Saturday, November 26, 2011

Should a Christian Vote for Dr. Ron Paul?

The answer to this question rides on whether or not he meets the biblical qualifications for civil office. If he does meet them, then we may vote for him. If he doesn’t meet them, then we should not vote for him. To do so would be to choose a man who is not included in the group from whom God has commanded us to choose our civil magistrates. There are a number of passages that address the necessary qualifications for civil magistrates. A set of passages that provide a relatively complete sample of the qualifications would be Exodus 18:21, Deuteronomy 16:18-19, Deuteronomy 17:15-19, and Proverbs 31:4-5.

From Exodus 18:21 we learn that they must be able men of truth who fear God and hate covetousness. Dr. Paul obviously satisfies the requirement to be male. More importantly, he is a man of truth. He has spoken the truth about the Federal Reserve far longer than many Christians. R. J. Rushdoony is probably one of the first Christians in modern times to publish criticism of the Federal Reserve. But as a federal congressman in the early 1970’s Dr. Paul was not far behind. He understands and boldly proclaims the immorality of fraudulent money, deficit spending, unjust war, and abortion. He proclaims in word and deed that life begins at conception. He has done so from the very beginning of his practice over 40 years ago. A couple of years ago the wife of one of his early partners told me that Dr. Paul told her husband on his first day, “There were two things we do not do in this practice – We do not perform abortions and we do not accept government money.” That was spoken in a day when many reformed Christians did not fully grasp the nature of abortion. Likewise in the area of unjust war, he has been a consistent voice of truth, calling Americans, even many Christians, to reconsider their support for wars in which we have no Biblically valid basis for participation. On the flip side there are areas where Dr. Paul’s testimony is not a clear as I would like, e.g. the use of “the pill” and the proper application of the Old Testament penal code today. This shows up especially when he deals with crimes of adultery, sodomy, or murder. However, even in these weak areas, he is not far from the truth in that he does not condone or support the practice of sodomy.

Dr. Paul is able. He has been tested more than any other current candidate, other than possibly Newt Gingrich. He was not only willing to speak honestly about the mess our nation is in when few others had the courage to speak truthfully about the seriousness of the crises we are facing, but he also published solutions to the problems facing our nation that are real, detailed, and achievable. Few others can even articulate specific and detailed solutions, let alone develop an achievable plan to address them. Dr. Paul actually understands the economic principles behind the solutions he is touting.

Dr. Paul is a man who fears God. Proverbs equates the fear of God with hating and departing from evil. (Proverbs 8:13, 16:6) His life evidences a carefulness not to do unrighteousness. Even his biggest detractors have to acknowledge that Dr. Paul is a man of impeccable character. He has remained faithful to one wife for over 50 years. With over 30 years in office, how many scandals of any kind have been alleged by anyone? All of his 5 children respect and honor him – which is more than can be said of even President Reagan. Some have even followed in his footsteps as an OB/GYN doctor – a testimony to his character in the home as a father. The fact that Dr. Paul hates covetousness is clearly evidenced by the fact that he returns excess money to Congress that was not needed for running his office. He does not covetously search for ways to spend this money simply because he has it to spend. This is not a publicity stunt; he has been doing this for decades, long before he was considered anything more than an eccentric crank.

Deuteronomy 16:18-19 adds the requirement that a civil ruler judge justly and not take bribes or be a respecter of persons. Again Dr. Paul meets this requirements. Lobbyists don’t even bother taking him to lunch. They know he cannot be bought. He does not change his ideas to win endorsements and will even call out fellow republicans where they need to be called out. Because of his unwillingness to go along to get along, the republican party in his own state was unwilling to announce his name and allow him to join the rest of the Texas republican congressional delegation on the stage at a recent state convention. How many other candidates are that principled when it comes to getting party recognition?

Deuteronomy 17:15-19 adds the requirement that civil magistrates be natural born citizens which Dr. Paul is. It also forbids them from multiplying horses – a qualification Dr. Paul, with his plan to close many overseas bases and bring our troops home, uniquely meets.

This passage commands the civil magistrate to have and read a copy of the law of God. Dr. Paul has shown that he has a knowledge of the word of God. He recently gave an address in which he not only quoted at length from scripture (1 Samuel 8), but he also properly explained the passage at some length. It wasn’t a passing reference. He didn’t take it out of context or misapply the passage for rhetorical purposes. I submit this evidences a man who actually reads the scriptures.
Proverbs 31:4-5 adds that wine and strong drink are not for civil magistrates. Again Dr. Paul meets this requirement.

Admittedly there are places Dr. Paul is weak and even wrong. He voted for a bill this session (HR 2267) that authorized internet gambling, contravening valid state laws forbidding it. He should have only voted to repeal the federal ban on internet gambling, allowing state laws to stand. He also voted to repeal the “Don’t ask, Don’t tell” policy respecting sodomy in the US military. But of what man, other than Christ, could it not be said they were at times weak and, in some places, wrong? King David had some flaws – he committed murder by conspiring against his own army and adultery. King Jehoshaphat, Hezekiah, and Josiah were also at times weak or wrong in their actions. But, nevertheless, scripture calls these men good kings because, despite their sins, they sought the Lord and followed his ways in most of what they did.

The hard question in my mind is not whether Dr. Paul is qualified or even who is the best among the current republican slate of candidates since all of the other republican candidates either don't meet the basic qualifications for civil office or lack both understanding of, and credible solutions to, our national problems. The tough debate will come if he wins the republican nomination. If that is the case, I expect the November 2012 election will offer several Biblically qualified candidates from which to chose, some of whom will be able to articulate biblical solutions better than Dr. Paul. Now we'll have to chose between an Biblically acceptable candidate and a Biblically superior candidate who lacks the experience and popularity of Dr. Ron Paul.That will be a first in my voting life...but one that I am really hoping to experience.


Anonymous said...

Thanks so much!--Chuck

Anonymous said...

Who do you think might appear as a better candidate in the general election?--Chuck

Peter Allison said...

I don't know. The Constitution Party or some other party may run a candidate like Michael Peroutka (2004 CP candidate) that articulated a more Biblical positions that RP currently does, but would have little chance of winning.

Tommy S. Barnes said...

What I don't understand about the CP party is they wait SO LONG to name their candidate.


Anonymous said...

If a candidate does not meet the stated requirements, would one choose to abstain from voting altogether? I am mainly referring to the general election.

Anonymous said...

The Christian Liberty Party now says that RP is "recommended for your consideration." I'm glad that they see what I in my limited time to think about politics see: There's no one better than RP this time around.

Peter Allison said...

If I can't vote for anyone on the ballot, I would attempt to write in someone who is qualified - even if they tell me my write-in won't be counted. My responsibility is to choose according to the the scriptural qualifications. If I am not faithful in that duty, I'm not ready to be entrusted with anything more.