16 May, 2006

A Few Words About The Religious Right For Tony Campolo

I imagine that you and I flip different levers in the voting booth. I have no problem with that. BUT---since we are going to be spending an awful lot of time together one of these days, I'd like to get something straight.

We are still under God's gracious atonement, and we are still brothers in His blood. Like the children in many families, it's okay to disagree about politics, popular culture and other things. However, you might wish to be careful about how you go about getting press for your new Red-Letter Christians movement.

I find myself in the (maybe) unique position of supporting a lot about the Red-Letter Christian movement, yet being politically conservative. Yes, I believe we are to help the poor. Yes, I believe in social justice issues. BUT--I don't believe government is the key to doing those things. I think that your "progressive" stance is the opposite of what Jesus tells us to do, because I feel that it abandons the duties of the Christian into a legislated governmental pacifier. In other words, Jesus told us to do unto the least of these. He did not say "get together and form a country and vote on a third party to forcibly collect money and do unto the least of these on your behalf."

But let's you and I feel free to have this disagreement about these things. You will notice that I am not giving long interviews to people where I say "the Religious Left is Frightening." You know why? Well, because I personally think that most religious people have embraced a political stance that they believe to be in keeping with their faith. Those on the right tend to embrace politics that legislate morality. Those on the left tend to embrace politics that legislate socioeconomics.

Both sides seem to be enjoying their special relationship with Jesus as an opportunity to limit the free will of others. This, Dr. Campolo, is where your Red Letter movement and I part ways. See, you are upset about the Right wanting to take the choices of abortion and gay marriage away from others. Yet you preach the same limitation of freedoms when you advocate social-justice reforms like minimum wage and nationalised health care.

Yes, Jesus was neither a democrat nor a republican. I firmly believe that. Yet I believe it is possible to be a child of Jesus and be a republican. Really.

7 Comments:

At 11:16 AM, May 16, 2006, Blogger Amy said...

well said by the local libertarian :) I appreciate your thoughts on this. Campolo makes some great points a lot of the time, but you're right--the church should be caring for the poor, not the government.

the thing that kills me about this 'red letter Christian' movement is the dichotomy between Jesus' words and Paul. the WHOLE Bible is inspired--it's ALL God's words--not just the parts in red ink.

To quote Campolo: "Once again, go to the Bible. It’s a great source of theology." News flash: Paul is as great a source of theology as Matthew, Mark, Luke or John. Because ultimately Paul is not the source--the Holy Spirit is.

*/rant* :)

 
At 12:01 PM, May 16, 2006, Blogger Jeffrey said...

truely well said indeed kat.

it is the church's job to care for the hungry, poor, widows, and orphans. And sense the Church is the people of God, that means it's my job to are for the hungry, poor, widows, and orphans...

No wonder we let those things be taken care of by "the government" or "the ______ baptist/assembly of God/nazarene/etc. church", b/c it requires an investment and effort to be about those issues individually in our own lives--in my own life.

 
At 11:14 PM, May 16, 2006, Blogger Kat Coble said...

the WHOLE Bible is inspired--it's ALL God's words--not just the parts in red ink.

That kind of gets me, too. Because it puts off this vibe of "our Version of Christianity is better than YOURS!!!" which is always a POV I've disliked.

I understand what Campolo et. al. wish to accomplish. They want to pull the public face of Christianity back to the social-justice end of the spectrum. I understand their call. I just wish they would be as understanding of the calls of others.

it requires an investment and effort to be about those issues individually in our own lives--in my own life.

It's been really easy to sit back and let our duty be taken out of our paychecks. I think Christ deserves more than that.

 
At 11:39 AM, May 17, 2006, Blogger Chance said...

"You will notice that I am not giving long interviews to people where I say "the Religious Left is Frightening." "

I understand exactly what you mean. Jimmy Carter is an example, in which they see the religious right as a threat. If you believe in a "left of center" form of gov't and use Christianity to support it, fine (although I disagree), but why does one totally have to disregard the views of the other side? Personally, I am limited governemtn all around, but if I did believe in a more active gov't, I would not totally disregard what one side of the spectrum has to say.

 
At 2:46 PM, May 17, 2006, Blogger Jeffrey said...

too true. we think by "giving our 10%" we've done our duty. Truly Christ DOES deserve more than that...much more...

 
At 2:00 PM, September 26, 2006, Blogger davidcwelker said...

couldn't agree with you more...

 
At 2:01 PM, September 26, 2006, Blogger davidcwelker said...

couldn't agree with you more...

 

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