August 28, 2006

A Conservative's Advice to the Religous Right

Filed under: Random Stuff — Bob Gifford @ 2:31 pm

I received an email from Ted Haggard of the NAE and New Life Church today with the full text of an opinion piece by Joel Hunter, a conservative pastor in Florida. I am still reeling from the fact that I agree with almost all he says. You must read the whole thing! A quote:

But between the liberal’s panic of a Christian lockstep toward theocracy on the left, and the fundamentalist’s paranoia about America’s persecution of Christians on the right, a growing number of conservative Christians believe we can be more constructive in our political involvement. Intent on dousing the fire in the morning, many of us see a need for more positive approaches and expansion to more oft-mentioned biblical issues.

Could the Christian right, or at least a sizable portion of it, be ready to moderate their tone, end their role as a wholly-owned subsidiary of the Republican party and engage in calm discussions with the rest of Christendom and people of faith? Could they really be ready to talk about issues other than abortion and gay rights such as the environment, poverty, human rights and peace?

Oh Lord, I sure hope so!

To be fair, Hunter isn’t the first to speak out — other conservative evangelicals, such as Richard Cizik or Rick Warren, have been talking about creation care and third world poverty. But Hunter is the first person I’ve seen that has called for a real change in direction as opposed to tweaking at the edges. (Although, there is a lot going on in conservative evangelicalism I haven’t heard about, I’m sure!) The fact that Hunter’s piece is being distributed by Ted Haggard shows that Hunter is not alone, but speaking for a larger segment of conservative evangelicals.

Rev. Hunter isn’t implying that he is going to join hands with Jim Wallis or Randall Balmer to march in anti-war protests. But he is setting himself up in direct opposition to James Dobson, Al Mohler or Tony Perkins who see themselves as Christian warriors and the GOP as God’s Own Party. How refreshing!

4 Comments

  1. Things are starting to change around the country. Gregory Boyd of the Woodland Hills megachurch in Minnesota recently gave a sermon series speaking out against tying Christ to a political agenda. He has lost 20% of the 5000 members, but he is remaining firm in the belief that Christ is above politics.

    We are seeing the beginnings of a shift in the political winds.

    Comment by BruceA — August 28, 2006 @ 7:35 pm

  2. “Could they really be ready to talk about issues other than abortion and gay rights such as the environment, poverty, human rights and peace?

    Oh Lord, I sure hope so!”

    “Conservative” Christians have been talking about these things all along and have been putting their faith into action much more than you socialists have been. You haven’t been paying attention – or lying, one or the other.

    Comment by Anonymous — August 29, 2006 @ 6:29 pm

  3. Anonymous,
    Because I’m not conservative, I’m a socialist?
    I’m offended.
    I do not like and worry greatly about mixing politics with religion.
    Whose version of christianity would be the rule of law?

    Conservative Christian have a bad rap because they allow people like Robertson and Dobson to
    speak for them and have politicians like Delay and Santorum and Bush represent them.

    Comment by Diane — August 30, 2006 @ 2:04 pm

  4. Diane writes:

    “Conservative Christian have a bad rap because they allow people like Robertson and Dobson to
    speak for them”

    Excuse me? No one speaks FOR me. I speak for myself. Does every Progressive Christian who makes a public statement speak for you, Diane? I doubt it. Please, we ALL need to stop labeling each other.

    Comment by Jacke — September 2, 2006 @ 8:38 am

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