Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Faith and the Coming Elections

Christians who view their political choices as a simple matter of faith have a problem.

A president that is anti-abortion and anti-gay marriage, but pro-torture, detention without trial, and mistreatment of the nation's enemies seems to deeply challenge the idea that this administration is any more Christian than previous ones.

Can we call for respecting the humanity of fetuses but not of terrorists? If it is wrong to abort a fetus, is it wrong to treat full-grown humans inhumanely? Seems to me like being "pro-life" means being pro all life. All life is sacred - even the lives of my enemies.

On the other hand, this president isn't more non-Christian than previous ones. Chavez is wrong. To say that Bush is a Christian is accurate. To say that his presidency is Christian - that would associate God with some things I know God to abhor.

The fact is that Bush is head of state, not head of a church. Bush isn't a Christian president. No presidents have been. No president will ever be able to run this country by the Sermon on the Mount. The country is run according to the Constitution.

America isn't a Christian nation and never has been (ask the native Americans). The presidency is a civil office, and America is a nation.

Some of our presidents have been better statemen, wiser, better servants of the people, than others. Sometimes America has acted well in world affairs, and sometimes acted poorly.

I am not an advocate of Christians having nothing to do with society's governance . . . of being aloof. We also cannot afford, as believers, to baptize certain candidates, a particular party, or exclusively focus on a few issues. People of faith and careful thought will differ on how to participate and address what is happening in our society and the world.

I think that Christans will have much to weigh, many subjects to consider in the coming elections, and won't be able to simply vote for candidates who are Christians or a particular party.

And after we vote . . . we will still have much to do in our world that governing authorities can never do.

4 comments:

Frank Bellizzi said...

Greg, what a great post. And so true. It's amazing to me the extent to which Christians in the United States expect government at all levels to sponsor and support the faith. What a contrast to what the earliest Christians expected and got.

It also befuddles me to hear those one-sided political tirades from folks who are supposedly committed to a love for the truth.

It's hard for me to make myself vote anymore. I just want the kingdom of the world to become the kingdom of our Lord and of his Christ; for the Lord to be all in all and reign forever and ever. That's my vote. Sometimes, I get a little weary waiting for it to happen. Can you tell?

betsy2b said...

"And after we vote . . . we will still have much to do in our world that governing authorities can never do."

and thats where being a christian comes in, isn't it?

priest said...

Greg, I'm tracking with you all the way. I find it, mmm, funny how most evangelicals align themselves on issues that Jesus never spoke to (i.e. homosexual marraige, abortion) but pay little attention to the things Jesus so often speaks to (caring for the poor, peace at all costs).

Frost and Hirsch tell us we're living in post-Christendom and the Constantinian church-is-empire days were over, but lately I've been wondering...

Anonymous said...

Priest said, "I find it, mmm, funny how most evangelicals align themselves on issues that Jesus never spoke to (i.e. homosexual marraige, abortion) but pay little attention to the things Jesus so often speaks to (caring for the poor, peace at all costs)."

Mmmm, yeah. Jesus also never specifically addressed genocide, child molesters, suicide bombers, and the torture of puppies. Also, please don't accuse of evangelicals of not caring for the poor simply because they may not subscribe to a social welfare plank in the platform of a political party. There is ample evidence down through the years of evangelicals doing things to help care for the poor.