Americans are now firmly in the election season, and it has been a tumultuous one, and will likely be a greater one. I always debate posting political topics, there are two reasons for this, first because if the point is to put forward an argument for why Christianity is true, it does little good to start off by ending conversations before one begins, and that tends to be the result if one discusses politics, in part because politics in America has been contentious since at least the beginnings of our first two parties (the democratic republicans and the federalists). Secondarily there are divides in Christianity, and these divisions will tend to be based on a number of important doctrinal questions. Baptists (myself included) have historically favored classical liberalism (or what American’s refer to as “Conservatism”); in fact, some Baptist congregations moved to the American Colonies en masse because of their support for Cromwell, and Baptists were important allies of Thomas Jefferson and James Madison. There is within the reformed community a very strong debate on political philosophy. For the Christian, factors involving one’s political philosophy will include discussions of the end times, the relationship between the Old and New Testament, the purpose of a number of Old Testament regulations, the relationship of the church and state, etc. There is, therefore, in my mind no one distinctly Evangelical way of approaching the subject.
So why wade into politics at all? Primarily, because many will accuse Christians of hypocrisy or argue that the point of Christians involvements in politics is to gain power. This is particularly common among many millenials who were educated by post modernists in their collegiate careers. I work with a few, who regularly make comments that conservatives and Christian conservatives dislike Obama because they are racists, dislike Hillary because they are misogynists, etc. These challenges need to be answered, ad hominem though they may be. Millenials hate Trump for his rhetoric (though how this differs from Hillary’s stereotypical approach to those living in trailer parks or those from the south is a mystery to me). Secondarily, this years election should be a wake up call for Christians in many respects, we ought to view our right to vote as a matter of stewardship, and in this sense, I believe the upcoming election ought to cause Christians to think about our place in the modern American culture – Democracies are reflective, the governments reflect the ideas and values of those who put them in power.
I plan to go about this with a number of articles, put out rapidly. There will be two major sections, first a macroscopic approach, discussing underlying principles, and why Baptistic approaches to politics are neither inconsistent, and in countering many concepts used to attack Evangelicals. Secondarily I want to present some Christian approaches to social issues. I will not directly discuss issues of taxes, or job creation directly, but I can’t completely avoid certain underpinnings when discussing principles.
We’ll start with the inadequacy of American discussions of politics in general, or why principles matter.
I generally prefer to keep Truth in the Trenches to issues of broad conservative Evangelical thought but because of the distinctions I noted above, I do not think it is possible to construct a distinct Christian approach to politics. While it is difficult to argue why Christians would be pro-abortion, one very quickly ill find distinctions in the way these things are applied principally. Therefore, I stick with my own principles simply because I do not think I could adequately represent someone else’s.