Is the Right Right? The Conflict of Ideologies Between the Political Parties in America and Who is Really Correct?
Is the Right Right?
by Joyce Reba Payne
Unity of Purpose
Many of us want to believe the church is the righteous people in the community. And we should look to our religious leaders for guidance in our time of need. It was people of faith who led us into a union that formed a powerful nation of compassionate entrepreneur spirits who have shared its resources with many worldwide. We have become a nation where others have seen God, Himself, smile on us as we did that which was right. As long as we pursued the righteous path we saw the Hand of God extended to us to give new and witty ideas for inventions and cures for diseases that have made our lives better. The nation of America enjoys the latest technology and comforts as we come together for business, social gatherings and even worship. We have truly been blessed.
Our nation was formed by many people with faith in God who fled the tyrannical rule of England and looked for a place where they could have freedom of worship in their religion. But today many say that we should not mix religion with our governing process. This issue has been discussed, debated and fought over by the most intelligent minds in our society. Thomas Jefferson, the one to whom this doctrine is attributed, actually tried to protect religion from the intrusion of government rather than vice versa. Everyone has a right to his own opinion but truth must stand in the end. We are a nation that did give respect to the God of the bible who led us to write laws that would govern our behavior based on it and somewhere in these declarations must be the truth that can help us understand the correct path to follow.
Faith and Unity
Many things would be so easy if we could just go to our religious leaders and ask: “What has God said about this or that?” But many of us know that there are just as many opinions in the church as there are in society. Our nation started out with several religious faiths including Puritans, Quakers, Mennonites, Presbyterians and Congregationalists. The majority of our people of faith no longer follow these religions. After the Great Awakening exploded across American in the 1730s, the largest religious groups were Protestant denominations of Baptists, Presbyterian and Methodists. It was right that our faith would evolve and grow into biblical expressions that more closely resemble the Christ we see in the bible. We developed into faiths that allowed more liberty, freedom of expression and individual development as our Christ taught and demonstrated in His earthly ministry. And Christ taught that we would do greater works than He because He was to leave His earthly life and ascend to heaven where He would be our High Priest interceding for us before the Father. Jesus taught that the Holy Spirit would come, lead us in truth and make us His disciples indeed. So Christ expected us to further evolve into greater expressions of faith and demonstration of His power. However, we have not all evolved or come into the same expression of truth or liberty in Christ. Therefore, we still have conflict in our religious faiths and have not come into the unity that Christ prayed about before His crucifixion.
It was always the plan of God that the love, faith, freedom and power made available after Christ ascension, as revealed in the rejoicing church on the Day of Pentecost, that we would multiply and eventually encompass the world with faith in Christ. Christ’s specific command to his apostles was to take this message of love to the entire world and every creature. And we, in this nation, are blessed with sufficient liberty, technology, manpower and church facilities to accomplish this mission with one exception: “Our faith has not evolved enough to bring down the walls of divisiveness resulting from our physical differences.
It was to be the love of God that would cause us to look beyond these physical differences and join together in a spirit of unity as was witnessed in the first church (Acts 2:42-47). The first church through unity went out to convert their cities and neighboring countries around the world. They took the gospel to Asia, Africa and territories now known as Europe. Someone said that they turned the world up side down for Christ (Acts 17:6).
Here in the United States with all our liberties and technology and with all our great churches and eloquent speakers, we cannot seem to come into agreement or do what the poor rag tag team of the early disciples managed to do without our modern conveniences. They had heart and conviction where we today seem hindered by tolerance and comfort.
There is a group in America though that refuses to be silent. Some people today call them the Tea Party in comparison to the righteous indignation of the original protestors against English taxation on tea imports to America. Today’s American Tea Party has bold, vocal and powerful leaders that possess seemingly unquenchable vigor for change. The Tea Party identifies with the political ideology of Republican Party. But the vigor of the Tea Party is so explosive until it threatens to divide the unity of this party. The Republican Party is the political right wing considered by many to be the party with hope and faith in God on both local and national levels of America. To have a political party with religious faith in God and who promotes godly principles would seem to be what America needs at this time, duplicating the pattern of those that established our nation. But what if the political right wing is not right but wrong?
We recently had two presidential elections where the Republican political party lost. We also just witnessed a powerful move of the Republican Party to squash the Democratic-backed health care law. Again the political right lost this battle as well. It would seem with the support of God on their side they would have won these battles. But what if the political right is wrong?
The political right is known to have had such powder kegs directing the Party as Rush Limbaugh (radio show host) and Sarah Palin (ex-governor of Alaska). But there were some spokespersons who took a stand based on faith in God and bible principles. The Tea Party is known to be supported by politicians, businesses, church ministries, newscasters and the general public. It has been supported by people like Congresswoman Michele Bachmann, Ron Paul, Presidential Candidate Rick Perry, Senator Rand Paul, Marco Rubio, Ted Cruz, Glen Beck, Bill O’Reilly and Sean Hannity. The right has the powerful support of wealthy financiers who spare no expense to win their cause.
As I watched the presidential elections and even the fight over the health care bill, I marveled at the powerful energy in this fight both for and against each position. It seemed as if the Greek gods had gotten involved and decided to back opposing sides. No one seemed certain who would win based on the powerful energy of the struggle and the strength of the opponents. Surely God would support the correct side and that side would prevail with God’s help. But it was not the religious right but the Democrats that won the presidential race, twice! And the healthcare bill passed with the vote of the people and the Supreme Court! God must have been sleeping when these votes came up or perhaps the right’s position was wrong.
How could the side standing on faith in God actually be wrong? I was reading an article online relating to the spiritual condition of American. The article was printed by a popular magazine and written by a well respected public speaker. As a Christian, I read the opinion and was fully persuaded of the argument and wanted to share this article with others. But first, I decided to check on line to see who this writer was. I checked the biographical information, organizational affiliations, schools attended, mentors and their beliefs. At the end of the rabbit trail that I traveled, I was shocked to find the names of Sarah Palin, Rick Perry and other right wing strategists. This speaker and peer group was not only staunch Republicans but strong supporters of the candidates who recently ran for political office that were being called wacky and unsuitable for the highest public office of the land. Without full knowledge, my religious seeking was about to lead me to agree with the political right wing whose candidates and views I did not support.
Now as a Christian I do not believe I should support a political party. Political platforms do not necessarily follow Christian principles. I believe true Christians are neither Democrats nor Republicans. The bible states that Christians are not of this world but are citizens of another system or kingdom following the directions of King Jesus (Joh 18:36). Christians are taught that they cannot serve two masters and to align their loyalty with Christ (Luk 16:13). Political parties may be right or wrong when evaluated on Christian principles. Voting on a strict party ticket could, therefore, give support for some values that are not Christian. Support for a particular issue or candidate based on moral principles though would not conflict with Christian values.
The Republican Party is supported by a surprising amount of well known and world wide Christian ministries. As a Christian I have not understood their positions and alliances on certain political issues. I understand that the majority of these ministries do not support abortion, homosexuality, same sex marital unions, pornography, removal of prayer and the Ten Commandments from schools and courthouses, or substantial governmental intervention into the personal lives of the people. All of these positions, I support as a Christian believer. But when it comes to denying charitable help to the poor, widow and immigrant through programs such as food stamps, welfare, Medicare, social security and other governmental benefits, I cannot agree with their political position or behavior.
The God of the bible that America has stood on specifically states we are to support the poor, widow, orphan and stranger (immigrant) as noted in Deut 24:21 “When thou gatherest the grapes of thy vineyard, thou shalt not glean it afterward: it shall be for the stranger, for the fatherless, and for the widow.” All of these individuals are people that the Republican Party considers as dead weigh and whom they want to throw under the bus. They feel no compassion for hungry school kids or women with children who must care for them alone while their husbands or fathers (a large majority of which are African Americans) are confined in prison. They have taken a hard stand against crime and enforced strict and often unjust laws as well as imprisonment against minorities that they believe are irresponsible or criminal. The Republican Party has recently tried to silence these same classes of people at the voting polls by stringent and biased voting laws. Can God actually support the positions or these candidates? He has already answered no several times to the amazement of the religious right who still do not understand it. Why did God not cause their positions or candidates to prevail? It must be because the right wing is wrong.
At the core of these political positions supported by the Republican Party is also the bigotry we have seen expressed by people like Rush Limbaugh, Glen Beck and others not nearly as educated or eloquent as they. God does not support the racial bigotry and the obvious hatred expressed through this party. God expressly said in the bible that He would stand up for the poor, widows and orphans (Psa 12:5). And if the Democrats’ position supports the weak and defenseless, then they have chosen the correct position favored by God.
Now, when it comes to the Democrats’ support of homosexuality and abortion that is another matter all together. Democrats believe they are correct to allow homosexuals a right to marry and women the right to have abortions. God does not endorse these actions for anyone and clearly says so in the Old and New Testaments. God made it clear that abortion, which is murder of unborn children is wrong (Mat 19:18/Jer 1:5), and that homosexuality was sin in the eyes of God (Rom 1:26-27). These are personal decisions that the person who consents will be judged by God. Jesus was asked by the religious leaders to judge the woman caught in the sexual sin of adultery but He refused to be pushed into the religious condemnation of a mob and the Law to punish her sin with death. So would Jesus now change His mind and stand in favor of the Republican efforts to bring legal condemnation on sexual sins? No political party can make morally right what God has judged as morally wrong nor can a law absolve the doer of these sins from the judgment of God. Jesus specifically taught that He did not come to condemn but to save the lost. Laws cannot regulate sexual behavior in the bedroom between legal consenting adults. God who sees all will judge all. This political fight was misdirected. As a religious people, the efforts of the right wing would have been better served if directed toward religious teachings and redemption of the lost that commit these acts from a religious standpoint and not from the nation’s legal system as Jesus demonstrated
When Jesus started His earthly ministry He did not side with the Jew’s religion or the government, which was Roman. Neither side was operating in God’s truth. Not only does America have conflicting standards but she is in conflict with herself because of resisting the foundation on which she was established.
And then there is the issue of slavery and the rights of black people that keeps coming up in the Republican Party. The Republican Party is the political group that fought for freedom from slavery even though it was the Democrats that provided civil rights for African Americans. The Republicans continue to bring up references to slavery as a divisive ploy to divide the black vote from the Democratic Party. But another reason why slavery continues to come up is because it is still an unsettled issue after all these years. Slavery was ended by the Civil War and legislation and not by winning all hearts to the righteousness of this resolution. Many people in the Republican Party have not been persuaded to the right of African Americans to have equal standing in America. Promises have continually been broken to the African American people for equality in all facets of American life by both Democrats and Republicans. But the Republican Party represents a variety of people with behavior that is very racist and intolerant of the rights of African Americans and all people outside their circles.
This Party that set the slaves free and is now supported by worldwide ministries that claims to have a closer relationship with God is the same party that is aligned with people that are racial bigots and insurrectionists plotting to overthrow the government because their opinions are not prevailing. How is it that the Republican Party supported by so many renown church ministries that claim to have Christian apostles, prophets and pastors with the revelatory gifts of knowledge, wisdom and prophesy exercised in the power of God, do not know the Word of God well enough to denounce this bigotry in its own churches and political candidates? Equally conflicting would be African Americans who side with this political party who is racially biased and who seeks to oppress the rights of black people. How can those that are Republican or Christian turn a blind eye to this obvious sin? Even non-religious citizens are able to see the hypocrisy of this religious position demonstrating such obvious racism and hatred in its ranks.
Effects on Every Citizen
You might wonder why I would dare get involved with this issue. Well, the truth is that I already wrote a book about it that is entitled: “Elephant in the Room – The Economy and Whose Job It Is To Fix It.” This book discusses in more detail some of these issues and tries to give an answer to the dilemma we face in America regarding religion, race, government and the economy of America. The politics of America affects all Americans and people on all levels are feeling the effects of poor leadership. Many in these groups cannot see beyond their peer group or leadership and need other insight. And though I am Christian, my main objective is Christ, not organizations that serve themselves. Also as a Christian who wanted to support ministries doing charitable outreach to the needy, I recently had to cancel support of some ministries with a Republican platform because of the obvious endorsement and support of very racist affiliations, hate packed positions and comments against the President of the United States. Not only were their racism and hatred wrong but the bible clearly instructs Christians to submit to those in authority and to pray for our leaders. This was in very clear disobedience to scripture and conflicts with the examples given by Christ. So I could not support these “charitable causes” with my money. Christ walked the earth as Lord and King yet He did not choose to pull down the unrighteous government but rather submitted to their judgment, even to death.
It has been said that politics and religion should be separate but they are not and nor can they be. We, as a nation, believe there are right and wrong positions and we draft our laws based on those opinions to protect our liberty and to enjoy our freedom. We are a multi-faceted nation with many conflicting views and no political party can protect or encompass all our choices. We have not come to the right understanding of power, faith or the character of the people that Christ destined for America.
Where we went wrong is the fault of our religious leaders. Christians have an obligation and right to speak out as approved by both their religious faith and American citizenship. But the church that reads and prays the Word of God should know better than it is behaving. The church’s mission was to lead the people into unity not division. With all the resources we have to learn and study individually and collectively the Word of God, we should be able to arrive at the truth of what Jesus taught and purposed for our people. How is it that we could come together as a people or party and believe that Jehovah God and our Lord is in favor of the hatred of any people?
Character of America in Limbo
When we go back to the original religions in America and look at their evolution in this nation, we find that some never evolved into the true Christ-like demonstration of love. Jesus made it clear when dealing with people who were caught in the act of adultery or stealing that He loved the person even though they committed these sins. He broke the power of the sin but He received the people in His love, ministry and kingdom. Jesus does not hate homosexuals or abortionists. He hates the sin, not the person who committed it. Jesus loves every person and died to set every person free of their sin and to welcome them into His kingdom. Who among us can hate these same people that Jesus loved and died for and yet call himself a follower of Christ, let alone a Christian leader? Churches professing faith in God should show their love for black, white, brown, yellow and red people. They should pray for and reach out to people that are homosexuals, abortionists, immigrants, poor, widow or orphan as Jesus taught. Our churches need to examine the faith they profess and see if they are really serving Christ and His principles. Churches and Christians need to get it right. Some national and worldwide ministries receiving the financial support of the God-fearing people of this nation are hiding behind political platforms. Some have come out front with their biases that really need to give their hearts to the Lord. Those possessing revelatory gifts of the Spirit need to be using them to bring Christ’s love to those still blind, rather than joining into the nation’s strife.
Yes, America is religious but is she saved? The multitude of churches and the apostasy that exists in religious circles says not. My book, mentioned above, discusses how America has come to God but has not come to Jesus. There is a big difference. Remember Jesus came to save even the organized church that was pharisaical in their behavior. You cannot be truly saved until you receive God’s Son, Jesus, and receive a new heart. It is not enough to merely profess Jesus while refusing to transform into His image. True Christians are like Christ: born again, Spirit filled and living out Christian principles in daily life. And even those professing Spirit filled Christians have to go on to be cleansed of past sinful ways and habits that can corrupt their testimony as Christians. Too many churches are allowing people to believe that they are saved by profession of Christ alone when there is not fruit of righteousness.
America Must Decide
American must also come to grips with the fact that there is a very big difference between being Christian and being a democratic society. God gave America the blessing of Christianity but never planned that America would kill Christianity to save America or that professing Christians would kill America to save their blessings. Christian faith must stand even when it conflicts with the Democratic or Republican Parties. Our democratic society should endorse all people into its society even as the church should allow all people into its doors for the Christian message. But leaders should be those who are selected from the best of us to guide all of us into a better society and sharing of resources. God did not allow America to be established for the purpose of establishing arrogance and elitism to rein over those that are already oppressed by sin and poverty. Our churches were to change America to her best self rather than establish self righteousness as a new religion. Our union should strive to usher all people into a better enjoyment of our liberty and wealth that is provided by a good God Who is Supreme over this nation. Remember Christ taught: Mar 10:44 “And whosoever of you will be the chiefest, shall be servant of all.” The religious community should not try to make the legal system of the land do what they failed to do in their churches as a religious obligation of people seeking to obey God.
Poverty should not be preferred over wealth and neither should our government, political parties or churches oppress the people and keep them poor. Both the message of Jesus Christ and the founding documents of America have promised to elevate the people to a level of equality where all people could enjoy the blessings of God. And if it has not happened it is not the fault of a Holy God but the people to whom He has entrusted His power. We have seen politicians, Christian churches, national and international ministries professing to have the revelatory gifts of Christ operating as apostle, prophets and pastors who do not seem to understand Christ’s commands or the primary message of the bible which is that God so loved the world (the poor, widow, orphans, immigrants, homosexuals, blacks, Mexicans and all other ethnicities) that He gave His only begotten Son to die on the cross to deliver them from bondage to sin, poverty and disease. And this God did because of love, not law. It is evident that neither the religious system nor our government has found the answer to bringing about equality and prosperity to all men. And whereas God has allowed both systems (religion and government) to operate in America for the blessing of all people, the war between these two systems threatens each other and the nation. Could this have been the real plan of the enemies of America? Or is this the outcome of a rebellious nation and church that refuse to accept God’s way. Surely both systems need self examination and revamping of its position. The Catholic Priest Martin Luther, from whom our Protestant faith and nation evolved, saw the conflict and hypocrisy of his religious community and government; and from His realization, our nation was birthed. So why is it that we have not learned our lessons from this history?
The Christ that purchased the right for America to exist must have the final word. There is a need for healing and reconciliation in the body of Christ and in the nation. We need to consider His heart on the matter.
For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus…1Ti 2:5
Beloved, let us love one another: for love is of God; and every one that loveth is born of God, and knoweth God. 1Jn 4:7
And if a house be divided against itself, that house cannot stand. Mar 3:25
The religious right needs to fix their religion first and then step out into the political arena with a Christ-like attitude. And they certainly should not back politicians, bigotry or hatred that pushes a political agenda in conflict with profession of Christ. The political right should first of all make sure they are right…right with God and right with man, which are the first and second Commandments spoken by Christ. And lastly, I would ask churches backing the Republican Party to go back and examine why the Tower of Babel was rebuked and their work rejected by God. It was not because the people were seeking perfection and wanted to erect their tower closer to God or His kingdom. But they were rejected because their hearts were not right. They were wrong…wrong in purpose and wrong in attitude.
Written and copyrighted by Joyce Reba Payne, www.joycerebapayneministries.com. All rights reserved.