Do you agree with Hunter’s observation that the primary witness of the church since the 1980s has been a political witness? What do you think of my suggestion that this constitutes a form of idolatry?
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Again, I say a yea and amen to this one… I think it was “Getting Off the Bus” that you made a hint to a similar point.
But then, I have to add a “Kyrie Eleison” to this… I’m guilty as charged. But one thing that I’ve been trying to put out there is that, while I may have a political opinion on the way the country should be run, my goal and my purpose is grounded in the Kingdom. I’m slowly making a transition to really being apathetic to the politics and government of this country and starting to become more and more passionate for what Kingdom that we are to seek first, above all others. Idolatry that runs that deep, though, takes a while to dig out. It’s been 50 years of politically motivated Christianity… perhaps it’s time for a year of Jubilee and set the prisoners free…
Very excellent insight into our culture today. I agree with you that politics has become almost a necessity or idol in today’s culture. But how can it not be? Look at how campaigns are run today. In the meanwhile there is also an idol of “separating church and state” in many contraversial issues and topics of the day. In terms of the issue of politics in the church, I have always asked myself, does politics even belong in the church? Do we let as conerned Christian citizens have a responsibility to know and allow politics in the church or do we have a rsponsibility to keep politics out of the church?
Thank you for your insight.
Wow Dave….this gave me pause. Du Bois wrote, “may God write us down as fools if ever again we are found putting our trust in either the Republican or the Democratic parties”… (Education, Crisis, 1922) Yet, as the descendant of relatives who lost their fingers for attempting to exercise their right to vote, withdrawal from participating in the political process is always a tension for me. Thanks for a great article, it is timely…..
Dear Dr. Dunbar,
The challenges you pose are real. But, we all think and write from our own context. It is unfortunate that your local church milieu has become ensnared in the political scene in a negative way. In the nine years I have participated in our local church ministry, I have NEVER witnessed any political slant, let alone a misguided one. It behooves us all to resist the “everyone’s doing it” syndrome, assuming that our frame of reference is universal.
I have been struggling for some time to find the right ‘balance’ in this very subject. I am sure that God wants us to be good ‘stewards’ of the vote, the liberty and freedom that He’s blessed us with, and I DO have strong (I think, well-reasoned) opinions on the ‘issues of the day’.
At the same time, however, I need to remember that I am a Christ follower 1st, an American 2nd (and a conservative 3rd). It is SO easy to get sucked into emotional political debates that really (when all is said and done) have little direct impact on eternity.
Yet, they may have INdirect impact. If my lack of involvement leads to the day when preaching against sin is considered ‘hate speech’, and thus outlawed…and if my failure to protest or raise the flag of warning throughout the downward spiral means that people in my community or congregation are duped, misled, or never really ‘hear’ the Gospel, then this clearly DOES make a difference.
Very difficult topic here…requires the wisdom and self-control of the Lord (fortunately, He gives freely to all).
Thanks for keeping me thoughtful and prayerful!
God bless you,
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