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 » Sun Feb 12, 2017 7:46 pm

JimFoxvog wrote:I thought this quote, attributed to a Mr. B on Instagram whom I know nothing about, has a thought-provoking take on relating to politics:
I want my friends to understand that "staying out of politics" or being "sick of politics" is privilege in action. Your privilege allows you to live a non-political existence. Your wealth, your race, your abilities or your gender allows you to live a life in which you will not be a target of bigotry, attacks, deportation, or genocide. You don't want to get political, you don't want to fight because your life and safety are not at stake.
It is hard and exhausting to bring up issues of oppression (aka "get political"). The fighting is tiring. I get it. Self-care is essential. But if you find politics annoying and you just want everyone to be nice, please know that people are literally fighting for their lives and safety. You might not see it, but that's what privilege does.

Is this fair?

Is this helpful?

Part of it it true and part of it is not true.
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gcdonner
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Re: POLL: Relating to Power: The Christian and Politics

Postby gcdonner » Sun Feb 12, 2017 7:48 pm

RZehr wrote:
JimFoxvog wrote:I thought this quote, attributed to a Mr. B on Instagram whom I know nothing about, has a thought-provoking take on relating to politics:
I want my friends to understand that "staying out of politics" or being "sick of politics" is privilege in action. Your privilege allows you to live a non-political existence. Your wealth, your race, your abilities or your gender allows you to live a life in which you will not be a target of bigotry, attacks, deportation, or genocide. You don't want to get political, you don't want to fight because your life and safety are not at stake.
It is hard and exhausting to bring up issues of oppression (aka "get political"). The fighting is tiring. I get it. Self-care is essential. But if you find politics annoying and you just want everyone to be nice, please know that people are literally fighting for their lives and safety. You might not see it, but that's what privilege does.

Is this fair?

Is this helpful?

Part of it it true and part of it is not true.

Which is which, in your opinion?
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Sudsy
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Re: POLL: Relating to Power: The Christian and Politics

Postby Sudsy » Sun Feb 12, 2017 8:37 pm

I selected #1 although I would not go so far as say 'totally abstain' for all Christians as I believe God has raised up some individuals to speak out to worldly leaders about the differences between God's Kingdom and a worldly kingdom's actions and values. But I think timing is also important. In the early church period, the scripture directs believers to live within the slavery system of that day in a way that brings glory to God and reflects Kingdom ways. There was no attempt to persuade that system from shutting down. Years later the slave issue was addressed to be more in line with Kingdom ways. My view is that our main mission is furthering God's Kingdom by recruiting new members through the Gospel and reflecting Kingdom living. Trust that God will raise up 'prophetic voices' if and when the time is right in His plans.

I especially like what Bootstrap says about creatively being God's Kingdom to make up for the holes and wrongs done by a worldly kingdom. I spent a year with the Salvation Army and worked in some of their ways of displaying Kingdom life and saw the kind of sacrifices they made doing these acts unto Jesus that benefited so many. I only wished I saw more of the recruitment side of the Gospel by those I worked with. This again gets back to this boldness issue which the Holy Spirit provides in His fillings. The good deeds we are to be doing are ones that bring glory to God and not ourselves or our organization. I believe our good deeds are to shine out above those that the other kingdoms of this world do in their charitable givings in such a way that Jesus is seen in us and God is glorified. Unless we are sharing about this Kingdom in words, how will they make the connection that it is God at work in us ? Well, I'm drifting off topic so I'll shut up.

Thanks everyone. This was an interesting thread to read through.
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RZehr
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Re: POLL: Relating to Power: The Christian and Politics

Postby RZehr » Mon Feb 13, 2017 10:38 am

gcdonner wrote:
RZehr wrote:Part of it it true and part of it is not true.

Which is which, in your opinion?

I want my friends to understand that "staying out of politics" or being "sick of politics" is privilege in action. Your privilege allows you to live a non-political existence.

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

Your wealth, your race, your abilities or your gender allows you to live a life in which you will not be a target of bigotry, attacks, deportation, or genocide.

Whilst I'm not really interested in defending this statement, I can accept it as generally true.

You don't want to get political, you don't want to fight because your life and safety are not at stake.

Fear is not why I don't get political and don't fight.

It is hard and exhausting to bring up issues of oppression (aka "get political"). The fighting is tiring. I get it. Self-care is essential. But if you find politics annoying and you just want everyone to be nice, please know that people are literally fighting for their lives and safety. You might not see it, but that's what privilege does.

Could be so.
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gcdonner
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Re: POLL: Relating to Power: The Christian and Politics

Postby gcdonner » Mon Feb 13, 2017 11:43 am

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.
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temporal1
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Re: POLL: Relating to Power: The Christian and Politics

Postby temporal1 » Mon Feb 13, 2017 12:12 pm

RZehr wrote: ..
(this thread, Page 9, JimFv quoted Mr B:)
It is hard and exhausting to bring up issues of oppression (aka "get political").
The fighting is tiring. I get it. Self-care is essential.
But if you find politics annoying and you just want everyone to be nice, please know that people are literally fighting for their lives and safety. You might not see it, but that's what privilege does.

Could be so.
there are LOADS of folks who ignore politics, do not vote, who could be described like this, likely, they would not deny it, they are not informed AND not interested; part of these believe they are not capable of understanding, which is yet a little different, while netting the same results.

Mr B is speaking from the standard view taught in public (government schools) .. it's supported in many Christian churches. citizens know their families are subject to military drafts, no one wants to believe they or their loved ones are in opposition to Jesus. most do not know of an alternative, it's not taught, not thought-through.

:arrow: does government, do politicians count on the ignorance of citizens? - Yes.

none of that ^^ fits the allure of Anabaptists, as Conscientious Objectors. this is a different matter.
this is an informed choice that requires forethought, commitment, and numbers of risks.

:arrow: who is informing? - above all, Jesus.

now, how on earth can people survive, and thrive, in a violent, harsh world (not just "white people" in the U.S., but, most peoples in history are/were warring peoples) - while being "lazy+uninformed?"

imho, it takes an extra measure of courage, and a better informed person/group to not pick up arms, while choosing Jesus. it can't be simply a "suicide wish," or, all about being martyrs, for the sake of it. it's more than that.

there are different reasons people choose not to vote.
the intentional CO is not lazy or uninformed. just the opposite. for these, everything is on the line.

healthy people don't put everything on the line without serious and ongoing contemplation.
then, they pray they will have all it may take to endure the price of their commitment, as Jesus did; and, as with Jesus, it may come at a very high price.

even in recent years, including last year, there are Christians in the world who have been required to pay for their convictions without defense, with their very lives.

ignorant cowards? .. no.

[in case my writing/thinking skills fail, please understand, this is my opinion and observation. 'not attempting to speak for anyone else. i'm not "finished" learning, so, hoping for opinions.]
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Bootstrap
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Re: POLL: Relating to Power: The Christian and Politics

Postby Bootstrap » Mon Feb 13, 2017 1:11 pm

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


RZehr wrote:Fear is not why I don't get political and don't fight.


I believe you.

Your wealth, your race, your abilities or your gender allows you to live a life in which you will not be a target of bigotry, attacks, deportation, or genocide.


I assume that RZehr and many others who do not vote or engage in politics would stand up for people they see being victimized by these things.
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Is it biblical? Is it Christlike? Is it loving? Is it true? How can I find out?

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

Postby Dan Z » Mon Feb 13, 2017 5:29 pm

I would hope...although a potential abuse of non-engagement is passivity in the face of grave injustice. Caesar cannot be allowed to act with moral impunity.

That's why I think we who do conscientiously abstain from politics should always hold out the possibility that Caesar/Hitler/Stalin whomever may overstep his God-ordained role so egregiously that we may have no choice but to intervene for the voiceless and abused.
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EdselB
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Re: POLL: Relating to Power: The Christian and Politics

Postby EdselB » Mon Feb 13, 2017 7:19 pm

Dan Z wrote:That's why I think we who do conscientiously abstain from politics should always hold out the possibility that Caesar/Hitler/Stalin whomever may overstep his God-ordained role so egregiously that we may have no choice but to intervene for the voiceless and abused.


Godwin's law strikes again :!:
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Dan Z
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Re: POLL: Relating to Power: The Christian and Politics

Postby Dan Z » Mon Feb 13, 2017 7:37 pm

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