The Political Christian

My reflection on Chapter 7 of Unchristian:

Dealing with the perception that Christians are primarily motivated by a political agenda and promote right-wing politics.

This chapter did not stick out to me too much.

I’ve blogged about this before so I will not spend too much time on it.

Obviously, younger generations are less traditional in their political viewpoints and agendas. Their stands on issues like homosexuality, media decency, sexuality, and family is continual shifting away from what their parents believed.
The younger generations are more willing to compromise their opinions to get the job done. They do not hold strongly to one position. As you can see in today’s relativistic, post-modern mindset!
Also the young generations are more skeptical than any others before them. Especially of the Bible.

As you have heard me rant before: I believe that politics are important but they are not worth dying for. By that I mean we need to put focus on the right thing. God and our love for Jesus is the right thing. If we win an election but loss our soul in the process, then it is not worth it. Also we need not put too much emphasis on Politics, nor on one particular party. Christians should never have a political party of association. We should go a lot deeper than just right wing or left wing. But instead vote for change. World change through the love of Jesus.

One party does not have all the right answers. Don’t put your eggs in one basket, don’t vote nessicarly on one issue. But one which is the best canidadte to lead us as a whole.

Also Chrisians need to lear about respect.
Respect others who have different believes.
Respect the leaders of our nation despite their agenda.
And do not get confused by the word respect!

Also do not think you can solve all the world’s problems with politics, cause you cannot. God can!
Do not be a hypocrite, but do vote. Do pray for our leaders. And do engage politics with a Christ-like attitude! And do promote good thing through politics in light of the Bible.

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Social justice…and politics

How does this relate to Dominion theology and what are the concerns (pros and cons?)
How does this relate to our political stance?
Should a conservative and/or liberal Christian work together for social justice?
How does fighting for social justice relate to post-modern society?

So if we are Christians fighting for social justice, does that make us extremists?
Do people have a reason for concern when they call us out for believing in Dominion theology?
Should we be followers of Dominion Theology?

I believe that we do not have to be extremists. I believe that we should not take an incredibly extreme belief in Dominion theology. Sure at one level we do have a responsibility to take care of the earth. God has in fact put man at the highest level and given us that responsibility.
But we do not have to try to rule the world through politics and we do not have to follow New World Order Conspiracies. We should not put all our eggs in one basket, especially if you are basing the own Dominion theology around one verse of the Bible. There is a healthy responsibility God has placed on man to rule over the earth and take care of it, but not necessarily force everyone into Christianity.

If we are fighting for social justice will we come across as liberal Christians? should we join the democratic party in order to get some of these social justices?

Forget politics. This should not be about politics. If you are conservative, liberal ,Democratic, or Republican – you can agree that we have a duty to fight for social justice, it is Biblical, not politial. We will not come across as ‘liberal’ Christians, if we are fighting for the right things and doing what is the right thing. For example, if we are fighting poverty, yes we give money and food to the poor, but (this is key) we also have the oppurtunity to share God’s love and the Gospel message with the people we are ministering to. If we are “making the Main thing, the main thing,” then we will not be fighting social injustice to fight social injustice, but we will be showing and telling God’s love. Iti s about sharing the Gospel and fighting injustice. Not just one or the other. And the amazing thinkg is that we can work together on this! Calvinist, Arministist, Obama, McCain, anyone who truely claims to be a Christian! It is time to stop fighting about petty in0-church doctrines and truely live it out in the real world, with people who have never heard any doctrine!

How does this relate to our post-modern world?

Agian, we have to keep the Main Thing (Jesus Christ) the main thing. In a society of relativism, it seems likely that people will want us to join their campaigns for justice. And outsiders of Christianity might want to join our campaign for justice. Both of these situations are great. We can and should work with non-Christians in our fight for justice. But we cannot loose sight of what is most important, the Gospel. We as Christians do have a doctrine that we cannot forget about, that is the message of Christ’s love for us at Calvary. We need to be clear that we believe in doing what is just but we also have to be clear about why we are doing it! That is to show God’s love, to be God’s light. Present the Gospel as well as minister for justice!

Young Earth or Old Earth?

A recent question I came across sparked a rant…the question:
“If Biblical creationists believe that man and dinosaurs lived at the same time, where is the evidence?”
Answers In Genesis has a through article on this topic.
This has sparked my interests, even though I am still not sure if I agree with all of the conservative ideas and theories of Ken Ham and the guys at Answers in Genesis.

I recommend that you check out the article…

My highlight is the evidence from the Flood. And what I find very interesting is that both Young Earth and Old Earth Christians use the Flood evidence to support their arguments. This is so cool because even though, our time frames are quite different, it still goes to show that the evidence from the flood is so significant…how do non-Christians deal with it?

Now my rant and what I am learning:
Some times I spend a lot of time on complex, non-essentials. Before I go into too much depth, I will admit that this is a non-essential. We as Christians are free to argue and free to agree to disagree…in the end it is not important. We are all going to be living together in Heaven in the end…in fact my step-dad chooses not to argue for any side because he brings up an awesome point, he said, “I choose not to answer your question, because it distracts me from what is truly important.” He relieves that sharing the Gospel message and living the laws of the Bible are what is truly important not debating specific theological issues. I

As far as non-essentials go this one is fun to talk about, very interesting…and I will say I am no expert. I am still struggling through this issue myself and am extremely open to all sides of the debate.
Here is what I know and think of each side so far….
Ken Ham and the extreme conservative…believe that 6 day Creation is literal and actually occurred in 6 days!
This I always find so interesting and no one has really given me a good answer so far, (…I have studied the Answers in Genesis website and I even visited the Creation Museum in Cincinnati, Ohio…), but I always think to myself…yes, but the word for DAY in Hebrew “yom,” has several possible meanings…(even Answers in Genesis will admit that.)

The conservative, young earth believers are so set on the literal meaning, they never really even addressed the other liberal theories. They pretty much ignored the idea that “yom” could be interpreted differently and instead merely gave me “If the earth were a billion years old then…” arguments. While, had not heard some of these external evidence arguments before (I was impressed by some of them) I still was left wondering…because I value the internal evidence of the Bible. And so far, I think it is still possible to go either way according to Internal Biblical evidence. We know that with God all things are possible, even an old earth scenario. Besides there is some great external evidence that they are also ignoring when they are making their philosophical conservative arguments. (But this blog post is not my time to get into all these arguments, sorry for wetting your appetite.) Creation Museum did do a good job though of presenting the Gospel, that was impressive and honorable, for a conservative or liberal theologian!

The staff at Apologetics.com did a show on this topic and they are Old Earth proponents. It was a little surprising to me, but I really liked their arguments. They used a lot more internal evidence from within the Bible. They gave the “yom” argument, as stated above but they also referenced several other Bible texts (one particular in Hebrews) showing how God’s idea of time is completely different from ours as humans! We have no idea for sure how long each “yom/day/time period” consisted of in Genesis. It might have been thousands or even millions of years between each “day.” One really strong point that stood out from their arguments was from Creation account itself….One the third ‘day’, God lets the plants bear fruit….(this will take more than 24 hours normally). After day five God lets the animals be “fruitful.” And agian after day six God allows man to be fruitful, produce things, and fill the earth…
THe question could be asked, did God creat them with fruit or did he LET them create fruit over time?
Now agian, using my own words agianst myself, God could have done it in 6 days, sure! All things are possible with God!

Finally my final point is that I want to side with the Bible above and beyond choosing sides or picking the most correct solution. Sometimes this makes me seem like a flip flopper (or more conservative on some points and more liberal on others) but this is partly because people look at issues with a false dichotomy too many times. When in reality the middle ground is sometimes best. Be open on issues but back your self in the Word of God!

A new kind of Theologian

Theology is a passion of mine. I love studying it. I am no expert. In fact one reason why I love theology so much is because it makes me think and I challenge almost everything in it while it challenges everything in my life. My main source is the Bible. I struggle with the issues regularly. There are tons of resources, classes, theories, and what not but the most important is what the Word of God says.

What really gets me going, is the fact that there are quite a few other Gen Yers who are really strong in Theology. But they are not limited to specialization. You see, us Gen Yers are tired of all the categories, all the specific politics that is within anything, including theology.

Instead of fighting between conservative and liberal theologies, the next Generation of theologians are wise in that they want to work together. They want to know what the essentials of our faith are. They want to engage culture and share the Good News, instead of gaining respect among the elite Christians fighting for their side of an issue. Instead they want to use their arguments in real life. They want to led people to Christ and be well-informed. Instead of merely arguing theology, they want to live theology. We are at a point where we can do big things through the love of Jesus. At point where we can do what truly is essential in our faith, evangelism.

Okay, yes we must be careful NOT to fall into extremely liberal thoughts. For example we do not want to be so engaging that we loose our doctrines. We need to be engaging but we do not have to compromise our doctrines and standards. We can be emerging but not emergent! And the beautiful thing is that many Gen Y theologians understand this. We are sort of trying to get the best of both conservative (strong doctrines) and liberal (engaging culture) theologies.

The point is we are able to dig into our roots, the Bible. We are to be “in but not of the World!”
And I am so excited that a lot of young theologians are ready to make social changes real, engage our neighbors with the true Gospel, and yet not loose the actual doctrines of the Word of God. We ourselves need to remian in the Wword, but also we are called to disciple followers.
Evangelism is part one, discipleship is on-going and continual!

Classical Tolerance v Post modern Tolerance

Tolerance (definition version):
The capacity for or the practice of recognizing and respecting the beliefs or practices of others.

It is about respect.

Traditional definition: “The word ‘tolerance’ simply means ‘sympathy or indulgence for beliefs or practices differing from or conflicting with one’s own.’ By definition, to tolerate someone implies that you do not agree with his views, You’re simply willing to indulge them.”

It is not about agreeing, but recognizing.

Another way of saying it is “bearing or putting up with someone or something not especially liked”.

However, today in the post modern culture, the word has been redefined to ‘all values, all beliefs, all lifestyles, all truth claims are equal.’ Once, tolerance was defined as recognizing and respecting others’ beliefs and practices even without sharing them. Tolerance would often necessarily entail enduring, or putting up with, someone or something not especially liked.

But today’s definition of tolerance is very different. Now, a “tolerant” person views all values, beliefs, lifestyles, and truth claims as equal. This language shift is eloquently described in Josh McDowell and Bob Hostetler’s 1998 book, The New Tolerance.

Where this new tolerance reigns, there can be no hierarchy of truth, and no standard by which to discern between competing truth claims. Every man’s position must be praised and considered equally valid. This is because the new tolerance considers all truth claims to be mere opinions–not absolutes that are true across time and cultures, but culturally created and culturally conditioned ideas.

By this new standard, any system of belief which claims to be transcendent and absolute–making truth claims that are not qualified as relative according to time, place, and person–is considered to be “intolerant.” In a society which scorns absolutes and denies the existence of any natural law written on the heart, or any intrinsic human nature, there can be only one universal virtue–tolerance–and that virtue must be enforced with almost religious fervor.

What are Evangelicals to do?

Evangelicals are not going for the Democratic agenda. (especially not the more liberal agenda of Obama.) And Evangelicals have reservations about McCain too.
Who are Evangelicals going to vote for?
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I remember everyone was saying four years ago they were voting Bush as the lesser of two evils.
That is interesting. Now the same people are wondering if Kerry was the lesser evil, while others wonder how much more evil Kerry would have been…
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Well, in the end it comes down to our two-party system. At least that is what I think. The two parties leave a difficult dilemma for any individual (evangelical or not). Most people are not one-platform believers. What I mean is that hardly anyone agrees with every single aspect of one particular party. A two party system does not really represent everyone. I know people like to vote on a couple of really important issues, but think about that a minuet. How smart is that really? We are picking a President all aspects of what he believes is important and can change our society not just the social issues!
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(random but funny pics sorry they have little to do w post)
I understand that changing the party system is practically impossible. So am not leaving much of a solution, but just thinking out loud. What might change everything for this year’ election would be the VP selection. McCain and Huckabee ticket anyone?

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Just a Question

why are conservatives upset about Evangelist manifesto? I don’t get it.
I think that the manifesto is great and even if people are not signing it, we can at least reflect on and work with some of the ideas pointed out in the document and critic our own faith system.
What is the big deal?

http://www.todaysthv.com/news/news.aspx?storyid=65390

http://www.christianpost.com/article/20080508/32296_Evangelical_Statement_on_Faith,_Politics_Stirs_Up_Religious_Right.htmGo to fullsize image