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Ron Paul and why the president doesn’t have to be your chum

January 30, 2007

ronpaulphoto.jpgjohnjay.pngNone calleth for justice, nor any pleadeth for truth: they trust in vanity, and speak lies; they conceive mischief, and bring forth iniquity. Isaiah 59:4

Until Ron Paul filed his exploratory committee January 11, I would have thought Isaiah could be reciting the liabilities of the 2008 major party Presidential slate.

Ok, Ron Paul isn’t a chummy guy. He votes according to whether a bill is consistent with Constitutional authority. The taxpayers don’t engage him to shove his family and the front steps of his church in front of news cameras. It’s not a Constitutional requirement, so it’s off limits. He’s a tad iconoclastic, often casting the only vote in opposition to something that has no Constitutional authority. For instance, he’s the only one on the floor with total recall. He actually remembers the obscure fact that Congress alone has the power to declare war. He doesn’t compromise principles. But he has a rare insight, that his constituents didn’t hire him to make friends.

Congressman Paul calls himself a “nondenominational Protestant,” for those who like to assess these things. I don’t know the state of his soul, but I know that the state of his mind is principled and acute.

Why isn’t an outspoken Protestant running for president while announcing the Gospel? For that matter, why are so many Christians completely indifferent to politics, as though it were somehow irreconcilable with faith to know what’s going on?

The twenty-fourth chapter of the Baptist Confession of Faith asserts the lawfulness of Christians holding public office, “as they ought especially to maintain justice and peace….”

Consider Oliver Cromwell, the Puritan reformer who became Lord Protector of England; John Owen, who served as Cromwell’s aid, abandoning politics at the time of the Restoration; John Jay, American statesman, diplomat, and first Supreme Court Justice of the United States; and Dr. John Witherspoon, Scottish Presbyterian, and the only clergyman to sign the Declaration of Independence. These orthodox Christians entered the political fray during times of extreme transition in England and America, to the glory of God and the good of their nations. Who would think these men should have stayed out of politics?

It is curious to me that so many contemporary Christians take great interest in the political events of the 17th and 18th centuries, but none in their own. But most Christians I know have no interest either in historical or current politics.

I’ve mentioned before that, while our ultimate citizenship is assuredly in heaven, we happen to be assigned to Province Earth for the time being. This assignment surely implies some duty of interest. But I know more Christians who sing “I’ll Fly Away” with one foot on the ground than Christians who can name the congressional delegation from their own state. They’re quick to brandish the “worldly” label at any Christian who can, or at any who votes. But they’re positive anything unchristian is unconstitutional.

As a matter of fact, the United States Constitution dedicates a fair amount of ink to how people secure public office, much of which requires the act of voting on the part of the citizenry.

I plead inexcusably guilty to huge gaps in knowledge of history and present-day affairs. I think it’s important to learn more than I know. I find piety a tiresome excuse in others; my own defense, certainly no better, is simple lassitude. I find it hard to be motivated when contenders are dull, unprincipled, and well connected to dull, unprincipled people who have a lot of money.

That’s why I find Ron Paul so refreshing. He’s sharp, he’s principled, and not connected to anyone’s money machine. He’s always been grassroots all the way. He’s always voted against any war against any sovereign that didn’t directly threaten the borders of the United States. If you enjoy war, think about the last one we had on our own turf. It wasn’t a hit, and the Republic has never recovered.

The presidential election of 2008 will be the first presidential election in 80 years to feature no incumbents. That’s why it’s so safe for dull, unprincipled people with a lot of other people’s money to spend to get involved. But Ron Paul is getting involved, and Americans who are disillusioned with dullness and lack of principled leadership should, too.

I don’t wish to be cynical, and I have no human solution. It seems we are under judgment as a nation; God has ordained a dearth in leadership. He seems to have left us with government that is no longer, if it ever was, glorifying to himself. Laws favor the taking of innocent life, and wars destroy life to no reasoned purpose. Wealth-enhancement underlies motives of international comity. Extremes are shown deference at the altar of tolerance as every symbol emerging from the corrupt heart of man is given the protected status of religion. This is what we deserve for our indifference to God’s glory as our true King.

Christians are commanded to “watch.” Vigilance implies prayer, and prayer implies reliance on God. I am suggesting that a trend in declining reliance on God correlates with a trend in declining morality, declining regard for justice, and declining decency in the conduct of national affairs. But God will not go to the polls for you. His great blessing is that he’s made it possible for you to do it. Political oblivion isn’t a mark of grace.

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3 Comments
  1. January 30, 2007 9:16 am

    Amen, especially the last sentence.

    Just because the world is careening out of order is no reason to hide. Although the Gospel does not endorse political parties, it certainly is political. The Kingdom is at hand.

  2. Richard B. permalink
    September 26, 2007 5:34 pm

    Are you kidding?
    Thomas Jefferson, to whom all libertarians and Paul supporters hold up as the example, went ahead with a sereis of actions that were not libertarian nor Pauline, such as the undeclared war against the Barbary Pirates and the Lousiana Purchase, not to mention his odd foreign policy concerning the French and British. Besides, Paul wants to have it both ways, inserting earmarks for his district into spending bills, then voting against them, so that he may tell you of his principles and his district that he got the bacon home(he’s smart enough to know that his lone No vote will mean nothing in the end-hey, he’s a career politician–ten terms)

  3. September 26, 2007 5:52 pm

    No, I wasn’t kidding. Thomas Jefferson isn’t mentioned in the post, nor is the Apostle Paul. The man in the picture is John Jay. I mentioned only Christian statesmen.

    And your point might still be well taken.

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