Kingdom Christians and Left-wing politics

Events occurring and how they relate/affect Anabaptist faith and culture.
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Wayne in Maine
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Kingdom Christians and Left-wing politics

Postby Wayne in Maine » Wed Feb 01, 2017 6:28 am

I must admit I'm making this observation from some distance, but I have noticed among some whom I would consider "kingdom Christians" a strong political view that mirrors the progressive, and even the radical left. I've experienced this in discussions with multiple people in multiple churches concerning events such as the Dakota Access pipeline protests, police shootings in the black community, Monsanto, illegal immigration and recently, of course, the government's restrictions of immigration from some Muslim countries. In some cases I've experienced very strong, even militant anti-American/anti-corporation rhetoric.

The attitudes I encounter are quite different from what I see in Conservative Anabaptist circles, which might otherwise be religiously similar.

Has anyone else noticed this?
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Re: Kingdom Christians and Left-wing politics

Postby Bootstrap » Wed Feb 01, 2017 7:35 am

I see Christians whose views mirror various political factions in the United States.

Using political labels to determine what is Christian is probably a bad idea in general. We have to step back from the world's politics and evaluate things from a Christian perspective when faith questions come in. If you evaluate everything through a left-wing versus right-wing lens, you are evaluating everything through a political lens.

When we work these things out, our views will agree with some political views - against abortion, casual sex, homosexual sex, in favor of life, helping the poor, the homeless, the refugee, in favor of freedom of religion - the political world has opinions on all these things too. But we don't measure by their opinions, and we don't give loyalty to their factions.

There are indeed some Christians whose views align 100% with one party or another, or with one politician who is in the foreground at any particular time. Some of them are even activists for political parties. That's not a good sign.
Last edited by Bootstrap on Wed Feb 01, 2017 7:36 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Neto
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Re: Kingdom Christians and Left-wing politics

Postby Neto » Wed Feb 01, 2017 7:36 am

I suspect that you are seeing elements of the old Christian Hippie (Jesus Freak) activist-pacifist peace position. That's where I was at for some years myself, and I still lean that way on some issues, except that I am now firmly in the non-political camp. I guess I should say that I am conflicted on issues like the pipe line (especially as it relates to Indian land rights, but also in relation to the environment), and immigration as well. In regards to the latter, I wonder if a congregation's or an individual's willingness to sponsor an immigrant family would affect the current stance on this. But some who did this in the past found that although they prepared a place for the family to live, when they arrived, they quickly moved to a large city where there was already a community of their own ethnic group, or extended family. The MB congregation where I grew up (In Oklahoma) sponsored a Russian family back in the early 90's, but they never even came there - instead, they stayed out East some place. The church had rented & renovated a trailer home for them, and stocked it with food, etc. (We were on furlough shortly after that, and were the only ones to ever stay there while the church was renting it. We were there for 6 weeks, but we paid the rent back.)
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Re: Kingdom Christians and Left-wing politics

Postby Bootstrap » Wed Feb 01, 2017 7:54 am

Neto wrote:I suspect that you are seeing elements of the old Christian Hippie (Jesus Freak) activist-pacifist peace position.


We may see a revival of that. We seem to be going back to the 1960s in so many ways. Until recently, the politicians who "owned" Christians were mostly Republicans, sometimes even right-wing. That seems to be changing.

Wayne in Maine wrote:I must admit I'm making this observation from some distance, but I have noticed among some whom I would consider "kingdom Christians" a strong political view that mirrors the progressive, and even the radical left.


Wayne in Maine wrote:The attitudes I encounter are quite different from what I see in Conservative Anabaptist circles, which might otherwise be religiously similar.


Some groups of Mennonites and Anabaptists seem to instinctively align with left-wing politics. That's not good. Some groups of Conservative Anabaptists seem to instinctively align with right-wing politics. That's not good either. If we use the language of political factions to evaluate things, we can't help but think like they do.

That's why we need each other, so we can examine these things in light of Scripture and what Jesus said and did, look carefully at facts, and prayerfully consider how to engage in a Christlike way for the Kingdom of God. We won't all come up with the same answers, but we'll be worse at it if we don't do this. When we're shocked that another Christian doesn't think the same way, that helps us remember where the common ground is and look at what Jesus said and did.
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Re: Kingdom Christians and Left-wing politics

Postby JimFoxvog » Wed Feb 01, 2017 8:10 am

Wayne in Maine wrote:I must admit I'm making this observation from some distance, but I have noticed among some whom I would consider "kingdom Christians" a strong political view that mirrors the progressive, and even the radical left.
....
The attitudes I encounter are quite different from what I see in Conservative Anabaptist circles, which might otherwise be religiously similar.

Has anyone else noticed this?

I've noticed. It is so easy for people on both sides of these issues to take on the views of their heritage or their surrounding culture. To me, looking at the Bible, it often mirrors the views of progressives -- or better said, the progressive views mirror the view of the Bible. There are notable exceptions. It is hard for many to look at issued individually; we so often agree with the culture in associating a whole lot viewpoints.
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Re: Kingdom Christians and Left-wing politics

Postby MaxPC » Wed Feb 01, 2017 8:13 am

Wayne and Neto: Yep. I've seen people who are normally all about the Bible ally themselves with pro abortion and pro homosexual groups over a political issue or issues and then lose all sense of discipleship or their relationship with Jesus. They trade their sense of Christian purpose for emotional political companionship. It's sad and it makes me wonder if they simply forgot who they are in Christ.

The gateway for many are the "social justice" organizations that often drop all mention of Biblical discipleship. They start out as a Christian organization but after a time it morphs into a political lobby, frequently a left-wing lobby. These organizations twist Christian teachings to serve political ends. One such group is Pax Christi.

Personally I see this temptation as an excellent example of the need to remain non-resistant and separate from the world of politics in order to focus on true Christian teachings and actions.
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temporal1
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Re: Kingdom Christians and Left-wing politics

Postby temporal1 » Wed Feb 01, 2017 8:18 am

Wayne, yes, to your OP.
it's a difficult time (for me) trying to learn about Jesus's way of separation of church from state, yet, i see the state offering all manner subsidies for every "cause" you've named, and more ..

there seems a "frenzy" to jump on bandwagons to display Christ's Love, no matter how it's funded .. for many, conflation of church and government goals+funds makes no matter, whatsoever - the end justifies the means.

many have no notion of CA understanding, so, why not?!

government money-money-money.

there is a profound difference between,
:arrow: 1. abiding by required law in order to serve others ..
:arrow: 2. accepting government subsidies to serve others ..
the latter being an established trap that comes with a high and long-lasting price.


i've spent 6 years learning about these differences on this forum, so, it's all fairly new to me.
but, it's meaningful as i try to navigate the mire.

(i believe) this is a time to exert great caution - as Anabaptists are known for, to do due digilence in "reading the fine print," to seriously pray on it, to seek the Holy Spirit for answers and guidance.

before the topic of refugee assistance became a forum frenzy this week, months ago, i'd read of Catholics helping with immigrants in the U.S. - these from Mexico. i have been praying on this, as, from what i read, the U.S. government was/is working with Catholics (i.e. subsidizing) .. of course, to further (liberal) government policies in the process:

this would have to ultimately include such things the poor immigrants would find abhorrent: :(
abortion, erosion of parents' rights, westernized views on sex and health ed .. no-fault divorce for everyone! .. the list goes on+on.

flashing gov subsidies at social problems is highly seductive - lib activists know all about it!
everyone pays ever-after.
:(

we have Canada to use as a warning on conflation of church+state. i pray we do.
in the U.S., we have "the 60's" to warn! the time when pastors inadvertantly led their flocks to seek after answers from government! :shock: just-say-no.

many in U.S. are from Canada, they are influential on many levels, libs-love-Canada as a convenient model to aspire to, always conveniently promoting without balanced facts on any issue.

just recently, i was learning from a CA in Georgia about how they respond to disasters .. we were discussing the recent 60 tornadoes that swept across the U.S. Southeast. for example, i was told that CA group would not accept FEMA funds, but they would assist in efforts. i'm certain, for these, "work means work."

so, my head is spinning, with all the zeal around, i'm trying to keep my feet on the ground that Jesus represents. such as: don't grab money from Caesar.

some thought-provoking words from Peregrino in another thread:
viewtopic.php?f=5&t=299&start=30
Peregrino wrote:Aren't we missing what triggered this whole council in the first place?

It was a response to what had happened earlier when some brothers caused a lot of offense by trying to impose cultural traditions on the church under the guise of religious requirements.

IMO it was the Jerusalem brothers extending the hand of fellowship to the gentile believers, acknowledging God at work among them while pointing out a few areas that would keep the gentiles from in turn becoming an offense to the culturally jewish believers.
soberly read the fine print. :-|

[this is response to the OP. i see others have posted!
this is not in response to those contributions. now, i will read.] :)
Last edited by temporal1 on Wed Feb 01, 2017 8:36 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Kingdom Christians and Left-wing politics

Postby Bootstrap » Wed Feb 01, 2017 8:32 am

MaxPC wrote:They trade their sense of Christian purpose for emotional political companionship. It's sad and it makes me wonder if they simply forgot who they are in Christ.


I see that on both sides of the political spectrum. Often dressed up in fine religious language. So much so that some Christians cannot even examine what the Bible teaches with anyone who does not already agree with their politics. I can see the speck in someone else's eye, they can see the speck in mine, and each of us thinks the other guy's eye has a log in it.

The voices of political factions are so much louder than the voice of Scripture. We're all influenced. Let's not be in denial about that. But let's keep looking back to Scripture and to Jesus, and let's keep talking with other Kingdom Christians to try to identify the logs in our own eyes.
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MaxPC
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Re: Kingdom Christians and Left-wing politics

Postby MaxPC » Wed Feb 01, 2017 9:47 am

temporal1 wrote:Wayne, yes, to your OP.
it's a difficult time (for me) trying to learn about Jesus's way of separation of church from state, yet, i see the state offering all manner subsidies for every "cause" you've named, and more ..

there seems a "frenzy" to jump on bandwagons to display Christ's Love, no matter how it's funded .. for many, conflation of church and government goals+funds makes no matter, whatsoever - the end justifies the means.

many have no notion of CA understanding, so, why not?!

government money-money-money.

there is a profound difference between,
:arrow: 1. abiding by required law in order to serve others ..
:arrow: 2. accepting government subsidies to serve others ..
the latter being an established trap that comes with a high and long-lasting price.


i've spent 6 years learning about these differences on this forum, so, it's all fairly new to me.
but, it's meaningful as i try to navigate the mire.

(i believe) this is a time to exert great caution - as Anabaptists are known for, to do due digilence in "reading the fine print," to seriously pray on it, to seek the Holy Spirit for answers and guidance.

before the topic of refugee assistance became a forum frenzy this week, months ago, i'd read of Catholics helping with immigrants in the U.S. - these from Mexico. i have been praying on this, as, from what i read, the U.S. government was/is working with Catholics (i.e. subsidizing) .. of course, to further (liberal) government policies in the process:

this would have to ultimately include such things the poor immigrants would find abhorrent: :(
abortion, erosion of parents' rights, westernized views on sex and health ed .. no-fault divorce for everyone! .. the list goes on+on.

flashing gov subsidies at social problems is highly seductive - lib activists know all about it!
everyone pays ever-after.
:(

we have Canada to use as a warning on conflation of church+state. i pray we do.
in the U.S., we have "the 60's" to warn! the time when pastors inadvertantly led their flocks to seek after answers from government! :shock: just-say-no.

many in U.S. are from Canada, they are influential on many levels, libs-love-Canada as a convenient model to aspire to, always conveniently promoting without balanced facts on any issue.

just recently, i was learning from a CA in Georgia about how they respond to disasters .. we were discussing the recent 60 tornadoes that swept across the U.S. Southeast. for example, i was told that CA group would not accept FEMA funds, but they would assist in efforts. i'm certain, for these, "work means work."

so, my head is spinning, with all the zeal around, i'm trying to keep my feet on the ground that Jesus represents. such as: don't grab money from Caesar.

some thought-provoking words from Peregrino in another thread:
viewtopic.php?f=5&t=299&start=30
Peregrino wrote:Aren't we missing what triggered this whole council in the first place?

It was a response to what had happened earlier when some brothers caused a lot of offense by trying to impose cultural traditions on the church under the guise of religious requirements.

IMO it was the Jerusalem brothers extending the hand of fellowship to the gentile believers, acknowledging God at work among them while pointing out a few areas that would keep the gentiles from in turn becoming an offense to the culturally jewish believers.
soberly read the fine print. :-|

[this is response to the OP. i see others have posted!
this is not in response to those contributions. now, i will read.] :)

:up: well said, T1. Of note is the siren call of government subsidies. The view that the government has unlimited resources and all power to fix everything. Only God has that capacity not a government run by men. "Government" has taken the place of "God" within Left-Wing political circles as well as other venues.

Separate non-resistant living focused upon our relationship with Christ is the most viable as all Godly social actions proceed from that.
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Re: Kingdom Christians and Left-wing politics

Postby mike » Wed Feb 01, 2017 10:32 am

Wayne in Maine wrote:I must admit I'm making this observation from some distance, but I have noticed among some whom I would consider "kingdom Christians" a strong political view that mirrors the progressive, and even the radical left. I've experienced this in discussions with multiple people in multiple churches concerning events such as the Dakota Access pipeline protests, police shootings in the black community, Monsanto, illegal immigration and recently, of course, the government's restrictions of immigration from some Muslim countries. In some cases I've experienced very strong, even militant anti-American/anti-corporation rhetoric.

The attitudes I encounter are quite different from what I see in Conservative Anabaptist circles, which might otherwise be religiously similar.

Has anyone else noticed this?


Yes. It mirrors what we saw from some "kingdom Christians" when Obama was elected.
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Remember the prisoners, as though you were in prison with them, and the mistreated, as though you yourselves were suffering bodily. -Heb. 13:3


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