A few weeks ago Brian McLaren announced his endorsement of Barack Obama on his blog. He is endorsing the candidate for the Matthew 25 network and as a private citizen.

Around that same time Brian was writing several posts with his thoughts on faith and politics. Much of what he was saying led me to believe he was apprehensive to endorse a candidate…clearly I midunderstood him.

I think Emergent or emerging people (including myself) are changing the tide of how Christians are known to vote (going from Republican to independent or Democrat). This I have no problem with. The idea that God belongs to a party is wrong and unwarranted. However, this same group has largely spoken about the need to not align with a party or a specific candidate. Brian McLaren is one of the key leaders of this group of people and I’m troubled by this endorsement. Brian said this about endorsement:

“I read a post by a good friend. He suggested we should advise everybody and endorse nobody. I’m quite certain that my friend meant, by the word endorse, ‘blindly, uncritically, and without reservation express support for.’ And, of course, with that I would fully agree.”

  • Let me say this. I have immense respect for Brian, and I completely agree with much of what he says regarding politics and Christianity. But I disagree with him on this. I think if everyone else agreed with his above statement, then endorsement could be a great thing. But, I do not think most people view it that way. Endorse should never be without reservation, yet most people view it as such. Now McLaren has aligned himself alongside Obama as close as any other Christian leader.
  • McLaren has also stated that his endorsement is his own as a private citizen. I think that If endorsement was simply for ourselves, then why endorse publicly? As a well known author, previous pastor, and Christian leader, it is true that his endorsement is his alone, but his endorsement holds a lot of clout by those who listen intently to what he has to say.

I don’t want my blog or any post to be one that is ripping a part a person. My goal isn’t to disagree with Brian, but to dialogue about how we as Christ followers should (or not) endorse candidates and vote.

So while I have said in the Seattle Times that I’m leaning towards Obama, I will not be announcing my decision on this blog or anywhere else outside of my close friends (and if I’m honest I really don’t want to choose between these 2 guys).

Your thoughts? Should we endorse or no?