Sunday, September 7

"Sinning" for righteousness

Janet Parshall, host of "Janet Parshall's America," syndicated by the Salem Radio Network, told Christian TV host John Ankerberg Sunday, "There's a book floating around now called 'None of the Above' [by Joseph Farah, founder and editor of WorldNetDaily] that advocates exactly the position that you talked about [not voting for either the Democrat or Republican candidate]. When we do that we have advocated the antithetical position to what we know to be biblical truth. Because, when we sit it out, what we're saying, in essence, is, 'Our vote doesn't count. We don't care to influence and occupy.' The other person's vote takes precedence. The other person de facto gets the vote."

"Scripture says if you know what's right and you don't do it, that's called sin," she said.
Scripture also says whatever is not of faith is sin (Romans 14:23b), and Janet, like many other believers, doesn't seem to have much when it comes to elections or who runs government because she places her reliance upon the voter to vote instead of God to determine the outcome. It's as if voters voting can thwart the will of God. Could she really expect every U.S. citizen who considered themselves a believer to vote for McCain? I say, God's will be done.

I've never cared much for Janet Parshall and her toe the line Republican politics. She's the typical sort of leader in Christian circles these days, talk faith, walk in unbelief. Dr. James Dobson is another. It wasn't too long ago he took a contrary position on McCain...
"I cannot and I will not vote for Sen. John McCain as a matter of conscience," Dobson said. "But what a sad and melancholy decision this is for me and many other conservatives. Should John McCain capture the nomination as many assume, I believe this general election will offer the worst choices for president in my lifetime." Dobson said he definitely would not vote for Democratic Sens. Hillary Clinton or Barack Obama, "based on their virulently anti-family policy positions. If these are the nominees in November, I simply will not cast a ballot for president for the first time in my life," he said.
Then 7 months later comes this...
"A genuine reformer. A deeply committed Christian." That's how Dr. James Dobson, founder and chairman of Focus on the Family Action, described Gov. Sarah Palin, who joined Sen. John McCain's presidential ticket Friday. On a special Focus Action radio broadcast, Dr. Dobson said Palin has helped change his mind on McCain. "If I went into the polling booth today, I would pull the lever for John McCain," he said.
Unless John McCain had some sort of Damascus road experience in those seven months I don't think he's changed his politics or principles, but apparently Dr. Dobson is compelled to vote for him rather than sin.

Besides, since when do Christians use James 4:17 to make not voting a sin? It reminds me of the days in my Catholic youth when eating meat on Friday was supposed to be a sin, but there's no mention of that in Scripture and I just don't see anyone suffering the eternal tortures of the damned because they missed voting in a presidential election year. So here we go again. Another presidential election cycle, another guilt trip by Christian elitists to compel believers to do their patriotic duty and vote for the "right" candidate.

Speaking of right, in my view Janet has a little problem with her use of that quote of Scripture. It says, "to one who knows the right thing to do", so just what is the right thing to do? There's another part of Scripture which I think gives direction as to the answer to that question found in 1 Corinthians 2:5: "that your faith should not be in the wisdom of men but in the power of God." The choices of right or wrong to which Janet Parshall refers aren't found in human wisdom. Mankind doesn't determine that but the wisdom of God does. Scripture becomes a guide, revealing that wisdom of God by teaching right from wrong and it's by the Spirit of God that the law of God is kept (Jeremiah 31:33).

If Janet's use of Scripture were valid then politics itself becomes territory in God's interest. But we all know that His kingdom isn't of this world and, thankfully, He ain't interested.


Triton said...

Don't forget 1 Timothy 2:12. Parshall shouldn't be giving Joe Farah religious instruction at all.

It reminds me of the days in my Catholic youth when eating meat on Friday was supposed to be a sin, but there's no mention of that in Scripture

It seems to be human nature to keep inventing new sins out of whole cloth. The RCC is particularly bad about it, but they're certainly not the only denomination that does it.

I'll stick with the Bible.

Elmo Q. Shangnaster said...

I hadn't thought of the gender angle. It's a good point.

After I accepted Christ as Saviour I was a part of a progressive non-denominational fellowship which recognized women pastors and ministers on a par with men. Although they never had what I thought a good biblical explanation for their position, I considered the rest of their theology sound and just "put it on the shelf".
Now, years later and more spiritually mature, I've taken a more undispensational view on 1 Tim. 2:12 and other scriptures dealing with women because the wisdom is timeless.