Voting According to the Cultural Mandate

So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them. And God blessed them. And God said to them, "Be fruitful and multiply and fill the earth and subdue it and have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the heavens and over every living thing that moves on the earth." (Gen. 1:27-28)

God created man in His image for His glory to accomplish His purposes upon the earth. If God is involved in His creation, which Scripture affirms, then it is reasonable to think that God is concerned with the politics of man. Arguably, a Christian who is elected to office is to serve according to God's will and purposes as directed by His Word. Christian citizens are to vote in accordance with what resembles the most good, the most right, and the most godly. The problem that arises for Christians is one of discerning God's will in the matter of politics. Christians are citizens of 2 kingdoms - the kingdom of God eternally and the kingdom of God on earth. Wherever God has placed us on earth as a member of a nation's citizenship is not to be taken likely. We have a responsibility to represent our Lord and Savior as best we can within the structure of a nation's polity. Governments are run by people and will answer to the Lord whether they recognize Him as Sovereign or not!

Americans have more freedom than citizens of other nations and therefore have a greater responsibility to participate in the operations of a nation that was inspired by the concept of "government of the people, by the people, and for the people." The Cultural Mandate presented in Genesis 1:28 has political implications for Christians in the United States. That mandate, given to human creation, involved expansion, conservation, and administration, which has implications to the citizenry of this nation.

As to Expansion
God, blessing man, said to "be fruitful and multiply" in order to fill the earth. Fruitfulness, which modifies the word "multiplication," implies purposeful growth, which in the context of verse 27 means to mature in the image of God. Being fruitful is having children for the purpose of nurturing and equipping them for the work of God in subduing the earth according to His will. In fact, God made husbands and wives to be one in flesh and spirit in order to produce godly offspring (Mal. 2:15). When Jesus commanded His disciples to go and make disciples of all nations (Matt. 28:19), He was commissioning them and us to fulfill part of the cultural mandate by being fruitful and multiply. 

Concerning politics - we are to vote for the candidate whose policies make it easier to have godly offspring. When neither candidate seems to fit the premise, Christians still have a duty to mitigate, i.e. to vote for the  candidate that makes it easier to be fruitful for Christ.

As to Conservation
The extent or result of expansion is to execute the second part of the mandate, which is to subdue the earth by conserving and protecting the resources of it for the sake and glory of God. Subduing the earth connotes dominating the environment for good. The word for "subdue" in the Hebrew is kabash, which implies subjection or bringing something under bondage or the application of force. Growing up, I heard my dad say on a number of occasions that he needed to put the kabash on it. What he meant was taking control and stopping whatever was occurring or putting a lid on undesirable conversation. 

The earth, which is the Lord's, has been given to man for the purpose of bringing it under man's control. This is a major responsibility, which means that mankind is to subject the earth, the environment, and nature to the rule and purposes of God. So, conserving the environment and protecting the interests of God's creation to include man, must be in balance. Christians are to care for God's creation because it actually belongs to the Lord. In other words, we possess the earth as God's trustees and have a fiduciary responsibility for preserving what is the Lord's.

Does this mean we must be green? In a sense – yes! But not to the extent of hoarding or not using the resources God has provided. Why is there oil or coal, for instance? For the use of man who can mine and drill, but with common sense and protection of the environment as best he can. Use of green energy is also okay, but not to the detriment of other resources provided by God – because the earth is the Lord’s and all there is in it! If subdue has the idea of force, then governments must be involved for regulation purposes. Yet, governments still answer to God.  They are subservient to God whether they realize it or not. And regulation of the earth’s resources must be for the betterment of all the people, not the privileged few.

Of course, politicians usually mess things up. As part of government, God’s citizens have a duty to be involved and vote for the candidate that would best represent God’s purposes for the earth whether they realize it or not. We are not to vote for what the candidate will do for us, but for the candidate whose programs are more in line with subduing the earth according to God’s purposes.The eighteenth-century Scottish historian Alexander Tytler allegedly commented: “A democracy cannot exist as a permanent form of government. It can only exist until a majority of voters discover that they can vote themselves largess out of the public treasury.” We are not to vote for the candidate that will give us the most benefits, but for the candidate most in line with helping the common good according to the purposes of God.

Our nations was founded as a republic – rule by law (God’s Law) – not a democracy – rule by man; hence, the majority. In God’s eyes there is no democracy, for he rules as benign dictator.  Christ died to set us free to do God’s will, not our own. What happens when the candidates clashsay one is for “life” and the other “for conservation.” Life always triumphs, for God is the Giver and Taker of Life – not man. Besides, “the right of life, liberty, and pursuit of happiness” found in the Declaration of Independence was a phrase used to exemplify the "inalienable rights" with which all human beings are endowed by their Creator. “Life” was first and foremost, for without this right there is no liberty and no pursuit of happiness.

When life takes a back seat to conservation, then animals and earth will become more important than human life. If no candidate is for “life,” then choose the one that best represents “Liberty” and freedom, for without freedom (that perfectly comes in Christ), there will be no happiness. God mandates our expansion over the earth in order to provide conservation of His possession for the purpose of having administration of the earth.

As to Administration
We care for the earth (and the United States) in order to rule it in God’s name. God said in Gen. 1:28 to have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the heavens and over every living thing that moves on the earthA consequence of man being created in the image of God is dominion over the lower creatures of the earth; and having dominion is to rule  responsibility. We are to govern the inferior creatures of the earth as God's viceroy. Since the animals are not capable of fearing and serving the Lord, God has appointed them to serve under the administration of man. This tells us that man is more important than animals. Then what about the animal rights people?  We do have a responsibility of caring for animals, but not of preservation over the rights of man. Having dominion is delegated supremacy over all the creatures of the earth, but it is man who is created in God’s image to represent Him as governor over these creatures.

In 2007, federal judge Oliver Wanger imposed limits on the amount of water pumped from the San Joachin-Sacramento River delta to farms in California's Central Valley in order to protect a two-inch endangered fish called the Delta Smelt. As a result, several hundred thousand acres of farmland on the west side of the Central Valley now lie desolate, and many thousands of jobs have been lost. In the city of Mendota the unemployment rate exceeds 40%. If God’s cultural mandate was applied, then men and their livelihood would trump a fish. Yet in the Environmental Protection Agency are people who seek to promote animals and plants to equal standing among the human race. God who created all things – human and otherwise –was perfect in wisdom when he crafted existence and fashioned man as the highest order of life to rule over the fish and animals.

What is laughable is that most of the animal rights people as well as the green earth promoters are Darwinists! Yet, Darwin believed in the survival of the fittest. Well, man is the fittest. When animal rights people place animals above the dignity of man, they are contradicting their own belief in evolutionary survival by the fittest.

Concerning politics – we, as Christians, have a biblical responsibility to know the issues. We should not vote for those who place animal life above human life or human rights. Yes, we are to care for the creatures of the earth, but in proper priority. When we say a smelt has more rights than an unborn baby, something is drastically wrong with our culture of politicsChrist and His righteousness is the standard by which to cast votes.

There was a time when most Americans respected the Bible and quoted it with authority. In 1963, according to Gallup, 65% believed the Bible literally; today the number is only 32%. There was a time when most Americans accepted absolute standards. They might disagree on what those absolutes were, but they knew that some things were really right or really wrong. Today 70% reject moral absolutes and promote their own ideas of self-autonomy.

There is a Culture War and it is primarily over who influences the definition of reality. Defining the distinctiveness of our world-view is at stake, and it is part of the political war that is raging today in America. Christians must take serious the cultural mandate, part of which is participating in government in order to rule over the creatures of the earth.  We participate by our vote, which may hopefully tame wild and foolish politicians! The principles by which we cast votes are as follows:

(1) Vote for person who makes it easier for the gospel to spread (for God said be fruitful and multiply);
(2) Vote for the person who promotes proper conservation of all resources (for God said to subdue the earth);
(3) Vote for the person who puts human rights above animal rights (for God said to have dominion over the animals).

When principles collide, remember:
(1) Life trumps conservation (for God is the Giver and Taker of life);
(2) Rights of humans trump those of animals (for God gave man dominion of the creatures of earth);
(2) Liberty trumps stifling regulations (for God is the Author of freedom and without freedom, there is no pursuit of happiness).