Calvin’s Corner

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9 Responses

  1. Rapturesaint says:

    Personally, I don’t think the Church should be involved with politics. We are living in dark times, apostasy in churches in American is happening. Jesus Christ gave a commanment to go out into the world and share the Gospel of Jesus Christ. This world is due for some severe judgment and its coming soon.

    Soon Jesus Christ will appear in the clouds (Rapture of the Church) and will take all born again Christian home to heaven. Those that are LEFT BEHIND will be at the mercy of the anti-Christ but will be present when God Almighty’s wrath comes upon a Christ rejecting world. We need to save the lost – NOW and not LATER.

  2. Sharon Dooley says:

    Yes. The Bible is political, every precept about how we live is political, the rules of traditional society were formed around Biblical right and wrongs. The OT is repleat with God being involved and moving in kings and kingdoms both directly and through His saints. A resounding yes from me, how are we to be the salt or the light on a hill? Everything is “political”. Maybe another question might be “is the church too lukewarm to affect the world?”.

  3. em... again says:

    in the truest sense of the word “political,” the New Testament Church is absolutely not a political tool … as a force for the promotion of the Kingdom, we’re falling short, that is true…

    i must say that it troubles me to hear all the justification for the work of the Church focus on the “end is near” … near is a relative term, but…
    for most of us we can measure how near we are to our end, barring unforeseen disaster… there’s a line from an old song urging the Church to “work for the night is coming when man’s work is done…” IMO, we’d do best to take that personally – it is coming for each of us

  4. Rick says:

    Yes, there ought to be no legal prohibitions on the expressions of cultural church regarding politics and endorsing candidates.

    That being said, I would use the information regarding their political activism to help guide me to a church that, out of respect for Jesus and His people, does not. The temptation to spiritually manipulate people to a certain political view, using proof texts and other means, is one the cultural church has not done very well with. Whether it approaches politics from the left or right, (having read Wallis and Colson both), it is something we do poorly, and a lot of societal damage has resulted.

    Jesus chose disciples that included the most polarized of views–Simon the Zealot and Mathew the Tax Gatherer. Interestingly, Jesus in Scripture is resistant to becoming part of a political movement and it seems, for Mathew and Simon the Zealot, at least, their zeal for politics is suborned to their love for Jesus and His vision of the Kingdom. My best friend in the Kingdom is very opposite of me politically; there is no political movement in America, or elsewhere, that looks like the Kingdom manifest in Jesus. The American cultural church is guilty of idolatry when we try to integrate political streams into our Kingdom life. The political streams are far to small to be representative of the gospel lived out among God’s people. We ought to encourage all people to be aware politically, and to vote their conscience. We ought to respect where their conscience leads them knowing that in view of the Kingdom, and love of God, it is on the same plane as whether we choose to eat meat or not. If our political zeal, or our depression that our politics is not reigning distracts us from loving those to our left and our right, we are acting stupidly. And needlessly inducing fear, rather than confidence in God’s love in those around us.

  5. Rick says:

    One more thought; politics, at least as practiced in America currently, is at best a crude hammer. The church, with reference to something attributed to the Bishop of Navarro, is an anvil that wears out many hammers. The church is at its best when it is the anvil upon which society can be shaped, rather than the hammer.

  6. Duane Arnold says:

    #5 Rick

    That is amazingly good… I will steal it, with your permission…

  7. Rick says:

    Duane, absolutely feel free to use these thoughts as you wish; thank you for the kind words.

    The context of the Bishop of Navarro comes from a book I read years ago, by Richard Wurmbrand, called Victorious Faith (if my memory serves me correctly). The story he shared in the book is that the Bishop of Navarro was brought before a ruler; the ruler told him that he was going to destroy the church. The Bishop answered “It is given to the church to received punishment, not to inflict it–but I’ll remind you, Sire, that it is an anvil that wears out many hammers”.

    That has stuck with me through the years, as I have observed the Christian political movements, from the Moral Majority to Sojourners, act as a hammer, trying to conform politics and earthly power to their vision of the Gospel. An anvil is steady, immovable, maintains its shape (even with superficial dents), unbreakable. An anvil is not uniform in appearance but is uniform in substance. I would analogize this to though there is great diversity in doctrine and practice, our uniform substance are an adherence to the historical creeds and most importantly, love, and the other fruit of the Holy Spirit. The church through the centuries has faced Nero, Diacletion, the forces of Communism and Fascism, and numerous localized tyrannical movements. The Church Catholic is still here. We ought to rejoice in that, and drop the hammers we use against the other end of this glorious anvil.

  8. Descended says:

    Pulpit political commentary, as all things, has its costs and benefits. So also for the prohibition of it. Rick has said it best. Everyone should read his comments.

  9. The New Victor says:

    Great comment by Rick, agreed.

    Before this last election, the Sr. Pastor, two junior pastors, and the principal of the church school got up to give short, 10 minute speeches on voting and how important it was for everyone to go out and vote. I understand, from their point-of-view, why they did it, especially given where we live in the Bay Area. I don’t, however, like being told what to do; it felt a bit condescending. More importantly, I don’t think that stuff belongs in a church service.

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