Conservative Christian

Conservative Does Not Always Equal Christian

posted in: Christianity, The Church | 0

Perhaps I am worthy of a good—if there is such a thing—stoning. Even questioning our conservative values seems somewhat blasphemous. The real problem, however, is that many conservatives—the very individuals who tenaciously adhere to the supremacy of Scripture—have allowed human voices to establish their worldviews.

Talk show hosts and political action committees don’t always echo the heart of God. All too often, well-intentioned people use humanistic means in an effort to accomplish what may be a righteous agenda. But the use of unrighteous means and the adaptation of unloving attitudes serve to further the purposes of darkness more than those of light.

It will take several posts to firmly communicate my perspective and I’ll begin with conservative attitudes toward the President of the United States (POTUS). Not only do many conservatives despise our President, but also the vitriol with which he is addressed makes me wonder how Christian we really are.

In preparing my series on King David, I couldn’t help but notice how David treated King Saul with respect—regardless of what Saul did or didn’t do. Saul’s agenda was self-seeking, he repeatedly disobeyed God, he became intensely jealous when David prospered, and he even went so far as to kill all of the priests and their families for what amounted to nothing more than a suspicion. King Saul was not a nice—or godly—man.

If anybody had a right to complain about the leader of his nation, it was David. As a warrior, David had repeatedly risked his life in service to the king. As a musician, he would often play his harp to calm the king’s spirit. As a man called of God, David refused to lay a hand on Saul even when the king’s top priority was to send David to the grave.

David lived under the Mosaic Law, but the call to respect our leaders transcends the Biblical covenants. When Paul was unjustly treated by a fellow Jew, the fiery apostle responded by calling him a “whitewashed wall” (Acts 23:3-5). Paul quickly backed off, however, when he discovered that the man was the Jewish high priest.

According to the Bible, the Jewish call to respect national and religious leaders has now become the Christian call.

Act as free men, and do not use your freedom as a covering for evil, but use it as bondslaves of God. Honor all people, love the brotherhood, fear God, honor the king. 1 Peter 2:17 (NASB)

With only a little effort, we can find that the translation into “king” is done figuratively. In essence, Peter is calling Christians to treat the head of the government with honor and respect. Just a little more study will reveal that the demented Nero was the ruling Roman emperor when Peter penned his letter. Conservatives may not like the ideologies, policies, or actions of our current POTUS, but I can assure you that they don’t even begin to approach the severity of an out-of-control emperor who burned Christians as human torches.

One might ask, if the Bible is so clear about our attitudes toward our leaders, why we have allowed such a measure of contempt to fill our hearts. I think that there are perhaps many reasons, but I will highlight just one—the need to galvanize people to action. Much of our American Christianity is passive. As the majority of people during any era, we’re primarily concerned about good jobs and comfortable lifestyles. The best way to motivate people to action is to demonize the opposition.

Our POTUS is a man—not a demon. When it comes to a Biblical worldview, treating our President with disdain—no matter how much we disagree with him—is anything but Christian.

original photo credit: MDGovpics via photopin cc