Thursday, October 16, 2008

The Modern Evangelical

One of my daily stops on the Internet is a blog called The Recliner Commentaries. Dennis, the blogs author, does a great job of compiling current news items and adding his Christian perspective in the form of commentary. One of today's entries was a post called The Evangelical vote The whole article is well worth reading, but the gist of it was a list of many of the issues that are by and large supported by Democrats, but would not/should not be supported by a Christian. Dennis ends with the statement that he is "at a loss to understand how Evangelical Christians can vote Democrat with a clear conscience." This is my answer to that statement.

I think the explanation of how Evangelical Christians can vote Democrat is obvious. The term "Evangelical" itself has gone the same way as the term "Christian". Early on in New Testament times, the term Christian meant only one thing. A born again follower of Jesus Christ. Today I think we would be extremely generous in estimating that 20% of those calling themselves Christian would match that first century definition.

Even so, the term "Evangelical Christian." Unless I am mistaken, the term Evangelical came into popular use during the last century to differentiate those who were serious Christians from those who were not. Calling yourself a Christian had lost its meaning from overuse by those who were only nominally Christian, or in my view not really Christians at all. In fact, I would submit that those who claim to be Christians, but have never been born again, are guilty of breaking the command in Exodus 20:7 "Thou shalt not take the name of the LORD thy God in vain; for the LORD will not hold him guiltless that taketh his name in vain." I hold to the view that the purest meaning of this command has to do with calling yourself a Christian , and yet the taking of that name to yourself having no effect.

This is nothing new. Even as Paul explains in the book of Romans, not all of national Israel were God's elect. Romans 9:6 says in part "....For they are not all Israel, which are of Israel:" I don't believe we are misusing the words by applying it thus: For they are not all Christians, which are of Christianity, or they are not all Evangelicals, which are of Evangelicalism.

So if the question is how to understand how Evangelical Christians can vote Democrat with a clear conscience, my answer is that "they are not all Israel, which are of Israel."


jazzycat said...

You have nailed it. I once said that a discerning born again Christian would not vote democratic. It is possible for a non-discerning Christian to do it or a discerning false Christian, but not a true Christian.

The abortion issue alone is the greates violation of humna rights in the world today. This is a human rights failure that the democratic party is responsible far in this country.........

Anonymous said...

I am a Christian and I think you are wrong.

St.Lee said...

Thanks for commenting, anonymous, but it would help if you added a little more information. If you think I am wrong in saying that not everyone who calls themself a Christian really is a Christian, then I would argue from scripture that I am right. If you think I am wrong in stating that those who call themselves Christians and plan to vote Democrat this election really are not Christians, then you would have to give me your reasoning in order for your comment to have much meaning. Or was there some other point in my post that you thought was wrong?

R.M said...

I dig this blog site, thanks for doing it Lee .
As a person who lives on the opposite side of the world( citizen of another country),from what I observe ,I would think that voting for either party would present it self as a problem of conscience, and requires wisdom.
Indeed the author of the recliner commentries only offered the republican party as a parachute that slows the decline, not as the cure.He was on the mark when he said what was needed was another great awakening.
As to matters of conscience;a persons conscience is only as good as the input stored in it,so it is quite conceivable that a truely born again believer could vote in a way that you may disagree with .
We grow into Christian maturity ,it is not instant "adulthood" for all believers,infact some prefer to stay like spiritual babies ,but saved they are.

St.Lee said...

Thanks for the comment R.M. I suppose that I was guilty of generalizing a bit too much. Certainly it is possibly for a newly born again Christian to be unaware of some of what the Democrat party stand for, but it is difficult to imagine that lasting for any length of time. The information is out there for anyone to see. Can a genuine Christian condone murdering babies in the womb, or in Obama's case, leaving them on a shelf to die after they miraculously survive an abortion attempt? I have serious doubts about that. But a false convert can justify just about any position.