Christians and politics

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Jollyblogger has an excellent post on being Christian and being politically involved. It's an excellent trip through the various things the Bible says relevant to why it's good to be political involved and bad to identify some political party or nation with Christianity. This is about as balanced as you can get on this topic. I agree with all his main points. Unfortunately, I find myself disagreeing with him on quite a few of his minor and tangential points, and I can't resist picking nits by mentioning those (since I can't wholeheartedly recommend a post this glowingly if it has so many things I disagree with without also registering that disagreement).

I disagree with him on slavery. I don't think slavery is wrong in principle. (Incidentally, this is something Wink and I agree on, and we didn't have to convince each other. I credit him with bringing the issue to my attention, but all he had to do was mention what his view was without mentioning any of his reasons for thinking so, giving me just a few seconds to think about it in light of the Bible, and I realized he was right. Maybe one of us should post on this soon. Maybe I've just given Wink an idea and won't have to do it myself.) I also disagree with David's post a little on abortion. Some Christians think abortion is often wrong but occasionally not morally abhorrent, and those who are in the tough situation of having to make a choice about it should be given some moral deference by those who have never been in that situation. David thinks this person should fall under church discipline. I don't see how church discipline should even be an option, especially if the person has thought carefully about all the options and come to this conclusion through reflecting on biblical principles. It's the unthoughtful person that I would have thought more deserving of church discipline. Finally, I don't think it's as hard to get a biblical position on war as he thinks. After all, if God can command war, then it can't be inherently wrong to engage in war. I've talked about this before. Still, even with those tangential disagreements, it's an excellent post. Any Christian blogger who writes about politics should digest it after chewing on it thoroughly.

P.S. Check out his post on seeking balance in one's theological views as well. How does he have the time to keep cranking out so many excellent and in-depth posts every day?

2 Comments

Thanks for the plug Jeremy. On the slavery thing I have heard arguments for it "on principle," that compare modern slavery to slavery in the Bible. Don't know if that is where you are going with it, but I can't help but feel its apples and oranges to compare Biblical slavery with early American slavery. Biblical slavery seems to involve debtors and spoils of war, whereas early American slavery didn't have to do with those things. Also, the slaves that made it to American were kidnapped, so I think you have to factor that in. Also, I Timothy 1:8-11 says that the law is for lawbreakers and rebels, the ungodly and sinful, then it goes on to list people who fit that category, among whom are slave traders, and this is contrary to sound doctrine. So, that's the perspective I'm coming from. On abortion, I was going more along the lines of advocacy of abortion. That's one where I think the Scripture is so clear that a studied advocacy of abortion would be a violation of Scripture. I agree with your position on war, that its not inherently wrong to engage in war, provided it is a just war. I think it is very difficult to judge when a war is just, therefore it is difficult for the church to take a clear an unequivocal stand in any particular circumstance. I will say that I think the current war with Iraq is a just war.
As to having time to crank out posts every day, I've been sick this week, so I've had time on my hands. You have given me the idea of doing a post on what motivates me to blog though - I may do that in a few days.

I think you've given some of the arguments for my position on slavery. If you think the biblical slavery might be ok, then you probably don't disagree with me at all. American slavery was evil from the start.

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