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

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

Postby RZehr » Tue Feb 14, 2017 5:00 pm

gcdonner wrote:
RZehr wrote:My privilege is not what allows me to live a non-political existence. It is a matter of faith. Everyone could live a non-political existence.

While your faith is your motivating factor, it is none the less true that it is your privilege that allows you to exercise your faith in this country, so it is in a very real sense, our privilege, that allows us to live non-political lives here. Not everyone is allowed to live a non-political life in this world as it now exists.
Even church government is "political" in essence, and remember the gift of government IS a gift of the Spirit. Paul tells us that our politics is in heaven, so we are not a-political after all.


Who is granting this privilege? God or the state? I understood the original post to mean the state.
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gcdonner
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Re: POLL: Relating to Power: The Christian and Politics

Postby gcdonner » Tue Feb 14, 2017 7:34 pm

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.

I like potato salad...
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gcdonner
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Re: POLL: Relating to Power: The Christian and Politics

Postby gcdonner » Tue Feb 14, 2017 7:36 pm

RZehr wrote:
gcdonner wrote:
RZehr wrote:My privilege is not what allows me to live a non-political existence. It is a matter of faith. Everyone could live a non-political existence.

While your faith is your motivating factor, it is none the less true that it is your privilege that allows you to exercise your faith in this country, so it is in a very real sense, our privilege, that allows us to live non-political lives here. Not everyone is allowed to live a non-political life in this world as it now exists.
Even church government is "political" in essence, and remember the gift of government IS a gift of the Spirit. Paul tells us that our politics is in heaven, so we are not a-political after all.


Who is granting this privilege? God or the state? I understood the original post to mean the state.

The original post was accurate to the point of application, but ultimately God gives us this privilege, though it is granted by the state. Romans 13 speaks to this in some degree I think.
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temporal1
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Re: POLL: Relating to Power: The Christian and Politics

Postby temporal1 » Tue Feb 14, 2017 8:53 pm

"the fly in the ointment" at this particular moment is, it can't be ignored that the U.S. has a new POTUS, not a month in office, and is facing no small hostile resistance with intent of deposing him before he's allowed to attempt leadership.

this is fact that Christians must consider before throwing their weight around (possibly ending with all involved being used for political wrangling, more than any other end.) :(

there's lots of speculation about how evil he is, but, speculation is gossip's cousin.
quote, "speculation is the enemy of peace."

what if his plan bears good fruit if put in place?
(in truth, some have said "all the hubbub" is about fear his plans mght be successful!) - that his success is what really could not be acceptable to his very animated opponents (not his failure.)

i allowed obama and other former presidents their opportunity to lead, i plan to do the same for trump. if he earns disrespect, that's another matter.
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Bootstrap
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Re: POLL: Relating to Power: The Christian and Politics

Postby Bootstrap » Wed Feb 15, 2017 11:58 am

temporal1 wrote:"the fly in the ointment" at this particular moment is, it can't be ignored that the U.S. has a new POTUS, not a month in office, and is facing no small hostile resistance with intent of deposing him before he's allowed to attempt leadership.

this is fact that Christians must consider before throwing their weight around (possibly ending with all involved being used for political wrangling, more than any other end.) :(


I'll probably split part of this off and reply to it in a thread that's not about our Kingdom, but I agree that we have to be careful not to become "useful idiots" for political causes. That's equally true on all sides of the political spectrum. We can become "useful idiots" for Democrats, Republicans, Socialists, Libertarians, Trumpians, or any other political movement.

So if we decide that we need to speak up, we need to do that in ways that let us control our own message.

temporal1 wrote:i allowed obama and other former presidents their opportunity to lead, i plan to do the same for trump. if he earns disrespect, that's another matter.


I agree, we need to pray for our leaders and hope that they succeed. That doesn't mean they are beyond criticism, but even criticism should be given with respect.
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PeterG
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Re: POLL: Relating to Power: The Christian and Politics

Postby PeterG » Wed Feb 15, 2017 5:11 pm

appleman2006 wrote:Obviously the church as it is today cannot do it all. But is it right for the church to demand the government to do the rest backed by the power of the gun.

That puts it very well. (And the answer is no, in case anybody's wondering.)

appleman2006 wrote:Is that not what we in essence are doing when we advocate for socialism?

Not that a version of this point hasn't been made elsewhere in this thread, but that is also what we're doing when we advocate for (or against) any policy on any issue, be it welfare, taxation, abortion, trade, homosexuality, immigration/refugees, war, etc.

For what it's worth, I suspect that among those of us who voted for poll options 1 and 2 there is much hair-splitting over whether we're engaging in political advocacy or simple truth-telling, and that our ideas about which is which might depend on what the issue is and who's talking about it.
Last edited by PeterG on Wed Feb 15, 2017 5:30 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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appleman2006
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Re: POLL: Relating to Power: The Christian and Politics

Postby appleman2006 » Wed Feb 15, 2017 5:17 pm

PeterG wrote:
appleman2006 wrote:Is that not what we in essence are doing when we advocate for socialism?

Not that a version of this point hasn't been made elsewhere in this thread, but that is also what we're doing when we advocate for (or against) any policy on any issue, be it welfare, taxation, abortion, trade, homosexuality, immigration/refugees, war, etc.



I agree and I also know that I am not always consistent in this.
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PeterG
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Re: POLL: Relating to Power: The Christian and Politics

Postby PeterG » Wed Feb 15, 2017 5:29 pm

appleman2006 wrote:I agree and I also know that I am not always consistent in this.

Me too, guilty as charged. But at least we're trying. :)
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PositiveSeeker
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Re: POLL: Relating to Power: The Christian and Politics

Postby PositiveSeeker » Wed Feb 15, 2017 9:45 pm

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.


I agree, but how about their moral conduct?

"For Herod had laid hold on John, and bound him, and put him in prison for Herodias’ sake, his brother Philip’s wife. For John said unto him, It is not lawful for thee to have her." (Matthew 14:3-4)

Would giving allowance for immorality be immoral conduct?
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Josh
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Re: POLL: Relating to Power: The Christian and Politics

Postby Josh » Thu Feb 16, 2017 8:19 am

PositiveSeeker 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.


I agree, but how about their moral conduct?

"For Herod had laid hold on John, and bound him, and put him in prison for Herodias’ sake, his brother Philip’s wife. For John said unto him, It is not lawful for thee to have her." (Matthew 14:3-4)

Would giving allowance for immorality be immoral conduct?


That's got nothing to do with politics. If someone is engaging in adultery, I can flatly say he needs to repent - regardless of political affiliation.
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