Wednesday, February 15, 2006

the 1 John 4 Test

Test the Spirits
4:1 Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, for many false prophets have gone out into the world. 2 By this you know the Spirit of God: every spirit that confesses that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is from God, 3 and every spirit that does not confess Jesus is not from God. This is the spirit of the antichrist, which you heard was coming and now is in the world already. 4 Little children, you are from God and have overcome them, for he who is in you is greater than he who is in the world. 5 They are from the world; therefore they speak from the world, and the world listens to them. 6 We are from God. Whoever knows God listens to us; whoever is not from God does not listen to us. By this we know the Spirit of truth and the spirit of error.

My pastor had a sermon a couple months ago on this passage and it constantly kept reminding me of the running argument between ExPat and I regarding violent and non-violent foreign policy. Hefe's post yesterday about the Derek Webb song went right along with this, too.

These issues always seem come down to the same basic question for me:
"Can you honestly see Jesus Christ supporting that position above all others?"

On the death penalty - can I see Jesus supporting the taking of life needlessly? No.
On abortion - can I see Jesus supporting the protection of life? Yes.
On foreign policy - can I see Jesus advocating to go and kill others on the suspicion that if we don't they might kill us? Absolutely not.

I am sure there is probably some flaw in my logic there and I am equally sure that it will be pointed out to me as soon as I post this, but I always seem to keep coming back to that same question whenever there is a political issue that I need to take a stand on. Everything is testable if you test it as to whether it is from God (or would be God-approved or God-supported).