Including Biblical Qualifications for Civil Leaders
By Stephen McDowell
America is like a train going rapidly toward a cliff. The election of 2012 may determine if we fly off the precipice, or slow down enough to get the train turned around. During the past century America has gradually put aside her Christian foundations and embraced progressive, socialistic ideas. Our Founders put us on a Biblical path that enabled us to become the most free, just, prosperous, charitable, and virtuous nation the world has ever seen. Applying God’s Biblical blueprint made us an exceptional nation. We moved down the train track in the right direction, one that protected man’s God-given rights to life, liberty, and property, and created an environment of liberty and equality for all.
However, as we put aside God’s eternal standard and looked to man as the source of law, morality, and provision, we gradually turned the train around and instead of heading to a bright future, began chugging toward a great precipice. At times during the 20th Century (though these were few) we have had governmental leaders (such as Ronald Reagan) who understood we were going in the wrong direction and attempted to change course, but most were only able to slow the train down, not turn it around. Our current President, Barack Obama, has added much fuel to the engine, speeding up the train on its course over the cliff. While we have already been experiencing the bad fruit of unbiblical financial and moral policies sown over the generations, there may come a time when the train runs off the cliff and cannot be recovered; that is, we can go so far down the road of statism, it will be near impossible to turn it around.
Christians have a duty to choose Godly
leaders. Moses gave us three qualifications to
use as we evaluate those who govern.
Of course, God is able to do the miraculous, and there are many examples in history where God has moved mightily to transform nations. There are also many positive signs that God is at work in America – all are not dead. But the greater the mess, the more wisdom and Godly character is needed to undo the mess. The sooner we act, the more likely we can see permanent change. Political action is only one area where we have Biblical duties, and in some ways it is the least important, but it is important and we are commanded by God to take part in choosing those who govern us. So then, who should we vote for this November? In regards to the upcoming presidential election, I have heard some Christians say they will not vote for Barack Obama since he clearly supports and promotes issues contrary to the Bible, like abortion and homosexual marriage. But, they say, they cannot vote for Mitt Romney because he is a Mormon, and they point out the unbiblical doctrines of Mormonism. Their choice then will be to vote for a third party candidate, write in a name, or not vote at all. Should this be the choice of Biblical thinking Christians?
It is very important whom we choose to govern us. When the righteous rule, the people will rejoice, but when the wicked govern they will groan (Prov. 29:2). Our nation’s welfare and stability—our continuance (or recovery) as a nation of liberty, justice, and prosperity—will be greatly affected by whom we choose to lead us.
To elect Godly leaders we need to know the qualities of a Godly leader, and here, as in all of life, the Bible provides a standard. In choosing those who govern, we must compare their qualifications to those that the Bible says are of most importance.
Biblical Qualifications for Governing Officials 1
When Moses told the children of Israel to select from among them those who would govern them, he set forth a number of Biblical qualifications. He said: “You shall select out of all the people, able men who fear God, men of truth, those who hate dishonest gain” (Exodus 18:21). “Choose wise and discerning and experienced men” (Deuteronomy 1:13). He put forth three general qualifications for governing officials: fear of God, Christian character, and Biblical worldview. Duty to Vote and Participate The revivalist of the Second Great Awakening, Charles Finney, presented a list of things that must be done to maintain the revival that was in progress. One of those was:
The Church must take right ground in regard to politics. . . . [T]he time has come that Christians must vote for honest men, and take consistent ground in politics…. [T]he Church must act rightly or the country will be ruined. God cannot sustain this free and blessed country, which we love and pray for, unless the Church will take right ground. Politics are a part of a religion in such a country as this, and Christians must do their duty to the country as a part of their duty to God…. He will bless or curse this nation, according to the course they [Christians] take [in politics]. 2
Failure of the church (i.e., God’s redeemed people) in America to take right ground in politics in the past century or so has led to our current looming governmental crisis. We have chosen the bramble (thorn bush) to govern us and are reaping the consequences (Judges 9:8-15).
It is not only a privilege, but a duty and command for Christians to vote. Civil government is a divine institution of God that exists to protect the life, liberty, and property of citizens, enabling them to more effectively advance the Kingdom of God in the earth. Civil leaders are servants of the people and of God, and are to govern under His higher authority. Rulers are to be ministers of God for good (see Romans 13:4; Luke 22:25-26). For this to occur, Christians must be involved in selecting good men to office.
Voting is actually the most minimal means of fulfilling our duty. We should also be continually involved in the process of training men to govern, and getting them on the ballot. Hence, we must be involved in local party politics. If we are not involved in the preparation process, we will continually find we have no real choices on the ballot when we vote. We will always be faced with the prospect of “choosing the lesser of two evils.” It would be better to get involved in every aspect of preparing and choosing civil leaders so we have a real choice.
To elect Godly men, we should understand the Biblical qualifications for leaders, learn of the character and worldview of the candidates, and vote accordingly.
How do the two main presidential candidates align with God’s standard? I will only be comparing Barack Obama and Mitt Romney since there is no chance that any other candidate can win (due to the nature of our electoral system, we have two main parties). If there is no real difference in these two men, then it doesn’t matter if you vote a third party, or not vote at all. But if there is a difference, not voting for the better of the two candidates is in reality voting for the worst one.
We may lament that we do not have a Godly candidate who can win this election, but we only have ourselves to blame. God instructs us to be good stewards of civil society. He tells us to prepare Godly leaders and to send them out to govern in a Biblical manner. We have not done so, hence, we get the current presidential choices before us – Obama or Romney. We will have better choices in the future if we fulfill our civil duties. Thankfully, we do have some good choices (depending upon where you live) in various races on the local, state, and national levels. We should work hard to get the good guys elected.
1. Faith or True Religion – “men who fear God”
The fear of God is an essential qualification for a Godly official. What are men like who fear God? Matthias Burnet explained in an election sermon in 1803 that they are, “men acting under the belief and awe of God as their inspector and judge, to whom they consider themselves accountable for their conduct and whom they fear to offend.”3 This is not just saying “I am a Christian,” simply going to church, or culturally embracing Christianity, but it is having a reverential fear of the Almighty. Many today think that the fear of God is of no matter for our rulers, and even see it as a negative factor. Rev. Burnet said it well:
If God be such a being, as both reason and revelation declare him to be, an omniscient, holy, just and all-powerful being, whose eyes are in every place, beholding the evil and the good, to punish the one and reward the other according to their character and deeds, then certainly, the fear and awe of him must operate as the greatest restraint from that which is evil, and the most powerful incentive to that which is good, and he who is truly actuated by this principle, will never give his voice or influence to pervert justice or support iniquity. But the man who does not believe in the being and providence of God, or is not actuated by the fear and awe of him, has in many cases no bond or restraint upon his conduct, and therefore is not fit to be trusted with a nation’s weal, which he will not scruple, whenever he can with impunity, to sacrifice to his lust or ambition.4
When the righteous rule, the people rejoice. The righteous are those in right standing with God — they fear God, the true and living God. How do the two major presidential candidates align with this?
Obama claims to be a Christian, but the church he identified with for over 20 years was theologically liberal and embraced many unorthodox positions. In addition, many of his actions are contrary to Biblical truth. Jesus said you would know His followers by their fruit (Matthew 7:20); that is, how men act reveal what is in their hearts. Jesus also said, “If you love Me, keep My commandments” (John 14:15). Obedience to His Word is a primary indicator of a true believer.
Professing faith yet living contrary to the precepts of the Christian faith can actually be worse than not professing at all. Paul writes that those who claim to represent God’s true covenant people, yet break His law, dishonor God and bring reproach to the true faith (Roman 2:23-24). Such action presents a false testimony to true Christianity. Jesus’ strongest rebukes were to those professing members of the covenant who regularly violated the commands of God.
Therefore, to evaluate Obama’s faith we need to look at his words and, more importantly, his deeds. While Obama may claim to be a Christian, his actions show a great hostility toward Christianity, and, at times, encouragement for Islam. Here are a few of the scores of actions revealing Obama’s hostility to Biblical faith:5
- April 2008 – Obama speaks disrespectfully of Christians, saying they “cling to guns or religion” and have an “antipathy to people who aren’t like them.”
- April 2009 – When speaking at Georgetown University, Obama orders that a monogram symbolizing Jesus’ name be covered when he is making his speech.
- September 16, 2009 – The Obama administration appoints as EEOC Commissioner Chai Feldblum, who asserts that society should “not tolerate” any “private beliefs,” including religious beliefs, if they may negatively affect homosexual “equality.”
- May 2009 – While Obama does not host any National Day of Prayer event at the White House, he does host White House Iftar dinners in honor of Ramadan.
- 2010 – While every White House traditionally issues hundreds of official proclamations and statements on numerous occasions, this White House avoids traditional Biblical holidays and events but regularly recognizes major Muslim holidays, as evidenced by its 2010 statements on Ramadan, Eid-ul-Fitr, Hajj, and Eid-ul-Adha.
- October 19, 2010 – Obama begins deliberately omitting the phrase about “the Creator” when quoting the Declaration of Independence – an omission he has made on no less than seven occasions.
- April 2011 – For the first time in American history, Obama urges passage of a non-discrimination law that does not contain hiring protections for religious groups, forcing religious organizations to hire according to federal mandates without regard to the dictates of their own faith, thus eliminating conscience protection in hiring.
- August 2011 – The Air Force stops teaching the Just War theory to officers in California because the course is taught by chaplains and is based on a philosophy introduced by St. Augustine in the third century AD – a theory long taught by civilized nations across the world.
- May 2012 – The Obama administration opposes legislation to protect the rights of conscience for military chaplains who do not wish to perform same-sex marriages in violation of their strongly-held religious beliefs.
- June 2012 – Bibles for the American military have been printed in every conflict since the American Revolution, but the Obama Administration revokes the long-standing U. S. policy of allowing military service emblems to be placed on those military Bibles.
- February 2012 – The Obama administration makes effulgent apologies for Korans being burned by the U. S. military, but when Bibles were burned by the military, numerous reasons were offered why it was the right thing to do.
As we shall see, Obama is also anti-life, supporting and promoting abortion consistently throughout his public life, is against the Biblical family, recently saying he supports same-sex marriage, and promotes public immorality. The conclusion is that, while a professing Christian, Obama shows little fruit of true Christian faith.
Romney is a professing Mormon. Mormonism is a non-Christian religion with fundamental theological beliefs that are contrary to Christian orthodoxy. Mormons do say they believe the Bible and that Jesus is divine and their savior, but this is not in the same sense as Biblical Christianity.
Some of the doctrines of Mormonism are strange, though it does promote a general positive morality. Some Christians have said that the spiritual effects of having a Mormon as President would be extremely negative, and we should keep this from happening at all costs. They say that all of America’s Presidents have claimed Christianity as their faith, and we should keep it that way. Electing a Mormon would only give credence to this cultist faith, and possibly open up America to new judgments of God.
It is true that all Presidents to date have professed the Christian faith, but they have certainly not all been true believers, nor lived as Christians. Many, especially in the 20th Century, have implemented policies contrary to the Bible and the principles of liberty. Their actions have led America away from God. You could easily argue their actions have done more to distort true Christianity than many false religions. At least with a Mormon President, most people would know they believe in a different God than that of the Christian faith, or at least have a better opportunity to learn this, which has occurred since Romney’s rise. (Romney expressed this recently when speaking at Liberty University, saying he knew evangelicals have different beliefs than Mormons.) Leaders professing Christianity, but not demonstrating it in personal action or political policies, would present a false and distorted image of true Biblical Christianity and its good fruit. This would drive many away from Christianity, saying “if this is what Christianity produces I want nothing of it.”
Regarding his actions, Romney is pro-life and upholds the Biblical family, so in these two important matters, unlike Obama, he embraces the ideals of the Christian faith. Romney has also not shown hostility toward Christianity as has Obama. For example, he is against forcing businesses and organizations to provide abortion services as part of the medical care for employees.
Neither candidate acts like a regenerated believer who meets the qualification of fearing God as the Bible presents. But there are some clear distinctions between the two regarding the other two qualities.
2. Morality or Christian Character – “men of truth,” “hate dishonest gain”
A second qualification for Godly officials is morality. They should be “men truly honest and upright in their principles and views, not actuated and governed by the sordid motives of self interest and aggrandizement in their desire and execution of office, but by a sincere regard to the public good.”6 There are many examples in history where corrupt and unprincipled rulers have brought on all kinds of miseries to mankind—including loss of liberty and the downfall of nations. Socialist and progressive leaders of the 20th Century did much to steal the liberty and property of many. This includes many American leaders, such as President Franklin Roosevelt, who may have done some good things, but did many things to increase the welfare state and diminish American liberty. The actions of these leaders flowed from a wrong worldview, but were often accompanied by dishonest and immoral behavior.
Chandler Robbins, in an Election Sermon in 1791, said, “Nothing will so surely, so rapidly bring on the dissolution of society, and the loss of the liberties of a people, as a want of virtue and integrity in their rulers.”7 Two important character qualities needed by rulers are honesty and humility. Honesty is obviously important in a ruler. Proverbs 29:12 says “if a ruler pays attention to falsehood [hearkens to lies], all his ministers become wicked.” If a man cannot keep personal vows or oaths, we cannot expect him to keep national vows. We have witnessed this in recent years.
Knowledge or intelligence (as man sees it) without honesty — a good genius with a bad heart — is worse than an ignorant honest man because the evil genius could find more subtle ways to rob the people of their rights. Some have argued support for certain candidates based upon their intelligence, saying: “He’s so smart. We ought to elect him.” Yet, if a man, no matter how smart, is reasoning from wrong presuppositions, or has bad character, he will not be a good leader.
Humility is a second great quality needed in leaders. Jesus taught that leaders are to be servants (Matthew 20:25-28).
How do the presidential candidates align with Christian character?
One positive aspect of Obama’s character is that he appears to love his wife and children. Yet, at the same time he supports gay marriage and is radically pro-abortion. While apparently faithful to his wife, he has done much to undermine public morality by promoting pre-marital sex. For example, in August 2010, the Obama administration cut funding for 176 abstinence education programs, desiring rather to fund teaching teens that sex before marriage is okay if it is “safe.”8 His positions on the two most important moral issues of life and family follow:
Anti-life / Pro-abortion
- Obama is strongly pro-abortion. He voted against banning partial birth abortion as a legislator in Illinois.
- January 2009 – Obama lifts restrictions on U.S. government funding for groups that provide abortion services or counseling abroad, forcing taxpayers to fund pro-abortion groups that either promote or perform abortions in other nations.9
- March 2009 – Obama gave $50 million for the UNFPA, the UN population agency that promotes abortion and works closely with Chinese population control officials who use forced abortions and involuntary sterilizations.10
- July 2010 – the Obama administration uses federal funds in violation of federal law to get Kenya to change its constitution to include abortion.11
Promotes homosexual lifestyle and marriage
- July 2009 – The Obama administration illegally extends federal benefits to same-sex partners of Foreign Service and Executive Branch employees, in direct violation of the federal Defense of Marriage Act.12
- July 2011 – Obama allows homosexuals to serve openly in the military, reversing a policy originally instituted by George Washington in March 1778.13
- 2012 – Obama announces his support for same-sex marriage. The Democratic party platform embraces same-sex marriage as well.
There are numerous incidents of Obama being dishonest. He has often violated his word. For one, Obama promised he would not rush legislation through Congress, but he rushed both the stimulus bill and Obamacare. Obamacare was pushed through so rapidly that few, if any, Congressmen even read it all. Remember then Speaker Pelosi’s famous comment that we need to pass it so we can learn what is in it. We have since learned health care providers must cover abortions and also child sterilizations without parental consent.14
While running for President in 2008 Obama promised to cut the deficit in half by 2012. Under Obama, deficit spending has more than doubled that of previous years, amassing over $5 trillion dollars during his term. While some concession could be given to cutting it in half, he has done little to even try to limit government spending. He did call for a freeze on pay of federal workers and for cutting some programs, but the only real cuts appear to be coming in military spending. Overall, spending under Obama has been 40% greater than tax revenue, hence we have had to borrow more and more money, leading to a current national debt of about $16 trillion. Some have argued that under Bush and other Presidents there was large deficit spending, so we cannot condemn Obama for doing the same. The general nature of deficit spending by the federal government over the years, under both Democrats and Republicans, is immoral and unbiblical. It is in fact, theft, violating God’s commandment to not steal, since future generations will be forced to pay for current spending.15 It is wrong no matter who does it. We must stop this or experience grave consequences.
Obama has taken deficit spending to a new unprecedented level. So if Bush was wrong (and he was), Obama is doubly wrong. We must, of course, remember that deficit spending cannot occur without the approval of Congress, so we should always look at the House and Senate budgets, and how our Congressmen voted regarding these budgets, to help determine for whom we should vote. (You should take note that the Senate under Democratic control has not passed a budget in over 3 years.)
Some of Obama’s recent campaign ads are astoundingly dishonest. Like the claim of one that a man’s wife died of cancer due to lack of insurance that is blamed on Romney’s actions while at Bain Capital. Even the leftist media has pointed out the absurdity of this.16
Like Obama, Romney appears to love his family and wife, and presents a positive image of the family. While not a true believer, he generally adheres to Biblical positions on many moral issues (though with some clear differences; see below). In addition, he has pledged to bring government spending under control, not stealing from future generations by borrowing money today. His selection of Paul Ryan as his vice-presidential running mate shows he is serious about taking hold of runaway federal budgets because Ryan was the author of a very specific bill that would balance the budget (Romney endorsed the bill).
- Romney has been called a flip-flopper on issues, in particular on abortion. In recent years, Romney has spoken out against abortion and called for overturning Roe vs. Wade; however, while governor of Massachusetts, Romney repeatedly described himself as pro-choice. He explained the evolution of his beliefs on abortion in an interview with the Des Moines Register in 2007, stating, “I was effectively pro-choice when I ran for office. When I became governor of Massachusetts, the first time a bill came to [me] that dealt with life, I simply could not side with—with taking a life, and I came on the side of life. Every bill that came to my desk, every issue that related to protecting the sanctity of life, I came down on the side of life.”17 Romney’s current position is that he’s prolife but, “I’m in favor of abortion being legal in the case of rape and incest, and the health and life of the mother.”
- Romney has expressed support for the Biblical family and opposition to gay marriage, stating “I believe we should have a federal amendment in the Constitution that defines marriage as a relationship between a man and woman, because I believe the ideal place to raise a child is in a home with a mom and a dad.”
- He reiterated his opposition to gay marriage after President Obama offered support for gay rights in May 2012, stating “I believe marriage is a relationship between a man and a woman.” · However, Romney has expressed support for homosexual adoption. This past May, in an interview with Neil Cavuto of Fox News, he explained that while he is against the concept of homosexual “marriage,” he does believe that homosexual couples should be able to adopt children. Romney said, “if two people of the same gender want to live together, want to have a loving relationship, or even to adopt a child, in my state, individuals of the same sex were able to adopt children. In my view, that’s something that people have a right to do, but, to call that ‘marriage’ is something that in my view is a departure from the real meaning of that word.”18
- Romney believes homosexuals should be allowed in the Boy Scouts, but supports the right for the Scouts to decide on this issue. “I support the right of the Boy Scouts of America to decide what it wants to do on that issue,” Romney stated from a 1994 political debate, which a Romney spokesman has said remains his position. “I feel that all people should be able to participate in the Boy Scouts regardless of their sexual orientation.”19
There are clearly differences in the views of Obama and Romney on life. Since valuing life is of highest concern to God, this one issue alone should be enough to sway Biblical thinkers away from Obama. How one views the family is also a central issue from a Biblical perspective. Romney’s view is more closely aligned to the historic and traditional Biblical view than Obama’s, although his support for gay adoption is troubling since it gives credence to the homosexual lifestyle, in contrast to what the Bible teaches regarding this behavior.
3. Biblical Worldview or Knowledge – “men of truth,” “wise,” “discerning”
Both Obama and Romney fail to align with the first Biblical qualification. Obama also generally fails to meet the second qualification, while Romney embraces some important Biblically moral positions, like being prolife. It is especially in this third Biblical qualification for governing officials that distinctions arise.
In many ways this third qualification is of most importance because a man will act and vote based upon how he thinks. If he thinks wrong he will vote wrong. The best leaders will have a Biblical philosophy of government, understanding its purpose (to protect the life, liberty, and property of citizens) and limited nature. Government is not our savior. It is not to provide for us, control our children, govern our property, or regulate every aspect of our lives.
The tendency of fallen man is to assume too much power, with this often justified for benevolent reasons. Jesus taught we are to render to Caesar (civil government) things under his jurisdiction (which are very limited) and to God the things that are God’s. In America today, we have been rendering to Caesar the things that are God’s as we have moved towards socialism. Under all forms of statism, civil government assumes the role of God, the family, the church, and the private sector. 20
Socialism is the golden calf of modern America and is a great threat to liberty and prosperity. Discerning whether a candidate adheres to a Biblical or socialistic philosophy of government comes down to the question, “Who controls the property and children in the nation?” Whoever controls the property controls the present, whoever controls the children controls the future. God has given this responsibility to the family, not the state.
We must seek to place men in office who understand the divine, but very limited role, of civil government. Without knowledgeable Christians participating in elections, America will become another Tower of Babel, with man looking to himself for all things. As Rev. Burnet stated in his sermon before the Connecticut Assembly, we should choose “men of good natural understanding and competent acquired knowledge.”21 Knowledge is more important than belief for daily living out your life. Many people say, “I believe in Christ,” but this means different things for different people. Your knowledge determines your actions and belief, for as a man “thinks in his heart, so is he” (Proverbs 23:7).
A few years ago I ruptured my Achilles tendon playing basketball. The first question I asked my family doctor about the various specialists who could perform surgery was, “who is best able to repair it?” not “which, if any, doctor is a Christian?” Now, if two were equally skilled, I would certainly choose the Christian.
The same concept applies to rulers. We want those who best know how to govern Biblically — those who have a Biblical philosophy of government. Some non-Christians’ governmental philosophy is more Biblical than some Christians’. Most rulers will not have all Biblical qualifications, so we must weigh all factors. Mature Christians should have mature Biblical knowledge. Unfortunately, many Christians never develop mature Biblical knowledge. I would rather elect an unregenerate man with a Biblical view of governance than a believer who thinks like a pagan, for your knowledge determines your actions.
The Bible says we are to help the poor. To some Christians this means using the force of government to make everyone fulfill this duty. Those with this philosophy would tax all citizens and take this money to give to others. This is really socialism, justified under the guise of fulfilling our Biblical duty. History has shown socialism does not work, and a study of the Scriptures reveals our duty to the poor must be fulfilled voluntarily by individual choice, and in a Biblical manner. Considering that one third of our tax dollars is spent on social programs, our rulers’ governmental philosophy matters greatly.
Righteous rulers will know the Biblical purpose of government and civil law, which is to restrain the evil action of men in society (Romans 13:1-4; 1 Peter 2:13-14), so that they will not try to make the law do what God never intended it to do.
Godly rulers will also understand jurisdictional authority. Jesus taught in Matthew 22:17-21 that the state has a legitimate function, but that it is limited and should not usurp the authority He gave to individuals, the family, and the church. It is essential that our elected officials understand to whom God has given authority to do what. The result of usurpation of authority by the civil government from the family and church is tyranny.22
Understanding the limited role of government is very important, because the tendency of fallen man is to centralize and increase power, which is often done in the name of good. Most rulers in the world today are statists or socialists, including President Obama. Those with a statist philosophy see civil government as the primary authority in the world—the state (and its law) is the savior. In a statist world, there is no other savior; government must save man for there is no supreme God to do so.
While there is some significant differences in the Republican and Democratic parties (comparing the Party Platforms shows profound differences), most of America’s national elected officials are socialists or statists, as evidenced by spending appropriations of tax dollars. A minority of principled representatives adhere to the limited jurisdiction of government, while most go along with uncontrolled spending. Ever increasing spending by government is done in the name of helping society and the citizens, and is considered legitimate since, to many, the law or government is savior. This often takes the form of taking from one group of citizens to give to others, which is not compassionate governing, but rather stealing. Government is to protect its citizens, not plunder them.
In addition to understanding the purpose of government and jurisdictional authority, there are many other aspects of a Biblical philosophy of government that Godly leaders should embrace, including: being pro-life, pro-liberty, and pro-property rights; having knowledge of inalienable rights, the laws of nature, and the laws of nature’s God; understanding the power and form of free nations; and recognizing that self-government under God is the foundation of all earthly governments desiring liberty.23
To summarize, policies of leaders that give more control of property or children to the state is movement away from the Biblical standard. In general, an increase of taxes – especially unbiblical taxes (inheritance, property, and graduated income) – shifts control of property from the family to the government, which undermines the family and leads to loss of liberty.
What if no candidate on the ballot has all the Biblical characteristics? Consider the one whose policies result in smaller government, the one that allows families to manage their property and children, the one that allows all individuals to keep more of their money, then vote for him.
When comparing the worldview and political philosophy of Obama and Romney, we see a great difference in the two candidates.
Issues of importance to Christians (and others) and the Biblical position, include: 1) Pro-life – protect the unborn, against abortion; 2) Preserve the Biblical family; 3) Oppose homosexual agenda; 4) Public morality; 5) Protect family property rights; 6) Limited government; 7) Judicial appointments that uphold Biblical issues. Obama’s views on life, the family, religious liberty, and public morality were presented above. Some other views of his include:
Governmental View: Statist / Socialist / Big Government
- Taxes: President Obama has called for the so-called “Buffett Rule,” which would impose a 30% tax rate on all individuals making over one million dollars a year. As a senator, Obama consistently voted against abolishing or raising the limits on the so-called “death tax” or inheritance taxes.
- Obama’s national healthcare program (Obamacare) moves the control of medical care from the private sector to government. Obamacare will place another 60 million Americans in Medicaid, a system that is already bankrupting the states. Under Obamacare employers must provide “free” contraceptives, sterilization and abortion-inducing drugs to employees as part of their health care plan, hence forcing many religious organizations and businesses to violate their conscience and religious convictions.
- Welfare state – Obama has pushed to greatly expand the food stamp program where now 1 in 5 American families receive food stamps.
- Obama ended welfare reform by illegally gutting the federal work requirement for those receiving government money.24
- Obama administration spent about $50 billion of taxpayer money (with current loss to taxpayers of $25 billion25) to bail out General Motors, throwing all bondholders “under the bus” and giving control of the company to government bureaucrats and unions, whose past demands brought the company to the point of bankruptcy and need of being bailed out in the first place. (Some have claimed this to be a good thing, but propping up a non-productive and ineffectively run business is no different than what communist nations have done with their government run and owned businesses. It is not a great accomplishment to save a business that cannot compete in the free market with $25 billion of money belonging to someone else.) There were similar bailouts for other companies.
- Obama’s “Cash for clunkers” program was a government subsidy to attempt to direct consumer spending. This forced taxpayers to subsidize his neighbor’s car purchase.
- Money to “green companies” that have gone bankrupt and could never survive on their own. (Solyndra cost at least a half-billion public dollars.)
Lack of fiscal responsibility
- The $800 billion stimulus package was a failure. The Keynesian philosophy of having government spending to stimulate economy does not work, and has never worked. There has been a net loss of jobs since Obama became President and attempted to create new jobs by spending borrowed money.
- Federal deficit has increased over $5 trillion in less than 4 years.
- Obama’s annual budget deficits have been over $1 trillion each year, dwarfing the deficits under Bush and previous Presidents. Deficit spending is wrong, and consistent deficit spending for decades contributed to the fiscal mess that Obama inherited, but his actions have compounded the mess. He plans to continue the same failed policies.
Obama energy policies stifle economy26
- Wasting billions on loan guarantees (including bankrupt Solyndra, Solar Trust of America, Beacon Power and Energy).
- Banking on electric car dream machines that are impractical and few want to buy.
- Saying “No” to the Keystone Pipeline and to domestic energy production. This when recent developments in technology have enabled cheap extraction of shale oil, and increased the useful oil reserves in the US to more than Saudi Arabia, making energy independence easily achievable.
- The EPA’s regulatory train wreck: The Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) ream of new regulations will adversely affect existing power plants (not to mention private property of many individuals).
- Job-killing CAFE Standards
These are just a few of the Obama policies and laws that are not in line with a Biblical worldview. Since laws are the working religion of a people, we gain much insight into the true and practical faith of Obama. His profession does not align with his action. Titus 1:16 speaks of those that “profess to know God, but by their deeds they deny Him, being detestable and disobedient, and worthless for any good deed.” This is an apt description of Obama regarding his service in civil government. In evaluating Obama’s political philosophy overall, he is likely the least Biblical of any of our Presidents.
What are Mitt Romney’s views regarding these important issues? His view of life and the family were presented above. Following are some of his views on spending and the scope of government.
Governmental View: semi-limited
- Taxes: Romney supports eliminating the estate tax (the “death tax”) and eliminating all capital gains taxes for those who earn less than $200,000 a year.
- Romney has proposed a balanced budget amendment requiring Congress to submit a balanced budget each fiscal year to help contain the current budget deficit.
- In early 2009, Romney came out against the stimulus bill passed by Congress and signed by President Obama, calling for increased tax cuts over increased spending.
- Romney strongly endorsed the plan put forward by Congressman Paul Ryan in early 2012 that proposes to solve the budget deficit by cutting nearly $5.3 trillion in federal spending while simultaneously slashing tax rates for Americans earning over $150,000 a year, calling it “simply marvelous” and a “bold and exciting effort” in March 2012.
- Romney has repeatedly expressed support for repealing Obamacare, stating in December 2011, “If I’m President, we’re going to get rid of ObamaCare and return, under our Constitution— the 10th Amendment—the responsibility of health care to the people in the states.” However, as governor of Massachusetts, Romney signed a bill setting up a state health care system, though he says this would not be appropriate for every state.
- Unlike Obama, Romney supports prohibiting governmental mandate of abortion services, and hence, not violating people’s religious liberty.
- Romney supports the development of all of America’s energy sources, including coal, oil, nuclear, and alternative sources, with the goal of making America energy independent. He is against subsidizing wind power.
Romney embraces a plan to balance the budget and get government spending under control. Reducing government spending and regulations will help the economy to grow, as the private sector will have more funds to create new goods and services. He is for more of a limited government than Obama, which is good, but, like most of our current leaders, Romney is still a progressive in many ways; for example, he oversaw the establishment of a state health-care program in Massachusetts. His policies are a step in the right direction compared to where we have been going, but in reality only slows the train down. It is still going in the wrong direction.
Under Obama’s fiscal and moral leadership, the train is heading toward the cliff at 100 miles per hour. In general, those who have led the nation in recent generations, both Democrats and Republicans, have been going the wrong way on the track headed toward the cliff. Some have slowed the train but what is needed is to turn the train around. There are those currently serving in government who want to do this, and have tried, but we need more servant leaders who adhere to the Biblical qualifications of Godly officials before this is possible.
Since slowing the train down will give us more time to prepare new leaders, Romney seems the best option at this time. In contrast to Obama, he also supports life and upholding the Biblical definition of marriage. Romney certainly does not meet all of the Biblical qualifications for Godly officials, but he comes closer to the standard than Obama. We cannot afford to continue down the wrong track at 100 miles per hour because the cliff is coming soon. Slowing the train to 20 miles per hour may give us time to awaken to our civil duties, and restore Godly leadership to the nation.
To those who say they cannot vote for either and will vote “other,” this is in reality a vote for the least Biblical guy. By your tacit consent, you are helping put the worst guy in office. At 100 miles per hour, I fear we cannot last long enough to restore America to its place as the most free, prosperous, virtuous, and just nation the world has ever seen.
Godly leaders begin with Godly citizens. Reform begins in our house, but it will eventually be reflected in the White House. America needs Godly transformation. Those that are transformed need to be eternally vigilant to have this reflected in our civil leaders.
Noah Webster summarized the effect of unprincipled men in office:
Let it be impressed on your mind that God commands you to choose for yourselves rulers, “just men who rule in the fear of God.” The preservation of a republican government depends on the faithful discharge of this duty; if the citizens neglect their duty and place unprincipled men in office, the government will soon be corrupted; laws will be made, not for the public good, so much as for selfish or local purposes; corrupt or incompetent men will be appointed to execute the laws; the public revenues will be squandered on unworthy men; and the rights of the citizens will be violated or disregarded. If a republican government fails to secure public prosperity and happiness, it must be because the citizens neglect the divine commands, and elect bad men to make and administer the laws.27
The election of unprincipled men produces misery and tyranny, but Godly rulers bring peace, prosperity, justice, and rejoicing. If we fulfill our duty and place Godly men in office (who have knowledge, character, and faith) our future will be bright. According to 2 Samuel 23:3-4, The God of Israel said…He who rules…in the fear of God, is as the light of the morning when the sun rises, a morning without clouds, when the tender grass springs out of the earth, through sunshine after rain.
- For more on this subject see, Stephen McDowell, Qualifications for Godly Officials, Building Godly Nations, Charlottesville, Vir.: Providence Foundation, 2004, pp. 231 ff.
- Charles G. Finney, Revivals of Religion, Virginia Beach: CBN University Press, 1978, pp. 311-312.
- Matthias Burnet, Religion and Government the Foundations of Order, Peace, and Security, in Society, An Election Sermon Preached at a General Assembly of the State of Connecticut at Hartford, on the Day of the Anniversary Election, May 12, 1803.
- List from David Barton, Americas Most Biblically-Hostile U.S. President, WallBuilders, 2012,http://www.wallbuilders.com/libissuesarticles.asp?id=106938
- Chandler Robbins, And Also in Judah Things Went Well. A Sermon Preached before His Excellency John Hancock, Governour; His Honor Samuel Adams, Lieutant-Governour; the Honourable the Council, and the Honourable the Senate and House of Representatives, of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, May 25, 1791, Being the Day of General Election.
- Barton, http://www.wallbuilders.com/libissuesarticles.asp?id=106938
- For more on this see Stephen McDowell, The Economy from a Biblical Perspective and Honest Money and Banking, both published by the Providence Foundation.
- This ad was not directly produced by the Obama campaign; but he in no way discredited it, and he could have certainly stopped it.
- See McDowell, Rendering to Caesar the Things that Are Gods, Providence Foundation.
- See McDowell, Building Godly Nations, Chapter 3 to learn the purpose and responsibilities of the individual, family, church, and state.
- See Liberating the Nations, Chapter 1, by Stephen McDowell and Mark Beliles, Charlottesville, Vir.: Providence Foundation, 1995.
- Payback estimate for GM bailout slips, The Daily Progress, Tuesday, August 14, 2012, Charlottesville, Virginia.
- Noah Webster, History of the United Sates,