I hope Mike doesn’t mind my picking up his comment on my previous post, “I can honestly say that I have not seen anything of Republican or other politics in the church that I attend, or others that I have visited in the last few years. I really don't see partisan politics in the church as a problem, at least not in the small circles where I travel. Maybe it is a problem in other parts of the country and other denominations -- I don't know.
To the contrary, I think my pastor makes a conscious effort to avoid anything political, even to the point of not addressing issues within broader Christianity that probably should be addressed, perhaps for fear of offending someone or being accused of being political.”
Mike, I applaud your pastor and his leadership. And I also can say that my pastor avoids things political. If he got political, I’d probably take issue with him.
But I see politics as a real problem in the church in America, even though it may not be a problem in some churches. Have you never heard of the Moral Majority, the Christian Coalition, the American Family Association and all the others? Their leaders make political pronouncements all the time. Evangelical leaders even endorse presidential candidates.
And even in churches where politics is avoided in the pulpit, politics is still a problem, because the average everyday evangelical Christian doesn’t get all his or her input from the pulpit. Nor from the Bible. He gets it from many other sources: religious radio; religious TV; talk radio; religious and other books and literature; the Internet; and, e-mails from well-meaning friends.
What I’ve seen is that the average evangelical along with other Americans is able to hold many contradictory beliefs in his mind at the same time. (Didn’t James say something about a double-minded man?) If you disagree, how do you explain the Pew Survey that came out a few weeks ago?
I fear that we not only suffer from biblical and theological ignorance, but from an inability to think, or even a fear of thinking.
As far as the gospel itself being offensive: Yes, it is! “For the word of the cross is to those who are perishing foolishness, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God” (1 Corinthians 1:18). “But we preach Christ crucified, to Jews a stumbling block, and to Gentiles foolishness” (verse 23).
It should be the message of the cross that offends. It should not be politics.
It seems to me that those who seek political solutions, who want to make America “rediscover” a generic “god,” are the ones trying to remove the “stumbling block of the cross” (Galatians 5:11).
In fact, Paul calls the message of Christ crucified “… a wisdom, however, not of this age, nor of the rulers of this age, who are passing away” (1 Corinthians 2:6). “The wisdom which none of the rulers of this age has understood; for if they had understood it, they would not have crucified the Lord of glory” (verse 8).
If the rulers of Paul’s day were ignorant of God’s wisdom, do we really expect the rulers of America to do any better?