Politics 2: Responding to an Opposing View

A few weeks ago, I shared my recent study Politics and the Christian Voter with a Yahoo group I belong to. Shortly afterward, I received a response from another member who expressed concern over the direction that Christian political involvement has taken. He expressed a number of valid points which are shared by a large number of people. I felt that the subject matter of our discussion may be of help to some people as they think through these issues. With his permission, I have reproduced our dialogue into a follow-up to the study. The following is the initial e-mail he sent me (in italics), followed by my response.

I greatly appreciate the spirit in which this brother expressed his views, as well as giving me the opportunity to clarify my own.

The "problem" as i see it... is that many of not most christian activists are conservative republicans .. usually when people say they want christians to be involved in politics, what they really mean is that they want christians to vote conservative republican.. this has always bothered me. i would love to see a truly christian organization become a political force .. but conservative republicanism aint it ..

I am one christian who is NOT a conservative republican

conservatism is not a biblical concept, it is a worldly political concept ... just as liberalism is. both have strenths and weaknesses ... both are more biblical than the other in certain areas...

so can we have a true Christian political party? if we can ill support it. until then im going to criticize christian politics because it aint Christian :)

My response:

I appreciate you taking the time to reply. Please be assured that I share your concerns about trying to confine the Bible to any political party. In fact, that was one of the reasons I did this study. Notice that I made it a point to state that following Jesus transcends blind loyalty to political parties. I also mentioned that one of the issues that we as Christians are required to address is the defense of the needy and oppressed. This is an area that I also feel conservatives have, to some degree, "dropped the ball."

However, other issues which the Bible calls us to speak out on, such as life and morality, are described in our modern terminology as being politically conservative issues. For better or worse, this is simply the way things are. Historically, it is interesting to note that until around thirty years ago, Christian voters were more likely to be Democrats than Republicans. The Democratic party has largely lost much of the Christian vote by default when they began courting the radical feminist and homosexual vote, and taking positions with which many Christian voters simply could not align themselves in good conscience.

For example, in 1976, Baptist Sunday School teacher Jimmy Carter won the Presidency with enthusiastic support from the Christian community. However, when his liberal social leanings began to show, it was many of these same Christians which mobilized to vote him out four years later. Sadly, the Democratic party has, at least on the national level, continued to promote the issues which has alienated it further and further from many Christian voters.

There are exceptions, of course For example, in spite of the Democratic party's staunch pro-abortion position, they have produced a number of powerful pro-life voices, such as Rep. Tony Hall of Ohio and the late Gov. Robert Casey of Pennsylvania. I do not see life as a partisan issue. I would love to see all parties become pro-life!

As you correctly point out, neither Republicans nor Democrats have an exclusive lock on Biblical Truth. There is good and bad in both parties. It is important to be prayerful and discerning with any cause or candidate we support. Having been, at different times in my life, both a Republican and a Democrat, now I seek to simply be a "Biblican."

Again, my thanks to my new friend for allowing me to share these thoughts with you.

E-mail: rhema6@juno.com

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