Elections: Decision Making in the Voting Booth
Decision Making in the Voting Booth Lesson #06
October 30, 2008
“Father, You have blessed us with so many blessings because of this nation in which we live. You’ve given us freedom, and with this freedom we have had the opportunity to study and learn Your Word. And as our Lord said, it is Your Word that is truth, and it is on the basis of that truth that we are able to understand and evaluate all of the things that go on around us. We can look at history, we can understand the trends of history and as believers who are oriented to Your Truth and understand that You are the God who controls history.
That no matter what the circumstances may be around us, we can relax, and we can have joy, and we can have peace, and it doesn’t depend upon political leadership for which party is in control or the successes or failures of government leaders. Because You are in control we can relax and we can have an objective, dispassionate view of what goes on around us, and we can be a source of strength and truth and light to those around us.
We pray that as we wrap us this study tonight that we can again understand more fully the role or purpose of government and how these divine institutions help us to think, reflect upon leadership and choose leaders that are most closely aligned to the eternal principles of Your Word.
We pray this in Christ’s Name. Amen.”
Okay we have been engaged in this series on Decision Making in the Voting Booth, and this is—I think I didn’t change the number. This is actually Part 6. We started out with certain assumptions, the assumptions relate to our understanding of who we are as believers, that everyone who is a citizen of the U.S. has an inherent responsibility to be involved in the process of government at the very least to vote and at times to be able to do more than that.
As Christians, we should take all of our responsibilities seriously, including those related to our responsibility as citizens, and that means we should vote wisely and intelligently, and our role as citizens of this country is to preserve and defend the Constitution. And we should elect leaders that believe in the Constitution. Our ultimate goal as believers is to do this to the glory of God.
Therefore, as U.S. citizens, in order to vote intelligently and wisely, we must understand the thinking that is embodied in the Constitution. That thinking, even though there are various strands of other thoughts that pop up here or there, the primary thought, the framework that influenced and shaped the thinking of the founders that shaped the very government that they established comes directly out of Scripture. They understood it that way.
We went through numerous quotes from founding fathers indicating that they understood that it was the Bible that was the bedrock of truth on which this nation would operate. So, in order to vote wisely and intelligently to preserve that Constitution, we must understand the thought that goes into it. By understanding that biblical framework, we can then vote in a way that helps preserve and protect the Constitution and its freedoms.
What underlies this is the doctrine known as the divine institutions. Five divine institutions that we have outlined are true for every human being—believer and unbeliever alike. Cultures, societies, nations that adhere closely to these divine institutions will have prosperity and success, they will accumulate wealth, they will make an impact in the world, and they will have stability. Nations that drift from these or try to change these will eventually fall apart. That’s the idea. God embedded these in the very social structure of the human race.
We stand in a conflict down through the ages between God’s will and the will of Satan, the will of man in rebellion against God, and that produces many worldviews all under the nomenclature of paganism, which is a technical for any non-biblical concept, any non-biblical worldview. These various pagan views come together: Marxism, Darwinism, Freudianism, many of these that come out of the 19th century are directly opposed to biblical truth. So we live in the midst of this culture war that has been coming to a head for the last 40 or 50 years in the U.S.
We began to look at these divine institutions and saw that the first three relate to one another. They are all established before the Fall: Individual responsibility, Marriage, and Family. The last part, number four and five, the second section, deals with post-Fall institutions that are established after sin. We saw that the pre-Fall institutions were designed to promote productivity and advance civilization, whereas the next two, government and nations, were designed to restrain evil.
We just began last time to look a little bit at the fourth divine institution of government, and we’ll finish that and nations, looking at them together, and then the sixth issue in decision making for leaders has to do with Israel and how the nation, how the government views Israel. I have some surprises for you, so I hope we actually do get there tonight.
Divine institution number one, individual responsibility, I broke down into three areas: Spiritual accountability, each individual is accountable to God for his relationship to God, his eternal position in relationship to God. Secondly, we saw that this involved in the garden before the Fall responsibility, labor was not toilsome, it wasn’t laborious in a negative sense. And man was to enjoy its fruits.
The founders understood that man was to work, and the fruits belonged to the one who did the work, and they were to enjoy its fruits, and those fruits—the wealth that was developed from that—was private property, and man had a right to private property.
This is seen in a statement by Thomas Jefferson:
“To take from one, because it is thought his own industry and that of his fathers has acquired too much, in order to spare to others—and what he’s saying is in order to give to others—who or whose fathers have not exercised equal industry—see equal industry is in their terminology, labor. Okay, so—to take from one who has been industrious and his fathers have been industrious, and you think they’ve acquired too much in order to give to others who or whose father have not exercised equal industry and skill, is to violate arbitrarily the first principle of association—that’s what he’s referring to in the first divine institution—the guarantee to everyone the free exercise of his industry and the fruits acquired by it.”
The founders understood the importance of the first divine institution. There was not just something related to spiritual responsibility to God but to labor.
Of course, this runs completely contrary to the worldview that is espoused by one of the presidential candidates. In fact, it runs contrary to a lot of the thinking both candidates have. Because both of them buy into a certain degree of socialism and the idea that government is to supply the needs for people. But one candidate, Senator McCain, is not nearly as extreme as the other.
Senator Obama borders on pure Marxism in his statement “share the wealth,” which he is very proud of, shows that those who do not have, that haven’t worked, that have not accumulated need to be provided for on the basis of taking from those who have worked, who have risked, who have spent 20, 30, 40 years building a business, developing income, risking, sometimes losing their fortunes two or three times. And now when they finally get there, they have government come around and to take it from them.
If you are not aware of this, just a little preview of coming attractions if we get the trinity from hell: A Democrat-controlled Congress, Senate, and White House. Because there’s already been hearings in the House of a proposal, because they’re afraid that if you risk your money, and people have risked their money in their 401Ks, that the government just cannot let people risk anymore. They have to protect us from our own bad decisions.
So what they are investigating is coming in and having a new program where they are going to basically confiscate the money in everybody’s 401Ks, and put it into the social security plan. Then everybody gets to designate approximately six percent, I think, of their income to go into a “retirement plan” that is government-run and government-controlled.
I love the one member of the church sent me a great little illustration the other day about trusting the government to handle all of our money and to control all of these things. Back in 1990 the Federal Government took over the Mustang Ranch House of Ill repute in Nevada. After a few years they had to close it and we’re going to trust our money and our income and stability to this bunch of political nitwits who can’t even make money running a cat house and selling booze in Nevada!
But the American people are willing to trust anybody, other than have to work it seems. When we have 44% of the population on the dole, not paying taxes, not contributing to the support of the government, then they are not putting anything at risk. So it is interesting that the same percentage of people in this country that are not paying taxes is the same percentage of people who responded affirmatively in a poll that they did not think socialism was all that bad.
So we looked at the first divine institution. The second divine institution was marriage. The founding fathers understood the principle of marriage being between one man and one woman, and that this was a bedrock institution that could not be changed.
James Wilson, who was a signer of the Declaration of Independence and one of the first associate justices on the Supreme Court, said “The most important consequence of marriage is, that the husband and the wife become in law only one person… Upon this principle of union, almost all the other legal consequences of marriage depend.”
What we have today, though, is this desire to change the very nature of what marriage is. An editorial in the Investor’s Business Daily stated the consequences of this.
“The slippery slope has been greased. If two men can marry, why not more than two? Are laws against polygamy also a violation of our constitutional rights? Was the Texas cult legal? [That is a reference to the fundamentalist Mormon sect that they had the problem with last spring.]
There you had a lot of people in a committed relationship raising a lot of children. Heterosexual marriage is not some right-wing plot to deny homosexuals their rights. It’s an institution sanctioned [not invented by, but sanctioned. That means recognized and affirmed] an institution sanctioned by all successful nations and cultures because of a compelling interest in a stable, growing society with heterosexual marriage providing a sturdy framework for both procreation and the orderly upbringing of children.”
That gets into the third divine institution of family. That the role of family is training, training children, teaching children. It’s the responsibility of family to teach children, not the public government-run, government-financed school, not the church school, not even the Sunday School to teach your kids doctrine. It is the responsibility of parents to teach these things to the children and to train them. They are the ones who are going to be held accountable.
When you are before the Judgment Seat of Christ, the issue in terms of your parental responsibilities is not going to be what kind of school did you send your kids to. It is going to be what did you do to train your kids to walk in the way of the Lord.
So this article goes on to say “Opponents of the decision will try to get a constitutional amendment on the ballot in November. [It’s a reference to that decision made by the State Supreme Court in California.] That may be the only way to ensure that activist judges don’t further unravel the fabric of society and that government of the people has not become government by just four people.” Judicial tyranny.
That, by the way, is exactly what Thomas Jefferson recognized is that when you have people who have worked hard, and they have accumulated possessions and accumulated wealth, and then the government comes in and redistributes that to anyone; that is tyranny. That is to put in other terms; that is criminality; it’s just thievery.
It is one thing to have a right to tax in order to supply the needs of the government—highway construction, support for the military, support for government officials and the operation of the government—but to have as a government agenda an economic policy of redistributing money (to take from those who have to give to those who have not) is nothing more than tyranny and robbery.
Now we looked at the end last time. I wanted to lay down the biblical foundation for government and that was in Genesis 9:5–6. At the very core is the idea of the judiciary and the delegation of the responsibility to judge and to carry out criminal penalties to the degree of taking a life in a capital crime, such as murder.
This is laid down in Genesis 9:5–6, where God said, “Surely I will require your lifeblood; from every beast I will require it. From every man, from every man’s brother I will require the life of man. Whoever sheds man’s blood, by man his blood shall be shed.”
Now to do that, that entails thinking through the entire judicial process. How are you going to determine who is guilty? How are you going to determine whether it was justified killing or whether it was premeditated homicide? That is what the commandment means in the 10 Commandments; it does not mean “thou shall not kill.” The Hebrew word is a word that means “murder.” So that entails the development of the whole judicial process.
It wasn’t long after that, a couple of hundred years after the Flood, that you had the first use of the word “kingdom” in the Bible. Nimrod, who was a descendant through Ham, decides to establish his own kingdom over against God. It is religiously oriented.
This is the beginning, as we see in the Bible, as the kingdom of man: man’s attempt to establish peace, prosperity, happiness, economic stability, “share the wealth” from these early days over against obedience to God.
God’s mandate coming off the ark was to scatter, to multiply, fill the earth. Man failed to do that. So the kingdom of Babel set up this tower in Shinar, and it had a specific agenda against God. It had a religious orientation; it was a response and reaction to God because of the judgment at the Flood. They were going to build this tower high enough to reach Heaven. The idea is that somehow we will protect ourselves from this mean, nasty God who is going to interfere with human history and kill everybody who resists Him.
This is a very famous painting of the Tower of Babel and it was internationalism; it was all of mankind coming together against God. So God judged them by confusing the languages because up until that point, everybody spoke the same language, so everybody could communicate.
He divides the languages, and He does that, and the result of that is it is going to force people to go off into their separate corners of the world with just those people that they can understand, they can communicate with. So this is the beginning of nations, the beginnings of separation of tribes, clans which eventually developed into nations.
But man keeps thinking that he can resist God by establishing a unity of man against God. We have been studying in the book of Revelation that this is exactly the kind of thinking that will come about in the end times under the leadership of the Antichrist, a one-world government that will be united against God.
We see the hardness of the heart, we studied this on Sunday morning, when we see how the earth dwellers continue to resist God. They shake their fist in the face of God no matter how much judgment God pours out. They just refuse to accept the truth, and their anger is irrational, it’s palpable. You just cannot understand how these people can be that way.
Perhaps we see a little glimmer of that kind of hardness of heart and blindness to the truth in the way numerous people in this election cycle have aligned themselves on one side of the political spectrum, and the anger and resentment that are there if anybody tries to question their candidate and bring up any kind of questions other than just lobbing softballs at him.
In fact, it was so appalling to watch a vice-presidential candidate being interviewed by a news person out of Orlando, FL last week. When she started asking very good questions about how he could support the socialist agenda of Senator Obama, he just got angry with her. He would not answer the question and said, “Who is writing your stuff? Who made this up? These are silly questions.”
There is this debater’s technique that the Obama camp is masterful at—of minimizing, ridiculing the other side. They do not answer the questions; they just turn it back. For example, last night in a speech, Obama said, “Well, how can McCain call me a socialist?” He does not answer the questions and does not say he is not a socialist. He just says how can he do that? He ridicules that position, and demeans and minimizes the opposition that way, which is a very effective technique as part of passing the big lie.
Well, in the end times, we are going to see this reunification idea of mankind in terms of internationalism. We see that even today. For example, in Europe you have the EU (European Union). This is a picture of their translation headquarters in Strasbourg, which was self-consciously built to picture the unfinished Tower of Babel, according to the architect.
This is their translation headquarters and it is to depict the idea that they are going to change and reverse the course that God started at the Tower of Babel.
This idea is nothing new. We have the same kind of theological underpinnings, religious underpinnings in the UN (United Nations). Outside the UN building, we have this quote from Isaiah 2:4 “…they shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruning hooks; nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war anymore.”
Isaiah 2 says that that condition is brought about by the Messiah Himself, the Lord Jesus Christ, when He comes to establish His kingdom in Israel. But you have the UN coming in and saying this is what we’re going to do. You have the EU doing that, and people need to understand that there is a religious agenda at work behind these organizations. And so we do not need presidents or anybody that supports the UN.
Now on a scale from 1 to 10, 10 being the ideal candidate who despises the UN and would have an agenda to get out of the UN, and 1 being someone who is totally in bed with the UN, I think that probably we would classify McCain as about a 4 and Obama as a 1.
But the problem is that we do not have any conservative leaders in Congress or anywhere who are willing to take a stand against the UN. So they continue to accept a certain legitimacy to internationalism.
As far as Senator Obama is concerned, he supported Senate Bill 2433 this last winter, which came up for a vote in February. It was entitled euphemistically The Global Poverty Act. It was designed to end global poverty. And what it would have required was various nations give a certain percentage of their gross domestic product to the UN. For the U.S., it would have required 0.7% of the GDP to go to the UN, which would have been 845 billion dollars over 13 years.
Now if you are going to cut taxes, as he claims to do, you cannot pay these kinds of bills. You cannot fund all the social programs that he has. This would have been a mandatory federal tax that the nation would have had to pay to the UN, basically putting us under the authority of the United Nations.
Last year, further back on September 17, 2007, in a speech Obama outlined his plan for Iraq, which was to have the U.S. leave Iraq and to be replaced by the UN peacekeeping force, including troops from Syria and Iran. Of course, that would have been just extremely helpful, don’t you know.
Now when we look at Scripture and develop a biblical view of government, you start in Genesis 9. Then the next place to go is in the Mosaic Law because in the Mosaic Law, God is going to give a constitution, a law code to the nation Israel that is going to embody these divine institutions as the foundation, and we get to see one way in which that is put into practice in a national law code.
Does that mean that every nation should just imitate that? No, but it means that this gives us a pattern, a model on which to build, which is what the early fathers of this nation did. This is why it is such a historical aberration, a revisionism to take displays of the 10 Commandments out of the courts; it is a denial of our history.
Well, the Mosaic Law says certain things about the role of government. One thing we pointed out is in taxation, there were three different tithes. A tithe was a 10 percent tax for the support of the bureaucracy, which were the Levites and the priests because it was a theocracy. Theocracy means that it is a government that is ruled by priests who stand in the place of God.
So you had these three tithes, and the third tithe was to be taken up only once every third year, and that was to provide for widows and orphans. It is not that the government should not have some sort of safety net out there for those who just cannot work, cannot care of themselves, can’t provide for themselves, but it is minimal.
It’s not done on the backs of just the wealthy—we’re going to see some key Scriptures related to the wealthy and the poor in just a minute—But that tax was like an income tax. It was 10 percent, but it was a flat rate. It did not assess a higher percentage from the wealthy and a lower percentage from the poor. Everyone, rich or poor, had to give 10 percent.
Of course, if you did not make much; if you only made $10,000 a year, and you only have to give 10 percent, then you only give $1,000 a year. But if you make a million dollars, you have to give $100,000. So you give a lot more if you are wealthy than if you are poor, but it is the percentage that makes it just and righteous. So when you have a progressive tax system, as we have in this nation, it is unrighteous. We’ve seen passages in Scripture that the goal of government is to function in a righteous manner.
Now in terms of the executive, there was an understanding in the law that there would eventually be a king. There are requirements for the king laid down in Deuteronomy 17:18–19.
“Now it shall come about when he [that is the king] sits on the throne of his kingdom, he shall write for himself a copy of this law on a scroll in the presence of the Levitical priests. It shall be with him and he shall read it all the days of his life, that he may learn to fear the Lord his God.”
The king is under a higher authority. It is not this divine-right idea that you had developing in Europe in the 1500s and early 1600s. The king is under the law and under God. This was seen in the fact that every king in Israel had to be anointed by the prophet who was God’s representative. So the king is not an autonomous authority. The government is not autonomous; it operates under the authority of God.
This was an idea that was understood and developed by the Puritans in the 17th century in England. A very famous and influential book entitled Lex, Rex was written by Samuel Rutherford. The title means that the law is king. The king is not the law, but the law is king, and the king serves under the law.
Samuel Rutherford was a Scottish Presbyterian theologian, and it was Scottish Presbyterian ideas to a large degree that influenced the thinking in the American colonies. There was this huge migration of Scotch-Irish Presbyterians that came, first they were in Scotland, and then for a while in Ireland, then they migrated to North America in the 1600s and 1700s. But there was an enormous wave that came in the middle period of the 1700s. And that had a tremendous impact, many of them went into the South, spread across the South and had a phenomenal impact on Southern culture. So the influence of these ideas is that law is over the king.
Now in 1 Samuel 8, we have our next key passage as a warning from God on the abuse of power that can come from a king. This happens when Israel finally gets to a point where they have rejected God as the King. They no longer want theocracy as originally set up by the Mosaic Covenant; and they want to have a king like all the other nations. So Samuel took it personally, went to God. God said do not take it personally; they were not rejecting you, they’re rejecting Me. And so I want you to go tell the people what they are going to get when they get centralized government.
Verse 11 states, “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. He will appoint for himself commanders of thousands and of fifties, and some to do his plowing and to reap his harvest and to make his weapons of war and equipment for his chariots.”
He is going to build a bureaucracy. He’s going to build a large government. And what is going to run the government?
The government is not productive. People of industry are out farming in agriculture. They are the ones who are productive; they’re producing the wealth in the culture, not the government. The government just sort of sucks the wealth out of those who are industrious, which is what this is pointing out. And the larger government grows, then the more of a demand it puts on people.
One of the issues is how big is government going to get under this particular president? It is predicted on the basis of all of his plans that under Obama the government would see its largest economic expansion, the largest expansion of government ever in the history of the U.S. And this is extremely dangerous. The larger government gets, the less freedom and liberty that people have. So this is dangerous.
Now it is still going to grow under McCain because that has been the direction that government has gone. I think many conservatives were extremely chagrined, and disappointed and angry with the current president because of the way he allowed government to grow under his administration. We thought we were going to get somebody who would go for limited government, and we got just the opposite. So I have very little hope and confidence in either one of them in this area, but at least theoretically, we know that McCain is not nearly as bad as Obama.
1 Samuel 8:13–15 continues to talk about how all of this is going to expand in the particular verses. I’m not going to go through all of them. But it just talks about how this becomes such an overwhelming burden to the people when the government expands.
What we see in summary is that the responsibilities of government biblically are very limited. They are designed to promote righteousness. Government is to protect people from criminality, protect people from injustice from those who would abuse the system and abuse others, and to protect the state from outside enemies. That means they have to provide for national defense and to understand the nature of the enemies that are around us.
And to me this is one of the major issues that we are facing today. We have the rise that we have seen over the past 30 years of radical, fundamentalist Islam, and that this, I believe, is inherent to the teachings of the Koran. It is not something that is inconsistent with the Koran. Violence to promote Christianity is inconsistent with the Bible. So people cannot go to the Crusades and say well see you have Christians that get violent as well. That is an aberration.
Yet, we have a sitting president today, who believes that Islam is a peaceful religion. And Obama, the danger with him is all of his Muslim relatives. That puts a pressure on an individual that when you have had some exposure in his youth to Islam, to moderate Islam and you have extended family that are Islamic, that puts a pressure on you to be less objective in an environment where we do not have government officials who are objective to begin with.
Islam is the enemy; this is a religious war because they have made it a religious war. It does not have anything to do with the motivation of the West; it has been a religious war since Mohammed founded Islam.
You had the initial attempt to invade Europe back in the 8th century and the defeat at the Battle of Poitiers under Charles, the Hammer. Then you have the later victory when the Moslem hordes were stopped outside the gates of Vienna in the 16th century.
But they continue to push, continue to push, and every time they get money and financing, they continue to try to dominate the West. I do not think they ever will. That is my opinion simply because of the prophecies related to Noah’s sons.
But we have to have a man who has objectivity, who understands the issues to promote a solid national defense.
John Adams made the point that “National defense is one of the cardinal duties of a statesman.”
One of the cardinal duties of a statesman. So we have to have men who can think honestly and objectively about the nation.
Now a question that arises when we talk about this when we talk about the fact that the government is supposed to promote righteousness. Righteousness is a value. Where are you going to get that value? Are you going to get it from the Bible? Are you going to have an Islamic value of righteousness? Are you going to have a secular humanist value of righteousness? Where are you going to go to get your value of righteousness?
In the founding fathers’ thinking, in the nation as it existed at that time, we had a homogeneous society that was for the most part theistic in their worldview and had a strong Christian background. We do not have that anymore. So that raises the whole question of what is the role of Christianity in the state?
I want to look at this initially in just a minute about its impact in the early years in the late 1700s. At that time, the vast majority of Americans living in the early U.S. were Christian in a broad sense, even if they did not believe in a Trinity as Jefferson did not. He was not Trinitarian; he was Unitarian. He was not a deist.
But Unitarians at that time believed the Bible was still God’s Word and believed that there was truth in the Bible. You have key people, like I mentioned in the first day of this series, some of the early preachers that were very influential in Boston, like Charles Chauncy and Jonathan Mayhew, were Unitarians. But the Unitarian of the 1700s is not the same as the Unitarian Universalist of today. So there is a difference. They did understand and appreciate the value of the Bible.
And you have pastors who were from Roman Catholics, Puritans, Arminians, Unitarians, Presbyterians, the Methodisim was just beginning to start at that time. The dominant influence, though, in the U.S. was from a Calvinistic, Reformed background, whether it was Presbyterian, Congregational, or Huguenot or just what is was, but they all agreed no matter what their sectarian view was, in other words whatever their denominational view was, they all had a general agreement that the Bible represented truth, and it was that foundation that was embedded in the Constitution. They did not think of it as a theocracy.
What bothers me is you have some people today who accuse the Christian Right of wanting to impose a theocracy on the nation. To me that is historically wrong—and it is actually wrong. I have known some of these men, Tim LaHaye, I met and talked some with Jerry Falwell and many others, who have been influential in the so-called Christian Right, and they did not want to impose Christianity or a theocracy in that sense in America. But they understood that if you do not keep the country going on the principles on which it was founded, that it would fall apart. That is exactly what the founders said.
A theocracy, by definition—look it up in the OED or Webster’s—is defined as a system of government where priests rule in the name of God. No one has ever thought that the Congress of the U.S. or the President or the judiciary would rule in the name of God. But they did understand that Christianity as a way of thinking, as a philosophy, as an ethical system was the only sure and certain foundation to thinking that could preserve genuine liberty.
So they did not see a conflict with having pastors come and address the legislature. That did not mean that whatever the pastor said, they were going to do. It just meant that they had to understand the Word of God and seek God’s thinking on leadership matters. They all understood this very, very clearly.
For example, we have various statements by early founders, such as George Washington who said, “It is the duty of all nations to acknowledge the providence of Almighty God.”
Some of the contemporary writers today who analyze religious statements by the founding fathers say, “See this is more deistic, it is distant, it uses terms like Almighty God, Providence, Supreme God, the Creator.” That is how they talked at that time. You can go to men like Patrick Henry or others, like Samuel Adams, others who had very rich, profound, spiritual lives and relationship with God, and they used the same terms. This is just how people in that generation talked about God. To us this may seem a little distant or less personal, but that is not how they understood it.
Washington said, “It’s the duty of all nations to acknowledge the providence of Almighty God to obey His will, to be grateful for His benefits, and humbly implore His protection and favor.”
Adams, the second President of the U.S., said, “The safety and prosperity of nations ultimately and essentially depend on the protection and the blessing of Almighty God, and the national acknowledgement of this truth is an indispensable duty which the people owe to Him.”
He believed, and others believed, that if they lost that, then the Republic would collapse.
This, unfortunately, is what we are witnessing today. Only believers really have the framework, the truth, the light to be able to understand this. We need to remember what Paul said to the Philippians, that we need to live our lives and go forth as a flashing light to the Gentiles, the nations around us because we are the ones who have the truth.
Part of the responsibility of the government, as I’ve pointed out, is to ensure an environment where righteousness is not hindered and righteousness is equally applied to all people—rich or poor, mighty or not. Everyone is to be dealt with in equal righteousness. And this extends to the poor.
For example, Deuteronomy 15:7 says, “If there is a poor man with you, one of your brothers, in any of your towns in your land which the Lord your God is giving you, you shall not harden your heart [he’s talking to individuals and not the government], you shall not harden your heart nor close your hand from your poor brother; but you shall freely open your hand to him, and shall generously lend him sufficient for his need in whatever he lacks.”
It’s up to the individual to have compassion and care to help others. It’s not the government’s responsibility.
In Deuteronomy 15:11 we read, “For the poor will never cease to be in the land; therefore I command you, saying, ‘You shall freely open your hand to your brother, to your needy and poor in your land.’ ”
So it is the individual to take care of the poor.
You see the same thing in the New Testament, and here it is the responsibility of the church. Galatians 2:10 Paul says, “They only asked us to remember the poor—the very thing I also was eager to do.”
This is the same idea you see as part of wisdom in Proverbs 21:13 “He who shuts his ear to the cry of the poor will also cry himself and not be answered.”
In Exodus 23:3–6 we read, “Nor shall you be partial to a poor man in his dispute.”
Yet the very thing that we are seeing in the government philosophy, the judicial philosophy of Senator Obama is to appoint judges that are empathetic to the poor. Because if you have not been there and you do not understand them, then you cannot deal with justice. That is just hogwash, to put it very politely.
Exodus 23:6 “You shall not pervert the justice due to your needy brother in his dispute.”
On the one hand, you do not give partiality to the poor, but on the other hand, you do not abuse him either. It is an equal standard, and you do not take into account the economic status of the individual.
Leviticus 19:15 “You shall do no injustice in judgment; you shall not be partial to the poor nor defer to the great, but you are to judge your neighbor fairly.”
Proverbs 29:14 “If a king judges the poor with truth, His throne will be established forever.”
Yet Senator Obama says, “We need somebody who’s got the heart, the empathy, to recognize what it’s like to be a young teenage mom. The empathy to understand what it’s like to be poor, or African-American, or gay, or disabled, or old. And that’s the criteria by which I’m going to be selecting my judges.”
That is an unrighteous, unethical standard that is going to result in tyranny, because who is going to set the standard and prefer one over another?
That’s when we get into this kind of problem, and it results in the same kind of philosophy that we have, that we’ve seen before related to Obama is that he just wants to spread the wealth. He wants to spread your wealth. If you are working, and you have a job, he wants to take money out of your bank account and give it to people who do not work. It’s consistent with his whole philosophy.
He stated in a radio interview in 2001 that the basic problem that you had with the Warren court and with the civil rights movement was that it did not break free from the essential constraints that were placed by the founding fathers in the Constitution. Did you hear that? That the problem is that the courts did not break free from those restraints.
Those restraints are what give us liberty and freedom. This is a man that is about to be elected, perhaps, to the presidency of this country, and he at the very core of his being believes that the U.S. Constitution is unrighteous, and it is embedded in injustice. And yet he’s going to be asked possibly to be the President of the U.S. This is just absolutely ridiculous. It is treasonous.
Cicero, a Roman statesman and lawyer, said,
“A nation can survive its fools [I think that is debatable] and even the ambitious. But it cannot survive treason from within. An enemy at the gates is less formidable for he is known and carries his manner openly.
“But the traitor moves amongst those within the gate freely, his sly whispers rustling through all the alleys, heard in the very halls of government itself. For the traitor appears not a traitor; he speaks in accents familiar to his victims, and he wears their face and their arguments, he appeals to the baseness that lies deep in the hearts of all men. He rots the soul of a nation, he works secretly and unknown in the night to undermine the pillars of the city, he infects the body politic so that it can no longer resist. A murderer is less to fear. The traitor is the plague.”
It is important for us to make sure that we elect leaders that are at least the closest that we can find to a righteous standard. The closest that we can find to a righteous standard. And that means supporting these five divine institutions.
Now there is one more criterion we should use, and I want to cover that very briefly in the next seven or eight minutes before we wrap up. And that is the question of a nation’s relationship to the Jewish people and to Israel as a state. How a nation views the Jews.
Those who are antagonistic to the Jews are anti-Semitic. Throughout history, God has judged anti-Semitic nations even when God raised up those nations, such as Assyria, and Babylon, and Rome, raised them up to bring discipline on Israel, because God could use them in a military manner to wipe out Israel, but they did not have to succumb to anti-Semitism. When they did, then God judged them.
This is grounded on the principle of Genesis 12:3 “Those who bless you [he promised Abraham], I will bless, those who curse you, I will curse.” God will judge those who treat the Jew and Israel unrighteously and unfairly and who treat Israel unfairly.
Now when you bring up Israel, you bring in this whole question of Zionism. What is Zionism?
Some people get the idea that if you are talking about supporting Israel, that means you agree with every decision they make. That is not true at all. There are many decisions that have been made in the history of Israel and its founding that were unrighteous. That does not mean that we support that. What we support is the right of the Jewish people to a national homeland, to national sovereignty: homeland and land that was established by law and was established by law was given to them by law and international agreement, and that they have a right to defend that. That is what Zionism is.
Zionism does not say that you have to support everything Israel did. There were atrocities committed by the Irgun during the War of Independence in 1948. There have been many other decisions that have been made that we just cannot support, but that is not what Zionism is all about. Zionism is the belief that the Jewish people have a right to their own nation in the land God gave to Abraham. And guess what? This belief was held by many of the leaders in American history and early American history.
For example, John Quincy Adams desired that “the Jews again [were] in Judea, an independent Nation, once restored to an independent government and no longer persecuted.”
Abraham Lincoln believed that the Jews should be restored to their homeland, that this, he referred to as a noble dream shared by many American. He said in a conversation with Canadian Christian Zionist, Henry Monk, that the Jewish chiropodist of the President has “so many times ‘put me on my feet’ that I would have no objection to giving his countrymen a ‘leg up.’ ”
So the nation America had a positive view of the Jews, opened their doors to the Jews from the colonial period on and saw this as important. This was part of the whole move, as we’ve studied in the past, to establish Israel in the land.
In Britain, you had British Restorationism. You have the very well-known Balfour Declaration, which is the foundation … Balfour grew up at his mother’s knee reading the Bible, he’s reared in a Christian home where he was taught the Old Testament. He wrote a book on Christian philosophy and theology, he had many high offices in the British government, Prime Minister. And he was the one who wrote the statement that was the legal foundation for Israel being granted by the British government, coming out of World War I, a national homeland. This is known as the Balfour Declaration.
Here’s a photocopy of the original declaration which reads, “His Majesty’s government view with favour the establishment in Palestine of a national home for the Jewish people, and will use their best endeavours to facilitate the achievement of this object, it being clearly understood that nothing shall be done which may prejudice the civil and religious rights of existing non-Jewish communities in Palestine, or the rights and political status enjoyed by Jews in any other country.”
This was voted on, the wording was approved by the British Cabinet on October 31, 1917. Then on November the 3rd, it became official policy of the British Empire.
Prior to World War I, the Ottoman Turks had ruled the area from 1516 to 1918, and it was viewed as just part of southern Syria. It was just a district within the Ottoman Empire. There was no Palestine per se, country per se, there was no Syria. If you see on the map, there’s no Jordan, there’s no Saudi Arabia. You did not have any nations there. Those were carved up artificially by the breakup of the Ottoman Empire at the end of World War I.
Here’s another map that you can see that there is just the Arabian Peninsula where you have various independent Arab states. You have Mesopotamia in the area of modern Iraq. You had Persia, which did exist; they are not Arabs, they’re totally separate nation. They were not in the Ottoman Empire. And you have the region of Palestine. This was just an administrative district within the Ottoman Empire.
After World War I, you see the carving up of Syria and Lebanon, Iraq, Transjordan, Palestine, Saudi Arabia. These particular areas.
During the War, there was a secret agreement made between the French and the British called the Sykes-Picot Treaty that said that they would carve up this area of the Middle East into different zones of occupation after the war.
And in 1918, the League of Nations gave the mandate to the French to administer the northern area, the Blue Zones; and the British to administer the Red and the Pink Zones.
There was established a mandate based on the League of Nations from 1920–1946, and we see these boundaries here. This land was to be given to the Jews. All of this land was to be given to the Jews based on the legal document of the Balfour Declaration and the mandate of the League of Nations.
But after a while, due to pressure from the Arabs, because oil had just been discovered prior to World War I, the British began to fold. Their high water mark was the Balfour Declaration. From there on, they just began to fold. So they decided that they would give Jordan to the Arabs.
Now what we need today are politicians, leaders in America that will say if Palestinians want a homeland, it is called Jordan; the land on the west side of the Jordan River, that’s Israel. If you want to live in a Palestinian state, go to Jordan. That was the legally established Palestinian state—the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan coming out of World War I.
The UN was initially going to give them all the land to the west of the Jordan, but, of course, they backed out of that. In 1947, they had another partition plan just giving Israel very small portions of land; very little integrated or land that would give them strong defensible area and a lot of the area, especially down south here in the Negev, was just desert.
So the point that I am making is we have to have leaders who recognize the legality of Israel’s right to that land, and who stand up and tell the Palestinians that they are just a bunch of liars. There is no such thing as a Palestinian homeland, Palestinian state, or Palestinian people. This has just been made up.
Those who are not Zionists are basically anti-Semitic. Now there are a lot of people who want to argue that, there’s a lot of debate about that, but I have found an extremely articulate statement today defending the position that anti-Zionism is indeed anti-Semitism. Today, it is not politically correct to be anti-Semitic because of the Holocaust, so it is cloaked in anti-Zionism.
This individual wrote the following. This is a letter and it’s an important letter. I think it’s important to read the entire letter. When it’s done, I will tell you who wrote it.
“Zionism [this person stated] is nothing less than the dream and ideal of the Jewish people returning to live in their own land. The Jewish people, the Scriptures tell us, once enjoyed a flourishing Commonwealth in the Holy Land. From this they were expelled by the Roman tyrant, the same Romans who cruelly murdered Our Lord. Driven from their homeland, their nation in ashes, forced to wander the globe, the Jewish people time and again suffered the lash of whichever tyrant happened to rule over them …”
Key thought is “Zionism is the dream for the Jewish people to live in their own land.” That is all it means and to defend that.
In this letter, this individual wrote,
“… You declare, my friend, that you do not hate the Jews, you are merely ‘anti-Zionist.’ And I say, let the truth ring forth from the high mountain tops, let it echo through the valleys of God’s green earth: When people criticize Zionism, they mean Jews—this is God’s own truth.
“Anti-Semitism, the hatred of the Jewish people, has been and remains a blot on the soul of mankind. In this we are in full agreement. So know also this: Anti-Zionist is inherently anti-Semitic, and ever will be so.
“The Negro people, my friend, know what it is to suffer the torment of tyranny under rulers not of our choosing. Our brothers in Africa have begged, pleaded, requested, DEMANDED the recognition and realization of our inborn right to live in peace under our own sovereignty in our own country.
“How easy it should be, for anyone who holds dear this inalienable right of all mankind, to understand and support the right of the Jewish People to live in their ancient Land of Israel. All men of good will exult in the fulfillment of God’s promise that his People should return in joy to rebuild their plundered land.
“This is Zionism, nothing more, nothing less.
“And what is anti-Zionist? It is the denial to the Jewish people of a fundamental right that we justly claim for the people of Africa and freely accord all other nations of the globe. It is discrimination against Jews, my friend, because they are Jews. In short, it is anti-Semitism.
“The anti-Semite rejoices at any opportunity to vent his malice. The times have made it unpopular, in the West, to proclaim openly a hatred of the Jews. This being the case, the anti-Semite must constantly seek new forms and forums for his poison. How he must revel in the new masquerade! He does not hate the Jews, he is just ‘anti-Zionist’!”
“My friend, I do not accuse you of deliberate anti-Semitism. I know you feel, as I do, a deep love of truth and justice and a revulsion for racism, prejudice, and discrimination. But I know you have been misled—as others have been—into thinking you can be ‘anti-Zionist’ and yet remain true to these heartfelt principles that you and I share.
“Let my words echo in the depths of your soul: When people criticize Zionism, they mean Jews—make no mistake about it.”
This was written in a personal letter from Martin Luther King, Jr. and was published in the Saturday Review, August 1967.
In contrast to this great statement on anti-Zionism, we have the statement last week of Jesse Jackson that “Zionists who have controlled American policy for decades [will] lose a great deal of their clout when Barack Obama enters the White House.”
Of course, the next day he recanted. He did not say he was wrong, but he just said he should not have said that. He never backed off of his statement and of course, the Obama campaign comes running out saying, “No, no, no, we’re not anti-Semitic. That can’t be true.”
Yet the question remains, if he’s not anti-Zionist and anti-Semitic, why does a leader of his stature continuously surround himself—he didn’t have just one association with a known anti-Zionist, anti-Israel terrorist, but consistently for over 30 years, they have had relationships with radical leftists, such as Edward Said, they are pictured here at a banquet, both Barack and Michelle Obama.
They have had a close relationship with, of course, with Bill Ayers, he’s served on several boards with Rashid Khalidi. He tries to dismiss all of this, but there is a pattern here that is extremely worrisome. And not to mention the fact that recently he has been touted as the “Messiah” by the head of the Nation of Islam, Louis Farrakhan.
In a journal I have here, there is a news report on what they called Saviour’s Day. “Louis Farrakhan, the Nation of Islam leader, spoke to a mass of his followers, and he spoke about Barack Obama.
He said, “You are the instruments that God is going to use to bring about universal change, and that is why Barack has captured the youth. And he has involved young people in a political process that they didn’t care anything about. That’s a sign. When the Messiah speaks, the youth will hear. And the Messiah is absolutely speaking.”
Here we have a picture of Michelle Obama at a function of the PUSH Coalition with the wife of Farrakhan, Mother Khadijah Farrakhan, and they are circled.
My question is: What respected American politician, in any of our history, has consistently and knowingly been associated or involved with known terrorists, anti-Semites, anti-Zionist, unrepentant terrorists, Marxists, and race-baiters like Obama has?
If there were a white candidate who had gone to a church where the pastor was a member of the Klan, who served on numerous boards and organizations with known white supremacists, whose wife was also connected with the same people in her business and law firm, and who had received the endorsement of the Aryan Brotherhood, the Ku Klux Klan, and other white supremacist organizations, he would be all but crucified and stoned in the public square. But the news media doesn’t investigate anything, say anything, they just give him a clean sweep.
So what are we supposed to do?
Well, we must recognize as believers that God is in control. As dark as the political scene may look, the light of God’s grace shines just as bright today as it ever had. And again, the founding fathers had wisdom for us in times like this.
John Jay said, “We must go home to be happy, and our home is not in this world. Here we have nothing to do but our duty. All that the best men can do is to persevere in doing their duty to their country and leave the consequences to Him who made it their duty, being neither elated by success, however great, nor discouraged by disappointment, however frequent and mortifying.”
Jay was one of the presidents of the Continental Congress, first Chief Justice, contributed to the Federalist Papers, and was a founder of the American Bible Society.
John Hancock, one of the first signers of the Declaration of Independence and also a governor of Massachusetts, said “Whilst we are using the means in our power, let us humbly commit our righteous cause to the great Lord of the universe, Who loveth righteousness and hateth iniquity. And having secured the approbation of our hearts by a faithful and unwearied discharge of our duty to our country, let us joyfully leave our concerns in the hands of Him Who raiseth up and pulleth down the empires and kingdoms of the world as He pleases.”
He too was a governor of Massachusetts.
Samuel Adams wrote, “The man who is conscientiously doing his duty will ever be protected by that righteous and all powerful Being, and when he has finished his work he will receive an ample reward.”
Jeremiah 17:5 tells us, “Thus sayeth the Lord, ‘Cursed is the man who trusts in mankind and makes flesh his strength, and whose heart turns away from the Lord. For he will be like a bush in the desert and will not see when prosperity comes, but will live in stony wastes in the wilderness, a land of salt without inhabitation. Blessed is the man who trusts in the Lord—and whose trust is the Lord.’ “
That needs to be our focus. Not on what is happening politically, but on the fact that God is in control, and our trust is in Him.
We should be reminded as we close that “Righteousness exalts a nation, but sin is a disgrace to any people” and “When the righteous rule, the people rejoice.”
And we need to pray for righteousness in our government.
“Father, thank You for this opportunity to go this study, to be reminded of these principles to see how they work their way out in the men who not only dedicated to this country, but were first and foremost dedicated to You and the truth of Your Word which found expression in the legal documents and the founding of this nation.
Father, we recognize that we are to serve You to the very best of our ability, to be as involved as we can within our own spheres in civil government, but that is not the be all and end all, it is not our source of stability or happiness, it is only the sphere in which we are temporarily involved and we need to have our focus on our destiny, our eternal home, and on how we can live today to serve You in light of that future destiny. That we be not discouraged by whatever happens and transpires in this next election, for we know that this world is passing away and that we are simply here to serve You, to proclaim the gospel, to be a witness in the angelic conflict, and to glorify You in everything that we say and do. And if we do that, we have done our duty and we will hear you say, “Well done, good and faithful servant.”
We commit these things to You, and our country, and our nation to Your hands.
We pray this in Christ’s Name. Amen.”