To help us depend on Him, God gave us self-governance, or self-control (Proverbs 25:28). He also gave us three external forms of government: family government, church government, and civil government. Each operates in its own sphere, though each sphere overlaps with the others. In the case of “caregiving,” the family government, not civil government, is the primary care giver. It is what we might think of as the Department of Health, Education, and Welfare.
A proposal being debated in my church and denomination (the Presbyterian Church in America) would insert language into our Book of Church Order (BCO) that says, “Men who describe themselves as homosexual, even those who describe themselves as homosexual and claim to practice celibacy by refraining from homosexual conduct, are disqualified from holding office.”
A friend of mine, during a recent conversation on this issue, said that the proposed statement was “political” and did not belong in the BCO.
I know my friend did not mean that homosexuality is only a political issue that has nothing to with faith. I took him to mean instead that the focus of some people in our denomination on those who are gay and celibate has moved beyond faith to politics.
His statement reflects a sentiment popular among some Christians today that evangelical Christians, especially white evangelicals, have politicized the Christian faith.
In an interview with Vox last year, David French said, “Any time you’re going to tie faith to ideas and people who do not either personify biblical ethics or positioned to flow from biblical ethics, you’re creating a real problem. They’ve essentially politicized their faith.”
Notice how carefully French constructs his statement. He has positioned himself so that if he finds a Christian who supports a politician French believes does not “personify biblical ethics,” perhaps Donald Trump?, he can easily claim his opponent has politicized his faith. Likewise, if a Christian takes a position on public policy that French and company do not think “flow[s] from biblical ethics,” French can readily dismiss it as political, not based in faith.
Let’s consider this in the context of an example from Scripture. On a recent American Vision podcast, Gary DeMar mentioned that the dispensational Christian author Dave Hunt complained that John the Baptist cut short a promising ministry by getting involved in politics. What did John do wrong? He pestered Herod about his sin of taking his brother’s wife as his own wife. According to Hunt, John’s politicization of marriage interfered with the purpose and promise of his ministry.
I provide this background because I want to talk about Stacey Abrams, the race baiting progressive gubernatorial candidate in Georgia, from the perspective of biblical ethics. Abrams wants to expand welfare programs for Georgians with disabilities so that more of them are able to live “independently.”
My take on Abrams is what she really wants is not to improve the life of the disabled but a larger, more intrusive government that can be used to destroy what’s left in America of a Christian perspective on government and family.
Yet quite a few evangelicals today would claim my position on this issue is political, not scriptural. That because my ideas do not flow from biblical ethics, I have politicized them. So, I will lay them out here and let you decide.
I ran across Abrams’ focus on disability in the 19th, an online news site which identifies as “an independent, nonprofit newsroom reporting on gender, politics and policy.” It particularly promotes feminism and homosexuality.
The article about Abrams was written by the 19th’s “caregiving reporter.” This in itself tells us something about the progressive agenda. With reporting focusing on the lack of government-supplied caregiving, the implication is that caregiving is only compassionately caring for those in need when it is supplied by the government. This bias shows up clearly in the first paragraph of the Abrams’ story.
Martha Haythorn, 22, has Down syndrome and gets help from her mother with everyday tasks like grocery shopping, meal planning and getting around. The Georgia Institute of Technology student would love to be living independently, but she’s been on a waitlist to receive in-home support services from the state of Georgia for six years — with no end in sight.
We can learn an awful lot from this paragraph if we approach it from a logical and biblical perspective. So let’s do that.
First, let’s focus on logic. The problem described here is that Martha can’t live independently because without these in-home support services she has to do depend on her mother. I looked up what some of these services are. They include:
The staff will assist in acquiring, retaining, and improving skills such as bathing, dressing, chores, walking or moving around and planning or cooking meals. We will even help find ways to get you where you need to go and help you get involved with things you like, such as recreational activities, access to food, making your own schedules and having visitors.
Do you see the problem here? The complaint is that Martha can’t live independently because she has to “get help from her mother with everyday tasks like grocery shopping, meal planning and getting around.”