Monday, November 17, 2008

For King and Country

I do not often agree with the words of columnist Cal Thomas, sometimes but not often. But his recent editorial after the presidential election was something to behold, words I never thought he would write, words I could wish I had written myself. Here's a taste of it:

Thirty years of trying to use government to stop abortion, preserve opposite-sex marriage, improve television and movie content and transform culture into the conservative Evangelical image has failed. The question now becomes: should conservative Christians redouble their effort, contributing more millions to radio and TV preachers and activists, or would they be wise to try something else?

I opt for trying something else. . . . Too many conservative Evangelicals have put too much faith in the power of government to transform culture. . . . Too many conservative Evangelicals mistake political power for influence.

If results are what conservative Evangelicals want, they already have a model. It is contained in the life and commands of Jesus of Nazareth. Suppose that millions of conservative Christians engaged in an old and proven type of radical behavior. Suppose they followed the admonition of Jesus to "love your enemies, pray for those who persecute you, feed the hungry, clothe the naked, visit those in prison, and care for widows and orphans" not as ends, . . . but as a means of demonstrating love for the whole person in order that people might seek Him?

Such a strategy would be more "transformational" than electing a new president, even the first president of color.

You can find the entire editorial here. I wish more Christians, blue and red, liberal and conservative, really believed in the power of the Gospel we preach and teach. Christ alone is the truly transformational Leader this world desperately needs.

Doing the work of the Kingdom is the best thing we can do for the country.

4 comments:

Real Live Preacher said...

Wow, that is surprising. Knowing Cal Thomas, I'll wait to see if this is real.

I've noticed something interesting over the years. Many who are a part of the religious right have attempted to use politics to push their religious agenda. I may or may not agree with these agendas, but I disagree and always have with that method.

When they lose, sometimes they experience these moments of regrets. "Maybe we were wrong." This could be a real epiphany for Cal, or it could be a grown-up version of taking my toys and going home. Kind of, "I wash my hands of you, America. You're on your own. I'll be praying for you."

I don't mean to not be trusting. I haven't not counted out the possibility of Cal seeing the light. But I'm suggesting that we'll know based on his writing a year from now.

Dobson made a similar statement a couple of years ago. Based on things I read from his organization this year, I'm not sure it stuck.

Drew Hill said...

rlp- You're right. As with all of us and our pronouncements, the proof comes not in the words but in the actions that follow. I choose to be hopeful. My prayer is that many well-meaning Christians will finally realize that the best of ends does not justify the worst of means.

Paul, who as far as we know never ran for office, said it well: "For though we live in the world, we do not wage war as the world does. The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world."

Red Letter Believers said...

No government will save us!

See:

http://redletterbelievers.blogspot.com/2008/11/no-government-will-save-us.html

we put far too much stock in the government....i don't worship a president or a congress or a governor or a political party.

THis is good for us. what's important?

Drew Hill said...

red letter guys- Thanks for your thoughts. I guess this inordinate hope placed in government could become a golden calf style idolatry. I appreciate your passionate response.