Oct 26, 2013

Who Should I Vote for in the 2016 Elections? (Part 3)

Andy WoodsBy Dr. Andy Woods
Sugar Land Bible Church

Facebook Contact

Will the IRS Or Your Children Benefit More from Your Vote?

(The Word on Politics)—How do I know if the person I am voting for, as he or she pursues public office, properly represents a biblical worldview? How do I determine who, among the various competing political candidates, better reflects biblical values?

If you are looking for answers to these questions, this series of articles will be of great benefit to you.

For purposes of organization, these issues can be categorized under the following headings: economic issues, social issues, and foreign affairs matters. In my first article I wrote about the importance of a candidate's philosophy of governance. We now resume our discussion of economic matters, which I introduced in the second article.

With each issue I have included some parenthetical Bible verse references in order to demonstrate to the reader that these preferences are not uniquely mine, but rather are derived from the pages of God's Word. While these issues are often irrelevant to the thinking of modern man, they are extremely important to God.

"As the family goes, so goes the nation and so goes the whole world in which we live."—Pope John Paul II

Economic Matters

Economic Matters Continued:

Because God has given the role of charity to the church (Jas. 1:27; 1 Tim. 5:3-8) rather than the state (Gen. 9:6; Rom. 13:1-7), will the candidate ignore this boundary by imposing upon the state ever increasing charitable obligations that it was never authorized to carry, thereby marginalizing the church's God-ordained role in this critical area? Does the candidate understand that when the state takes the task of charity away from the church, the government administers this role inefficiently? In fact, when the government gets involved in helping the poor, the bulk of public money involved goes toward administrative expenses of running such a public bureaucracy (1 Sam. 8:11-17) while only a fraction of this money actually trickles down to the poor person in need. For example, "In 1980, Congressman Ron Paul estimated that the poor actually receive less than 20 percent of social welfare expenditures, with the remainder absorbed by administration, fraud, and waste." [1]

Also, the Bible views the family unit as the essential building block of a stable society (Exod. 20:12, 14; Eph. 5:22-6:4). It has been said that "As the family goes, so goes the nation and so goes the whole world in which we live." Since today’s families are under tremendous financial stress, will the candidate increase this pressure through the added burden of further family income taxation? Will he advocate excessive government regulation upon business, which has the net effect of spiking consumer prices? Will he place employers under greater taxation and burdensome regulations leading to inevitable downsizing, layoffs, and the re-location of factories and other means of production beyond America's borders? All of these economic repercussions increase financial stress upon the very important family unit.

Moreover, because the Scripture advocates leaving one's wealth to one's descendants (Prov. 13:22; 1 Tim. 5:8), I am always curious about whether the candidate will hamper generational wealth transfer through onerous inheritance taxes, which force the deceased's relatives to visit the undertaker and the IRS agent on the same day. Given the fact that family wealth has typically already been taxed as personal income, the inheritance tax gives covetous government a second bite of the apple.

Also, does the candidate understand that the earth experiences cyclical heating and cooling (Gen. 8:22)? For example, global warming transpired during the time of the Vikings, long before the advent of SUVs and modern industry. Interestingly, some scientists attribute global warming to sunspots, which are obviously far beyond human control. Does the candidate instead erroneously attribute such cycles exclusively to human activity? If the latter, then he will likely favor increased government control over economic behavior, which can cripple an economy and yet simultaneously have a negligible impact upon climate change.

(To Be Continued...)


[1] Herbert Schlossberg, Idols for Destruction: Christian Faith and Its Confrontation with American Society (Nashville, TN: Nelson, 1983), 110.