“I have accepted Jesus Christ as my personal Savior, and I endeavor every day to follow Him in all I do and in every position I advocate.” – Ron Paul
Ron Paul wrote a piece the other day titled “The Freedom to Worship as We Want” – from which we draw the lead quote. I note this quote in particular because it is written in something like “code.” Not a secret code mind you, there is no hidden message. Rather, it is written in the language of the Christian. Evangelicals will surely attest that the language used by Congressman Paul is the type of language used by Christians, believers, followers of Christ. That’s not to say that simply claiming to be a Christian makes it so, but rather simply to note that folks who aren’t Christians, who don’t know Jesus, but want to seem Christians for expediency’s sake, don’t use this language. They don’t say it this way.
Consider, for example, a statement made by John Edwards a few years back: “I think that Jesus would be disappointed in our ignoring the plight of those around us who are suffering and our focus on our own selfish short-term needs.” Now, I have no brief for the moral implications of Edwards’ statement. Of course there is a serious issue with ignoring plight and focusing on selfish short-term needs. What I take issue with is the first seven words: “I think that Jesus would be disappointed” … Christians don’t say these types of things. We don’t refer to Jesus in the past tense, unless we’re talking about scriptural history. We don’t talk about Jesus in the “if He only knew” tense – it is utterly inconsistent with a belief in the resurrection and the omniscience of God. The only people who say it like that are those that (i) don’t know Him and (ii) want to invoke Christian morality in support of some political position of their own.
The Paul article is a short, concise read. And I (obviously) agree with his statement of “I endeavor every day to follow Him in all I do and in every position I advocate” [emphasis added]. It is faith in Jesus Christ, trust in His goodness and His sovereignty, and confidence in His teachings (such as The Golden Rule) that lead me to advocate a position of maximal freedom. We live in a democracy. The government of, by, and for the people is a government that is the people. In this form of government one must ask whether government policies, particularly tax and spend policies (regardless of the intent of the spending) is consistent with the Golden Rule. Is it consistent with Jesus’ teaching for me to take money from you (because I am the government) and give it to another? Is it consistent with Jesus’ teaching for me to enforce my moral interpretations in your life? Not if I would turn around and say “I don’t want you to do that to me” … that statement alone is enough to stop me cold in my tracks – because I love Jesus.
It’s a shame that Ron Paul hasn’t gotten more support, particularly from the party that claims allegiance of a high percentage of conservative evangelicals. We obviously have more work to do.