The idea for this two-part series developed as I read post after post accusing Christian leaders I know and respect of being Marxists because of their responses to George Floyd’s death and their calls for racial reconciliation. In each case, these leaders promoted nothing Marxist, only ideas drawn from Scripture. It is obvious that none of these are Marxists.
That caused me to think about other things that seem obvious, but need to be said and affirmed in these interesting days. In my previous post, I made three observations that seem obvious. You can read those here. This post will share three additional observations.
4. Political Conservatism does not equal Biblical Conservatism
It is really hard to believe that this has to be said, but we must utilize Scripture to examine every political idea … even conservative political ideas. As a Christian who holds to a conservative view of Scripture (inerrancy and sufficiency), I cannot merely accept the “party line” of any party. I didn’t always feel this way. Years back, I was challenged to look a little more deeply into Scripture regarding several important issues. In doing so, I found a number of conservative political ideas that have indirect or even direct conflicts with Scripture. On the other hand, during the careful analysis of political ideas, I found many conservative ideas that intersected with biblical teachings. The point I am trying to make is simple … we must test all political ideas against Scripture to avoid error. I won’t elaborate further, because I am not looking for a fight. Those who are open to questioning the party line will likely see some of the same conflicts and points of intersection that I see. Still, on Facebook and Twitter, I commonly see people equate political conservatism with biblical conservatism without explanation or clarification.
Finding consistency between one’s biblical convictions and one’s activities at the ballot box can difficult in the modern world. The American political system has only two well-funded parties and it is rare to find a candidate’s platform that fully overlaps with my biblical convictions. The system usually forces me into tough choices about what I value most. As someone who is pro-life (conception to death and regardless of nationality or criminal record), life is a first-order issue. More often than not, the issues of life and the Imago Dei (which relate to abortion, adoption, foster care, the justice system, the death penalty, immigration, tough penalties for rape and sexual abuse, etc.) cause me the most consternation in the voting booth. Both parties have room to grow on the issue of life.
5. Threats to the American Church aren’t just coming from the left
6. Legal does not necessarily equal Right/True/Just
Our society needs laws and legal codes in order to function. Many laws are right, true, and just. We are compelled by Scripture to submit to authorities (see Romans 13:1-7) and this is right and good. But we cannot assume that every law, legal practice, or court judgment is right, true, or just. Due to the freedoms our country has given us, we have the right to speak our concerns to government officials to seek changes to laws or legal precedents that are unjust. We can and should do this when we see injustice. I am convinced that we need to ask for changes to our legal system to address some areas of injustice (intended or not). Perhaps looking into mandatory drug sentencing for possession would be a good place to start. Right now, it is legal to lock up some drug offenders without addressing their true problems. Legal? Yes. Just. I’m not sure. Wouldn’t an addict benefit more from a treatment center than a jail cell?
I don’t know if this was helpful to anyone but me. I enjoyed wrestling though these observations and developing some sense of clarity for myself. Now I’m shifting gears for my next post. I plan to explore what it means to truly follow the Great Commandments and how that impacts one’s ability to fully participate in the work of the Great Commission.