Mixing Jesus & Politics


What can happen when you don't toe the Christian church party line? Check out this article - thanks to Ope for the heads up.

Disowning Conservative Politics, Evangelical Pastor Rattles Flock


By LAURIE GOODSTEIN
Published: July 30, 2006
MAPLEWOOD, Minn. — Like most pastors who lead thriving evangelical megachurches, the Rev. Gregory A. Boyd was asked frequently to give his blessing — and the church’s — to conservative political candidates and causes.

Bill Alkofer for The New York Times
The Rev. Gregory A. Boyd leads a congregation outside St. Paul.
The requests came from church members and visitors alike: Would he please announce a rally against gay marriage during services? Would he introduce a politician from the pulpit? Could members set up a table in the lobby promoting their anti-abortion work? Would the church distribute “voters’ guides” that all but endorsed Republican candidates? And with the country at war, please couldn’t the church hang an American flag in the sanctuary?

After refusing each time, Mr. Boyd finally became fed up, he said. Before the last presidential election, he preached six sermons called “The Cross and the Sword” in which he said the church should steer clear of politics, give up moralizing on sexual issues, stop claiming the United States as a “Christian nation” and stop glorifying American military campaigns.

The result? 20% of the congregation (1000 people) bailed because the church was "no longer doing what it was supposed to be doing: supporting the Republican way."


Read the whole article at:
Jesus & Politics

7 launchings into the blogosphere....:

digapigmy said...

I saw this article and thought about it during your speech yesterday. pretty sad, when you think about it. i did find myself wondering how many people you might have rattled yesterday.

georgia said...

Not promoting politics from the pulpit shouldn't be confused with being politically apathetic, however.

http://family.custhelp.com/cgi-bin/family.cfg/php/enduser/std_adp.php?p_faqid=1234

scoey-d said...

True, Georgia, very true.

The rub is in the fact that a particular agenda & course of action is what is often sought - awareness & involvement aren't seen as enough - the "appropriate" awareness & involvement is stereotypically to be Republican, vote Republican, think Republican, all the while battle against Ted Kennedy & the evil liberal Democrats that are attempting to destroy our family values.

The church as an institution is being manipulated for political means to justify a political agenda, one that is distinctly at odds with Jesus & the cross.

When my Euro (German) friend heard the theo-political rhetoric, he said it sounded just like Hitler's use of the Lutheran church & "morality" to enforce & implement the 'final solution.'

TPluckyT said...

This discussion reminds me of the scripture, " . . . for there is no authority except that which God has established." - Romans 13:1

What does that mean? Are all governmental systems, no matter the nation, established by God? Does North Korea serve a purpose in God's "big picture?" Can it be interpreted that individual leaders are established by God? Even Bill, Hillary, or George W?

If the answers are yes, it doesn't imply that we adopt a position of political apathy, but that we vote our conscience and leave the results in the Lord's hands, without presuming a "thus saith the Lord," around our individual political agendas. (see Joshua 5:13-14)

One last thing, in general I agree with the sentiment of the article, but I don't agree that we should quit referring to ourselves as a "Christian" nation. Scripture is clear that nations will be one day be divided into "sheep" and "goat" nations, so I think it is equally important how we identify ourselves both nationally and individually.

Jeni said...

Thanks for posting this article!
The trouble with trying to regulate the actions of others by LAW is doing the exact opposite of what Jesus would do, just like the article says. Forcing change upon people does not change what's in their heart, which is what Jesus looks to do.

On the subject of patriotism, I just wanted to say that "God Bless America" is one of my least favorite phrases in the world. Do people not realize that God has ALREADY blessed America many times over?

TPluckyT said...

On the other hand, when I tuck my son into bed each night, I pray over him, "God bless Jadon," even though I know he's already blessed.

frad-ster said...

i love that pic! is that the buddy Jesus from those Kevin Smith movies?