Christian Political Ethics Are Upside Down: “We’re adamant about politics and flexible about virtue.”

"To understand what I mean, let’s refer back to one of my favorite passages in scripture—Micah 6:8.... simple to understand yet tough to execute: “He has told you, O man, what is good; and what does the Lord require of you but to do justice, and to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God.”" (So why is our political culture so toxic?) - David French

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Protestants & Pot

"Right now America is in a permissive mood that is legalizing controlled substances, legitimizing prostitution as 'sex work,' embracing gambling as economic stimulant, and accepting pornography as harmless pastime. This permissiveness will run its course, until its excesses will provoke a new more restrictive era. Social Puritanism may recede for a season but it never disappears. Often it just morphs into new arenas." - Mark Tooley

475 reads

From the Archives – The Neglected Power of Christian Joy

Paul lists three great virtues, “faith, hope and love” in 1 Corinthians 13:13, yet he informs us that “love” is the greatest of the three. Two books of the Bible are devoted to the virtue of wisdom: Proverbs and Ecclesiastes. How can anyone underestimate the importance of wisdom in light of this? But the fruit of the Spirit (Gal.5:22-23) and the armor of God (Eph. 6:14-18) are two more examples of “virtue lists” found in God’s Word—and there are many more.

With all these virtue lists floating around, we can end up dizzy. What do I pursue: love, faith, holiness, graciousness, zeal, knowledge, joy, peace, goodness, gentleness, or self-control? The answer is “yes.” These attributes are complementary, but they can be examined individually. After examining them, we need to integrate them into the whole package of who we are. In a sense, being a balanced Christian means being a complete Christian; we attain balance by including all these virtues and excluding none. None of us attains this perfect balance; indeed, we probably cannot even agree as to what that perfect balance should be.

Jesus and joy

Jesus obviously lived out the perfect mixture of attributes for His calling as Messiah, but even that is not enough information for our lives. Jesus never addressed pesky salesmen on the phone, nor did He decide what options we should expect on our cell phones. Still, His character gives us the supreme example and starting point. One attribute Jesus cherished and repeatedly discussed is joy.

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“Civic virtue is not a pleasant abstraction.... It is a necessity if we are to have an open and transparent government based on trust and cooperation.”

"When trust fails, the virtuous circle turns vicious, and then the state has to find other ways to encourage or compel cooperation in order to function.... it is not surprising that the two poles of American politics have drifted toward socialism and nationalism at a time when the effectiveness and trustworthiness of our public institutions is in decline." - The Venezuelafication of American Politics

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Clayton Christensen: ‘If you take away religion, you can’t hire enough police’

"America’s founding documents presuppose that a limited government depends on a free and virtuous society. 'Of all the dispositions and habits which lead to political prosperity, religion and morality are indispensable supports,' said George Washington in his Farewell Address." - Acton

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