DES MOINES, Iowa â€” â€śThe word of God and communism are hand in hand,â€ť said Diana Sowry, a school bus driver from Ashtabula County, Ohio. She was one of a group of clergy and lay people participating in a conference on religion sponsored by the Communist Party USA here April 15-16.
Sowry is a union activist and also active in her church, where she sings in the choir. She feels communists and others who are working to defeat the ultra-right and advance peace, social and economic justice, and socialism are â€śdoing the work of the Word.â€ť
The Rev. Scott Marks, from New Haven, Conn., said â€śpeople in the pewsâ€ť cannot simply stick to â€śfeel-good issues,â€ť but must â€śbe willing to go to the wall on the real issues.â€ť Noting that attendance at soup kitchens is â€śpiling up,â€ť he said, â€śPeople full well know, no matter what happens in heaven, this morning I woke up hungry.â€ť
Yeah. There's danger involved with allowing oneself to get too involved in politics, but where do you draw the line?
Martin Luther King, Jr. is the best example I can think of who, successful as he was in his social justice efforts, is not rememberd today as being a champion of the Gospel, but of human rights.
Even worse, it could be said that he helped to confuse these two separate issues as being one in the same. A second look at the parable of the rich man and Lazarus is helpful here.
If/when Christians get involved in politics they need to make sure they have their priorities straight.
For pastors like King and Falwell, they somehow need to deaconalize as much non-church activity as they can and make the point to their congregation AND those outside that their priority is the Gospel of salvation...that is to make people (spiritually ) more like Lazarus and not (physically) more like the rich man.
Why, Chris, it appears that the opinion of politicians is the same the world over! ;-) However, we do have to show proper respect to our political leaders as was also pointed out in the Bible.
In a democracy, I would be hard put to say not vote. I am not supposed to make would God says will happen, as a self-fulfilling prophecy. Not only can God, and only God, pick out who he is going to save, but only God can carry out his prophecies -- and as far as I can see, he is gone the use fallen men to do it.
So, I see your point on not voting, and other people's view on voting. The final result will be the same. My pastor with probably agree on that statement. Tinkering in politics, especially in the candidate, he probably wouldn't -- being an Anabaptist. Unfortunately, hobbies such as politics can be to absorbing then they should be. :-(
Jim said "It is a sin for a church body to be involved in politics, because that is not want the local church was set up to do."
I fully agree with you Jim and I'm glad that some Americans hold to this view - which seems to be a minority during the last couple of US elections where Christians were activly canvassed.
"For individual Christians who want to tinker in politics, I have no problem with that."
I do, but that is me as a conscientious objector to politics and voting I guess. As has been pointed out the church is made up of individual Christians anyway. Here a politician is regarded as somewhat equal to a prostitute, used car dealer, lawyer or journalist. Well I am thankfull that my man is in power in heaven and that there isn't ever going to be an election! A leader you can trust more than you can trust yourself!
Jim, I agree, the church should not engage in COLLECTIVE politicking; that is not its function. But the church ought to encourage thoughtful individual participation in politics (by voting or standing for office), taking the whole counsel of God into account thereby. A Christian judge cannot act like a church elder; that is a different kind of authority, just as elders cannot act like heads of families besides their own. Church, state, and family are ea. God-ordained and have separate but complementary spheres of authority.
I also allow that parachurch politicking may be a problem, as these organizations are not properly churches yet are speaking in the name of Christ on political issues. But I'm not fully decided here.
It is an argument from silence to say "the Apostles never did it." The Apostles never purchased real estate either, but IHCC has a nice expensive campus, doesn't it?
Jim, what is the distinction between the church and the people who make up the church? We are the church. I don't follow the reasoning behind it being OK for individual Christians to "tinker" in politics by voting, but the "church" is not to be involved. How, for instance, is it dishonorable for a Christian to do his work as a Representative, if he makes decisions honorably?
The work of politics is no more or less acceptable than any other. You say that Christ or the Apostles were not told in the Bible to be politically active, deducing that we shouldn't either. They were not told to be mechanics, biologists, or web designers, either. Surely we won't come to similar conclusions.
Neil, as you probably noticed, there is know where in the Bible that Christ or his Apostles were told to become politically active!
It is a sin for a church body to be involved in politics, because that is not want the local church was set up to do. For individual Christians who want to tinker in politics, I have no problem with that. I go and vote for instance. However, the more involved a Christian is involved in politics the less time they are involved in works for Christianity. All too often churches, like United Methodist Church, use politics as a substitute for Christianity. This way they don't have to think about it. Then also, you may get involved in groups that you shouldn't be involved with. The "Christian" Democrats are working hard to gain control in this state. Neil, I again will pass along this URL for article by a -- Presbyterian -- pastor:
This behavior shouldn't be much of a surprise. Much of the leadership of mainline churches in the USA have often supported Communist causes, and dictators such as Mugabe. The World Council of Churches, The National Council Churches, and churches on their own, the United Methodist Church have substituted political actions for evangelism. This is an example of an apostate church. The Catholic Church of course, has been meddling in politics for years. Since the Kingdom of God, does not and can not exist on earth without the physical presence of Christ, this meddling in political affairs show that these organizations are not Christian. You never saw Christ or his Apostles, preaching a political agenda.
Now that conservative churches, who should know better, are treating the symptoms of society rather then the cure, repentance of sin and salvation of Christ on the individual level -- they are doing a disservice to evangelism.
Churches as a body are not supposed to be in the political business, individuals who wished to tinker in this business can do so, but they should have better -- Christian -- things to do.
Yeh,right Stallin and and all the commie leaders of the world sure sent lots of souls to heaven and Hell cause they were hand in hand with the word ,But NOT GODS WORD I think the LORD would say to Diana and her churhie friends
THATS WHY "YE MUST BE BORN AGAIN"
Now we have told them,they will most likely say ,I KNEW THAT