Part One– Review
Part Two– Politics and the Internet
Now we are getting into the controversy with Ford. She is bound to anger some of her readers as she dissects Christians and politics.
As she talks about conservative Christians and politics she says, “This attitude is evident ‘in the way political and religious conservatives vigorously and often angrily attempt to force their views and interests on everyone as if their interests, by definition, are God’s interests,’ writes Obery Hendricks in The Politics of Jesus. ‘This is not faith; it is arrogance.’” Anytime we, as Christians and believers in Christ, begin to say our interpretation to Scripture is inerrant, we always run into problems. I think this is where Republicans go wrong. They use the Bible to bring about political reform, as if their interpretation to the Bible is inerrant. I’m not saying we can’t think we are “most” right, but when we force this opinion on others it becomes an issue.
I think I mostly agree with everything in the quote above, but do I think it is important for our faith to play the key role in how we vote and interact with politics. So the question then becomes where do we draw the line? If our beliefs as Christians (as varied as they are) are different than our society, is it our job to change society? I think that is the question that I grapple with all the time.
Many Christians see this shift away from partisan politics in evangelicals as very recent. Ford makes some good points here:
- Lots of evangelicals stopped recognizing these men (Falwell, Dobson, Robertson) as leaders years ago.
- It’s not just young Christians who are disenchanted with the old guard. I’m really, really old (Ford said that, not me), and I’m less enchanted with the old guard than plenty of Christians half my age are.
- The shifts in evangelicalism (this is easily the most confusing word I have heard in a long time) have been underway for at least a decade.
- Serious evangelical discontent with partisan politics has been evident for at least 5 years. It didn’t just happen after Jerry Falwell died and Pat Robertson wanted to sniper attack a Latin American president.
I think the bigger problem with conservative Christianity’s “old guard” is that I never gave them the right to speak for me on what is the best decision to make on candidates or bills, yet most people outside of Christianity believe that all Christians think the way these leaders do.