Saturday, July 7, 2012
Reason #126 Why Politics & Christianity are Poor Bedfellows
I grew up in an apolitical home. My father would never tell me whom he voted for and my mother was the classic, "Oh, I like him," for purely intuitive reasons. The only political thing that sticks out in my memory is that my mom hated Jimmy Carter--because he was a hick and talked funny.
My parents also never took us to church; ever. So faith and politics are things I've happened upon and observed. I have no inherited bias on either.
Coming into and growing into my faith as an adult, I've decided that the way of Jesus is paramount in my life. And I've decided that politics is a necessary evil that I have to pay attention to, but I will not elevate it in my life. It will not be my rudder, nor my identity, nor will I espouse a party more than what voting in the primaries requires.
I've observed most of my adult life that Christians vote republican. The reason for this that I've heard more than any other?
"He's a Christian man. We need a man with Christian values leading this Christian nation!"
So I've always logically deduced that Christians were saying what they meant. They were in essence voting for a man in a relationship with Jesus and who espoused, and believed in Christian values.
Lately I've noticed an interesting wrinkle.
Many Christian republicans, nationally and locally; including my friends on Facebook and Twitter, are posting this little sound bite:
"No president since FDR has won re-election with unemployment over 7.2%."
My knee-jerk thought, "We've also never elected a president who was a member of a cult."
You may think the word cult is mean or derogatory. It's simply descriptive, and in this case, appropriate. Mitt Romney is a Mormon. At a glance, Mormonism looks like Christianity's brother religion. But looking closer we see:
> There is no salvation without accepting Joseph Smith as a prophet of God.
> Mormons don't find the work of Christ on the cross to be sufficient for salvation, but rather the starting point.
> Mormon's believe that Jesus was a polygamist having married Mary and Martha, the sisters of Lazarus.
> Mormonism's own teachings and doctrines make clear they do not follow the Jesus of the Bible, but rather a Jesus of their own making.
I further notice that Christian republicans are responding to this with, "Yeah, but a Mormon's better than the alternative."
The alternative meaning President Obama; an admitted Christian, (click here, and here) who meats regularly with Dr. Joel C. Hunter, pastor of Northland Church in FL.
"Yes, but he's not really a Christian!"
So by the standard we might utter that phrase, meaning decisions and choices; of how many people in our own churches, could we also say, "They're not really Christians."?
Let's pause here, as you may be falsely assuming this is a blog to promote a political agenda.
My point is, our Christian credibility is on the line when heretofore we've been very vocal about voting for the Christian candidate, when we now seem to be vocal about voting for the "lesser of two evils" and advocating a president who is admittedly Mormon; in a cult.
By back-handedly advocating a Mormon over a Christian, we appear to a watching world of unbelievers to be more republican than Christian.
This is why Christianity and politics are horrible bedfellows. It can lead us to a point to embrace a non-Christian member of a cult because they act and legislate in a way that seems more "christian" to us.
This is why, in a world we want to be black and white; there are unavoidable sticky shades of gray.
This is why we should be wholly known by the way of Jesus in us; not our political affiliation.
I think if Jesus were to pop onto the scene right now, He might not turn over the money-changing tables in the Temple. But He might violently pull a bunch of democrat and republican signs out of our yards and churches.
More to come on this subject in my upcoming ebook: The Christ Followers New Clothes; the Illusion of Politics.