Friday, October 01, 2004

Beatifying the President: Stop the Madness!

The attempts by those campaigning for President Bush and some in the evangelical community to equate Christian with Republican is something that disturbs me.

Jesus isn't a member of the GOP and George W. Bush doesn't wear a halo, even if you support him. At the very most, Republicanism is a humanly-created political philosophy about how to run the government, another human institution. It is inherently flawed by the sin that infects the entire human race. (Take a look at Psalm 51. The Bible describes King David, the author of the psalm, as a man after God's own heart. But he was still a sinner capable of making mistakes, something that, according to some it seems, he doesn't share with President Bush.)

The equation of Republicanism with Christianity amounts to idolatry, a violation of the First Commandment, because it makes God over into our image. I don't like it as a Christian, an American, or a Republican.

But these efforts to make George Bush into a Christ-like saint and his philosophy of government an expression of God's reign in the world have reached a new low. Go to Heart, Soul, and Humor, the web site by Deborah White, an admittedly liberal evangelical Christian, for a lengthy description of a new DVD that apparently all but beatifies Mr. Bush.

God cares about who our President is, I'm sure. But how dare we try to claim the great God of the universe as our own ideological buddy? How dare we commit such heresy and violate the holiness of God, all the while wearing pious faces?

Christians may well decide to vote for President Bush.

They may well decide to vote for Senator Kerry or another candidate.

They may do so because no candidate has the corner on God's truth. None is perfect. And politics is only among the many emergency measures by which the world must operate until that day when Jesus returns and sets things right for eternity.

(For a great look at the Christian/Biblical perspective of government, rulers, citizenship, and what's really important and what's subordinate in life and eternity, read Martin Luther's essay on the two kingdoms.)

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