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A Statement of Faith and Politics

I stumbled accross this excellent posting from Pastor Bob at the Vanguard church blog:

"For the record, here’s where I stand politically:
After being a political conservative most of my adult life, I began to feel quite uneasy with many of the things the conservative politicos were saying. I had assumed, as an evangelical, that in order to be a good Christian, one must rally around the conservative movement all the way across the board—I was “conservative” when it came to biblical interpretation (holding to orthodox views about Jesus, sin and God’s provision of salvation, miracles, etc.), and everyone I was around in my church were convinced that evangelicals must also be conservatives when it comes to political policies (especially economic policy and foreign policy) as well.

But when I began to realize that there really was not a whole lot of compassion for the poor in conservative economic policy (in spite of the rhetoric otherwise), I began to have my doubts. Also, the idea that the USA must be “hawks” rather than “doves” in the world when it comes to international affairs disturbed my Christian sensibilities as well.

Let me be clear: In every election until 2004, I voted mostly Republican. In 2004, I felt I had to shift away from this simplistic way of seeing issues and begin to seek if there is a better way.

Therefore, I voted for George W. Bush in 2000, and voted against him in 2004. Why? Mainly two reasons: His Foreign Policy did not line up with what my Christian conscience was telling me was ethical, and his economic policies disturbed me as well.

So, as one who is in process—having understood the arguments from the “inside” from the Religious Right, and now seeking to hear other voices from the Left and from Moderates, I feel that I am free!

I no longer have to “tow the party line,” and I can be critical of the Right, while still being critical of the Left. On this blog, it may sound like I come down hard against the Right a lot, but that is only because I am convinced that American Evangelicalism has becoming syncretistic: We have conflated economic and social conservatism with biblical Christianity to the point that we think they are one-and-the-same.

Of course, the Christian Left does the same with liberal ideas…
But here’s the rub for me: In evangelicalism (of which I claim to be a member), political conservatism has ruled the day for the last 2 decades (the time I have been an adult). It is time for my generation (and the generation to come) to re-evaluate this in light of the Bible."
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