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"Choose Life" and the Obama Stickers

Posted by James P. McGarvey , 17 July 2010 · 944 views

Earlier this week I saw an SUV with one of those bright yellow "Choose Life" Florida license plates and three, that's right, three Obama bumper stickers on the back of the vehicle. A sick feeling came over me. How does one "choose life" while choosing a leader who unashamedly promotes death. The Psalmist wrote, “Can wicked rulers (throne of iniquity NKJV) be allied with you, those who frame injustice by statute? They band together against the life of the righteous and condemn the innocent to death.” (Psalm 94:20-21) A "throne of iniquity" is a government that legalizes wickedness. In 1973, Roe v. Wade legalized wickedness – abortion - the premeditated murder of the unborn. The answer to the rhetorical question of the Psalmist is an emphatic no! As Lou Engle said, "I tell you what happened in 1973 was a throne of iniquity that legalized evil and the Bible says you shall not have fellowship with it. Can I say to you, when you vote for men and women who stand and align themselves with abortion you have fellowship with them.” How does one explain or justify the oxymoron I saw on the back of that SUV? Could it be the silence of those responsible for preaching "the whole counsel of God" from the pulpits of America? It reminds me of these words from Dr. Lawrence White, pastor of Our Savior Lutheran Church (LCMS) in Houston, “The great reformer Martin Luther once declared that the preacher who does not rebuke the sins of the rulers through God’s Word spoken publicly, boldly and honestly, strengthens the sins of the tyrants, and becomes a partaker in them, and bears responsibility for them…When we vote for politicians who support [abortion, abortion rights] we empower them in their wickedness by strengthening them by our vote.” (The Sin of Silence) In contrast, most twenty first century pastors seem to be laboring under a self-imposed silence when it comes to speaking prophetically into the body politic. May I suggest that we need to humble ourselves and acknowledge that we might have missed something along the way. History repeats itself. We need to allow the past to speak into the present. Over a century ago, Charles Finney, who is recognized as the head of the Second Great Awakening, wrote, “The Church must take right ground in regards to politics… The time has come that Christians must vote for honest men, and take consistent ground in politics, or the Lord will curse them.… God cannot sustain this free and blessed country, which we love and pray for, unless the Church will take right ground. Politics are a part of a religion in such a country as this, and Christians must do their duty to the country as a part of their duty to God… He will bless or curse this nation, according to the course they [Christians] take.” It was another Lutheran pastor who dared to challenge the evil tyranny of Hitler's Nazi regime. Five years before he was hung naked from a piano wire in the Nazi Flossenburg concentration camp, Pastor Dietrich Bonhoeffer wrote these words that could have equally been written in 21st century America, "The church is guilty of the deaths of the weakest and most defenseless brothers of Jesus Christ. The church must confess that she has desired security and peace, quiet, possession, and honor to which she has no right. She has not born witness to the truth of God and by her silence, she has rendered herself guilty, because of her unwillingness to suffer for what she knows to be right." History repeats itself. So should our response.