Yesterday I had a long discussion with a very good friend of mine (one of the trio outside my wife). It naturally and largely focused on politics – given the opportunity we’d both be at a table from dusk till dawn discussing, debating and hammering out our thoughts on various issues – and I was reminded yet again of my effort and struggle that I’ve endeavored to relate in postings on this site; our relationship and life as Christians vis-a-vis the world, specifically the “political” arena.
I am an admitted conservative; depending upon the topic, perhaps fundamentalist. That said, I do vacilate, because I know that quite often, peace, harmony and reality are somewhere in the middle. Equilibrium. Balance.
Over the last year, and especially over this past summer, I’ve grown uneasy in my views of the Tea Party and various other conservative groups and general movement in our nation. My concern is that the pendulum is swinging wildly or too far in one direction, furthermore that “mission creep” could set in. Sure, the old establishment might change, but the new establishment might not be any better. Change for change’s sake is just as bad as staying put with tyranny. I have misgivings that the evident pushing of purely or primarily fiscal conservatism is going to get this nation truly back on its feet, more so in a direction of “Restoring Honor”.
It is clear that many within the conservative movement are religiously inclined, and that’s wonderful, but what I see is a compartmentalization of it.
I am not advocating a theocracy nor a “Christian America” per se. But if we’re going back to our foundational roots, we need to acknowledge that faith and religion had a place in politics – something certainly sorely missing now, and something being treated still with kid gloves apparently by those in the “grass-roots movement”. Glenn Beck’s “Restoring Honor” rally touched on trying to re-assert faith into the public discourse, but I have my concerns about that, as I’ve noted previously (and I’m not going to bother linking them, just peruse the tag cloud and archives).
So what am I to do, and what are we to do? Disengage? Certainly not. We need to engage, but balance is the key. And just like standing on a fulcrum, it’s difficult.
I have called for revival and believe that is the only thing which will save this nation. Yes, certainly it would be glorious to see every person saved, and this nation be 100% for Christ, but I cannot assume that will happen – certainly not until or after the Lord returns. However, such a spiritual movement I believe will affect what would really change this nation. The home, the family, and the mores and values of this nation.
The breakdown of the family is a primary factor in the breakdown of this nation. If a majority of this nation were to turn their hearts back to God, like 2 Chron. 7:14, I truly believe we’d see a real restoration of this nation from the bottom up, not top down.
That’s the problem. The Tea Party bills itself as true grass-roots organizing, and that’s great; and they’re focusing on affecting change in our political leadership, and that’s great too, but, I believe it’s lopsided in its approach, as evidenced by its appeal, membership and planks. You cannot legislate or deregulate a nation into real restoration.
It also cannot be done by holding hands across religous aisles. The god of Mohammed and the gods of Hindi are not the God of the Jew nor the Christian. And that is a major flaw in the actions of individuals such as Glenn Beck who seem to believe they’re some sort of modern prophet. Mr. Beck says and does many good things, but he’s also selling snake oil of which he’s sadly ignorant of the fact.
Richard Land – of whom lately I’ve lost a great deal of respect for his ecumenical dealings with Beck – notes that Biblically we have three realms as Christians in which we operate: Family, Church and Government. We are to find and have a balance in that operation and life.
Lastly, we who call ourselves Christians must not forget that Christ comes first and foremost, always. He is preemminent and we cannot just compartmentalize nor shelve Him and our faith when we enter into the political arena, whether merely voting or as an elected official. Our faith and our beliefs; He must be the lens thru which we view our life and our politics and season our analysis and applications. The person who places the Constitution before the Bible has made a scripture and even an idol of a man-made law. Contrary to Mr. Beck’s assertion, The Declaration and The Constitution are not Divinely inspired nor Scripture. And the citizen, statesman or politician that does not balance their faith and Bible with our laws doesn’t know how our founding fathers operated either (And frankly I need to learn myself!). For this reason, the Tea Party focusing purely on fiscal issues (as they give lip service to socially conservative ideas), while certainly important, give me serious pause as to blindly and blithely following them. I follow no man but Christ.
It is for each of us to walk steadily, for each of us to find our own balance, and as always, be cautious and glorify and magnify Christ in all that you do. In the end, no doubt we’ll have to recognize too that we’re all still not going to be on the same page as Christians. We are not robots; we are not the Borg. Some very ardent Christians make compelling arguments for being “Republican”, and others, “Tea Party Patriots”, but for me, for now, I’ll continue to focus more on my personal walk and working on my family and church life. Maybe we all need to as well?
Here are two other views on the role/relationship of Christians and government:
John MacArthur BINGO, he nails it!
-- Cross posted at www.wadingacross.wordpress.com