Should we all become Democrats? & other recommendations

While we are considering this subject of God as beauty, I highly recommend Ann Voskamp’s latest — One Thousand Gifts. If there are any Anne Dillard fans out there, you are going to love Ann. You can find her daily musings at A Holy Experience.

And since I’m in the mood for recommending, one of my favorite people and favorite writers is Bob Welch.  Folks who live in Eugene, Oregon have long known what a treasure Bob is.  For several years now Bob has been putting on a writers workshop on the Oregon’s coast. He and beloved novelist Jane Kirkpatrick will be at Yachats again this coming Feb. 25 & 26.  Bob’s got a few spots still open but you’d best sign up soon ’cause it won’t last long. Click here to register.  I don’t think you could get a better workshop experience than the one with Bob & Jane. And who knows? I might just join them myself!

And speaking of workshops, this is one I hate that I am going to miss. Speakers include Nicholas Wolterstorff, Shane Claiborne, Mike Yankoski, Adam Hochschild, Lynne Hybels and others. “Social Justice is the heart of the gospel,” says Ken Wytsma, pastor at Bend’s Antioch Church.

Ken is one of my personal favorites when it comes to preaching. This Clemson graduate knows his southern history. Consider his Christians & the Republican Party: “The great blunder of Christians in the late 20th Century — we chose morality over justice.”

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  • Eleanor

    I think Christians should be Christians, and that whatever their other decision about labels might be, that the fact they are Christians first might inform their behavior/decisions in every other area. I’m tired of the divisions we have decided we need to constantly construct. I think there are plenty of things Jesus would weep over in the mindset of both parties, frankly, and insisting one is always right and the other is always wrong is what has put this country in a stalemate.

    Or maybe I’m just being hormonal.

    • Very wise words, hormones or not.

  • No, we should not all be Democrats. It will fail just as when the (apparent) majority were Republicans. This is because people tend to blur their politics with their theology till they elevate one to the level of the other.

    One of the worst things any Christian can do, once God gives a certain passion to him, is to assume that all believers need to be passionate about the same thing.

    Generally speaking, most Christians on the Left are very caring people who value taking care of the defenseless. Most on the Right believe strongly in right & wrong, and absolute truth. I am convinced that both are badly needed in the church, and in our nation, today.

    What we don’t need is an “us-vs-them” mentality. Sadly, even those who purport to agree with that statement buy into it big-time. We saw that with the reactions to the shooting in AZ a couple of weeks ago. None are as blind as those who will not see.

  • Penny Lulich

    Oh, I love my brother Ken! And, God has fitted him well for the work of World Relief. I’ve been thinking of some of the arguments given here, and though I don’t question Ken or anyone else’s political reasonings, I am left with a few questions. The first that came to mind is; Can true justice be a reality within a moral void? Are justice decisions not just as susceptible to arbitrariness as moral decisions? Knowing that Justice is prescribed in God’s Word, is it really affirmed and should we affirm it, above all other prescriptive truths? Certainly, there is room for the mistakes of past generations to be corrected by the next generations, but care should be taken that over-correction does not send the carriage of the gospel teetering too far in the other direction. (Okay, I love that example in Chesterton’s book, “Orthodoxy” : ) Love you all at Antioch!

    • Karen Spears Zacharias

      Penny: Good question. What about it folks? Can true justice take place within a moral void? (Not that I think Ken has even implied that — clearly his moral statement was given in a historical context, which he explains quite well).

      • How wonderful to have such a history lesson from so young a pastor!

        Ken did not suggest a moral void but that justice applies universally to all people and is different from the moral standards common to a group within the whole. These two are not rigidly divided categories. They leak. Put differently, there is no such thing as a one-sided coin. And how things look to us is different from how they look to someone outside. For example, a KKK Grand Wizard would likely maintain that his actions were both moral and just (or, at least justified) and consistent with the cross of Christ. That final phrase is such anathema to me that it was hard to make my fingers press the keys.

        Then jumping up to the little video at the beginning: nice, cozy images from the world of secure, wealthy people. If I’m female and my “job” (what the community would consider my moral obligation) is to go out twice a day and walk miles to get water, each time under risk of being attacked by the latest militia with their “ideological and moral” AK-47’s and rape, I’m probably not thinking very much about how I need to slow down and contemplate the wonder of the world. But if I’m here in the wealthy West and my way of life, what I think I’m entitled to, in some way keeps my counterpart and her children trapped in that bind of poverty, then I do need to slow up some and think about morality, justice and the wonder of the world where justice would indeed prevail.

  • Yes to Ann! 🙂 What a beautiful writer and person she truly is. (This is the time when people all over the web are saying, “I know her!” And I do. She’s a personal friend of mine. I’m not above name-dropping.) Everyone, read the book!

    And I want to be sure to say, Karen, that you’ve done some beautiful writing lately as well!