Election 2020 Primer: Love Your Neighbor…

Bernie Diaz, October 21, 2020

One of the things I love most about America’s founding is the simple, but amazingly profound truth and the perpetual relevance of its greatest values, found in the Declaration of Independence’s oft-quoted and too-oft neglected second paragraph:

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.–That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed..

Three items stick out to me from that text which make my voting that much easier when I cast my ballot in the upcoming presidential election for this country: (1) the truths and American values therein, are self-evident, having been given to us by God (“endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights”).

These rights did not originate by man nor are they intended to be taken by man- including elected officials; (2) the basic human rights listed are not complicated to understand. They are not lengthy either. The big three are: “life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness,” which the latter being predicated upon the notion of justice; (3) the security of these rights to be protected by our government, are by “consent of the” who? The “governed” or the people.

That’s where our part as the governed kicks in with our vote, electing those officials and authorities that are best suited to secure these rights for us. That means we are not only choosing an imperfect presidential candidate, but as I have argued in our Election 2020 Primer series of ‘Captive Thoughts’, we are choosing a platform of policies that the candidate and his political party represent.

The idea then for the Christian voter as I see it, is to best marry the candidate and his party’s platform to the biblical view of that platform, beginning with this country’s declarative principles above.

Therefore, having already posted a biblically grounded and justified worldview for the first two of these three issues (life and liberty), I now move to the third, the ‘Love of Neighbor’ which is manifest in doing the greatest good for the greatest number of people by God’s standards, which means undergirding the critical institutions of family and law for a society.

I build my case for the love of neighbor primarily reflected in family and law, on the fact that God started it all there. He built a foundation for civilized society with the first three institutions of his creation: marriage (Gen. 2), family and then government as the means of administering justice (Gen. 4, 9).

If our government structures and election priorities get these issues right, there should be more liberty and wisdom going forward on the issues that follow, including the economy, the Coronavirus, civil and racial unrest, the environment, etc.  

Love of Family

When God created the world, it was “good” pre-fall, when he brought one man and one woman together in marriage for a lifetime to perpetuate ‘a Godly seed’ of worshippers for all time. That’s the divine design.

Post-fall (Gen.3), the institutions of marriage and family remain as the gold standard of life in community along with the church belonging to his son, and he additionally gave mankind the law – moral and civil initially, as a means of not only demonstrating his own holiness, character and attributes, but as a means of meeting out justice for all in a world that would be troubled by sin and injustice (Ro. 13:1-7).

Thus, for civilization to survive and thrive – the United States in our context, family and law must reign supreme and supported by our ‘love of neighbor.’ That means supporting public policy that harmonizes God’s plan for the world found in scripture. That further means that marriage remain hetero and not homosexual, legalized “same-sex marriage” notwithstanding.

When God says no, he means ‘Don’t hurt yourselves’ and his law condemning the homosexual lifestyle and inclinations as abnormal, dangerous and sinful (Gen. 19:1–13; Lev. 18:22; 20:13; Ro. 1:26–27; 1 Cor. 6:9), seek to protect the body and soul of his image-bearers, as we from a heart of love seek to do the same.

We can love our homosexual neighbors in several ways, including servant evangelism and boldly voting for political candidates and platforms that seek their best, affirming the biblical doctrines of sexuality, marriage and family, which protect children and our future generations as well, even against the tide of our current sexual revolution.

The 2020 Democratic Party Platform – On LGBTQ Issues (Family)

  • Supports ban on “conversion therapy” practices (code for voluntary counseling – including Christian gospel based for those seeking change).
  • Supports this year’s Supreme Court ruling and legislation which includes LGTBQ identifying citizens as part of the 1964 Civil Rights equality law, prohibiting job “discrimination,” thus equating sexual preference and conduct with the immutable characteristic of ethnicity (race).
  • Presidential candidate Joe Bidden supports reversing President Trump’s executive orders regulating transgender policy (i.e. bathrooms, sports teams, medical insurance).

Biden in response to the concerns of a mother of an eight-yr. old transgender “daughter” during last week’s televised Town Hall, said, “I will flat out just change the law. Every — eliminate those executive orders, number one…. The idea that an 8-year-old child or a 10-year-old child decides, you know – ‘I decided I want to be transgender.’ That’s what I think I’d like to be.”

The former Vice-President, actually thinks the loving thing to do is to fight for the right of an eight-year-old boy to be encouraged to identify as a girl – because he and his mother want to, even to paraphrase WORLD magazine, “in the face of the most basic, indisputable, scientifically-verifiable, essential, for-the-continuation-of-the-human-race-indispensable facts of our existence — that we are created either male or female, which affects our entire embodied existence down to every cell of the body.”

The 2020 Republican Party Platform on LGTBQ Issues (Family)

  • Supports traditional marriage and family, based on one man and one woman. “Every child deserves a married mom and dad, and our laws and government regulations should actively promote married family life as the basis of a stable and prosperous society.”
  • Supports the removal of marriage penalties from the tax code and public assistance programs restructuring the tax code to increase adoptions and support families who adopt.

Christians must bear witness to the truth – including with their ballot, that God’s design for male and female is still good and that true flourishing can only take place when people embrace their God-given identity and design, in support of the family.

Love of Law

The Bible tells us that the most loving thing the civil law can do, is to punish evil, protect and promote that which God has deemed as good.

That is government’s primary responsibility, whether it be militarily or by local law enforcement, to be the last line of defense against tyranny, anarchy and chaos. Interestingly enough, the Democratic Party of the United States has been supportive of local and state policies which have done the opposite this year – subtly promoting civil unrest, rioting and the looting of public and personal property in the name of politically motivated, race-based protesting, while calling for police defunding.

New York City by the way, being among the first to jump on that bandwagon, has already found defunding of the NYPD to be an obvious boon to criminals and pose a danger to law-abiding citizens. How loving is that?

There can be no doubt that the love of neighbor should be reflected in social justice from how we look at life from womb to tomb. While we acknowledge racism or ethno-centricity as a real thing – always has been and always will be on this side of glory, as brought out in the wake of this summer’s police-related shooting incidents involving African-Americans, it is as we’ve previously posted, a ‘sin not a skin’ issue per se, meaning government cannot legislate away hate, as it wishes it could.

However, while the Christian voter can reject the false narrative of the cultural Marxist inspired, Critical Race Theory and intersectionality, they cannot ignore discrimination and bigotry where it exists, and can expect that the candidate they vote for would treat every life, regardless of color or race, with equal importance in their public policy initiatives, as created in God’s image.

Disciples of Christ should uphold platforms and policies which treat all Americans with basic justice, equality and dignity (Lev.24:22; Deut. 24:17-22), as part of a consistent pro-life worldview. Such a view affirms like the Good Samaritan, a multi-ethnic love of neighbor which allows every citizen to ‘pursue happiness’ in the purest sense.

Whereas Christians – citizens of two kingdoms which oppose one another often times, may differ as to the best course of political action on other secondary issues such as; education, the environment, guns, taxes and the economy – all which scripture speaks to, they can at least can begin their voting deliberations on which party’s person, platform and policies best align with God’s revealed word and his kingdom platform.

Interestingly enough, in a time long, long ago, this nation’s foundation (Declaration of Independence) looked like it was built upon God’s, beginning with Life, Liberty and the Love of Neighbor.

In our final Election 2020 Primer post, I’ll offer voter recommendations and guidelines as you prepare to cast your vote!

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