Monday, June 02, 2008

The Weightier Matters

What is the most important issue to churches this November?  Serving local communities?  Preaching the Gospel of Jesus Christ?  Or how people vote?   For years the terms "Christian Conservative" and "Religious Right" have dominated discussions of Christianity and politics.  But the emerging generation of Evangelical leaders are not as willing to be classified into such boxes.


Maitaining the important doctrines such as the veracity of the Bible, the physical resurrection of Jesus, and the need for atonement, these younger Christians are trying to see a bigger picture than Republicans vs Democrats.  Not satisfied with merely voting they are focusing instead on serving.  Not content with the single issues they have been given in the past, they are expanding the idea of what it means to vote one's conscience.  Dissapointed with the reputation evangelical political efforts of late have gained, they are reinterpretting what it means to be the church in our current political system. 


Two potential reactions can occur when old systems are challenged by new ones.  Those familiar with old system can become defensive and insist that the way things have always been done is still working and should not be challenged.  Alternatively, those of the old system may abandon it altogether in favor of the new.  Ideally, however, those of the old and new systems will not react, but will proactively put in the hard work necessary to form a synthesis. 


Learning from the mistakes of the old system, and recognizing that there will be mistakes in the new system, leaders from both sides should be able to come together in unity, particularly within the church.  Those from the old system bring wisdom and hindsight to the table which the younger system-changers do not have.  Those who offer a new system bring with them a fresh perspective and a knowledge of the (current) contemporary culture which is important in our rapidly changing society.  Working together under the leadership of the Holy Spirit, both will be able to accomplish so much more than either alone. 


Josh R

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