The other day, I wrote a post discussing More Power To Ya, the freshly remastered and re-issued 1982 album by pioneering Christian rock band Petra. The post began thusly:
Those of us who remember 1982 with affection for more than having a real President, although that is certainly a great place to start, might also recall it as a time when Christian rock was beginning to emerge from the shadows as something more than a novelty heralded by the few and at best ignored, if not actively opposed, by the church at large.
Imagine that … a writer on a conservative website saying something nice about Ronald Reagan on that website. Shocking, ain’t it?
Anyway, someone in a Facebook group focusing on classic Christian rock noticed the post and linked to it. This initiated two lines of discussion. The first discussed how cool is was that someone had written about a beloved band on a major website. The second was “hey, wait a minute — the writer was a MEANYPANTS TO JOE BIDEN!!!”
Again, imagine that … a writer on a conservative website saying something not so nice about Joe Biden on that website. Stunning, ain’t it?
The argument over whether, and if so where, faith and politics intersect has been a hot button issue in this country since routine public acknowledgements of faith by political leaders became increasingly rare in the 20th century’s latter portion. It was at one time a commonly accepted notion that the United States had been founded on a fusion of theist and Christian fundamentals; the Declaration of Independence unequivocally states the rights of humanity are divinely ordained. To paraphrase wedding vows, what God has put together let no government rend asunder.
Jesus had little to say about politics; He had far bigger fish to multiply. He did say pay your taxes, which makes one wonder why more Democrats aren’t waving at least that part of the Bible around while ignoring all of that icky stuff about personal responsibility and sin and repentance. Jesus’ message was repentance, have faith in Him, and take care of one another’s needs. Not lateral it off to the government or the next person over. You do what you can, the next person does what they can. Individual and group effort. Humble, personal work.
While there is no Scriptural justification for assigning party affiliation, there is plenty of justification for examining motives and methods when considering political issues in the light of faith. We are familiar with ridiculous governmental overreaches, such as the infamous Obamacare versus Little Sisters of the Poor case. Or when political leaders proclaim their great faith yet support murdering unborn children. The list goes on of government officials believing they somehow have the ability to play God by dint of pretending to be God.
Referring back to Reagan, this observation by Robert Morrison says much:
Reagan’s achievements can be attributed to the fact that Reagan did not seek to persuade us that he was really smart, or that he knew better how to run our neighborhood schools, our local communities, our churches and synagogues, and our voluntary associations, than we did.
In short, Reagan had faith in the people who had faith in God. None of us who have faith are perfect or have all the answers. A surefire sign of not having all the answers is believing you have all the answers. But, if we were perfect, then we wouldn’t need a Savior. And boy, do we all need One. Rather, The One.
So no, I’m not going to apologize for incorporating faith into my politics, for faith is of far greater importance than politics. Neither am I going to disparage the faith of someone who sees political matters differently than I, for again faith is of far greater importance than politics. As the apostle Paul noted, although slightly out of context but still applicable — if on some point you think differently, that, too, God will make clear to you.