Friday, April 17, 2009


"The Religious Right was a Christian mistake. It was a movement that sought to implement a ' agenda' by tying the faithful to one political option -- the right wing of the Republican Party. The politicizing of faith in such a partisan way is always a theological mistake. But the rapid decline of the Religious Right now offers us a new opportunity to re-think the role of faith in American public life.

Personally, I am not offended or alarmed by the notion of a post-Christian America. Christianity was originally and, in my view, always meant to be a minority faith with a counter-cultural stance, as opposed to the dominant cultural and political force. Notions of a 'Christian America' quite frankly haven’t turned out very well." ~Jim Wallis

Read the entire article at

Recently right-wingers were attacking Sen. Chuck Grassley, an opponent of gay marriage for not being outspoken enough or moving quickly enough in response to Iowa's recent Supreme Court decision calling a ban on gay marriage unconstitutional. They're accusing him of drifting away from socially conservative values. I guarantee that if Jesus was traveling 21st century America as He did first century Palestine, Christian Conservatives would criticize Him for cavorting with sinners and tax collectors and for not fasting and not ceremonially washing His hands and gleaning grain from the edge of fields on the Sabbath and healing on the Sabbath etc. etc.

One of my biggest beefs with my fellow Christians is that we too often lean too heavily on the Law at the expense of the Gospel. We cannot and will not turn people's hearts toward God by legislation or judicial decision or constitutional amendment or for that matter by ranting and raving and protest and boycott. We can never save someone from their sin by coercively preventing them from sinning. It's as ridiculous as thinking that we can extract reliable intelligence from an enemy by torture.

People who genuinly want to follow Jesus and can't give up on their precious "culture war," should consider that we are not battling against flesh and blood and therefore conventional (and by that I mean political, practical, and especially Machiavellian , Tzu-ian and Rovian) tactics. The way to win the hearts and minds of unbelievers (and first of all, we can never do this, only God, with His Holy Spirit can do it- perhaps using us as His tools) is with love, compassion, example, and prayer. And by addressing their needs, not what we perceive as their faults and errors.

1 comment:

  1. I've always felt that Christianity should be leery of associating itself too closely with either party and that Christians need to keep Jesus and His cross central to our theology, and beware of letting our moralist agendas eclipse Him. Admittedly, I am often just as guilty of this as anyone who is passionate about conventional wedge issues or "values" issues (depending on whether you see them with red or blue glasses). Call me chief among sinners, but my point is, that the true kingdom will only advance AND American civil discourse will only thrive when we all stop using "religion as a wedge, and patriotism as a bludgeon."

    Don't we need to love our enemies and pray for those that persecute us? Even when our most treasured issues are at stake?

    Comments? Concerns? Agree/Disagree? Anything to add?... Read More
    Fee free to rebuke or admonish if you think that I'm off the rails here, but please cite Scripture and try to speak the truth in love.