Friday, August 15, 2008

Evangelicals Moving Away From GOP

A shift is occurring. Many young Evangelicals have espoused the environmentalism movement (including myself at a young age). This is a move away from the justification of "subduing the earth" heard throughout the '80's. This shift is resulting in many Evangelicals becoming jaded to the interests of the Republican party.

Environmentalism is not the only issue. Many are also dissatisfied with the ongoing war and are embracing an ethical mindset of non-violence. While this topic should be debated by Christians further (I think that there is a place for war and self-defense), the fact is that these youth are trying to apply Scripture to their social situation and to the politics that governs it. That is a commendable thing.

For some time my thinking was we should just continue voting for conservative Republicans until we finally have the choice of moral conservative Republicans. Keep dreaming. I, too, feel dissatisfaction with the Republican party, but I still feel it is the lesser of two evils. While the Republicans have generally sided with big business and resource harvesting, turning a blind-eye to social-justice issues like illegal immigration and the livelihoods of the lower class, the alternative is not very appealing either.

A segment of the Democratic party has focused on social-justice issues and on environmentalism, but at the expense of the economy and have become far too akin to socialists, desiring to force the rich to bankroll the poor. Further, the general liberalism of the overall Democratic party has abandoned healthy traditions and faith in God, replacing it with a quasi-religious humanism.

Who's a Christian to vote for? I think that we must use a lot of wisdom in examining our political candidates, and let our money and our lifestyle choices speak for us. We should purchase from companies that we can be proud of because they do business morally and ethically. This will effect how society understands business and, by extension, politics. In the short term, we must still focus on moral issues for the candidacy and then work hard on applying pressure to the elected on social and ethical issues.

We must also realize that we are not saved through the social gospel. Our actions of mercy, compassion, and earth-preservation are not salvific. Christ, and he alone, saves. We honor him by caring for the less fortunate and those without voices. Because he created the earth, we cultivate and preserve the earth. Our first motive, as Christians, must be to glorify our Lord. This will always put us at odds with political parties, which maintain their own agendas. A young Evangelical named Donny McDaniel said it well, "Truly, if you are an evangelical Christian, no political party should be able to fully represent you because you are doing something counter-cultural." Quite right. Even so, we are definitely searching for a better solution that encompasses compassion and conservation with fiscal responsibility and (in my opinion) a strong defensive stance. We may never see it, however, until the second advent of Jesus. Come soon, dear Lord!

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