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Thursday, October 25, 2012

RED LINES


There has been talk of red lines, or as I knew it as a boy, drawing lines in the sand, during the last few weeks.  The discussion has made me think of the Red Lines we have drawn as Christians in this election season.  The two that immediately come to mind are Pro Life/Pro Choice and Gay Marriage.  These two “issues” have become a litmus test for the Christian vote.  If our vote is to be based on what we believe as Christians, then I have a question.  If you do not believe Mr. Obama is a Christian (I believe he is), then this will not be as meaningful, but there are still some relevant things for us to consider.
I am a Protestant in the traditional sense of the word.  I believe Jesus Christ is the Son of God.  I believe in the virgin birth.  I believe that salvation is available through Jesus Christ.  I believe The Bible is the Word of God.  These are core beliefs, and I do not take them lightly.  Here is my question.  If my vote is to be based on my core beliefs as a Christian, where do I put the check mark? 
Mr. Obama "cut his teeth" as a member of the United Church of Christ (not to be confused with Churches of Christ found in the Bible Belt).  Mr. Romney is member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. 
To simplify this let’s consider the UCC to be Protestant, and the LDS to be as well.  The UCC is generally a very ecumenical group, while the LDS is not.  This is not a criticism, just a reality because of differences in beliefs.  Any comparison with a traditional Protestant group compared to the LDS is fairly simple at it’s core.  Traditional Protestant groups believe in The Bible as their guide, while LDS include The Book of Mormon, Doctrine and Covenants, and the Pearl of Great Price as revelations from God.  Most of the open canon of the LDS consists of the writings of Joseph Smith.  The LDS also operate under the doctrine of Continuing Revelation.  Under this doctrine The Heavenly Father leads the church, through the President of the church, and by giving him revelation necessary to the day.  The UCC is for Gay Marriage, and generally their membership is Pro Choice. 
I believe that being Pro Choice/Pro Life, and that our stance on Gay Marriage is important, but if my vote is to be based on correct doctrine (and I can write an article there too), and who the more correct Christian choice is, then I think we all have some deeper and more considered thinking to do.  I am not writing this article to sway your vote one way or another, rather it is to stir us to think about our motives, and about how we think and make our final conclusions.  If we as traditional Protestants believe our core values are the most important, then there is more to consider than just the traditional litmus tests.  

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