Politics And Religion: Don’t Let The Tail Wag The Dog
Last week I attended a Bible study that was covering post modernism; and its effects on both our culture and the church. I mentioned to our group that one of the negative consequences of this secular philosophy is that most Americans no longer believe in objective moral truth. I attempted to prove my point by walking back the myriad of legislative decisions from abortion to same sex marriage. At this point, I was surprisingly cut off by our speaker, who told me that we don’t want to get into discussing politics. That comment irked me. I thought to myself, how do you avoid politics when discussing the ramifications that post modernism has had on both our church and nation ? Time to review some definitions.
Religion simply defined, is a set of beliefs concerning the cause and nature of the universe along with a moral code conducting the governing of human affairs. Similarly, politics is the principles and opinions on the aggregation and governing of a civilized society. Religion and politics go hand in hand. In fact, show me one piece of legislation (politics) that does not have a moral (religion) component to it. This old wives tale of not mixing religion and politics is a fallacy. Just like the type of diet you prescribe to impacts the health of your body; your religious worldview will indeed affect your political decisions, which in turn effect the course of our nation. No free pass here. Yet, there seems to be a disconnect here for some.
This brings me back to the speakers motivation in avoiding the political part of our discussion. My assumption is that he was just trying to delicately get through the bible study with out stepping on anyone’s political sensibilities. I can respect that. However, as I thought about it, one question I should have asked was, do you think the Bible contains the mind of God ? If so, can we use the Bible as a guide in today’s post modern world to help us make principled decisions in all aspects of life ? A yes to any of those questions would have opened the door for further discussion which is where I was headed.
As orthodox Christians, we accept the Bible as Gods word—infallible for any age. The problem in our secular culture and specifically the church is that many Christians have stopped the critical exercise of Bible reading. This is in part due to modern scholarship, which has relentlessly chipped away at the Bibles trustworthiness. Hence, trust has now shifted to political affiliations and government programs. This is a mistake.
Even government statistics will flesh out the glaring social and economic demise we have suffered in America over the last fifty years. Our nation formally separated itself from the Christian worldview in 1962-(63). Since then, the American church and our culture have fallen off a cliff.. This a cause and effect relationship. In the end, we cannot let our political affiliations lead our actions. Instead, we need to face up to the fact that the Bible should be the number one influence in all our actions, political and otherwise. Don’t let it be the other way around.
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