Friday, January 24, 2020

Voting and Truth

By David A. Sargent

     Dan Williams reports: The top legislative body of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) recently adopted a resolution to recognize same-sex marriage. The Presbyterian General Assembly members voted 429 to 157 to add language to their church constitution saying that marriage can be the union of “two people,” not just “a man and a woman.”
     The General Assembly had previously voted in 2011 to allow their clergy to have same-sex partners. Since that vote, 428 of the denomination’s more than 10,000 churches have left the PC USA. Some conservatives remained in the denomination in an effort to exert a moderating influence; this latest action may well accelerate their exodus.
     When I read the article describing the action of the Presbyterian legislative body, I was reminded of the story of a little boy who brought his new pet hamster to “show and tell” time at his school. As the children crowded around admiring the tiny creature, one student asked, “Is it a boy or a girl?” The hamster’s owner replied, “I don’t know. How can we tell?” There was a moment of puzzled silence, until one of the children suggested brightly, “I know – we can vote on it.”
     We chuckle at that child’s innocent suggestion, because we realize some matters cannot be determined by a show of hands, but the story illustrates an important spiritual principle. Votes taken in a denominational assembly can no more change the truths of the Bible than the children’s vote could determine the gender of the hamster. “Sanctify them by the truth; your word is truth,” Jesus prayed in John 17:17.
     News reports repeatedly emphasized that the same-sex marriage measure passed the Presbyterian assembly by an overwhelming margin, perhaps to signify that the matter is politically settled. Christianity is not based on politics, however, but on revelation. If the Bible is what it claims to be, the divinely inspired Word of God, it does not matter whether the final vote was 429 – 157 or 586 – 0. As Paul said, “Let God be true, and every human being a liar” (Romans 3:4).
     There is an underlying principle that goes far beyond this specific issue or denomination – the need to recognize and respect the Bible as our only standard. *
     “All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for...

Doctrine – “What’s Right”
Reproof – “What’s Wrong”
Correction – “For Getting Right”
Instruction in righteousness – “For Staying Right”
...that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work.” 2 Timothy 3:16-17
     The TRUTH is ... Sin separates us from God (Isaiah 59:1-2) and condemns us (Matthew 7:13-14). And, “all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God” (Romans 3:23).
     The TRUTH is ... God loves us so much that He gave His Son Jesus to die on the cross for our sins so that we might receive forgiveness and the gift of eternal life (John 3:16; Ephesians 1:7).
     The TRUTH is ... God will forgive and give eternal life to those who place their faith
and trust in Jesus (Acts 16:30-31), turn from their sins in repentance (Acts 17:30-31), confess Jesus before men (Romans 10:9-10), and be baptized (immersed) into Christ for the forgiveness of sins (Acts 2:38). The blood of Jesus will continue to cleanse those who continue to walk in the light of His Word (1 John 1:7).
     The Bible contains: Facts, Commands, Promises and Warnings - and there are two ways in which we can respond to each:

Facts: We can Accept or Reject them
Commands: We can Obey or Disobey
Promises: We can Receive or Forfeit them
Warnings: We can Heed or Ignore them
Truth is not determined by a vote! It is only to be acknowledged and accepted.
     Won’t YOU accept the Truth and submit your life to God, the Source of Truth?

- David A. Sargent, minister for the Church of Christ at Creekwood in Mobile, Alabama, is also the editor of an electronic devotional entitled "Living Water." To learn more about this excellent resource contact David via their website:

* “Voting and Truth” by Dan Williams, Vice-President For Church Relations, Harding University, Searcy, Arkansas. Article shared in PreacherStuff (6/26/14).

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