One Evil, Two Evils, Three Evils, Four

A double minded man is unstable in all his ways. ~ James 1:8

A double minded man is unstable in all his ways. ~ James 1:8

Your money or your life … Choose now!

Scruples is a card game invented in 1984 and marketed as “The game of moral dilemmas.” Many questions seem to involve awkward social situations or relationships. For instance, there might be a question about what you would do if you spilled something on the carpet at a party. Would you tell the host or not? Or, if a friend asked you to give them a reference for a job and you know they are not qualified for it, would you give them a positive reference or not. So the question gives you a scenario and two choices. I guess it’s also supposed to be fun but doesn’t sound like much fun to me.

Those kinds of questions are low stakes moral questions and get boring quickly. To make that kind of game more dramatic, you have to raise the stakes morally. So you would ask something like: the cashier gives you change for a hundred dollar bill instead of the twenty dollar bill you paid with; do you keep quiet or tell her about the error? Or, you and two friends are adrift at sea. In order to survive do you eat the skinny friend or the fat friend? You are hiding spies in your house and the army commander tells you to either turn in the spies or be killed. Which do you do? You get the idea.
Read more

Ahaz Scalia Trump

For ye were as sheep going astray ~ 1 Peter 2:25

For ye were as sheep going astray ~ 1 Peter 2:25

And, no, that’s not a prospective baby name.

Two thousand sixteen is an election year and Christians seem to focus on little else at such times. Twelve years ago I wrote an article that resulted from a study of the Bible to discern what Scriptural directions a Christian has to guide them in making voting decisions. The article was entitled, “The Christian Voter’s Guide.” I received a little feedback from it, including a piece of hate mail in which I was called some ugly names by someone I don’t know and didn’t respond to. It reminded me of the intellectual level of a school yard exchange that includes many, I-know-you-are-but-what-am-I’s. I guess they took their ball and went home because I haven’t heard anything else from them. Oh well, life goes on, time heals all wounds, and all that.

2015 was a peak and plunge kind of year. We were reeling in the summer from the anti-consitutional Supreme Court decision when undercover Planned Parenthood videos began rolling out exposing the most vile and indefensible wickedness in that organization. Thus far the only thing that has resulted has been the indictment, not of Planned Parenthood, but of the investigator responsible for the videos. If we learned nothing else from these things, we know, regardless of the sitting president, we have wickedness in high places.

Racial tensions across the country were also very high, but it gets confusing when we come to the intersection of racial issues and abortion. Though the racist past and present of the abortion industry has been well documented, none or little of the aforementioned tension knocks on the abortionists’ doors. I wonder if we could finally raise civil ire if we would segregate the abortion mills so that you kill the white babies in one building and kill the black babies in a different building. If that ever happened, you could weigh the irony in kilos and sell it legally in some states.

The serious issues facing this country are far too many to list but they come into sharp focus during a major election year. Based on posts, comments, discussions, and the haunted look about the eyes of many Christians it would seem the times are desperate. When things get desperate, otherwise sane men do desperate things.

Once again, we need to look to the Bible and ask if there’s any light for our current situation and upcoming election. Paul said, “For whatsoever things were written aforetime were written for our learning” (Romans 15:4). Considering Israel, He wrote to the Corinthians: “Now all these things happened unto them for ensamples: and they are written for our admonition” (1 Corinthians 10:11). Peter added concerning the wicked cities of Sodom and Gomorrah: “And turning the cities of Sodom and Gomorrha into ashes condemned them with an overthrow, making them an ensample unto those that after should live ungodly” (2 Peter 2:6).
Read more

The Christian Voter’s Guide

“When the righteous are in authority, the people rejoice:
but when the wicked beareth rule, the people mourn.”

~ Proverbs 29:2

As Christian citizens, we sometimes wonder what the extent of our involvement with the civil government of our country should be. Usually, election time sparks a renewed interest in this issue. In this article I would like to consider especially one aspect of civil involvement—voting. Voting is one means by which we may be involved and help to elect leaders that will cause “the people” to “rejoice.”

Our text makes it obvious that we have a certain interest in the government of our land. The people can be made to “rejoice” or “mourn” by those in authority. Our government can affect us positively or negatively. In fact, our leaders have a profound power to impact our lives morally, socially, and economically. They can affect us as citizens, as churches, and as families. The government can encroach on our freedoms through expansive government, complex regulations, and burdensome taxes, or we may enjoy more liberty with a small, limited government that stays within its proper jurisdiction.

In America, we have a representative republic. The magistrates are elected to office by the citizenry of this country. This means that every adult citizen has the privilege of voting in elections. In light of our text, it would be foolish not to vote because of apathy or irresponsibility.

Perhaps, some do not make use of this privilege because voting can seem to be such an overwhelming endeavor. There are so many candidates and offices and it is hard to find reliable information. We can simplify things somewhat when we consider that each voter elects roughly about sixteen key candidates to public office on the national, state, and local levels combined. The overall number may vary given a person’s exact location, e.g. if a person lives outside of an incorporated city, he will not vote for a mayor, city councilman, etc.

We can elect five candidates on the national level—a president, a vice president, two senators, and a congressman. We can elect about five candidates on the state level—a governor, a lieutenant governor, an attorney general, a senator, and one or more representatives. Depending on the place of residence, we may elect about six candidates on the local level—a mayor, a city councilman, a city attorney, the school board, a county supervisor, and a sheriff.

These are the key public office holders that we may vote for. We elect them and pay their salaries with our taxes. They are supposed to be servants of the public and representative of their constituency. They should especially represent us morally.

When we consider the number of offices that we are responsible for, it is not such a large task to be informed of this small number of people. This brings us to the question of how we are to determine a candidate’s suitability for office. Is there some reliable guide by which we can make determinations of how fit a candidate is for the office he seeks? Yes, there is such a guide; the Bible is the best Christian voter’s guide.

Let us now look into our guide and see if we can find help for the voting dilemma. Let us consider two main questions and as we proceed, I will also try to address some common questions and difficulties we meet with as Christians trying to vote with a clear conscience.

Read more