Every Election is a Choice Between Jesus and Barabbas

Ramon Arias | April 28, 2014

The present social decay in America did not happen overnight or by chance, rather, it is the result of people embracing different worldviews whether they understand it or not. We understand for a worldview to be what people use as a reference to interpret life and the world.  In essence, we are all philosophers even if we don't have the academic accreditation because we have a worldview.

Ask any person what is truth, reality, values, humanity’s purpose, knowledge of earth, the universe, life, death, politics, religion, philosophy, and economics and the answer they will give you is based upon their worldview. The question is what is their source or sources of knowledge, understanding and wisdom? No person comes up with an answer or worldview on their own, they got it from somewhere, and that is where the issue of understanding our social decay stems from.

The different worldviews that now dominate our culture are the outcome of mixing the dominant ideas of Atheism, Agnosticism, Existentialism, Hinduism, Taoism, Buddhism, Cosmic New Age, Spiritualism, Polytheism, Postmodernism, Judaism, Christianity and Islam. Contrary to what others believe, historically it is impossible for these ideas to coexist in harmony for the simple reason that they are opposites.  Even within each view they are fragmented in their interpretation about anything and everything. People’s thoughts are based upon their worldview. It is a no-brainer to state that ideas do have consequences and if this brings the example of the Tower of Babel to mind, you got it!

The proof of the effects of ideas is clearly seen in all the nations of the world. Unfortunately, the wrong ideas continue to be the source of profound cultural pain, corruption and destruction.

Americans are beginning to understand and are concerned not only that the nation is on the wrong path but also that there is a tremendous similarity with the ancient Roman Empire worldview, which includes the cultural suicide acceptance of multiculturalism, the ever expanding civil government and its politics of greed, division, corruption and elitism imposing their never ending laws to subjugate people regardless of the burdens placed upon them.

The difference between Americans and the Romans is the character of the people. The characters of those who became the seeds and laid the foundation for this nation were shaped by their biblical worldview; there is hope if we go back to the only proven worldview.

Over two billion people in the world profess the Christian faith but the majority of them do not have a solid, unshakable, unadulterated and lasting biblical worldview, and it shows in their nation’s culture, including the United States of America.

When the biblical worldview is applied in science, technology, humanities, commerce and education we can expect greater and better things in solving all the cyclical complicated problems of this world.

This includes electing to public office individuals who do not just profess to be Christians, born-again believers or because they belong to some denomination, rather, because they are solid in their biblical worldview. Furthermore, they understand that God rules in the affairs of men and nations as it is revealed throughout history.

At the beginning those who established the new government experiment, in essence, this new government reflected the Protestant Christian beliefs of their districts that they were representing in Congress. The acting 113th Congress has a diverse religious background, which includes America's first Buddhist Senator and the first Hindu in the House of Representatives.

The Pew Forum on religion and politics life compiled the following statistics; there are 299 Protestants in Congress, 163 Catholics and other members who belong to pseudo-Christian religious groups. They are Republicans, Democrats and Independents. [1]

Ronald Reagan, in his First Inaugural Address (January 20, 1981), stated things we must remember before electing anyone into office. Here are some selections:

"In this present crisis, government is not the solution to our problem; government is the problem.

"From time to time, we have been tempted to believe that society has become too complex to be managed by self-rule, that government by an elite group is superior to government for, by, and of the people. But if no one among us is capable of governing himself, then who among us has the capacity to govern someone else? All of us together, in and out of government, must bear the burden. The solutions we seek must be equitable, with no one group singled out to pay a higher price….

"So, as we begin, let us take inventory. We are a nation that has a government—not the other way around. And this makes us special among the nations of the Earth. Our Government has no power except that granted it by the people. It is time to check and reverse the growth of government which shows signs of having grown beyond the consent of the governed.

"It is my intention to curb the size and influence of the Federal establishment and to demand recognition of the distinction between the powers granted to the Federal Government and those reserved to the States or to the people. All of us need to be reminded that the Federal Government did not create the States; the States created the Federal Government.

"Now, so there will be no misunderstanding, it is not my intention to do away with government. It is, rather, to make it work-work with us, not over us; to stand by our side, not ride on our back. Government can and must provide opportunity, not smother it; foster productivity, not stifle it….

"I do not believe in a fate that will fall on us no matter what we do. I do believe in a fate that will fall on us if we do nothing. So, with all the creative energy at our command, let us begin an era of national renewal. Let us renew our determination, our courage, and our strength. And let us renew; our faith and our hope….

"There are entrepreneurs with faith in themselves and faith in an idea who create new jobs, new wealth and opportunity. They are individuals and families whose taxes support the Government and whose voluntary gifts support church, charity, culture, art, and education. Their patriotism is quiet but deep. Their values sustain our national life… the heroes of whom I speak—you, the citizens of this blessed land. Your dreams, your hopes, your goals are going to be the dreams, the hopes, and the goals of this administration, so help me God….

"As for the enemies of freedom, those who are potential adversaries, they will be reminded that peace is the highest aspiration of the American people. We will negotiate for it, sacrifice for it; we will not surrender for it—now or ever….

"I am told that tens of thousands of prayer meetings are being held on this day, and for that I am deeply grateful. We are a nation under God, and I believe God intended for us to be free…. our best effort, and our willingness to believe in ourselves and to believe in our capacity to perform great deeds; to believe that together, with God’s help, we can and will resolve the problems which now confront us.”

Reagan was echoing the convictions of the Founding Fathers on liberty, equality, consent, self-government and total reliance upon God’s Sovereignty and Providence.

We must stop our nonsense when electing Democrats, Republicans, Libertarians, Independents or any other political brand of party if we want the nation to return to her cultural sanity and rebuild it with biblical ethics for a greater cause and world purpose. We must know the candidate’s worldview and scratch deeper into his or her ideas/beliefs.  We can no longer take any one of them merely at their word; deeds are by far a better way to assess them in all areas of their life. We must stop being their useful idiots and not give them the means to justify their ends any longer. It is serious business because it is an all-out cultural war for the soul of the nation.

This is the reason why every election is a choice between Jesus and Barabbas. Say what?  In Jesus' time Israel was dominated by the Roman Empire, even though some people benefited with their political and economical positions by serving Rome, there were many who resented the occupying power and many Jewish insurrections had taken place.

Jesus' public life created a lot of excitement because He met the profile of the promised Messiah but the people were expecting a political Messiah who could deliver them from the oppressor. The four Gospels (Matthew 21:1 -11; Mark 11:1-11; Luke 19:29-44; John 12:12-19) record an event that took place in Jerusalem a few days prior to the crucifixion (John 12:1,12). The event is better known as "Palm Sunday."  Early in his public life Jesus rejected the masses when they wanted to make him king, after all, he was making provisions by healing and feeding them (they saw it as welfare). But now, as he was approaching Jerusalem the multitude was not going to let him get away with rejecting their demand to be their king and deliver them from the Roman oppression.

When the crowds paved the road with their garments and palm branches this was a powerful statement of submission.  In their minds Jesus was their newly elected king (2 Kings 9:13). Jesus was not moved by people's expectations and demands. He knew this same crowd was going to turn against Him and what was coming to them and to the nation of Israel when the Roman armies would destroy them (Matthew 22:1-7).

God's chosen people, the exceptional nation, misinterpreted who Jesus was and the purpose of his mission.  They did not understand that the ethical Kingdom of God operates from His perspective and not man’s. There were terrible consequences coming for Israel, and we would do well to learn their lesson: “And when he drew near and saw the city, he wept over it, saying, “Would that you, even you, had known on this day the things that make for peace! But now they are hidden from your eyes. For the days will come upon you, when your enemies will set up a barricade around you and surround you and hem you in on every side” (Luke 19:41-43).

When Jesus entered Jerusalem after all the exuberant acclamations had died down, he went into the temple condemning and chasing out those who carried out commercialization and robbery; he also healed many people there. As expected, the religious leaders questioned his authority (Matthew 21:23-27).

When Jesus announced the Kingdom of God was going to be removed from Israel and given to another people who would produce the expected ethical results (Matthew 21:43), neither the religious leaders nor the people were ready to accept such a negative national judicial indictment. They had quickly changed their minds and were now ready to dump him from being their elected King.

With this severe act from Jesus, now the Jewish religious leaders had a good reason and opportunity to arrest Jesus and use the “useful idiots” to justify the means for asking the Roman government to condemn Jesus with the death penalty. Once Jesus was presented before Pontius Pilate, the Roman governor found no evidence of guilt that merited Jesus’ arrest much less the death penalty.

The Jewish leaders had personal reasons to eliminate Jesus. The mob was disappointed that Jesus had not accepted their democratic election of liberating them from Rome; this was the perfect political and religious storm. The people were ready to exchange the discarded Jesus for one who fit the profile they wanted in a political messiah, Barabbas.

Barabbas was a Jewish revolutionary fighting against Rome (Matthew 27:16; Mark 15:7; Luke 23:19; John 18:40). He was arrested and charged with crimes and treason against the Roman Empire; he was facing the death penalty by crucifixion. When Pilate wanted to let Jesus go in spite of the crowds asking for his crucifixion, he was determined to carry out the Roman Law of justice. That is, until the religious leaders told Pilate that if he let Jesus go he was no friend of Caesar and that they did not recognize Jesus as King, only Caesar. At that point, Pilate was not willing to jeopardize his political career and he “compromised” knowing he was violating the Roman law by putting an innocent man to death. You’d better believe a worldview matters in all areas of life, including politics.

Pilate offers the crowd to commute the death sentence and gave them a choice between Jesus and Barabbas (Matthew 27:15-26; Mark 15:6-15;Luke 23:13-25; John 18:38-19:16). They chose Barabbas. History tells us of the devastating consequences of that choice to the nation of Israel, which came in the year 70 A.D.

For thousands of years history is screaming at us what happens when religious leaders, those in political power and the mob agree on the same course for national life.

Old national Israel paid the consequences for rejecting God's ethical worldview. When the Jews of Jesus’ time rejected him they were declining exactly what they were longing for: national peace, prosperity, health and social stability.

After Jesus’ resurrection and ascension to heaven we came under his ethical government and no other worldview, other than the biblical one, is going to solve human misery.

Every election, at all levels, is a choice between the ethical biblical worldview and the opposing view. Every individual has to be vetted according to their worldview that exposes their true character. It is serious business whom we want to hire as our public servants. Do not trust others or the media to tell you the truth about candidates; you must do your own homework.  Nowadays it is not difficult in spite of the many voices. You must understand the critical times we find ourselves in and how important your choice is when you vote and/or promote an individual to public office.

Every Election is a Choice Between Jesus and Barabbas.