Friday, December 16, 2011

"To My Fellow Christians" ~ A Letter From My Beloved

I'm sorry for my absence!  I've been struggling with intensified morning (a.k.a all-day) sickness for the last couple of weeks as we're approaching the end of our first trimester & simply haven't had the stomach (ha!) for writing.  But, I do have something to share with you today - a rather lengthy something written by my beloved, who has quite a gift with words!  I have been wanting to write a post on how Ron Paul's (yes, him again) views are, in fact, biblically based.  Well, out of the blue, Michael wrote a letter doing just that!  And I'd like to share it with y'all, first of all because it's very good, & secondly because I don't have to write it!  ;-)

"To My Fellow Christians,

I feel compelled to address my fellow believers, especially conservative evangelicals, as pertains to the common misconceptions concerning Ron Paul. As one who has long admired Ron Paul and the Austrian Free-Market School of Economics that informs his economic thinking, and also one who loves theology, I do not understand biblically why so many believers have the problems they do with Ron Paul, or are not strongly considering him during this election season. I would like to bring up some points in my letter that many of us may have not considered and would like feedback as to where I may have possibly gone wrong in my thinking. Personally, I've kept up with Dr. Paul since the early 1990s and love the man and what he stands for. He is quite remarkable in a myriad of ways. I think it's important for us to all be aware of these things, especially since the media is not making us aware of the facts, is often excluding him, and casting him in a negative light through mischaracterizations and half-truths. My hope is I can compel many of you to take an honest, non-biased look at Ron Paul, and to fulfill a responsibility as an American and a Christian to make an informed choice.

Are you aware of the Sanctity of Life Act Paul reintroduced to Congress in 2005? Ron Paul has taken a strong pro-life stance over his 30 years in political office. His professional life began as an OB-GYN MD. He delivered over 4,000 babies and his standard in his medical practice was pro-life, having never performed an abortion in 25 years as an MD. Part of the Sanctity of Life Act includes the repeal of Roe vs. Wade. But, I would like to bring to your consideration another area that should define our pro-life stance, and this is an area that sets Ron Paul apart from all other candidates. Is it important to be pro-life for not only the unborn, but also for those innocently killed in an unjust war or as the result of U.S. sanctions on other countries? I commonly imagine a scenario, which is very real for some, of if I lived in Afghanistan or Iraq, or another country affected by our sanctions/wars, and was innocently sitting in my home with my wife who is 8 months pregnant and 3 children and a U.S. war plane's bomb misses its intended target, hitting our home and killing all my family but me. Thousands of innocent people have died by similar means. Where does this play into being pro-life? I also think of our sanctions on Iraq in the 1990s which led to the deaths of an untold number of women and children. This may not have been directly caused by our sanctions, but at the least was indirectly. Should we Christians be concerned about life issues when it comes to these type situations, or just with the unborn? Or, is collateral damage perfectly acceptable as long as it's not Americans who die? It's easy for us to sit over here in America and ignore the plight of others who've suffered due to our non-pro-life foreign policy, yet all the while we voted for and supported it. How is that Christian?

As far as Paul's foreign policy, it has been described as being a "golden rule" foreign policy and is based on the just-war theory of Christianity. Is this not the most biblical? Does this not fit more with the biblical world view in the N.T. and how we're called to think as Christians? Having looked fully into his foreign policy myself, it makes a lot of sense. He has written a book on it and is on the Committee On Foreign Affairs. For us to think we know better than other countries, dictating to them what they can and cannot do, violating the national sovereignty of other countries, playing the role of world-bully at times, and policing the world like we do is arrogant and prideful. It also makes sense that our continued military presence in Muslim lands is like pouring fuel on the fire of radical Islamists' hatred toward us "infidels" and leads to more problems than would have been otherwise. It seems evident that our foreign policy has led to resentment by other nations, like Paul points out, and that understanding fallen human nature as we do, is a plausible explanation for much of our trouble when it comes to terrorism against us. Does it not make sense that the principle of blowback and our involvement in preemptive wars are major reasons for terrorism against the U.S.? And back to my example of an errant bomb killing innocent people, what if that happened here in the U.S.? Would we not demand retaliation and harbor resentment? So why is it okay simply because we're the ones dropping the bombs? It goes both ways. Not to mention how angered we would be if they had a long-standing presence on our land with military bases. It makes complete sense that we've angered many against us, and this is particularly dangerous when it has occurred in Muslim lands where they already have religious/theological reasons to hate us. Like I said, we're putting fuel on the fire of hatred toward us. Dr. Paul has some excellent, common sense points here.

Are you concerned with the issue of economic freedom? Is it OK for one group to manipulate its way by various corrupt means into political power, and then dictate policy in their economic favor to the detriment of others? Food would be a big example in the U.S. of what I'm talking about as pertains to this issue of economic freedom. Is having someone like Paul to fight against this type of corruption consisting of theft, greed, covetousness, selfishness, and lack of love toward one's brother important? It seems like the issue of economic freedom along with other important issues are not on the other candidates' radars, and, unfortunately neither seems to be on many believers' radars. As believers, should we allow - by not voting for a strong leader such as Paul, who's keenly aware of the problem - the roughshod ways the powerful and elite corporations are running all over their smaller competition? Competition who commonly have our good in mind and are making superior products which are better for us? Should we allow them to go on inserting themselves by morally corrupt means into policy-making positions and making laws and rules favorable only to themselves while stripping away our freedom of choice? Should we not be leaders on this issue of economic freedom, and call out for what is right by putting an end to the injustice and ensuring a true free-market economy for all, so everyone has equal and fair footing? I think similarly to how Jerry Bridges points out such a thing as "respectable sins" and our lack of seriousness about them. We're ignoring the "respectable sins" found so prevalent in our federal government - greed, covetousness, stealing, pride, selfishness, and lack of love towards one's fellow man, not to mention others - while we're caught up on the "big" sins of homosexuality and a lack of prayer in secular public schools. Notice, I did not include abortion as a "big sin". Abortion should always be opposed by all Christians and should play the most prominent and overriding role in how we vote, period.

Also, in view of us living in a secular culture, would it not be better if we Christians were not known for using the political process to legislate how secular lost people live? Are we not placing ourselves in an "us vs. them" situation? Also, are we expecting unregenerate men to live like regenerate ones when there is no way they can, when this is the only way they can live since they're dead in their sins? Are we going to make them externally conform with no heart change? We should shun the culture war, and be more concerned about the spread of the Gospel. This is the only thing that will truly change a person from the inside out. I'm concerned when we get so caught up in a culture war that it hinders our Gospel proclamation and witness and muddies the water on what our mission is to be in this world. It appears that a lot of Christians are fighting to make their fellow Americans into white-washed tombs, perfectly content with an outward morality that still dooms them to eternal damnation. While I also oppose homosexuality, I believe we have proven over the last several decades that legislating morality to lost men does not work; we should rather win them to the Gospel, by the grace of God, so that both the outside and the inside may be cleansed. As relates to this, is Ron Paul's integrity in holding fast to the Constitution, which appears to end up hurting him in most believers' eyes because on issues important to Christians, he sticks to the Constitution in how the issues of concern should be dealt with. With integrity, Paul adheres to the Constitution by advocating states' sovereignty. He says, Constitutionally, the states should make these decisions, not the federal government. I'm thinking of the issue of homosexuality and homosexual marriage. If we give the federal government power to make decisions that should Constitutionally be left up to the states, do we not open ourselves up to a lot of misery in an ever-increasing secular world, as this would give them too much power to make decisions unfavorable to us down the road? Are we not better off insisting the federal government be properly caged by the Constitution according to its original intent, so we can protect against a too-powerful federal government? Our Founders warned about this, as I'm sure many of you are well aware. Our Founders were wise in the document they gave us and we should honor their design and intent like Ron Paul does. It also seems like Paul would have some credence with Christians since he handles/interprets the Constitution like we demand the Bible be handled/interpreted - getting at the authors' original intent. Also, in this same regard, would be the fact of Paul being a reformer, which is much needed with our out-of-control federal government. I liken Ron Paul to be to our out-of-control U.S. government what Luther and Calvin were for the Protestant Reformation. We should love a man like Ron Paul who rightly adheres to the Constitution, with tremendous fortitude and integrity, over a long period, when others have given lip-service to it, then trampled all over it.

Personally, I've grown weary of the same status quo, so-called conservative, historically uninformed, integrity lacking, ignorant of sound economic thinking, vow-breaking, paying lip-service to issues while campaigning but then reneging once in office (for instance those who have promised a pro-life position, but then not doing anything about abortion when they had a majority in Congress and the presidency) type of candidates being elected. I'm ready for a real leader with the manhood to lead our country out of the mess we're in. Ron Paul's record, consistency, integrity, and commitment to principle is so unlike anything we've seen. How is it that we as believers do not take him seriously and give him a serious and honest consideration? In my estimation, we're derelict not to."


Anonymous said...

Hey there Chrissy!
After reading this thoroughly well-written and comprehensive post my first thought was, "Why doesn't Michael have a blog?" I think many people would read it!

Thanks for the post - I must admit that I am still not convinced that Ron Paul would be the best choice for the next President of the United States...but, I completely respect all that you two have said about his positive attributes and political views.

In addition, you both seem much more knowledgeable and informed than I, so I have much to learn. Thanks again!

The Boyds said...

Thank you for that compliment for Michael; he is quite talented! Technically, he does have a blog - this one. He just rarely writes. I think I need to work on him on that. Thank you, also, for reading & thinking through what we said. Honestly, that's our main goal - to get people to think. If you still aren't convinced that he's your candidate after such thought & research, that's fine! Thank you for your gracious comments (not just this one). We both really appreciate it!

April Hollingsworth said...

I'm not getting worked up over anyone just yet. By the time it's Alabama's turn to vote, it may not matter any more.