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prisonchaplain

Christian political isolationism -- it's a bad idea...but why?

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"We Christians should just stay out of politics.  After all, they are "man's affairs."  It's dirty and corrupting, and the church always gets soiled when we get involved.  The "social gospel" is heresy.  We can't make the world better.  Our job is just to preach the gospel, and save as many souls as we can.  Jesus is coming soon, and the world's politics is a Christian's lowest concern, etc. etc. etc."

 

I DISAGREE WITH THE ABOVE.

 

It was pretty dominant thinking in the Evangelical world up until Roe v. Wade.  Then a relatively young minister, named Jerry Falwell, took to "waking a sleeping giant."  He encouraged us to engage, to be "salt and light," and to arise as a silent, but moral majority. BTW, Jerry took the controversial step of reaching out to LDS people willing to join his cause.

 

Reagan got elected.  We rejoiced.  BUT, abortion remained, pornography prospered, nothing seemed to change.  Worse, many young people rejected the church as too angry, too white, too bigoted.  Non-believers assumed Evangelicals were white and Republican.  We felt we'd made a bad mistake.

 

Today, even more feel that way, due to the gay marriage ruling. 

 

So...why is retreat and isolation wrong for Christians?

 

 

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I have not read "Benedict Option" yet.  I had more in mind Cal Thomas' 1999 book Blinded by Might:  http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/1173865.Blinded_by_Might  Thomas was one of the founding organizers of the Moral Majority, but shocked the Evangelical world by calling for political withdrawal.

Edited by prisonchaplain

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There are a number of political analysis that believe the Evangelical and /or the Christian majority stayed at home (refusing to vote for a Mormon) in just enough numbers to ensure Obama's second term victory.  If this is the case - it will be this single act most responsible for the current confrontation to religious freedoms and liberties which has all transpired during this most recent presidential term. 

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"We Christians should just stay out of politics.  After all, they are "man's affairs."  It's dirty and corrupting, and the church always gets soiled when we get involved.  The "social gospel" is heresy.  We can't make the world better.  Our job is just to preach the gospel, and save as many souls as we can.  Jesus is coming soon, and the world's politics is a Christian's lowest concern, etc. etc. etc."

 

I DISAGREE WITH THE ABOVE.

 

It was pretty dominant thinking in the Evangelical world up until Roe v. Wade.  Then a relatively young minister, named Jerry Falwell, took to "waking a sleeping giant."  He encouraged us to engage, to be "salt and light," and to arise as a silent, but moral majority. BTW, Jerry took the controversial step of reaching out to LDS people willing to join his cause.

 

Reagan got elected.  We rejoiced.  BUT, abortion remained, pornography prospered, nothing seemed to change.  Worse, many young people rejected the church as too angry, too white, too bigoted.  Non-believers assumed Evangelicals were white and Republican.  We felt we'd made a bad mistake.

 

Today, even more feel that way, due to the gay marriage ruling. 

 

So...why is retreat and isolation wrong for Christians?

I also disagree with teh stay out of politics view as well. If you choose not to take a say in matters that you could have then you can justly be accused of having chosen them.

On the other hand if you get involved and do your darndest to keep things right and fail, then you can say before the Lord at judgement day, "I did all that I could".

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We got to do all we can. 

Even with isolation they will think we are white bigots, etc.

And racists.  Because they have no other way to legitimately attack morality.  So they sling mud.  Make false accusations, not matter what we do.

dc

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'So...why is retreat and isolation wrong for Christians?'

 

It wasn't wrong for the Pilgrim Fathers, the Puritans, or that group of souls that journeyed into the 1840s American west, (can't quite put my finger on who they were at this point :) )

Anyway, I figure history's pendulum, whatever point it is at now, will someday swing back.

Never let it be said, however, that 'Please just leave us alone, and let us practise our religion in peace' is necessarily a bad thing.

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There are a number of political analysis that believe the Evangelical and /or the Christian majority stayed at home (refusing to vote for a Mormon) in just enough numbers to ensure Obama's second term victory.  If this is the case - it will be this single act most responsible for the current confrontation to religious freedoms and liberties which has all transpired during this most recent presidential term. 

 

If true, this would be beyond sad.  Frankly, given the overwhelming nature of last election's results, I do not believe this was the deciding factor.  More importantly, I doubt we can really know.  Polling is difficult.  Getting people to admit they voted against someone on religious grounds is particularly difficult.  Likewise, proving that religion was not a major factor is impossible, as well. 

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If you care about the faith of fellow Christians, remaining Christian, and true to the beliefs and values you hold and cherish, then you have to fight. Because no one can be honest with themselves, to say that the secular environment we live in today, is good for Christian faith. So on that very basis alone, you have not only a moral obligation, in alignment with the tenants and values of your faith, to be involved in politics, but a religious obligation as well, to create an environment where members of your faith aren't being drawn away from God. Allowing such an environment to persist is to do the enemy's work for them. Inaction is action. It's a vote, and you're casting your vote on behalf of those who do fight, the majority of whom don't share your values, or the kind of America you want to live in.

 

Many Christians just don't know how to fight, and quite frankly, those Christians who do fight are largely ineffective. So you can't blame them for throwing their hands up and walking away. Because the task is just too enormous. But there was a great rabbinic saying, that goes "It's not up to you to finish the task, nor are you free to desist from trying." And I think that's the mindset we just have to have. Ask not what God can do for you, and ask instead what God wants you to do. That's at least how I live my life, and God would have an incredible army fighting on his behalf if others asked the same: Win or lose, what does God want me to do.

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If true, this would be beyond sad.  Frankly, given the overwhelming nature of last election's results, I do not believe this was the deciding factor.  More importantly, I doubt we can really know.  Polling is difficult.  Getting people to admit they voted against someone on religious grounds is particularly difficult.  Likewise, proving that religion was not a major factor is impossible, as well. 

 

It was not a matter of voting against - it was in essence a boycott of the Republican party by registered voters in swing states.  These non shows cost the Republicans from retaking the white house - something basically agreed upon by the political grues.  For the most part political analysis were baffled because it was a close election and the religious right is persuasive in getting out a conservative vote in close elections.  For example the Drudge Report sited several in the Christian Right that said they would not vote for a Mormon.  Plus, based on turnout and districts - as I previously posted - there are strong indications that enough of the religious right stayed at home and did not vote; giving Obama a  second term.

 

In the most recent midterm there was again a strong showing from the religious right giving the Republicans a majority in the house and senate.  Being part of the Religious Right - perhaps you can give us incite as to why there was poor support from the Religious Right for Romney?

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Frankly, given the overwhelming nature of last election's results, I do not believe this was the deciding factor.

 

I have no opinion (that I care to express) on the discussion topic, but I would hardly call the 2012 election results "overwhelming". Mr. Obama won by fewer than five million votes, or less than 4% in an election that split almost 127 million between the two principals. If we count those who would normally have voted for the Republican candidate but, because of their distaste for Mormonism, instead voted for Obama or a third party or not at all, do you think they might not total five million? I think it's entirely possible.

Edited by Vort

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So...why is retreat and isolation wrong for Christians?

 

For one thing, if Christ is going to take over, we should do what we can to leave Him at least a little bit less of a mess to clean up.  After all, He won't be blaming Bush for all the problems.

 

I mean, thinking as a parent, even if the house is still a mess, I do appreciate kids cleaning what they can reach.

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It was not a matter of voting against - it was in essence a boycott of the Republican party by registered voters in swing states.  These non shows cost the Republicans from retaking the white house - something basically agreed upon by the political grues.  For the most part political analysis were baffled because it was a close election and the religious right is persuasive in getting out a conservative vote in close elections.  For example the Drudge Report sited several in the Christian Right that said they would not vote for a Mormon.  Plus, based on turnout and districts - as I previously posted - there are strong indications that enough of the religious right stayed at home and did not vote; giving Obama a  second term.

 

In the most recent midterm there was again a strong showing from the religious right giving the Republicans a majority in the house and senate.  Being part of the Religious Right - perhaps you can give us incite as to why there was poor support from the Religious Right for Romney?

 

I'll simply repeat that it is impossible to prove or disprove how many people either voted against or abstained from voting due to Romney's faith.  You may be right, but I doubt it can be shown decisively one way or the other.  And, of course, the accusation puts Evangelicals, in particular, on the defensive.

 

Reasons the social conservative movement did not get excited for Romney:

 

1.  He was perceived as a liberal or moderate.

2.  He was perceived to be weak on social issues (abortion in particular).

3.  Romneycare led people to believe he was not a true conservative--that he was willing to use big government to solve problems, rather than fighting for limited government.

4.  Some believed he did not care for the low and middle classes.

 

I could go on.  The above are all incorrect perceptions, in my humble opinion.  I even bought and promoted the book "Why Evangelicals Should Vote for a Mormon (and Feel Good About It!)."  My guess is that the conservative wing of the party just could differentiate between Romney and McCain (who also saw tepid support, btw)

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I have no opinion (that I care to express) on the discussion topic, but I would hardly call the 2012 election results "overwhelming". Mr. Obama won by fewer than five million votes, or less than 4% in an election that split almost 127 million between the two principals. If we count those who would normally have voted for the Republican candidate but, because of their distaste for Mormonism, instead voted for Obama or a third party or not at all, do you think they might not total five million? I think it's entirely possible.

 

In national elections 4% is pretty decisive.  Also, the Electoral College votes were pretty clear.  Very few states were nail biters.  I still argue that Romney's perceived moderateness cost him as many or more votes as his religion.  You may be right, or I may...this is one we cannot prove.

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For one thing, if Christ is going to take over, we should do what we can to leave Him at least a little bit less of a mess to clean up.  After all, He won't be blaming Bush for all the problems.

 

I mean, thinking as a parent, even if the house is still a mess, I do appreciate kids cleaning what they can reach.

 

Playing the isolationist's advocate here:  Ah, what does it matter.  He's going to burn it all up and start over anyway! 

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Playing the isolationist's advocate here:  Ah, what does it matter.  He's going to burn it all up and start over anyway! 

 

Then we can make sure to put extra kerosene on the parts we like least :)

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Reasons the social conservative movement did not get excited for Romney:

 

1.  He was perceived as a liberal or moderate.

2.  He was perceived to be weak on social issues (abortion in particular).

3.  Romneycare led people to believe he was not a true conservative--that he was willing to use big government to solve problems, rather than fighting for limited government.

4.  Some believed he did not care for the low and middle classes.

 

 

Not to mention that perhaps as much as half of evangelicals are not even registered to vote. But in any case, if any of these things are true, I think it only shows my fellow Evangelicals in a more perverted light then I'd wish to see my side as, that they'd rather allow the antithetical choice who disagrees with them 100% of the time to win, then vote for the person who agrees with them 80%-90% of the time, because they can't bring themselves to vote for an impure person who isn't as principled and as close to Godliness as they'd like them to be.

 

We know what the Left does when they get into power, and we know how much America has changed in the mirror image of their values, and how that change is accelerated whenever they gain power over an institution that has a lot of influence over society. It is ungodly to not vote for the person who is only 60% conservative, or even 30% conservative, allowing the person who is 0% conservative to win. Maybe it emminates from a feeling that we're only here in this lifetime to struggle with God, and therefore purity and piety takes priority over everything, including only voting for the pure and pious political choice. But as a covenantal society, we should take a cue from the first one, who was named Israel, and they were named Israel for they not only struggled with God, but also with man as well. And the struggle with man will be dirty, and we won't always come out of it looking saintly.

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Playing the isolationist's advocate here:  Ah, what does it matter.  He's going to burn it all up and start over anyway! 

then they would have no right to complain of whatever happens.

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So I'm not sure what the point is.

 

Is it that we have to decide what a good life is despite what the world tells us? Or is it that we are meant to suffer a bad life and we can only hope we are rewarded in the next life?

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So I'm not sure what the point is.

 

Is it that we have to decide what a good life is despite what the world tells us? Or is it that we are meant to suffer a bad life and we can only hope we are rewarded in the next life?

 

I think the point is quite simply that

 

. . . living a Christian life is no longer considered living a good life, according to the current Zeitgeist.

 

God has suffered that option to be taken off the table. There will be increasingly little room for “cultural Mormons”, or cultural Christians of any kind.  [Emphasis added]

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