Why Should Religion and Politics Be Mixed?

Yesterday I read the following on a blog called CrookedBush.com that I found through Amy's blog. I could not have said it better.

"The ideology of the Left believes big government and social reform will solve social ills, while the Right believes big business and economic growth will do it. The Left expects a citizen to be held legally accountable for the use of his wealth, but totally autonomous in other areas, such as sexual morality. The right expects a citizen to be held legally accountable in areas of personal morality, but totally autonomous in the use of wealth. The North American “idol”—radical individualism—lies beneath both idealogies. A Christian sees either “solution” as fundamentally humanistic and simplistic.
The causes of our worsening social problems are far more complex than either the secularists of the Right or Left understand. We wrestle not with flesh and blood, but with powers and principalities! We have seen there is great social injustice— racial prejudice, greed, avarice— by those with the greatest wealth in the country (and sadly, within the evangelical church itself). At the same time, there is a general breadown of order— of the family and the morals of the nation. There is more premarital sex (and thus there are more unwed mothers), more divorce, child neglect and abuse, more crime. Neither a simple redistribution of wealth nor simple economic growth and prosperity can mend broken familes; nor can they turn low-skilled mothers into engineers or technicians.
Only the ministry of the church of Jesus Christ, and the millions of “mini-churches” (Christian homes) through the country can attack the roots of social problems. Only the church can minister to the whole person. Only the gospel understands that sin has ruined us both inidividually and socially. We cannot be viewed inidividualistically (as the capitalists do) or collectivistically (as the Communists do) but as related to God. Only Christians, armed with the Word and Spirit, planning and working to spread the kingdom and righteousness of Christ, can transform a nation as well as a neighborhood as well as a broken heart. That is what the rest of this book is about."

From the book Ministries of Mercy from this guy Jason Silver.

While you know I do lean to the Right, I do believe the real answer to the world's problems is Jesus Christ and His message. I wish the church did more to help. I know people fear the intrusion of Christianity into our government, but we really do want to help people. We really do love people. I know alot of people think faith should be only personal, totally internalized and kept to oneself...but when you believe as I do that there is news this good, this healing, this joyful, you can't help but share it with those you love. I only wish I had the guts to share it more.


Anonymous said...

The author of the quotation you posted writes eloquently about the divide between left and right. He loses me, however, at the necessity of Christianity.

You seem like a nice woman, and I am sure you are indeed joyous in your faith. That is wonderful.

However, what evangelicals often overlook is that all belief systems are inherently personal--even (or, perhaps, especially) religion. For those of us who do not believe in organized religion (or who prefer Muhammed, or Krishna, or Jehova, or Zarathustra, or Wicca, or Moroni, or L. Ron Hubbard, or Buddha or what have you), your personal religous tenets are, at best, alien, and blasphemy at worst. Moreover, even Christianity is both a relative newcomer onto the world stage, and is not followed by any global majority (although granted it is at the very least a plurality here in the U.S.).

The Founding Fathers were indeed Christian by birth, but many were in fact very distrustful of organized church, including Washington, Adams, Franklin, Madison, and Jefferson (to name but five of the greatest propenents of the democratic system of government of the past thousand years). Great protections were woven into our Constitution to protect the Commonwealth from the influence of the Church, and no less important, the Church from the Commonwealth.

Please share your joy with your bretheren, but do not use the great machine of our democracy to share it with me against my will.

Alisa said...

I really enjoyed the way that the author expressed the differences between right and left in politics. Moderation is key in any way of life however. Those that swing radically in one or another are often more scary than someone who sits the fence and can view and espouse ideologies from both sides.

I think that faith and religion are inherently personal, as each person celebrates it in their own ways.

I am not sure if the breakdown in our nation's morality has to do with religion, or not, but I do know that in many parishes nationwide, the numbers of parishioners is steadily declining in the Catholic Church (which is one of the nonprofit leaders in providing charitable relief and assistance).

There are ways to show personal faith, without preaching or lecturing, but through example. I think if more people celebrated their faith through their actions; and not their words, then the chasm of moral divides could be bridged. All too often our religious leaders fall back on "do as I say; not as I do" and use the excuse "I'm only human" too easily.

I really enjoyed your post!

Mainline Mom said...

Actually, according to my latest global demographics research 33.6% of the world follow Christianity, with the next largest religion being Islam with 18.7%. But that is not really my point at all. Faith is personal, but things that are personal are not necessarily intended to be kept to yourself. Organized religion should be distrusted because it is run by humans and must be kept in check. But saying that everyone's faith is right is like saying everyone's faith is wrong. I don't see the point in putting my faith in one God and agreeing that it could be the wrong God. I certainly believe in tolerance of other religions, but that doesn't mean I can't share my faith with others kindly, meekly, and as long as they want to listen. And Alisa is right, it MUST be through what we do way more than what we say. Government is not a means to force everyone in our country into joining one church, but it is a place to set laws based on the values of the people. And when the people are mostly judeo-christian, you get those kind of laws. Elected officials all believe something and it is the right of anybody to use the government as they are able to let their voice be counted.

OSAPian said...

You've got a great blog. Keep up the good work!

blogawakening said...

A brief quote from an old DC Talk song: "The single greatest cause of athieism in our world is people that profess Him with their lips and deny Him with their lifestyles. That is what an unbelieving world simply finds unbelievable."

Christianity is by no means a newcomer on the world scene. However, one should always be wary of denominations of christianity that have developed in North America in the last 200 years. They typically will involve some way to praise and glorify ourselves and not Christ, which is our true purpose.

The worst thing that ever happened to the Christian church was when emperor Constatine was converted to christianity and decided to protect christians by making christianity the official religion. They started to kill and conquer in the name of Christ, instead of in the name of their own greed and lust for power. Up to that point it was tough to be a christian and you truely had to have a genuine faith that God was in charge and no matter what trials and tribulations you went through, He would give us a peace that passes all understanding that we can only find in Him. That passion, that conviction, was lost for the most part and is only found in a select few. I wish this were not the case. As a christian, faced with death for your beliefs, what percentage of self-proclaimed christians would give up their live for that belief now-a-days.

ieatcrayonz said...

You little pot-stirrer, you. I enjoyed the post, but I'm biased. The stories in the Bible about Jesus Christ are universal. You don't have to believe in Him to realize to see that a life without sin is much easier and much happier. I'm sure that many can refute my last statement with isolated examples to the contrary, but there is a reason why talk shows are filled with gamblers, alcoholic, and abusers.

Mainline Mom said...

I love to stir the pot once in awhile :) Can't let my crazy husband do all the pot-stirring over on his blog.

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