Thursday, October 30, 2008

The Most Important Issues

I am almost finished with my political entries for this blog, at least for now. But I do want to address a significant issue: The Misappropriation of Concern. Many Christians have made the decision that some political topics and stands are more important, Christian, moral or spiritual than others. I agree. Not every policy has the same theological or spiritual significance. For example, distinctions in tax policy (who deserves a tax cut) are less morally important than how we address the needs of Americans without health care coverage.

The most profound effect of this problem is in the number of people who have decided that abortion will be the litmus test for all candidates and all policies. Again, let me assure you that I am completely pro-life. If there is any question about that, please read my earlier posts on this issue. However, I cannot support a candidate who is "pro-life," but is opposed to my beliefs on every other issue.

Can I support a candidate who favors abortion, but opposes war, for example? Is there a way that I can take a position of concern on several issues and yet violate those principles based only on one problem?

There are many Christians who have decided that there are two issues that are the most important in this election. They are opposed to abortion and to same sex marriage. These well-meaning and faithful Christians have now decided that the most important issues are the only important issues. They are willing to support unfair tax policy, oppression of the poor, unilateral imperialistic military policy, disregard for the oppressed peoples of the world and a lack of health care for all people- all things that Jesus would speak out against- in order to maintain faithfulness to those two issues.

I have a friend who is a Mennonite. The Mennonites are close theological relatives to the Amish. They are a "peace" people. As such they oppose all acts of war, aggression, violence or oppression. This, among other things, is what makes them distinctive. I asked my friend about this coming election. He shook his head and was a little embarrassed to say that he was supporting the candidate that favors the war. He said the other issues were just too important. Did you read that? 

There are many Christians, not just Mennonites, who have traded their beliefs (and their souls) for a promised political end. Be careful when you vote. Be cautious when you make decisions.

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