POLL: Relating to Power: The Christian and Politics

Events occurring and how they relate/affect Anabaptist faith and culture.

Which statement most closely represents your views on Christian political involvement?

1) As "strangers and aliens" in this world, Christians should totally abstain from direct involvement in politics, recognizing that worldly power & coercion are inherently at odds with the goals & methods of the Kingdom of God.
18
55%
2) While direct involvement in politics (e.g. voting, volunteering) compromises a Christian's allegiances and non-resistant convictions, Christians should be willing to speak prophetically to power and the moral issues of the day.
9
27%
3) Christians should vote on issues and for candidates that reflect their values, but non-resistant Christians must not compromise by voting for positions that carry out corporal force on their behalf (e.g. President, sheriff).
0
No votes
4) As "salt & light" in a fallen world, a Christian's primary allegiance to Christ should be reflected in all areas of life, including sometimes at the voting booth, particularly when candidates or issues align with their convictions & values.
5
15%
5) Secular governments are ordained of God to keep order & punish evil. It is the Christian duty to help ensure that government remains just & reflective of our Christian values by voting and even political involvement.
0
No votes
6) God has given Christians a template for moral and just governance in Scripture, and Christians should not only vote, but seek positions influence and political position to help return society to its proper order before the Lord.
1
3%
 
Total votes: 33

Dan Z
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POLL: Relating to Power: The Christian and Politics

Postby Dan Z » Sat Nov 19, 2016 12:51 pm

Coming out of a contentious election season, which divided professing Christians like it divided the rest of society, I've been thinking a lot once again about how we as Anabaptist Christians should relate to politics and political power.

Here is a thread (and POLL) to discuss how we as Christians ought to relate to political power - and why you think the way you do.
1 x

PeterG
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Re: POLL: Relating to Power: The Christian and Politics

Postby PeterG » Sat Nov 19, 2016 12:58 pm

Great poll, Dan. I voted ( wait, voting?! :shock: ) for option 2, although option 1 also reflects my point of view.
4 x

ken_sylvania
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Re: POLL: Relating to Power: The Christian and Politics

Postby ken_sylvania » Sat Nov 19, 2016 1:20 pm

I chose option 1, although my belief might align with option 2 depending on how it is carried out practically speaking. The apostle Paul used his hearing with Felix to reason with him of righteousness, temperance, and judgment to come. I believe it is appropriate for Christians today to follow the example of Christ and the Apostles in preaching about relevant issues, but I really don't see any NT precedent for telling secular authorities how they ought to govern.
2 x

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mike
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Re: POLL: Relating to Power: The Christian and Politics

Postby mike » Sat Nov 19, 2016 1:58 pm

#1 - I didn't go for #2 because I am not sure what "speaking prophetically" means. I agree with what Ken said:

ken_sylvania wrote:I believe it is appropriate for Christians today to follow the example of Christ and the Apostles in preaching about relevant issues, but I really don't see any NT precedent for telling secular authorities how they ought to govern.
2 x
Remember the prisoners, as though you were in prison with them, and the mistreated, as though you yourselves were suffering bodily. -Heb. 13:3

Dan Z
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Re: POLL: Relating to Power: The Christian and Politics

Postby Dan Z » Sat Nov 19, 2016 8:54 pm

mike wrote:#1 - I didn't go for #2 because I am not sure what "speaking prophetically" means. I agree with what Ken said:


Perhaps I could express what "speaking prophetically" means to me: The prophets of old spoke for God, often on behalf of the oppressed, particularly in times of immorality or injustice. In this case, I would think that followers of Jesus have the right, perhaps even the moral obligation, to publicly speak out in the face of government immorality or injustice, particularly on behalf of those who don't have a voice. Some obvious circumstances that come to mind would be abortion, genocide, persecution, torture for example - also injustice or abuse of the poor, the stranger, the prisoner, civilians in war, etc.

Hope that helps. :)

I voted #2 myself, although I sometimes think I could come out at #3 with a clean conscience - but I never have gone that far. For example, a county commissioner does not "bear the sword" (although the legal system is coercive), and a local referendum on - say - gambling does not represent an endorsement of a position of power. I do recognize that this may be a slippery slope - like an alcoholic just taking a sip of hard cider, justifying his choice by saying "at least it's not hard liquor."

I think that's why I have never taken this step - I find abstinence safer than temperance.
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Dan Z
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Re: POLL: Relating to Power: The Christian and Politics

Postby Dan Z » Sat Nov 19, 2016 9:16 pm

ken_sylvania wrote:...I really don't see any NT precedent for telling secular authorities how they ought to govern.


I think I agree with this Ken when it comes to governing.

But what about things like injustice and immorality and greed? Prophets of both the Old and New testaments seemed quite free to call out government injustice? Didn't John the Baptist die as a result of such a message to Herod? Didn't Jesus confront and condemn the hypocrisy and immorality of the authorities (i.e. the religious leaders...the tax collectors)? Wasn't his death on the cross a direct result of the threat he represented to the power-brokers of his day?
0 x

ken_sylvania
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Re: POLL: Relating to Power: The Christian and Politics

Postby ken_sylvania » Sat Nov 19, 2016 9:49 pm

Dan Z wrote:... what about things like injustice and immorality and greed? Prophets of both the Old and New testaments seemed quite free to call out government injustice? Didn't John the Baptist die as a result of such a message to Herod? Didn't Jesus confront and condemn the hypocrisy and immorality of the authorities (i.e. the religious leaders...the tax collectors)? Wasn't his death on the cross a direct result of the threat he represented to the power-brokers of his day?

I'm not sure how to rightly put this into words, but I think the venue in which this "prophetic speaking" is carried out might be a major differentiating factor for me.
I do not believe that the Old Testament prophets represent a valid role model for the follower of Christ so far as relating to civil government goes.
Jesus, John the Baptist, Stephen, and Paul did confront and condemn the hypocrisy and immorality of the authorities of their day, but it seems to have mostly been done directly, face-to-face. Stephen accused the Sanhedrin of being stiff-necked and rebellious, but that accusation a challenge directly to them. I can't imagine Stephen preaching to an assembly of the early church and accusing Herod Agrippa of being proud, immoral, and unjust, even though all those labels fit, but I can certainly see him confronting Herod directly and challenging him to repent personally.
So if "prophetic speaking" consists of reminding President-Elect Trump personally (not through an op-ed or published article) that it is not right for him to have a third wife while the others are living, I think there is NT support for doing so.
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Josh
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Re: POLL: Relating to Power: The Christian and Politics

Postby Josh » Sun Nov 20, 2016 9:28 am

I picked 1. I would have picked 2, but "speaking prophetically" right now means attending BLM rallies, wearing a safety pin, and talking a lot about how bad Trump is.

The reason I doubt this is for the Christian is simply because it is identical to what half of the world does with no basis in nonresistance, belief in God, or following Jesus.

Someday I might get to 3, but I question the value of my witness if I vote and voting registration is public. I wouldn't vote for any office I wouldn't hold. Most offices require being party to lawsuits and I would not sue another believer in particular. So I couldn't serve as zoning commissioner, for example.

I think fire marshall could be OK.
0 x

Dan Z
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Re: POLL: Relating to Power: The Christian and Politics

Postby Dan Z » Sun Nov 20, 2016 1:54 pm

I understand Josh...although To me "speaking prophetically" is not driven by political ideology and pop culture causes but, rather, by Kingdom identity and the cause of Christ
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Dan Z
Posts: 247
Joined: Fri Oct 28, 2016 11:20 am
Location: Central Minnesota
Affiliation: CMC

Re: POLL: Relating to Power: The Christian and Politics

Postby Dan Z » Sun Nov 20, 2016 1:58 pm

It is interesting, The opinions of the Anabaptists in this poll so far are a lot different than the opinions of the Anabaptists on my Facebook feed. :D
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