There is an interesting article by John Ortberg that was published in Leadership Magazine (on line version). It focuses on the church’s role with regard to politics.
I found it an interesting read simply because the church we attend as a “don’t speak” position when it comes to politics and many social issues. Which if fine, it just seems a bit contrary to what I might call whole-life thinking.
If, or when you read Ortberg’s article you will see that he takes a similar position and presents some very valid arguments. However, there is one comment that seemed unusual to me.
So we read about the issues. We debate. We learn about policy. We pray. We speak respectfully in the public square. We vote at elections. We serve on councils and cabinets. We preach [in the church] (my note) about God’s concern for peace and justice and generosity and righteousness.
What struck me as unusual is how does a person get that involved in their community (politics) and keep an antiseptic approach to the believing community (church)? I suspect it is the same way persons become so immersed in the believing community and then sequester their beliefs when it comes to the marketplace. It is much like the politicians, most of the major candidates so far, Romney was the most obvious about it, say….I am a Christian but I will not allow my personal beliefs to influence my policy making. How in the world does that work? That may not seem to be an unusual position since the church has done a very good job of approaching life from the opposite perspective – I am a Christian, but don’t worry, it won’t impact any other area of my life except those times between 9:45 and Noon on Sunday and the occasional Wednesday evening.
Have we compartmentalized our lives to such a degree that one area does not – cannot – or will not leak over to the next? Let’s think about it — isn’t abortion both a political and spiritual issue? Isn’t homosexuality both a political/social and spiritual/moral issue? Aren’t drugs, drunkenness, prostitution, and the like both political/social and spiritual/moral issues? Can a Christian truly support abortion and not be in a contradictory state with the Bible? Are moral issues such as homosexuality strictly cultural issues? Can we allow error, such as sexual deviance is “hard wired” and since God made me that way there is no reason to change and let it stand? If people in the marketplace and some churches are saying culture has changed and biblical beliefs need to change along with it – shouldn’t a call be going out saying that is not true? Or is that political?
In a perfect world with perfect leaders, it is true that the Kingdom of God would not be realized. And yes, as Ortberg pointed out, if the political landscape was perfect at every level, does that mean my life would be lived in a way that is pleasing to God? Probably not. But I’m for giving the first part of that a shot, I already know how challenging the second is.