Tuesday, November 11, 2008

I am a Christian first, then a conservative

The post before this, Maybe We're Not Losing Our Freedom, has an article by Bill Whittle, who is perhaps a secular conservative. That's the point of this post. I'm not a secular conservative. I'm a Christian first and a conservative second. This fight that he talks about is not so clear cut. I have two members of my immediate family who are for Obama, who recently returned to faith in Christ, who God has embraced as sort of prodigals. In heaven he has thrown a huge party over their return and he is more exited about them than he is about any conservative who embraces values, but isn't that exited about God. There is this black pastor of a church I used to attend who was talking to me about that, how you can like values, but not necessarily love God, bypassing the first commandment - to love God first and foremost.

This fight that Whittle talks about then could come out against these two precious members of my family, and is not so clear cut. The members of the body of Christ, whom God is lovingly working on, purifying, may not have certain things right in their philosophy or their politics - they may have some things skewed in their understanding, but deep in their hearts they have a hunger and a thirst for God and for righteousness. That may seem odd and unlikely.

God is a God of extremes. He is the God who said he doesn't like lukewarm people. He likes hot or cold. That's why he doesn't like nice people who just like values. What that black pastor told me is that there are people who avoid wrongdoing because they don't like the consequences of wrongdoing, but they don't particularly want to know God, the author of rightness. God isn't interested in that. That's why there are people who do wrong who God loves, because he sees past the wrong to the heart that is yearning for God even while doing wrong. It's far better to yearn for God and to avoid wrongdoing because you want to please God, knowing that you will also reap the rewards of righteousness.

In this fight, it would be possible to attack those who are on the Left and to be attacking members of the body of Christ, those who God loves.

Also, it is important not to develop a mentality of lashing out and attacking those who are against our values. We are to love those who are our enemies, and in so doing, win them to Christ. This is the example Christ has given. To have a mentality of going to war against the Left will just mess up the love message of the gospel.

That said, there is still going to be a place for a firm stand against evil, but we need careful discernment, or we will lose the precious things we seek to preserve.

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