where religion and politics meet

Everybody has a worldview. A worldview is what you believe about life: what is true, what is false, what is right, what is wrong, what are the rules, are there any rules, what is the meaning of life, what is important, what is not.

If a worldview includes a god/God, it is called a religion. If a bunch of people have the same religion, they give it a name.

Nations have worldviews too, a prevailing way of looking at life that directs government policies and laws and that contributes significantly to the culture. Politics is the outworking of that worldview in public life.

Our country’s worldview used to be Christianity. Now we are told it is and has always been secularism, which is practical atheism. This issue divides our country, but those who disagree are divided as well on how to respond.

Our country could not have been founded as a secular nation, because a secular country could not guarantee freedom of religion. Secular values would be higher than religious ones, and they would supersede them when there was a conflict. Secularism sees religion only as your personal preferences, like your taste in food, music, or movies. It does not see religion, any religion, as being true.

But God, prayer, the Bible, and the Ten Commandments were always important parts of our public life, including our public schools, until 1963, when the court called supreme ruled them unconstitutional, almost 200 years after our nation’s founding.

Our country also did not envision a multitude of different religions co-existing in one place, because the people, and the government, would then be divided on the basic questions of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.

Our Constitution, which we fought a war to be able to enact, states, among other things, that our government exists for us to form a more perfect union, ensure domestic tranquility, promote the general welfare, and secure the blessings of liberty to ourselves and our posterity. It could not do this unless it had a clear vision of what it considers to be true, a vision shared with the vast majority of the people in this country.

I want to engage the government, the culture, and the people who live here to see life again from a Christian perspective and to show how secularism is both inadequate and just plain wrong.

Because religion deals with things like God, much of its contents is not subject to the scientific method, though the reasons why one chooses to believe in God or a particular religion certainly demand serious investigation, critical thinking, and a hunger for what is true.

Science and education used to be valuable tools in the search for truth, but science has chosen to answer the foundational questions of life without accepting the possibility of any supernatural causes, and education no longer considers the search to be necessary, possible, or worthwhile.

poligion: 1) the proper synthesis of religion and politics 2) the realization, belief, or position that politics and religion cannot be separated or compartmentalized, that a person’s religion invariably affects one’s political decisions and that political decisions invariably stem from one’s worldview, which is what a religion is.

If you are new to this site, I would encourage you to browse through the older articles. They deal with a lot of the more basic issues. Many of the newer articles are shorter responses to partiular problems.

Visit my other websites theimportanceofhealing blogspot.com where I talk about healing and my book of the same name and LarrysBibleStudies.blogspot.com where I am posting all my other Bible studies. Follow this link to my videos on youtube:


If you want to contact me, email is best: lacraig1@sbcglobal.net

Thank you.

Larry Craig

Friday, November 7, 2014

How Christianity Prospers a Nation Part 1: Christian Morality

How Christianity Prospers a Nation and Why It Is Our Best Hope 
Part 1: Christian Morality
An Indian scholar tells of his first trip to England.[1]  His host took him to buy some milk.  There was nobody there, and they filled their containers with milk from a dispenser.  There was also a bowl of money there.  The man put in his money and took out his change.  And they left.
The guest was astounded.  He said that in India, everyone would have taken both the milk and the money.  He told this story in another country, and they said that they would have taken the milk, the money, and the cows. 
But if the customers are not honest, then the farmer would need to hire a cashier.  And who would pay for that?  The consumer.
And if the consumers can be dishonest, then so can the farmers.  They might water down the milk.  So we need inspectors to check the milk.  And who pays for that?  Again, the consumer, through higher taxes.
But if the consumers can be dishonest, and the farmers can be dishonest, then so can the inspectors.  They can be bought off or they could insist on a little something to overlook something.  And who would pay for that?  Again, the consumer.
So the price of milk went up three times because of a lack of honesty, a sense of right and wrong, what used to be called morality.  But we don’t talk about morality anymore.  That was in the old days when we thought religion had a place in public life, when we thought religion had a place in saying how we lived in our country.
Morality, at least as it has historically been understood, has to do with God.  God created the world and then gave us the rules and directions on how this works and how it is supposed to work.  Without a God, you can talk about legal and illegal, but you can’t talk about right and wrong.  Right and wrong talks about a system of morality that transcends cultures and nations, something that laws would apply in specific ways to different situations.
Morality for most people today has come to center on the matter of sexual issues, freedom from the historical constrains that were seen as unnecessary and outdated hindrances to human freedom and pleasure..  But if there is no God, or at least one that is relevant to society’s values or governmental policies, then there are no rules regarding sex. 
There are still a few carryovers from the time that we had a common morality, like the age of consent for sexual relations, the number of people who can be legally married to each other, and marriage with certain blood or family ties.  But those are being challenged, and in a secular society the reasons against them will not be strong enough to maintain the status quo.
Morality is simply the system of right and wrong.  But who is to say what is right and wrong, especially in a society and government which we are told was intended to be secular?
Today we would say it is society, or our government, which determines what is right and wrong.
But there are at least five problems with that kind of thinking:
1)         There are things that are wrong that will never have laws passed against them.  Gerrymandering voting districts is wrong, but you’re not going to see a law made against it.  Why would lawmakers make laws that are not in their own self-interest?  There are no laws against being unkind or hating people, and there will never be laws against being lazy, selfish, arrogant, or rude either. 
2)         People equate right with being legal.  If there is no law against something, then it must be alright.  We often hear politicians saying that they did nothing illegal.  That means that they broke no laws as they are written, but if the facts were known, everybody would still call their actions shady, deceptive, sneaky, or just plain wrong.
3)         People will wrangle over the letter of the law and not its intent.  If a law doesn’t explicitly describe the act in question, people feel free to do it, but they and you may well know what the lawmakers intended by that law, but because it doesn’t spell it out in those specific words, we are free to do a certain act.
Besides who knows what the intent was 20 years ago, but even still, people will normally be judged by what the law says and not what people think the originators had in mind when they passed it.
4)         Laws can change.  What was right and wrong 20 years ago could be reversed today.  Remember it was the government of Germany which tried to exterminate the Jews.  What, you don’t like Jews?  Someday you could be the one the government tries to exterminate, and who will come to your defense?
5)         The mere fact of having laws isn’t enough to keep people from breaking them.  The fear of punishment is often not enough to stop people from breaking laws.  It takes a higher reason, an allegiance to a higher power, to God who sees everything and to whom we will have to give an account of our lives at some point.  The external constraints of the law can only do so much to regulate behavior.  We have more laws today than at any time in history, and yet our jails are full.
The ethics of our country has always been that of Christianity.  But now that the country has officially turned from that to secularism due to some rulings by that court we call supreme, the country doesn’t have a moral foundation anymore.  You can’t make enough laws to cover all the possibilities of dishonesty, cruelty, deception, harm, evil, or exploitation. 
Christianity prospers a nation by establishing a moral framework that directs human behavior from the inside of a person, that motivates people to a higher standard than just what is legal.  Christianity makes people consider motives and encourages sacrificial living for causes and people beyond one’s self.   Christianity provides a higher law of love for God and people that seeks to do good to people even at one’s own expense. 
Without a society where people want to do what is right or actively seek the good of others, you need a huge government funded by people like you to protect you from everybody else, more policemen, more judges, more jails.  Congress keeps having to pass more and more laws and regulations to cover all the possible ways that people can be dishonest, and businesses incur ever increasing layers of new expenses over the cost of their goods and services to comply with them.
Prosperity isn’t just about making more and more money but keeping more of what you already have.  If government didn’t cost so much to run, taxes would be a lot lower, and everybody would be better off financially. 
Besides, I think all of us would prefer that people didn’t commit crimes in the first place rather than our society having to go through the time, expense, and trouble of finding the lawbreakers, making the case against them, and then paying to take care of them while we remove them from public life. 

[1] Vishal Mangalwadi. The Book that Made your World: How the Bible Created the Soul of Western Civilization.  Nashville: Thomas Nelson Publishers, 2011, p. 250