Christians' Proper Role in Politics Debated

Discussion in '2000-02 Archive' started by Cindy, Jun 28, 2002.

  1. Cindy

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    CHRISTIANS' PROPER ROLE IN POLITICS DEBATED
    (St. Paul, Minnesota-AP) -- Syndicated columnist Cal Thomas says
    Christians should know that the world won't be saved through
    politics.
    Thomas debated Focus on the Family vice president Tom Minnery
    yesterday at Skylight radio's Inspo 2002 conference in St. Paul,
    Minnesota.
    Minnery said Christians should be "salt and light" in the
    culture. And he said rubbing salt in a wounded culture can sting
    sometimes.
    But Thomas said that when Christians seek the approval of
    political leaders, they surrender what should be their first
    allegiance -- to God.
     
  2. Pennsylvania Jim

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    I find Cal Thomas to be very confusing (or confused?). First of all, he is correct that Christians should not seek the approval of political leaders. But that's not the point...the point is that Christians should BE or INFLUENCE public leaders.

    I had a personal debate with Mr. Thomas last year and frankly he left me confused. The biggest irony is that he seems to discourage Christians from civic and political involvement, while at the same time making his living writing about those very things.

    I'm not necessarily accusing him of hypocrisy; it's more that I just don't think he makes any sense.
     
  3. TomVols

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    Could it be that Mr. Thomas is not confused? Maybe he's saying that we conservative Christians who are conservative politically have sacrificed too much of our doctrine in order to facilitate political action. I believe the most powerful house in the world is not the White House, nor the court house, nor the school house...it's the church house. (You have to be from the South to get the play on words) :cool:
     
  4. Baptist Believer

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    Amen and amen!

    Christians stoop to enter politics. Some are called to public service, but trying to use the world system for spiritual ends usually does not work. The power of the gospel will defeat the powers of darkness. Christians should speak up, but should not confuse themselves with a political movement. When we because just another interest group we lose much of our prophetic influence.
     
  5. rsr

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    When Christians, like other people, confuse their own will with the will of God, there are going to be problems.
     
  6. Johnv

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    Christians stoop to enter politics. Some are called to public service, but trying to use the world system for spiritual ends usually does not work... Christians should speak up, but should not confuse themselves with a political movement.

    Wait, I'm confused. Does that mean you don't hink Christians should enter into politics? I don't like the idea of only non-religious people in government. I prefer Christians who struggle with their faith over agnostics who struggle with nothing.
     
  7. Serving Him

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    Christians should be involved i politics. We need to vote for people who honor God. Some will even be called to run for office. All Christians are to be witnesses of our Lord Jesus Christ and disciple those that have been saved. No we cannot look to politics to get us out of this mess. We must look to God and witness and disciple.
     
  8. Pennsylvania Jim

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    No offense, Baptist Believer, but that sounds just like Ed Asner, People for the American Way, or the ACLU..."it's OK for Christians to complain, but they must stop short of doing anything actually effective in promoting righteous government".

    You are correct that Christians should not be "just another public interest group". We should, in fact, "take back the gates" working in the power of God to reclaim America and resore the Christian heritage that was bought and preserved with the blood and sweat of many generations, and is being wasted by us as we hide in our churches pretending to be so holy as to be above the very normal and traditional activities that relate to human government which was established by God in the first place.

    [ July 02, 2002, 12:38 AM: Message edited by: Pennsylvania Jim ]
     
  9. Baptist Believer

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    No that's not what I meant (but I can see how it could be interpreted that way [​IMG] )!

    I've reacting against (probably over-reacting) those who think that we are going to change this nation through politics, the political system and laws allegedly based on the Bible.

    An individual call to public service is a worthy and holy calling, but my own opinion is that gathering Christians into political action groups actually works against the purposes of the church.

    Christians are better at being salt and light, spread around in their community, seasoning and illuminating all things. When we get together and scream about things we don't like, we are irritating (salt in open wounds) and blind others to the call of Jesus.

    I'm convinced that Jesus did not come to save a societal structure or political communities, but to save people from all sorts of different backgrounds to become part of a new kingdom.
     
  10. AITB

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    Do you get Moody Magazine? In the President's column in the current issue, he wrote some very similar things to what you just said.

    And I agree.

    I thought we wanted people to know about Jesus, not to know that we like to scream about moral issues :confused:

    It's not the gospel, imo.

    They still probably don't know the gospel; they only know which moral issues we scream about.
     
  11. Baptist Believer

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  12. AITB

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    Originally posted by Baptist Believer: For the last few years many Christians have realized they are not going to save the world through politics

    I'm encouraged to hear that.

    There are still powerful conservative Christian voices who differ though...I mean, they got the President of the NRB to resign simply for saying (in effect) that the Christian media ought to make sure it's about Jesus :eek:

    And it seems to me that many people here are very much in favor of aggressive involvement by Christians in politics...

    (something many old-school liberals are still trying to do)

    Maybe so; the Jesus seminar isn't though...as best I can tell. So not all liberals.

    Anyway I'm kind of in favor of social programs if that's what you mean.

    I don't like the 'selfishness' I see in conservative Christian moves to reform politics. It seems to be about I want MY kids to be saying 'under God'; I want MY kids learning creationism in the public schools; I don't want too much of MY money going to social programs (the right-wing stuff) - I want to KEEP it for MY OWN FAMILY.

    That's what bothers me about 'the Christian right' as much as that they seem to think it's ok to expect non-believers not to live like non-believers. And that it's ok to punish them if they don't live like the Bible says they will live - doing their own thing essentially...I mean, not that they are necessarily immoral but that they derive morality and justice by consensus rather than by what a book says ;) (with all due respect [​IMG] ).

    and are turning back to becoming salt and light.

    Good [​IMG]

    As long as the salt doesn't sting and the light doesn't burn ;)

    AITB [​IMG]
     
  13. church mouse guy

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    Here is my two cents' worth. I am a registered voter and vote in primary elections so my party affiliation is public to anyone who asks the County Clerk about me. I vote my conscience during the Primary election and vote my Party in November unless someone in my Party is so bad that I have to abstain. I stick with my Party.

    One of my friends has appointed me to be an Inspector on election day in a municipal precinct. I attend an hours' training on the Saturday before the election dealing with problems posed by the ballots of that election. I go the night before the election to meet with two other workers (one from each party) to make sure that the voting machine is set on zero and that the sample ballots, voting machine names on the levers, and the back-up paper ballots all match. Also everything has to be in place for election day such as clerks' tables, tables and chairs for other workers; and food for the next day has to be provided. If there is any problem, I have to wait for the County Clerk to send a voting machine mechanic to make a repair. The voting machines are very reliable and I have never had a problem.

    On Election Day, I am in charge of all paper work. I spend all day with red tape forms such as affidavits concerning addresses. At the end of the day, I have to make written reports about everything and see that the machine is locked up, the room put back in order, and all results turned into the County Clerk.

    The public is always rude to me. I work very hard to see that everyone who can legally vote is treated fairly and allowed to vote no matter what party that person may be. I want the precinct to be one hundred percent legal and one hundred percent honest. It is a thankless job.

    My belief is that everyone should vote. I trust that God wants the voter to vote his or her heart and mind. I do not have the time and money to engage in party politics, but if anyone asks me what I think, I speak out. I never miss a chance, for example, to speak against abortion.

    Oh yes, I met Mr. Eric Miller, and I told him right away that I supported him for the next Governor of Indiana in 2004. He is a Christian.
     
  14. Pennsylvania Jim

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    What's wrong with wanting to keep one's own propety (or money), or to give it away as one sees fit?

    Isn't that the purpose of laws aganist, for example, murder, embezzlement, public drunkeness, fraud, theft, etc. etc.? Why shouldn't Christians desire (and work) to keep (or return to) a legal framework that upholds the principles and precepts that God has given us? And, if there are those who would try to drive our nation in a different direction, why should Christians be expected to just hand it over?
     
  15. Baptist Believer

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    Sorry Penn Jim! I just noticed your response... Apparently we were posting at the same time and I skipped right past this message! [​IMG]

    No offense, Baptist Believer, but that sounds just like Ed Asner, People for the American Way, or the ACLU..."it's OK for Christians to complain, but they must stop short of doing anything actually effective in promoting righteous government".[/QB]</font>[/QUOTE]You're putting words in my mouth. (It's also the first time my views have been compared to Ed Asner's!) [​IMG]

    I'm all for Christians working for righteousness both inside and outside of government, but we should be careful how we do it. We need to make sure that we do not tie ourselves to one political party or the other and do everything with honesty and integrity.

    (In my opinion, the voter guides that "Christian" Coalition distribute damage the church's witness. They are heavily biased and often inaccurate -- at least the ones I have received here in Texas. If a candidate does not respond (most Democrats don't), the "Christian" Coalition staffer attempt to characterize their position. Unfortunately, the CC staffers usually severely distort the position -- I'm not sure if it is ignorance or malicious. (For instance, a few years ago George W. Bush was running for Texas governor against Ann Richards. I have absolutely no respect for Ann Richards and would vote for just about anyone running against her. But the "Christian" Coalition voter guide said that George W. Bush was against school vouchers and Ann Richards was against them. I knew that wasn't true. I noticed that Ann Richards had not responded, so the CC staffers gave their opinion of Ann Richards' opinion. I am strongly opposed to school vouchers myself and I was very disappointed that George Bush and Ann Richards both supported them. It was well-reported in the newspapers but apparently the "Christian" Coalition was not paying attention or was not interested in presenting her views fairly. :mad:

    What do you mean by "taking back the gates"?

    I think I agree with you except for perhaps the part about restoring our Christian heritage... The church is the keeper of our Christian heritage, the government should keep its hands off religion.
     
  16. church mouse guy

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    If a church goes liberal, you have to leave it right away.

    Neither political party represents Christian interests at this time. Party means very little. I would switch parties in a heartbeat if I could find more support for Christian ideas such as ending abortion. Meanwhile I am condemned to supporting the lesser of two evils most of the time. Maybe it is time to form a Christian Party and tell the two major parties good-bye. Neither Party openly invites Christians into their ranks except on election day or when it is time to donate money.
     
  17. LadyEagle

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    Oh, yes, Preach It, My Good Brother PA Jim! Right On! Carpe Diem! Hallelujah! Amen! :cool: [​IMG] Excellent Posting! [​IMG]
     
  18. Johnv

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    An individual call to public service is a worthy and holy calling, but my own opinion is that gathering Christians into political action groups actually works against the purposes of the church.

    Oh, I understand. In I agree with you. We already in this country have a strong bible belt conservative political movement. That becomes a problem when you weigh christians who are democrats. On this very board, there are several examples of liberal christians being called heretics and "not real" christians, or people who aren't really saved, etc.

    That gets even more dangerous when you take into account the vast polulation of Christians in the US who are politically moderate (roughly center of liberal and conservative). They get branded by liberals as "closet conservatives" and by conservatives as "democrats in republican clothing". These views do more to discredit Christianity and divide Christian fellowship.
     
  19. Aaron

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    Let every soul be subject unto the higher powers.

    Every soul. That means that the Government must be subject to the Laws of God.
     
  20. Baptist Believer

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    Verse please?

    Also, the government is not a soul -- people are souls.

    If the "Laws of God" (I hope you are talking about the Old and New Testament) put forth religious liberty and separation of the two kingdoms (God and Caesar), then we have something along the lines of the ideals of a neutral stance of the United States toward religion.
     

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