Politics

What’s the Vote About? And What Difference Does It Make?

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At this moment, six states plus the District of Columbia recognize what they call marriages between partners of the same sex. Three more states will be voting on legislation or citizens’ initiatives that will also recognize same-sex marriage. On the other hand, nine states have statues specifically prohibiting same sex marriages, and another thirty prohibit the practice in their constitutions. This Tuesday, the citizens of Minnesota (my state) will vote on a constitutional amendment that defines marriage as between one man and one woman.

Opponents of the amendment have tried to challenge it as a civil rights issue. For them, homosexuality should be treated as a minority status. People are born with their “sexual orientation” and it is unreasonable (they say) to discriminate against them. Persons of the same sex don’t harm anybody else if they cohabit or marry, so any law that prevents them from marrying is discriminatory. Their slogan goes, “Everyone should have the right to marry.”

The debate, however, is not about the rights of same-sex couples. It is about power, force, and, ultimately, about the use of violence against citizens who will not cooperate in the mainstreaming of homosexual behavior. If you think this is an overstatement, think again.

We are not really deliberating the definition of marriage. Marriage is simply marriage, and it is always between a man and a woman. This is not opinion; it is fact. You can claim to be married to a car. You can claim to be married to a building. You can claim to be married to a microbe. But you won’t be. Ever. Read more about What’s the Vote About? And What Difference Does It Make?

Pulpit Ministry & the Presidential Election, Part 2

Posted with persmission from Theologically Driven.

In my last post, I suggested that the role of the pulpit in preparing a congregation for the upcoming presidential election is more complex than simply identifying relevant biblical values at stake in the election and offering corroborating textual support. Instead, we need to offer a theological matrix whereby the believer may successfully identify the most relevant concerns and weigh them appropriately. In short, it is the pastor’s responsibility to develop and communicate a biblical worldview that allows the believer to recognize and promote God’s expectations in areas where specific biblical guidance is not forthcoming. Note the following:

(1) The matrix begins with the realization that, in this dispensation at least, the spheres governed by Caesar and the church, respectively, are distinct (Matt 22:21). The church has no place in normalizing the legislation, adjudication, or execution of civic initiatives; nor has civil government any place in normalizing the doctrine and praxis of the church. Read more about Pulpit Ministry & the Presidential Election, Part 2

Reflections on Republocrat: The Secularization of America

This post continues my chapter-by-chapter review of Republocrat, by Carl Trueman (Part 1, Part 2). The chapter in focus here is the second, entitled The Slipperiness of Secularization. It’s thesis is that the US may seem to be less secularized than Britain, but probably isn’t. The reason is that here in the US, the church itself has become secularized in many ways. Hence, even though church attendance and religious language are far more common here than in the UK, these do not reflect genuine Christian faith and practice. To put it another way, Britain only seems more secular because it is more authentic about its unbelief rather than dressing it up like we do here.

After brief introductory paragraphs, Trueman develops the chapter under these headings:

  • America: The Exception? (p. 22)
  • British Christianity: The Dying of the Light (p. 23-25)
  • The USA: Secularization, Religious-Style (p. 25-28)
  • Secularization: Subtle and Speciously Orthodox (p. 28-32)
  • The Patriot’s Bible and Beyond (p. 32-36)
  • The Celebrity Syndrome (p. 37-39)
  • Conclusion (p. 39)
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Reflections on Republocrat: Oppression and the Left

Image of Republocrat: Confessions of a Liberal Conservative
by Carl R. Trueman
P & R Publishing 2010
Paperback 128

These reflections concern Carl Trueman’s Republocrat, Chapter 1. (For notes on the foreword and introduction, see A Serialized Review). Two questions were on my mind as I approached Chapter 1: (a) Is Trueman really a political liberal? (b) Does he accurately understand the conservatism he left behind?

Two themes comprise Chapter 1. Theme 1 is expressed in the chapter title, “Left Behind”: how those of “Old Left” (Trueman’s term) political views are now homeless because liberalism has been “hijacked by special interest groups” (p. 14). Theme 2 makes the first interesting: how Left thought about oppression developed from the 19th century to the present.

The chapter is divided into eight sections.

  • (Introductory paragraphs, p.1-2)
  • A Brief History of the Old Left (p. 2-5)
  • The Strange Love Affair of the Intelligentsia with Marxism (p. 5-6)
  • Success and Failure: the Road to Redefinition (p. 6-8)
  • Mr. Marx Meets Dr. Freud: the Changing Face of Oppression (p. 9-11)
  • How Authenticity Made the Left Inauthentic (p. 11-15)
  • Evangelicals and the New Left (p. 15-17)
  • Conclusion (p. 17-19)
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