I have not posted on this blog since January. Please, stop your applause now, because my plan is to resume posting, on a somewhat regular basis. This is the inaugural post of the Coffee House’s re-launch, and to ensure that it is worthy of such an occasion I will not be writing it! Instead, the author is Philip Rogers; a veteran missionary, having been raised on the mission field, and now, with his wonderful family, faithfully proclaiming the Gospel in Chile. He recently wrote an open letter to all on his emailing list some thoughts concerning the upcoming Presidential election. After reading his letter I quickly asked for permission to re-post it at the Coffee House. He graciously agreed. I appreciate his thoughtful and biblically convinced argument. I believe you will also. So sit back, grab a cup of coffee, and enjoy this blog’s relaunch with this guest post from Philip Rogers.
When a cousin by marriage asked if I had “a prepared message/Word for our next election in the US,” the truth was that I did not. My frustration with politics and the absolute freefall of the USA had me pretty pessimistic about the future of our nation. At one point, I had even told my wife, Wendy, that I was not going to vote in this election. Those who have known me over the years know that that is a pretty big statement for me—I have always been fascinated by politics and current affairs; furthermore, I have not missed voting in a presidential election since 1988 (when I registered to vote as a college student). I will, of course, end up casting a vote in this election cycle.
Perhaps I tend toward pessimism. I recall a conversation I held as a teenager with my oldest brother (19 years my senior). At one point, he declared, “You’re a pessimist.” I replied, “I am not. I am a realist.” To which he responded, “That’s what all pessimists say!” Well, if I am a pessimist, from a purely human standpoint there is plenty about which to be pessimistic. Thankfully, however, we do not function from a purely human standpoint, since we know that someday Jesus Christ will return and put right all that is wrong with the universe! May we be found justified through his grace and by his blood at that day.
When pondering whether or not I should contribute my two cents’ worth to all that has been said and written about this election, I thought about economics, about the rule of law and disregard for our Constitution, about government encroachment on individual liberties, and countless other things. I settled on another issue, however.
In the history of our nation, there have been at least two great national sins to which many/most citizens seemed to have contributed through either activity or passivity. The first was/is slavery and racism. Few things have placed such a blot on our country as that hideous sin. We are all sons and daughters of Adam and Eve. We are all of “one blood” (Acts 17:26). Thus, even though I did not vote for Barack Obama in 2008 (and will not vote for him in 2012), a certain optimism sprang up in me at his election—for the first time in the history of the world a predominantly white nation had elected a black man as president! What a historic moment! Perhaps racial divisions could be healed and reconciliation could begin in earnest! Alas, it was not to be. Our country appears to be much more divided than it was four years ago.
The second great sin of the USA is abortion. Since the barbaric Roe v. Wade decision in 1972, over 50 million—yes that is 50,000,000—babies have been aborted. Murdered is the right term and it is time to speak clearly and truthfully, without euphemisms. I am a missionary in the country of Chile, whose total population is around 17,000,000. That means that enough preborn babies’ lives have been taken in the last 40 years in the USA as to have populated Chile three times over. An entire generation or two has been literally flushed down the sewers of America!
The Bible declares the following in Proverbs 6:16-19: “These six things doth the LORD hate: yea, seven are an abomination unto him: a proud look, a lying tongue, and hands that shed innocent blood, an heart that deviseth wicked imaginations, feet that be swift in running to mischief, a false witness that speaketh lies, and he that soweth discord among brethren.”
As a preacher, I would like to take time to exegete that passage and see its complete application to our nation at this point in history, but I will refrain from doing so at this point. I would like to, however highlight this phrase: the Lord hates “hands that shed innocent blood.” It is an incredibly, indescribably dangerous thing to be on God’s hate list. Yes, God is love but he is much more than that—he is holy. Those beings that have been in God’s presence for millennia are still overwhelmed by his holiness (Isaiah chapter 6). Familiarity breeds contempt, so they say. For those who are most familiar with God, however, that familiarity breeds awe, humility, love and worship. Those who are ignorant and far from God are the most casual toward him.
Back to “hands that shed innocent blood”—I can think of no blood more innocent than that of a baby in his or her mother’s womb. The violent snuffing out of those millions of innocent lives has not gone unnoticed by the omnipresent God of the universe—and all who have been a part of the butchering (whether, once more, through activity or passivity) in any way, should understand they have placed themselves squarely in the path of the wrath of a holy God.
President Obama defends abortion. He defends it to such an extreme that, as an Illinois state senator, he fought against legislation that would have protected babies who survive abortions. He supports partial-birth abortion. As our nation’s first black president, he must know that among African-American women, the ratio of abortions and live births is about 472 to 1,000—now that is truly genocide.
Abortion preys on the defenseless. How long can a nation stand that slaughters the weakest in its midst? We are not a civilized nation—we are a country of unspeakable barbarism. We have sunk to such a point that women from elsewhere, such as Great Britain, fly to the USA in order to have gender-selection abortions (which are illegal in the United Kingdom).
So, will I vote in 2012? Yes, I will. For whom? For Mitt Romney (even though I do so somewhat half-heartedly, for several reasons). Why? By allowing the Democrat and Republican platforms to speak for themselves, I will reveal the “why.”
Democrat Platform: “The Democratic Party strongly and unequivocally supports Roe v. Wade and a woman’s right to make decisions regarding her pregnancy, including a safe and legal abortion [Let us please stop using euphemisms—it is called “murder.”], regardless of ability to pay. We oppose any and all efforts to weaken or undermine that right.”
Republican Platform: “Faithful to the ‘self-evident’ truths enshrined in the Declaration of Independence, we assert the sanctity of human life and affirm that the unborn child has a fundamental individual right to life which cannot be infringed. We support a human life amendment to the Constitution and endorse legislation to make clear that the Fourteenth Amendment’s protections apply to unborn children. We oppose using public revenues to promote or perform abortion or fund organizations which perform or advocate it and will not fund or subsidize health care which includes abortion coverage. We support the appointment of judges who respect traditional family values and the sanctity of innocent human life.”
So, am I a one-issue voter? Absolutely not. The issue, however, of choosing between a culture of death that defends and promotes the shedding of innocent blood and a culture of life that defends human beings from the womb on does play an extraordinarily large part in my choice of candidates.
Elections have consequences. Please vote this year. Please vote, above all, in light of God’s holiness. Please vote with eternity in mind. Please vote remembering Proverbs 14:34: “Righteousness exalteth a nation: but sin is a reproach to any people.”
Allow me to close with these words from the Republican Platform: “The principles written in the Constitution are secured by the character of the American people. President George Washington said in his first inaugural address: ‘The propitious smiles of Heaven can never be expected on a nation that disregards the eternal rules of order and right which Heaven itself has ordained.’ Values matter. Character counts. . . . May God continue to shed his grace on the United States of America.” And we say “amen” to that.