Representatives of the Christian faith in America are often prominent pastors, speakers, evangelists, television personalities, celebrities who claim the name of Christ. Increasingly members of the Republican party are being equated with the religious right. While the Republican party does in fact endorse many Christian causes, we must be careful: what makes an individual a Christian is their affiliation to the church of Jesus Christ, not affiliation to an earthly organization.
Are Republicans Christians? Certainly many of them are, and most church members would agree. Ask a similar question about Democrats and often debate will arise, especially when the question is raised in churches in the southern states. Perhaps it is due to the fact that the ACLU, notorious for supporting legislation to limit the church’s reach, is often affiliated with the Democratic Party. Perhaps it is the Democratic Party’s propensity for its members to lean pro-choice rather than pro-life, which is certainly a major affront to Christianity. It seems for many Christians, however, that an affiliation with the Democratic Party is an affiliation with Satan himself. Do issues really determine the state of one’s soul, however? Or are people saved by grace through faith in Christ?
Take is the sensitive issue of gun control. Hours and hours of debate can be had (and has been had) on the topic, but I have yet to hear a compelling argument from Christians as to why the typical Republican point of view (generally pro-NRA) is a more Biblical standpoint than the typical Democratic point of view (generally anti-NRA). While the Republican point of view certainly seems more constitutionally sound, does that mean it is more biblically sound? I think Christians should flee from equating the Constitution (or any other document, for that matter) with the Bible. The catchphrase of the past few years in Christian circles has been “What would Jesus do?” Ask yourself this: Would Jesus have packed heat?
Another example is the issue of health care and welfare (typically, the Democratic party is for nationalized health care, the Republican party is against). Whose job is it to feed the hungry and heal the sick? Biblically, it is the church’s job. Here’s the problem: the church does not do its job here in America. We have left it for the government to take care of, and then get all up in arms when the government tries to take care of it. Forgive the Democrats for trying to step in and take over the church’s responsibility, but they see a need that has yet to be met here in America (and beyond America, the similar issue of foreign debt relief). Many American Christians cry foul when the government tries to take more of its tax money for welfare and other similar programs. Ask them to give up money voluntarily to help widows and orphans as biblically mandated, and the same reaction is given. Can the Democratic lawmakers really be faulted for trying to fill the void left by the church?
I have a unique perspective on this topic. While I am a Christian interested in politics, I am not a citizen and cannot vote, thereby making me an outside observer. While I would certainly tend to favor Republican policies, I shudder when the secular media (or even worse, a Christian) equates Republicanism to Christianity. I dislike when taxes are raised as much as everyone else, especially when I see the government’s mismanagement of current funds. I believe our civil rights should be maintained where they are so that the more fundamental rights, such as the right to worship, are never encroached upon. It is very dangerous, however, to marry certain political agendas to one’s faith. Does one’s faith affect the way he or she views politics? Absolutely. It should. Does one’s political view affect their eternity? No.
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