The Politics of Jesus Conference: Final Thoughts

The Politics of Jesus Conference: Final Thoughts October 11, 2008

The conference has now concluded.  It was an honor to be asked to live-blog this event.  I can say that it was personally easy for me to accept this gracious invitation because I love the fact that a Baptist State Convention is leading the way in thinking faithfully and carefully on the relationship between Christian faith and politics.  That is a most-welcome happening, and I was privileged to be a part of it.  Also, please note that I will be posting one more address from Dr. Nathan Finn in the next day or two. 

I can say that the conference included a number of excellent addresses which will be worth listening to when they are available.  From Ben Mitchell’s incisive talk on Islam and transhumanism to Andy Davis’s piercing call to churchly holiness to Ken Fentress’s prophetic homily to the Southern Baptist Convention, all of the talks were profitable and rich.

Many thanks to conference organizer Doug Baker and to all of the participants and speakers.  The event was very nicely staged and executed, and I anticipate further events of excellence from Mr. Baker and his office.  Again, I was so thankful to be a part of an event like this, and I hope that churches and other ministry venues will catch the vision for cultural engagement that is both excellent and biblical.

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  • chris

    ???? How did JESUS become a political endorsement????

    It amazes me each time I read religious articles in magazines and newspapers.
    People have determined that the message of Jesus can now be summed up in a political party and candidate.
    It also amazes me that many religious/ politico activist have been able to equate a vote for the presumed candidate or party an act of true righteousness verses the blasphemous act of voting against said candidate or party.
    These days, the hot topics seem to be pro-life and ending stem cell research.
    Somehow, people have equated all stances pro life and a “hopeful” change on the “ROE v. WADE” verdict giving a woman the right to choose what to do with her own pregnancy.
    Here are some issues I have with the whole thing…

    Let me say first that I am a devout follower of Jesus of the Bible.
    I also follow politics to an extent.
    In my many years of exhaustive research of the bible, I have not yet found anything either implicit or explicit regarding Jesus advocating or supporting anything political.
    I would even venture to say that the subject turned Him off so to speak.
    How did Jesus respond when asked about paying taxes? How did Jesus respond to Pontius Pilate on the topic of “power”?
    Jesus seemed to do his level best to distance himself from all things political.
    Jesus also seemed to distance his ministry from all things political. There is no evidence whatsoever that Jesus wanted or claimed to need any political endorsements for himself or his ministry.
    There is also no evidence to conclude whatsoever that Jesus supported or advocated any politician for the sake of furthering his own agenda or ministry endeavors.

    I have a hard time when people use the bible or Jesus directly to support and advocate openly a certain political candidate. Candidates are not running for the office of priest or pastor.
    How is a candidate righteous because they have a “prolife” stance or object to stem cell research, but support not only war, but starting a war, first strike nuclear capabilities (can you say holocaust and genocide), and torture for the sake of national security.

    In closing I would like to remind those who claim to be of the faithful that JUDAS had a problem ultimately with Jesus because he was not political or militaristically inclined.
    Judas was a member of the zealots (a political underground of insurgents with the overthrow of Rome as their primary focus).
    Judas became very frustrated with Jesus when he realized that Jesus was not speaking of Rome’s overthrow when he spoke of a new kingdom.
    Become very familiar with the outcome of Judas before trying to entangle the pure message of Jesus with politics.
    It is not the job of politics to minister or evangelize.
    If those who consider themselves the faithful would get out there and love people the way Jesus did, we would not have to put so much pressure on politicians to do it for us.
    Remember also that the last election cycle that put more conservative “evangelicals” in office than in recent years also found a record number of scandals involving drugs, prostitution, homosexuality, and child pornography to the point that congress and house incumbents were largely voted out of office in the last elections.
    If memory serves me correctly, president Bush openly condemned homosexuality thereby winning the conservative right. That is amazing considering the fact that his vice president had an openly homosexual daughter who was his campaign manager and who has also since adopted a child while still openly practicing homosexuality.

    Let the politicians do what they do best and let the faithful do what Jesus does best…(Matthew 28:18-20).


  • owenstrachan

    Some provocative thoughts there, Chris. Thanks for chiming in. I think you’re hitting on a tough area and making a strong case.