Inklings on the Australian Broadcasting Corporation’s Interview of Me

9 09 2008

Several weeks ago I was interviewed by the Australian Broadcasting Corporation for a national TV special on the upcoming presidential election in America.  The program centered around the shifting trends among the religious right away from just voting a one party ticket, especially as it related to the upcoming presidential election.  I was specifically asked questions related to the religious faith of Barack Obama and John McCain and how this might impact the upcoming presidential election.  I answered as truthfully as I could at the time.  Though the interview took over three hours, only a few minutes were used for the broadcast. 

I have just viewed the telecast that aired a few days ago in Australia.  After reviewing the program, I felt it necessary to prepare a few of my inklings and thoughts to more fully share my position as it relates to faith and politics.

Though I still do not know about John McCain’s faith, which I clearly stated in the interview, be assured that I do know about his political convictions, which was not the question.  In 30 years of voting, I have never voted in an election based largely on a candidates personal faith in God.  I vote to elect a politician who holds my viewpoints on political issues.  Romans 13 is very clear that God raises up “ministers” (mentioned 3 times) in the civil/political realm as much as He raises up ministers in the spiritual realm.  In the Romans 13 passage, the Greek word, diakonos is used, which can be translated “minister.”  But what is interesting is that Paul never indicates that this civil minister has any need for personal faith in God, but rather that God has personally placed him in that position for God’s purposes.  Indeed when Paul was writing, Nero, one of the most deranged emperors of all time, was in power in Rome.  So personal faith in God is not nearly as important to me as whether the candidate will legislate, vote, and work for laws that uphold my convictions.  As Martin Luther, the father of the reformation, once said, “I would rather vote for a good pagan than a bad Christian.”

As a minister in the spiritual realm, I look for “ministers” in the political realm who will uphold, vote for, and legislate what I believe, in my understanding of the Bible and my worship of God, to be the most consistent with the Holy Scriptures. I believe that the stark difference between the candidates (Obama and McCain) on such issues as the right to life for the unborn and marriage, which are clearly spelled out in the Scriptures, makes the decision for president a very easy one.  The contrasts could not be more stark nor more clear.

So, the issue before every thoughtful follower of Christ in America is not what John McCain or Barak Obama personally believes about God, that is his personal faith question between him and God, but rather, how will John McCain or Barak Obama, lead our country through the laws and ordinances that his administration will promote.  The Bible is certainly not clear on many political issues, and thus each believer must seek the Lord and develop his or her own political convictions, but, and I do mean but—the Bible is very clear on some issues.  Namely that life begins at conception (Ps 139; Jeremiah 1, etc.) and that marriage is exclusively between a man and a woman (Genesis 2:24 and Ephesians 5:22-33, etc.).  The two candidates stand as polar opposites on legislation on just these two issues alone.  So, as an addendum to the ABC program, let me be very clear that though I don’t consider the personal faith of a candidate as primary  in my decision of how to vote, my personal faith in what the Bible teaches does play a vital part in how I would vote for a candidate.

I hope this is helpful in relation to those who have seen the program and have further questions related to my personal convictions as they relate to religion and politics in our upcoming election. 

Pastor Steve Holt


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One response

14 09 2008
Stephan Cummings

Pastor Steve,
Chrystal and I are finally getting settled here in Maui. I hope things are going well for you. We have been fortunate enough to be more completely surrendered and broken since our arrival and we’ve seen God moving in our lives. We met someone who knew the Kina family in Okinawa (a Pastor’s wife at Grace Bible Church in Kahului).
I appreciate you posting what the Bible has to say about “ministers”. This was a principal I hadn’t heard before, but one that definitely points to God’s omnipotence. We miss your church, but have found and like Calvary Chapel in Kihei Maui. Please pray for us.

In Him,
Stephan

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