Jesus’ Love For The Disciples Means He Would Not Support Obama And Neither Should You

As we near the 2012 election, once again the debate over President Obama’s religious commitment is front and center. The recent mandate debacle is the most recent example of how Obama’s agenda is not one that is compatible with Christianity. Here is a post I wrote leading up to the 2010 election and I think it has relevance in light of the debate about President Obama’s faith and Republican candidates assertions about their own. I titled it “The Revolutionary Politics Of Jesus; Love One Another“. For when we get down  a core value of Christianity, it is our love for other Christians that shows our true faith. Obama’s Liberal policy agenda violates this in a profound way and it means that Jesus would not support it and that Christians should not vote for Obama in 2012.

The last two years we have seen a remarkable focus on what it means to be a Christian and how that looks particularly for those in public life. Obviously, the election of Barrack Obama as President and his claims to be a Christian are helping keep this focus alive and the debates ongoing. Debate rages between Republicans and Democrats over issues like abortion and gay rights as each side appeals to the teachings of Jesus to justify their positions. We Christians are increasingly seen for what we are against instead of what we are for. Let me try and locate issues like abortion and gay rights in a larger context, a context that grounds how the Christian ought to stand on not only abortion and gay rights, but also most issues facing our generation. This will be done by looking at the teachings of Jesus in one key area, our love for one another, our brothers and sisters who profess Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior.

Jesus calls on us to love on another as a testimony to the world.

“A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this all men will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.” John 13:34-35

Obviously we are to show love to others a well, as Jesus taught with the example of the good Samaritan, but a clear primacy is to be given for the faithful. The main teaching of Jesus that I would like to focus on and the one that truly has a revolutionary quality to it comes from Matthew 25.

31″When the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, he will sit on his throne in heavenly glory. 32All the nations will be gathered before him, and he will separate the people one from another as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats. 33He will put the sheep on his right and the goats on his left.

34″Then the King will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father; take your inheritance, the kingdom prepared for you since the creation of the world. 35For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, 36I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.’

37″Then the righteous will answer him, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink? 38When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you? 39When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?’

40″The King will reply, ‘I tell you the truth, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did for me.’

41″Then he will say to those on his left, ‘Depart from me, you who are cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels. 42For I was hungry and you gave me nothing to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me nothing to drink, 43I was a stranger and you did not invite me in, I needed clothes and you did not clothe me, I was sick and in prison and you did not look after me.’

44″They also will answer, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or needing clothes or sick or in prison, and did not help you?’

45″He will reply, ‘I tell you the truth, whatever you did not do for one of the least of these, you did not do for me.’

46″Then they will go away to eternal punishment, but the righteous to eternal life.” Matthew 25:31-46

In this passage our love for one another will be judged by how we treated one another. The way we treat “the least of these”, the brothers and sisters of Jesus, our fellow Christians, has major implications when we face judgment before Jesus. Pastor Kevin DeYoung has put it like this:

“So who are “the least of these” if they are not society’s poor and downtrodden? “The least of these” refers to other Christians in need, in particular itinerant Christian teachers dependent on hospitality from their family of faith. Let me explain…Matthew 25 is about social justice in the sense that it is about caring for the needy. But the needy in view are fellow Christians, especially those dependent on our hospitality and generosity for their ministry. “The least of these” is not a blanket statement about the church’s responsibility to meet the needs of all the poor (though we do not want to be indifferent to hurting people). Nor should the phrase be used as a general cover for anything and everything we want to promote under the banner of social justice. Jesus says if we are too embarrassed, too lazy, or too cowardly to support our fellow Christians who depend on our assistance and are suffering for the sake of the gospel, we will go to hell. We should not make this passage say anything more or less than this.”

This is in stark contrast to the universalist interpretation by “Liberal Christians” of which Jim Wallis may be one of the best well known since he is an ardent supporter of President Obama. Liberals view “the least of these” as anyone in the condition Jesus describes, particularly the poor. Of course, Christians are called to help the poor, but this view will actually bring about the judgment for which Jesus is warning us about.

The proper understanding of this passage has critical implications for our politics and the grounding of issues like abortion and gay rights. For if we are to truly love our brothers and sisters in Jesus and help those of them that are “the least of these” then we cannot support Democrats and the Liberal agenda they seek to implement. For by doing so, we help bring about contempt for Christians in this country as a Liberal agenda seeks to normalize and legitimize the sin for which Jesus died on the cross for, sin that needs to be repented of not embraced. When we locate the issue of abortion and gay rights in this context we see that no Christian can be pro-choice or support those who are. Nor can any Christian support those who are advancing the normalization of homosexuality through gay rights. If “Christians” do support those who advocate abortion and gay rights, not only are they helping to propagate sin, but more profoundly they are violating the call to care for their brothers and sisters in Jesus. These “Liberal Christians” will help bring about the persecution the faithful by ensuring their status as bigots in society. Why would any Christian want to support someone or advance an agenda that will ensure the persecution of their brethren?

“How can Christians, as well as other persons who share similar values, vote for a candidate who wants to persecute them for their views and to compel them, against their consciences and subject to civil penalties, to be indoctrinated and participate in the affirmation of immoral practices? In short, how can Christians vote for someone who will insure society’s regard for them as bigots?”

Jesus even made His identity with His followers explicitly clear when He confronted Saul on the road to Damascus.

“Meanwhile, Saul was still breathing out murderous threats against the Lord’s disciples. He went to the high priest and asked him for letters to the synagogues in Damascus, so that if he found any there who belonged to the Way, whether men or women, he might take them as prisoners to Jerusalem. As he neared Damascus on his journey, suddenly a light from heaven flashed around him. He fell to the ground and heard a voice say to him, “Saul, Saul, why do you persecute me?”

“Who are you, Lord?” Saul asked.

“I am Jesus, whom you are persecuting,” he replied. “Now get up and go into the city, and you will be told what you must do.” Acts 9:1-6

Saul was persecuting Christians, violating the teaching of Jesus in Matthew 25, and Jesus confronted Saul with the fact that he was persecuting Jesus. Issues like abortion and gay rights go to the heart of the Christian faith. If we are truly created in the image of God, then we have intrinsic value from the moment of conception. Recently President Obama has dropped the idea of a Creator as the grounds for our inalienable rights and that ought to concern us very much. Obama is so radically pro-abortion that during the campaign he was willing to attack a survivor of abortion, Gianna Jensen. By advocating a radical pro-abortion public policy, Liberals are helping to create a bias against anyone who would defend the unborn as having inherent value, thus violating Matthew 25.

Gay rights is an equally if not more powerful example of this. For what will the consequence be for Christians once the normalization of homosexuality is complete in society and it’s acceptance is demanded by the State? What will be the consequence when people no longer think it possible to change their lifestyle through repentance? Christian are called to preach the Gospel, repentance from sin and salvation through Jesus alone, which means they would be in conflict with Liberal dogma on this. Of course Christians are to expect persecution, but based on Matthew 25, it should not be brought about by other Christians.

Liberalism poses a threat to Christians in America and I think if we take the teaching of Jesus in Matthew 25 to heart it should be clear that Christians cannot support Democrats. Our call to love another and take care of our brethren in need, “the least of these”, means we cannot support those who advocate policies that will ensure the persecution of our faithful kin.

Related posts:

30 thoughts on “Jesus’ Love For The Disciples Means He Would Not Support Obama And Neither Should You

  1. Thank you so much for this post, I have always struggled on how to argue against abortion, same sex marriage, gay rights and civil unions.

    This post explains it in a way that I can use to talk to my opponents, without being taken as a personal attack on the person that is committing sin.

  2. I disagree with your characterization of Obama as pro-abortion. If you want to make the argument that he is pro-choice I think you could make a very strong case. That being said, no one is pro-abortion; just like no one is pro-root canal. Sometimes people get a root-canals because they think it’s better than the alternative of rotting teeth but that assuredly doesn’t make them pro-root canal. No one looks at their daughter and seriously says, “Only a few more years until you can have your first abortion!” Women don’t try and get pregnant so they can head down to Planned Parenthood and terminate the pregnancy. Even if one believed that there is no inherent value in an unborn child, that there wouldn’t be any emotional repercussions, and that they would never face judgment from society, it’s still an unpleasant procedure that takes time and frequently money. To go so far as to say someone is “radically pro-abortion”, well I don’t even know what that would look like.

      • Right… and that's why Dr. Pat Robinson recently said not to adopt certain children b/c you were just "asking for trouble"…

        A Catholic publication just published a study that found that Pres. Obama's policies were actually MORE pro-life than Gov. Romney's by creating safety nets to help single mothers and children born in poverty. In other words, if you want to be pro-life than be pro-life by attacking the underlying symptoms that drive many women to have abortions: poverty, lack of education (including age appropriate sex education) and the opinion that women are somehow less than men. It has been shown that countries which outlaw abortion actually have higher abortion rates. Women were having abortions before Roe v Wade, sometimes brought to the clinics by the "good Christian men" who got them pregnant in the first place, and they will continue to have them even if you make it illegal again. Passing legislation to ban abortion does not solve the problem, it only puts a band-aid on it.

      • In the video you posted Obama is talking about a hypothetical situation in which one of his daughters became pregnant. In that scenario Obama said he wouldn’t want them to be punished with a baby, the implication being they could have an abortion. The hypothetical abortion here is not the end in itself. Do you agree? He’s not saying they should have an abortion because abortions are so great. Obama is saying an abortion is a possible means to the end of not being punished with a baby. This is my exact point. No one is PRO-abortion. No one wants to have an abortion.

        If I argue that the nuclear bombing of Japan was justified that doesn’t make my pro-nuclear war. Even if I go out and attack an alternative option of using trade embargos and the alternative of a long drawn out ground war, I’m still not pro-nuclear war. To put it a different way I’m pretty sure you’d prefer a professing protestant Christian for president. You have attacked the notion of electing Obama who fits that bill because you see that option as deficient (probably because you view Obama as not really Christian). You’re probably not thrilled about electing a Mormon but I’m assuming that’s how you’ll vote. This doesn’t make you pro-electing-Mormon-presidents, it just means that in this specific circumstance you see electing a Mormon as a mean to the end of see Gods will enacted.

        In the same way a woman isn’t in favor of having an abortion but instead sees it as a means to the end of avoiding a pregnancy she doesn’t want.

        • Ah, but you cannot claim to be against nuclear war while seeking to stop any alternative path. Bring up a Crisis Pregnancy Center to someone who is pro-choice, or works with Planned Parenthood, and they want to shut them down. Thus, the only real alternative, the only real choice they want, is the one that ends in abortion. That is pro-abortion. If someone was merely pro-choice and not pro-abortion, then they would not have a problem with a CPC existing.

          • You can be against nuclear war while seeking to stop alternative paths, IF you think those alternatives are deficient. See above with my explanation of trade embargos and a long drawn out ground war. Being in favor of, or ‘pro’ something, and seeing it as the only feasible option are very different things.

            “The only real alternative, the only real choice they want, is the one that ends in abortion.” Don’t you think they would all prefer the choice that ends with them never having been pregnant in the first place? Listen to the youtube video you linked to. Does it sound like Obama wants his kids to become pregnant to have an abortion or like abortion might be the only tenable option (in his mind) should they become pregnant out of wedlock.

            Do you believe that Obama really likes abortions? That he and other liberals see having an abortion as a good thing. Not the best possible solution but a truly good thing in and of itself? Put another way, do you think when Obama looks at his daughters and wife he hopes someday they have an abortion? I’ve met several women who have had abortions and one who was planning to have an abortion because she had recently become pregnant. Not one of these women thought of it as a good thing. None would recommend getting pregnant to friends so they too could have an abortion. Have you met people excited and happy about an upcoming abortion? I don’t think anyone is pro-abortion much less radically so.

          • Stop the fight. Jeff's logic and reasoning too much for Todd's flimsy defence here.

          • The goodness of choosing an abortion.

            There are also many who refer to the "sacred" nature of providing abortions. The act of killing an unborn baby is good in their eyes. The way Democrats/Liberals talk about abortion in terms of reproductive or health care "justice" means it is a good thing to be able to have an abortion. Concerns over population are also critical to that view.

          • I just watched that video and I think you misinterpreted it. Do you hear the gentle music in the background, the lowered tone of voice of the speaker? This isn’t what you put together to celebrate something awesome. This is the tone of helping someone who has, “to make really hard choices.“ Imagine this video is about something you’re totally in favor of like ice cream. Does it make any sense? “You are not alone in choosing [to eat ice cream]. We believe you are making the choice [to eat ice cream] from a place of goodness.”

            If someone said, I’ve deciding to get an education (most people are pro-education). Would this response make sense? “Goodness is not perfection, it is not obedience, and it is not martyrdom. There is not one way of living a good life and sometimes we have to make really hard choices. And hard choices do not make us bad people. “

            That is the response you give someone when they have made a decision between two really unpleasant options. This is what you say to someone who is grappling with pain and uncertainty.

            You also said that you have heard people mention the "sacred" nature of providing abortions. What they are referring to here as “sacred” is the right of a woman to make that choice. In the past when it’s been outlawed woman died with greater frequency while getting abortions. The “sacred” thing isn’t the abortion but it’s the health of the mother and the valuation of her choice not to carry a baby for months that she doesn’t want.

            “The way Democrats/Liberals talk about abortion in terms of reproductive or health care "justice" means it is a good thing to be able to have an abortion.” Yes, it is a good thing to be ABLE to have an abortion. That doesn’t make one pro-abortion that makes someone pro-able-to-have-an-abortion aka pro-choice.

            “Concerns over population are also critical to that view.” It’s hard to believe that people are encouraging abortion as a means of population control. What evidence do you have to support that hypothesis?

            Now let’s bring it back to Obama. I’m guessing the reason you posted the above youtube link was because you thought it made the case of liberals being pro-abortion the strongest. If that’s the most radically pro-abortion video out there, and it isn’t really pro-abortion, doesn’t that strengthen the argument that basically no one is pro-abortion? I mean this is the internet, people say all sorts of crazy stuff! You can find videos of pastors talking about rounding up all the gay people and throwing them in internment camps. Does that mean Romney wants to round up the gays and throw them in an internment camp, no. Even if you could find someone online who was pro-abortion that doesn’t mean Obama is.

            Put another way, if I was making the argument that Romney wanted to outsource all jobs, and I couldn’t find any American who thought that was a good idea, and I couldn’t point to Romney ever saying it directly, wouldn’t that destroy my argument. Sure I could make a tenuous connection with Bain capital, and companies that closed down, and jobs that left the US but to say he wanted that would be an extreme step. I could even point to Romney defending his decision to outsource job, and times when he fought alternatives like making less money. It still doesn’t make him pro-outsourcing jobs, it makes him pro-profit. The outsourcing of jobs was just the means to the end.

          • One does not advance a policy, seek to stop all restrictions no matter how common sense, unless one views that policy, the end result as a good thing. This is the case with abortion. It is embedded into Obama's health care plan, it would not be without it. Why? He wants to advance abortion. I don't think we are going to see eye to eye on this. Good discussion. Feel free to keep commenting.

          • You’ve made the argument a few times that because Obama doesn’t support the alternatives to abortion that you support, he’s pro-abortion. I’ve made several counter points to this that you haven’t responded to. Also I’ve made counter points to each of the video links that you haven’t responded to. I don’t believe you’ve engaged in this debate in a real way. There are many times when I have disagreed with someone while understanding the validity of their side and respecting them. I disagree with people voting for Romney but have heard well-reasoned arguments to the point that I can see the consistent logic behind the choice (despite my continued disagreement). I won’t presume to know the motivations behind your stance on using the term pro-abortion, but I don’t see it as well-reasoned or logically consistently one.

            If I was debating someone who claimed to be pro-life, even if they supported war, and the death penalty, I’d grant them the choosing of their own name and refer to them as pro-life. I would do this so I could actually debate the true issue. I’m saying this in the hopes that you engage in thinking through this position with an open mind. I hope you are willing to take a step back from the polemics and respect the alternative side enough to engage fully their reasoning and arguments. I think granting more respectful and accurate language (using pro-choice) would also increase the likelihood of a pro-choice person hearing what you have to say.

            If a liberal starts off with calling you anti-woman, bigot, or homophobic how likely is the rest of the conversation on abortion, immigration, or gay marriage likely to be? You calling Obama/democrats/liberals pro-abortion is the same reductive name calling and you haven’t given nearly enough support to justify it.

        • Note: The youtube extract of Obama's statement "punished with a baby" is NOT given in the context of abortion. If you view the whole clip (available on youtube) , it is clear that he is advocating NOT for abortion but for sex education.

          Posting it as evidence for Obama support of abortion in is outright dishonesty.

          • What else would you expect from Todd? For someone who thinks truth is absolute, he does a very good job of proving otherwise with his journalistic and academic dishonesty (ie taking quotes out of context).

  3. Ok, this is a stretch if I've ever seen one. First of all, Pastor DeYoung's exegesis takes more than a few liberties with the Scriptures. Nowhere in this passage does Christ qualify "the least of these" as being only believers. In fact, it wasn't until years after his resurrection that Christianity even separated from Judaism, which makes it difficult to say that Jesus is speaking to a Christian audience. Pastor DeYoung's interpretation also ignores several other instances where Christ tells his followers to help the poor. For instance, "If someone asks you for your shirt, give him your cloak as well." Further, if you look at the parable of the Good Samaritan, the one who is found righteous is the one who helped the very person who despised his kind. The thought that a Samaritan could be deemed righteous or a neighbor (which meant someone of equal status to you as well as close by), was so appalling to the Lawyer that he couldn't even bring himself to answer Jesus with, "the Samaritan."

    Furthermore, your interpretation of Paul/Saul's persecution of Christians lacks some historical accuracy. One of the reasons this sect of Jesus followers was so feared and despised by mainstream Judaism was that it could be seen as treason toward Rome. Remember that 1st Century Palestine was a hotbed of rebellious activity, and at the time of Jesus crucifixion we are only 16-20 years from the Rome destroying the Temple and scattering the Jews once again. Jesus was being seen as the Messiah (Christ, Anointed One, King of Israel), who would end Roman rule and establish the Kingdom of God (Israel) in its place. This would have not only upset the Roman authorities in Palestine at the time, but would also have upset the power structure of the Temple, which had become reliant on Roman authority.

    Finally I have to point to the Gospel of John 3:17, which states, "For the Son of Man came not to condemn the world, but so that the whole world through Him might be saved." The whole world, not just a select few. Taken as a whole, Jesus earthly ministry was about gathering up those in the margins and giving them a place within society. His touching lepers, blind, deaf mutes, demon possessed, women with feminine bleeding that would not stop brought him down to their levels, since by law any who touched these people was considered "unclean" as well. Just as he came down from heaven and took the form of a servant to become one of us so that we could be reconciled with the Father (the true meaning of atonement or at-one-ment, becoming one with). It is how we, who profess to be followers of Him are called to act within the world. We are not called to Lord over those who we see as inferior: gays, muslims, sikhs, the impoverished, unwed mothers, etc, or believe that we are better than them because we are "believers". Instead we are called to love them each and every one, without judgement. To love your neighbor as yourself instructs you to see that in God's eyes there is no difference between you and me. There is no "US" and "THEM". In the Episcopal Church, the Eucharist (Communion, Lord's Supper) is prefaced with, "No matter where you are in your journey of faith, you are welcome at this table."

    • None of what I argued ought to negate helping others outside the faith. Obviously the Good Samaritan is a key part of that. But there is a uniqueness and a call for Christians to help each other. The Lord's Supper should only be for those who believe, not for a Muslim or a Sikh, if that is where you were going.

      • I disagree with your first point. I don't see a difference between helping a Christian brother or Muslim brother. Look ar when the Caananite woman approached Jesus about her daughter. He answered her, should I feedthe bread formy children to the dogs? To which she replied, but even the dogs eat the crumbs that fall from the Master's table. That was the turnung point in his ministry, when he began to see the message of hopeand reconciliation was bigger than even he imagined and was formore than theJews. In the same way, we need to realize that our call isn't to only believers, but for all mankind.And if the Muskim or Sikh understands the sacrifice of the Eucharist, God should decide whether or not they are worthy. Not my call, but HIS?

        • Muslims cannot be the spiritual brothers of Christians. Yes, all are created in the image of God, in that sense we are the same. But those who have rejected the Gospel should not be taking communion.

  4. So our love for others would mean we support an increase in program cuts for the poorest Americans and a decrease in taxes and regulations for big banks and the ultra wealthy. Where do I sign?!?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>