. When I interact with people in the community at large I make every effort to be gracious and at peace with all, for this is the guiding biblical principle we should all try to live by. I will not attempt to push my religion on you, although I will share with anyone who is interested in listening. I will listen graciously to you if you share ideas with me that run counter to Scripture, even though I might know there is not a chance that you will ever change my mind. If you are a law-abiding fellow citizen then you are my neighbor and I will try to treat you the way I would want to be treated. Live and let live.
But just remember: when you come into the swordroom you are on my turf. I will speak my mind, and you are welcome to respond with comments, questions, and disagreements.