22 responses

  1. Don
    November 12, 2012

    Perhaps, as Evangelicals, it is time for us to abandon our preoccupation with the political process and move on to building the Kingdom through the preaching of the Gospel.

    I haven’t abandoned my desire to be a part of the political process. I just feel that is now time for me to be identified as an “independent”.

    • Dan Edelen
      November 12, 2012

      Don,

      Yes. We agree. I’ve been saying this for years. I think the Evangelical obsession with ushering in the Kingdom through politics may be dead. (We can hope, at least.) I only hope that the vacuum forces us to do it God’s way and not just bunker down and ignore it altogether.

      • Oengus
        November 17, 2012

        Dire Dan: “I think the Evangelical obsession with ushering in the Kingdom through politics…

        This one really puzzles me, Dan, and looks a little like hyperbole. Do you mean this seriously? Through politics?

        I have yet to encounter anyone who sincerely thought that our dabbling in politics would be the route for the LORD to set up His Kingdom. (Hey, maybe some completely whacked out Neo-Puritans who are very heavily into Post-Millenialism might possibly be thinking this, but I suspect they are a tiny, microscopic minority.)

        I think that what was going on is more like a rearguard action. What evangelican wants his kids to be brainwashed by the educational system, so they come home telling their parents how wonderful it is for “little Sally to have two mommies, or two daddies, or two mommies and three daddies, or whatever permutation that include the kitchen sink or the horse”, or how everybody should get unrestricted access to abortions and condoms and sex toys and whatnot.

        Basically, I thought it was a battle over your family and what your kids are going to believe in life. Is it going to be Xnty or something like Moral Therapeutic Deism? The only real mistake was assuming that one of the political parties actually cared about these concerns, and that voting for them would accomplish anything. After being duped so many times, you would think evangelicans would learn by now.

  2. Bob Aarhus
    November 12, 2012

    >>“This is a disturbing trend since it seems that Evangelicals will vote politics above theological truth.”

    I’ll invoke Luke 16:1-13 here. Perhaps in the past Evangelicals could afford such a litmus test; the demographics indicate that is no longer the case. Therefore, and in light of the continued lackluster performance of third parties, I recommend we use our worldly vote to back candidates who will provide the best representation for our values overall, whether they be caring for the poor and oppressed, reducing suffering, defending life in all of its forms, or what have you. Adherence to a set of theological beliefs has not yielded gains in the past, and I do not see evidence that this trend will ever be reversed in the existing political climate.

    >>“Yet imagine a scenario where a new political party united by Christian belief challenged the Democrats and Republicans.”

    Thousands of denominations, and we think we can construct a new political party united by belief?

    Besides, we’ve seen the third party efforts, and they’ve failed spectacularly. The last third party candidate to get electoral votes was George Wallace in 1968. The major parties control the airwaves, control the debate forums, control the dialogue. “Successful” third party candidates (H. Ross Perot, John Anderson) had no strong party affiliation other than “None of the Above”. And in those cases, it was personality that dominated over party and brought them the recognition that continues to elude the Gary Johnsons of the world.

    No, a Christian Party would be a waste of time and effort. The candidates would be lampooned endlessly, marginalized ruthlessly, and most likely, cannibalized from within by people who hold theological truth (e.g. their theological interpretation) above political affiliation. Why set yourself up for failure?

    I agree with Don: we will never find satisfaction through the political process. I don’t think we’ll hear God saying to anyone, “When I was a candidate, you didn’t vote for me.”

    • Dan Edelen
      November 12, 2012

      Bob,

      I think we conservatives are past the point of winning elections, if slippery slope continues to prevail.

      Re: truth vs politics — I had one woman say to me, “I can’t in good conscience vote for Obama because he doesn’t worship the same God we Christians do.” When I explained to her that Mormons worship a god even further removed from Christian orthodoxy than Obama’s version, she said, “I’m voting for Romney anyway.” If only that one woman stayed the lone example of this I encountered, but that was not the case.

      We can say what we will about reasons and so on, but it’s the metainformation behind just such a disconnected justification that is disturbing to me. When a person makes such a two-step, any evil becomes possible because truth no longer informs practice. The Church in Germany did much the same tap dance back in the 1930s.

      Only the next time it might be someone worse than Hitler who makes Christians a bunch of promises.

      How is it that genuine evil gets into positions of power? The ones who can stop it find ways to excuse it because of an outcome they cherish more. I see the nascence of just such a thing in this last election. For those that wonder how nearly the whole world bows down to the one who will oppose the Lord, I believe this is how it starts.

      Re: Christian third party—I’m not advocating such a thing. I’m offering how it might be considered. And I’m sure there are people considering it even now, perhaps even the same dominionists who were calling all Evangelicals to move to South Carolina and take over the government there.

  3. Arthur Sido
    November 12, 2012

    Quick note, Tammy Baldwin is the Senator elect from Wisconsin, not the governor elect.

    I agree with much of what you are saying. I wrote last week ( http://thesidos.blogspot.com/2.....board.html )that we are going to see the GOP jettison evangelical values, such as they are, just as fast as they can. I am not sure how the GOP plans to win elections without their most reliable voting block but that is their problem.

    My personal opinion is that this is the perfect time for the church is disengage from the political process and focus on the mission of the church which has little to do with the political process.

    • Dan Edelen
      November 12, 2012

      Thanks, Arthur, for the Baldwin catch.

      As to your post, yep.

      As to your opinion, double yep.

  4. slw
    November 12, 2012

    All the Republican Party needs to do is give the forty acres and a mule that it promised so long ago to all African Americans who can prove their ancestors were here prior to WWII. The federal government owns so many millions of acres it wouldn’t be all that hard to accomplish, and the socially conservative, Evangelical blacks would have a true alternative to the race baiting, baby killing, Sodomite promoting Democrat party.

    • Dan Edelen
      November 12, 2012

      slw,

      I heard so much about the ire of the Evangelical pastors of black congregations. Didn’t budge the numbers one iota. Those pastors must not have been angry enough, I guess.

      • Oengus
        November 12, 2012

        They voted for Obama because “he is one of us.”

        It’s as simple as that, call it what you will.

  5. Dave S.
    November 12, 2012

    In my circles, people vote Republican because of the Democrats’ strong pro-abortion policies.. If we are really factoring the welfare of the least among us in our political thinking, that seems like a very reasonable position.

    • Dan Edelen
      November 12, 2012

      Dave,

      Anyone who assents to the destruction of the unborn seems capable of every evil known to man. I mean, they’ve already gone as far down that road as they can go. How much lower can they descend?

      • Oengus
        November 12, 2012

        Once the light is rejected, the darkness has no bottom.

  6. Oengus
    November 12, 2012

    The GOP is already drinking the Kool-aid. They are as good for nothing as the Whigs, or the Mensheviks.

    Welcome to the United States of Sodom and Gomorrah. In a manner of speaking, the “Bolsheviks” now run the show, and they will continue to do so for the next 70 years if not longer. Get used to it.

  7. Mark Byron
    November 12, 2012

    I don’t see the Republicans turning center left; more turning libertarian. If evangelicals and conservative Catholics tack to the center on economics and stay conservative on social issues, they could corral some old-school blacks and Hispanics and be in a three-way fight with a libertarian-GOP and Democrats.

    That economically centrist Christian third party would be unlikely, but feasible.

  8. David
    November 13, 2012

    Christians really need to decide something: Who do we put our trust in, Christ, or Politics? Our job is not to “usher in the Kingdom”, that task belongs to God and God alone, and before He’s done this world, and all it’s political parties, will be ashes. Our job to is love God, and love others. Nothing else matters. NOTHING else matters.

  9. Milton Stanley
    November 22, 2012

    It seems to me the GOP and Dems each are composed of discordant coaltions of constituencies. If the libertarian and Evangelical branches of the GOP may be about to diverge, I wonder if the Constitution Party might begin to have a more noticable impact?

  10. Chris Baumgart
    November 29, 2012

    Voting for the greater good. Beyond God Himself coming down and pointing out the candidate that would do His biding according to the foundation he established as to keeping the tenants of benevolence working in the earth, it seemed the evangelical majority thought that “tending to da money” was a greater priority… Understanding the elements involved in the meaning of performing “triage” in critical situations concerning matters of priority -it is a fact that the uninsured and under-insured from health care was not even on the “to do” list for these evangelicals nor conservatives… in fact, Christians voting for the repealing of Obamacare were more than happy to leave other Americans to their life ending, life crippling illnesses and financial ruin from exorbitant hospital bills. Rather than “pride” working excuses out of this example of Scriptural neglect, to tend to the care of the “…least of our brothers and sisters…”(Matthew 25:31-46) -many should be searching their hearts coming to terms why they’re prayers were not answered, –because God DID give an answer–

    • Charles
      December 2, 2012

      Amen!

  11. Charles
    December 2, 2012

    Jesus was light in a dark world. He exposed the false teachers of his day as hypocrites. He said they strained gnats while swallowing camels. He taught and demonstrated that the whole world is my neighbor. And perhaps most shocking of all, He said we’re to love God with all our heart, soul and mind and our neighbor as ourselves. I was raised Catholic and later had experiences in the Methodist and Baptist churches. I’ve attended the emerging church and some Southern Baptist churches. I’ve been a believer for years and yet I had to walk away from the church because by and large it does not practice what Jesus taught. In short, the Evangelical church is corrupt. They are always learning and never coming to knowledge of Christ. And because they’ve not embraced the truth and repented of their sins, they are prone to strong delusions. They have a form of godliness but lack the power. And so, instead of walking in faith, living in love, promoting the gospel and building the kingdom, they turn to politics. What’s worse they turn to southern strategy politics which is all about devaluing ‘the other’ and stressing several hot button issues that will stir up division and animosity. It’s truly sad that most Evangelicals are not even aware that their ‘values’ are not only unbiblical (and therefore antisocial because Christianity is a social contract with ‘the others’), their values are also quickly becoming irrelevant. Evangelicals stood idly by or even promoted candidates that espoused racism, reversing women’s rights and voting rights. This past election cycle showed that most Evangelicals are stuck in some other century when slavery was normal, women were pregnant and stayed at home, and when white males had the power. The Evangelical message is lost on a society that is more diverse and educated. And as noted more and more, the general population is turned off by the church, i.e. Evangelicals. Most people are able now to have a relationship with God and does not need a pastor. In fact, they have found out that if they desire a spiritual relationship and want to live in communion with their neighbors, they should by all means run from Evangelicals! And if Evangelicals are wondering what happened this past election, all they have to do is look in the mirror.

  12. Charles
    December 2, 2012

    And what of childbearing as the proper role of women? If Christian ‘family values’ hold this, surely Jesus affirmed motherhood as woman’s highest calling. He did not. Even when given a chance to glorify his own mother as mother, he does not. On one occasion when Jesus performed miracles, a woman in the crowd cried out, “Blessed is the womb that bore you and the breasts that nursed you!” Jesus does not support this, answering instead, “Blessed rather are those who hear the word of God and obey it!” This explicit statement that childbearing is not a woman’s greatest blessing correlates with a complete absence in the Gospels of any statement by Jesus affirming motherhood as woman’s role in life. Rather than motherhood, Jesus affirms that a woman’s highest calling is the same as a man’s. excerpted from Hypocrisy: How The Religious Right Fabricates Christian Values and Undermines Democracy by Rosemary Agonito

  13. Charles
    December 2, 2012

    To my dismay, during this election cycle, I heard several African Americans Evangelical congregants who were not pleased with Pres. Obama’s stance on same sex marriage. That is a legitimate gripe I suppose, but they forgot that Obama was the President of the US, not the Pastor of the US. Which means that they (and many, many others) have forgotten that there’s this little matter of separation of church and state. So that no matter how vehemently one feels about same sex marriage violates their religious principles, no one can force their religious beliefs on others. That would be a theocracy which is not good or allowable. What some of these disgruntled folks forgot was that this same ‘us vs. them’ strategy was used to fuel racism against blacks and sexism against women. As a deterrent, our founders wrote this little ditty ‘we hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness’.
    And for any pastor who points ‘his’ congregants in a specific politician or political view should have his 501c3 status revoked. As for me, when I hear a pastor spout politics it’s a clear sign that they are in the flesh and God is not in them. And they are unfit for any biblical leadership position, i.e. the ‘blind leading the blind…both falling into the pit’. As for me (and apparently the majority of African Americans) and my house, we will honor our brothers and sisters whatever their sexual orientation may be…just as our founders intended.

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