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August 01, 2007

Comments

Casey

I noted this part from the article you linked: "In line with the general theme of this article, the church and its leaders must find a way to speak that does not simply say, “I agree with that” or “me too” to the Republicans or Democrats, to the left or right, but speaks Christianly and theologically in ways that are provocative, compelling, and faithful."

My thoughts? Rarely do I specifically mention a particular party's platform, but when I do speak "Christianly and theologically", it seems that most liberals would label me close-minded (at best), and most conservatives would agree with my viewpoint--for the most part. I know that's an oversimplification, but still summarizes the dilemma.

You mention that Christians in the A.S.S. should resist the urge to take polarizing positions in politics and culture, but I'd argue that much "Christian and theological" thought is fairly polarizing by its nature. I would think that I should be open and honest publically about Christianity (not that I always am) and if it happens to be polarizing, I can't help that. While it's not my intent to drive away anyone who would identify themself with a particular political or cultural value, if someone happens to disagree, that's just the way it goes. It's not my intent, but rather an unfortunate side effect.

An example would be my thoughts on capital punishment--most conservatives would likely disagree vehemently with me. And my thoughts on abortion would probably polarize most liberals against my position. But my beliefs on both of those topics are based solidly on what I believe the Bible teaches to be truth. Should I not talk about them openly and honestly (Christianly and theologically) for fear of polarizing folks politically and culturally?

So I guess my take is that I don't necessarily have an "urge", as you mention, to take a polarizing political or cultural position. I take a position that most aligns itself with what I believe the Bible to teach, and that position speaks for itself. The author in the article you reference states that we should speak Christianly and theologically without necessarily agreeing with a particular party. I believe that people in either party can see most thoughts as being drastically polarizing. Because of this, should we then "resist the urge" to speak what we believe to be true because it may cause polarization? Tough issue.

Matt Adair

Casey - I can just speak for me and what I think is becoming more true for our church. Our view simply defy current mainstream political and social thought. Our emphasis on personal conversion due to personal guilt is rather conservative; our emphasis on doing justice and extending mercy sounds rather liberal.

Positively, sometimes we make both liberal and conservative people happy. On the downside, we sometimes tick both of them off. This shouldn't be seen as lacking conviction but merely a reminder that biblical convictions don't wrap up nicely in a particular political package.

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