Monday, April 18, 2005

Why Separation of Church and State is Best for the Church and Its Cause

Also at Stones Cry Out, the web log to which Mark Sides contributes, Jim Jewell, has posted a piece triggered by an upcoming TV program that puts some local Christian churches in the thick of partisan politics. Jewell is opposed to such mixing of local churches in political affairs. I agree with him as far as he goes. But, as you'll see from the comments I posted on Stones Cry Out, I would go much further than he. Here's what I wrote:

Amen! Amen! Amen!

But I would go even further than you in my criticism of these political activities in churches.

I too am interested in political affairs and deem it the responsibility of every Christian to care about political issues. I have even run for political office myself.

But I would never push a partisan political position from the pulpit.

I would never allow a candidate or any slate of candidates to speak or distribute materials promoting their candidacies or views.

I would never allow "parachurch" organizations to come pushing political agendas, even in the name of "being prophetic."

I refuse to allow the Lord of the universe or the Gospel to be held hostage to any puny human political philosophy, no matter how "right" its adherents may deem it. And the Lord and the Gospel are held hostage and rendered subordinate whenever the Church decides to push a particular politics. Believers become enamored of power and financial clout and so, lose the power that the Carpenter from Galilee gives to all who live in simple submission to Him!

God is not a Republican. God is not a conservative.

God is not a Democrat. God is not a liberal.

Jim Wallis, James Dobson, and others all may have things to say. But God forbid them from ever daring to say, "My politics is God's politics!" That is nothing less than blasphemy!

It's time to call these politicizers of the Gospel by their proper names:

  • Some are idolaters, worshiping their philosophical gods or philosophically-tinged caricatures of the real God, attempting to make God over in their own personal, pliant images.
  • Some are political opportunists, playing on the inclinations, sensibilities, and predispositions of Christians in order to gain power and in some cases, cold hard cash.
  • Some are Pharisees, nothing more than proof-texting ayatollahs and mullahs, bent on imposing their own particular views of Christian morality and ethics on the whole society.

Some are conservative and some are liberal and I wish that they all would just shut up because I am sure that they do not represent God.

And I wish that Jesus would, as He did to the money-changers at the temple who used faith for their own purposes, chase these cancerous leeches out of our churches!

2 comments:

Deborah said...

Amen!

Aaron said...

Don't hold back, tell us how you really feel. ;)

I agree and was inspired by the Stones Cry Out post to post my own thoughts as well.

It is a shame that we cannot find the balance of being involved politically, but avoid the dangers of allowing the politicians behind our pulpits.