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The days of debating national issues and proposing solutions in a civil debate seem to be a thing of the past. The rancor between the small groups of very vocal activists among both Progressives and Conservatives1Approximately 20% of the nation is solid left and 20% solid right. The remaining 60% may lean more in one or the other direction but mostly want to get along. As we point out, in America at War With Herself, they are not ideologues. They don’t like and tend to shift away from perceived radicalism when they vote. In Americans at the ends of the ideological spectrum are the most active in national politics, indicating this was still the trend in the 2020 election alike, have increasingly been turning to the No True Scotsman Fallacy in an effort to cancel or silence the “other side” of the debate. What is the No True Scotsman Fallacy you ask? The Logical Fallacies website describes the intent and how it is executed:

The No True Scotsman fallacy appeals to the “purity” of an ideal or standard as a way to dismiss relevant criticisms or flaws in your argument.

Example of No True Scotsman 

    • John doesn’t drink alcohol. No real man avoids alcohol. John isn’t a real man.

The argument creates an ideal man and uses his supposed perfection to prove a point.

    • Sarah always wears slacks. No real woman would wear slacks. Sarah is not a real woman.

‘Establishing’ that no real woman would wear slacks creates the fallacy.

A popular current example of this is “No true Christian would vote for a ______.” Once started, you can fill in the blank with a Republican, a Democrat, Donald Trump, Joe Biden, etc. The group or individual used to fill in the blank matters little. The fallacy confuses what a Christian is with how a Christian may behave, in this case, using voting choices to identify the person who cannot possibly be a Christian. Even though either choice involves choosing a person who is far from perfect, the faults of our guy are overlooked while the other is thoroughly demonized. Even though its use is manipulative, it may be that the person making the case lacks a historical-grammatical understanding of Scripture and doesn’t realize they have created a false dilemma. Of course, we’re not saying that it makes no difference who one votes for. There are better and worse choices based on the policies they promote. That is the whole point of voting in a democratic republic, making the best choice, if you can, between two far-from-perfect human beings. And the truth is people often selfishly vote for who or what they believe is in their best interest. No human endeavor is going to be untainted by mankind’s sinful nature. Sad but true.

Thankfully, Christian belief tells us that believing in Jesus and His sacrifice makes one a Christian, not one’s voting record.

In the Bible, Old Testament, and New, we find that God’s people can act abominably and yet truly be followers of the One true God. King David committed adultery, and to cover up the affair, he actually had Bathsheba’s husband killed. Moses killed an Egyptian and hid the body so he would not be caught and punished. The nation of Israel chose again and again to worship false gods, even though they were rejecting what God had plainly said about such worship. Nearly all of the New Testament was written to expose false teachers and false teaching, correct bad behavior, and teach sound doctrine to the believers. Christians are forgiven and cleansed from their sins but still may make sinful choices. This can be true of the church corporately as well.

We need to turn to Scripture to determine what a Christian is. This may be a Vince Lombardi’s “this is a football” moment. But from time to time, we need to go back to the basics of the gospel. We find the Apostle Paul having to do that with the early Christian church. In Romans 10:9-13, the Apostle Paul wrote that if anyone confesses Jesus is Lord (in this context, they are confessing Jesus is YHWH, God) and believe in their heart God raised Him from the dead, they will be saved. He then explained:

For with the heart one believes and is justified, and with the mouth one confesses and is saved. (Romans 10:9)

In verse thirteen, he cites Isaiah 45:23 and applies it to Jesus:

For everyone who calls on the name of the Lord [YHWH] will be saved.

“Lord” here is the Greek word used for the Hebrew “YHWH” by those who translated the Septuagint. Paul’s outline of the gospel is that “whoever” confesses that Jesus Christ is YHWH and believes that God raised Him from the dead will be saved.

In 1 Corinthians 15, the Apostle Paul gives the Corinthians a reminder of the gospel he preached to them:

Now I would remind you, brothers, of the gospel I preached to you, which you received, in which you stand, and by which you are being saved, if you hold fast to the word I preached to you unless you believed in vain.

For I delivered to you as of first importance what I also received: that Christ died for our sins in accordance with the Scriptures, that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day in accordance with the Scriptures, and that he appeared to Cephas, then to the twelve. (1 Corinthians 15:1-5)

In his phrase, “in accordance with the Scriptures,” Paul is reminding the Corinthians that the death, burial, and resurrection of the Messiah was prophesied in the Hebrew Scriptures and has been fulfilled in Jesus Christ. This is the saving gospel, and by that, sinners are cleansed and redeemed, i.e., Christians. Who someone may or may not vote for has no bearing on whether they are Christian or not. That’s not the biblical criteria for our acceptance by God. Voting is a responsibility that we would certainly encourage people to take part in. We have the privilege to choose who we believe is the best person to lead our country. We should take it seriously and vote for the person we feel is a better choice. And for Christians, their scriptural understanding of right and wrong should factor into that choice.

Too many Americans do not allow the Scriptures to determine for them what a true Christian is but instead are using their own established cultural and political beliefs to define Who Jesus is and what Christianity should look like. Progressives, for example, see Jesus as merely a Woke Socialist who celebrates rather than judges sin, but we will pick that up next week in No True Christian – Part Two.

Don and Joy Signature 2

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End Notes

End Notes
1 Approximately 20% of the nation is solid left and 20% solid right. The remaining 60% may lean more in one or the other direction but mostly want to get along. As we point out, in America at War With Herself, they are not ideologues. They don’t like and tend to shift away from perceived radicalism when they vote. In Americans at the ends of the ideological spectrum are the most active in national politics, indicating this was still the trend in the 2020 election
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