Watching Fox News today while I worked out on the elliptical machine (trying to keep my boyish figure) Jamie Colby was in for Martha McCollough for the Live Desk show they do over lunch.

She was talking to an assembled panel asking their thoughts on the brouhaha between Rush Limbaugh and Mike Huckabee regarding Governor Huckabee’s conservative credentials.  Andrew Levy, a contributor for Fox News’ Red Eye program said, “Huckabee isn’t running as a conservative, he’s running as a Christian.” 

What Levy said stood out to me since I had just finished reading Chapter 7 – “Too Political” of UnChristian: What a New Generation Really Thinks About Christianity… And Why It Matters, though probably not in the way Levy intended.  Is everything that conservatism represents Christian?  Is the Right always right?  I would submit to you – no.  Now before I get scathed by my fellow conservatives, and yes I do identify with them (full disclosure), the Left certainly misses the mark as well.

The cartoon above I think addresses the issue that most young outsiders have with Christianity in general, and evangelicalism in particular.  We are seen as beholden to the GOP.  The Republican Party has become known as the “God and Guns” party, and Christianity is now seen as too political.  According to the authors of UnChristian, David Kinnaman and Gabe Lyons, the perception is that “Christians are primarily motivated by a political agenda and promote right-wing politics.”

The authors made it clear that their goal was “not to suggest that Christians should neglect or ignore politics.  The political arena is a crucial setting for influencing culture and an important domain for expressing a Christian worldview.”  We need to be open to the criticism instead of dismissing it or becoming defensive.

Reading this chapter I have had to do a gut check myself.  This year I’ve become very politically active, endorsing a candidate publicly for the first time.  I’ve also been involved in grassroots issues in Iowa concerning some bad legislation that has come before our General Assembly writing letters to the editor, blogging and even going to the Statehouse to do some lobbying.  I’ve even prayerfully considered running for public office myself (not at this time, but won’t rule it out for the future).

In all of that my chief desire was that I wanted to honor Christ with not only my intentions, but my actions as well.  I’m sure that I have fallen short in both areas on occasion.  This chapter in UnChristian reveals that perhaps evangelicals have acted in an “unChristian” way when it comes to politics.  The authors state:

Though Christians have won votes and shaped legislation, this does not ultimately define the success of a Christ follower.  We are representatives of Jesus to every person in our culture, regardless of whether we agree politically.  Our lives should reflect Jesus, which includes not just how we vote, but every element of our political engagement – our conversations about politics as well as our attitudes about ideological opponents.

The perception problem is widespread with Mosaics and Busters, both outsiders and churchgoers alike.  Three-quarters of young outsiders and half of young churchgoers describe present-day Christianity as “too involved in politics.”  Nearly two-thirds of outsiders and nearly half of young born-again Christians said that they perceive “the political efforts of conservative Christians” to be a problem facing America.  They go on to say…

Christians need to be aware of their reputation in this arena, not only because it influences their political engagement, but because it affects their ability to connect with new generations who are innately skeptical of people who appear to use political power to protect their interests and viewpoints.  This perception may not always be accurate, but it contributes to outsiders’ mistrust of Christians.

The stakes are high.  Future elections are likely to be shaped by these attitudes, as well the outcomes of the spiritual search of millions of young adults.

They also discussed that not all self-described evangelicals hold to a foundational evangelical worldview (see a previous post that explains that in detail), and that affects the political sphere.  This has significant implications.  Beliefs matter, the authors give some examples of how one’s worldview affects how society is perceived and how they interact with the political environment.

  • “Without a conviction that the Bible is accurate in its principles, it is difficult to be motivated or informed by biblical ideals when casting a ballot.”
  • “Without the belief that Satan is a real spiritual adversary, it is easy to lose sight of the larger spiritual realities and confrontations that exist.”
  • “If as a Christian, your faith is not your driving motivation, if you do not believe God is still involved in the world today, if you do not not perceive any motivation to influence others spiritually for Christ, your political engagement will ring hollow.”

Our efforts to be politically engaged without a consistent and thoughtful biblical worldview will lack an appropriate foundation according to the authors.

Also the younger generations’ mindset has shifted concerning politics:

  • Their views on political and social issues are less traditional than their parents at the same age.
  • They tend to be driven by a “do-what works” mentality, so pragmatism trumps principle in their decision making.
  • Mosaics, in particular, are more skeptical about the role of the Bible in public life.
  • Less likely to support a “Christianized” country.
  • Young adults, by and large are embracing a worldview at odds with Scripture.
  • They are less likely than generations before to start their political explorations as Republicans (the older people get, the more politically conservative they tend to become).

Bottom Line?  “If we expect to have influence merely by relying on numerical advantage, we are in for a rude awakening as the weight of our views dwindles and the role of those outside the Christian faith increases.”

Outsiders’ view that we are too political does not mean we should stay out of politics though.

Many outsiders clarified that they believe Christians have a right (even an obligation) to pursue political involvement, but they disagree with our methods and our attitudes.  They say we seem to be pursuing an agenda that benefits only ourselves; they assert that we expec
t too much out of politics; they question whether we are motivated by our economic status rather than faith perspectives when we support conservative politics; they claim we act and say things in an unChristian manner; they wonder whether Jesus would use political power as we do; and they are concerned that we overpower the voices of other groups…. An important insight regarding politics and unChristian faith is that it influences people’s lives… Many issues keep young outsiders from committing to Jesus, but one key barrier is their experience with Christians in politics.

Is our political engagement Christ-like?  What would that look like?  The authors give some ideas of what that might look like.

  • We are cautious not to place too much emphasis on politics.  (Balance is needed we need to encourage people to impact culture through the arts, media, internet, etc. – the late Bob Briner wrote a book called Roaring Lambs that spoke to that issue.)
  • There is nothing gained by winning elections if we lose our soul in the process.

For what will it profit a man if he gains the whole world and forfeits his soul? Or what shall a man give in return for his soul, (Matthew 16:26, ESV)?

  • Respect those with whom we don’t agree and be aware of our capacity for myopia.  Earlier in the chapter they discussed our usage of “battle” and “warfare” language that is often misunderstood by outsiders and churchgoers alike.  Our battle is NOT against the DNC and the Left (Shane’s paraphrase).
  • Respect and listen to our leaders and pray for them (regardless of party affiliation or whether or not we agree with them).

First of all, then, I urge that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and thanksgivings be made for all people, for kings and all who are in high positions, that we may lead a peaceful and quiet life, godly and dignified in every way.  This is good, and it is pleasing in the sight of God our Savior, (1 Timothy 2:1-3, ESV).

  • In trying to solve problems in society, be vigilant about our own capacity for hypocrisy.

Christians, evangelicals in particular, are known more about what they are against than what they are for.  By our complaints rather than our solutions.  We should be engaging.  The Church should retain its “prophetic voice” (as Jim Wallis of Sojourners would say), but we should do so in a winsome way.  The authors end the chapter with this exhortation:

What are the issues and problems that God is leading you to address?  It may be the rampant access to and use of pornography, issues of justice in the United States or in developing countries, the plight of the poor in our community, educational policy or curricula in our schools, the moral perspectives exhibited in today’s media, the care and nurture of the environment, the need for more Christians to adopt and provide foster care to children in need, exposing more Christians to the international church, increasing awareness of human trafficking around the world.  Being involved could range from working for a campaign to serving on the school board.

Rather than being known for criticism, let’s learn to step in and work toward a solution for the problems we see.  As Michelangelo said, “Critique by creating.”

I’d love to read your comments on this topic.

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24 comments
  1. Please don’t be angry with me, but I think you’re wrong.
    When the meetings in 1979 were finished, big business had figured out a way to revive the GOP, which was on the brink of extinction after the Watergate fallout. They invented the Moral Majority and propped-up Jerry Falwell as their lead spokesperson. That was the easy part. The hard part was coming up with a message that would lure voters to their side. They came up with abortion. Their message was, basically, “Vote for us or you’ll be killing babies!”
    As long as republicans stay on that point, they’ve got the Evangelical vote locked up.

  2. Please don’t be angry with me, but I think you’re wrong.
    When the meetings in 1979 were finished, big business had figured out a way to revive the GOP, which was on the brink of extinction after the Watergate fallout. They invented the Moral Majority and propped-up Jerry Falwell as their lead spokesperson. That was the easy part. The hard part was coming up with a message that would lure voters to their side. They came up with abortion. Their message was, basically, “Vote for us or you’ll be killing babies!”
    As long as republicans stay on that point, they’ve got the Evangelical vote locked up.

  3. Please don’t be angry with me, but I think you’re wrong.
    When the meetings in 1979 were finished, big business had figured out a way to revive the GOP, which was on the brink of extinction after the Watergate fallout. They invented the Moral Majority and propped-up Jerry Falwell as their lead spokesperson. That was the easy part. The hard part was coming up with a message that would lure voters to their side. They came up with abortion. Their message was, basically, “Vote for us or you’ll be killing babies!”
    As long as republicans stay on that point, they’ve got the Evangelical vote locked up.

  4. Kip,

    I’m not angry, I’d just like to know your source. I don’t necessarily disagree with with you when you say, “As long as republicans stay on that point (abortion message), they’ve got the Evangelical vote locked up.”

    If Giuliani is nominated I would not be surprised to see evangelicals leave the GOP en masse (or at least not vote at the top of the ballot, I don’t think they’ll go to the DNC), but one statistic that I didn’t mention in the summary that is brought out in the book – only 58% of evangelicals are registered Republicans. And the Barna Group predicts as many evangelicals will vote Democrat, as will vote Republican. I’m not sure that will pan out, but I could see it if Giuliani is nominated (which I don’t think will happen) and Barack Obama is nominated (he has been doing a lot of work reaching out ot evangelicals).

    I just question your information about the Moral Majority.

  5. Kip,

    I’m not angry, I’d just like to know your source. I don’t necessarily disagree with with you when you say, “As long as republicans stay on that point (abortion message), they’ve got the Evangelical vote locked up.”

    If Giuliani is nominated I would not be surprised to see evangelicals leave the GOP en masse (or at least not vote at the top of the ballot, I don’t think they’ll go to the DNC), but one statistic that I didn’t mention in the summary that is brought out in the book – only 58% of evangelicals are registered Republicans. And the Barna Group predicts as many evangelicals will vote Democrat, as will vote Republican. I’m not sure that will pan out, but I could see it if Giuliani is nominated (which I don’t think will happen) and Barack Obama is nominated (he has been doing a lot of work reaching out ot evangelicals).

    I just question your information about the Moral Majority.

  6. Kip,

    I’m not angry, I’d just like to know your source. I don’t necessarily disagree with with you when you say, “As long as republicans stay on that point (abortion message), they’ve got the Evangelical vote locked up.”

    If Giuliani is nominated I would not be surprised to see evangelicals leave the GOP en masse (or at least not vote at the top of the ballot, I don’t think they’ll go to the DNC), but one statistic that I didn’t mention in the summary that is brought out in the book – only 58% of evangelicals are registered Republicans. And the Barna Group predicts as many evangelicals will vote Democrat, as will vote Republican. I’m not sure that will pan out, but I could see it if Giuliani is nominated (which I don’t think will happen) and Barack Obama is nominated (he has been doing a lot of work reaching out ot evangelicals).

    I just question your information about the Moral Majority.

  7. I think you know my stand on this whole thing – but I will write something in response for the fun of it all.

    “Without a conviction that the Bible is accurate in its principles, it is difficult to be motivated or informed by biblical ideals when casting a ballot.”

    I generally agree with the premise laid out here but I also see mass hypocrisy in the voting process. The Conservative side of politics does not always line up with the gospelic worldview. Which I think this chapter addresses.

    “Without the belief that Satan is a real spiritual adversary, it is easy to lose sight of the larger spiritual realities and confrontations that exist.”

    This is a joke to me almost. This one idea right here is where many Christians fail in there correct assumption of politics. I see people voting for a war in Iraq based on this ideal – there can’t be a more anti-Christian stance in my books. That’s like saying God appreciates our wars.

    “If as a Christian, your faith is not your driving motivation, if you do not believe God is still involved in the world today, if you do not not perceive any motivation to influence others spiritually for Christ, your political engagement will ring hollow.”

    But the problem here is that a lot of Christians see there faith as Republican – and think this is the ‘right path’. As I have noted on Huck – the whole guns and war ideas he upholds have nothing to do with our faith – and Bush also has made those same mistakes. Now if this is for the American-isms then it all makes sense – but the mixing of country and faith is so en masse it’s hard for a lot of American Christians to see past that – and that’s troubling.

    “The Church should retain its “prophetic voice” (as Jim Wallis of Sojourners would say), but we should do so in a winsome way.” (Shane)

    How pray-tell do you do that when your religious system upholds only Western values and demeans that of other cultures? One could use a plethora of examples from our countries and see that neither Canada or America is ‘God’s own country’ – yet I think we would be hard strung to prove this is not the actual perspective in our countries. I find this troubling as I mentioned.

    The problem is our faith gets co-opted for the values of the country. This war in Iraq is not good and wholesome – one could never say this is what Jesus would do – yet churches are quick to shrug that off and look the other way (unless they look unpatriotic). And this goes down the line to big business ethics, religious hypocrisy and systemic problems, and the whole ‘guns’ issue.

    I have come to realize that religious institutions have made God into an icon (almost as if unchangeable) – God is a certain way and person – yet by taking away that mystery we create God in out image (not vice versa). And these instutions are so muddied in the world politik it’s hard to say what faith system is not deluded in perspective.

  8. I think you know my stand on this whole thing – but I will write something in response for the fun of it all.

    “Without a conviction that the Bible is accurate in its principles, it is difficult to be motivated or informed by biblical ideals when casting a ballot.”

    I generally agree with the premise laid out here but I also see mass hypocrisy in the voting process. The Conservative side of politics does not always line up with the gospelic worldview. Which I think this chapter addresses.

    “Without the belief that Satan is a real spiritual adversary, it is easy to lose sight of the larger spiritual realities and confrontations that exist.”

    This is a joke to me almost. This one idea right here is where many Christians fail in there correct assumption of politics. I see people voting for a war in Iraq based on this ideal – there can’t be a more anti-Christian stance in my books. That’s like saying God appreciates our wars.

    “If as a Christian, your faith is not your driving motivation, if you do not believe God is still involved in the world today, if you do not not perceive any motivation to influence others spiritually for Christ, your political engagement will ring hollow.”

    But the problem here is that a lot of Christians see there faith as Republican – and think this is the ‘right path’. As I have noted on Huck – the whole guns and war ideas he upholds have nothing to do with our faith – and Bush also has made those same mistakes. Now if this is for the American-isms then it all makes sense – but the mixing of country and faith is so en masse it’s hard for a lot of American Christians to see past that – and that’s troubling.

    “The Church should retain its “prophetic voice” (as Jim Wallis of Sojourners would say), but we should do so in a winsome way.” (Shane)

    How pray-tell do you do that when your religious system upholds only Western values and demeans that of other cultures? One could use a plethora of examples from our countries and see that neither Canada or America is ‘God’s own country’ – yet I think we would be hard strung to prove this is not the actual perspective in our countries. I find this troubling as I mentioned.

    The problem is our faith gets co-opted for the values of the country. This war in Iraq is not good and wholesome – one could never say this is what Jesus would do – yet churches are quick to shrug that off and look the other way (unless they look unpatriotic). And this goes down the line to big business ethics, religious hypocrisy and systemic problems, and the whole ‘guns’ issue.

    I have come to realize that religious institutions have made God into an icon (almost as if unchangeable) – God is a certain way and person – yet by taking away that mystery we create God in out image (not vice versa). And these instutions are so muddied in the world politik it’s hard to say what faith system is not deluded in perspective.

  9. I think you know my stand on this whole thing – but I will write something in response for the fun of it all.

    “Without a conviction that the Bible is accurate in its principles, it is difficult to be motivated or informed by biblical ideals when casting a ballot.”

    I generally agree with the premise laid out here but I also see mass hypocrisy in the voting process. The Conservative side of politics does not always line up with the gospelic worldview. Which I think this chapter addresses.

    “Without the belief that Satan is a real spiritual adversary, it is easy to lose sight of the larger spiritual realities and confrontations that exist.”

    This is a joke to me almost. This one idea right here is where many Christians fail in there correct assumption of politics. I see people voting for a war in Iraq based on this ideal – there can’t be a more anti-Christian stance in my books. That’s like saying God appreciates our wars.

    “If as a Christian, your faith is not your driving motivation, if you do not believe God is still involved in the world today, if you do not not perceive any motivation to influence others spiritually for Christ, your political engagement will ring hollow.”

    But the problem here is that a lot of Christians see there faith as Republican – and think this is the ‘right path’. As I have noted on Huck – the whole guns and war ideas he upholds have nothing to do with our faith – and Bush also has made those same mistakes. Now if this is for the American-isms then it all makes sense – but the mixing of country and faith is so en masse it’s hard for a lot of American Christians to see past that – and that’s troubling.

    “The Church should retain its “prophetic voice” (as Jim Wallis of Sojourners would say), but we should do so in a winsome way.” (Shane)

    How pray-tell do you do that when your religious system upholds only Western values and demeans that of other cultures? One could use a plethora of examples from our countries and see that neither Canada or America is ‘God’s own country’ – yet I think we would be hard strung to prove this is not the actual perspective in our countries. I find this troubling as I mentioned.

    The problem is our faith gets co-opted for the values of the country. This war in Iraq is not good and wholesome – one could never say this is what Jesus would do – yet churches are quick to shrug that off and look the other way (unless they look unpatriotic). And this goes down the line to big business ethics, religious hypocrisy and systemic problems, and the whole ‘guns’ issue.

    I have come to realize that religious institutions have made God into an icon (almost as if unchangeable) – God is a certain way and person – yet by taking away that mystery we create God in out image (not vice versa). And these instutions are so muddied in the world politik it’s hard to say what faith system is not deluded in perspective.

  10. Hey society – regarding our “prophetic voice” I don’t think authentic, historic Christian faith is driven by our culture. When I talk about a worldview – that is what I mean. A true Biblical worldview is looking at culture through the lens of Scripture – not vice versa – which is what you mean (I think) when you say, “the problem is our faith gets co-opted for the values of the country.”

    Obviously Christianity isn’t just about the West when you see the Global South, China, and South Korea – the Church is exploding (from growth).

    The war in Iraq… we’ve had this debate before. War is never good. It can bring about good – like freedom from tyranny. It can be just – Augustine, the Bishop of Hippo in the 4th century talked about what a “just war” would entail in his work The City of God. Also, in Ecclesiastes 3 we are told there is a season and a time for every matter under heaven. And that includes war. But we can go around and round arguing about the past… if we knew then what we know now perhaps maybe our decision would have been different.

    Also… there are Christians on both sides of that debate, so not all evangelicals approve of the Iraq war.

    The fact is we are there, now what would be the moral thing to do? I’m not sure pulling out to leave them to a probable bloodbath and civil war is responsible. I think everybody agrees we can not be there indefinitely. So there are no easy answers or solutions.

  11. Hey society – regarding our “prophetic voice” I don’t think authentic, historic Christian faith is driven by our culture. When I talk about a worldview – that is what I mean. A true Biblical worldview is looking at culture through the lens of Scripture – not vice versa – which is what you mean (I think) when you say, “the problem is our faith gets co-opted for the values of the country.”

    Obviously Christianity isn’t just about the West when you see the Global South, China, and South Korea – the Church is exploding (from growth).

    The war in Iraq… we’ve had this debate before. War is never good. It can bring about good – like freedom from tyranny. It can be just – Augustine, the Bishop of Hippo in the 4th century talked about what a “just war” would entail in his work The City of God. Also, in Ecclesiastes 3 we are told there is a season and a time for every matter under heaven. And that includes war. But we can go around and round arguing about the past… if we knew then what we know now perhaps maybe our decision would have been different.

    Also… there are Christians on both sides of that debate, so not all evangelicals approve of the Iraq war.

    The fact is we are there, now what would be the moral thing to do? I’m not sure pulling out to leave them to a probable bloodbath and civil war is responsible. I think everybody agrees we can not be there indefinitely. So there are no easy answers or solutions.

  12. Hey society – regarding our “prophetic voice” I don’t think authentic, historic Christian faith is driven by our culture. When I talk about a worldview – that is what I mean. A true Biblical worldview is looking at culture through the lens of Scripture – not vice versa – which is what you mean (I think) when you say, “the problem is our faith gets co-opted for the values of the country.”

    Obviously Christianity isn’t just about the West when you see the Global South, China, and South Korea – the Church is exploding (from growth).

    The war in Iraq… we’ve had this debate before. War is never good. It can bring about good – like freedom from tyranny. It can be just – Augustine, the Bishop of Hippo in the 4th century talked about what a “just war” would entail in his work The City of God. Also, in Ecclesiastes 3 we are told there is a season and a time for every matter under heaven. And that includes war. But we can go around and round arguing about the past… if we knew then what we know now perhaps maybe our decision would have been different.

    Also… there are Christians on both sides of that debate, so not all evangelicals approve of the Iraq war.

    The fact is we are there, now what would be the moral thing to do? I’m not sure pulling out to leave them to a probable bloodbath and civil war is responsible. I think everybody agrees we can not be there indefinitely. So there are no easy answers or solutions.

  13. “So there are no easy answers or solutions.” (Shane)

    Here is one – no person that takes up the ‘cross’ and follows Christ should be putting another person on a ‘cross’ (ie: death).

    Just because Solomon states there is a time for everything does not mean it is all approved of by God – but to merely state these things do happen in real life. Solomon never states to accept fighting/war and neither does Jesus ever state that…so how do we get to the point where in America there is a 50/50 split as to what to think about war?

    You work in a youth group – you know how impressionable those kids are – would you teach them what Solomon says from Ecclesiastes as a norm for living the Christian life? There is a time for ‘war’ and whatever esle under the ‘sun’ – just what is their role in the scheme of that teaching? I could also say there is a time for ‘jail’, ‘crime’, ‘hurting another’, ‘drinking’, ‘adultery’, etc…but does that make them more moral? There is a time when those things really happen – but I would no way approve of following those ideals.

    But this is the problem Shane from chapter 7 – Christianity is a joke on the moral scene in my opinion – it states about the same level of morality as the society as which it is in – not better. Why would someone from outside our faith want to be in our faith – unless we actually can produce better paradigms of thinking and living than most of society. I might be wrong on this but I think I am close to true problem.

  14. “So there are no easy answers or solutions.” (Shane)

    Here is one – no person that takes up the ‘cross’ and follows Christ should be putting another person on a ‘cross’ (ie: death).

    Just because Solomon states there is a time for everything does not mean it is all approved of by God – but to merely state these things do happen in real life. Solomon never states to accept fighting/war and neither does Jesus ever state that…so how do we get to the point where in America there is a 50/50 split as to what to think about war?

    You work in a youth group – you know how impressionable those kids are – would you teach them what Solomon says from Ecclesiastes as a norm for living the Christian life? There is a time for ‘war’ and whatever esle under the ‘sun’ – just what is their role in the scheme of that teaching? I could also say there is a time for ‘jail’, ‘crime’, ‘hurting another’, ‘drinking’, ‘adultery’, etc…but does that make them more moral? There is a time when those things really happen – but I would no way approve of following those ideals.

    But this is the problem Shane from chapter 7 – Christianity is a joke on the moral scene in my opinion – it states about the same level of morality as the society as which it is in – not better. Why would someone from outside our faith want to be in our faith – unless we actually can produce better paradigms of thinking and living than most of society. I might be wrong on this but I think I am close to true problem.

  15. “So there are no easy answers or solutions.” (Shane)

    Here is one – no person that takes up the ‘cross’ and follows Christ should be putting another person on a ‘cross’ (ie: death).

    Just because Solomon states there is a time for everything does not mean it is all approved of by God – but to merely state these things do happen in real life. Solomon never states to accept fighting/war and neither does Jesus ever state that…so how do we get to the point where in America there is a 50/50 split as to what to think about war?

    You work in a youth group – you know how impressionable those kids are – would you teach them what Solomon says from Ecclesiastes as a norm for living the Christian life? There is a time for ‘war’ and whatever esle under the ‘sun’ – just what is their role in the scheme of that teaching? I could also say there is a time for ‘jail’, ‘crime’, ‘hurting another’, ‘drinking’, ‘adultery’, etc…but does that make them more moral? There is a time when those things really happen – but I would no way approve of following those ideals.

    But this is the problem Shane from chapter 7 – Christianity is a joke on the moral scene in my opinion – it states about the same level of morality as the society as which it is in – not better. Why would someone from outside our faith want to be in our faith – unless we actually can produce better paradigms of thinking and living than most of society. I might be wrong on this but I think I am close to true problem.

  16. Great post, Shane. “Vander Hart for Senate!”

    I find it interesting how many times God told the Israelites to go to war and kill not only the men but the women, children, and animals. He isn’t inherently opposed to war or death. If he is truly “the same yesterday, today, and forever” than I believe Shane is right – there is a time for war.

    I tried to join the Air Force after 911 and have no problem within the context of “Love your Enemies” and “thou shalt not kill” going over there and doing what I can to end this “war on terror” the only way I see practical…by killing terrorists before they kill us.

  17. Great post, Shane. “Vander Hart for Senate!”

    I find it interesting how many times God told the Israelites to go to war and kill not only the men but the women, children, and animals. He isn’t inherently opposed to war or death. If he is truly “the same yesterday, today, and forever” than I believe Shane is right – there is a time for war.

    I tried to join the Air Force after 911 and have no problem within the context of “Love your Enemies” and “thou shalt not kill” going over there and doing what I can to end this “war on terror” the only way I see practical…by killing terrorists before they kill us.

  18. Great post, Shane. “Vander Hart for Senate!”

    I find it interesting how many times God told the Israelites to go to war and kill not only the men but the women, children, and animals. He isn’t inherently opposed to war or death. If he is truly “the same yesterday, today, and forever” than I believe Shane is right – there is a time for war.

    I tried to join the Air Force after 911 and have no problem within the context of “Love your Enemies” and “thou shalt not kill” going over there and doing what I can to end this “war on terror” the only way I see practical…by killing terrorists before they kill us.

  19. Thanks Eric.

    Lee Strobel in his book Case for Faith has an excellent chapter that touches on OT warfare. It is chapter 4, “God Isn’t Worthy of Worship If He Kills Innocent Children.” It gives some great insight into the culture of that time, and helps you to realize that likely before the Israelites attacked most of the children and women were out of the city. Anyway, I’d encourage you to read it. Good book. If you don’t have it, I have an extra copy you can have.

    Society – I wouldn’t really teach Ecclesiastes as a model to follow. There is much to Solomon’s life not to be emulated. I have taught what should our role in society be. What is our responsibility as Christian citizens? I have counseled students considering joining the military. I think it is an honorable profession provided they seek to be honorable in carrying their work out.

    At the risk of sounding like a broken record… I don’t like war. Who does? Sometimes it is necessary. Like Eric mentioned in the previous comment – with terrorists. They have a religious motivation to kill us as Christians and as a American (and you as a Canadian – don’ t think for a moment they hold Canada in high regard). You can’t reason with that. Historically we have learned our lesson about this. This isn’t the first time that the United States has had to deal with radical Islam. The war with the Barbary States (northern Africa) from the 1790s until the 1820 – over 30 years of warfare only stopped (they would take over our merchat ships and enslave our sailors and then demand a ransom) when we sent the Marines over.

    At the same time as a Christian I want to win the hearts and minds of Muslims for Christ. That is the only thing that will truly bring peace. Until then we have to defend ourselves and use force if necessary. Scripture doesn’t not say we can not defend ourselves. The “turn another cheek” passage refers to an insult, not a physical attack where somebody is going to kill you. At times God calls us to martyrdom, and many Christians have been martyred at the hands of Muslims, but not necessarily in every circumstance.

    Just to be clear I am referring to terrorists – not every Muslim.

    I agree with your assessment at the end of your comment. Much of the problem lies in saying one thing, and doing another. The divorce rate for instance is a great example of that, evangelicals divorce rate is the same as society’s.

    Thanks for your comment!

  20. Thanks Eric.

    Lee Strobel in his book Case for Faith has an excellent chapter that touches on OT warfare. It is chapter 4, “God Isn’t Worthy of Worship If He Kills Innocent Children.” It gives some great insight into the culture of that time, and helps you to realize that likely before the Israelites attacked most of the children and women were out of the city. Anyway, I’d encourage you to read it. Good book. If you don’t have it, I have an extra copy you can have.

    Society – I wouldn’t really teach Ecclesiastes as a model to follow. There is much to Solomon’s life not to be emulated. I have taught what should our role in society be. What is our responsibility as Christian citizens? I have counseled students considering joining the military. I think it is an honorable profession provided they seek to be honorable in carrying their work out.

    At the risk of sounding like a broken record… I don’t like war. Who does? Sometimes it is necessary. Like Eric mentioned in the previous comment – with terrorists. They have a religious motivation to kill us as Christians and as a American (and you as a Canadian – don’ t think for a moment they hold Canada in high regard). You can’t reason with that. Historically we have learned our lesson about this. This isn’t the first time that the United States has had to deal with radical Islam. The war with the Barbary States (northern Africa) from the 1790s until the 1820 – over 30 years of warfare only stopped (they would take over our merchat ships and enslave our sailors and then demand a ransom) when we sent the Marines over.

    At the same time as a Christian I want to win the hearts and minds of Muslims for Christ. That is the only thing that will truly bring peace. Until then we have to defend ourselves and use force if necessary. Scripture doesn’t not say we can not defend ourselves. The “turn another cheek” passage refers to an insult, not a physical attack where somebody is going to kill you. At times God calls us to martyrdom, and many Christians have been martyred at the hands of Muslims, but not necessarily in every circumstance.

    Just to be clear I am referring to terrorists – not every Muslim.

    I agree with your assessment at the end of your comment. Much of the problem lies in saying one thing, and doing another. The divorce rate for instance is a great example of that, evangelicals divorce rate is the same as society’s.

    Thanks for your comment!

  21. Thanks Eric.

    Lee Strobel in his book Case for Faith has an excellent chapter that touches on OT warfare. It is chapter 4, “God Isn’t Worthy of Worship If He Kills Innocent Children.” It gives some great insight into the culture of that time, and helps you to realize that likely before the Israelites attacked most of the children and women were out of the city. Anyway, I’d encourage you to read it. Good book. If you don’t have it, I have an extra copy you can have.

    Society – I wouldn’t really teach Ecclesiastes as a model to follow. There is much to Solomon’s life not to be emulated. I have taught what should our role in society be. What is our responsibility as Christian citizens? I have counseled students considering joining the military. I think it is an honorable profession provided they seek to be honorable in carrying their work out.

    At the risk of sounding like a broken record… I don’t like war. Who does? Sometimes it is necessary. Like Eric mentioned in the previous comment – with terrorists. They have a religious motivation to kill us as Christians and as a American (and you as a Canadian – don’ t think for a moment they hold Canada in high regard). You can’t reason with that. Historically we have learned our lesson about this. This isn’t the first time that the United States has had to deal with radical Islam. The war with the Barbary States (northern Africa) from the 1790s until the 1820 – over 30 years of warfare only stopped (they would take over our merchat ships and enslave our sailors and then demand a ransom) when we sent the Marines over.

    At the same time as a Christian I want to win the hearts and minds of Muslims for Christ. That is the only thing that will truly bring peace. Until then we have to defend ourselves and use force if necessary. Scripture doesn’t not say we can not defend ourselves. The “turn another cheek” passage refers to an insult, not a physical attack where somebody is going to kill you. At times God calls us to martyrdom, and many Christians have been martyred at the hands of Muslims, but not necessarily in every circumstance.

    Just to be clear I am referring to terrorists – not every Muslim.

    I agree with your assessment at the end of your comment. Much of the problem lies in saying one thing, and doing another. The divorce rate for instance is a great example of that, evangelicals divorce rate is the same as society’s.

    Thanks for your comment!

  22. “At the risk of sounding like a broken record… I don’t like war. Who does? Sometimes it is necessary” (Shane)

    For both sides then must think like this – and if one is right – they must fight until they win. I think I heard Jesus’ sentiments in that somewhere (huge sarcasm).

    “They have a religious motivation to kill us as Christians and as a American (and you as a Canadian – don’ t think for a moment they hold Canada in high regard). You can’t reason with that.” (Shane)

    Actually not all in Iraq and surrounding areas have this motivation – so it is possible to reason with that. As for the whole war thing – I cannot state something more plainly than I have on the issue – is it your role to put someone on the cross (death)? No. Also, shouldn’t we add in this line to the gospels then so we can be accurate what Jesus did say ‘have no problem within the context of “Love your Enemies” and “thou shalt not kill” going over there and doing what I can to end this “war on terror” the only way I see practical…by killing terrorists before they kill us.’ (recovering 1:1).

    Hee haw – looks we gonna have a good ole fashioned hoe-down and slaughter some people in the name of our ever loving gun-toting pro-war anti-everything not democratic God.

    War might be neccesary – for countries – not for Christians. If Christians have a land worth fighting and dying for – please enlighten me – I thought we did not? Where is this kingdom of heaven we are defending? We murder terrorists this time, prior to that we supported Iran/Iraq/Afghanistan in wars with weapons to kill one another, prior to that we killed those Commies in Vietnam, prior to that we killed Koreans, prior to that we wanted to kill Cubans and Latin Americans, prior to that we fought in 2 huge world wars, prior to that we fought the South (or the North depending on where you live), prior to that we had the Indian Wars, prior to that we fought with the British, prior to that we enslaved Africans and fought with them…what a glorious regime. I have four words that go right before _ _ _ _ war – guess them.

  23. “At the risk of sounding like a broken record… I don’t like war. Who does? Sometimes it is necessary” (Shane)

    For both sides then must think like this – and if one is right – they must fight until they win. I think I heard Jesus’ sentiments in that somewhere (huge sarcasm).

    “They have a religious motivation to kill us as Christians and as a American (and you as a Canadian – don’ t think for a moment they hold Canada in high regard). You can’t reason with that.” (Shane)

    Actually not all in Iraq and surrounding areas have this motivation – so it is possible to reason with that. As for the whole war thing – I cannot state something more plainly than I have on the issue – is it your role to put someone on the cross (death)? No. Also, shouldn’t we add in this line to the gospels then so we can be accurate what Jesus did say ‘have no problem within the context of “Love your Enemies” and “thou shalt not kill” going over there and doing what I can to end this “war on terror” the only way I see practical…by killing terrorists before they kill us.’ (recovering 1:1).

    Hee haw – looks we gonna have a good ole fashioned hoe-down and slaughter some people in the name of our ever loving gun-toting pro-war anti-everything not democratic God.

    War might be neccesary – for countries – not for Christians. If Christians have a land worth fighting and dying for – please enlighten me – I thought we did not? Where is this kingdom of heaven we are defending? We murder terrorists this time, prior to that we supported Iran/Iraq/Afghanistan in wars with weapons to kill one another, prior to that we killed those Commies in Vietnam, prior to that we killed Koreans, prior to that we wanted to kill Cubans and Latin Americans, prior to that we fought in 2 huge world wars, prior to that we fought the South (or the North depending on where you live), prior to that we had the Indian Wars, prior to that we fought with the British, prior to that we enslaved Africans and fought with them…what a glorious regime. I have four words that go right before _ _ _ _ war – guess them.

  24. “At the risk of sounding like a broken record… I don’t like war. Who does? Sometimes it is necessary” (Shane)

    For both sides then must think like this – and if one is right – they must fight until they win. I think I heard Jesus’ sentiments in that somewhere (huge sarcasm).

    “They have a religious motivation to kill us as Christians and as a American (and you as a Canadian – don’ t think for a moment they hold Canada in high regard). You can’t reason with that.” (Shane)

    Actually not all in Iraq and surrounding areas have this motivation – so it is possible to reason with that. As for the whole war thing – I cannot state something more plainly than I have on the issue – is it your role to put someone on the cross (death)? No. Also, shouldn’t we add in this line to the gospels then so we can be accurate what Jesus did say ‘have no problem within the context of “Love your Enemies” and “thou shalt not kill” going over there and doing what I can to end this “war on terror” the only way I see practical…by killing terrorists before they kill us.’ (recovering 1:1).

    Hee haw – looks we gonna have a good ole fashioned hoe-down and slaughter some people in the name of our ever loving gun-toting pro-war anti-everything not democratic God.

    War might be neccesary – for countries – not for Christians. If Christians have a land worth fighting and dying for – please enlighten me – I thought we did not? Where is this kingdom of heaven we are defending? We murder terrorists this time, prior to that we supported Iran/Iraq/Afghanistan in wars with weapons to kill one another, prior to that we killed those Commies in Vietnam, prior to that we killed Koreans, prior to that we wanted to kill Cubans and Latin Americans, prior to that we fought in 2 huge world wars, prior to that we fought the South (or the North depending on where you live), prior to that we had the Indian Wars, prior to that we fought with the British, prior to that we enslaved Africans and fought with them…what a glorious regime. I have four words that go right before _ _ _ _ war – guess them.

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