Justice & the Sanctity of Life - Applied

Events occurring and how they relate/affect Anabaptist faith and culture.
Bootstrap
Posts: 2302
Joined: Thu Oct 20, 2016 9:59 am
Affiliation: Kingdom Christian

Re: Justice & the Sanctity of Life - Applied

Postby Bootstrap » Mon Feb 13, 2017 11:36 am

Josh wrote:
Also, there is some messiness in Conservative Anabaptist groups as well in terms of getting mixed up with politics, although probably not the kind of messiness you would prefer - my Amish grandfathers voted Republican, and most conservative Anabaptists I know who vote would definitely vote Republican.


This is a point my liberal brethren should consider - if conservative and plain Anabaptists all started voting en masse, you'd have a sizable chunk of new solidly Republican voters in Ohio, Indiana, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin - which are key swing states.

If you'd prefer to have Democrats elected to office, consider the implications of telling us we're bad Christians because we stay out of politics.


As far as I can tell nobody is saying you are bad Christians if you stay out of politics, and nobody seems to believe that. I think this thread started because some people think that a Christian must not even offer political opinions - something that I think at least some plain Christians do along with their non-plain brethren.

Whatever we do, I don't think our goal should be to see more Democrats elected or more Republicans elected. In the Kingdom, our concern for unborn children, refugees, sexual morality, the poor and oppressed, victims of war, and our ability to live our life as Kingdom Christians without persecution all overlap with political issues. That's why we wrestle with questions like whether to vote, whether to debate political issues, etc.
1 x
Is it biblical? Is it Christlike? Is it loving? Is it true? How can I find out?

Dan Z
Posts: 263
Joined: Fri Oct 28, 2016 11:20 am
Location: Central Minnesota
Affiliation: CMC

Re: Justice & the Sanctity of Life - Applied

Postby Dan Z » Mon Feb 13, 2017 5:01 pm

Josh wrote:This is a point my liberal brethren should consider - if conservative and plain Anabaptists all started voting en masse, you'd have a sizable chunk of new solidly Republican voters in Ohio, Indiana, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin - which are key swing states.


The fact that this is obvious to all of us tells me that many (most?) plain people are in the habit of opining quite openly about politics (if not voting) - and are as deeply vested in partisan ideologies as their liberal counterparts are.

And that's saddens me.
2 x

Dan Z
Posts: 263
Joined: Fri Oct 28, 2016 11:20 am
Location: Central Minnesota
Affiliation: CMC

Re: Justice & the Sanctity of Life - Applied

Postby Dan Z » Mon Feb 13, 2017 5:19 pm

Mike wrote:The messiness I would prefer we get into would be the getting our hands literally dirty with disaster relief, caring for the poor, widows and orphans, sheltering the homeless, going into prisons, teaching the good news of Jesus where and how we can. I think we have our work cut out for us; and if we are doing all we can in obedience to the great commission, what energy will we really have left for politics? Where do Jesus or the apostles even hint that some Christians should be involved in politics, government, or military (I view them all as being in the same category)?


Bootstrap wrote:Whatever we do, I don't think our goal should be to see more Democrats elected or more Republicans elected. In the Kingdom, our concern for unborn children, refugees, sexual morality, the poor and oppressed, victims of war, and our ability to live our life as Kingdom Christians without persecution all overlap with political issues. That's why we wrestle with questions like whether to vote, whether to debate political issues, etc.


Can I agree with Mike and Boot at the same time?

Well said both of you.
2 x

Josh
Posts: 2366
Joined: Wed Oct 19, 2016 6:23 pm

Re: Justice & the Sanctity of Life - Applied

Postby Josh » Tue Feb 14, 2017 7:57 am

Dan Z wrote:
Josh wrote:This is a point my liberal brethren should consider - if conservative and plain Anabaptists all started voting en masse, you'd have a sizable chunk of new solidly Republican voters in Ohio, Indiana, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin - which are key swing states.


The fact that this is obvious to all of us tells me that many (most?) plain people are in the habit of opining quite openly about politics (if not voting) - and are as deeply vested in partisan ideologies as their liberal counterparts are.

And that's saddens me.


Why does it "sadden" you? My observation is based on people who transition from being a plain community without voting to a less-plain community or near-plain like CMC that does have voting. They nearly all go for the more conservative candidate, which 99% of the time means Republican.

If people like Amish, conservative Mennonites, etc. start voting, they are going to pick the candidate who campaigns on a pro-life platform, not the one campaigning on a pro-abortion platform.
0 x

Josh
Posts: 2366
Joined: Wed Oct 19, 2016 6:23 pm

Re: Justice & the Sanctity of Life - Applied

Postby Josh » Tue Feb 14, 2017 7:59 am

Bootstrap wrote:As far as I can tell nobody is saying you are bad Christians if you stay out of politics, and nobody seems to believe that.


Maybe not here, but that's a popular refrain elsewhere in Mennoland. Basically, the progressive wing views abstaining from politics as something only "privileged" people can do, so abstaining from political activity is, in their worldview, actually an act of racism.

Whatever we do, I don't think our goal should be to see more Democrats elected or more Republicans elected. In the Kingdom, our concern for unborn children, refugees, sexual morality, the poor and oppressed, victims of war, and our ability to live our life as Kingdom Christians without persecution all overlap with political issues. That's why we wrestle with questions like whether to vote, whether to debate political issues, etc.


If they overlap with political issues, it's because we aren't spending enough time in the right kingdom. I can be quite concerned for refugees who are my neighbour, and love my neighbour who is a Muslim, without having to join the anti-Trump bandwagon. It puzzles me that so many people can't do this. Or that they don't stop and ask themselves just what their anti-Trump activism is even accomplishing.
0 x

Josh
Posts: 2366
Joined: Wed Oct 19, 2016 6:23 pm

Re: Justice & the Sanctity of Life - Applied

Postby Josh » Tue Feb 14, 2017 8:01 am

Dan Z wrote:Quoted from the Dylan Roof thread:

appleman wrote:I simply do not understand the plain Mennonites that are openly protesting Trump's border positions at this point. Nor do I necessarily understand those that are very vocally supporting them for that matter.


Hmm...I didn't know there were any plain folks openly protesting Trump's border positions - I'm surprised - although I can appreciate their concerns.
[/quote]

People at Followers of the Way are doing this, or at least that's what it seems like based on the photos posted online.
0 x

Dan Z
Posts: 263
Joined: Fri Oct 28, 2016 11:20 am
Location: Central Minnesota
Affiliation: CMC

Re: Justice & the Sanctity of Life - Applied

Postby Dan Z » Tue Feb 14, 2017 10:37 am

Josh wrote:Why does it "sadden" you? My observation is based on people who transition from being a plain community without voting to a less-plain community or near-plain like CMC that does have voting. They nearly all go for the more conservative candidate, which 99% of the time means Republican.

If people like Amish, conservative Mennonites, etc. start voting, they are going to pick the candidate who campaigns on a pro-life platform, not the one campaigning on a pro-abortion platform.


The thing that saddens me is not that they become Republican...they are most certainly a product of their "red-state" context in that regard (like their non-plain neighbors)...but that they are identifiably partisan in the first place.

Within plain Anabaptism there has been a history (albeit inconsistent) of separation from worldly political involvement that has, in part, safeguarded the plain community from partisan allegiances and political ideologies and allowed their thinking and worldview to be more Christologically/ecclesiologically formed than politically formed. I mourn the erosion of that separation...across the church for that matter.
0 x

Bootstrap
Posts: 2302
Joined: Thu Oct 20, 2016 9:59 am
Affiliation: Kingdom Christian

Re: Justice & the Sanctity of Life - Applied

Postby Bootstrap » Tue Feb 14, 2017 11:14 am

Josh wrote:
Whatever we do, I don't think our goal should be to see more Democrats elected or more Republicans elected. In the Kingdom, our concern for unborn children, refugees, sexual morality, the poor and oppressed, victims of war, and our ability to live our life as Kingdom Christians without persecution all overlap with political issues. That's why we wrestle with questions like whether to vote, whether to debate political issues, etc.


If they overlap with political issues, it's because we aren't spending enough time in the right kingdom. I can be quite concerned for refugees who are my neighbour, and love my neighbour who is a Muslim, without having to join the anti-Trump bandwagon. It puzzles me that so many people can't do this. Or that they don't stop and ask themselves just what their anti-Trump activism is even accomplishing.


I agree that we shouldn't be "joining the anti-Trump bandwagon". A lot of the current protests are full of anger but not very focused on any particular issue, and we shouldn't be instinctively against whatever the president does. We should not seethe with hatred or spend our lives consumed with unreflective anger. Neil Gorsuch was a great choice for Supreme Court. If Trump really does bargain with pharmaceutical companies to bring the price government pays down - as almost all other countries do - that could mean major savings in taxes and medical care. The measure should never be whether it is for or against Trump.

But let's face it. To a lot of people, the religious right political movement is more or less the definition of Christianity, and Donald Trump is the most visible figure in this movement. It's hard to proclaim Christianity without speaking against some false notions of Christianity. There's more than one religious right movement, and the more extreme elements of that are gaining power and visibility. Remember Flemming Rose, the Danish publisher who published insulting cartoons of Mohammed that were extremely controversial? He is now on staff at the Cato Institute. When he met Steve Bannon, Bannon assumed that they agreed on everything regarding Muslims, and shared his Church Militant vision with him. Flemming Rose share some details of that conversation:

Flemming Rose wrote:What disturbed me the most in our conversation was Bannon’s apparent belief that violence and war can have a cleansing effect, that we may need to tear down things and rebuild them from scratch. He made it clear he had lost faith in Europe as secularism and arriving Muslim immigrants had eroded traditional Christian values as the founding pillar of our civilization. Losing the Christian faith, in his view, has weakened Europe ― it’s neither willing nor able to confront Islam’s rising power and some European Muslims’ insistence on privileged treatment of their religion.

Bannon is of the belief that, if Europe is to be saved, there is no way to avoid armed conflict. The power of Islam cannot be stopped by peaceful means. In short, Bannon told me in no uncertain terms that the West is at war with Islam.

I begged to differ. Yes, we are in a hot war with violent Islamists and in a cold war with nonviolent Islamists who want to undermine secular democracy. But we are not at war with Islam. The Cold War was fought on many fronts, but basically it was a battle of ideas in which Marxists of a social democratic mold played a crucial role defending democracy against totalitarian Soviet Marxism-Leninism. It’s important to provide the same space for Muslims on the side of democracy to engage in the battle against Islamism. That seems impossible if we insist on being at war with Islam.


Bannon's faith is not my faith. That is not the Jesus I know. When people are teaching this in the name of Christianity, we need to be loud and clear about a different vision of Christianity. There's more than one battle of ideas, and one of these battles is about what it means to follow Jesus Christ in this world.

When we go out in the park with the families we are helping, we're concerned about how people feel about them. Right now, Trump's Administration is broadcasting that every refugee is a potential terrorist who is not vetted hardly at all. Feelings are running strong.
0 x
Is it biblical? Is it Christlike? Is it loving? Is it true? How can I find out?

Valerie
Posts: 1015
Joined: Fri Dec 23, 2016 6:59 am
Location: Medina OH
Affiliation: non-denominational

Re: Justice & the Sanctity of Life - Applied

Postby Valerie » Tue Feb 14, 2017 11:03 pm

mike wrote:
Dan Z wrote:Max - the issue we're discussing is how to respond when people or groups unjustly act outside of their ordained role.

Wield the sword circumspectly to counter terrorism = Ordained
Cluster-bombing Vietnamese villages = Unjust

No one wields the sword with impunity.


Here's another thing, Dan. Who does the ordaining? God does. Do we always know exactly what God has ordained them to do? At times, God has clearly ordained evil powers to commit evil deeds - the nations who took Israel and Judah captive, and Pharaoh, for example. Who are we to say that God did not ordain an evil man or nation which commits an evil act? He most certainly did use/ordain/appoint evil nations. I see you you did not say bombing the village was not ordained; rather, that it was unjust. We tremble in the face of such horrific evils but we must know that God has allowed it to be so.


Considering what you are saying here- I don't see it as an evil act if God is saying the underlined:
13:1 Let every person be subject to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and those that exist have been instituted by God. 2 Therefore whoever resists the authorities resists what God has appointed, and those who resist will incur judgment. 3 For rulers are not a terror to good conduct, but to bad. Would you have no fear of the one who is in authority? Then do what is good, and you will receive his approval, 4 for he is God's servant for your good. But if you do wrong, be afraid, for he does not bear the sword in vain. For he is the servant of God, an avenger who carries out God's wrath on the wrongdoer. 5 Therefore one must be in subjection, not only to avoid God's wrath but also for the sake of conscience. 6 For because of this you also pay taxes, for the authorities are ministers of God, attending to this very thing. 7 Pay to all what is owed to them: taxes to whom taxes are owed, revenue to whom revenue is owed, respect to whom respect is owed, honor to whom honor is owed. (ESV)

How can you say that this is an evil man, doing an evil act when clearly it is saying he is doing something good by using the sword- being a terror to 'bad' conduct?
It seems in this case that God is for capital punishment by the way this is worded. It says he is carrying out God's wrath (not his own wrath) on the avenger. We have to be careful then, calling him an evil servant for God, if he's doing God's work of wrath- according to God's word, as God's minister, don't we?
0 x

Dan Z
Posts: 263
Joined: Fri Oct 28, 2016 11:20 am
Location: Central Minnesota
Affiliation: CMC

Re: Justice & the Sanctity of Life - Applied

Postby Dan Z » Wed Feb 15, 2017 12:12 am

Just to get us on the same page...Who was I calling "an evil man doing an evil act"?

In any case Valerie, My concern all along has been when rulers are a terror not to the evil doer, but to the innocent or even to good conduct. I don't think Paul had In mind a defense of Rome's Feeding Christians to the lions for example.This is obviously outside of the ordination spoken of in Romans.
0 x


Return to “Current Events and Politics”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest