Wednesday, March 18, 2015

The Sixth Sola of the Reformation?

If you are down with the Reformed set you know the Five Solas of justification:
  • Sola Fide, by faith alone.
  • Sola Scriptura, by Scripture alone.
  • Solus Christus, through Christ alone.
  • Sola Gratia, by grace alone.
  • Soli Deo Gloria, glory to God alone.
Turns out there is a sixth one according to Russell Moore, Sola Voting Boothus, justification by who you vote for in American Presidential elections. I discovered this in his recent post, A gospel-focused reenergizing of politics. Dr. Moore states:
We recognize that our vote for President of the United States is crucially important and we will be held accountable at Judgment for whomever we hand the Romans 13 sword to. 
Well that is a....creative... reading of Romans 13. Now perhaps that is just a clumsy or overenthusiastic statement but it is troubling because it assumes something Romans 13 does not state and could not state, as well as adding to the word of our Savior. Jesus didn't seem all that concerned with our role in electing secular leaders but rather on our identity as citizens of the Kingdom of God. I don't think Dr. Moore thinks that voting for the wrong person for President (assuming there is a "right" one) or not voting at all is going to get you cast into the lake of fire but too many people in the church already sort of assume that.

Now in fairness I was cheered to read this:
Many have rightly grown cynical of movements that are willing to adopt allies that are gospel heretics as long as they are politically correct (such as Glen Beck or Donald Trump). They are disenchanted with movements that seem more content to vaporize opponents with sound-bytes rather than to engage in a long-term strategy of providing a theology of gospel-focused action in the public square.
A lot of Christians are eager to toss born-again believers aside in favor of rank heretics and wolves like Glen Beck because they share certain political convictions. So yes to that. I just wonder if Christians should even be in the business at all of picking and choosing who we "hand the Romans 13 sword to" because it doing so we place our tacit stamp of approval on the actions of Caesar, whether it is unjustifiable wars of aggression like George W. Bush sending forces to invade and occupy Iraq or Barrack Hussein Obama assassinating people, including American citizens, with drone strikes without any sort of due process. I have been voting since 1991 and have yet to cast a ballot for anyone who governed in a Christian manner.

Sometimes laying down our political arms and focusing on the Gospel just might be the right course to take.

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