Thursday, July 12, 2007

God is not...or is He?

One of the most nonsensical, overused, and silly clichés I’ve ever heard is the statement, “God is not a Democrat or a Republican.” Literally, this statement is true, but so is the statement, “God is not a baseball bat.” I could just as easily make the statement, “God is not a Catholic or a Hindu”, and be just as assured I am making a true statement. However, we would never hear such a statement because a Catholic wouldn’t dare claim God is as much Hindu as Catholic and a Hindu wouldn’t dare claim God is as much Catholic as Hindu.

People may want a God created in their own image, but God’s attributes are immutable (fixed and eternal). Holiness, goodness, and righteousness are what God defines these to be, and evil is what God defines it to be; not what voters, and politicians define these to be. I doubt God is perfectly aligned with either major political party in America, but unless God is completely amoral, which from a Christian point of view is inconceivable, God is either more in line with Republican philosophy and policies, or more in line with the philosophy and policies of the Democrats. He can’t be both and it is highly unlikely he is exactly in between the two.

Just as God is not amoral, Disciples of Christ are not amoral either. Since our primary objective as followers of Christ is to become Disciples and to make Disciples, we are obligated to take a stand on the moral issues of our time. Disciples of Christ act in ways that are consistent with their beliefs. We cannot claim abortion is the taking of an innocent human life without acting to stop these immoral acts anymore than we can claim the Church is the body of Christ without supporting the Church.

Every government policy has a moral component. Every change to government policy has a moral consequence. With humility, every Disciple of Christ must take a stand and support the political party which most represents their understanding of God.

What good is Christianity, and what good is being a Disciple of Christ, if our beliefs do not influence our actions?


Kevin said...

I basically agree with you.

I attempted a somewhat similar argument at RedBlueChristian where I disputed the idea that all Christian leaders should not publicly voice political opinions.

Essentially, I can see why they might not want to opine but, for the reasons you describe, being publicly apolitical does not seem like it should be the ideal or universally accepted.

Actually, looking at the timing of the posts makes me think you may have been prompted by Mark Daniels' post?

David M. Smith said...

Hi Kevin,

Yes, the piece by Mark prompted my post. I saw your comment there and I was glad you challenged Mark and Brad. I wanted to leave a comment as well, but I have experience with both of them and have found both of them to be difficult to dialogue with.

It is inconceivable to me that a Christian Pastor would not take a position on the moral issues of our day. They are entitled to their opinions, but I can’t imagine Christ being passive in regards to abortion, terrorism, wealth redistribution, or most other political issues.

Buz said...

(Sorry, I have been on vacation ... just catching up)

While I don't believe that Christian leaders should preach on political issues, I do believe thate they should preach on moral issues. And if the govt. wants to believe that a moral issue is a political issue, then they are deluded.

I definitely believe that abortion is a moral issue, but I believe that wealth redistribution is a political issue (in Samuel, when the people demanded a king, he said that the king would take the best of their children and their flocks and produce ... he didn't necessarily say it was wrong.)


David M. Smith said...

Hi Buz,

I like the way you put it, but from my perspective, there are not very many political issues that are not also moral issues. When a government takes from some and gives to others, morality is involved. Under the original Constitution, government was limited, thus there was less of a need to speak out for and against the purposes of government. However, as government in the United States has grown, the need to oppose government purposes has grown.

The reason I am against wealth redistribution is because I think a government that uses it’s power to tax and take and give, violates God’s command against stealing.

Buz said...

It is only stealing IF they do not have the right to take it, or if you do not have any recourse.

If you join a club and the dues are $1 a month that is their fee for membership privileges. If they raise the fees, you have the choice to pay the dues or quit. You have the same choice. You could emmigrate to another country ... you might say that other countries are worse. C'est la vie.

In our country, at least we have the privilege of changing the govt. with our votes, or even running for a position.

That is why I said that it is a political issue. There is nothing in the bible which negates the govts. right to levy taxes or sets a maximum on what can be levied.

There is, however, a prohibition against slaughtering the innocent. Hence, I take the position that wealth redistribution is a political issue but abortion is a moral issue.