Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Rules for Evangelical Politics

Rev. Jim Wallis, a liberal evangelical advisor to the DNC, often reminds anyone who will listen that, "God is not a Republican…or a Democrat." This is almost certainly true, for as Biola professor John Mark Reynolds notes, "He's probably a monarchist."
Joe Carter begins a post today with the paragraph above. It is an annoying habit of liberal and apolitical evangelicals to assume that those of us who are politically engaged conservatives believe that "God is on our side," when, no doubt like them, we are fallibly but conscientiously endeavoring to be on His. Democratic politics requires the citizen to make choices, almost always between imperfect options, and in these choices, as in every other aspect of life, we need to do our best to do His will as we discern it.

Carter continues:
.... Political choices are almost always moral choices. Such decisions are fraught with moral danger and each Christian, under the guidance of the Holy Spirit, must determine for themselves how best to follow their conscience.

Obviously some decisions are easier than others. Despite the excuses we may make for our historical-cultural setting, no Biblically oriented evangelical should ever support a candidate who condones such evils as "outrages against human dignity" (i.e., slavery, racial segregation, torture, abortion). Other times the options may force a choice among the lesser of two or more evils (pro-abortion candidate Hillary Clinton, pro-abortion candidate Rudy Giuliani, or a pro-life third party candidate?). In each case, though, the choice should be to follow one's conscience in applying Biblical principles to political decisions.
The occasion for Carter's comment was the publication of a list of "Rules for Evangelical Politics" by David Gushee, to most of which Carter takes exception. Carter is convincing.

the evangelical outpost: Politically Correct Politics: Gushee's Rules for Evangelical Politics

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