Election Madness, a Biden Administration, and the Lordship of Christ
November 16, 2020 Speaker: Josh DeGroote
Topic: Church and State Passage: Romans 10:9–10:9, Ephesians 5:5–5:6
Welcome to the living by faith podcast, my name is Josh DeGroote and this is episode number eighteen. Thanks for listening. This is a podcast where I take a look at some news items, theology, and history from the perspective of the Christian’s life of faith in Jesus Christ. Let’s jump in.
Election madness… It’s 2020. What did you expect?
As of now, most media outlets have Biden as the winner, with more than the necessary 270 electoral votes. Biden has basically given a victory speech, announcing and celebrating that he is president elect… and if things hold where they are now, he will indeed be the 46th president of the United States.
But there are many allegations of voter-fraud. How widespread is it? And if they are not just allegations but actual cases of voter-fraud, is it enough to change the outcome? We don’t know. It was curious that at about 10 or 10:30 on the night the election, President Trump was up in several key states and then the counting just seemed to stop. And then in at least a couple of the states, while everyone was sleeping, Joe Biden seemed to take the lead. So the counting started back up at some point. Every valid allegation of fraud should be taken seriously. Especially since this was an unprecedented election with the tens of millions of mail-in ballots - a system that would lend itself more easily to fraud.
Every responsible person, Christian or not, should all agree that every legal, legitimate vote should count and every illegal, illegitimate vote should not. I just heard today that 450,000 ballots have been discovered where only Joe Biden was voted for. None of the down-ballot races were voted on at all. That seems fishy, and it should be investigated!
Now, if it proves true that there was fraud or miscounting, then that should be remedied. There should be recounts. And if it is determined that there was fraud and it’s discovered who helped facilitate the fraud, there should be prosecution. We hear about elections in Russia where Putin wins an election AND everyone knows it was a rigged election. We don’t want that here, do we?
So we are gonna have to wait and see what happens. And we should wait and see. Both sides should wait and see. Joe Biden, if he wants to unite this country as he said, should want to do everything possible to remove any cloud of suspicion. The last four years have been so divisive. President Trump did his part. He has been a divisive, abrasive, taunting, brawling president. But the Democrats and the left media have added to the divide by constantly casting a shadow of suspicion and doubt as to whether Trump was a legitimate president; by politicizing EVERYTHING including a pandemic. With how divided our nation is, the last thing we need is for one side or the other to push us over the edge.
From a big picture perspective, what is at stake in this election? If Joe Biden is certified and inaugurated on January 20, 2021, what should we look forward to? Well, I suppose I should just tell you that I voted for Donald Trump and I did so not because I think highly of him as a man - I don’t. I voted for him because he did some good things that he said he would do. And I believe that he stands for freedom and liberty. He stands for a more limited government. Whereas, Biden, I believe will expand the scope and power government, consequently limiting freedom. When the government gets bigger, freedoms are diminished. When government is limited (to certain, important things like protecting inalienable rights), freedoms are enlarged. Of course, this requires self-governance.
I believe under a Joe Biden administration (I think it is likely that before long it will be a Kamala Harris administration) our freedoms are going to be diminished significantly - especially if the radical left keeps pushing Biden to the left. It should be noted by GovTrack - a non partisan group - has rated Kamala Harris the most liberal senator. More liberal than Bernie Sanders? Apparently so.
Most importantly for Christians is freedom of speech and the free exercise of religion (the most important freedom of all). Something I want to talk about in the next episode that Christians need to be thinking about is what is called the “equality act” and the challenges it will present for Christian businesses, education institutions, churches, and even Christian parenting. It is a massive government overreach… and it could be coming very soon.
Jesus said, "Render to Caesar the things that are Caesar's, and to God the things that are God's."
Limited government is a Christian idea. From the lips of Jesus himself. Governments really do have a legitimate claim upon the citizens they govern. We are to give to Caesar certain things. But it’s also God's intent that the government serves its citizens. In fact in Romans 13, that is exactly what the apostle Paul says. He calls the governing authorities, God’s deacons or “servants”. And specifically they are God’s servants to punish evil and reward good… according to God’s standard.
But (and here is an all-important point) human governments, unless checked, will always turn totalitarian, demanding more allegiance, more compliance, and more control. Totalitarian governments can make these demands at the end of a gun barrel, or in the name of protection, or in the language of therapy, or in the form of a giant nanny. In any case, the citizens become slaves.
And therefore unlimited government - government that intrudes into all areas of life, demanding allegiance - is an evil monster. And it is precisely because it demands total allegiance; it demands worship. So as we head into a potential Joe Bide administration, we need to seek the Lord that he would have mercy on us - John Calvin once said, “when the Lord wants to judge a people, he gives them evil rulers.” We need to seek his mercy. But then we must humbly seek the Lord for the strength to give appropriate submission to the governing authorities, while at the same time courage to refuse to give what doesn’t belong to the government. We will need courage to continue to say what Christians have always confessed: “Jesus is Lord.”
The next section is the catechesis section. For centuries Christians gave themselves to the practice of learning the doctrines of the Christian faith by way of a catechism. Catechesis simply means to teach orally or instruct by word of mouth. This is a practice that is sorely missed in our day and I think we would benefit tremendously by taking it up again, and so I want to do my part to promote the practice of catechesis. Mention “Children’s Mode”.
All that said, I’m making my way through a modern catechism called New City Catechism. It takes the form of 52 questions and answers with scripture - so one for each week. You can buy the book online or you can download the app on your phone for free. So we are on question 17 this week:
Question 18: Will God allow our disobedience and idolatry to go unpunished?
Answer 18: No, every sin is against the sovereignty, holiness, and goodness of God, and against his righteous law, and God is righteously angry with our sins and will punish them in his just judgment both in this life, and in the life to come.
Because God is the sovereign Ruler our disobedience is against is also treasonous against HIM, and because God is holy, our disobedience and idolatry is an assault on HIM, and because God is good, our idolatry and disobedience is evil against HIM. And therefore, he must judge disobedience and idolatry.
This is so important for us to understand. God is not mocked. You reap what you sow. If someone lives a life that is full of sexual immorality, idolatry, self-centered greed, and everything else that God hates, they will be judged by God - sometimes in this life, always in the life to come forever.
Ephesians 5:5-6 - For you may be sure of this, that everyone who is sexually immoral or impure, or who is covetous (that is, an idolater), has no inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and God. Let one one deceive you with empty words, for because of these things the wrath of God comes upon the sons of disobedience.
In the history section, I want to talk about one of the most important Christian books ever written. And it is not just important in the Christian world, but in all the English-speaking world - and beyond since it has now been translated into 200 languages. What book am I talking about? The Pilgrim’s Progress, written by John Bunyan. Let me tell you just a little bit about Bunyan and how the book came into being.
360 years ago this week, John Bunyan was arrested. Bunyan was a nonconformist in England. And since a preacher could be licensed only if they conformed to the Church of England, Bunyan was an unlicensed preacher - therefore he was arrested. In fact, he was arrested on numerous occasions. During one of his extended times in prison, Bunyan wrote The Pilgrim’s Progress, and the rest is history. The Pilgrim’s Progress is an allegory, told from the perspective of someone who is dreaming, about a man named Christian and his salvation and journey to the eternal, heavenly city.
The book is beautifully written and gives such a clear and powerful picture of the Christian life as the life of a pilgrim. A pilgrim is someone who is on a sacred journey - someone who isn’t at his desired haven yet. The story starts with Christian realizing that his hometown is doomed for destruction and so he sets out with a heavy burden on his back to find deliverance and his eventual destination - the celestial city. Along the way, Christian meets with troubles, dangers, disappointment, battles, and all throughout the help and grace he needs to overcome them all. It is an amazing book!
The Pilgrim’s Progress has had an enormous influence since its original publishing in 1678. In fact, until recently (and maybe still), no other book had sold more copies in the English speaking world than the Pilgrim’s Progress, besides the bible. It is frequently mentioned as one of the best novels ever written - even by secular media sources. One of the great scenes of the book is where Christian is freed from the heavy burden on his back (which is his sin and guilt). Listen to these words:
At the top of the hill stood a cross, and a little below at the bottom was a stone tomb. In my dream, just as Christian came up to the cross his burden loosened from his shoulders and fell off his back. It tumbled and continued to do so down the hill until it came to the mouth of the tomb where it fell inside and was seen no more.
Bunyan had such a clear understanding of the weight of sin and its guilt, the need for Christ, and the sufficiency of Christ as Savior.
Think of the millions of people over the last 342 tears who have been exposed to the gospel and a robust understanding of the Christian life through The Pilgrim’s Progress - some for the first time. We should thank God for John Bunyan. We should thank God that John Bunyan was a nonconformist, and therefore unlicensed preacher. We should praise God that in his providence, he had John Bunyan in prison and birthed the inspiration for this amazing book. If you haven’t read it, go and get it. Read and reread it. It is an investment of time and money that will pay you back a hundredfold.
Thanks again for listening to the living by faith podcast. If you found it helpful, please subscribe, like, and share. Until next time, “may the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ and the love of God and the fellowship of the Spirit be with you all.”