Wednesday, July 30, 2008

They gather together to ask the electorate's blessing

Some more politico-religio-content for your reading pleasure.

You'll recall that I previously talked about how one should respond to the needs of people, as discussed in Acts 4:32-35. Triblogue, in a post criticizing evangelicals for Obama, framed the issue as follows:

“While a commitment to poverty-fighting is nothing new for Christians, 58 percent of young white evangelicals would choose ‘bigger government providing more services’ over ‘smaller government providing fewer services’."

Of course, gov’t doesn’t fight poverty. It promotes poverty. It promotes a culture of dependency. In the welfare state, where you penalize productive citizens and subsidize unproductive citizens, there’s no incentive to work.

Of course, this saying is also Biblical:

Proverbs 10:2-5 (New International Version)
New International Version (NIV)
Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 by International Bible Society

2 Ill-gotten treasures are of no value,
but righteousness delivers from death.

3 The LORD does not let the righteous go hungry
but he thwarts the craving of the wicked.

4 Lazy hands make a man poor,
but diligent hands bring wealth.

5 He who gathers crops in summer is a wise son,
but he who sleeps during harvest is a disgraceful son.

But let's take a step back and see what Allan R. Bevere has to say about religion and politics:

As I respect Senators Obama and McCain, I have even greater respect for Jim Wallis and James Dobson. They have lived their lives faithfully, answering the call of God where God has led them. Over the years, I have learned much from both men. I have found much wise counsel in Dobson's writings and Jim Wallis acutely raised my social consciousness when I was a young college student. His book, The Call to Conversion, completely reoriented my thinking. Have I also found points of disagreement with each man? Of course, I have; but that has not diminished the admiration I have for them and the influence each has had on me, my faith, and my ministry.

And yet, as I say this, I also say respectfully that I question whether the "Religious Right" or the "Religious Left," whether James Dobson or Jim Wallis, offer the church a true political alternative to nation-state politics. While both men give us glimpses, I question whether what they are about truly embodies the Sermon on the Mount, reflects the unique polity that is the church, and provides a way to implement Kingdom politics.

More here.

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