Comparing Political Platforms (2) Overarching Principles

For the sake of simplicity and ease of discussion, I will be using the Libertarian Party platform (LP) to find the overarching principles.  At 7 pages, it was more concise and easier to use for Comparing Political Platforms that I began outlining in our last edition.  The added detail in both the DNC-Democrat, and  RNC-Republican platforms is helpful for explaining supported policies and programs, but makes isolation of topics more difficult.

What follows are the first 3 overarching principles as outlined by each political party separated by a short biblical discourse to compare the Christian worldview as taught by the Bible.  Using this and your own Bible knowledge and discernment, reason together with God and decide for yourselves which platform more closely aligns with God’s Word.

On Individual versus State:
DNC Democrats believe that we should not be contracting, outsourcing, or privatizing work that is inherently governmental in nature, including postal services, school services, and state and local government services. (p 26)…Democrats support progress toward more accountable governance and universal rights. (p 47)
LP We, the members of the Libertarian Party, challenge the cult of the omnipotent state and defend the rights of the individual.
RNC We believe our constitutional system — limited government, separation of powers, federalism, and the rights of the people — must be preserved uncompromised for future generations (p. i)…. We believe that people are the ultimate resource — and that the people, not the government, are the best stewards of our country’s God-given natural resources (p. i)

First, Christians and non-Christians alike must recognize that according to the Bible, the world and the Church are not the same thing.  For that reason, Jesus says in Matthew 22:18b “You hypocrites, why are you trying to trap me? 19 Show me the coin used for paying the tax.” They brought him a denarius, 20 and he asked them, “Whose portrait is this? And whose inscription?” 21 “Caesar’s,” they replied. Then he said to them,

Give to Caesar what is Caesar’s, and to God what is God’s.”

Therefore God makes it plain that principles applying to the Church can translate over to government, but never would God suggest that the government replaces the Church.  Indeed the opposite is true.  God’s rule is above elected rule and if all people were doing things right by God, frankly, we wouldn’t need an earthly king.

1 Samuel 8:6 But when they said, “Give us a king to lead us,” this displeased Samuel; so he prayed to the LORD. 7 And the LORD told him: “Listen to all that the people are saying to you; it is not you they have rejected, but they have rejected me as their king.”

In the Church and to the Church, God’s Word says,

Galatians 6: 2 Carry each other’s burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ. 3 If anyone thinks he is something when he is nothing, he deceives himself. 4 Each one should test his own actions. Then he can take pride in himself, without comparing himself to somebody else, 5 for each one should carry his own load… 9 Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up. 10 Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all people, especially to those who belong to the family of believers.

We carry our own as individuals.  We test our own actions.  We carry each other’s burdens as Christians and as His Church.  Why?  As a means of doing good, but not as a mandate by the government to the world because our law is Christ.  And in the last day, Romans 2: 6 God “will give to each person according to what he has done.”  Importantly, that “each” means everyone, not just Christians.  Government has a role of law and order, but it’s individual actions that have consequences that form the basis for individual judgment.

On Personal Liberty
DNC We believe in protecting civil liberties and guaranteeing civil rights and voting rights, women’s rights and workers’ rights, LGBT rights, and rights for people with disabilities. (p.2)… But in 2016, the stakes can be measured… in the number of Americans who would lose access to health care and see their rights ripped away (p.3)…. Democrats believe so-called “right to work” laws are wrong… We oppose legislation and lawsuits that would strike down laws protecting the rights of teachers and other public employees (p.4)
LP Individuals should be free to make choices for themselves and must accept responsibility for the consequences of the choices they make.

Our support of an individual’s right to make choices in life does not mean that we necessarily approve or disapprove of those choices. No individual, group, or government may initiate force against any other individual, group, or government.

RNC That God bestows certain inalienable rights on every individual, thus producing human equality; that government exists first and foremost to protect those inalienable rights; that man-made law must be consistent with God-given, natural rights; and that if God-given, natural, inalienable rights come in conflict with government, court, or human-granted rights, God-given, natural, inalienable rights always prevail;… In a free society, the primary role of government is to protect the God-given, inalienable rights of its citizens. (p.9)

The Bible is explicitly clear that every human is made in the Image of God.  From the human DNA egg/ embryo to the man or woman we love who is enduring the fog of dementia, their humanity has not ceased.  Because it is not our ability to communicate, or our skin color, gender, age, or religion, but the principles surrounding God’s Image that make us human.  God’s Word says, Genesis 1:27 So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them.

For this reason, the rights defined as inalienable because they are God-given can be distinguished from rights granted by any government. Whatever rights we think we have always need to be compared against that standard.  Even as He was being sentenced to Crucifixion under the law, the Bible records in John 19:11 Jesus answered, “You would have no power over me if it were not given to you from above. Therefore the one who handed me over to you is guilty of a greater sin.”

What made Judas’ actions a greater sin?  Pilate had God-given authority, but Judas used his God-given liberty under man-made rules in order to betray Christ–obeying men rather than God and using freedom as license. But personal liberty used for good is seen in Acts 4:19 Peter and John replied, “Judge for yourselves whether it is right in God’s sight to obey you rather than God…5:29 But Peter and the apostles answered and said, “We must obey God rather than men.

On Self-Determination
DNC We need an economy that prioritizes long-term investment over short-term profit-seeking, rewards the common interest over self-interest, and promotes innovation and entrepreneurship. (p.1) Democrats support progress toward more accountable governance and universal rights… we will continue to bolster groups and individuals who fight for fundamental human rights, democracy, and rule of law. We will support strong legislatures, independent judiciaries, free press, vibrant civil society, honest police forces, religious freedom, and equality for women and minorities. We will bolster the development of civil society and representative institutions…(p.47)
LP Individuals own their bodies and have rights over them that other individuals, groups, and governments may not violate. Individuals have the freedom and responsibility to decide what they knowingly and voluntarily consume, and what risks they accept to their own health, finances, safety, or life.
RNC Federalism is a cornerstone of our constitutional system. Every violation of state sovereignty by federal officials is not merely a transgression of one unit of government against another; it is an assault on the liberties of individual Americans. Hence the promise of the Tenth Amendment: “The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the states, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.”

The Constitution gives the federal government very few powers, and they are specifically enumerated;  the states and the people retain authority over all unenumerated powers.    (p.15-16)

Self-determination for the Christian is for us to use our own bodies–each of us–to live holy and independent lives, but also to realize we live in a community and our lifestyles of brotherly love speak volumes about the God whom Christians worship and serve.  As it says in 1 Thessalonians 4:3 It is God’s will that you [plural] should be sanctified: that you [plural] should avoid sexual immorality; 4 that [singular] each of you should learn to control his own body in a way that is holy and honorable, 5 not in passionate lust like the heathen, who do not know God; 6 and that in this matter no one should wrong his brother or take advantage of him. The Lord will punish men for all such sins, as we have already told you and warned you. 7 For God did not call us to be impure, but to live a holy life. 8 Therefore, he who rejects this instruction does not reject man but God, who gives you his Holy Spirit. 9 Now about brotherly love we do not need to write to you, for you yourselves have been taught by God to love each other. 10 And in fact, you do love all the brothers throughout Macedonia. Yet we urge you, brothers, to do so more and more.

The force of the law is to establish principles and boundaries… of social evil to be avoided… since humanity is notoriously bad at policing itself.

Before the flood, how were we doing?

Genesis 6:5 “The LORD saw how great man’s wickedness on the earth had become, and that every inclination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil all the time.”  Not good.

God’s solution was to give Ten Commandments.  God already understood this about the law, but we would someday come to know is true:  that an external set of laws would prove insufficient. Galatians 3:19 “What purpose then does the law serve? It was added because of transgressions, till the Seed should come to whom the promise was made; and it was appointed through angels by the hand of a mediator.”  So He sent Jesus in the fullness of time as He prophesied through  Isaiah 53:6 “All we like sheep have gone astray; We have turned, every one, to his own way; And the LORD has laid on Him the iniquity of us all.”

Even with the possibility of forgiveness, we aren’t too good at obeying godly principles.  2 Timothy 4: 3 For the time will come when men will not put up with sound doctrine. Instead, to suit their own desires, they will gather around them a great number of teachers to say what their itching ears want to hear. 4 They will turn their ears away from the truth and turn aside to myths.

For God-fearers, God’s solution was easy: Jeremiah 31:33 “This is the covenant I will make with the house of Israel after that time,” declares the LORD. “I will put my law in their minds and write it on their hearts. I will be their God, and they will be my people. 

But to a godless culture, it is increasingly complicated.  We have a government that does not know, honor, or fear God.  What legislator or political party, therefore, will be content with simple laws placed in the minds and written on the hearts of Christians?  Face facts: we’re an increasingly pagan society that has no conscience.  So, they pile law upon law, rule upon rule and constraint upon constraint.  There’s just one little problem: human laws are not a substitute for a conscience that lives and breathes in the fear of God.  If a conscience can’t obey 1 law, what makes us think it will obey 1001?

principles involving too little conscienceIf you want to pinpoint our cultural problem it’s this:  We don’t fear God. 
We fear each other.

Therefore, a million laws continually nibble around the edges of religion and freedom.  Laws increase in number all the while being reduced in honor, becoming a mere means of control and power. 

But a conscience is a matter of faith, and to each, it controls the self from the inside out. 

Laws, piled in stacks of paper reaching the ends of the galaxy, will still be external and unable to control any who prefer to sin. 

Our problem is not too few laws, but too little conscience.

Romans 3:12 All have turned away, they have together become worthless; there is no one who does good, not even one.” 13 “Their throats are open graves; their tongues practice deceit.” “The poison of vipers is on their lips.” 14 “Their mouths are full of cursing and bitterness.” 15 “Their feet are swift to shed blood; 16 ruin and misery mark their ways, 17 and the way of peace they do not know.” 18 “There is no fear of God before their eyes.” 19 Now we know that whatever the law says, it says to those who are under the law, so that every mouth may be silenced and the whole world held accountable to God. 20 Therefore no one will be declared righteous in his sight by observing the law; rather, through the law we become conscious of sin. 21 But now a righteousness from God, apart from law, has been made known, to which the Law and the Prophets testify. 22 This righteousness from God comes through faith in Jesus Christ to all who believe.

 * * *

This series also includes Comparing Political Platforms-Part 1.

Categories Articles, Articles and Devotionals | Tags: | Posted on July 29, 2016

Social Networks: RSS Facebook Twitter Google Stumble Upon Digg Reddit

Leave a Reply