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Wednesday, November 12, 2008

How Would Jesus Vote by D. James Kennedy

I got this book last week. I left it on the library shelves until the day before the Presidential election just in case someone wanted to vote as Jesus would vote but there were no takers so I got it. I found it to be suscinct and easy to read.

Maybe the title turned people off although, as Christians, we should be interested in how Jesus would vote. But maybe they thought Dr. Kennedy was going to tell them WHO to vote for or what PARTY to vote for. This he didn't do. Although, in my opinion, the Republican platform follows the views on the issues more closely. But the Republican and Democrat Parties are equally corrupt and greedy and neither have God's perspective.

Joshua 5:13-14

Now when Joshua was near Jericho, he looked and saw a man standing in front of him with drawn sword in his hand. Joshua went up to him and asked, "Are you for us or for our enemies?"

"Neither," he replied, "but as commander of the army of the Lord I have now come." then Joshua fell facedown to the ground in reverence, and asked him, "What message does my Lord have for his servant?"

D. James Kennedy says, "(God) is not on anybody's side. Jesus said that He was the commander - Joshua's captain and the Lord of the battle. He commands not only His people but the days of all people and the host of heaven as well.

"We want to vote 'correctly,' but how do we know the right way to vote - the Christian way to vote? ..

"Jesus goes on to explain to Joshua that he will be victorious if he obeys the Lord and does what he is commanded to do. The question, therefore, is not if God is on our side, but rather, are we on God's side?"

Kennedy looks at the issues that are hot topics today and points out what the Bible says about these issues.

Abortion/Euthanasia (Psalm 139, Jeremiah 1:4-5, Luke 1:39-41, Exodus 20:13, Exodus 21:22-25, Proverbs 6:17) - God is the giver of life, life is therefore sacred and it should be left to God to make the decision to give life or to take life.

Stem cell research - Embryonic stem cell research is research conducted on the cells of human embryos and has not resulted in any "cures" although adult stem cell research (which does not raise ethical questions) has resulted in some positive results. Should human life be expendable in the quest for cures? To kill the unborn, the most vulnerable among us, defies the Creator and His creation.

Death Penalty - In the Ten Commandments (Exodus 20) God says, "Thou shalt not kill" but the word for "kill" means "murder" so it is "Thou shalt not murder". Then there are verses in Exodus 21 where God gives death penalties for certain sins. We are not to take innocent life which would be murder. But there are times when God delegates to mankind the responsibility of taking the lives of murderers. We are not to do it with hate or do it with pleasure. We need to guard our hearts from unforgiveness, bitterness, hatred because that is evil too.

War - Is War ever justified? He points out the story of Abraham going to rescue Lot from the kings who attacked cities that included Sodom and Gomorrha in Genesis 14. Rather than holding Lot responsible for choosing to live in Sodom and leaving him to his fate, Abraham immediately gathered his armed men and started on a forced march. They overcame the kings and their prisoners and the goods that they had stolen and Abraham divided his men in tow and, at night, they attacked the aggressors from opposite directions. He won the victory despite being outnumbered. He gave chase until he recovered the prisoners and the stolen goods. As he returned he was passing by the city of Salem (later known as Jerusalem) and Melchizedek, the king of Salem ("Salem" is Shalom or peace), came out to meet him. This "king of righteousness and peace" blesses Abraham for his victory and for restoring justice and offers him bread and wine. In the New Testament, Melchizedek is described as a type of Christ (Hebrews 14:18). Jesus is the King of Peace, our High Priest and he used bread and wine to represent His broken body and shed blood for us.

If you know the story of Abraham and his nephew, Lot, you know that Abraham and Sarah had basically raised Lot and considered him as a son and, yet, when they came to the Promised Land and were settled together, their were some arguments between Lot's people and Abraham's people because of the crowding. So Abraham offered to let Lot choose where he would like to move. Lot chose what looked to him to be the best land and I'm sure this must have hurt Abraham and Sarah's heart. But, as we see, Lot moved his family and servants to the valley with the cities and lived in Sodom. This is where the invading kings found him. Abraham could have thought, "What goes around, comes around. Good luck." And Abraham wasn't specifically commanded by God to wage this battle. It was not his personal household or property that had been stolen. And yet, his own conscience and beliefs about right and wrong made him make the decision to put his life in jeopardy and the lives of his men in jeopardy and go after Lot to rescue him and the others taken. He acted in faith in God and did what needed to be done. And throughout the Old Testament, there were numerable instances of just wars. Robert Morey says, "The use of force to overthrow tyranny is blessed and sanctioned by God Himself. People have the moral obligation to take whatever action is necessary to fight for the freedom and liberty of all the oppressed peoples of the world."

Education - Kennedy makes a shocking statement, "For the first two hundred years of this nation's history, education was explicitly Christian, and it produced amazing results...How interesting that with the rise of secularism in our educational institutions has come a sharp rise in illiteracy. While more than a trillion dollars has been poured into the secular public-education system in America and Christ has been taken out of it, the illiteracy rate has increased thirty-two times. Our literacy rate is rapidly plunging to that of Zambia." -and- "American education was so bad that if a foreign power had done to our public schools what the public schools have done to themselve, it would considered an act of war." -and- "If you have a college diploma, you have about the same education a sixth grader had in the first decade of the twentieth century."

I know our education system is bad and I know why. But it still shocked me to read those statements. I've always said that putting money in our schools is like putting it into a black hole. It's never enough and we aren't getting any value from it. Our children are still illiterate. In fact, it's more harmful than helpful because they don't learn, they are indoctrinated. If I had had children, I would have wanted to homeschool them.

Kennedy goes on to say that this problem began when schools became more concerned about socialization than basic learning. "We got rid of religion, then we got rid of morality, and now we are losing ground on knowledge."

Jesus would have wanted a godly education for our children. Proverbs 1:7 "The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge" and we are cautioned to raise our children in the "nurture and admonition of the Lord".

"As long as God continues to be barred from our public schools, the public-education system will continue to falter. I cannot picture Jesus Christ putting His stamp of approval on our current public-education system - not unless we see a serious overhaul. Ultimately, I think the fairest outcome would allow more freedom for all. The time should end for Christians being taxed twice because they do not want to send their children to learn in public schools. Not everyone can afford a Christian education, and not everyone is able to teach their children at home, but as parents, we will be accountable to God for the education of our children. Therefore, it is up to us to make sure our children are taught well, including being taught to fear the Lord."

I have to stop here, but Dr. Kennedy goes into economic concerns, health care issues, environmental issues, immigration and racial prejudice, marriage, judicial activism. This is a great book to give you an easy-to-read skim over modern issues and God's perspective. I recommend this book.

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