Sunday, February 05, 2017

Christianity and politics don't mix

Peter Heck writes:
There is a reason why liberal Christian movements like those championed by Jim Wallis, Rachel Held Evans, Shane Claiborne, and others are so ineffective and unpersuasive in American culture. Rather than seeking to glorify and build the Kingdom of God, they regularly appropriate the language of Scripture to advocate for earthly, largely political causes that never address the principal need of humanity: salvation from sin.

So-called progressive Christians have long chastised their conservative brethren for cherry-picking Scripture to support certain political causes. One need only walk through the graveyard of the "Religious Right" for confirmation of that reality. The Religious Right fell apart not because it sought to apply the truth of the Bible to politics. It was when it tied the message of the Gospel to a political agenda. Before long, the Republican Party became an idol, and its success was seen as the most effective way to advance righteousness in the land. The Religious Right ceased to be about God, and thus it ceased to be.

But the same is happening with the Progressive Christianity of Wallis, Evans, Claiborne, Brian McLaren, and Tony Campolo that so desperately wants to be a formidable political force in America. In an effort to become such, they use the Bible as a weapon not against the sin and unrighteousness that plagues humanity, but against those who don't share their politics.

Progressive Christians who focus only on physical poverty while ignoring spiritual poverty are not contending for the faith. They are a political movement that finds themselves in a flesh-driven struggle for power rather than a spirit-driven struggle for Kingdom-building. They mistake seeking social "justice" for the poor with seeking eternal justification for the sinner. That is a tragic confusion.

This is the enduring problem with these liberal Christian movements. Whether flying under the banner of social justice or emergent church, the Christian left is nothing more than what they hated in the Religious Right: political activists selectively hijacking particular words of the Divine in vanity and political approbation.
Both sides need to hear this.

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