***See end for new link and update from an U.S. Newswire Release: Red letter Christians Launch “Voting Values” campaing!!!!***
“I am a Christian because I believe that, in all these ways, Jesus is saving the world. By “world” I mean planet Earth and all life on it, because left to ourselves, un-judged, un-forgiven, and un-taught, we will certainly destroy this planet and its residents. And by “the world” I specifically mean human history, because again, it was and is in danger, grave danger, ultimate danger, self-imposed danger, and I don’t believe anyone else can rescue it.”
—Brian McLaren, A Generous Orthodoxy, p. 97
Maybe Al Gore can rescue it! Perhaps Brian Mclaren and Al Gore should swap notes. Maybe even share a podium or two.
Washington Post speaks about Brian Mclaren and his progressive spin on traditional faith.
“He always talks about the environment as a priority when he talks about the church being relevant to the world,” Moseley said. “He’s leading a [spiritual] conversation that needs to happen,” one that “I’ve been hungry for.” McLaren has emerged as one of the most prominent voices in an increasingly active group of progressive evangelicals who are challenging the theological orthodoxy and political dominance of the religious right. He also is an intellectual guru of “emerging church,” a grass-roots movement among young evangelicals exploring new models of living out their Christian faith @Washington Post
Yes, the religious right is being challenged, but I predict that the religious left will be just as strong if not stronger in their views. I think they will be very outspoken with anyone who challenges their post-modern thinking. Democracy allows that.
I am now of the strong opinion that there should be a separation of Religion and politics, it can get nasty and I am seeing that already happening within christian circles. Christ did not involve Himself with the politics in His day (although, we will see him come again and challenge every government – and not only challenge them but over throw every single one of them, left or right and anywhere in between). So, I will take my lesson from Him.
Mar 12:17 And Jesus answering said unto them, Render to Caesar the things that are Caesar’s, and to God the things that are God’s. And they marvelled at him.
However, we are to pray for our leaders that have been elected no matter who they are – that is what we are called to do as Christians. Nowhere does it say in the Bible that we as Christians should form a christian government – but we are to wait patiently for Christ to come back and form His government that will be ruled in real Truth and with Holy Justice and with a rod of iron! (Rev 19: 14-16). Man cannot even come close to that – not even a christian one at that. It will be a Holy Theocracy which will be ruled by God and not man trying to be a little god with his little mind with his little understanding of what justice is supposed to be while he ponders on how to enact social policies drawn up in humanistic philosophies gleaned from a multitude of different viewpoints. (1Cor 1:20)
1Ti 2:1-2 I exhort therefore, that, first of all, supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks, be made for all men; For kings, and for all that are in authority; that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and honesty.
There needs to be a definite separation of church and state and what I am seeing in this country and the U.S.A is the division becoming quite blurred – both with the religious right and the religious left. If by observing current movements within the latest christian trends are any indication of the future of politics then the religious left will actually be more inclusive of all religions and practices – therefore will be a strong although diverse force! Quite simply, they will have the numbers and anyone who disagrees with them will be chewed up and spat out and considered as a political and/or religious dissenter. Brian McLaren and Rick Warren have been openly using their influence not just on the Church but also on the world stage. Rick Warrens PEACE plan is one that has gone around the globe. But I think eventually (sooner more than later) the political pendulum will swing to the hard left and it won’t necessarily be what society considers to be a non-religious movement but rather a religious left which is hell bent on saving the planet in a humanitarian, social and holistic way. Which, I might add, will at first glance appear to fit the christian model for those so inclined, appear to fit the islamic model for those so inclined, appear to fit the Buddhist’s model for those so incline, appear to fit a non-theistic model for those so inclined… etc, etc. Why? Because the emphasis is not what separates these religions, philosophies or ideologies but rather what combines them, the great social problem and social cause can be dressed up in any shape way or form, it will be a global agenda.
The emphasis will be on this globe (ghia – mother earth and her biggest problem called man) and anything else will pale into insignificance with no thought given to your eternal destiny but rather to the here and now because ghia is dying! Man can now unite and set aside their differences to build a better world! Actually, this new political movement just won’t be creating a better world, it will want to save it. The political push will be for all countries and peoples no matter what creed or relilgion – to unite and save the planet.
Now, as I have said before this planet is dying, it has fallen under the curse of sin. This planet will not become completely healthy until Christ comes again and redeems the planet and rules from the throne of Jerusalem for 1000 years ( Isaiah 11:1ff ). This is a prophecy that Christ is yet to fulfill. The fact that God has said that He will accomplish that what He has said … is a sure reminder of the earth’s redemption and ours – as yet we wait for its complete fruition, our blessed hope.
Things are changing though. Let’s look at the changes we are seeing in the Australian AoG church. Below is an official statement that is based upon AoG’s common understanding of scriptural teaching. Quoted below is a definite separation of Church and State written in this official document. The official delineation of this position is found in the Assemblies of God Missionary Handbook, section 7, #11.
Historically, when the church has become involved in partisan politics, the outcome has been disastrous for both the kingdom of God and the system of government it promoted or attacked. The essence of the church is not earthly and temporal, but spiritual and eternal (John 18:36). The priority of the church is to preach Christ exclusively (1 Corinthians 2:2). The mission of the church is to proclaim the gospel (Matthew 28:19).[…] [p]olitical affiliation, by its very nature, divides people into competing groups. There is no room for such division in the church. Therefore the church must never promote any party or system that would be divisive to the body of Christ, but rather contend for the faith that unites every tribe and tongue and people and nation into one glorious Church. @General Council AoG
The above quote is from an AoG site. Yet, here in Australia we have a party called ‘family first’ which was founded by an AoG Pastor in Adelaide and although it holds onto very conservative values the party has been very successful in gaining a lot of strength in the community Australia wide. What is interesting is this party came from an AoG church called Paradise Community Church, Andrew Evans is from AoG Paradise Community Church and it is he who started the party in 2002. The party actually flies in the face of the AoG’s stand on Religion and Politics. The dividing line becomes even more blurry.
We certainly are living in the most interesting times. I am still looking up for my redemption draws near!
9/13/2006 5:09:00 PM