Wednesday, August 09, 2006

The Christian and Politics

I find myself just a bit depressed by the tone of political debate in America. The Left seems to demand the abolition of every traditional American and Christian value, including – almost especially – our right as free people to hold and express our faith as we see fit. The Party which speaks so much of ‘Tolerance’, shows none at all in practice.

But the Right has gone wrong, as well. Lately, the extremists in the Conservative Media, especially the Blogosphere, have produced a series of litmus tests for political reliability, a la the old Political Officers of the KGB – now there’s a model for you! – so that only the people saying the right things, and in the approved way, are deemed worthy of support. So it is that many who can talk the talk but never show any results, are lionized as some kind of ‘Champion of the Right’, even when their tactics and brittle ideology shuts down any chance for constructive dialog. And so it is, that many who do serious work, whose hearts and minds are devoted not to their ego but to the work they promised their constituents, are attacked and demeaned, even by their self-proclaimed “base”, for the sin of not playing puppet.

It seems to me not only that Condi Rice would make a good President of the United States, but that at this time in history we very much need someone of her character and abilities. It also seems to me, sadly, that she understands all too well what a nest of vipers inhabit the RNC and the various outlets of “Conservative” media, and that a person of true integrity and steadfast commitment to the nation will find few friends there. Consequently, Dr. Rice would rather have a series of root canals than enter that modern version of the Inquisition we call the Republican primaries.

This, by the way, is why the President has such trouble with getting his programs through Congress. The Rabies Wing of the GOP hates him because they claim he is not a real Conservative, which is debatable, and the Liberal leaders of the Democratic Party (Hypocrites since 1969) hate him because he is a Christian leader, and a very real one.

Even as I type that, I can hear the howls of outrage from those who deem themselves the gatekeepers to ‘True Christianity’. To my mind, that very outrage proves the falsity of such egos; Christ owns His kingdom and knows His servants, and no man has the right to hate a professed Christian. As an example, while I take issue with many specific instances of his personal conduct, I do not deny that Bill Clinton is a Christian. But looking closer, the real distinction is that aspect of Leadership. I believe President Clinton meant well, but he acted as a man, thinking and deciding on the course of the nation according to what he personally wanted to do. President Bush takes his commission as a Christian seriously, and so take the caution to consider his course in the light of Scripture, and with prayer ahead of the decision. If nothing else, this allegiance to God first has helped Bush maintain a vital sense of balance through a number of crises. In 2000, while Gore raged and both parties ranted, then-Governor Bush was surprisingly calm; the media did not understand that Bush had put his trust in the Lord, and would accept whatever God commanded. So also after 9/11; for all the lies thrown out that Bush wanted to ‘rush to war’, the plain fact evidenced by the record was that he was careful, deliberate, and made sure to warn America not to hate Islam for what only a few extremists had done. As for the war itself, I know that many on the Left cannot accept that God would command a Christian leader to go to war, but the Bible bears abundant testimony that the Lord is a King of War as well of Peace, and once one accepts that the Lord has plans for specific nations, the leaders of those nations owe their obedience to the Lord.

But there is a direct and personal responsibility for the Christian to accept. Some people choose not to vote, much less support a candidate in elections, because they do not accept that God has granted dominion to Man. Yet again, we are reminded many times in Scripture that until Christ returns to the Earth to begin His reign, God will appoint and select certain people to rule as regents; God alone is to be worshipped, but even Caesar is to be obeyed and honored. If pagan leaders are so to be obeyed and respected, how much more should we accept the leadership of a brother in Christ who is assigned his place by the Lord?

It is not right to love Democracy so much, that one demands God should step down, but the freedoms granted by God should not be abandoned simply because a man leads the country. So then the political duty of every Christian is to work for the election of men who serve God, to obey the law and work for any needed change through prayer but also through campaigning. And when God allows a man to take office through His wisdom, it is not fitting that a Christian should mock that man, for to do so is to mock God’s will. Better we should honor him whom God allows to hold authority, and to listen closely for the Lord’s will and desire. Especially when a man serves the Lord better than men are willing to admit.

4 comments:

Anonymous said...

It's too bad people can't pray instead of criticize our President. This is a man who honors God, does not make decisions based on polls, and tries to lead an honorable life. I can't think of a person good enough to replace him at this point.

The way people act in this day and age is very scary. Somehow I don't think that our Lord would be happy with us as Christians if we level our complaints about this man and don't take the time to pray for him often. I have discovered in my 53 years on this earth that time praying for someone you don't like (or do) is time well spent. Sometimes you wind up liking someone a whole lot more if you let God deal with your heart

John F Not Kerry said...

DJ,

I really appreciate the way you write. Many times I find that you have written the thoughts that were in my head. As much of a political junkie as I am, I have become weary of what we (I will include myself) have become here in America. Instead of respectful dialogue, we hurl invectives and sneer. Instead of giving someone the benefit of the doubt, we challenge their veracity just because they belong to a different poltical party.

And, as a Christian, I value my faith over my politics. And while you are right to say that we have no right to judge the "Christianness" of the man Bill Clinton, we can certainly pray for him while pointing out what is lacking in his behavior, just as we would hope others would do for us.

Ultimately, the problem with all human political sysrems is that they are run by humans. Even a man of faith like George W. Bush will make mistakes, and the most secular ruler will sometimes make good moral judgments. And, our sinful nature is always there, along with our spiritual enemies, to inflame in us a lust for power and riches. That's why I think term limits are good. they remove a component of that temptation, perpetual political power.

Finally, while the rulers of Iran wait for the 12th imam, many Christians see the possible signs of Christ's return. While it is interesting to look at geopolitical events and speculate how they fit into the overall picture, I find myself considering something that Jesus told His disciples about how they would know the "end times" :

"At that time many will turn away from the faithand will betray and hate each other, and many false prophets will appear and deceive many people. Because of the increase in wickedness, the love of most will grow cold, but he who stands firm to the end will be saved." Matthew 24:10-13

Anna said...

As long as there are groups like the ACLU who will do whatever they can to abolish Christianity in America, we have to do everything we can to keep it strong.

Kevin said...

Lately, the extremists in the Conservative Media, especially the Blogosphere, have produced a series of litmus tests for political reliability, a la the old Political Officers of the KGB – now there’s a model for you! – so that only the people saying the right things, and in the approved way, are deemed worthy of support. So it is that many who can talk the talk but never show any results, are lionized as some kind of ‘Champion of the Right’, even when their tactics and brittle ideology shuts down any chance for constructive dialog.

Do you have something specific in mind? I sense you do, but I can't figure out who/what you are talking about exactly.

And I also never worry much what the Very Important Blog Blowhards of left or right are deciding at any given time, so that may be why I'm in the dark. :)