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Is having at least two children a qualification of a pastor or deacon?

This is a cross-post from my theology blog Ready to Harvest

There are some who claim that to be a pastor, a person must have at least two children. They object to a pastor who has no children or only one. These people get their justification for this claim from 1 Timothy 3, which reads:

1Tim 3:1-7  This is a true saying, If a man desire the office of a bishop, he desireth a good work.  (2)  A bishop then must be blameless, the husband of one wife, vigilant, sober, of good behaviour, given to hospitality, apt to teach;  (3)  Not given to wine, no striker, not greedy of filthy lucre; but patient, not a brawler, not covetous;  (4)  One that ruleth well his own house, having his children in subjection with all gravity;  (5)  (For if a man know not how to rule his own house, how shall he take care of the church of God?)  (6)  Not a novice, lest being lifted up with pride he fall into the condemnation of the devil.  (7)  Moreover he must have a good report of them which are without; lest he fall into reproach and the snare of the devil.

Verse 12 states

Let the deacons be the husbands of one wife, ruling their children and their own houses well.

Specifically, the person who thinks that a pastor should have more than one child (referred to going forward as the objector), will refer to verse four and twelve, and say that since we are in a passage about qualifications, and the bishop (pastor) and deacon is referred to as having children, then anyone without children (plural) is not qualified to be a bishop or deacon.

Let’s consider the reasons why the scripture does not actually prohibit a man without children being a pastor.

  1. The mention of “children” is not listed as a qualification to have children

What are the requirements given for? They are given to prevent an unqualified or disqualified man from taking the office. In the chart below, consider each of the qualifications and the opposite, disqualifying position:

With this in mind, it is apparent that the command to have “his children in subjection with all gravity” is present to prevent the opposite – a man who has children that are not in subjection. The passage doesn’t address the case of a man without children, but only that children which he does have must be in subjection.

2. Making every mention of children become a qualifier to the position leads to strange inconsistencies in scripture

If we do take the position that a reference to a person having children means that the person must have children, we end up with this strange case. Consider the requirements listed in Luke 14:26 to be a disciple:

Luke 14:26  If any man come to me, and hate not his father, and mother, and wife, and children, and brethren, and sisters, yea, and his own life also, he cannot be my disciple.

Following the same pattern as the objectors do in 1 Timothy, a person cannot be a disciple unless they have a wife (no woman disciples), have children (no single or one-child disciples), have brethren and sisters (no disciples who have only sisters or only brothers, and no only-child disciples). But this is contradictory, because Acts tells us that Tabitha (A woman) was a disciple, and we are quite certain she didn’t have a wife.

Let’s take another example. Titus 2:4 tells us about the older women teaching the young women:

Tit 2:4  That they may teach the young women to be sober, to love their husbands, to love their children,

Does this passage mean one cannot be a young woman unless they have children? Or at least they cannot be a teachable young woman? No, it obviously is speaking of them to be taught to love husband or child even if they aren’t yet married – e.g. in the future. The same could be said for the Bishop and deacon requirement. If they don’t have children, then they certainly don’t have children which are not in subjection. Later when they do have children, then we can see if they become unqualified.

Objection: The requirement is there because for a person to be qualified to pastor or be a deacon, they need to demonstrate that they can raise children properly, which cannot be known if the person has no children.

Answer: However, as we have seen, there is no such requirement. The reason a person may think a requirement could be there does not make such a requirement exist. If there is such a requirement for pastor, then there is an inconsistency in the requirement for a disciple, as seen above, and because there are no errors in scripture, there is no such requirement of multiple children for a pastor.

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Posted by on September 24, 2018 in Doctrine

 

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Is the Bible God? Examining Jesus’ title “the Word of God”

What does the scripture mean when it refers to Jesus as “The Word” or “The Word of God”? There are some that take this to mean that the Bible is Jesus, and Jesus is the Bible, that is, that the 66 books of scripture are literally the third person of the trinity. Do the scripture passages support this conclusion?

Let’s start with a cursory look at the five places where the King James Bible refers to the “Word of God” with a capital “W.” The first is John 1:1, “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.”

Who or what is the scripture referring to as “the Word?” this becomes clear later on in the chapter, in verse 14:”And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth.”

So it is obvious that this passage is telling us who “the Word” is. The Word is Jesus. It does not state anywhere that the person referred to here as “the Word” is also the Bible. Some might say that it refers to the Bible simply because the Bible is also called “the word” (lowercase) throughout the scripture. But this does not follow. Multiple different things or people can have the same title and still be distinct. Ezekiel can be the “son of man” and Jesus Christ can be the “son of man”, but Jesus is not Ezekiel. God the Father, is of course the Father, and Christ is also given the title of Father in Isaiah 9:6, and Abraham in Luke 16:30, but these are all distinct persons. So the question remains, is the title “Word of God” ( capitalized) ever referring to the Bible itself, and if so is it making it equivalent to Jesus?

Note that all the references to the “Word of God” are in books written by the Apostle John, first in the gospel, then in 1 John, and finally in Revelation. The next verse is 1 John 1:1: “That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we have looked upon, and our hands have handled, of the Word of life;” All of these descriptions speak about Jesus Christ, not the Bible. Later in 1 John 5:7 it says “For there are three that bear record in heaven, the Father, the Word, and the Holy Ghost: and these three are one.” This passage is a clear reference to the trinity, with the Word once again referring to Jesus. This is made even more clear when the previous verse is read with it. Finally we see Revelation 19:13, which says: “And he was clothed with a vesture dipped in blood: and his name is called The Word of God.” Verse 16 clarifies more who this rider is: “And he hath on his vesture and on his thigh a name written, KING OF KINGS, AND LORD OF LORDS.” Who is the King of Kings? Earlier in revelation we read this: “(Rev 17:14)  These shall make war with the Lamb, and the Lamb shall overcome them: for he is Lord of lords, and King of kings: and they that are with him are called, and chosen, and faithful.” The Lamb is, of course, Christ. (This is universally accepted, one such demonstration of this is that the lamb has twelve apostles in 21:14)

What is meant by Christ being “the Word of God?” It means that Christ is God’s sent message – the physical embodiment of what God wanted to convey. Christ’s title of “Word” means that he is more than just a messenger telling us truth from God, but that he is also the message of God’s truth itself.

Thre is certainly a value in understanding the close and intentional connection of Christ’s title “the Word” and the Bible being called “the word”. The scripture is God’s written word to humanity, and Christ is the living Word. Both are the message of the Father. But they are not the same.

Making Christ and the Bible to be the same thing leads to some strange conclusions. Primarily, it can lead to a belief that John 1:1 is telling us that God’s written word became flesh, and that prior to that there was no separate person of the trinity that was God the son. Many who attack the eternal sonship of Christ do so on the basis of interpreting John 1:1 in this way and conflating Jesus with the spoken or written word of God. In addition, there are an innumerable amount of strange conclusions that can be drawn by forcing Jesus into the meaning of places that refer to the “word of God” or “word of the Lord.

Can Christ be corrupted? (2Co 2:17)  For we are not as many, which corrupt the word of God: but as of sincerity, but as of God, in the sight of God speak we in Christ.

Is Jesus the Sword of the Spirit? (Eph 6:17)  And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God:

The sad part about this doctrine (like many) is that it is radically defended and used as a means of attacking, when it comes from nothing more than poor exegesis and a failure to look at context. The result can be dangerous – worshipping God’s written word like it is God himself. God’s word is important – he has magnified it above his name (Psalm 138:2) but his word is what he has said to us – the unlimited God cannot be even limited to the revelation we have of him in scripture – If we tried to write down all there was to say about the works of Jesus, John said it best, “I suppose that even the world itself could not contain the books that should be written.”

This is a cross-post form my ministry blog “Ready to Harvest”

 
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Posted by on September 15, 2018 in Doctrine

 

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How to know God’s Will

I took some time to respond to an inquiry from a radio listener about God’s will this morning and thought that perhaps my response could be useful in some way to any readers. Feel free to critique as well.

 

God’s Will
By Joshua Lindsey 7/11/2017

When we face a decision, we need to seek God’s will. What does this involve? If we are living close to God day-by-day, and walking with Him, walking in the Spirit, then we will be more able to understand what God says in His word. 1 Corinthians 2:14 tells us the things of the Spirit of God are Spiritually discerned.

But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned. (1Co 2:14)

What this means is that we won’t be able to understand God’s spiritual truth as well if we are dull in our fellowship with His Spirit. So let’s take a normal situation. You are trying to decide whether it would be a good idea to quit your job and work at a different company. How can you find God’s will on this?

The correct answer is not that God will give you a feeling that one decision is better. Scripture doesn’t support God using our feelings to show truth. The correct answer is not that you should flip to a verse in the Bible and try to “read the tea leaves” and out of context use that verse to make the decision. The correct answer is not that you will say the next day “I feel that God has directed me to this” but not be able to provide a reason for why you feel this way. Also, just because a “door is open” so-called, does not mean God wants you to step through it. Stepping through every open door is what leads people to follow their own instinct and not God’s direction.

So what is the right answer? First, make sure you are walking with God when you are approaching a major decision. How can you expect to understand God’s will unless you are close to Him? Secondly, look for all principles in the Bible that apply.

For example, in the case of a new job, what are the motivating factors? If the major motivating factor is money, ask yourself why you want or need the money. Consider Proverbs:

Labour not to be rich: cease from thine own wisdom. Wilt thou set thine eyes upon that which is not? for riches certainly make themselves wings; they fly away as an eagle toward heaven. (Pro 23:4-5)

Suddenly, you can see that if desire to be rich is the only factor, there is a clear principle to not follow that decision. I have known people to take a job further away so that they could move away from people whom they dislike, or from relationships that were never properly resolved. If you move away without first following God’s principles of properly resolving disputes between you and your brother, then you are making it more difficult to ever resolve them.

Moreover if thy brother shall trespass against thee, go and tell him his fault between thee and him alone: if he shall hear thee, thou hast gained thy brother. But if he will not hear thee, then take with thee one or two more, that in the mouth of two or three witnesses every word may be established. And if he shall neglect to hear them, tell it unto the church: but if he neglect to hear the church, let him be unto thee as an heathen man and a publican. (Mat 18:15-17)

In this case you will be maintaining an unbiblical relationship with a brother, and as a result, your relationship with God will be strained as he desires you to resolve issues with your brother before you seek to offer to Him.

Therefore if thou bring thy gift to the altar, and there rememberest that thy brother hath ought against thee; Leave there thy gift before the altar, and go thy way; first be reconciled to thy brother, and then come and offer thy gift. (Mat 5:23-24)

Also, what Biblical principles would the new job make it more difficult to follow? If the job is very far from a good church, you would need to consider Hebrews 10:25

Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another: and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching. (Heb 10:25)

God doesn’t lead people into situations where it is impossible to follow His principles. If you find yourself in a situation where you can’t follow the principles for life that God has established, then be sure that you have made a step out of God’s will somewhere along the way. So before you make those decisions, consider whether it will be difficult to follow God’s principles by making one choice or the other.

Think of other principles that would affect the decision- Would the new job make it harder to witness? Make it more difficult to care for family needs? Would the job compromise your moral convictions? Put you in difficult situations or situations where you would not be able to be above reproach? Would the job make it more difficult to serve in ministries you are a part of?

Godly principles can often work positively as well. Will the new job bring you closer to a church? Will you be better able to care for your family or give to ministry with this new job? Will you be able to witness in ways you couldn’t before? Wil the job provide flexibility so you can now go on short term missions trips?

There are of course hundreds of other Biblical principles to consider. This is why it is important to maintain a relationship with God and to keep His word in front of you. A person who is always reading God’s word will be able to recognize the subtle difficulties with their decisions, and see how one decision may cause them difficulty in following God’s principles. A person who is not as familiar with God’s word, or is dulled in their understanding of it due to sin in their life, will not be able to see where their decisions will take them out of God’s will. Instead they will make decisions on what suits them best and will end up out of God’s will not knowing how they got there.

So let’s say you are close to the Lord, and you pray for His direction, and seek all the Biblical principles of His word, and find both decisions still seem like good decisions. Perhaps there are positives and negatives to each. What do you do then?

Where no counsel is, the people fall: but in the multitude of counsellors there is safety. (Pro 11:14)

Seek Godly counsel. You should already have a group of people that you trust to provide good insight. These people should also be close to God. They may recognize some principles from the Bible that play on the decision, which you had not considered.

Don’t take advice only from those who support what you want. Don’t try to sway their counsel. Don’t weigh those counselors who say what you want to hear over those who don’t. Look to the Bile to verify if what they recommend is correct.

Counsellors are not prophets who can utter something not in the Bible and it is valid or even worth hearing. Counselors are only useful in that their walk with God and experience with tough situations may enable them to show you how God’s principles apply in your decision in ways that you had not considered. A counsellor’s counsel should only be considered when it shows you how God’s word applies to your situation. Their counsel is only weighty when the word of God backs it up. “Common sense” answers or thoughts off the top of a counsellor’s head can be discarded when they aren’t biblical. Psychological and philosophical answers will often fall into this category. They cause us to lean on man’s wisdom, not God’s direction.

Very often you will find that once you apply God’s word, and then apply it more from the counsel of Godly influences in your life, there will be an apparent answer. Or if not apparent, you will find that the principles are causing you to lean one direction as you see how it fits more with how God has directed your life so far.

This is how you can determine what God’s specific will is. Very specific applications of his general will. If in any decision you find that you just can’t seem to find one decision to outweigh the other in how you can serve God, think harder. What would make your family happiest? (What do they want?) And why would it do so? What would give you more useful life skills? What would best reflect God’s role for you in life?

In the end, one decision will always outweigh the other by some amount. If it comes down to you just wanting one option over the other, you can apply Biblical principles to ask why you want it, and whether that desire is biblical.

In the Old Testament we read stories of God telling people exactly what to do. God told Moses and Joshua what to do in navigating through the wilderness and conquering the Promised Land. He told Abraham to offer his son, and then to substitute a ram. He told the Kings through his prophets when to go to war. We like this kind of certainty. Surely it is available to us today?

But God told these people what to do because that is how He communicated when his word was not recorded or available. They had no written Bible. Now God has all that we need to know written in His word. We had tongues and prophecies when we didn’t have God’s perfect word. But now we do, and God expects us to go there to find His will. This is why He doesn’t give extrabiblical prophecy today.

Charity never faileth: but whether there be prophecies, they shall fail; whether there be tongues, they shall cease; whether there be knowledge, it shall vanish away. For we know in part, and we prophesy in part. But when that which is perfect is come, then that which is in part shall be done away. (1Co 13:8-10)

It’s a big job to take God’s word for ourselves and apply it, which is why we need the Holy Spirit, which comes to all those who have trusted Jesus Christ for Eternal life. (This booklet describes how one can get eternal life: link) God wants us to seek for His principles in His word, and then to make decisions on faith after having applied his principles to those decisions. God is pleased when we act by faith.

But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him. (Heb 11:6)

If each Christian would use these guidelines for determining God’s will, we would not have to deal with the false claims of those who sin and try to justify it by saying that it was God’s will. God’s will is never for a person to sin. God’s will isn’t some mystical idea that we can just claim to excuse our decisions. If it doesn’t match God’s principles, be assured it is not God’s will.

Understanding this we can also answer some other questions. How should I pray for God’s will? Don’t just ask God to reveal his will and then not look for it. You must deliberately apply biblical principles to your decisions. How do I find God’s answers to my questions? God’s answers to any question or situation can be found through His word. If you cannot find an answer there, then you can know that either you haven’t dug deep enough, that you aren’t close enough to God do discover the answer, or that God doesn’t want you to know the answer. How can I know God better? You can get the mind of the Lord by finding what He’s revealed in His word. Those who think the way God thinks and seem to know God’s will easily are those who have a good grip and understanding of His principles and His word through personal study. God can grant understanding, God can give spiritual gifts of teaching, but we must grow these through digging into His word.

 
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Posted by on July 11, 2017 in ministry, Uncategorized

 

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A third party voter’s perspective on the election results

The state of our Federal Government

Donald J Trump is now the President Elect of the United States. The presidential election, as usual, has been the major focus of the nation, but there are several other things at play. Many good people were elected to the house of Representatives and to the Senate.

One of the big reasons people voted for Trump was because of the Supreme Court. But the President doesn’t get to pick the Supreme Court Nominees alone. They must be confirmed by the House and Senate. As a result of this election, when the new congress is seated, there will be a Republican majority in both the House and the Senate.

What does all this mean? It means that very likely, in 2017, we’ll have a Republican house, a Republican Senate, a Republican President, and he’ll appoint a Republican to the Supreme Court (Realize that the Supreme Court is not a ‘partisan’ court in name, but in reality it is.) If there ever was a chance to see if the faith of many in the Republican Party is justified, now is that time. There will be at least two years of Republican control on the Federal level.

If you read my previous article, you will know that I called Trump the “Lesser of two evils.” And so you will know that I am personally happier to see Trump as President than Hillary. I stated in my other article why, even though I preferred him to Hillary, I would not personally cast a ballot for him. I know that the Lord sees what we endorse, and it’s recorded in heaven.

That being said, the election is over, the messages third-party voters wanted to send have been sent. What do I want to see in the future? My hopes for Trump are the same hopes for any person in power in our nation.

I hope Trump is the best president our nation has ever had.

I do not say he will be, but my desire, as a Christian, is to see right advanced and evil punished. I hope Trump will secure the borders. I hope he will put an end to legal abortion. I hope that we’ll see social programs that erode the character of our nation put to an end. I hope that good men will be in his cabinet and advisory committees. I hope that he will not disrupt religious freedom. I hope that he will enforce the good laws we have. I hope that he will use proper constitutional methods to enact his goals, and not executive orders.

Some of these things he has said he will do, and others he has expressed positions opposite to what I would like to see. But remember that God can change anyone’s heart. It is a true test of one’s character to see what one wishes for another person with whom they disagree. In your life, there may be people you disagree with, people you are at odds with, some who have wronged you. Do you desire the best for them? Do you desire to see them get better? Or do you want to see them fall? I don’t want to see Trump fall. I want him to change for the better, to find personal relationship with Jesus Christ and to find true humility.

What should we look for?

Let’s look these next two years, four years, eight years, etc. Let’s see how long the Republicans have power. I’ll come back to this post in the future and repeat this list, and we’ll see if the following things have been accomplished.

  • Have the republicans repealed the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare)?
  • Have the republicans restricted or outlawed any abortions on the federal level (Executive or Judiciary)
  • Have the Republicans restored Marriage as being between one man and one Woman?
  • Have the Republicans removed character-eroding Social Programs?
  • Have the Republicans enforced immigration laws better than the Democrats had?
  • Have the Republicans passed laws protecting religious liberty?
  • Have personal rights been upheld?

Now is the chance for the Republican Party to stand up for Christian and Constitutional values. If they do, actions speak louder than words. They will gain back third-party voters.

In the same way that the Green Party’s existence and voters have swayed the Democrats to the Left, I have no doubt that faithful Christians voting “third-party” will influence the Republicans to cater to our wishes as well. (Did you ever wonder why the politicians cater to the desires of the swing states? Things like corn subsidies in Iowa, or coal in West Virginia? It’s the same reason, they want to get the votes of those people.) In that way, my third-party vote may make a bigger difference for conservative christian values than most people realize.

 
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Posted by on November 9, 2016 in Politics

 

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Why I’m not voting for the lesser of two evils

If you’re voting for the lesser of two evils candidate, I probably know your reason already for why you don’t want me, or anyone else, to vote third-party. What is it?

The reason you don’t want me to vote third party is because you know that if I were to, like you, vote for the lesser-of-two-evils candidate, then I would be making it more likely for that candidate to win (and beat the greater-of-two-evils candidate.) Therefore, you conclude, that me voting for the third party candidate is making it more likely for the greater-of-two-evils candidate to win. That’s your main reason. You would rather see the lesser-of-two-evils candidate win, and I’m making that less likely to happen.

Don’t think I disagree- in fact, I concede your point. I admit that my voting third party will in fact make it more likely for the greater-of-two-evils candidate to win this election. I do not however accept the false accusation that I am effectively voting for the greater-of-two-evils candidate. The effect on the election, should one of the two major party candidates win, is as if I had not voted at all. Neither of the two major part candidates will have any more votes than if I had not voted. This doesn’t mean I effectively didn’t vote, I’ll explain that later.

Let me address a few things. First, I don’t think any Christian should have “party loyalty.” The Bible doesn’t tell us to be Republican or Democrat. The Bible tells us moral positions to hold, and our vote, just like our character, should reflect those positions. If any political party is in major opposition to our Biblical positions, then we should not continue to vote for them just because we have always been, and always will be a “loyal Republican” or “Loyal Democrat.”

Secondly, there is not really any such thing as a “third party.” The term means voting for a party that is not one of the two current major parties. But realize that these two parties have not always been the same. At the beginning of our republic, neither the Republican nor Democrat party existed. Instead, as support shifts around, different parties take hold for a while and eventually may become one of the top parties. Any political party can be one of the top two, as long as enough people support it. After all, The Republican party itself was once a “third party”, but people voted for the republican candidate anyway, and guess what, eventually their candidate won a presidential election (Abraham Lincoln.) There is nothing that says such a thing cannot happen again today. In fact, it is getting increasingly more likely as opinions of the current major parties decline.

Third, let’s address the reasons one votes for any specific person.

  1. People vote for a lesser-of two-evils candidate primarily because you want the candidate to win the current election.

If this is the reason you are voting for a candidate, you will need to pick a candidate that has a chance to win the election. This basically will force you into voting only for one of the top two candidates (or rarely, top three, if there is a close three-way race, which has happened.)

  1. People vote third party, primarily because they cannot in good conscience vote for either of the major party candidates, and want to influence a major party to give you better candidates.

The major political parties are not stupid. They want votes, often will greater priority than even the positions they hold. If a large voting bloc votes for a third-party candidate on Election Day, then they will notice that. The next election, they will be more concerned with picking a candidate that will attract these voters. If all the Evangelicals voted for someone who was not Republican, when they normally vote Republican, then come the next primary season, Republican voters and pundits will be trying to bring the Evangelical vote back into the fold, and so they’ll hopefully strive to put up a candidate that is more “Evangelical”, that is, one who by their principles will attract the Evangelical Vote back.

 It’s pretty obvious at a certain point in the election cycle that there are only two (or occasionally three) candidates who legitimately have a shot at winning the election. From the widely-pushed views of those who always vote for the lesser-of-two-evils candidate, and never third party, you would think that they will always vote this way. If you are a lesser-of-two-evils voter, then, let me test you and see if you really will.

Will you vote for the lesser of two evils candidate if they are pro choice? (i.e. if both major party candidates are pro choice?) Are you morally OK with voting for someone who condones abortion? What about abortion in cases of rape, incest, or life of the mother? Is it ok to vote for someone who wants babies to be murdered simply because their daddy was a bad person? Are you morally OK with voting for someone who pushes the LGBT agenda? Are you OK with voting for someone who wants to do away with religious liberty in America? Now if you say yes to all of these, that is, you will consistently always vote for the lesser-of-two-evils candidate, even if they are pro LGBT, pro-choice, and want to do away with religious liberty, then I cannot help but conclude you really are not a person of principles. You are willing to vote America into a cliff simply because you will push wickedness because wickedness is electable. Voting for people who hold these policies is being complicit in them.

But if you say no, you apparently think there is some right time to vote third party (so-called.) When is that time?

I want to let you in on a little secret here. The goal of voting third party is to stop voting third party.

I don’t want to always vote for the losing candidate, nor does anyone else. We want to make our voices heard. Here’s how this works.

If my preferred major party puts up a candidate that I cannot in good conscience vote for, I will vote for a third party candidate that is closest to my views. If you do too, as well as other “conscience objectors”, the election may not go our way this time, but next election, the major party will likely put up a better candidate, and this time I won’t have an objection and I will vote for them. (If we don’t vote, or if we vote for the greater-of-two-evils candidate, we’ll influence the party in the wrong direction. To have this effect, we must let the major party know where we stand by voting for a third party candidate that represents our positions) My end result is going back to voting major party next election cycle.

Now what if instead of voting third party, I and others like me went ahead and voted for the lesser-of-two-evils candidate against my conscience? As a result, the lesser-of-two-evils may or may not win the election, but come next election cycle, the major party will see that I am on their side, regardless of their shortcomings. They don’t have to worry about me. They don’t need to move my direction to get more votes. SO what will they do? They will move their political positions the opposite way instead, to try to pull more votes from fence-sitters in the other party. As a result, if you vote for the lesser-of-two-evils every time, you effectively encourage your preferred major party to ignore your positions, and to become even more like the opposite party.

Here’s your big objection. I’ve heard it a lot. This is what you say “We can’t afford to lose this election! If we lose this one, our country will be in the tank! We’ll never get another chance! Now is our chance to save America!”

This is really just nothing more than political, partisan hype to try and keep you from upsetting the major-party apple cart. This is said at every election. Each year the lesser-of-two-evils candidate just gets worse, and no real change takes place. The foundations of American Republicanism are strong, the country isn’t going to become irreparably damaged by 4 years of the other party, but it will consistently move to more and more damaged and never toward getting fixed if your vote becomes something your party can take for granted.

Let’s bring this home

So how does this apply to the election at hand?

  1. If you vote for Donald Trump, you may or may not get him.

If he does become president, you will have at least four years of Trump, and you’ll see the party care more about Trump’s positions. If he doesn’t become president, the party will likely repudiate his positions, but that doesn’t mean they will move toward yours. Instead, they will go for the folks who didn’t vote for Trump. If they are mainly Liberals, the party will get more liberal to try to get votes back. Very likely, if you go ahead and vote for Trump, and he still loses, your vote will be taken for granted in the next election cycle. The party will get much more liberal, and perhaps drop from the platform anything about Traditional marriage and many other conservative principles.

 

  1. If you don’t vote for Trump, he may or may not still become President

If he doesn’t , and enough of us voted third party, next time around the Republicans will likely elect someone who can keep the “Evangelical vote” (or whomever it was that voted third party) The more who vote third party, the more likely it is that the candidates next year will try to appeal to our convictions and stand for the right things.

Another possibility is that the two major parties don’t listen to the voters. This has happened in the past. If that is the case, keep voting third party. More and more people will, there will be a shakeup, and we’ll end up with new major parties. This has happened before!

Isn’t this all just a pipe dream?
Nope! Not at all! This happens all the time. Third party candidates that draw the most support away from the republicans often get better representation in the future. This is why you see many republican candidates nowadays holding more libertarian views. They see how many people are voting third-party libertarian, and they are trying to bring them back in. Christians can do this too!

Finale

To close, I don’t advocate always voting third party, but I also think it is very irresponsible to always vote for the lesser of the two evils. We need to be “wise as serpents and harmless as doves.” Our vote is a wonderful privilege that we can use responsibly. We need to carefully consider how to best effect change.

Why I’m Not Voting for Trump

You may not personally feel Donald Trump is bad enough to not vote for him this year. I’m fine with that. I just hope you recognize the legitimacy of voting third-party and how it is a great tool. For your reference, here are some of the reasons I cannot in good conscience vote for Donald Trump (and thereby push the party toward his positions)

  1. He’s very bad on religious liberty, which is an essential requirement for any Baptist. Read these articles for more: Article 1 Article 2
  2. He promotes bans on Muslims based on religion. Legally Restricting Muslims based on religion alone means that your beliefs are also in danger. Russel Moore says “What it means to be a Baptist is to support soul freedom for everybody.” I agree. Article 1 Article 2
  3. He’s pro LGBT. Did you know he waved an LGBT flag on the stage on October 31, three days ago? His actions speak louder than words. Article 1 Article 2
  4. He wants to change the GOP Platform to allow more abortions. Article 1 Article 2
  5. I’m open to discussion in the comments. Thanks for reading!

 
10 Comments

Posted by on November 2, 2016 in Politics

 

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New free, printable Bible tracts!

I’ve added three new tracts that anyone can print on ReadyToHarvest.com.

YeahButDoesn't

Yeah, but doesn’t the Bible say?
This tract is aimed to address the real issues behind the skeptics who dismiss the Bible or the discussion of eternity. These people try to discredit the Bible due to things in it that they find questionable, and this tract gets down to the real issues.

 


KnowForSureKnow For Sure What Will Happen After You Die

This tract is designed to catch the attention of the religious but lost person who doesn’t know for sure if they are going to heaven. It gives a clear plan of salvation, and has a place on the back for a church or ministry stamp.

Poster ImageFound What I Was Looking For!
This is a wonderful, colorful, and interesting Bible tract that has a very specific use. Keep a couple of these in your purse or wallet, and if a cashier ever asks you “did you find everything you were looking for today?” Say yes, and then hand them one of these! The tract provides the plan of salvation in a way that those not familiar with the Gospel can understand. It has a space on the back to write or stamp your church information.

To view and download the tracts, go to http://readytoharvest.com/resources.html

 
1 Comment

Posted by on May 28, 2016 in Free, ministry

 

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Josh & Heather’s New Blog

Head on over to God’s Way is the Best way, Josh and Heather’s new blog! Don’t worry, there will still be posts made here, but this other blog is for the super special inside look at Josh & Heather’s courtship and …. beyond 🙂 (shhh!) ❤

What are you missing if you haven’t checked it out yet?

Heather’s Post, “Our Courtship Story”
Josh’s Post “Apostolic Method No More”
Josh’s Post “What does Josh Know About Heather? (Part One)”

See you there!

 
2 Comments

Posted by on August 21, 2015 in Blogging, Heather, Life, Love

 

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