Should Evangelicals Get Out of Politics?
Now I haven't always been this way. Not long ago, I considered the possibility that a career in politics might better suit a born-debater like me. But, a few months ago, as God would have it, I stumbled across a blog by Steve Camp, the Christian music artist, turned theologian. He impressed me with his depth and in-your-face commentary on issues such as the contemporary Christian music scene. Here is his "107 Theses to CCM," which is well worth a read. A couple of months ago he started a new site here at blogger where he has posted a large number of articles against the movement he has (or at least someone has) labeled "Evangelical C0-Belligerence." Basically, he is saying that the Gospel was never meant to be sent by means of the vehicle of politics. He abhors the new alliance between Catholics and Evangelicals, by which they have both seemingly thrown out 500 years of theological debate, and united in a hope that politics can change the ethical and moral landscape of America.
I personally think he is on to something. I am sick of Evangelicals spending the majority of their time on political issues. Now, you might say, "D.R., didn't you just write three blogs on the Intelligent Design controversy? Isn't that a political position? Aren't you being a bit hypocritical here?" Well, my answer is "yes" and "no". First, I think ID shouldn't be politicized, but I acknowledge that it has been. I think it is better served as a powerful new tool in the hands of competent apologists. It is something that shows the deficiencies of a system that has never been well thought out in the first place. However, I really don't care if it is ever taught on a wide scale in public schools. I just want teachers to quit having their First Amendment Rights trampled upon by the ACLU and The Americans United for Separation of Church and State for even mentioning that evolution is anything less than pure scientific law.
But I will be the first to say that my theological position excludes the possibility that Christians will ever be able to influence this country enough, by political maneuvering, to revert it back to a time when pornography wasn't so readily available, when children weren't able to be killed by their mothers because they simply didn't want the inconvenience, and when the name of Jesus Christ invoked respect instead of hostility. The only way America will ever see a revival is by Christians seeking the face of God, being conformed into the image of Christ, and living incarnationally in the world in which they temporarily reside. We cannot compromise the Gospel of Jesus Christ and expect to influence a world of lost men and women with the very truth that alone can set them free from sin and death.
Brothers and Sisters, let us press on for a prize won not by human efforts through man-centered debating, but rather for one taken hold of by means of the grace of God through living out our call, namely to be conformed to the image of Jesus Christ. I thank God for men like Steve Camp, Phil Johnson, and Tom Ascol, whose dedication to the Gospel is not clouded by the politics of men. May we be men and women who seek the Glory of God, not the glory of a political system which will soon fade away. Remember there is no democracy in the heavenly realms.