God's will in politics

I heard this on the radio bright and early on Sunday morning:
Thy Kingdom Come
Randall Balmer never thought he'd be taking on his own profession. But that's just what the Evangelic Christian and political liberal has done. In this Prime Time interview, Balmer talks about his new book, Thy Kingdom Come, and explains why he's on a mission to "stop the religious right" and revive the legacy and true meaning of Evangelism.

I've been trying to work out just what I want to say about this. It presents a stereotypical view of conservative Christians and then proceeds to criticize Christians based on that stereotype. The criticism seems to be along the lines of conservative Christians need to be more politically and socially liberal.

Conservative Christians often have to face the accusation that we put politics before love of God and love of our neighbors. That accusation strikes me as one that itself puts politics before love of God and love of our neighbors. If we are to serve God first, last, and always then calls for Christians to be more of one political stripe over another elevates that political stripe over God. Calls for the political choices that Christians make to be more in line with secular or mainstream values certainly elevate the secular or mainstream over God. That is not something that someone who is dedicated to serving God in all areas of their life should tolerate.

Sometimes the political choices that a Christian makes will have them siding with the mainstream (whatever it happens to be at the moment). Sometimes they will go against it (whatever that may look like). Sometimes large groups of Christians will make similar choices while others will make different choices. Mature Christians will recognize that sometimes those political choices just are not as important as the secular world makes them out to be. Mature Christians will also recognize that God is sovereign over all things including politics and we don't need to sweat it that much. This is not to say that we can check out of society or the political realm. We can make our carefully considered choices and leave the rest to God secure in the knowledge that his will (whatever that turns out to be) in any given situation will be done however he chooses.

The fact that God is in control of all things including American politics is a real mind bender for Christians and non-Christians alike. I think it is something we should spend more time pondering rather than trying to convert one another to a given political stripe.


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