Tuesday, February 21, 2006

...and then she said, "you're starting to sound like a democrat!"

There’s a really good article over at http://www.beliefnet.com/story/150/story_15052_1.html interviewing Tony Campolo. The whole thing is worth the read, but here are a few excerpts.

“There are a group of evangelicals who would say, 'Wait a minute. We’re evangelicals but we want to respect Islam. We don’t want to call its prophet evil. We don’t want to call the religion evil. We believe that we have got to learn to live in the same world with our Islamic brothers and sisters and we want to be friends. We do not want to be in some kind of a holy war.'

We also raise some very serious questions about the support of policies that have been detrimental to the poor. When I read the voter guide of a group like the Christian Coalition, I find that they are allied with the National Rifle Association and are very anxious to protect the rights of people to buy even assault weapons. But they don’t seem to be very supportive of concerns for the poor, concerns for trade relations, for canceling Third World debts.

In short, there’s a whole group of issues that are being ignored by the Religious Right and that warrant the attention of Bible-believing Christians. Another one would be the environment.

I don’t think that John Kerry was the Messiah or the Democratic Party the answer, but I don’t like the evangelical community blessing the Republican Party as some kind of God-ordained instrument for solving the world’s problems. The Republican Party needs to be called into accountability even as the Democratic Party needs to be called into accountability.”

“The latest statistics that I have seen on evangelicals indicate that something like 83 percent of them vote Republican. And there’s nothing wrong with that. It’s just that Christians need to be considering other issues beside abortion and homosexuality.

These are important issues, but isn’t poverty an issue? When you pass a bill of tax reform that not only gives the upper five percent most of the benefits, leaving very little behind for the rest of us, you have to ask some very serious questions. When that results in 300,000 slots for children's afterschool tutoring in poor neighborhoods being cut from the budget. When one and a half billion dollars is cut from the "No Child Left Behind" program.

In short, I think that evangelicals are so concerned with the unborn—as we should be—that we have failed to pay enough attention to the born—to those children who do live and who are being left behind by a system that has gone in favor of corporate interests and big money. So as an evangelical, I find myself very torn, because I am a pro-life person. I understand evangelicals who say there comes a time when one issue is so overpowering that we have to vote for the candidate that espouses a pro-life position, even if we disagree with him on a lot of other issues.

My response to that is OK, the Republican party and George Bush know that they have the evangelical community in its pocket—[but] they can’t win the election without us. Given this position, shouldn’t we be using our incredible position of influence to get the president and his party to address a whole host of other issues which we think are being neglected?”


Comments on "...and then she said, "you're starting to sound like a democrat!""


Blogger Dave C said ... (3:15 AM) : 

I've been saying for awhile that we (as Christians and more specifically as The Army) need to push issues that we're concerned with and use our influence. Not just for abortion, but for eveythign we believe in.

In His Grip,


Blogger Bret said ... (5:52 AM) : 

Tonight, one of our leaders led a discussion on Jesus’ question to Peter. “Peter, do you love me more than these?”

He discussed what the disciples were before they were called and how they died. He mentioned Peter’s death, upside down, on a cross. Peter finally did fulfill the promise, "Even if all fall away on account of you, I never will. . . Even if I have to die with you, I will never disown you (Matt 26:33-35).”

Many have attempted to know what Jesus was referring to when he said “these.” These “things,” “these other disciples” or “do you love me more than these other disciples love me?” It could have been all three. Do we love Christ more than these? More than our friends, more than our personal interests and hobbies, more than our friends love him?

If we did, maybe, like Peter, we would understand what it meant to carry a cross and sacrifice for others. Maybe, like Tony, we would be more vocal.

Just a thought.




Blogger Larry said ... (4:42 PM) : 

Tony Campolo always challenges me. Thanks for making me think.

I don't believe that Dave is correct with specific agendas being pushed by an organization other than the Church.

Dave, if you can define what all Christians stand for you are probably better than I am.


Blogger phondjo said ... (5:43 PM) : 

Tony Campolo is better than John Gorka.


Blogger Nicole_Hostetler said ... (7:52 PM) : 

Ok, so in my recent jouney through blogger-land there have been tons of questions running through my head! They all relate to the future and effectiveness of the Army and our mission. So, I guess it's a plug for my blog. I'll be posting a question per week seeking some answers to these ministry dilemmas we face. Please visit and pass the info on...www.servanthands.blogspot.com


Blogger bedemike said ... (3:45 AM) : 

Well said, Tony. Thanks for sharing this, Tim.


Blogger Bill said ... (5:55 AM) : 


Single issue voters?

I just don't get it. Besides as a pro-lifer I am opposed to war (the R is not), The death penalty (This R killed many as gov.), and abortion.

Here is my issue the first two are government sanctioned killings (murder?) the last is not, it is a personal choice, legal or not. So what is the bigger life issue?

All those of us on the left are saying is please for God's sake look and the effects of your vote.


Blogger surrendered said ... (9:40 PM) : 

Bill, I would tend to see your point about war...

However, let's be clear about the death penalty vs. abortion. Abortion is, in fact, more government-sanctioned than the death penalty. Because of the Supreme Court's 1973 roe v. wade decision, abortion was mandated to be legal in all 50 states, overturning several states' anti-abortion laws.

The death penalty, on the other hand, is only in effect in 36 states, each state legislature having the authority to rule on whether capital punishment should be an option in sentencing.

Newborn baby = convicted murderer? I've never understood the logic in this equation. (I'm not saying this is what you said, Bill)

I am still not decided on the death penalty. I know it may not make sense to some, but I actually see the argument that says that NOT enforcing the death penalty (in murder cases) actually cheapens the value of life.

The word iniquity in the Bible actually means "inequity" or "un-equalness" and God hates it. He hates sin and that's what in-equity is.

The life-for-life penalty ensures order, balance and a certain sense of justice (albeit not a perfect sense) in a world in which Jesus' kingdom has not yet fully come. The death penalty is not a vicious attack on an innocent person. It is an institution that says that consequence should match the violation. And it could very well be placing the highest value on human life...

Tim, couldn't agree more that we need to buy into the whole gospel and call for our evangelical community to buy the whole package (which includes looking after the poor).


Blogger Bill said ... (10:50 PM) : 

I see your point. Mine is simple, I could not take a life so politically if I vote for someone who takes lives with my sanction then I am hipocritical. Anyway, it goes back to my point and yours. Most of the time Christians don't think about who they vote for. I was in a church where doing research ment looking at the christian collolition voters guide. I guess the point is we can seperate politics from theology. Often we have however. And where thoughtful theology should be blind nationalism (patriotism on crack) has been placed. Its not about which party (both are messed up) but which issues and canidates will further the whole gospel.


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