I am Christian

I don’t want to be associated with the political left in the United States of America because it seems hell-bent on driving God from our culture, because it trivializes the value and rights of one human life for the rights of others producing thousands of aborted lives – not just life, but children – every year, because it wants to push the boundaries of morality so that every personal lust and indulgence is tolerated, and if that is not enough reason, take notice of the Hollywood ideology.

Most of the people who run in my circle agree with me that the left side is wrong. Yet it seems that at least some who associate in the same circle with me are able to see the error of the left but unable to recognize the error of the political right.

I don’t want to be associated with the political right in the United States of America because it seems hell-bent on viewing war and military violence as an acceptable solution to international trouble in any and all situations (while it is debatable whether Christians should be pacifistic, just-war means that violent military engagements should only be the last course), because it calls a preemptive military strike “justice” but seems less concerned about non-violent means to justice and talks little about bringing justice among the third world environments, because it selectively champions a capitalistic philosophy that allows the rich to get richer while the majority of the world suffers in utter poverty, because it blatantly blurs the distinction between Patriotic Americanism and Christianity so that one supposedly cannot be a Christian unless they champion the cause of traditional Americanism (“God bless America?” How about “God bless the World!”), because it believes in a very ethnocentric fashion that a democratic government is the only right form of government and the only government in which human freedom can endure (Jesus was always free and yet never lived in a country where a Jew had complete freedom), and if that is not enough reason, listen to the ideology of Pat Robertson and the other fundamentalist (need I say more).

So what am I to do? Here is a “novel” idea, I will be completely other and simply try to be a Christian. I will be a Christian theologically, morally, ethically, and politically, nothing more and nothing less – and I will not be silent in my faith.

Now I know that defining exactly what being a Christian means is highly debated. But maybe I can start by just trying to live my life here on earth like Jesus lived his life here on earth. No easy task! But I must try!

So I ask is it possible to hate and oppose all forms of godlessness, immorality, the unethical treatment of unborn children, violence (both foreign and abroad), materialism, the poverty and suffering of others – while loving and championing peace over violence, the value of all human life (born and unborn, racial and ethnic), the equality of all people, a moral and ethical valued society, the need for continued justice among the poverty and suffering societies, racial and ethnic, and the acknowledgment of one God who not only has created all living organisms but is also the only hope for a world where evil and suffering lurk in every corner?

Jesus did and now calls me too as well, so that is why I simple want to be Christian!

5 responses to “I am Christian

  1. Rex,

    I agree with your idea behind the statement but it seems very difficult to put into practice. If I were to strictly follow what you say it seems like I would have to completely stop interacting in politics all together, which I don’t think you are saying. I think your statement is very good but not very thurough. How does one impliment this idea, what does it mean to be a Christian politically? I understand that you are funneling a lot into a small post, but it seems to easy… What Jesus did lead him to certain death, which is often called for in other parts of the world, but not this part of the world. And his death I would also add had nothing to do with the politics of the time, his goal was not to make Rome a Christian nation. When this did happen years later it did worse for Christianity than anything else, all the sudden Christians were tainted by the government that was funding them. And I know that I am also oversimplifying but I think I raise an important question, what does it mean to be Christian politically?

  2. I agree that Jesus never intended to create a “Christian Nation” out of Rome but rather intended to call people to live in the Kingdom, which is not an earthly kingdom. How does one be a Christian only and engage in the political world? I am an advocate that Christian should vote and exercise their voice on matters whenever given the chance. Many times there will not be a clear cut answer as to who I should vote for, because all choices of leaders seem to have qualities about them which both affirm and deny the values of Christianity. But my post is one way in which Christians can have influence politically. By refusing to be silent when we see decisions and policies being practiced that do not reflect the value of Christianity, we will cause more people to at least consider what is right and what is wrong. But when we as Christians become blind to certain segments of immoral and unethical practices condoned by certain political ideologies, we become silent and then in effect tolerate the powers and principalities of this world.

  3. Rex: I appreciate your post. I too find myself dissatisfied with the politics on the right and left, but am still drawn to the left side of the aisle. Though the “Christian left” is not perfect, I believe they provide a broader ethic of life and a concern for injustice in the world that the “Christian right” does not offer. With that said, there is a lot about the Christian left that is unrighteous.

    Though it would be nice to be only a Christian, I think such a sentiment is impossible. People on both sides of the political spectrum have such desires, and each have vastly different ideas as to what “just a Christian” means. I try to follow Jesus the best I can, even though I know that my idea of “following Jesus” is different from many others. Because of that, I must realize that no matter what side of the political or theological spectrum people find themselves, they are still, like me, trying to live their lives in imitation of Christ.

  4. Interesting post. Naturally, I have a few words in defense of the right. I don’t think there is anything unChristian about policies that favor a vigorous use of American military power. In fact, the men and women who put their lives on the line for the people of Afghanistan and Iraq are doing something self-sacrificial, dare I say Christ-like.

    What makes you think that being pro-democracy is ethnocentric? To use the phrasing of Natan Sharansky, there are free societies and fear societies. No one willingly chooses to live in a fear society, regardless of their ethnicity. The people of Egypt and Saudi Arabia and Iraq and Afghanistan have as much right to the freedoms that we enjoy as we do. It seems to me that is the opposite of ethnocentrism. The idea that some people just aren’t cut out for democracy — now that’s ethnocentrism.

  5. Extremist, You found my post. Thanks for taking the time to read and comment. Now I will respond to your comments.

    You say: “I don’t think there is anything unChristian about policies that favor a vigorous use of American military power.”

    I hope you mean that only when violence can be demonstrated as “just war.” And may I remind everyone who reads this blog, if you claim to support just war and do not have a criterion for when war is acceptable, then how do you know if a war is just or not?

    You ask: “What makes you think that being pro-democracy is ethnocentric?”

    I never said “pro-democracy”, I said “pro-American” when God is for the entire world. And what I meant by that is that most of the political right seem to care only about keeping America as the top dog (my observation). They defend the war in Iraq on the grounds of liberating people from oppression and call this justice. How many other countries live under oppressive regimes and are ignored by our country in comparison to the Middle East. Why is that? Is it because the Middle East is the only place that presents a real threat to our American way of life. Is it because the Middle East is the only place that is oil rich and can feed our lust for power and wealth? If our President, and all the Christian right who support his brand of world justice, wants to talk about justice then let me see him spend 150 billion dollars and send 100,000 military troops into places like Africa and India to build simple things like wells for retreiving water, irrigation systems for improved farming, etc. Now that is also justice but when any government relegates justice (and compares it to Biblical justice) to war only, they rape the idea of justice in the Bible. Our president, or any other for that matter, may believe in war and pursue it, but he does not have the right to rob the language of faith for his own worldly agenda.

    And also, in the Middle East, where an American is seen as a Christian, to go in their with weapons is tantamount to being a Christian Crusador in the eyes of any Muslim (and we wonder why they want to destroy us). What might have been if after 9/11 us American would have said “your forgiven and we will seek no retaliation”? As opposed to failing to pray for our enemies but instead scheming of ways to kill our enemies. I guess when John and James were scolded for wanting to rain down fire on the Samaritans for rejecting Jesus, mean nothing anymore.

    Don’t get me wrong. I love living in a free country and I do believe that everybody should be able to live in a free society where there is no oppressive dictatorships bullying their way of life on others. But Jesus and all of the Jews in the New Testament days, also had the right to such Freedom. Did Jesus seek to lead a Militia to fight for the rights of Israel? His followers thought he would, that is what they were expecting from a Messiah. No, instead Jesus called people who wanted to find freedom to follow him to a cross because only through death and resurrection is their true freedom. This seems to explain that well overlooked verse in Revelation 13.9-10

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