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

appleman2006
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Re: POLL: Relating to Power: The Christian and Politics

Postby appleman2006 » Tue Feb 14, 2017 1:55 pm

mike wrote:I have made my view against protesting government policy on immigration fairly obvious, I think. However, I am also against protesting government policy on welfare programs. I may have some thoughts on abuse of the system and creating dependency, but I expect the government to act in its own best interest and even in the best interest of its citizens by providing for the poor. I don't advocate for it neither do I protest it. Depending on the moral code that we're applying to government (I still don't know what that code really is), it may even be the moral thing for a government to do - providing a safety net for its citizens.


I will grant you that at times it appears to be the moral thing to do. I even believe that most of it's advocates genuinely believe it is the moral thing to do. I simply believe though that the way it is normally done is anything but moral particularly when it feeds and produces a culture of dependency that ultimately leads to many of the things that God hates. I am convinced there must be a better way. We have tried the other way for enough years to see that it is not working. But I will be the first to declare that I do not have all the answers.
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lesterb
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Re: POLL: Relating to Power: The Christian and Politics

Postby lesterb » Tue Feb 14, 2017 2:04 pm

appleman2006 wrote:
mike wrote:I have made my view against protesting government policy on immigration fairly obvious, I think. However, I am also against protesting government policy on welfare programs. I may have some thoughts on abuse of the system and creating dependency, but I expect the government to act in its own best interest and even in the best interest of its citizens by providing for the poor. I don't advocate for it neither do I protest it. Depending on the moral code that we're applying to government (I still don't know what that code really is), it may even be the moral thing for a government to do - providing a safety net for its citizens.


I will grant you that at times it appears to be the moral thing to do. I even believe that most of it's advocates genuinely believe it is the moral thing to do. I simply believe though that the way it is normally done is anything but moral particularly when it feeds and produces a culture of dependency that ultimately leads to many of the things that God hates. I am convinced there must be a better way. We have tried the other way for enough years to see that it is not working. But I will be the first to declare that I do not have all the answers.

I guess we could just go back to letting needy people starve to death. :-|

I know what you are saying, I think. But too often that is the argument used by Capitalists would rather keep the money that it costs to fund the welfare system so that they could buy a bigger yacht. :?

[We need a "confused" emoticon that looks the other way, back at the text, rather than away from it. :? ]
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Re: POLL: Relating to Power: The Christian and Politics

Postby appleman2006 » Tue Feb 14, 2017 2:22 pm

lesterb wrote:
appleman2006 wrote:
mike wrote:I have made my view against protesting government policy on immigration fairly obvious, I think. However, I am also against protesting government policy on welfare programs. I may have some thoughts on abuse of the system and creating dependency, but I expect the government to act in its own best interest and even in the best interest of its citizens by providing for the poor. I don't advocate for it neither do I protest it. Depending on the moral code that we're applying to government (I still don't know what that code really is), it may even be the moral thing for a government to do - providing a safety net for its citizens.


I will grant you that at times it appears to be the moral thing to do. I even believe that most of it's advocates genuinely believe it is the moral thing to do. I simply believe though that the way it is normally done is anything but moral particularly when it feeds and produces a culture of dependency that ultimately leads to many of the things that God hates. I am convinced there must be a better way. We have tried the other way for enough years to see that it is not working. But I will be the first to declare that I do not have all the answers.

I guess we could just go back to letting needy people starve to death. :-|

I know what you are saying, I think. But too often that is the argument used by Capitalists would rather keep the money that it costs to fund the welfare system so that they could buy a bigger yacht. :?

[We need a "confused" emoticon that looks the other way, back at the text, rather than away from it. :? ]

I do not think it is any more fair to call all so called Capitalists that see smaller government as a good thing, greedy, than it is to call all people living on the dole, lazy and bums. Not saying you are doing that but I think we must be very careful. How many people in our country do you think would actually starve if they lost most of their government handouts? Other than the small percent that are not physically and mentally stable enough to earn their keep and have no one that cares about them and unfortunately sometimes the children that they are responsible for, I doubt that very few would.

But please understand I am not protesting our system, not even asking for changes. Just stating what I see as the very obvious which is that what we have is not working real well. And the evidence is overwhelming that more socialism is not the answer.
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Re: POLL: Relating to Power: The Christian and Politics

Postby Wayne in Maine » Tue Feb 14, 2017 2:30 pm

Dan Z wrote:Don't I get credit for at least adding Stalin into the mix? :)


That's Годwин Corollary.
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temporal1
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Re: POLL: Relating to Power: The Christian and Politics

Postby temporal1 » Tue Feb 14, 2017 2:43 pm

Speaking of Canada: :arrow:

First, i saw:
Trump-Trudeau discuss trade / Rueters
http://www.reuters.com/article/us-usa-t ... SKBN15S14S

Next day:
American businessman Kevin O’Leary is the most likely candidate to replace Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, according to a Monday poll released by Mainsteet Research.

O’Leary is known for his fiscally conservative views, and actually toyed with the idea of running as early as last January, when he discussed how he would run. O’Leary has only been in the race for a little under a month. He has dominated early polling that shows him as the most likely candidate to successfully unseat Trudeau.

The Conservative party in Canada doesn’t have a primary like the ones in the U.S. Instead, there is an intra-party preferential vote, but not every vote is weighted the same, according to Ipolitics. O’Leary leads in the overall voter percentage, earning 24.7 percent in the poll — an incredible feat given the 14 other candidates running for the party nomination. Also of note is the nearly 11 percent of conservative voters who remain undecided in the poll, indicating that there is room for growth for the well-known business leader.

O’Leary’s numbers fall slightly when the potential point system is taken into account. Essentially, 24.52 percent of the available points support O’Leary currently, with Maxime Bernier a close second at 20.22 percent.

Perhaps the most revealing question was which one of the Conservative candidates was most likely to beat Trudeau, and O’Leary quickly emerged as the party favorite. Thirty-six percent of voters in the poll indicated they felt that O’Leary stood the best chance, compared to only 20.32 percent who felt that Bernier could win.

O’Leary is a Canadian national with business ties to the U.S. He primarily lives in Boston, Mass., but maintains a home in Canada, clearing the way for him to run for office there. O’Leary currently owns several businesses in the U.S., including a mutual fund that carries his name. He supports reduced corporate tax rates, the North American Free Trade Agreement, and opposes deficit spending.

The published margin of error of the poll is 1.3 percentage points in either direction. There are 91,000 members of the Conservative Party, and the pollster obtained answers from “thousands” of respondents during the poll. The polling for the recent data concluded Feb. 9.

Content created by The Daily Caller News Foundation is available without charge to any eligible news publisher that can provide a large audience. For licensing opportunities of our original content, please contact licensing@dailycallernewsfoundation.org.
Wondering when i will find Martin's freeze-dried apple chips in a store near me? :wave:
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appleman2006
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Re: POLL: Relating to Power: The Christian and Politics

Postby appleman2006 » Tue Feb 14, 2017 2:55 pm

How dare you call them freeze dried? :D They are dehydrated. Quite a different process. And they have been near you. But not in a store that will carry them on a regular basis. Other stores are in the process of adding them.
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temporal1
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Re: POLL: Relating to Power: The Christian and Politics

Postby temporal1 » Tue Feb 14, 2017 3:05 pm

appleman2006 wrote:How dare you call them freeze dried? :D They are dehydrated. Quite a different process. And they have been near you. But not in a store that will carry them on a regular basis. Other stores are in the process of adding them.
:shock: :o :?
i had to run to the trash to get the label to see what i had just eaten!
i thought i purchased something-like your product: nope. "premium freeze dried fruit." :cry:
that aggravates me.

so close, yet so far away ..
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Bootstrap
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Re: POLL: Relating to Power: The Christian and Politics

Postby Bootstrap » Tue Feb 14, 2017 3:41 pm

lesterb wrote:
Bootstrap wrote:One thing that distorts this whole discussion is that we are doing it in an online forum.

Suppose Mike, Appleman, Dan, and I were out in the park with the two refugee families I'm working with. My guess is that there wouldn't be a political debate. My guess is that there would be potato salad.

Yes, and it would a whole lot more practical good than most of the activism discussed in this thread. I took another look at the poll with this thread, and I don't think the general tone of the threat really portrays the general thinking on MN. This is like real life. Conservative Anabaptists generally don't pay a lot of attention to such discussion, they just continue to treat their neighbors with Christian love and let the politicians do their thing.


For what it's worth, in the decades that I was in MC-USA churches, I was never once part of a protest, nor called to be from the pulpit. But I was involved in efforts to serve others, small group Bible study, prayer, etc. So I suspect that the stereotypes we can so easily develop reading a forum like this might be overblown in more than one direction. But I also suspect that there are plain and non-plain congregations that fit into these stereotypes.

lesterb wrote:With all due respect to Dan (who I personally admire), I think that terms like "speaking prophetically" look good on online forums, but have little practical value in real life unless we are going dive into the world of activism. Our job description as Christians is to "go into all the world and preach the gospel", making disciples of whatever culture we happen to find ourselves involved in.

Wesley did England a LOT more good than Cromwell did.


In the New Testament period, we're not Malachi or Amos. That's important.

But in the New Testament, it's not just "preach the Gospel", it's also serving others. I suppose my approach would be something like this: put living out the Kingdom, serving others, and preaching the Gospel first. When you see that the Kingdom needs to be corrected because it is polluted by the worldview of the world around us - political or otherwise - speak to that. When you see that Caesar is doing serious harm in areas related to your calling, ask God if you are called to speak to Caesar. Regardless, pray for Caesar.

And I'd add this: if it's not clearly something the Bible calls us to, be extremely cautious about turning it into a law or a litmus test for who is a true Christian. To me, turning voting or non-voting into a hard and fast rule is dangerous precisely because it goes beyond the teaching of the Bible. On the other hand, being cautious of our allegiances and our focus is extremely important.
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Dan Z
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Re: POLL: Relating to Power: The Christian and Politics

Postby Dan Z » Tue Feb 14, 2017 3:52 pm

LesterB wrote:With all due respect to Dan (who I personally admire), I think that terms like "speaking prophetically" look good on online forums, but have little practical value in real life unless we are going dive into the world of activism. Our job description as Christians is to "go into all the world and preach the gospel", making disciples of whatever culture we happen to find ourselves involved in.

Wesley did England a LOT more good than Cromwell did.


The admiration goes both ways Lester. :)

It looks like the majority position on the poll is for option 1 (55%) - and that lines up with CM thinking from my experience. I know I'm arguing the minority perspective - this time. :)

Don't you think there is space for a Christian response to injustice that lies somewhere between "the quiet in the land" and "activism?"

I think we all agree that love in action is our first response. Adopt a child if you're against abortion. Take in refugees if you think strangers should be welcomed.

But what about solemn public statements against something like abortion? I struggle with the idea that it is best for faith communities to stay aloof and without public witness about the legalized killing of the unborn - if for no other reason than that it is important for people to know (including people in the government) that infanticide is counter to the heart of Jesus.

How about slavery? Were our forebears guilty of "activism" in pointing out the immorality of slavery in Penns woods? Was it inappropriate for the Pennsylvania Germans and the Quakers to influence the government in this regard?

    In 1688, our Mennonite forbears in PA made a solemn statement about slavery arguing that "Blacks and Whites were essentially equal, that it was unjust and a contradiction of Christianity to enslave them. They pointed out that Christian slave-owners were no better than the "Turks," or Muslims, who practiced slavery in Asia and Africa. They appealed to the consciences of slave-owners, asking them to realize that the sin of slavery led to many other sins, such as adultery when the master lay with the female slave. The consequence of this sinful union was the birth of a child rejected and enslaved by the master, who denied all that was right and true by denying his own flesh and blood. The Mennonites believed that all social relations should be based on the Golden Rule, to treat others as you would have them treat you."
There is evidence that partially because of the witness (not activism) of the Quakers and Anabaptists, Pennsylvania became one of the first states to pass laws moving toward abolishing slavery (passing it's first law in 1780). Hopefully, our Anabaptist forebears also helped in other practical ways as well, but their willingness to share their convictions in this case may have made a real difference people's lives.

What about religious freedom? Or the right to educate our children as we see fit? It seems that our tradition has spoken up from time to time on these things. Were they wrong? Was this activism?

It seems, in these discussions, that people always argue assuming the extreme position on the other side of the argument (I'm guilty of it too). Arguing for a "prophetic voice" is understood as "activism." Arguing for political distance is the same as "indifference."

Perhaps it is easier to argue against "activism" on the one hand or "passivity" on the other than to argue against moderation in either case. :?
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Re: POLL: Relating to Power: The Christian and Politics

Postby Sudsy » Tue Feb 14, 2017 4:04 pm

Bootstrap wrote:But in the New Testament, it's not just "preach the Gospel", it's also serving others. I suppose my approach would be something like this: put living out the Kingdom, serving others, and preaching the Gospel first. When you see that the Kingdom needs to be corrected because it is polluted by the worldview of the world around us - political or otherwise - speak to that. When you see that Caesar is doing serious harm in areas related to your calling, ask God if you are called to speak to Caesar. Regardless, pray for Caesar.

And I'd add this: if it's not clearly something the Bible calls us to, be extremely cautious about turning it into a law or a litmus test for who is a true Christian. To me, turning voting or non-voting into a hard and fast rule is dangerous precisely because it goes beyond the teaching of the Bible. On the other hand, being cautious of our allegiances and our focus is extremely important.


:up: I like the way you put it. Now to do it under the guidance and empowerment of the Holy Spirit.
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