Haley Barbour took a ton of grief when he called for pro-lifers “to vote for pro-choice candidates and vice-versa” as a practical way to win elections and advance the Republican platform. He said, “There are tens of millions of pro-choice Republicans that are just as good Republicans as I am, and we need to support them”. Many staunch pro-lifers condemned this as unprincipled pragmatism. Others said that a pragmatic approach would accomplish more than absolutely refusing to vote for the lesser of two evils.
I would like to suggest a different kind of pragmatism.
Years ago, I was suffering from neck pain from whiplash suffered in a farm-tractor vs. car accident. A friend recommended that I see a chiropractor. Dubious, if not downright skeptical, I visited my neighborhood chiropractor. He won me over almost immediately with a brochure that portrayed chiropractic as a discipline that approached healing by addressing the root cause. If you had a rubber band wound tightly around your finger, that finger would hurt. Mainstream medicine, the brochure argued, tended to treat the pain with medicine (4 doses of aspirin every day for the rest of your life) or with surgery (cut off the finger). Chiropractic medicine, it posited, would find and remove the rubber band. Well, this is not a blog for or against mainstream medicine; but, as I said, the approach sounded good to me.
Let’s try the chiropractic method of finding and addressing the root cause. What is the root cause of our economic woes? Doubtless, theories abound. Let’s look at one.
For the nation and kingdom that will not serve thee shall perish; yea, those nations shall be utterly wasted (Isaiah 60:12).
In this verse, God is promising that nations that do not serve Him will be wasted. As a nation, we are turning away from God. And we are being wasted. What is the remedy?
If we vote for a business man who has a track record of balancing the budget and is in favor of aborting some babies and shaming God by counterfeiting marriage, his economic policies will not serve to preserve us from economic ruin if God would bring ruin upon us. If we vote for consistent libertarian who will not serve God but intends to legitimize the perversion of sexuality and turn a blind eye to abortion, his political ideology will not defend us against God’s justice if God intends to remove our civil freedoms. If we vote for someone who can save us from Obama, we will discover that his arm is too short to save us from God.
No attempt to slow down or avoid the impending train wreck will succeed—if God is driving that train. We will experience financial ruin; we will be subjected to invasive, confiscatory government; our liberties will evaporate; we will fall as every nation before us has fallen; all this and worse will happen to us—and no man or group of men can help us, if God is against us.
Every attempt to repair the damage God inflicts upon us will bring more. Isaiah 9 tells us of God’s chosen nation attempting to defeat God’s chastisement by rebuilding stronger.
The bricks are fallen down, but we will build with hewn stones: the sycomores are cut down, but we will change them into cedars. Therefore the LORD shall set up the adversaries of Rezin against him, and join his enemies together; the Syrians before, and the Philistines behind; and they shall devour Israel with open mouth. For all this his anger is not turned away, but his hand is stretched out still. For the people turneth not unto him that smiteth them, neither do they seek the LORD of hosts. (Isaiah 9:10-13)
When the goodness of God does not lead us to repentance (Rom 2:4), God chastises His people so that they will turn away from their sin, neglect, and coldness. The enemies of God are under His wrath and sometimes experience punishment in this life even while God continually holds forth grace in His gospel. We cannot escape either chastisement or punishment by electing good Republican candidates who just happen to be in favor of unrighteousness on “a couple of moral issues”.
Scripture tells us that God raises up our nations rulers “And he changeth the times and the seasons: he removeth kings, and setteth up kings” (Daniel 2:21). Who do you think keeps giving us wicked judges? God gives us what we deserve. If we want better than we deserve, if we want better times and better rulers, we need to serve Him.o
The first priority is to serve God; everything else, economics , national security, etc., are secondary priorities.We all know “Seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you” (Matthew 6:33), let’s believe it, and let’s live it. Having God on our side is the ultimate in pragmatism.
Righteousness exalteth a nation: but sin is a reproach to any people (Proverbs 14:34).
And, by the way, chiropractic worked for my neck pain.