Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Evangelicals and the Republican Party: Finally Some Light and Not Just Heat

I am grateful to Andrew Walker at Mere Orthodoxy for pointing out this fine article by John Mark Reynolds of the Torrey Honors Institute at Biola University. I appreciate his refreshing candor and straight-forward recognition of the imperfections and shortcomings of his party coupled with his firm and reasonable contention that it is the least bad option.

Here is a snippet in which he argues that the GOP is the natural home of Evangelicals:

Nobody needs feel shame to be a Republican, because when it came time to confront the original sin of the nation—slavery—the Republican Party was on the Lord's side. In the great battle of my time, the war against communist tyranny, the Republican Party led in the defense of free markets and freedom of thought.

The Republican Party has always been the party of Evangelicals. Lincoln was elected by appealing to our beliefs and this has not changed in one hundred and fifty years. The party base of Northern Evangelicals abides in states like Iowa and Ohio, though it has faded in secularized New England. When many Southern Evangelicals saw the light in the late twentieth-century, they were coming to their natural home.

And here is one in which he states his priorities clearly:

No Christian puts his trust in princes. We remember that no earthly party is God's party, because He is never a Republican or Democrat, being a committed monarchist. No Christian votes simply for party, but is open to good men and women where ever they may be found. We are, at all times, first subjects of Christendom and only secondarily citizens of this Republic.
On poverty, he offers this bit of wisdom:
We would give all our money in taxes if we thought it would end poverty, but have seen that it only enriches the state at the cost of liberty. We create statist masters and the poor are with us always.
On liberty, he writes:
Politics before the coming of Jesus is a balance between law and liberty. Christians utterly reject the idea that the measure of man is his ability to contribute to the economy. We believe every human, whatever their condition, has a right to life, liberty, and a rich human life. We know that if a person cannot benefit from labor, that such a person is not free.

Children must be cared for, but Christians refuse to make infants of any adult. God Himself gave mankind the ability to defy Him in the garden, so we are hesitant to make any person do good by the force of law.

There is a lot of wisdom in this brief article. Read it all here.

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