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

Observation No. 4 leads directly to Observation No. 5. Marxism is growing in the U.S. and some Christians are accepting portions of this ideology. I do not deny that this is a serious threat to the church. We must be watchful. I encourage you to read the resources Neil Shenvi (shenviapologetics.com) has produced on the subjects of Critical Race Theory and Intersectionality. He is thorough and fair-minded on these subjects. That said, I do believe that some are overstating the degree to which Marxism is entering the church. In addition, some of the accusations against individual Christian leaders seem politically motivated rather than biblically motivated. The philosophies of the left are not the only threat to the church. The Marxism of the left is matched by a rise in nationalism on the right. Again, I don’t think nationalism is pervasive in the church, but its growing influence helps us see that the church is susceptible to error from ideologies and philosophies of all types — right, middle, and left. Proverbs 14:12 comes to mind — “There is a way that seems right to a person, but its end is the way to death.” Let us not set one ungodly ideology as the ultimate threat to the church only to allow another worldly philosophy to sneak in and destroy our congregations. We must guard against all error, not just our favorite errors to hate or the easiest ones to spot. This seems obvious, but it is hard to practice.

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.

One thought on “‘Not a Marxist’ & things I never dreamed I’d need to say, Part Two

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