Politics

Born-Again is not Enough

John Eidsmoe writes in his 1984 God and Caesar, that around 1976 evangelical Christians were animated to vote for a born-again Christian. His name was Jimmy Carter. Eidsmoe observes that few paid any attention “to whether or not Carter’s stand on the issues was compatible with their own (ix).” He writes that by 1980 the evangelical community was more sophisticated and came to the realization that “being born again was not in itself enough of a reason to vote for a candidate.” Evangelical voters since the late 70’s have remained interested in the candidate’s spiritual status, but they have since become more concerned with the candidate’s stand on issues. They want to know if his positions comport with a Christian view of the world.

I would argue that there needs to be an increased call to maturity to evangelical voters 30 years later. However, hopefully we will have learned our lesson: born-again is not enough.

Rick Perry, Prayer, and Religion

Perry’s Day of Prayer has received all the expected fury from pluralistic liberals. James Moore concluded his HuffPo piece by saying:

Perry has used his office, his tax-paid time, state letterhead, and the Texas brand to promote a single religion. The man who would protect the Constitution as president begins his campaign with a gross violation of one of its most basic tenets.

Moore, like other religious “experts,” zoom in the audacity of a man to pray for his country in time of need. The often cited II Chronicles 7:14  cannot be cited enough. The early Jewish church understood that wickedness produces despair and ruin. Prayer is the turning point to a nation who  has abandoned the Triune God.

While the roster for the day of prayer seemed quite troubling, and while Perry may be using this event to catapult his presidential aspirations by alluring evangelical voters, the point remains: Christian prayer is still the starting point of politics and religion. Pluralism is the post-modern deception.

Bachmann and Left Behind

With the political season officially picking up steam, the reader will probably see more political posts in the days ahead, together with posts of a theological nature also.

This Rolling Stone piece on Michelle Bachmann is quite offensive at times, but at other times it is quite revealing about who Michelle Bachman really is and what connections make her who she is. Among the many fascinating details, the writer finds this interesting connection between Bachmann and the Left Behind Series:

Bachmann is the champion of those tens of millions of Americans who have read and enjoyed the Left Behind books, the apocalyptic works of Christian fiction that posit an elaborate fantasy in which all the true believers are whisked off to heaven with a puff of smoke at the outset of Armageddon. Here on Earth, meanwhile, the guilty are bent to the will of a marauding Satan who appears at first in the guise of a smooth-talking, handsome, educated, pro-government, superficially pacifist, internationalist politician named Nicolae Carpathia — basically, Barack Obama. Bachmann has ties to the Left Behind crowd and has even said that Beverly LaHaye, wife of LB co-author and fundamentalist godfather Tim LaHaye, was her inspiration for entering politics.

Conservatives and their Agenda

What are conservatives trying to conserve anyway? A few random social values; an unknown God? a few more freedoms than the liberal? Further, how can they conserve anything when they are so divided on what to conserve? Maybe Ambrose Bierce is right when he said that conservatives wish to retain existing evils while liberals want to replace them with others.

Lexington on the Tea Party

I am certainly not in agreement with most of the Tea Party agenda–if there is one– but with this I agree.  Lexington says, “in how many other countries would a powerful populist movement demand less government, rather than endlessly and expensively more? . . . If that is what the tea party movement is for, more power to its elbow.” {HT: Peter Leithart}

Ethics Anyone?

Carl Wernicke writes in the Pensacola News Journal:

Perhaps the most disturbing aspect of today’s politics is how many voters seem willing to overlook ethical flaws if their favored candidate will simply say the right thing in staged TV commercials.

Whatever the political direction of Carl’s thinking, it is a fact that most voters still don’t mix religion (ethics) and politics (voting and policies).

The Last Person I’d Vote for…

U.S. Sen. Tom Coburn specifically criticized presidential hopeful Newt Gingrich for twice leaving wives for other women. The Senator concludes:

His life indicates he does not have a commitment to the character traits necessary to be a great president.

Yes, and his policies are a failure, I might add.

Augustinian Project

Leithart writes that the church operates in an Eusebian mode giving “uncritical adulation to American Constantines (64).” What is the solution?

What the Church needs is a renewal of the Augustinian project. We need to disentangle the American story from the Christian story and to insist on the preeminence of the latter (64).”

Political Hypocrisy

In his chapter on Stealth Imperialism, Chalmers Johnson notes that many of the outspoken champions of reducing the federal budget are “profligate when it comes to funding arms industries in their localities (91).” He cites former House Speaker Newt Gingrich who added $2.5 billion to the “defense budget for more F-22s and C-130s, which even the air force did not want (or need), “only because they were partly manufactured in Georgia (91).” This type of hypocrisy is quite common in Washington.

Sojourners and Patriarchalism

Sojourners visited Grace Community Church and found out that a few random people (out of 10,000) did not have a well developed view of complementarianism. Sojourners, known for their loyalty to the evangelical branch of the Democratic Party has a problem with the traditional roles between husbands and wives. They argue that to reserve the role of a minister only to a man is a thing of the past and that we must re-read Paul’s words in the context of  first-century culture. Now, there is a new thought! When one would think this type of infantile argumentation was gone here it is again re-surfacing under the Sojourners talented writers (or spy). Liberal “evangelicalism” is destined to failure. It misses the most foundational principles of the Scriptures. Surely, if you don’t know the Alphas, the Betas and Omegas have no hope.