Too much politics?

Discussion in 'General Baptist Discussions' started by dan e., Nov 8, 2006.

  1. dan e.

    dan e.
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    Okay, I'm sure you all don't want to read a thread like this....but here it goes:

    In response to a thread that started with making sure you vote for someone who is anti-gay marriage and pro-life (which I am both, by the way), it got me thinking about a Christian's approach to viewing political parties. I think we have gotten a warped view of political parties, with the Republicans being "the Christian party", and Democrats being "non-Christian". I remember being approached by a girl, hard-core Democrat and anti-Christian, after one of Bush's blunders saying that "MY" president screwed up (I can't re-call the instance she was talking about, who knows what it may have been). The point: I do not want to be associated with Bush the way I should be associated with Jesus. She does associate me with Jesus. She knows I'm a believer, and have had numerous conversations regarding my faith, and why she has no faith. The point is that our culture has identified the Republican party as the Christian party, George Bush as the church's President, etc. I doubt anyone would say that there are no Christian democrats. There are certainly pro-life democrats, probably democrats who oppose gay marriage. I think part of the problem comes from a push from churches that things ought to be legislated as law, and if not, than things are going horribly wrong. Well, things are going horribly wrong whether gay marriage is legislated or not. Legislating gay marriage will not prevent homosexuality, nor will it prevent gay couples raising children, nor will it prevent gay couples living as if they were married. Is the attitude and approach a little off? Are we more concerned with voting republican over living the gospel? By the way, I will always vote against gay marriage, and vote pro-life, however I will never carry the attitude that these two issues are the key to our nation running the way it should run. The gospel will change peoples lives, not the laws. Am I way off? Maybe I didn't form my thoughts well, but I'm interested in some responses.
     
  2. Martin

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    ==I think you make "alot" of good points there. The problem is that alot of Christians seem to be moving away from Biblical evangelism and moving towards Republican apologetics. Thanks to men like Dobson and Falwell, who have convinced many Christians that they should be and vote republican, the church has become a political organization. Instead of preaching the Gospel to sinners we are making sinners our enemies. And for what cause? For a temporal political cause. I think many in the modern evangelical church have lost perspective.

    Btw I had a simular experience to yours about a year ago. A lady I worked with, actually a boss, told me that I was the first "right-wing" (her words) evangelical Christian she had ever met and liked. Why? Because I was not political. If I opposed something (abortion, homosexuality, fornication, etc) I did so on solid Biblical grounds. She said that my comments (etc) showed that I studied the issues hard and that I was willing to express my views with grace. I was able to make in-roads with this lady for Jesus (NOT for the Republican party) simply because I would focus on the Biblical principles and not political talking points. Related, a few months back an angry young man came to our church. He hated the president and had no problem saying so. What troubled me, more than anything, was that his dislike for the president seemed to be driving him further and further away from Christ. While several people did try to deal with the important points (forgivness, Christ, etc) some actually stormed out of the room in anger (because he insulted Bush). I thought that was very sad. He left the room still angry and I imagine he will always be angry. Point? Politics can drive people away from Jesus. Not good.


    ==While I am very much pro-life and while I oppose gay "marriage" (of course there is no such thing) I always like to say that a person can be pro-life, anti-gay, and pro-family and still fall into the pits of hell. Notice that in Matthew 7:21-23 Jesus was talking about people who thought they had "done" all the right things. Maybe so, but they did not have a relationship with the Savior. We will help people by turning them into moral lost people. The church's job is to point people to Jesus. Of course only Christ can save but it is our job to point people to Christ via the Gospel. We fail to do that when we are focusing on politics.


    ==100% true. Beyond which anti-gay laws cannot be enforced. Homosexuality will not be dealt with via laws. It will only be dealt with through the Gospel. Only Christ can save. That is where the chruch's focus should be.

    ==I agree. When I vote, and let me stress "when", I do vote for conservatives (democrat or republican). However right now I am not voting.
     
  3. dan e.

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    Thanks for the response....although I would be curious to know why you are not voting right now, if you don't mind telling me. Just curious.
     
  4. preachinjesus

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    I think it's highly absurd that we evangelicals have identified fidelity in faith being linked to fidelity in action for voting with one particular party (i.e. Republicans.)

    We have forgotten the Church exists at odds with the state and that the best government is no government (but until we get rid of that sin thing...the smaller the better.) The darkest days of church history have been when she has joined hands with politicians to accomplish worldly works.

    just a few thoughts :)
     
  5. Baptist Believer

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    Actually, it is very refreshing. Thanks!

    You're absolutely right. And the reason "conservative" Christianity in the United States has been strongly tied to the Republican Party is that the so-called "Christian Right" has loudly advocated that view for the last 30-35 years.

    While I am certainly pro-life (although I'm "pro-life" a lot farther than Jerry Falwell, Operation Rescue and others seem to be) and oppose opening legal marriage to gays and lesbians, I detest the way that the rest of our Christian calling and social concerns are ignored for the sake of those two highly-politicized issues.

    Changing the law, while desirable, won't end abortion. Stopping gay marriage won't help the church's almost completely ineffective ministry to homosexuals. Jesus has called the church to serve, not to rule. And we are to be ambassadors of the Kingdom of God, ministers of reconciliation, living our lives in such a way that we seek out the lost and hopeless of society to redeem them from the curse and control of sin into the life of God.

    Yet most Christians are happy to condemn homosexuals, or women who believe abortion is the only viable solution to their unwanted pregnancy, instead of humbly befriending them and showing them a better way.
     
    #5 Baptist Believer, Nov 8, 2006
    Last edited: Nov 8, 2006
  6. dan e.

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    Well said, most of the time the attitude and approach of the church is the opposite. Nobody would admit it, but actions speak louder than words. Unfortunately, the actions of many "evangelicals" deserve the reputation that they have gotten.
     
  7. StraightAndNarrow

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    On two occasions at Christian events I was told that there was "NO way a Democrat could be a Christian." How would that have struck you? For me, that issustrated how warped not only politics but many "Christians" had become.
     
  8. menageriekeeper

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    Ha! I've heard this soooooo often.

    Most folks here know I'm rather liberal in my political leaning so how I vote won't come as much of a surprise. Government is a secular being not a religious one. First issues that must be dealt with are secular issues, ie, not moral ones. Morality comes in to play as to how certain, but not all, secular issues should be dealt with.

    So first, I'm going to look at integrity. Does this candidate's record reflect his campaign talk? I've said it before, I'd rather vote for an honest man with whom I disagree than a dishonest man who may only be pretending to agree with me.

    Then I look at economics. If this country is headed for a depression, no one is going to be able to afford an abortion or marriage (whether gay or not!). Folks can go ahead and claim I vote with my pocketbook, they are right! But I can see past my own to yours and if yours isn't healthy then mine won't be for long. And when America's economy is down, the world economy follows swiftly behind.

    Then there are issues such as education, immigration, SS and on and on. Abortion and gay marriage are at the very end of the list behind whether or not the man claims to be Christian. Why behind? Because legislation is not going to stop either behavior. There have always been both and there always will. What has to happen to stop either is a change of heart that only salvation can accomplish. I don't know that legislation would even stem the tide, which is the best one could hope for in this corrupt world.
     
  9. dan e.

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    I've been stretched in recent years to break that thinking, that Christians must be Republican. Its a breath of fresh air to not confine my brothers and sisters in Christ to a certain political party.

    What would independents be??? In limbo? or purgatory?:laugh:
     
  10. JustPassingThru

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    This link brought to my mind an acquaintance who has passed on a few years back. This dear brother was a district attorney in Oklahoma. He was a principled man, with a beautiful, godly family. But, he was a Democrat! I don't know if it was political expediency (it would have been tough to serve as DA in that town as a Republican) or some other reason, but his example taught me not to pre-judge the Dems. I bet many of us can tell a similar story.
     
  11. Aaron

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    Being part of the government and having a say in government affairs as a citizen, it is not only our privilege but our duty to vote, especially in moral questions.

    We are commanded to vote. Render unto Caesar the things that are Caesar's. Where Caesar asks for our vote, we are to yield it, and we are to yield it as an instrument of righteousness. I can't see any justification whatever in a Christian supporting a party whose central planks are the murder of the unborn and the legitimization of sodomy.
     
  12. tinytim

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    I see we at least agree here 100% Amen, and Amen!!!!
     
  13. dan e.

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    That brings up a different question:

    Is voting a right? or a duty?

    If it is a right, than doesn't that mean I have the right to not cast my vote? Especially if there are those running for office who I would honestly not want as a leader?

    If it is a duty, than does that insenuate that we have no choice...but we MUST vote because it is our duty?

    just a question.
     
  14. J. Jump

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    This couldn't be further from the truth. We do not have a duty to vote. There is no law that requires us to vote. Render unto Ceasar was speaking of finances.

    The only duty (command) we have, and I have to admit that I have personally fallen well short, is to pray for our leaders. That's it.
     
  15. Scott J

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    I vote values. If I voted party I'd vote Dem like my families on both sides had since before the Civil War.

    The Dems left my values. They became the party of abortion, socialism, and societies moral non-conformists. I didn't ask them to. They did it in spite of me and millions like me.

    The GOP provided a good option beginning with Reagan. They strayed from principle over the last few years but we've been patient. Now they have seen how it goes when we aren't enthused to support them. Hopefully they'll return to the principles of the Reagan coalition that empowered them to start with... If not then I have no qualms abandoning them completely just like I did the Dems.

    The difference between the "religious right" and other constituencies is that we ARE values driven. The Dems rightly calculated that the way to reduce us was scandal... but they offer no alternative to a person who approaches politics with a biblical worldview.

    We'll have to see if the GOP becomes that alternative again or if we have to look elsewhere.
     
  16. Martin

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    I guess I would answer that by saying I have lost faith in our elected officals and both political parties.
     
  17. drfuss

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    Scott writes:
    "I vote values. If I voted party I'd vote Dem like my families on both sides had since before the Civil War.
    The Dems left my values. They became the party of abortion, socialism, and societies moral non-conformists. I didn't ask them to. They did it in spite of me and millions like me."

    I also vote values. While the Republicans have some bad actors, the Democrat's platform includes abortion and condoning homosexual lifestyle. In some others areas, I agree with the Democrats. However, for me the moral values trumps the others.

    Since the Democrats won, the upcoming Speaker of the House was elected by San Francisco and Barney Franks (a famous homosexual) will be the chairman of a powerful house committee. That would not happen with the Republicans. The Republicans have some isolated problems in this area, but with the Democrats, it is "in your face".
     
  18. StraightAndNarrow

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    You're absolutely right on the money. The primary reason I support separation of Church and State is because of the damage merging the two is doing to the church not the other way around. The Bible tells us to "render unto Caesar" but it also warns us that we should be in this world not of this world. When we get to the point where we decide whether or not a person by their politics (and I have been judged this way twice even though I have been very active in my church and a serious follower of my Lord Jesus Christ) we are way, way off base.

    Do we need to speak out on moral issues like abortion and unjust war? Absolutely. We just should never tie our Christianity to politics.
     
  19. StraightAndNarrow

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    How about a party that lies to the American people, kills 150,000 Iraqis for no reason they can support, emphasizes supporting the rich rather than the poor, wants to privatize (reduce) Social Security benefits at a time when American companies are no longer offering pensions or medical benefits for retirement, takes away our fundamental constitutional rights for a never ending war against terrorism, ....?

    Oh, and has the hypocrisy of positioning itself as the supporter of "family values" while harboring within its ranks child molesters and felons. The President poses as a Christian and yet supports the "theology" that Muslims and Christians worship the same god and Muslims have a "different path to heaven."

    The President ran on eliminating abortion but it hasn't gone done in the 6 years he's been in office. He emphasized "faith based initiatives" which actually were initiated by President Clinton and have been a failure.

    What did Bush do when he heard about the first and second planes' hitting the WTC? Continued to read a story with an elementary class about a pet goat. Did he spring into action to get fighter planes off the ground to meet the attack? NO. HE DID NOTHING ON 9/11 TO PROTECT AMERICA.

    Then he ordered that half of our troops withdraw from Afghanistan, where al-Quaeda was, to invade Iraq, where they were not at least not yet. The security of America has been reduced not increased by Iraq because it has because a training ground for terrorists. Predictably, it will end up as a bloody civil war.

    We had the sympathy of the world after 9/11. We totally squandered that good will and now everyone hates us.

    How can any true Christian support a party which has so arrogantly ignored the will of God?
     
  20. El_Guero

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    Good post!

     

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