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Partisanship, not politics, is the real problem for the Church and Christians.

The Church expressing interest in what the State does, i.e. in politics, and offering perspective on moral values to guide political activities is essential. When this goes missing, States like Nazi Germany or the Soviet Union show up.

Christians as individual can and should engage in politics. Think of the examples in Scripture like Joseph, Daniel, and Esther. They made a considerable impact in their day because the exercised their faith in the political arena. In contemporary parlance, they made a difference.

So, too, today. All countries need Christian engagement in their politics and those who suppress it are the worse for it. In free countries, Christians can engage in politics directly and openly. They can work as citizens to influence political policies or they can become politicians themselves.

So yes, politics matter. It’s just not the end-all-be-all of life and what matters most in life cannot be addressed via politics. 

Partisanship is a particular kind of political engagement. It’s the “strong and sometimes blind adherence to a particular party, faction, cause, or person.” Partisanship in American terms generally means a preference for, commitment to, or even emotional allegiance to being a Democrat or Republican, or perhaps one of a few assorted Third Parties.

Partisanship is not in itself morally threatening, particularly if it is not “blind” but simply a preference for or commitment to an approach to government or a set of principles in a political party platform.

Where partisanship becomes a problem, for the Christian and for the Church, is when it supersedes the faith or worldview. In other words, the filter through which each question or development or circumstance is evaluated is not one’s Christian perspective but one’s party allegiances and perceived advantage. When this happens, party positions or politics become ascendant, thus beyond critique or criticism. 

The danger should be obvious. If you are working with your partisan view and I am working with mine, we can debate but there is nothing outside our own party perspectives to which we can appeal for evaluation. We can only argue, never achieve consensus, and debate is then not about truth but power and advantage.

The American Church is today divided, of course theologically in a variety of historical denominational ways, but of equal importance and impact now is a division rooted in partisanship. There are Red churches and Blue churches. There are, if we switch to ideology, Left churches and Right churches. What’s minimized, maybe lost, is the struggle to develop a Christian worldview and apply it in this age to all issues and developments--including partisanship. 

The Christian Church is encouraged to unity, but partisanship divides. It is today not just a tool but a threat.

 

© Rex M. Rogers – All Rights Reserved, 2020    

*This blog may be reproduced in whole or in part with a full attribution statement. Contact me or read more commentary on current issues and events at www.rexmrogers.com/, or connect with me at www.linkedin.com/in/rexmrogers.    

 

God is at work fighting for all manner of issues, interests, and people groups. At least that’s what you’d conclude listening to people’s assertions on the nightly news. God is on our side, so it is said, and not on the side of others, especially our opponents.

It sounds great, doesn’t it? If God is fighting for us we must be right. We must own the higher ground. And we will win in the end. We’re more righteous than thou and we’re justified in everything that we do.

But I’m not so sure this is a biblical point of view, which is to say, making such claims is not always good theology.

Let’s think about this:

© Rex M. Rogers – All Rights Reserved, 2014

*This blog may be reproduced in whole or in part with a full attribution statement. Contact Rex or read more commentary on current issues and events at www.rexmrogers.com.

Americans sometimes confuse their faith and their patriotism. In a country that pioneered the idea of separation of Church and State this is a rather interesting development. For ones who enjoy their faith and love their country it's easy to do. And the tendency is not always or necessarily sinister. But then again it can create blinders and cause problems.

In it's more developed form mixing faith and patriotism is called civil religion. But that's a subject for another time. Here I simply want to think about the question, Is Americana (not America per se but American culture) always Christian? Here's more on the topic:

© Rex M. Rogers – All Rights Reserved, 2012

This blog may be reproduced in whole or in part with a full attribution statement. Contact Rex or read more commentary on current issues and events at www.rexmrogers.com or follow him at www.twitter.com/RexMRogers.

"Don't bring your morality into politics," so the saying goes. But this is at once impossible and ill-advised even if it were. Morality, the sense of what is right and what is wrong, is an inherent part of everything human beings do. Why? Because we are not animals. We are reasoning if not always reasonable beings capable, in fact charged by God, of determining right from wrong.

So how does morality flavor our economic and political stew? Here's my take:

© Rex M. Rogers – All Rights Reserved, 2012

This blog may be reproduced in whole or in part with a full attribution statement. Contact Rex or read more commentary on current issues and events at www.rexmrogers.com or follow him at www.twitter.com/RexMRogers.

Wannabe Presidents of the United States of America must run a grueling gauntlet of presidential election primaries and debates. Part of the experience is proclaiming, defending, and attempting to minimize damage regarding one's "faith" or religion. Are you Protestant, Catholic, Jewish, Mormon? And come on now, are you really?

Voters, or at least the public, want to parse every response. Some of this, I contend, is legitimate: voters are trying to understand the candidate's character, or at least I hope that's the motive. Some of this goes over the top: voters are trying to crucify one candidate on his or her altar in order to advance another favored candidate.

But what should we think about presidential candidates' religion? Here's my take on the subject:

Does any religion guarantee, or preclude, a great presidency?

© Rex M. Rogers – All Rights Reserved, 2012

This blog may be reproduced in whole or in part with a full attribution statement. Contact Rex or read more commentary on current issues and events at www.rexmrogers.com or follow him at www.twitter.com/RexMRogers.

It's that time of year again. You know, when presidential candidates dash about the country declaring why they and they alone should be elected the next POTUS. (If you've missed this I'm guessing you just got back from Mars.)

One of the resume items candidates most like to cite is their fidelity to God, religious faith, maybe Christianity specifically, or just faith in general. No one, at least no one yet, seems to want to run as an atheist. And there's good reason for this, atheists may vote, but there are not enough of them to fill a good-sized polling booth.

But religious folk? Now that's a different story, at least it still is in America. Something like 98% of us say we believe in God, even those of us who turn around and live like the Devil. And us religious folks vote. So is it any wonder reasoning-if-not-always-reasonable candidates want to align with "people of faith?"

But what does it mean when political candidates claim they "have faith"? And how should we evaluate this claim or respond? That's the subject of this video.

 

© Rex M. Rogers – All Rights Reserved, 2012

*This blog may be reproduced in whole or in part with a full attribution statement. Contact Rex or read more commentary on current issues and events at www.rexmrogers.com or follow him at www.twitter.com/RexMRogers.