Friday, January 21, 2011

Christianity: Conservative or Socialistic?

I read an interesting op-ed piece  today which deals with the question of whether the Bible calls Christians to be politically conservative or politically liberal.  In it Dr. Brian Lee says the answer is clearly, "Neither."
Those looking to dig into the Bible and find a political platform are going to be sorely disappointed. It’s not there. That is for the simple reason that it is not a book about politics, but about God, and how He is saving His people through Jesus Christ. This distinguishes Christianity from Old Testament Judaism and modern day Islam, both of which contain detailed political agendas. Well-meaning Christians that want to outline a detailed “Christian” agenda of their own, however, will simply not find one.
He goes on to point out that as Christians, we are members of of two kingdoms, as citizens both of heaven (Philippians 3:20) and of the state.
But where Christians go wrong is when they confuse the two kingdoms in which they live, when they think that their politics can bring about the heavenly kingdom they so long for. When they think they are called to take up the weapons of politics and its powers of coercion to advance the gospel or their biblical vision of justice — it stinks to win 49% of the votes. This is one of the oldest and most persistent errors of Christian practice, from Constantine to the Crusades to the Moral Majority. Biblical religion cannot be imposed on a minority and remain biblical.
Ironically, our Pilgrim fathers made just this mistake when they came to America. Fleeing their own religious persecution, they set up another. The 1647 Laws and Liberties of Massachusetts identified 15 capital offenses, including idolatry, blasphemy, and atheism, along with a predictable litany of sexual offenses. Now that’s conservative. Unfortunately, it’s also not the foundation of a just and pluralistic society.
You can click here to read the entire article and I'd love to hear your thoughts about it.


Jeff B. said...

Great post Pastor Scribner
It is easy to embrace one's role as a good Christian citizen when Christianity is in the majority. Now when Christianity is in the minority or few among many heathen then it is a different story all together when Christians are killed and persecuted as they were in Rome. I have been struggling myself with the direction that America is going. When you believe (as Dr. Lee writes) that God is ruling the world through Earthly governments. I can only quote Captain Ahab from the book Moby Dick. "Where does one go for justice when the Judge himself is cast before the bar?"

Charlie said...

I enjoyed the piece, thanks for sharing!