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FIRST-PERSON: Defining the word ‘values’

OKLAHOMA CITY (BP)–Political pundits are throwing the “v-word” around like it is a nerf football at a picnic. What do they mean by “values?” Do we honestly think this word means the same to all candidates? Joe Citizen must look beneath the rhetoric to discover what each politico really believes.

For the Christian, the word “values” means biblical values. However, presuming that office seekers or holders think likewise can lead to disappointment and discouragement.

Even the most liberal theologian has values. But liberal values are shaped by corrupted logic, humanistic secularization and God-demeaning attitudes. Liberals reject the authoritative, inspired Scripture, but accept homosexual behavior as “normal” and promote the killing of the unborn as a “choice.”

Interestingly, many theological liberals have chosen to align themselves with the political left. Secular government officials who reinterpret the Constitution contrary to the framers’ intentions are joined with the theological left who reject the revelation of God in Scripture. This strange alliance of individuals and groups rejects the authority of God to be God in every area of life. Amazingly, they have made incredible progress in eroding the foundations of our American civilization.

New Testament believers will have honest distinctives among themselves about some things, but there are core values that simply are not up for grabs. When you translate biblical values into the cultural context, biblical values are illustrated in a strong view of helping the most innocent and helpless in our culture, the yet-to-be-born and those who need our assistance in their final days. Biblical core values are demonstrated in the public sphere by undergirding the basic institutions of society, marriage and family.

These core values definitely do not include abortion-on-demand and advocacy of same-sex “marriage.”

Listening to recent rhetoric, you would think every candidate has the corner on American values because they all claim them as their own. It seems that public relation advisers have convinced would-be office holders that if you repeat the word “values” often enough, over time people will begin to believe that the candidate has values and that those values are synonymous with the voter’s values.

How can you tell if candidates have biblical values or hold beliefs that are diametrically opposed to Scripture? You cannot assume to know what they believe simply by which party they belong to. Look at voting records and ask them about their positions on the significant issues:

— Partial birth abortion is a barbaric procedure that partially delivers a viable child feet first, kills the child in the birth canal by collapsing the skull and then delivers the dead fetus. Ask whether a woman’s right to choose trumps this procedure. If a candidate squirms and sidesteps the issue, then choose someone else.

— Ask about beliefs on same-sex “marriage.” If the answer is something like “We must be certain that we protect everyone’s rights,” scratch this person off your list. From a moral perspective, homosexuality is not a right. It is a behavior that is contrary to God’s design and command.

When politicians speak, know that some will carefully use their words to bring about “value confusion.” Despite their words, some candidates’ values are intellectually, morally and spiritually bankrupt. Review past decisions — in public and private life — to learn whether a candidate’s stated “values” actually match up with the traditional American values that for so long have been shaped by biblical concepts.

The secular left just doesn’t get it. But, New Testament believers understand that the word “values” implies there is something of worth in a belief or attitude or action, and they know that the only credible standard of value is the Word of God.

Billy Graham said, “If America is to survive, we must elect more God-centered men and women to public office; individuals who will seek Divine guidance in the affairs of state.”

Reject any candidate of either party who does not hold biblical values, and support those who do.

Your vote may decide whose “values” prevail.
For additional information, visit www.ivotevalues.com.
John Yeats is editor of the Baptist Messenger, newsjournal of the Baptist General Convention of Oklahoma.

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  • John Yeats