Thursday, August 28, 2008

Christians Engaging Politics

I realize I am treading on sensitive ground here - given I am not a citizen and my Mom raised me to never bring up politics as dinnertime conversation. Well, I don't usually bring it up but if I'm asked I share my opinion which often collides with most mainstream Christians. But this is not about that really.

My husband David suggested I read an article in the new Relevant magazine titled, "In the Booth, not of the Booth." It is an incredible read and will provide more than enough for you to contemplate this political season.

Adam Smith writes, "For those seeking to embody Christ, the choice can be especially difficult. On one side of the equation is a candidate who seems to offer hope for peace and ease for poverty, yet supports abortion. On the other is a candidate who champions the rights of the unborn, yet seeks to continue the war in Iraq. Can a Christian truly throw unflagging support behind either candidate?" Smith continues to quote Shane Claiborne and Chris Haw authors for Jesus for President. Claiborne says "I think a healthy suspicion about putting all our hope in one day, one vote, or one candidate or party. Haw agrees, "we're trying to help people think as Christians, and that takes a rugged revisitation of the whole biblical story to be able to think as a Christian and requires us to have Christian historical memory and imagination." Adam Smith writes, "Haw adds that the idea of nationalism is often theologically unsound. He says that being born again should mean, from a theological standpoint, that Christians have a new and different citizenship. Theologically, born again didn't just mean that you have a spiritual attitude to your life. It literally meant that you're joining into this people of Abraham that are a holy nation set apart. There seems to be evidence all over the Bible that this is a very concrete people. You're latching yourself onto this other nation. Now when you use the word we or our, your identity is connected to a different group of people, a diasporic people. That's not just linguistic gymnastics. Its biblical realism. Without that our nationalism is misguided."

I find this so rich and challenging.


jeleasure said...

My most recent post is about being a 'Royal Family'. In Christ we have 'access' to a relationship with the Lord. And, as Paul states,
“For this reason I kneel before the father,” and from whom His whole family in Heaven and on Earth derives its name”. (Eph. 3:14-15)
However, our choices today as a nation and a religious country are not for the Sake of the Call of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. We are a 'post Christian' nation. Indulging in every kind of freedom, and angling for more than what is inherently free. And for this, we create a rather large rift between us and our Lord.
What is more ironic than our being a 'post Christian' nation is our identity among Islamic nations. These people still come to assalt us because of our reputed faith. Some have the correct perspective on our faith. That would be to understand that we are a believer in evil. That is the faith these 'radicals' want to destroy. Only, it can not be isolated as to not affect everyone.
There is a national religion in most Arab Nations. Islam: in the same way that Judiaism is an Israeli national religion.
However, that is not the case in the United States of America. Our people have vectored across the religion landscape. But that is what our constitution affords. And somehow, even our Christians have developed under our constitution. Not of those un alienable rights. No, but of the right to refuse and deny God for what He had created us for. To be His Royal Family.

jeleasure said...

I just want to say to you that you have "His very Nature".
Your mind is always on higher things.
Also, let me ask you this: I believe I have sent some addresses to you for blogging pals. Did I not? I may have thought I did. Anyway, I have a few bloggers I know would network with you if you are willing.
Are you having trouble keeping up for lack of time? If so, I understand. Let me know if I did not send those addresses to you.

jeleasure said...

I thought you would be pleased to hear, me, a person who does not pretend to have an appreciation for the Psalms, did a word study in Psalm 41 to day.

Frank Bellizzi said...

The kind of frenzy that accompanies the U.S. presidential campaigns (and that is most on display at the two major conventions) is something I have a hard time stomaching, even when I like one candidate more than the other, which I do. Invariably, in order to succeed the candidates have to preach themselves while pretending that that's not what they're doing. I'm becoming more of a Lipscombite with each passing day. The kingdom of God is our only hope.

Arlene Kasselman said...

Yes, I have to agree with Jim's thoughts on us being in a Royal Family and your belief that our citizenship is in the Kingdom of God, Frank.