Does Christian = Republican?

Dear Renea,

I have a problem with the idea that being “Liberal” is evil. I have tried and tried and cannot bring my mind to support the current Right Wing culture. I intuitively and instinctively do not agree with much I am hearing and seeing directly from the Republicans and the Tea Party. To me it does not line up with the Bible I read. Recently I found that many people in my current church including my pastor are big Fox News and Glen Beck supporters and I feel exceedingly discouraged. I have lost friends online and in person because I have a more humble approach toward politicians and world leaders and I refuse to subscribe to the hateful name calling and misinformation that seems so prevalent in online culture these days (regardless of party affiliation this nonsense does not belong on Christian lips or keypads I think). I guess my question is – wasn’t Jesus a lot more “liberal” than American Christians give him credit for – abortion and gay issues aside of course? How from a biblical worldview am I to accept FNN and people like Glen Beck as something beneficial to me when I can clearly see the deceit and lies and fear they propagate? These are serious questions. I am seriously considering if I should be in the church I have served in for almost 6 years. I just cannot see how political hate speech and misinformation has anything to do with the word of God. Thank you. God bless.

Hi Adam

I want to respond with a bit of encouragement, because I feel much the same way you do. I’m not as conservative as… well almost anyone in the Christian culture where I live and it can be discouraging. I don’t know how politically liberal-leaning you are, but as a moderate, I can often feel quite alone (annoying liberals as too conservative and conservatives as too liberal), but we are not alone, you and I, in thinking there’s something wrong with the dogmatic insistence that a biblical worldview = Right Wing Republicanism, so I wanted to encourage you to press on.

Should you stay in the church you’re currently in? Maybe, maybe not: it depends upon the heart of the people. If they are a hard-hearted people and are completely closed to the smallest of steps toward conversation, then yes, it is probably appropriate to look elsewhere and shake the dust off your sandals. If however they are open to considering other points of view, or even simply open to the fact that hate-speech is unChristian regardless of one’s political views and open to being more humble and civil, then you have a unique opportunity to provide perspective, to help them think (and speak) more like Christ, to edify the body.

I might also recommend finding an online community (whether you change churches or not) of more like-minded believers, so that you can be encouraged and not lose heart.

I hope this is helpful and encouraging.
Renea

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15 Responses to Does Christian = Republican?

  1. Glenn Beck is Mormon. Just saying.

    • reneamac says:

      :)Most people realize that now and don’t have a problem with it, as they shouldn’t; they still consider him a champion of their political views. Meanwhile they do have a problem with a potential POTUS being Mormon.

  2. John Doherty says:

    A great post here Renea. I love your attitude in answering this letter that you received.

    I also find it hard to be a “liberal” Christian (especially as one who supports the legalization of gay marriage and the continued legalization of abortion), both in and outside of the church. Unfortunately, my viewpoints have also ostracized me so much from the typical church community that I’ve rarely gone, which is sad.

    It’s a tough way to live, to be honest. We need to be less focused on the issues (which are often just platforms to stand on and not the heart of the matter) and more focused on pursuing Christ and truth.

    Just my thoughts. And I’m fully expecting to be lambasted on here (not by you, Rae :-)) for my views on gay marriage and abortion. I hope I’m wrong.

    • reneamac says:

      Thanks, John. xo

      I’d love to get an email from you about your views on abortion. I try to keep nuanced views myself. I’m curious. I’m also sad that you seem to share this guy’s church experience and have been discouraged to the point of basically leaving. You’re a wonderful, gifted, caring, intelligent person. It’s the church’s loss. But as you say, yours too in a different way: it’s a tough way to live.

      Searching for a church to call home is always difficult. It’s especially difficult for people like us… the unfit ones.

      Love to you, brother.

      (And I hope you’re wrong too. My regular readers are very good about being civil, and I hope, loving; but sometimes the crazies do come out.)

  3. Adam Jones says:

    Was Jesus more Liberal than Conservative?

    Was He more of a Whig than a Tory?

    Would he have sided with Caesar or Cicero?

    He doesn’t fit into those categories because he didn’t work in the political arena giving us idea about how our government should be run, and the issues we deal with today are very different and exist in a different political/social context.

    Every political group includes a group of theologians who claim that Jesus would vote as they do. The conversation is meaningless. And it does Jesus a disservice to drag his name through the mudslinging of politics and call Him Republican/Democrat/Libertarian/etc.

    • reneamac says:

      Agreed, Adam. Thanks for bringing this side of this issue up—and handling it so well, as always. It really is more at the heart of the issue. I wish I’d thought of bringing it up myself!

  4. Nah, I’m just going to lambast you on not going to church. 😉

  5. Pingback: Why do you feel like a Christian failure? | Living the Life You Were Made For

  6. Nate says:

    Great response Renea,

    I’m so glad that someone has expressed what I think all the time. I used to listen to Scott Wilder when Bush was in office and I loved it. When Obama was running, though, my affinity for his show ceased. I realized that Christian talk radio was really Republican talk radio, and so I turned away. Good job !!!

  7. For me … and I think I’m a generation older than most of the folks who follow you … the hardest thing has been watching a next generation of Christians make exactly the opposite political error of mine. (Which you, thankfully, are not!) My husband and I bit our tongues to avoid ostracism in a “Christianity = Republican” church culture. Now your generation is leaning to a “Christianity = left liberal issues” political culture. And as various on this thread have pointed out: a Bible-based politics doesn’t fit either pole. I’d even go so far as to suggest that the poles of our political system are “designed” to prevent us from having a truly Biblical political conversation. Because if your positions are Biblical, you can’t be “pigeon-holed” into either party that we have … but our system virtually requires you to align. Keep your integrity. Hold strong. But don’t expect to find a supportive church. Just find a church. “Do not forsake the gathering together …” etc. OK?

    • reneamac says:

      Hello Carlene. Thanks for your comment. You’re right about the perpetual pendulum swing. It’s dizzying. And frustrating. But alas, it seems to always be thus. Thanks for your encouragement. I don’t think it’s too idealistic to look for a supportive church. If a church isn’t supportive is it a church? The New Testament epistles use two words, and two words only, to describe what a church is: unity and edify. Okay, and maybe love. Three words that all flow in and out of each other. They’re not words that mean we all have to agree with each other, but we do have to be supportive.

      Maybe that’s not what you meant, but it just sounded so heartbreaking when you wrote, “don’t expect to find a supportive church.” I’m not a strong enough individual to keep my integrity without supportive community.

      PS. I really like your discussion about whether or not the US is a “Christian nation.” Check it out everyone: http://pocketpurposeblog.wordpress.com/2011/07/23/is-the-us-a-christian-nation-should-we-want-to-be/

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