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Some more Spicy Talk: A Christians role in politics.

I'll keep this short but our next discussion will be:

Myth, Lie, or Half-Truth?: Religion and Politics Do Not Mix

What role do Christians have a responsibility in when it comes to political activism. I'm talk more than just McCain-Obama, but social issues as well. To often Christians remain neutral and let our country and world take it's own course, because "God is in control."
We will discuss "change" from a Christian perspective, and why we need to be well informed about social issues.

Here are some recent thoughts from Gary DeMar on this subject FYI:

Now that's what I call a spicy topic! I'm looking forward to the study, Jesse!

So, what did you guys do today? Did you promote social change? LOL

Hey Jesse,

Great Bible study yesterday! It was great to see some new faces in the group and I enjoyed the discussion. The story of Telemachus - or 'Tony Machus' - was inspiring, and I did some more digging on this incredible man. This article ( offers some insight into his background and raises the same question that you raised for us yesterday: what would today's world look like if we were willing to live with reckless abandon for Christ, and to influence our culture rather than being influenced by it?

I wish I could have stuck around longer to see where the conversation went, but I'll post some more thoughts as they come to me. Bruce and Dave both raised some great points, and I wanted to respond to some of the ideas that they presented yesterday.

Here are some thoughts that arose from yesterday's discussion:

1) Should Christian activism necessarily be partisan in nature? Does one party better represent Jesus' teachings than another; if so, why? Are American Christians guilty of cherry-picking the teachings of Christ and emphasizing only those that are culturally convenient for us?

2) Bruce brought up the contrast that's presented in Scripture between "the Kingdom of God" and the kingdoms of the world. I believe this may be the lynchpin in the matter of whether - and to what extent - Christians should involve themselves in political activism. I'd like to see this idea expanded on, as I think there is a lot for us to discover in regards to this topic.

Generally speaking, I agree with Bruce's point that the New Testament does not explicitly encourage Christians to change or overthrow the reigning government. The New Testament's relative silence in regards to the Roman empire is telling.

So how does change come about? In my opinion, true change comes about as men and women come under the reign of God and participate in His Kingdom. At the individual level, our participation in the Kingdom leads to personal change, which in turn flows outward to touch the communities we live in. Christianity cannot ultimately be bound by the categories of this world, for the simple reason that Christ and His followers are not "of this world," but of the world to come. Our values are those of the Kingdom, and as such it is not surprising that we often find our values in conflict with those of the societies we live in. A good verse for reflection is John 17:16 -
"They are not of the world, even as I am not of it."

For this reason, Scripture calls us "strangers and pilgrims" in this world. The Christian faith cannot ultimately be thought of as "conservative" or "liberal," because it is something wholly Other; something is that quite literally "out of this world."

I believe that heroes of the faith like Telemachus and John Newton were men who put themselves under the kingdom reign of God and allowed God to direct their actions. They strived to see the world from God's perspective, as we discussed last week, and the overflow of the kingdom reality in their life sent "ripples" into the world around them that resulted in practical change.

3) Dave mentioned the apparent conflict between a pro-life worldview and a belief in capital punishment. Out of curiosity, are any of you familiar with the "consistent life ethic?"

Proponents of the "consistent life ethic" attempt to synthesize traditional pro-life ethics with an anti-capital punishment and anti-war stance, emphasizing the idea that life is valuable in every context. I'm aware that some Roman Catholics subscribe to this view.

4) On a lighter note, has anyone seen the movie "Amazing Grace?" It's one of the few Christian films that I've really enjoyed in the last few years. It's based on the life of John Newton, the English abolitionist who fought against slavery and composed the famous hymn "Amazing Grace." He's another great example of a Christian who put his beliefs into practice and ended up having a tremendous impact on the course of western history.

I'm sure more thoughts will drop out of my head as I continue to reflect on this week's topic. I'm looking forward to continuing the conversation and hearing everybody's thoughts.

(His) Peace,

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