Sliced by the Political Sword

I am a repentant Republican.

I am a reluctant Democrat.

I am recalcitrant Independent.

I have over the course of my life identified as a Southern Baptist, a Conservative Baptist, a Free Methodist, a Charismatic, an Episcopalian, and a Nazarene.

Some reading the above lists might, I suppose, consider me fickle, or worse, a woman weak in conviction.

Those who do would be wrong.

Conviction may be my one enduring quality. When all else fails, as it often does, it’s a steadfast faith in the God who created me that carries me through.

Can you remember where you were when you first heard a pastor tell you who to vote for?

I can.

It was 1983. We were attending a Conservative Baptist Church in rural Oregon. The twins had just been weaned and I was pregnant again. Our son was five-years-old but not yet in school because the only kindergarten in town was a private one and we simply couldn’t afford it.

Our pastor was a kindly man, a good teacher, and a Texan. He never wanted anybody to forget that. While I don’t remember exactly what he said that Sunday from the pulpit, not verbatim, I do remember the gist of his sermon: The only righteous vote any Christian can make in the upcoming election is to elect the only pro-life candidate on the ballot, President Ronald Reagan, the incumbent. A vote cast for anyone else would be a direct violation of one’s Christian faith.

Tim saw me shuffle the girls on my lap, saw that look of bolting in my eyes, and put his arm around me.

How can you sit through this? I whispered. How can Pastor do that?

Hush, Tim said. Later.

I felt then, and still feel now that what the pastor did that day gave definition to the term bully pulpit.

The memory of all that came back to me this week while reading Left, Right & Christ: Evangelical Faith in Politics by Lisa Sharon Harper & D.C. Innes. In the book, which was sent to me, Harper recounts her story of faith & politics: “I was a happy Democrat until I became a born-again Christian seven years later in August 1983, at a Sunday evening camp church meeting in Cape May, New Jersey. It was the start of Ronald Reagan’s run for his second term in office when a devout friend in my youth group told me very soon after I prayed the prayer of my salvation that I would need to be born again …again (so to speak). Though I wasn’t of voting age, I would have to become a Republican if I was going to call myself a Christian.”

Did you catch that part where Harper said she wasn’t yet of voting age?

I grew up in a time and place when a person’s salvation depended upon one thing alone, faith in Jesus Christ. But generations of people  just like Harper have grown up in a faith community that has been sliced in half by a political sword.

You are either for us, or against us.

Republican or Renegade.

Democrat or Degenerate.

I’ll be honest, I could hardly read through D.C. Innes’s arguments about why he remains resolutely Republican. On the matter of health care, Innes says, “So biblically, health care is none of the government’s business, aside from regulating it to the extent that public safety requires. Your health care, and the care of your neighbor in need, is your business. So if there is a Christian approach to addressing our current health care questions, it proceeds from a biblical understanding of human nature, personal responsibility, commerce and caring for the poor.”

Yet, on the issue of abortion, Innes says,”It is the government’s most basic responsibility to protect the helpless. Of course, government exists because everyone is vulnerable to one degree or another, and so government owes protection to everyone under its dominion.”

Innes contradicts himself. Where it suits him, he calls for the government to protect the helpless. Where it doesn’t suit him, he employs his own definition of biblical authority to deny government any responsibility. When it comes to health care, the helpless are on their own, or worse dependent upon the mercy and goodwill of those very same neighbors who voted against a nationwide health care plan. Yeah. Good luck with that.

Innes may be a very kindly man for all I know. He’s Canadian and I have always found Canadians to be a gentle, mannerly bunch, as long as hockey wasn’t involved. I imagine if I met Innes at a conference I’d like him. We’d likely have a lot to talk about. But if the only way I have to get to know Innes is through his writings on political hot topics, I don’t much care for him at all. Reading his arguments compelled me to yell at him more than once. I even threw the book down after one particularly offense passage that I deemed arrogant.

But that’s the problem of relating to people through  their politics. We end up reducing each other’s humanity. We trade our Christianity for what has become the fastest growing religion in the world — the Religion of Certainosity. A religion that ensures we will all be right and not a one of us will be redeemed.

God is not a Democrat.

God is not a Republican.

God does not have a party.

God does not even have a domination.

God does not love America best.

God doesn’t care if we live in a Blue state, or a Red one.

He couldn’t care less if we are far to the left or right of the right.

The one thing he’s going to ask is not how we voted in the last election, but who did we love along the way.

What redemption did we offer one another?

 

 

 

 

 

 

About Karen Spears Zacharias

Author. Speaker. Journalism Instructor. Four kids. Three dogs. One grandson.

  • http://middletree.blogspot.com James Williams

    Karen, I agree with you wholeheartedly here. It has always bothered me when people make their political stance and theological stance dependent on one another.

    That said, one thing I have noticed in comments (both online and in person) coming from those who oppose the religious right is that they seem to think we (Christians) are obsessed with politics, or with certain political issues. The truth, as you point out at the beginning of this post, is that I never hear a sermon telling me how to vote. I don’t lie awake at night worrying about whether gays are allowed to marry, or gun laws, or whatnot. I don’t search the bible hoping to find some verse to back up my stance on taxing the rich.
    Just about every Christian I hang with is the same. When we talk about biblical topics, we talk about sin, redemption, hearing God’s voice, God’s goodness, generosity, the personality of Jesus, and a million other things which do not have a Right or Left element to them. So I’d say that those who think we (conservative Christians) are obsessed with political issues are in error.

    And by the way, I’m from Texas. I feel I need to remind you of that ;)

    • http://middletree.blogspot.com James Williams

      In light of Larry’s comment, I will clarify. I started the above comment with a statement that I agree with Karen wholeheartedly. I meant that I agree that one’s position on abortion, govt-sponsored health-care, or gay rights need not be a litmus test on whether you are a Christian or not. Scripture is very clear that you are a Christian is you have believed in Jesus, accepted His death in your place, and chosen to make Him the Lord of your life. Switching political parties is not going to affect your status as a believer or not, and it is my take from reading this post that that was the main point here. I do not agree with Karen about several individual political topics addressed in the post, and never meant to include those things in my “I agree with you wholeheartedly” comment.

      • http://karenzach.com Karen Spears Zacharias

        No worries on my behalf, James. I don’t feel the compulsion to have people agree with me. I am quite happy to have people thinking and articulating.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1300788986 Larry Easton

    Apart from rampant and misleading stereotyping, arguing from assertion, more than a few straw men and copious contradictions … its a fine article. Did I mention condescending?

    • http://middletree.blogspot.com James Williams

      Really? I mean, I don’t mind arguing with Karen. I did for over an hour last night on Facebook. But she’s spot-on here. Do you care to elaborate about her condescension, straw men, and stereotyping?

      • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1300788986 Larry Easton

        “Can you remember where you were when you first heard a pastor tell you who to vote for?

        I can.” … Never, Not a single occasion … nor did I during 18 years of pastoral ministry.

        “I felt then, and still feel now that what the pastor did that day gave definition to the term bully pulpit.

        The memory of all that came back to me this week while reading Left, Right & Christ: Evangelical Faith in Politics by Lisa Sharon Harper & D.C. Innes. In the book, which was sent to me, Harper recounts her story of faith & politics: “I was a happy Democrat until I became a born-again Christian seven years later in August 1983, at a Sunday evening camp church meeting in Cape May, New Jersey. It was the start of Ronald Reagan’s run for his second term in office when a devout friend in my youth group told me very soon after I prayed the prayer of my salvation that I would need to be born again …again (so to speak). Though I wasn’t of voting age, I would have to become a Republican if I was going to call myself a Christian.”

        Did you catch that part where Harper said she wasn’t yet of voting age?

        I grew up in a time and place when a person’s salvation depended upon one thing alone, faith in Jesus Christ. But generations of people just like Harper have grown up in a faith community that has been sliced in half by a political sword.

        You are either for us, or against us.” … After treating us to her personal experience offered without any effort to suggest that such behavior is EXTREMELY rare she instead offers the personal experience of a woman who as a teen is challenged BY ANOTHER TEENAGER politically … in a fashion which continues to imply that these experiences are common and typical.

        They are not … by any reasonable and honest measure. Worse she now implies that among conservative evangelicals, our soteriology now includes political affiliation … this is simply dishonest or sloppy. It is certainly not informative or helpful … indeed, she Karen seems instead to widening the divide through blanket accusations.

        The “political sword” she writes about seems to be dangling, like Damocles own sword, above the heads of conservative Christians.

        “I’ll be honest, I could hardly read through D.C. Innes’s arguments about why he remains resolutely Republican. On the matter of health care, Innes says, “So biblically, health care is none of the government’s business, aside from regulating it to the extent that public safety requires. Your health care, and the care of your neighbor in need, is your business. So if there is a Christian approach to addressing our current health care questions, it proceeds from a biblical understanding of human nature, personal responsibility, commerce and caring for the poor.”

        Yet, on the issue of abortion, Innes says,”It is the government’s most basic responsibility to protect the helpless. Of course, government exists because everyone is vulnerable to one degree or another, and so government owes protection to everyone under its dominion.”

        Innes contradicts himself. Where it suits him, he calls for the government to protect the helpless. Where it doesn’t suit him, he employs his own definition of biblical authority to deny government any responsibility. When it comes to health care, the helpless are on their own, or worse dependent upon the mercy and goodwill of those very same neighbors who voted against a nationwide health care plan. Yeah. Good luck with that”.

        Aside from an oversimplification of larger conservative thought regarding Healthcare Karen then attempts to juxtapose Inne’s reluctance to permit government to intrude upon our healthcare issues with a clarion call to protect the helpless. This false premise does more to suggest Karen’s political leanings then nearly any other of her remarks. To claim a contradiction exists here suggests that she has either relaxed into the grip of the Left’s signature intellectual sloth and dishonesty or has adopted a line of reasoning which cannot delineate between personal liberty and murder.

        To disallow the government to impose a mandate upon its individual citizens is consistent with Constitutional thought … to allow this same government to permit (and now, fund) the wanton murder of those entirely incapable of protecting themselves is not. Not a difficult argument to parse. Unless of course obvious conclusions are unhelpful to your position.

        “Innes may be a very kindly man for all I know. He’s Canadian and I have always found Canadians to be a gentle, mannerly bunch, as long as hockey wasn’t involved. I imagine if I met Innes at a conference I’d like him. We’d likely have a lot to talk about. But if the only way I have to get to know Innes is through his writings on political hot topics, I don’t much care for him at all. Reading his arguments compelled me to yell at him more than once. I even threw the book down after one particularly offense passage that I deemed arrogant”

        Here we are left to Karen’s judgments entirely. Innes MAY be a kind man, not because of his beliefs … but because of his nationality. This remark is inane and childish. Karen clearly finds his beliefs so noxious that only his nationality offers hope that he is not an ogre. Worse, his arguments aren’t permitted to speak for themselves … we are instead left, once again, to Karen’s musings … Innes offers ideas that are offensive and arrogant … end of story.

        Oddly, though not really … if you’re accustomed to liberal presentations of “moderation”, we are treated to not a single instance of liberal contradiction and thought (pardon the redundancy).

        Finally we are left with this bit of wisdom …. “But that’s the problem of relating to people through their politics. We end up reducing each other’s humanity. We trade our Christianity for what has become the fastest growing religion in the world — the Religion of Certainosity. A religion that ensures we will all be right and not a one of us will be redeemed”.

        I do not relate to people based upon their politics … nor do most of the adults with whom I deal regularly. Stop projecting Karen. Nor do I find the very adult effort of thinking through complex issues in order to arrive at sound conclusions … in order to function as a responsible citizen … an abandonment of Christianity. I’m certain that the sun rises in the East and sets in the West. I’m certain the Founders sought to establish a limited government in order to preserve maximum liberty. I’m certain that human history reveals this experiment as an anomaly which can only persist with the most intentional and diligent effort. That certainty in no wise diminishes, intrudes upon or usurps my Christianity. Indeed, I find the grand themes of liberty underscored by the tenets of authentic Christianity.

        Then comes this tired and worn shibboleth of the Left …

        “God is not a Democrat.

        God is not a Republican.

        God does not have a party.

        God does not even have a domination.

        God does not love America best.

        God doesn’t care if we live in a Blue state, or a Red one.

        He could care less if we are far to the left or right of the right.

        The one thing he’s going to ask is not how we voted in the last election, but who did we love along the way.

        What redemption did we offer one another?”

        God is indeed not a Democrat, or a Republican. Nor was He a Confederate or a Unionist during America’s civil war … nor was He disinterested or disengaged. There was a right and wrong in that conflict.

        Nor was God a Nazi or a member of the Wartime Alliance … but there was a right and wrong in that conflict. Choosing sides was rather essential.

        No, God does not love America best … don’t really know any one who seriously believes that … He loves the world. I do believe that American culture was superior to many others … though multiculturalists have over the decades labored effectively to erode those distinctives. I believe its superiority was due in large to its embrace of a more or less biblically informed worldview.

        Now for someone who lectures against certainty Karen is certain that “He could care less if we are far to the left or right of the right”. I beg to differ … I believe he cares very much about such choices … they speak directly to our values and our concern for others. Don’t kid yourself … these kinds of choices go right to the heart of our beliefs … this where the proverbial rubber meets the road.

        As to the redemption we offer … well, this is another false argument … I know of no orthodox christian church (broadly stated) offering redemption outside of Christ.

        The article was misleading at best … intentionally obfuscating at worst.

        • http://middletree.blogspot.com James Williams

          Larry, what I see are your objections to positions which Karen takes on particular issues. I am pretty much with you in being in disagreement with her on abortion and govt health care. But that has nothing to do with the truthfulness of her message here, which is that one can be a Christian and be for or against govt health care. Or gay marriage. Or the other items mentioned. On that, I agree with her. And I fail to see how your original accusations toward this post hold water. Whether she’s right or wrong on the issues is separate from whether she’s right in her assertion that those issues do not define one as a Christian or not.

          • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1300788986 Larry Easton

            James, that strikes me as remarkably obtuse. If you limit the meaning of her Post to “her assertion that those issues do not define one as a Christian or not” then, yes, I would agree with that position. However, her post goes well beyond that effort. Indeed, her post conflates that idea with positions and biases of her own! Equivocation on the one hand and snarky dismissal on the other reveals a broader agenda.

          • http://karenzach.com Karen Spears Zacharias

            Larry: While I’ll readily admit to being snarky about certain topics, your post is far more snarky than anything I’ve written in my original post. And as to regards to “her post conflates that idea with positions and biases of her own!”
            You act as if you’ve just unearthed the Hope Diamond. (Yes, see, I can be snarky).
            I am clear that I have my biases. I state those from the outset.
            The point of the post, however, isn’t “intentionally obfuscating.”
            I’m not hiding anything.
            I have no agenda.
            I’m just saying that the arguments Innes uses are flawed. You can’t have it both ways.
            I don’t disagree that abortion is murder and if you had bothered to read any of my writings you’d be better informed about my thoughts on this very troubling topic.
            But my concern for children doesn’t stop with birth. It, in fact, increases.
            I think failing to fund education, health care and social services is just another form or murder — best known as torture.
            I don’t think God takes any delight in us sitting idly by as children are starved, beaten, locked up, doused with chemicals, raped, slapped, shaken or otherwise tortured, while Corporate America counts the millions it has saved in taxes by not funding the programs that would help protect the helpless, to use an Innes reference. That very same Congress that orders the sons & daughters of Americans to war, then fails to ensure that they have jobs with livable wages when they return home, or the necessary health care to treat head wounds and PTSD has no grounds for moral superiority. Or any claims to an inside track with God & Biblical authority.
            To clarify what you are really saying, if I can wade through all your snarky jabs and obfuscatory verbiage, is that any thinking authentic Christian would realize that the right is right.
            Anyone who disagrees with you on that is simply dumb as a box of rocks and wrong as rain.

          • Shickmanz1

            Your the BEST Karen!!! I enjoy everything you write, even when I don’t always agree ( OK , I usually agree). I find it thought & heart provoking! Bless you for speaking out…….

          • http://www.facebook.com/people/Laurie-Davis/1730180191 Laurie Davis

            Well said Karen; I agree with you!

          • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1300788986 Larry Easton

            Karen, your remarks are, quite candidly, shockingly ignorant. Ignorant of actual conservative thought. Ignorant of actual and unmolested history.

            Ignorant of the real record of liberalism’s great “solutions”. Ignorant of actual budgetary allotments. Ignorant of the outcomes produced by (though predicted by many) these departures from reason, real compassion and constitutional constraints.

            Apart from ignorance there is the generally silly and misleading tone which is now the signature component of the Left’s frequent and shrill diatribes.

            Accusing, self-righteous, arrogant and appallingly resistant to authentic dialogue your post is welcome among those who are heavily invested in failed arguments. Among thinking adults who find a friend in truth and an aid in facts this sort of myth telling is of little use. It is, in fact, cause for amazement among those who are practiced in critical thinking.

            Liberalism continues to find among those who have yet to escape adolescent angst their most likely converts … who, sadly find an adult discussion not just nearly impossible but painfully unwelcome. Learning how to think should become a priority for those caught in liberalism’s web of lies … being taught, instead, what to think has served them poorly.

          • http://karenzach.com Karen Spears Zacharias

            Larry: I’m pretty sure there’s been only one shrill voice in this dialogue and it, remarkably for once, hasn’t been mine.

          • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1300788986 Larry Easton

            Hmmm

          • http://windowsandpaperwalls.wordpress.com/ Cathy

            Larry: I for one am glad that you’ve taken the time to present cogent, intelligent positions on matters…ones you can rationally explain and discuss. That’s rather refreshing in the world of blog comments.

            I agree with many of your points…my only problem is that your tone has gotten more and more hostile as you’ve gone along. Maybe you feel you’re being attacked here…but it never helps one’s position to go into a flame-throwing stance.

            ALSO: I think a big issue here is that you are overlooking Karen’s writing style, which contains a great deal of satire (in my opinion.) You are taking everything literally (such as the Canadian remarks.)

            I’m not speaking for Karen (although I know her, and she’s perfectly lovely) – she may very well disagree with everything I’m saying. This is just my 2 cents.

            Again…I appreciate the depth of your commentary. I hate it when people have nothing more to say than “Uh-HUH!!” or “Nuh-UH!!”

          • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1300788986 Larry Easton

            Cathy, thanks … I was not taking her Canadian remark literally though. As to my tone … well, I remained silent for years as liberalism enjoyed the opportunity to frame issues and gain ground. Our culture and nation are much poorer for it. The last election found me stunned at the degree to which otherwise intelligent and well meaning meaning people were utterly ignorant of essential truths. Indoctrination rather than critical thinking had reduced large swaths of the electorate to unthinking and arrogant sillies … who empowered a remarkably corrupt and intellectually vacuous party to fundamentally change the nation. The effects have been telling … and perhaps irreparable. Time will tell. It was then that I elected to remain silent no longer. Instead I offer a full throated defense of authentic Burkian conservatism and have become willing to rebut the bullies of the Left who are accustomed to hurling deceptive insults to silence critics and retain power. I am working to balance that approach but refuse to sit silently by as people who ought to know better employ there gifts and influence to empower lies and bring ruin. I would imagine that Karen is quite nice and probably a delightful conversationalist … the sort of person one would probably enjoy sharing dinner with. I enjoy friendships with many on the Left … from politicians to educators to ministers. I have also enjoyed rich relationships with those on the right … some well known others less known. In the end they are all just people … equally flawed and reflective of God’s glory … simultaneously. If we are God’s then we are His workmanship in Christ Jesus … we are also products of a fallen world. Part glorious new creation … part screwball. That dynamic animates us all. I love people … but there are ideas I’ve grown to hate with a perfect hatred. The ideas which animate Marxism … profoundly evil. I’ve studied it and observed it first hand. In the USSR before its collapse and in China. More than 100 million people suffered needless and brutal deaths in homage to this failed and corrupting ideology. The Left, in all its various iterations, has left in its wake a path of hideous human destruction and cultural wreckage for more than a century now. The greatest crimes against humanity owe their success to Leftist thought and action. I loathe it. Amazingly, foolish men and women continue to be lured to its lies though. I’ve chosen to counter ignorance and intolerance with the truth … sometimes spoken plainly and vigorously rather than sit idly by any longer. I will, undoubtedly offend, though that is not my intention. But I will also provide food for thought among those unafraid to think … for themselves.

          • http://windowsandpaperwalls.wordpress.com/ Cathy

            I understand where you’re coming from, Larry. Sadly, we have run out of room over here on the right-hand side…of the screen, that is. :-)

          • Shickmanz1

            Thanks the heavens, we have free speech. But, Larry, you still seem to be a bully.

          • Early

            Just about everything you have been spewing here proves Karen’s points.

        • Shickmanz1

          Dislike your response…. along the lines of the the BULLIES set! Sorry, I don’t normally respond to much on this page. But, shame on you.

        • Early

          Unfortunately, the kind of abusive behavior Karen describes is not at all rare. I had occasion to be in a Catholic church in Heppner three years ago when they handed out voting guides that stated that “Good Catholics” must vote a particular was (GOP) or be considered in a state of sin. This kind of crap happens all the time, and nearly always toward the right.
          If people want to bow before the altar of the Ayn Rand and law-of-the-jungle libertarianism (as the right has done), that’s their business. They can even do so and still call themselves “Christian” if that’s how they want to delude themselves.
          Just don’t expect me to buy it. And don’t be surprised if I get my back up when you try to force it on me from a pulpit.

          • Cathy

            I agree with many of Ayn Rand’s points. I’m not sure about law-of-the-jungle libertarianism, but I am a Christian.

            I am positive (positive!) that you, Friend, are not trying to insinuate that you have the final determination on who is and is not a Christian. What a ridiculous idea that would be.

            Flame-throwing, arrogance, and inflammatory rhetoric have NO place in clear and intelligent discourse. On EITHER side. Tediously, they are rampant these days.

            If I live to be 900, I will never understand why people cannot present their opinions without stooping to hurl insults.

            Okay, Karen, I’m done. :-) Much to do today!

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=540593159 Ken Szeto

    Thanks, Karen, for another outstanding article. Blessings…

  • http://twitter.com/midnightonmars midnightonmars

    Karen, you’ve been reading my mind lately.

  • Dtrcy1

    How many times can I say, “Amen!”? You know a little about my struggles, although we still need to get that cup of coffee together. I appreciate putting some of my thoughts (and anger) into words.

    • Dorcie

      I appreciate YOU putting some ofmy thoughts (and anger) into words.

  • http://www.facebook.com/lizdyer1 Liz Dyer

    Karen – I like what you said here and would add that who we end up loving along the way and how far we are willing to cast our love will end up determining how we vote. Are we only concerned about ourselves and those dear to us or do we love even people we don’t know, people we don’t like, people who live in another country, people who aren’t Christians, people who are our enemy etc? There is no political party or politician who I can completely back but there always seems to be one at any given moment that better represents the idea of casting my love far and wide. Unfortunately I had to leave the Republican party a few years ago (after being a Republican for my entire life) as I felt the party had become a proponent of self interest and greed. Of course I know that all Republicans are not that way but I believe that the party itself had become that way and as a result most of the candidates appeared to represent ideas and values that I could not support as a Christian. I know that a lot of my conservative Christian friends talk about voting Republican because of the abortion issue but I would say to them that I think the party and the candidates are just using that issue to manipulate you as they never do anything at all to change any law about abortion and I don’t believe they ever will (I personally don’t think they should but that is another conversation). If abortion is what keeps a person voting Republican then they probably should reconsider their political affiliations. I’m looking forward to reading the book – even realizing that it may cause me to yell and throw at times:>)

  • Ellen

    Amen – thanks for simplifying what gets so distorted in our media!

  • http://twitter.com/SBeeCreations SarahBee

    I LOVE this. LOVE it. You are fantastic. Thank you for writing this piece.
    There is no party that represents me. Although I am registered to one, it is only because I want to vote in the primaries and in this state, this is the primary that really matters. The fact that I don’t even like to say what party that is, pretty much defines the point.
    For me, being pro-life means being pro-all life. From the moment of conception, life it precious, both for the child and the mother. That doesn’t end when the cord is cut. It ought to continue throughout life with the support necessary to live that life to the fullest extent possible through death. That means no death penalty. I completely fail to see how politicians can promote “pro-life” bills like the one we’ve recently seen in the south yet also support the death penalty and cut health-care benefits and funding to those who have greatest need of them. I fail to see how so much money can go into prosecuting a woman for miscarriage through no fault of her own when she is already suffering the loss of her child and yet funding is cut from children who have already been born for healthcare and education. I just don’t get it.
    I haven’t had the experience of a pastor telling me who to vote for. That was always a family matter for us. In fact, I know churches can have their non-profit designation taken away if they speak specifically about candidates.
    Anyhow, I’ll end my rant here, but thank you for sharing.

    *small note because I can’t help myself. You say, “He could care less if we are far to the left or right of the right.” I believe you meant to say, “He couldn’t care less”.

  • @DannySimsdotorg

    Larry,

    Your comment gives me a headache. While it is fine to disagree, even with Karen (she might say especially with her) it is always best to be kind. I have never regretted being kind.

  • http://www.youthleadersacademy.com Rachel Blom

    You know what fascinates me Karen? The opinion of what a Christian should vote like is so American (or north-American, no offense to Canadians). I’m Dutch and in Holland we have two Christian political parties and one party that’s in name Christian. One of those is what you would call Republican (‘right’), one of them is very much social-democrat (left) and the last one is smack dab in the middle. That’s because being a Christian doesn’t necessarily define all our political viewpoints. While all three of them are conservative on ethical issues like abortion (the first two far more than the last one, which is also the biggest party of these three by the way), their other viewpoints for instance on welfare, health care and immigration policy differ strongly. And you know what? I happen to think that’s good. It reflects the diversity within the Christian ‘community’.

    • http://karenzach.com Karen Spears Zacharias

      I think that’s good, too, Rachel. Thank you for sharing your perspective here with us. I wish we would find our way toward honoring each other’s differing perspectives, here in the country divided by Blue and Red.

      You know what else, Rachel? I had no idea people in Holland read this blog! Can I come for a visit? :)

      • http://www.youthleadersacademy.com Rachel Blom

        Haha, you’re more than welcome…though I actually live in the south of Germany right now. But it’s beautiful there as well. If you’re ever coming my way, you’re very welcome :) And yes, I read your blog. I don’t always agree with you, but that’s actually a bonus in my opinion. It would be so boring to only read opinions I agree with!

        • http://karenzach.com Karen Spears Zacharias

          So true. I’d hate to hang out with my clone. It’s bad enough when I’m alone. I couldn’t imagine hearing myself spouted back at me all day long. If I get to Germany, I’ll let you know…

  • AF Roger

    Dear Mr. Easton:
    I’m having trouble reconciling statement (1) below with the collection at (2).

    (1) “I have also enjoyed rich relationships with those on the right … some well known others less known. In the end they are all just people … equally flawed and reflective of God’s glory … simultaneously. If we are God’s then we are His workmanship in Christ Jesus … we are also products of a fallen world. Part glorious new creation … part screwball. That dynamic animates us all. I love people …

    (2) “I’ve chosen to counter ignorance and intolerance with the truth …
    a priority for those caught in liberalism’s web of lies …
    “Apart from ignorance there is the generally silly and misleading tone which is now the signature component of the Left’s frequent and shrill diatribes.
    “Accusing, self-righteous, arrogant and appallingly resistant to authentic dialogue
    “…suggests that she has either relaxed into the grip of the Left’s signature intellectual sloth and dishonesty…”
    “the bullies of the Left who are accustomed to hurling deceptive insults to silence critics and retain power.”

    I get the impression that if I wanted to have a substantive discussion with you about ways to provide health care cheaper and better, for example, that I would immediately be labeled a morally degenerate Marxist impossibly far from the kingdom of God. Do you and you alone have a lock on truth, intellectual rigor and morality? It is possible for tone and style to completely obscure wisdom and love.

    Thank you,
    AF Roger

    • Steve T.

      Now the whole group of those who believed were of one heart and soul, and no one claimed private ownership of any possessions, but everything they owned was held in common. With great power the apostles gave their testimony to the resurrection of the Lord Jesus, and great grace was upon them all. There was not a needy person among them, for as many as owned lands or houses sold them and brought the proceeds of what was sold. They laid it at the apostles’ feet, and it was distributed to each as any had need. There was a Levite, a native of Cyprus, Joseph, to whom the apostles gave the name Barnabas (which means “son of encouragement”). He sold a field that belonged to him, then brought the money, and laid it at the apostles’ feet.

      I’m just saying … oh wait … Luke is just saying. Morally degenerate Marxist that he must have been. Roger, brother, geesh, what do we do with those pesky first-century Christians? Think Larry might join their party? I hope so. More, I pray so.

      • AF Roger

        Steve:
        Funny thing about those first Christ-ians and their entropic economy… In an odd way, it certainly didn’t pencil out. But then, neither did the 5K picnic based on five peasant cakes and two slabs of dried fish.

        A couple of years ago, Dan Merchant, maker of that marvelous little documentary film “Lord, Save Us From Your Followers”, did a number of screenings here in the area. He took questions and comments from the audience afterward. In putting himself out there all across the country in order to make the film, he returned a vastly changed man. I asked him what it had taught him about the way we label each other in our public discourse. His reply: “Labels are just killing us.”

        I wonder if Apostle Paul wasn’t hearing the same kind of thing among the church in Rome, prompting him to add this statement to those he addressed in Romans 2: For as it is written, “The name of God is blasphemed among the Gentiles because of you.” And Paul hadn’t seen anything like the Thirty Years’ War that we Christians waged on each other. It is possible to be saved from death without having been brought to life. Apparently.

        Give thanks in peace. Mir s’toboi! R.

  • AF Roger

    Please forgive the frequent lack of spaces in the post below. They are the result of cut/paste, not my typing. R.


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