Essay / Politics “Finally, marketer, Al Mohler, and JohnMarkReynolds are all mixing it up in the public square this week. “Thanks to Hewitt (with Frank Pastore the best of talk radio today) for the nod.Let me question one feature of the Mark Roberts commentary on the Church and politics. I would be honored if he would reply. It seems to me that in a country with many churches that his strategy is too broad. I prefer the early colonial days where pastors took the risk of commenting on the major issues of the day (the Revolution, elections) while attempting to use Biblical standards. People in the parish were free to disagree, but their spiritual father was also giving them a point of view to consider. This does not dilute the proclamation of the gospel. It allows people to see a thoughtful leader applying Biblical wisdom to real life. Pastors (and the pulpit) should not be kept apart from the rough and tumble of life or we run the risk of creating a false distinction between the “spiritual” and the “secular.” All of this cosmos, and every idea and decision in it, must bow the knee to Jesus as Lord. His ministers must do their best to make this application. What does Lord Jesus think of this God-fearing nation?I don’t think a Christian can reasonably vote for John Kerry. John Kerry has openly defied the Church and two thousand years of settled Church doctrine. In fact, there is no reason to believe him anything but a secularist with fairly open disdain for the faith once delivered to the Apostles. Bush is not perfect, but his imperfections are less certain and more open to dispute. Social issues do not cut against both candidates with equal force. All Christians are called to help the poor. How to do so is open to dispute. What is not open to dispute is that John Kerry will advance abortion, a form of murder, and the homosexual agenda. As my friends in Canada are even now finding out such a defeat soon leads to restrictions on proclaiming the Gospel. I may be wrong, but at least my friends will have the benefit of whatever wisdom I possess. If I were leading a Church, my congregation would know were my stand. I would happy that if done in a manner that showed respect in the parish hall idea exchange. . . That they would agree to disagree. In my own Church, this is not a mere academic discussion.My own Church has bishops who frequently take political positions (on Israel for example) that I believe to be wrong. However, I hope they keep giving me the benefit of their wisdom. They are my spiritual fathers living in this world of sin. They are part of this Christian commonwealth. When they give me their opinions, I dismiss them only with great care. They are much wiser than I and anointed by the Holy Spirit to lead. They govern our God-protected Church well. However, when they are wrong, as a free man with my own relationship to God, I must dissent and accept the consequences. This seems more wholesome to me than Bishops who never opine except on “spiritual” or “mere Biblical” topics. Like a natural father who tells his adult son what he believes is best, knowing his son has every right to disagree and do what he pleases, so my spiritual fathers owe me their best wisdom. My Bishops often help me see the world in a new way.Finally, I think Roberts over estimates the diversity of opinion in the Church. One of my most beloved college professors was a Mennonite. Still the pacifist position is as “far out” in Church history as wearing head coverings in Church. Many of his examples of diversity come from allowing fairly minor sects (full of wonderful godly people) to influence his thinking. It is obvious why my Mennonite friends oppose the war in Iraq, but I see no reason to take it seriously in my own local parish. Liberal evangelicals may exist in the margins of the evangelical academic community or in half-way houses to main-stream churches on their way out, but I do not see them as numerically very significant. My bet is that eighty-percent of white evangelicals will vote for Bush. It is hard to imagine much more unity on any issue (including sadly theology.) Liberal friends are just going to have to accept that socialism has never been the friend of traditional Christianity. Christians understand this at the “gut” level. Where socialism and government have grown, Christianity has declined. In his own self-interest, I would suggest an evangelical pastor should proclaim the Biblical truth of free men and free markets as basic to human happiness!Our founders said, “No King, but King Jesus!” Fair enough, but the King’s minister’s must act, even at risk of being sacked, or His rule will be wrongly limited.

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