The Bible and Voting – Part 1

The Bible and Voting – Part 1
Proverbs 14:34 • Dr. Andy Woods • July 3, 2016 • The Bible and Voting 2016


Andy Woods

The Bible and Voting – Part 1

7-3-16      Proverbs 14:34     Independence Day

Good morning everybody.  If we could take our Bibles and open them to the book of Deuteronomy, chapter 19 and verse 14.  The title of our message this morning is The Bible and Voting – Part 1.  Every 4th of July rolls around and I typically do a message on something related to America, patriotism, the culture, and I’m always frustrated when I get to those sermons myself because I say the problems with America are so severe I don’t really know what one sermon is going to do to correct bad thinking in people.

Well, fortuitously, by providence, we finished the book of 2 Timothy last week.  I’m always worried about let’s get back into The Book because we’re going to lose continuity, but we actually finished 2 Timothy, which is sort of a milestone in and of itself whenever we finish a book in this church; it’s kind of something that stands out in your mind.  So that sort of frees me up, doesn’t it, before we charge into the next book, to really stop for just a moment and talk about the United States of America and I see this series maybe going two weeks, maybe going three, a mini-series if you will, entitled The Bible and Voting.

That’s sort of an explosive combination, isn’t it?  The Bible and politics!  So let me, before we get into it let me give you some preliminary remarks.  When we talk about voting and the Christian’s responsibility to vote I look at this as what I would call a stewardship issue.  Paul, in 1 Corinthians 4:2 says this: “In this case, moreover, it is required of stewards that one be found trustworthy.”   A steward is not an owner but a manager.  We are God’s stewards of blessings He’s given us; we have the three T’s, Time, Talent and Treasure, that we are to manage on His behalf.  One day He will ask us what we did with those things but can I add something else to your list?  Your own government.  Because of the way America is set up we are actually responsible for the direction, to a large extent, of our own government because of the freedoms that we have.

“At the close of the Constitutional Convention of 1787, when he was asked or queried as he left Independence Hall on the final day of deliberation”, and this was recorded “(in the notes of Dr. James McHenry, one of Maryland’s delegates to the Constitutional Convention) a lady asked Dr. Benjamin Franklin: ‘Well, Doctor, what have we got, a republic or a monarchy?’   Franklin responded, ‘A republic if you can keep it.’” [The Records of the Federal Convention of 1787, ed. Max Farrand, vol. 3, appendix A, p. 85 (1911, reprinted 1934).].

It’s a very fascinating exchange that went on there between the great Dr. Benjamin Franklin and a questioner because he basically says in this exchange, you have the government but now it’s on your shoulders.  You’re responsible for it and whether it lasts or endures Franklin said it’s up to you, “if you” not we or they, but “if  you can keep it.”  That’s sort of the origin, if  you will, of America.

We live in a country today where evil seems to be able to come and go almost as it pleases.  We can blame different things for it but at some point we have to, as God’s people, begin to look in the mirror and ask ourselves what have we allowed to happen, because the statistics regarding Christian engagement in civic affairs are very, very depressing.   You take, for example, something as simple as voting.  The statistics reveal that half of all people that name the name of Christ are even registered to vote.  Of those that are registered you can reduce that number further by about fifty percent in terms of who actually show up and vote.   And of the people that name the name of Christ that actually vote, sadly what they look at is not the Word of God, they look at (many times) what tax bracket am I going to be in?  Is my office going to get this new government contract which will guarantee my employment?  They’re looking at some issue from a personal level outside of the Bible.

And what I’m trying to get at in this series is these things ought not to be so.  The Bible, as I’ll be sharing with you, gives us some very specific principles that we are to look for in terms of voting.  I do not find myself voting in election after election because I’m trying to bring in the Kingdom, by the way.  I’m a premillennialist, which basically means that Jesus will set up the Kingdom on His own, thank you very much.   But in the interim I am called to be a steward; I see voting in that sense.

Let me take you to another issue, number two, and these are just some introductory thoughts, voting is a biblical issue.  To me it is not a party affiliation issue.  I am constantly asking myself in any election, whether it’s for dog catcher or President of the United States, which of these candidates better reflects a fixed set of principles that I believe in  The Bible actually claims, as we studied in 2 Timothy, to equip us for how many good works?  Every good work.  [2 Timothy 3:17, “so that the man of God may be adequate, equipped for every good work.”]

I believe that the Bible itself can equip the Christian for the ballot box, 2 Peter 1:3-4 indicates that in the promises of God we have everything we need for matters of faith and practice, which would include voting and how we look at the world of politics.  [2 Peter 1:3-4, “seeing that His divine power has granted to us everything pertaining to life and godliness, through the true knowledge of Him who called us by His own glory and excellence. [4] For by these He has granted to us His precious and magnificent promises, so that by them you may become partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world by lust.”]

The fact of the matter is the Bible is inspired by God.  2 Timothy 3:16 tells us this, it tells us that every word, “All Scripture is inspired by God…” the Bible is not primarily a political document but you’ll notice, and I’ll be sharing with you in this series, the Bible brushes on political issues.  When the Bible brushes on political issues that directly affect the culture it’s just as inspired as when it deals with those things as it is when it deals with salvation, the Trinity, heaven, hell, angels, demons or any other spiritual subject.

And what the Bible reveals to us is a fixed set of principles; these principles, sadly, are not in the thinking of the modern man; they’re really not, to a large extent, even in the thinking of the modern Christian.  Yet, as I’ll be sharing with you, these principles are extremely important to God and in all matters we have to begin to think the way God thinks on certain subjects that He has commented on.  I really, at the end of the day, do not consider myself a Republican or a Democrat; I’m registered with one of the parties, but when people ask me my party affiliation I call myself a Christ-ocrat.  I’m looking not so much at people as I am looking at the Bible and trying to figure out is candidate X or candidate Y or Z, or issue A, B and C, in line with scriptural principles or not?

What I’m going to be giving to you, this is not Fox News, I’m not going to be giving you polls. I’m not going to be giving you personalities.  I’m not going to be giving you parties.  I’m not  going to be giving you slogans.  In this miniseries I’m going to be revealing to you, as God has revealed them to us, a fixed spiritual gift of principles.

Number 3, the third preliminary remark is voting is not a perfection issue.  I’ve got news for you—Jesus is not on the ballot this year; He wasn’t on the ballot last year either.  A lot of people spend their time waiting for the perfect candidate to show up.  The fact of the matter is you’re not going to have perfection until Jesus rules the world from David’s throne in the millennial kingdom.  In the interim we live in a fallen world; we have people that we must pick from.  I’m not just talking about Presidency, I’m talking about state, local as well.  And we, as fallen human beings living in a fallen world, must pick, not for perfection but which side is closer to what we want because many times we’re not given the perfect candidate, we won’t be given the perfect candidate until Jesus is running the world.

So what we are dealing with here is a set of principles that I’m going to share with you that you can apply in any election.  I see this as a time of equipping. I’m not going to be telling you who to vote for,  I can’t do that, IRS regulations wouldn’t allow that anyway, and even if they did I wouldn’t want to do it. I don’t consider it my place.

What I am interested in though, as the pastor-teacher of Sugar Land Bible Church is going back to the Scripture and showing you principles that can shape your worldview.  Now how you apply those principles is between you and God. So here we go:

Principles: you can see why I have to do this in several sermons.  Number 1, Economic issues.  We may not even cover those today.  Number 2, Social issues.  Number 3, Foreign affairs issues.  I don’t have these ranked in a particular order, these are just things that the Bible speaks of and I decided to deal with these in there three broad categories.  As  you’ll see as we get into this you’ll say wow, this subject here deserves a whole sermon, and it does.  Each issue that we’re going to be covering deserves a whole sermon; I can’t do that.  What I’m seeking to do in this miniseries is to give you more of a comprehensive approach; I won’t be able to say everything that needs to be said about every issue but you’ll have, by the end of the series, a broad paradigm to look at, to draw from, when you make decisions as a steward of the manifold blessings that we have, you have, we all have been given.

Economic issues, I have ten.  Social issues I have eight.  Foreign Affairs issues I have four.  I may not be able to cover every single issue but these, to me, are the main things that God has disclosed Himself on that should educate the Christian population in terms of voting.

Economic issues, they are, let’s get started: Number 1… and these are phrased as a series of questions that can be asked of any candidate for any office.  Number 1, does the candidate believe  in the ownership of private property?  That’s why I had you open up to the book of Deuteronomy, chapter 19 and verse 14 because what you’ll discover with the Bible is that it is a pro private property book.  Deuteronomy 19:14 says this to the ancient Israelites: “You shall not move your neighbor’s boundary mark, which the ancestors have set, in your inheritance which you will inherit in the land that the LORD your God gives you to possess.”

Don’t cheat on the ancient boundary marker, don’t make it look like your property is bigger at the expense of your neighbor.  That is a pro private property statement.  And as  you study the Ten Commandments what you’ll discover is they are seeking to protect something.  For example, when God says don’t murder He’s trying to protect the sanctity of life.  When He says don’t lie He is trying to protect the sanctity of truth.  And there are two of the Ten Commandments that are seeking to protect the sanctity of private property rights, one of them is “Thou shalt not steal,” Exodus 20:15.  The last commandment, number 10, is “Thou shalt not covet.”  Coveting would be that desire to have something that belongs to somebody else; that nicer house, nicer mansion and what have you.

The fact of the matter is private property is what the United States of America was founded on.  In fact, don’t take my word for it, notice the words of John Adams, American’s second President, notice what he says here: ““The moment the idea is admitted into society, that property is not as sacred as the laws of God, and that there is not a force of law and public justice to protect it, anarchy and tyranny commence. If ‘Thou Shalt Not Covet,’ and ‘Thou Shalt Not Steal’ were not commandments of Heaven, they must be made inviolable precepts in every society before it can be civilized or made free.”  [John Adams, A Defense of the Constitutions of Government of the United States of America, 3 vols., American Constitutional and Legal History, ed. Leonard W. Levy (London: Dilly, 1787; reprint, NY: Da Capo, 1971), 3:217]

Mr. or Mrs. Candidate, you want me to vote for you?  The first question I have for you is what do  you believe about private property?  What’s your view of it.  Do you hold a biblical view of the sacredness of private property or do you look at property of individuals as something that can be siphoned away, taxes away, regulated away,  under the banner of some kind of social justice theory or some kind of idea to pursue a higher good.

The antithesis of the United States Constitution is the Communist Manifesto; it’s just a pamphlet, this manifesto.  And it’s amazing how this little pamphlet has caused so much trouble throughout the earth; how many lives have been shed because of this little pamphlet that Karl Marx wrote back in 1848.  In the pamphlet he gives the ten objectives of what we would call Marxism or Communism when it takes over a country.  It’s not a matter of academia, they’re toppled many governments and they always do the same thing, once they topple the government.  Number 1 is on the list, is abolish private property.  We have a problem with that… the Bible!  And there is a reason why, when Marxist’s take over a society or a system the first thing they want to put on the chopping block is the Bible.  The first thing they want to put under the thumb of persecution is the church because the church is teaching, the Bible is teaching (perhaps your average Christian doesn’t know this), Marxists know it, the Bible is teaching something the opposite of Marxism, right at the first level this ownership of private property.

The second question, let’s go to Genesis 8:21, will the candidate allow people to pursue their economic self-interest?   This is what God said about human nature right after the flood in what’s called the Noahic Covenant, something I’ll be mentioning several times.  It says this: “The Lord smelled the soothing aroma; and the Lord said to Himself, “I will never again curse the ground on account of man,” and look at this clause here, “for the intent of man’s heart is evil from his youth….”

The book of Jeremiah, chapter 17 and verse 9 says this: “The heart is more deceitful than all else And is desperately sick; Who can understand it?”  If the Bible teaches anything it teaches the inherent depravity and the inherent sinfulness of man.  Of course the Bible teaches that because it offers the salvation of Jesus Christ as a cure; if we didn’t have the problem of depravity in our fallen state and the sin nature the cure of Jesus Christ would not be necessary.

You say well this is all interesting theology, but what does it have to do with voting?  Everything!  People, because of their fallen condition will work hard at something; they will  unleash their natural talents if they are allowed to benefit from their labors.  Unless somebody has been touched miraculously by the Spirit of God they have no desire, they have no ambition, they have no propensity to work for something, that we would call the common good, higher than themselves.  Adam Smith, the great economist, called this the “invisible hand.”  What is the “invisible hand”?  The invisible hand is the industry and the creativity and the economic productivity that is naturally unleashed in a culture when people can understand that they themselves are going to benefit from what they have produced.   To take away profit incentive is to, in essence, kill the goose that lays he golden egg.

There is a reason why you cannot point to a single example of a successful Marxist economy in the world.  The people have no ambition, they have no incentive.  I remember as a very young college student, my mind filled with ideas on how the world ought to work and I remember taking a trip into East Germany (this was before the Berlin Wall fell), when I was playing basketball for the University of Redland, summer of 1988, I remember going into East Berlin, communist area, I remember going to a restaurant sitting there, and sitting there, and sitting there, and sitting there; it’s a little different than in America, usually someone just comes right over and takes my order.  Usually I have a plethora of many items to pick from.  The people that were running that restaurant could care less whether I was in the room or not. Why is that?  The state controls the profit, whether they make a lot of profit that day or no profit that day is really of no consequence, they’re paid the same way regardless.

And how different it is traveling from East Berlin to West Berlin; how the level of productivity picks up, how the level of creativity picks up, how the level of energy picks up, how industry picks up.  What’s the reason?  Marxism is built on (this is why it doesn’t work)  the wrong assumption of human nature; it starts at the wrong place.  It doesn’t start with what the Bible reveals about man; people do not naturally work hard for the community; they work hard for themselves.  It’s built into our inherit depravity.  If you want to pull the natural gifts out of somebody, which we all have, the profit incentive has to be there.

And this is why, and Curtis Bowers covered this when he was with us a few months ago, socialism will always lead to Marxism because people will not work hard for the benefit of the community and the Marxists come along and they say you won’t hard, well now we’re going to force you to, through slave labor, the threat of force, and so forth.

This is a lesson that I believe God taught the United States of America going back to the Jamestown Colony, all the way back in 1623.  Let me read to you an excerpt from the Governor of that colony, William Bradford.  This is recorded in a book called Mayflower, A Story of Courage, Community and War, page 165.  He says: “Adam Smith, the great economist, called this the ‘invisible hand.’ For the last two planting seasons the pilgrims had grown crops communally; the approach first used at Jamestown and other English settlements.”  They were following more of a communal system, whatever you produce goes into a common pot for the common good.  “But as the disastrous harvest of the previous fall had shown, something drastic needed to be done due to increase in the annual yield.  In April” this is Governor Bradford, “had decided that each household should be assigned its own plot to cultivate, with the understanding that each family kept whatever it grew. The change in attitude was stunning. Families were now willing to work much harder than they had ever worked before.  In previous years, the men had tended the fields while the women tended the children at home.”  Governor Bradford writes this: “‘The women now went willingly into the field,’ Bradford wrote, “and took their little ones with them to set corn.’”   This writer comments, ‘The Pilgrims had stumbled on the power of capitalism. Although the fortunes of the colony still teetered precariously in the years ahead, the inhabitants never again starved.”  [Nathaniel Philbrick, Mayflower: A Story of Courage, Community, and War (New York: Penguin Books, 2007, paperback edition]

I believe that what God led those early pilgrims to do, which is the foundation of our whole system here in America, was not just providential protection but to the right economic system.  You have to build your economic system on what Scripture itself reveals concerning the depravity of man.

Ever wonder why Marxists hate America so much?  Why the hatred?  Because America itself is a successful experiment; when all of their other experiments around the world have yielded meager results.  My answer as a Biblicist is you started at the wrong place, Mr. and Mrs. Marxist; you didn’t start with the revealed Word of God and what God Himself says about human nature.  I want to know this from somebody that wants my vote: what do you believe about this.

The third question I would ask: Does the candidate have a proper definition of compassion.  The fact of the matter is, we are fallen and in our fallen state, going now if you could to Genesis 3:17-19, God said this immediately after the fall.  “Then to Adam He said, ‘Because you have listened to the voice of your wife, and have eaten from the tree about which I commanded you, saying, ‘You shall not eat from it’; Cursed is the ground because of you; in toil you will eat of it all the days of your life.  [18] Both thorns and thistles it shall grow for you; And you will eat the plants of the field; [19] By the sweat of your face You will eat bread, Till you return to the ground, Because from it you were taken; For you are dust, And to dust you shall return.’”

Here’s the deal with the fall: everyone has to work to support themselves.  Prior to the fall men and women, man and woman could work as they willed, following their own interests, wherever those would take them.  But it’s completely different after the fall; now man must work by the sweat of his brow, he must work for survival.  And how this basic teaching is reaffirmed over and over again in the New Testament.  You recall the words of the Apostle Paul in 2 Thessalonians 3:10, “… if anyone is not willing to work, then he is not to” what? “eat, either.”  Do you like eating?  Yes I do, in fact, eating is one of the things in my life I really excel at.  The Bible says then go to work.

1 Timothy 5:8 says, “But if anyone does not provide for his own, and especially for those of his household, he has denied the faith and is worse than an unbeliever.”  Pretty strong language, would you not agree?

You say well, Andy, don’t you care about the poor?  Of course I care about the poor, so does God.  In the Old Testament there were three harvests, first fruits, general harvest and the gleanings.  Let’s focus for a minute on the gleanings.  Leviticus 19:9-10, “Now when you reap the harvest of your land, you shall not reap to the very corners of your field, nor shall you gather the gleanings of your harvest. [10] ‘Nor shall you glean your vineyard, nor shall you gather the fallen fruit of your vineyard; you shall leave them for the needy and for the stranger. I am the LORD your God.”  God always looked out for the poor.  But it’s interesting how God provided for the poor; He told the Jews in the land of Israel not to harvest everything in the general harvest but to leave some of the crop unharvested for the benefit of who?  For the poor.  And the poor came and took that final harvest and what is called “the gleanings.”

And God always had His eye on the poor, He looked out for the poor, the poor were special to God.  In fact, if you know your Bible well you know that it’s at the gleanings that Ruth met Boaz, which continued the Messianic line.  The poor have always been meaningful and significant to God.

But you’ll notice how God gave the poor dignity; there was no such thing as a handout.  They were given dignity to work and harvest just like everyone else.  The doctrine of socialism, the doctrine of Marxism says this: “I do not work to support myself, it says you work and I eat.  This is the great siren song of socialism.  This is why the doctrine of socialism is so appealing to the natural man because here’s what it offers: an escape from the fall and escape from the curse.  There’s a reason why youth today in mass are now voting (to a large extent) for a socialistic candidate for President, with his promises of free this and free that.  Why is that message so attractive?  It’s a way out from the curse.  The problem is, there is no way out from the curse; the curse is the curse.  Every man must work to support himself.

The problem, as Margaret Thatcher said, is with socialism you eventually run out of opium, which she defined as other people’s money.  It always looks so good on paper whenever it’s presented.  But you have to understand that that economic doctrine itself is an attack on what the Creator said, going all the way back to Genesis 3.  I want to know from a candidate: do you understand this or not.  The function of a candidate or a political office is not to give people perpetual handouts; it is to create the environment where people can pursue labor and work.  I do not define compassion by how many people receive public assistance.  I define it by how many people no longer need it.

Mr. or Mrs. Candidate for office, do you understand that?

The fourth question, number four, does the candidate recognize that charity is the proper role of the church rather than the government?  I’m not against charity, we all have needed charity, some need charity even as I speak.  But the fact of the matter is when God set up the institution of human government in the Noahic Covenant He set up two different spheres.  You have the sphere of government on one end of the stick and later on in biblical history you have the sphere of the church—different spheres with different priorities and responsibilities.  The function of government as I will be showing you a little bit later, Romans 13:1-7, other verses, Genesis 9:6, is to restrain evil through the threat of force.

[Romans 13:1-7, “Every person is to be in subjection to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and those which exist are established by God. [2] Therefore whoever resists authority has opposed the ordinance of God; and they who have opposed will receive condemnation upon themselves. [3] For rulers are not a cause of fear for good behavior, but for evil. Do you want to have no fear of authority? Do what is good and you will have praise from the same; [4] for it is a minister of God to you for good. But if you do what is evil, be afraid; for it does not bear the sword for nothing; for it is a minister of God, an avenger who brings wrath on the one who practices evil. [5] Therefore it is necessary to be in subjection, not only because of wrath, but also for conscience’ sake. [6] For because of this you also pay taxes, for rulers are servants of God, devoting themselves to this very thing. [7] Render to all what is due them: tax to whom tax is due; custom to whom custom; fear to whom fear; honor to whom honor.”  Genesis 9:6, “Whoever sheds man’s blood, By man his blood shall be shed, For in the image of God He made man.”]

The function of the church in addition to fulfilling the great commission is this whole work of charity.  You see, a few generations ago American’s understood this; they don’t today because the rolls have been changed.  The book of James, chapter 1 and verse 27 puts it this way to the church, “Pure and undefiled religion in the sight of our God and Father is this: to visit orphans and widows in their distress….”  What do widows and orphans have in common?  They’re both vulnerable.  And James says that’s within the sphere of the church to deal with that issue.

If you don’t believe me read 1 Timothy 5:3-8 and you will see very clearly the Apostle Paul’s instructions to the church regarding widows.  [1 Timothy 3:5-8, “ (but if a man does not know how to manage his own household, how will he take care of the church of God?), [6] and not a new convert, so that he will not become conceited and fall into the condemnation incurred by the devil. [7] And he must have a good reputation with those outside the church, so that he will not fall into reproach and the snare of the devil.  [8]8 Deacons likewise must be men of dignity, not double-tongued, or addicted to much wine or fond of sordid gain.”]

The first thing Paul says is the widow is to be cared for by her own family.  But what if that is not available?  Then it becomes the responsibility of the church.  But you see, what has happened is these clear lines of delineation that the Bible reveals have been mixed; they’re been intermingled.  Notice, if you will, 1 Samuel 8:10-18, I want to show you what happens when roles get reversed.

It says this: “So Samuel spoke all the words of the LORD to the people who had asked of him a king. [11] He said, ‘This will be the procedure of the king who will reign over you:” the nation of Israel wanted to be like everybody else, we want a king.  God, through Samuel said all right, here’s what you’re asking for that you haven’t counted on, “This will be the procedure of the king who will reign over you: he will take your sons and place them for himself in his chariots and among his horsemen and they will run before his chariots.”  Your sons will become His sons, in other words. [12] “He will appoint for himself commanders of thousands and of fifties, and some to do his plowing and to reap his harvest” not your harvest anymore, it’s “his harvest, and to make his weapons of war and equipment for his chariots. [14] He will also take your daughters for perfumers and cooks and bakers. [14] He will take the best of your fields and your vineyards and your olive groves and give them to his servants. [15] He will take a tenth” now this is almost a relief to us because we’re taxed far beyond a tenth, but it says this: “He will take a tenth of your seed and of your vineyards and give to his officers and to his servants. [16] He will also take your male servants and your female servants and your best young men and your donkeys and use them for his work. [17] He will take a tenth of your flocks, and you yourselves will become his servants. [18] Then you will cry out in that day because of your king whom you have chosen for yourselves, but the LORD will not answer you in that day.”

It was not the will of God at this time for the nation of Israel to have a king; they wanted him anyway, and God, through Samuel says look, here’s what’s going to happen because you are outside the will of God.  You can have your apparatus, you can have your bureaucracy but what you don’t understand is the price tag or the cost that will be imposed on you because you did not do things God’s way.  There is a price always to be paid when we confuse the spheres of influence that God has created.  The fact of the matter is charity was never given to the state; you can’t find a shred of Scripture anywhere to support that.  Charity is given to the work of God’s people.  And what happens when the roles get confused?  According to one study it’s estimated that the poor, today in America because of all of these bureaucracies, receive less than 20% of social welfare expenditures.  Well, where did the 80% go?  Absorbed by administration, fraud and waste.  That’s exactly what God said through Samuel in the passage that I just quoted.

The fact of the matter is, most of the money that goes to pay for these bureaucracies which are supposedly there to help the poor never really gets to the poor.  It goes for salaries, retirement accounts, overhead.  And the church is crowded out of an arena that that God gave to the church.  I want an answer Mr. and Mrs. Candidate—who provides charity?

Number 5, does the candidate understand that the family unit is the basic building block of a healthy society.  When you study the Bible you see very clear instructions for the family.  If you were to go home today and read Ephesians 5:22, all the way through chapter 6 verse 4 you would get a description of the divine blueprint of the family.  What’s the husband to do?  What’s the wife to do?  What are the parents to do?  What are the children to do?  What’s to be the interaction between them?  What you’ll discover as  you go through the Ten Commandments is those, many of them are designed to protect the family unit: don’t commit adultery, Exodus 20:14, designed to protect the institution of marriage.  [Exodus 20:14, “You are not to commit adultery.]  “Honor your mother and father,” Exodus 20:12, designed to protect, once again, the institution of the family.  [Exodus 20:12. Honor your father and your mother, that your days may be prolonged in the land which the LORD your God gives you.”]

And what in the world are parents, by divine decree, supposed to be doing with their kids as they sit in front of video games hour after hour?  What are the parents supposed to be doing according to God?  Deuteronomy 6:6-7 lays it out as clearly as it can be laid out.  Deuteronomy 6:6-7, “These words, which I am commanding you today, shall be on your heart. [7] You shall teach them diligently to your sons and shall talk of them when you sit in your house and when you walk by the way and when you lie down and when you rise up.”  Ephesians 6:4 says, virtually the same thing.  [Ephesians 6:4, “Fathers, do not provoke your children to anger, but bring them up in the discipline and instruction of the Lord.”]

It is the design of God for the family to be the primary instrument through which spiritual truth is disseminated, not only through verbal teaching but the example of mom and dad.  That’s the design of God.  Don’t get mad at me, I didn’t invent the rules.  This is what God says.  The church can only reinforce what is happening at home.   You can have the greatest Sunday School teachers on planet earth; we have some very good ones here, children’s ministers.  But let me tell you something, they will not be able to make a dent into the mind of those kids if this transfer is not taking place in the home.  A lot of Christian parents think the job can be outsourced; I’ll delegate it to DVBS, I’ll delegate it to a Sunday School.  The fact of the matter is, God gave the job to you.

Is there not a reason why you look at traditional churches, like our own, and you see fewer and fewer and fewer young people?  We have violated, beloved, a pattern and a blueprint that the Creator has set up.  She who rocks the cradle rocks the world.  You want my vote?  I to ask you a question: what do you believe about the role of the family?  Are you going to pursue family friendly policies, because let me tell you something about taxation and regulation: yes, that puts a tremendous stress on the small business person, who I think deserves our sympathy.  But let me tell you what it does to the family: it leads to downsizing, relocation of the means of production, sometimes in some remote country.  It leads to increase of consumer prices that we all pay.

And you know who the stress is now on?  It’s now on the family; it’s now on Mr. and Mrs. America who have a God-ordained function to fulfill in the home.  And we have a situation today, and you see this constantly, where both parents are outside the home working by necessity.  I understand the struggles that families are under but my advice, as much as it can be followed is if at all possible financially for you, one of those parents needs to be home with those kids because God has given you a short amount of time with those children.  He’s given you a divine task to fulfill and how can you mentor children when you’re absent?  I’m not sure this can be done with Skype; I think this has to be done through role modeling; as the children see you, as the parent, in all sorts of circumstances and see your godly response.

Let me tell you something; you tell your kids it’s important to pray?  That’s one thing, mom and dad get down on their knees, on the ground, crying out to God.  Do you know what those kids are seeing?  Wow, this issue of prayer is a big deal, I ought to take prayer seriously in my life; look at the pattern of my parents.  It’s one thing to tell your kids to go to church; it’s another thing to come to church with them and have them see  in you an honoring of the church of Jesus Christ.  That is a lesson that cannot be taught verbally or orally; it’s an example that can only be communicated that way.  And how do you ever fulfill that mandate if it’s just work, work, work, many times because of greed, other times just to survive because your government has placed  you under so much distress and stress economically.  You want my vote, Mr. and Mrs. Candidate for office?  I want to know if you understand this.  I want to know if you understand that the divine blueprint for the family, and I want to know if you’re going to pursue policies that are going to protect that blueprint or go against it?

Number 6, does the candidate understand that wealth is to be retained and passed down within the family structure.  Proverbs 13:22 says this, “A good man leaves an inheritance to his children’s children….]   Paul, in 2 Corinthians 12:14 says, “For children are not responsible to save up for their parents, but parents for their children.  [2 Corinthians 12:14, “Here for this third time I am ready to come to you, and I will not be a burden to you; for I do not seek what is yours, but you; for children are not responsible to save up for their parents, but parents for their children.”]

Let me tell you something and I didn’t think this way until I got into the Scripture, but one of the wickedest, most diabolical things that we are doing as a culture is something called the inheritance tax, where money, simply by transferring through generational lines is taxed; people have to visit, consequently, the IRS and the undertaker on the same day as the death of a parent.  The money, to a large extent has already been taxed through income taxes; it gives the government a second bite of the apple and it goes directly against these principles of wealth being preserved within family lines.

Back to our little Marxist pamphlet, did you catch number 3 there?  Number 1 was abolition of private property.  Number 3 is the abolishment of inheritance, because you see, in Marxism the state is God and it wants no competitors and so it pursues policies which are antithetical to the family.

Number 7, buckle your seatbelts for this one; let’s go back to Genesis 8:22, does the candidate understand that the earth experiences cyclical patterns of heating and cooling.  And of course based on the laughter you all know what I’m talking about; we are being sold on something called anthropogenic global warming, “anthropo” means man, “genic” means cause, anthropogenic global warming is the idea that the earth is heating up and it’s  your fault.  It’s the fault of your business, it’s the fault of your SUV.  And one of the things that’s very interesting is the vocabulary has switched in recent  years, have you noticed that?  They no longer call it global warming, they call it climate change, because now we can blame everything on human activity; if it’s rainy it’s our fault, if it’s too hot it’s our fault, if there’s a tornado it’s our fault, if there’s a tsunami it’s our fault.

What does this lead to?  Regulation after regulation, law after law crippling an already delicate economy that people are dependent upon to support their families, when sadly these regulations, I believe, have no effect, zero on climate change.  You say well gee, Andy,  you’re pretty dogmatic on that, how do you know that’s true?  It goes right back to the Noahic Covenant, Genesis 8:22, this is what God… it’s not what I’m saying, this is what God said.  When Noah and his family got out of the boat and began to repopulate the earth look at what He said, what’s called the Noahic Covenant, “While the earth remains, Seedtime and harvest,” watch this, “and cold and heat, and summer and winter, and day and night [shall not cease],” and what he’s saying is the earth is going to go through a natural cyclical process, not only in terms of harvest season, also in terms of summer and winter, also in terms of day and night, and right in the process he says heating and cooling or “cold and heat.”

Beloved, we had global warming in the time of the Vikings.  That’s a little before I got my SUV, by the way.  I could share with you many, many scientists, and I’m not a scientist, but I can quote scientists who say that global warming is caused by sun spots.  Now unless you’re going to pass a law that’s going to regulate the sun I’m not sure the law is going to have much of an effect.

People say well Andy, do you believe in climate change?  Yes I do, it’s called the weather.  I believe in the weather, I believe that the earth is going to go through all kinds of cycles.  God in the Noahic Covenant affirms that the earth will not go out of existence though, despite these cycles that He ordained until His kingdom comes.

Number 8, this one goes right along with it.  Does the candidate embrace environmental stewardship or earth worship?  Environmental stewardship is biblical; you can track it all the way back to Adam and Eve, Genesis 1:26-28, they were given authority over the earth; they were told to manage the earth which includes the animals, the creeping things, on God’s behalf.  We discover the exact same thing in Psalm 8:4-6.

[Genesis 1:26, “Then God said, ‘Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness; and let them rule over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the sky and over the cattle and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.’ [27] God created man in His own image, in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them. [28] God blessed them; and God said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply, and fill the earth, and subdue it; and rule over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the sky and over every living thing that moves on the earth.”  Psalm 8:4-6, “What is man that You take thought of him, And the son of man that You care for him?  [5] Yet You have made him a little lower than God, And You crown him with glory and majesty!  [6] You make him to rule over the works of Your hands; You have put all things under his feet.”]

If that’s what you mean by environmentalism then sign me up.  Let’s be a steward of this planet that God has given us.  Let’s not wreck it, let’s not maul it, let’s not maim it.  But you see, beloved, there’s a very fine line between stewardship and worship.  I fear that we’ve crossed the line.  The book of Romans, chapter 1 and verse 25 says this: “For they exchanged the truth of God for a lie, and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is forever praised.”  The name of the game today is not earth stewardship; it’s Gaia, Gaia is the belief that the earth is an actual living, breathing, thinking, entity which we must treat properly or Mother Earth will retaliate against us.  Through what?  Hurricanes, tsunami’s, earthquakes.  The earth has a fever, Mother Earth is what we’re told.

You say well come on, people don’t think like that, do they?  You’d be shocked.  Here’s one guy, an advocate, he says: “According to the Gaia Hypothesis, we are parts of a greater whole. If we endanger her, she will dispense with us in the interest of a higher value–that is, life itself.”

[Vaclav Havel, “What the World Needs Now,” New Age Journal (September/October 1994): 162; quoted in William Grigg, Freedom on the Altar (Appleton, WI: American Opinion, 1995), 161.]  Gaia is Mother Earth; Gaia is immortal, she is the eternal source of life, she does not need to reproduce herself because she is immortal..

I thought God was immortal, not the earth.  She is certainly the mother of us all, including Jesus (nice of them to give a little hat tip to Jesus there).  “Gaia is not a tolerant mother, she is rigid and inflexible and ruthless in the destruction of whoever transgresses.  Her unconscious objective is that of maintaining a world adapted to life. If we men hinder this objective we will be eliminated without pity.”  [James Lovelock, Orion Nature Quart 8, no. 1 (1989): 58; quoted in Coffman, Saviors of the Earth, 145]

I hear all this talk about the environment, I want to know what you’re talking about?  Are you talking about stewardship or worship, because those are two different things: one is biblical, one is antithetical to the Scripture.

My favorite theologian, Danny Glover, says this:  “What happened in Haiti” now he’s referring there to the 2010 Haiti earthquake, “What happened in Haiti could happen to anywhere in the Caribbean because all these island nations are in peril because of global warming…”  Did you know that global warming is connected to the Haiti earthquake?  In the minds of Gaia it is.  “When we see what we did at the climate summit in Copenhagen,” ah, it’s our fault, we didn’t rule the right way on global environmental regulations.  When we see what happened in Copenhagen “this is the response, this is what happens, you know what I’m sayin’?”  […/danny-glover-haiti-earthq_n_425160.html]

I’m not sure I do Danny but…

And I want to introduce you to a phrase here, it’s called management by crisis.  Government, to get bigger needs a crisis.  You watch how Hitler took control of Nazi Germany and how he created chaos; he started a fire, for example, in a famous building.  And the masses were crying out for a solution, and the Führer  said here’s my solution and he imposed it.  It’s bottom up in that sense.

I love the environment and God wants the environment protected but let me tell you something, there’s a totally different agenda at work.

Here’s how some globalists put it: “In searching for a new enemy to unite us,” we need a crisis in other words, “we came up with the idea that pollution, the threat of global warming, water shortages, famine and the like would fit the bill…”  [Alexander King and Betrand Schneider, The First Global Revolution (New York: Pantheon, 1991), 115.’]

Al Gore, in his book, Earth in the Balance, says, ““we must make the rescue of the environment the central organizing principle for civilization.” [Al Gore, Earth in the Balance (New York: Houghton Mifflin, 1992), 269.]

Management by crisis, former chief of staff, Rahm Emmanuel: “You never let a serious crisis go to waste. And what I mean by that it’s an opportunity to do things you think you could not do before.” []

Government, if it has an ambition to grow and as it grows we shrink, needs a crisis.  And if you’re not going to give us a crisis we’ll make one up.  I’m just trying to enhance our discernment.  That’s why everybody’s talking about global warming all the time.

John Kerry, “When I think about the array of…global threats –… terrorism, epidemics, poverty, the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction – all challenges that know no borders – the reality is that climate change ranks right up there with every single one of them…Or think about the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction. It doesn’t keep us safe if the United States secures its nuclear arsenal, while other countries fail to prevent theirs from falling into the hands of terrorists…”  []

You see these statements constantly where they’re linked terrorism, poverty, weapons of mass destruction and they’re talking about climate change in the same breath.  What is this?  This is management by crisis.    The United Nations hosts conferences all around the world; the Earth summit, Rio de Janeiro, to protect the environment; the human rights conference, 1993 to protect human rights.  The Population conference, Cairo, 1994 to prevent starvation and poverty.  Women’s conference, Beijing, 1995 to protect women’s rights. Habitat conference, Istanbul, 1996 to provide global housing; climate change conference, Copenhagen, 2009, implement climate change.

Am I against helping with poverty?  Am I against protecting women’s rights?  Of course not!  I want you to start seeing these things with a certain level of discernment.  These are crises sometimes hyped beyond what the facts dictate, and the carrot that is always held out as a solution is big government, or global government.  And this is why to a large extent globalists have settled on the issue of the environment because to have global government we need to have a global problem and the climate fits the bill.  What happens when you move into that paradigm?  Priorities get out of order.  We can’t do domestic oil exploration because we might offend Gia.  We’ve got to lay off an entire industry of loggers to protect the spotted owl.

What is happening?  The elevation of animal rights and plant life over human life.  NOTHING could be further from the Word of God than those kind of priorities.  Jesus, when talking about birds that the Father takes care of said in Matthew 6:26, “Are you not worth much more than they?”  are you not much more valuable than they.   When he spoke of a sheep that fell into a ditch and how people would pull that sheep out and yet the Pharisees were criticizing Him for miracles that He brought forth on the Sabbath, helping a man, Jesus said, in Matthew 12:12, “How much more valuable then is a man than a sheep!”

Mr. and Mrs. Candidate running for office, what’s your view of the environment?  Are you in the biblical category of stewardship or have you crossed the line into worship.  And this next one is going to depress the daylights out of you so we’re going to stop now.  Let’s have a word of prayer.

Father, we’re grateful for truth, we’re grateful for Your Word, we’re grateful for how Your word aligns us with the things that you say are important.  I pray, Father, that in this series we would not be people of party loyalty, we would be people of biblical loyalty, thinking upon  Your truth and  Your Word and what You have revealed and we do something that to many of us is just insignificant, yet it’s a matter of stewardship, casting votes for candidates.  And Father, if there’s anyone here that does not know  You personally and is unaware of what Jesus has done, I pray Father even as I speak the Spirit of God would convict them of their need to trust in Christ and even as I am speaking that they would trust or believe in Jesus and Jesus alone for the safekeeping of their soul, even as I am speaking Father I pray that You would do this great work of conviction so that they could be freed, not just from political misery but from the ultimate eternal spiritual misery that awaits all of us, all human beings if they don’t know Christ personally.  I pray Father that if people have a question about the plan of salvation that they would be bold and approach the leadership, approach me, create conversations, Father, at the fajita fest that follows so that no one would leave here today unaware of Your gift of eternal life and how they can receive that by faith.  We ask, Father, that You would accomplish this great work in our midst. We’ll be careful to give you all the praise and the glory.  We ask these things in Jesus’ name.  and God’s people said….