Sunday, July 18, 2004

"I am an anti-imperialist...
I am opposed to having the eagle, put its talons on any other land."
-Mark Twain
So what do you think?
Is the local church a place to discuss political issues?

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

In response to your question- is the church a place to discuss political issues? Hmmmm, difficult question.
Through history, of which I know little, the pulpit has been used and abused. Certainly in regards to slavery if the pulpit had been silent we would doubtless still see slavery. I have many sermons on temperance, the battle against alcohol. Women's right to vote etc. Today James Dobsen spends much time dealing with key political, moral issues. He has been criticised by some and embrace by others. He admits it's a fine line and uses great caution. The issues of Homosexuality, and their marriage, abortion and suffering Christians in other lands, finds the pulpit in most churches strangely still. I have heard sermons on homosexuality that I thought to be lacking love.
I have heard a few from thirty years ago that were nearly vicious. Views change as facts come out. I think that may be a key thing. If I sit with an intellectual liberal, it's not long before I'm ready to sign up to the green party or become a democrate.
Then if I run across a well versed conservative I find myself saying, "Yeah, that's right, why I think I'll become a conservative".
To be effective in politics one needs be well read, not only in current events but in history and the foundations of great cultures. To criticise current policy one must always remember you doubtfully have but 1/2 of the facts. One key fact can change a whole issue. As long as a slave is not a human, no trouble owning, but as soon as the reality hits that this is a fellow human being, one gasps with horror at what they have done. The application is easy to apply to many issues.

Some moral issues cry out to be addressed. Where there is clear scriptural instruction and the issue is so pressing, one must speak. But even in those issues there are opposing views and political issues are extremely polarizing and views run deep, often with generations following the same course. Divisions are common, even among family members and often more harm than good results. Politics can become a consuming fire not without its own intoxication. That may be a necessary thing in order to motivate us to action.
Often it ends up in a sparing match of wits with little positive result. It is kin to religion in its devotion and creeds, so one must pick their battles carefully and be prepared for much dissapointment.
Love Dad