In the last 2 weeks I’ve heard several stories of individuals getting into heated discussions with other christian friends about whether to vote for Obama or McCain. Each of these stories are told by someone considering Obama as their vote. Each one describes their friend as nearly or actually questioning their sanity or faith if they would vote for Obama. I have yet to hear someone saying that a vote for McCain has cost them a relationship in their church.
Seems to me there are a couple of key reasons some Christians get up in arms over Obama.
1. He is clearly pro-abortion rights. He has as much as said he will have a litmus test for Supreme Court Justice nominees. Thus, a vote for Obama is a vote for the continuation of abortion and probably a roll-back on restrictions that have been one in the last decade.
This argument has merit and I can see Christians having strong opinions and questions about the conscience of other Christians who are planning to vote for him. On the other hand, justice issues take many sizes and shapes. While you may disagree with the democratic plan for dealing with the poor, they are the ones more likely to talk about care. Justice and care for the widow and orphan (the poor) is considered to be one of the key facets of the Christian faith (Matt. 23:23). Should abortion trump all other justice issues. Do those who vote for McCain squirm over capitalistic idolatry and the false assumption that individuals will do enough to care for the poor? Do Republicans walk the walk about voluntary sacrifice (and so actually really give sacrificially to the poor) when they accuse Democrats of trying to force it via taxation?
2. Obama is a socialist and is for big government control and mandate into all aspects of life. Our faith rights will be restricted under his power.
Again, it is an interesting debate about the role of government. I think we should be discussing the size and influence of government. Do all Americans have a right to health-care? Should the government pick up the tab? Why? These are good questions. But, should a debate here lead to the questioning of one person’s faith? I don’t see that. Scripture doesn’t support a capitalistic or socialistic government, a small government or large one. We are commanded to submit to our leaders. We are commanded to care for the poor.
Let’s not divide the church and question each other’s faith when we have political differences. The issues are important and there will be real consequences when either candidate gets elected. Let’s debate those and not the faith commitments of our brothers and sisters.