Monday, May 7, 2007

Thoughts a Republican thinks when he marries a really cute Democrat...

Greta and I used to participate in a small group. This group—filled with bright, young married couples—was a rather eclectic crew. We had Texans, Yankees, mid-westerners, and us, the token left-coasters.

One day in group I mentioned how I had seen a funny bumper sticker that week that read, “Why Care About The Poor When You Can Be A Single-Issue Voter?” One of the members of my group said, “What do you mean?” I proceeded to explain how Christians have ignored concern for the poor while only trumpeting the issue of abortion. This group member then grew animated and began her retort with, “You know what the problem is? We already give too much to the poor.” I shan’t tell you the rest in order to protect the guilty party.

I tell this story because I’ve had politics on my mind a lot lately. I would love to see ’08 be the year that Christians finally decide to vote the whole Bible. Certainly, abortion is an important issue, but it’s one of many issues we need to take seriously. The teachings of God’s Word should influence our thinking regarding the poor, peace, the environment, and a host of other “issues.” The whole Bible—not just selected topics—should be on our minds when we go to the polling place.

The other night, Greta read an excerpt from Sojourners that mentioned that a few evangelical “leaders” were calling for the removal of the vice president of the National Association of Evangelicals because he was getting behind the fight against global warming and deviating from the apparently pre-approved platform of promoting the family—whatever that means—and the fight against abortion. Could we be a little more well-rounded? These leaders don’t represent my thinking nor my faith. My Bible simply won’t excuse such political myopia.

What issues does your faith make important to you?


rhon said...

The whole Bible—not just selected topics—should be on our minds when we go to the polling place.

Great question. To start with, I don't believe most of the issues that are important to me should be issues in the political arena. Policies and pundits are inept at handling them effectively and efficiently. But the state and federal govenments have taken on the authority when it's the role of the church.

Poverty, the environment, homelessness, etc. These are issues for the Body. And we're failing miserably. How many communities do you know that would say their needs and concerns are being addressed by the local churches, temples, and synagogues?

Maybe abortion is different because it's a question of whether it's murder or not. The church isn't called to enforce community justice.

So I guess what I'm saying is that we shouldn't be voting the Bible at all when we're at the polss.

Brady said...

I dig your new blog. You are so blog savvy!!

sorry not as smarty-pants as I would like just saying "word" to ya


Keith Ferguson said...


I think most young evangelicals are done with single-issue voting, especially as leading evangelicals are calling people of faith to care about social justice issues. I think because social justice (whether related to poverty, health care, housing, racism, etc.) used to be connected with theological liberalism, many of our theologically conservative forefathers were afraid to speak out about social issues less they be called theologically liberal. Thankfully, this stereotype is close to being gone among young evangelicals, and we are seeing more and more believers who care about marriage, abortion, and social justice issues, and still believe in the Bible. The hard questions come with what part in this equation the government should play and what part the church should play. I'm personally weary of political involvement that takes the church's focus off of evangelism and discipleship, but also weary of expecting government to do everything. All that said, the world is getting smaller and the church must not lose it missional focus while also engaging the global justice issues all around us.