Jesus Creed

Jesus Creed


Politics and the Church

posted by xscot mcknight

The NY Times article on Greg Boyd’s church in Minneapolis is catching attention. Why? (Below.)
I’d like to give some reflections, and I’m keen on your response, especially as it is timed with our series on Randall Balmer’s book, Thy Kingdom Come, who happens to be quoted in the NY Times piece. I’m keen on what you think local churches should do.
Here are two central paragraphs in the article:

The requests came from church members and visitors alike: Would he please announce a rally against gay marriage during services? Would he introduce a politician from the pulpit? Could members set up a table in the lobby promoting their anti-abortion work? Would the church distribute “voters’ guides” that all but endorsed Republican candidates? And with the country at war, please couldn’t the church hang an American flag in the sanctuary?
After refusing each time, Mr. Boyd finally became fed up, he said. Before the last presidential election, he preached six sermons called “The Cross and the Sword” in which he said the church should steer clear of politics, give up moralizing on sexual issues, stop claiming the United States as a “Christian nation” and stop glorifying American military campaigns.

Make that a third paragraph: “When the church wins the culture wars, it inevitably loses,” Mr. Boyd preached. “When it conquers the world, it becomes the world. When you put your trust in the sword, you lose the cross.”
Here’s the core issue, and most in the Religious Right don’t get it.

In his six sermons, Mr. Boyd laid out a broad argument that the role of Christians was not to seek “power over” others — by controlling governments, passing legislation or fighting wars. Christians should instead seek to have “power under” others — “winning people’s hearts” by sacrificing for those in need, as Jesus did, Mr. Boyd said.

So, what do we do? How do we as followers of Jesus relate to politics? Frankly, I’m embarrassed at the Church: I’m embarrassed how liberal mainliners kowtow to the Democrats, equating the US Constitution on rights and freedoms as somehow equivalent to the gospel. And I’m embarrassed with the Religious Right’s whorish behavior of aligning itself with the Republicans. Jesus would say to each, “I never knew you.” Now that you know how I feel, let me offer some observations about how Christians and churches can participate in the political process.
First, I think churches should educate Christians on what the Bible says and about how the Church — the broad, orthodox tradition, not just “your/my church” — has thought about particular political issues. My jaw dropped (in a good way) a few years ago when the USA went to war in the Middle East and Bill Hybels gave a sermon with this theme: Christians differ on how to participate; here are the views; here’s why each believes what it does; you make up your mind; but know that Christians differ. I wrote him a letter and told him thanks. Why? Because he didn’t raise the American flag and say good Christians drop bombs, and he didn’t stand up and say good Christians are conscientious objectors, but he stood up and said what should be said by leaders: here’s what the issues are, here’s how different Christians think, you make up your own mind.
Second, Christians need to remain independent enough to provide a prophetic stance. If you are in bed with the Republicans, you can’t announce they are wrong; if you are in bed with the Democrats, you can’t do that either. But, we must: Jesus critiqued the establishment and the Gentiles and the followers. He burned the path of justice and grace and love, and it didn’t matter who got in the way: the story had to be told. Until we can get enough distance from the party, until we can say “here’s what the Bible says and that’s not what the establishment is doing,” until we can do that we will not perform the role we have in this world: to speak the word of Christ and embody it in a peformance of the gospel.
Third, the idea that we can remain apolitical is hogwash and irresponsible. There was a day when evangelicals were decidedly non-political and uncommitted. That was withdrawal. As I lay out in Embracing Grace, the gospel is for all of us and for the whole of each of us. We can’t withdraw because that denies the gospel; we can’t just preach soul-redemption because that denies the incarnation; we have to preach the whole gospel to the whole culture.
Which means, we will have to address political issues. If we have established our independence, our word can be both prophetic and admonishment and encouragement.
Fourth, each person is responsible to decide where he or she stands. If we educate, we permit others to make up their minds; if we indoctrinate, we don’t. Churches that align themselves with one party indoctrinate; churches that follow Jesus remain politically independent and gain a hearing for a prophetic stance. But, if we educate, we permit folks to make up their minds — and that means within local churches some will find abortion important and others war and yet others the poor and still others the economy. If your church cares about only one, there is indoctrination. If it has a variety of folks, there is education and there is responsibility being left on the shoulders of local Christians to make up their own minds.
Tomorrow I post my three-line theory of political wisdom.
I’ve posted this at RedBlueChristian.com as well.



Advertisement
Comments read comments(57)
post a comment
Coops

posted July 31, 2006 at 6:18 am


Wow! I wish I could get a copy of those six sermons he preached…



report abuse
 

Benjamin

posted July 31, 2006 at 6:31 am


Why I agree with the underlying message I feel torn as to the overall message-which is something I am still trying to digest-but I get tired of the “evil Republican” label.



report abuse
 

Rick L

posted July 31, 2006 at 6:34 am


Coops – you can get content from the sermons. The article also says:
And Mr. Boyd has a new book out, “The Myth of a Christian Nation: How the Quest for Political Power Is Destroying the Church,” which is based on his sermons.
Benjamin – I am of mixed mind as well.
Rick L



report abuse
 

Denny Burk

posted July 31, 2006 at 6:56 am


Scot,
I hope that everyone would agree that whoring ourselves out to a political party would be a bad thing. To the extent that we do that, we betray Christ. I, for one, would love to see evangelical churches let go of their partisan and nationalistic ethos (to the extent that any individual church is bedeviled by such things).
Your paragraph about Bill Hybels brings up an important point. What is the minister’s responsibility before his congregation? Isn’t his chief obligation to preach the word? A pastor can say that “just war” and “pacifism” are two viewpoints that one can find among Christians, but if the pastor is preaching Romans 13, doesn’t he have a responsibility to explain what Romans 13 means and how that relates to issues of war and peace?
You wrote: “within local churches some will find abortion important and others war and yet others the poor and still others the economy. If your church cares about only one, there is indoctrination.” What if a church cares about all of these but gives priority to the life issue? Is that indoctrination?
The reason I ask is because Howard Dean and the Democrat Party have been very public about their plans to make electoral gains among religious voters. The Democrats have been courting the evangelical left very aggressively over the last year and intends to forge a new alliance so as to be more appealling to evangelicals more broadly. In its outreach to religious voters, the Democrat Party line has been to relativize the life-issue by couching traditional Democrat policy proposals in specifically religious terms. Do you agree with the Democrats that evangelical support for the pro-life cause should give way so that some of these other issues (e.g., war, poverty, environment) can have equal priority?
Thanks for the interesting discussion.
Thanks,
Denny



report abuse
 

Scot McKnight

posted July 31, 2006 at 7:10 am


Denny,
Thanks. This could be a long discussion today, and I don’t want to preempt what others might say, but here are some brief responses:
First, I don’t think the pastor’s chief obligation is to preach but to “pastor.” That’s bigger than “preaching.” Equating the two gets us into trouble. But, yes, if preaching Rom 13, preach that text. The pastor’s role is to educate and guide as well as to teach and preach. In war times, the pastor guides the congregation in a “war-time theology.”
Second, I agree with your point. I was speaking of some churches fixating on one issue or another — it happens in Red and Blue churches.
Third, I do hope the Democrats court evangelicals and I hope those who are so courted have the guts to stand up for Christian principles and help shift the Democratic party to more Christian and less radical platforms. I don’t quite understand your last question because you are assuming something that is unclear to me.



report abuse
 

Bob Robinson

posted July 31, 2006 at 7:12 am


I’m conflicted about how to balance the church’s united communal prophetic voice with the individual consciences of the people in the church. I’m not yet convinced by the arguments from Christians that political stands are up to the individual, and that we change society by simply changing individual hearts.
Boyd says, “Christians should instead seek to have ‘power under’ others — ‘winning people’s hearts.’”
And you say, “Each person is responsible to decide where he or she stands.”
My question is this:
How can the Kingdom-proclaiming ekklesia be prophetic if each individual in the ekklesia has their own individualistic ideas about abortion, war, poverty, etc.?
Isn’t there a place for the church leadership to LEAD? — that may mean that we take clear stands on issues and tell our people that this is how we understand the Kingdom needs to make an impact in our society. If, on every issue, I just say, “Here’s the different views,” as Hybels did, then am I simply shirking responsibility and throwing it over onto the individuals in the church? How can we have a united, communal, prophetic voice in society if I make every issue a matter of individual conscience?
For too long, Christians have made ethical issues a matter of personal conscience. We’ve believed that if a person becomes a Christian, they will be filled with the Holy Spirit and make good ethical issues. If each individual Christian makes good ethical decisions, then society will become better. This is flawed, in that systemic evils in society needs more than individuals living individualistic ethical lives. It takes a united front of Kingdom-advancing Christians to make sweeping changes for the good of society.
Meanwhile, I totally agree with Boyd when he says, “When the church wins the culture wars, it inevitably loses.” The means of “battle” that Christians are to use are not the means of the zealots or the pharisees. It is the means of the suffering Messiah, who subverted the evils of empire by way of love, service, and sacrifice.



report abuse
 

Kent

posted July 31, 2006 at 7:21 am


Who do we allow to define us? If we are the church then we are defined by our relationshiop with the head – Jesus Christ. Individual members will have, and ought to have political opinions that are brought ot the conversation of the church, but the bottom line remains the Bible. There has to be prophetic voice against poverty and abortion, and arrogance, and greed, and hunger and… well you name it. As for the democrats and republicans being evil, what do you expect in an immature fallen world? They are a reflection of us.
What I hope for is place where conversation and debate, passionate debate can occur without vilifying one another. Can’t we discuss these issue without depicting one another as the enemy. Certainly Jesus can us teach how to do that.



report abuse
 

Scot McKnight

posted July 31, 2006 at 7:30 am


Bob,
Your points are very good. Politics is not easy; it is messy. And, because it is messy, I think it is wise to avoid making thunderous pronouncements about political issues on which we don’t have clear moral (or whatever) teaching.
If I were a pastor — and I’m not and war became an issue, I’d do what Hybels did and then I’d clarify where I was. And I’d explain why I believe what I do.
This is not simply handing over ethics to the individual, but accepting the fact that there are some things that are a matter of individual conscience, that there is a need for diversity and that diversity is OK within the church, and that the leader’s role is sometimes to educate rather than to say “here’s the way; follow me.”
Kent,
Do you think I was too hard on the parties? Or are you speaking generally?



report abuse
 

Scot McKnight

posted July 31, 2006 at 7:31 am


Kent,
Your question raises a comment: What has happened is that the Religious Left and the Religious Right have chosen to label the other as diabolical at times. That’s a problem.



report abuse
 

Jacob

posted July 31, 2006 at 7:49 am


Scott,
I appreciate the point that loyalty to a political party compromises out ability to speak with a prophetic voice. It seems that one who is so aligned also becomes deaf to all criticisms of “thier” party.
After working through the confusion of “Christians vote Republican and hate the Clintons”, I became an advocate of 3rd party politics. That’s not a final solution, but it helps me to not be seduced by either of the two most successfull parties who’ve abandoned all principle & gone whoring for power. Being more detached from them, I find fault with both, but don’t easily tolerate the stereotyped criticisms of either party.
Perhaps the most annoying, and telling, evidence of being seduced is how people agree with, or at least justify, EVERYTHING thier favored party preaches.
I commend Boyd for remaining prophetic instead of lowering himself into a political pawn.



report abuse
 

Bob Robinson

posted July 31, 2006 at 7:52 am


[This is not simply handing over ethics to the individual, but accepting the fact that there are some things that are a matter of individual conscience, that there is a need for diversity and that diversity is OK within the church, and that the leader’s role is sometimes to educate rather than to say “here’s the way; follow me.”]
I agree!
Like I said, I’m conflicted.
On one hand I think that there needs to be a united Christian social and political witness.
But on the other hand, I’ve seen how the Religious Right has made a mess of that tactic.
On the one hand, I want to attend a church that makes Shalom and Justice a major part of its gospel message.
On the other hand, I am very suspiciuos of churches that try to tell me what I should believe politically.
If a church announces a special service for the Fourth of July, I will lean away. But if a church announces that God is not a Republican or a Democrat (and really mean it), I will be attracted.



report abuse
 

Rick L

posted July 31, 2006 at 7:57 am


Part of the challenge when wishing for the church to speak prophetically is that there are two “churches” and each is speaking prophetically in a way that demonizes the other perspective, which includes fellow Christ-followers.
Rick L



report abuse
 

Ted Gossard

posted July 31, 2006 at 8:12 am


Scot,
Great post. And great comments here too.
I agree. I appreciate the Evangelical Covenant’s stance of the pastor presenting the various views on issues in which “Bible believing” Christians differ. Then presenting her/his own position from Scripture on it. And letting each decide for themselves. Of course on some issues there is less room for disagreement, usually, among us. Others are clear, though application of such is not always so.
I was turned off in the past by evangelicals who seemed to practically demonize Republicans. And, of course, I live in the midst of Christians to whom the Republican party is standing for the moral issues of the day, period.
I like to challenge this line of thinking by hopefully conversing about, and thinking through the paradigm of the kingdom of God as revealed in Scripture and in Jesus. Unless we hold squarely to that, we end up becoming something less than a Joseph or Daniel- who remained true to their God, because their paradigm was different than the kingdoms in which they served.



report abuse
 

nick

posted July 31, 2006 at 8:26 am


I’m not upset with Christians aligning themselves with political parties if they agree with their policies. after all, party politics is the norm and the conventional way people are involved in the political process. There is nothing wrong with that.
What is wrong is acting un-Christ-like when discussing politics, just like in any scenario. So what Boyd is saying doesn’t quite register with me, because it seems He is making a broad generalization that those Christians involved in politics don’t “come under” people and serve them, but rather support the “power over” mentality of some politicians. I just don’t think this is true. Christians can be wholeheartedly republican and outspoken about issues (even in church) if they are humble and loving.
I don’t think Boyd is telling anybody anything they didn’t already know by stressing the uniqueness of the Kingdom of God. In fact, it is irresponsible and unhealthy to try to separate politics from God’s overall plans for the betterment and redemption of society in its wholeness.



report abuse
 

Ted Gossard

posted July 31, 2006 at 8:34 am


I agree with Bob and Nick here. I am not at all advocating a separation from participation in politics. Or in being a member of a party or a politician. People like Joseph and Daniel were. We have unique callings.
We must press home the centrality of the kingdom of God. But do so as those who would bring it to bear on all this world’s activities and thought. And be those who are involved, in one way or another. Present, but different. The salt and light we are to this world, in Jesus.



report abuse
 

Jim Martin

posted July 31, 2006 at 8:37 am


Scot,
I like what Bill Hybels did.
Part of what I have seen in the church is political parties and loyalties shaping our identity instead of Christ.
I have seen it when people say things like:
“Of course, I’m for_____ (some moral issue), afterall I’m a _______ (whatever the political party might be)” Where does Jesus enter in?
I have seen it in the way people speak about the politicans. During the Clinton years, many in the other political party could not seem to find a single thing he had done right. (I remember asking a person, “You mean you can’t think of ANYTHING he has done right?”
Now with President Bush, many in the other political party can’t seem to find anything that he is doing right.
The church has another identity. That will probably mean that I affirm some things in one party and some things in another party. That means that I will not take a “all or nothing” approach to politics. I should not fear complimenting someone of another political party if it seems closer to what Jesus might have done or said. I should not fear diagreeing with a politician (even someone I voted for) if my commitment to Christ calls for this.



report abuse
 

Ochuk

posted July 31, 2006 at 8:42 am


I posted this over at the Generous Orthodoxy blog [I also had the privilege of hearing the sermons Boyd gave]:
Evangelcial Christianity is insecure about politics. It approaches political issues with the same frustration as the world and campaigns in much the same ways. Further, it buy heavily into the left/right divide that baptizes agendas of one side as “God’s Kingdom ethics” and forbids the other as the “Devils work” (I have heard these phrases uttered by both sides about the other).
Evangelical Christianity, by nature, seeks conversion of the lost. It, of course, is also very politically active for conservative causes. Inevitably, this becomes a project where conservatives “reach out” to liberals. Thus, politics become a kind of stumbling block to the gospel.
Boyd, however, sees this antithesis obliterated in Christ’s call to discipleship. He called Simon the Zealot and Levi the tax collector to be a part of his inner circle. That’s like having Michael Moore and Dick Cheney on the same team! A “quietist a-political pietism” does not produce such a world, and Boyd works to tap into Christ’s “kingdom ethics” by developing the “power-under” mentality of the Kingdom of God versus the “power over” mentality of the kingdom of the world. I think it is a significant, though perpahs incomplete, contribution.



report abuse
 

Kent

posted July 31, 2006 at 9:24 am


I was speaking generally. That was not targeted at you.



report abuse
 

Bacho

posted July 31, 2006 at 9:31 am


Hi, Scot,
You wrote about Hybles:
“he didn’t raise the American flag and say good Christians drop bombs, and he didn’t stand up and say good Christians are conscientious objectors, but he stood up and said what should be said by leaders: here’s what the issues are, here’s how different Christians think, you make up your own mind.”
Where would you say is the place for shepherding of the congregation’s soul? Is there still a place for those chosen and set apart by our communities to honestly state, “From what I read, study, and pray…it seems that the Spirit is leading us to…” I think the impact of the postmodern way of thinking that was helpful in addressing the Modernity’s arrogant claims of absolute certianty has swung the pendelum to the other extreme so many of our shepherds stand castrated and unable to state their own position. How do we remedy this trend? Or is it even a trend to be remedied?
Personally, I will take Boyd’s bold sermons over Hybles’ “here are your options, now go home and make up your mind”.



report abuse
 

Kent

posted July 31, 2006 at 9:32 am


Perhaps it is our own laziness in allowing others to determine who we are and what we think. We have too often allowed a political party to determine who we think because it may be easier or the positions of the party may serve our self interests better.
It requires effort to listen and follow Jesus. That may be more than may want to invest in the process. And this is not being cynical. It is an observation.



report abuse
 

Marc

posted July 31, 2006 at 10:02 am


Hi Scot,
I really appreciate your balanced, sober comments here. I also think that Greg Boyd is a breath of fresh air. I don’t see Greg taking sides in the culture war. What I do seem him doing is suggesting that waging culture wars is not keeping faith with the teaching of the New Testament where we are called to love our enemies, and are instructed that our fight is not with flesh and blood, but with powers and principalities. We are taught by Scripture that we are not to “wage war” the same way that the world does.
Now contrast what the Scripture has to say over against the recent Time magazine article about Ralph Reed’s fall from power, James Kennedy’s declaration of war on the ACLU, and Pastor Rod Parsley’s “Taking Back America” campaign. I think what you find is a army of rightwing Christians who are aiming there guns at the wrong enemy: homosexuals, abortionists, liberals, feminists, and of course the ACLU.
I think that what Greg is saying is that Jesus loves these people too, and demonizing them and engaging in a culture war with them is not the way of Jesus. I agree with him. I also agree with Rich Nathan, pastor of Vineyard Church of Columbus who is pretty much saying the same things in his book, “Who is My Enemy”.
Finally, I think the way forward is to not use politics as the way to advance God’s Kingdom (on either side of the divide), but rather to lovingly engage our culture with the Gospel of Jesus Christ.



report abuse
 

Hunter Beaumont

posted July 31, 2006 at 10:14 am


Trying to hold your second and third points together is where it gets difficult to work this out practically. We need to remian independent enough to offer a prophetic voice. We can’t be apolitical. Both true.
But here’s the hard part: If a Christian wants to do more than comment on political issues…if he wants to actually be involved in the political process by running for office, passing laws, working in government, working on the staff of someone who is in office, etc. then he has to identify with one of the two parties. The “system” forces him to choose a side, and once he’s on that side, the system has a powerful molding effect because if the person wants to get appointments, get hired, or even get elected, he can’t be too independent of the party’s orthodoxy. If he tries to work within the system while being prophetic, the system will usually flush him out.
So here’s the key question that we have to answer: How do we help Christians who actually want to *participate* in political fields, not just comment on them?



report abuse
 

Ted Gossard

posted July 31, 2006 at 10:29 am


I remember Paul Henry, son of Carl Henry the evangelical theologian. Paul served in the U.S. Congress as a Republican representing the Grand Rapids, Michigan area. He had been a professor at Calvin College. And was a very thoughtful Christian in his politics. He was also very concerned about what would be seen as the forerunner of the religious right of today. He spoke to this in a speech given at Huntington College around 1979, I think (as I recall, don’t know if that’s online anymore).
During the Reagan presidency he voted less with the president than any other Republican: 50% of the time. He very thoroughly and intelligently thought through and acted on issues, in accordance with his Christian worldview. And during a time of a president who had significant bipartisan support, and during a time that shifted the political landscape significantly. But through all of that, he demonstrated that in a Christ-like way (I believe), one could be in the political process without losing one’s true identity (in Jesus) in the process. (And for me, this would mean doing “political” things at times, as in working through compromises when judged as best). Not easy. But I see him and his work as a good example of how a Christian can be serve well as a politician.



report abuse
 

Ben Dubow

posted July 31, 2006 at 10:32 am


Scot-
I think you are right-on. Great stuff. I also really appreciate your comments about Bill Hybels and his approach to these issues. If I remember correctly, he did a whole series of topics (war, death penalty, etc) and his approach was generally to help people think Biblically about these issues, while recognizing that there can be “multiple faithful answers”–that is, as Christians, we can pray about issues, study the scriptures, affirm fully the authority of scripture, etc etc — and come to different conclusions on these issues. We can “faithfully” disagree and it doesn’t make one person “less Christian” or “less faithful”.
Hybels did a great job as a pastor teaching and leading his congregation to think Biblically–and ultimately that may be the more important tast (at least in terms of spiritual formation) than simply telling people the answers…
Thanks!



report abuse
 

Hunter Beaumont

posted July 31, 2006 at 10:50 am


Ted (#24) that’s a great example. I do worry that that was 1979. The landscape has become so divided these days (thanks in large part to the Religious Right) that it’s hard to get through a party primary if you are a free-thinker. Look at what is happening to Joe Lieberman for not towing the party line on Iraq. Look at the difficulty a guy like McCain has getting the Republican nomination. The realities of fundraising and party control are so severe that it’s hard for a prophetic voice to emerge. If one does emerge, they can do well in general elections. But getting there without the system shutting you down is the hard part, and I think it’s much harder in 2006 than it was in 1980.



report abuse
 

Big Mike Lewis

posted July 31, 2006 at 10:56 am


Wow!
Great article…this reflects many of my own personal beliefs. I have blogged on this before on my blog:
[URL=http://bigmikelewis.blogspot.com/2006/06/you-can-keep-your-politics.html] You Can Keep Your Politics[/URL]
I struggle with my parent’s political leanings because deep down it feels like they trust their politics more than Jesus.



report abuse
 

Cliff

posted July 31, 2006 at 11:50 am


Great post. I, too, am soooo frustrated with the Church’s tendency toward knee-jerk ____ism. We sell ourselves and our Jesus short when we do this.
The question that keeps coming up here is, “So how do we remain engaged but not get sucked in?” Politics is a world of compromise – “I’ll scratch your back if you’ll scratch mine.” Being prophetic is emphatically not that way. So what’s it gonna be?
I wonder if the the Church is really capable of being prophetic right now. Do we have any credibility left? My conclusion is that we should be prophetic in the way we live and relate to those with whom we do not agree.
Much of the debate between the two parties needs moderation – so the Hybels approach of educate, educate, educate makes a lot of sense. We, of all people in this nation, should be the ones to foster listening, mutual respect, and love.



report abuse
 

James M.

posted July 31, 2006 at 11:58 am


I am serving in a congregation that is about two miles away from a military base. Naturally, there is a large military (active and retired) presence in the congregation. For the fourth of July, there is an honor guard that presents the flag, and the songs of worship are dedicated to the U.S.A. This year there was a participatory reading in which the pastor led the congregation to say that basically they are to do what the government tells them to do in all situations. My heart felt like it hit the floor, and my wife, who was just as troubled, even said that the interpretation of Romans 13 was wrong.
Having read the writings of Bonheoffer, Trocme, and others, it seems that when Christians begin to offer blind allegience to anything they are easily led to be silent or to tow the party line without question. That is dangerous as attested to by history.
It always troubles me when I talk to Christians who take a political stand on some issue facing America or the world today, but yet cannot give a well thought out presentation of what led them to that conviction. Perhaps we could learn something from the Catholic theologians who spend great amounts of time and energy working through the tough issues we face today by understanding the diversity of voices in the debate and then adding their well thought out voice to present the Catholic view on the matter. As you said, Scot, education is key.
As for me, I do not see anyway to reconcile some of the stated positions of either political party with the Christian faith. Whichever one you choose will require that some aspect of the faith will be compromised. I do not know if I am willing to do that.
Call me cynical, but then again I belong to GenX so what do you expect.



report abuse
 

Andy Tooley

posted July 31, 2006 at 12:13 pm


Nick,
Your post left me wondering if you understood what Boyd or McKnight were saying? No one is advocating that Christians are to separate themselves from politics; rather, Christians are to identify and distinguish the Christian message (euangelion) from their respective political parties. Therefore a “Christian” should not fully embrace the ideals of either party.
Ted,
In what fashion did you agree with Nick?



report abuse
 

nick

posted July 31, 2006 at 12:21 pm


So what if a Christian believes a certain domestic or foreign policy (even war) is in line with God’s will. I don’t think this means they believe USA is “God’s country” or that confuse God’s Kingdom with a mere earthly one. God’s Kingdom is both heavenly and earthly, for we are all here on earth.
It seems so many Christians such as Boyd are fearful of political activism and discourse. But why? Shouldn’t the Church be an instrument of change in our world? That doesn’t mean Church leaders can represent the entire Church on these matters, since we don’t all agree.
If anyone should be interested in policies that affect peoples’ lives, it should be people of God. So the fussing over Christians taking a political stand for God is unwarranted.
“Taking America back for God” or “taking a political stand for God” simply means that you want to see God’s Kingdom to encompass all aspects of human life.
I think some are called to be in the forefront of political dynamics, and they should not (rather cannot) separate their spiritual life from their political actions.



report abuse
 

Ted Gossard

posted July 31, 2006 at 12:25 pm


Andy,
I agreed with some of what Nick says, without agreeing with everything. Example: I’m sure Boyd is for Christian politicians and doesn’t see being a Christian and a politican as antithetical.



report abuse
 

nick

posted July 31, 2006 at 12:31 pm


I understand what Boyd and Scot mean I think. I have listened to all of Boyd’s sermons on the issue more than once.
I do not think people confuse the Gospel with a politcal party or government. If they believe their political party or government better reflects their understanding of the Kingdom of God, then why should they be criticized. I think their judgement is unwarranted because it is based on subjective observation and speculation. Our faith should be integrated into all areas of life, including politics, but this does not mean our faith is replaced or corrupted in the process. I think Boyd’s message has potential to discourage Christians from engaging is political issues that affect peoples’ lives. Jesus calls us to love people, and so I believe this includes political discourse and activism.



report abuse
 

Keith

posted July 31, 2006 at 12:40 pm


Excellent! Thanks for a well-balanced and above all gracious contribution (both post and comments!) to this issue.



report abuse
 

nick

posted July 31, 2006 at 12:41 pm


What bothers Greg I think is when Christian politicians or participants suggest that the reason for their stances is Christian values and ethics, and further suggest that others (non-Christians) realize these underlying motivations in adopting their political positions. For example, when anti-abortion activists engage is the political process by claiming that “the bible says God forms and cares for each individual in the womb”. You can’t engage non-Christians with Christian theology, since it does not apply to them.
Yea, that is wrong to assume that you can force people to adopt Christianity as a basis for political change. I just everyone knows this already, and very few are actually making this error. I see Boyd’s message basically irrelevant and unneccesary (and potentially harmful as I stated above).



report abuse
 

Tyler Watson

posted July 31, 2006 at 12:43 pm


Bravo! Great post.



report abuse
 

Andy Tooley

posted July 31, 2006 at 12:47 pm


Nick,
Thanks for your response. Again, no one is saying that the church (universal) should not be a venue for change–for it is (albeit rather flimsy in places) and should be. People of God should be working towards aiding the Spirit in changing people’s lives. The reason, however, that people are “fussing” over certain Christian’s political stances is becuase other Christians believe that many believers in Christ have allowed the gospel to be taken over or compromised by the politcal party they are working with. Here is the point Nick: Christians are allowing the gospel to suffer by 1) focusing on one issue; and 2)by accomodating or taking on the other beliefs of the medium they are using to accomplish their one issue.
On another note Nick, “taking back America for God” is not usually defined in the way that you have defined it. Historically and presently the phrase has been used to suggest that America was once a theocracy and should be (in one way or another) again. I understand how you would like to use it but know that the phrase is used in a more narrow and defined way than you are using it.
Ted,
Thanks for the clarification.



report abuse
 

Marty Schoenleber

posted July 31, 2006 at 1:20 pm


For years (15) I have been telling my congregation that I was an adovocate that all Christians declare their political independence of all political parties. You were Green, or Republican, or Democrat, or Libertarian but then you became a Christian and your allegiance is now to him. You seek his will, his way.
A big problem with discipleship in America is that we are more American than Christian. We think that we can just add Jesus to our already existing worldview. What folly. Jesus won’t be added to anything! He wants to radically overturn every thought we ever had. He is looking for worshipers. How can we think that he would not want to reconfigure every value we have to suit his own agenda?
I am not advocating a Christian Party. But that Christians declare their complete independence from all parties and make those parties listen to the prophetic voice of the church. Idealistic? Yes. Inappropriate? No. Especially with the confused and warped values of both of the major political parties.



report abuse
 

RonMck

posted July 31, 2006 at 2:14 pm


I have problems with Christians rushing into the political space and deciding issues in terms of the current political categories, without establishing a framework for applying biblical theology to political issues. The result is that we get into a pointless debate about where Christians should be positioned on the political spectrum.
We have this political space and we are not sure what to do with it. The politicians and political parties have been comfortable in this space for years. Their struggle with each other seems to be eternal, but the real differences are not that great. The major disagreement is about who should control political power.
Christians have tended to stay out of this political space, partly because Jesus kingdom is not of this world, and partly due to the separation of church and state.
They have now realised that the political space has an enormous influence on the shape of our culture and society, so they want to get back in. However, before rushing into the political space and choosing sides, we should do some hard thinking about the purposes of political power and what we want to achieve.
1.How does the intrusion of the Kingdom of God change shape, colour and nature of the political space?
2.What is the relationship between morality and law? The modern approach is to passing a new law is the solution to every problem that emerges, while the Bible is more realistic about the limitations of what law can achieve (Rom 7,8).
3.How does the coming of the Kingdom of God affect the use of political power? Who should control political power? Jesus seemed to be quite hostile to the use of political power, so can it be used to advance the Kingdom of God?
4.Can military power be used to advance the Kingdom of God?
5.What is the relationship between the state and the Kingdom of God?
6.Is democracy consistent with the Kingdom of God, given that the majority imposes its will on the minority?
7.Does nationalism have a place in the Kingdom of God?
8.Does a united states of anywhere have a place in the Kingdom of God? The prophets and the apocalyptic writers are all hostile to political empires. Secular writers are talking about the American Empire warning of the dangers of United States hegemony, but Christians tend to be silent.
I have discussed this further with nice diagrams (one is purple) at Political Space.



report abuse
 

Julie

posted July 31, 2006 at 4:33 pm


Scot, I like your distinction about educate versus indoctrinate vis a vis political stances and how the church relates to the political climate of each era.
Would you say that theological positions ought to be handled similarly? In looking back at my conversion and subsequent time in evangelical churches, the usual approach to preaching was what I now see as indoctrination (this is the right way to believe and these other ways are dangerous) rather than education: Christians differ on these issues – salvation, heaven-hell, the reliability of Scripture, the rold of women in ministry and so on. Here are resources to examine and the varieties of denominations that exist based on these differences. Here’s what this place advocates. You make up your mind.
I think most of us were led to Christ without knowing the fine print – that is, what we were expected to believe upon conversion without an awareness that Christians for centuries differed on central issues.
What do you think? Is it possible to do this with theology or only politics?
Julie



report abuse
 

Bob Robinson

posted July 31, 2006 at 5:06 pm


Until we Christians realize that all political systems are creations of man, and until we quit the tendency to ontologize political systems (making the mistake of thinking that any one of them are part of the created order), we start out on the wrong foot. There’s nothing inherently “good” about being a Republican or a Democrat (or even in being for liberal democracy or socialism, for that matter). Government seems to be a part of the creational order, but humans have been free to devise their own political systems.
We also must realize that all political ideologies are idolotrous in essence, in that they place something in the Creation as the source of human peace and justice (as opposed to the sovereign Christ who offers true shalom and justice). But, even with this said, politics is a part of the Creation in that they are created by humans in our attempt to govern ourselves. Therefore, there is truth in each and folly in each, and it takes biblical discernment to figure out what is what.
The biblical worldview is Creation – Fall – Redemption. Because God created the cosmos and the Fall effected the entire cosmos, Redemption is also cosmic in scope. Every time believers say that religion and politics do not mix or that we should concentrate on just saving souls and that we should leave the affairs of society alone, they are implicitly denying the cosmic scope of Christ’s redemption and are therefore denying the soveriegnty of God over all things.



report abuse
 

Scot McKnight

posted July 31, 2006 at 6:03 pm


Wow,
I’ve been quite busy most of the day on a small project. There is so much to say, but I want to say that a big issue here is this:
However difficult it might be, Christians follow Jesus and that is their task and vision. To the degree that a political stance is within that ambit, fine and good; to the degree it isn’t, it needs to be discarded. It is this (purple) indepedent stance that is absolutely a crying need in the evangelical church today.
The pastor’s role in all this is to guide his/her local church in the way that church needs to go (I’m low church on this issue, so I say it that way).
The pastor stands up for the gospel, for orthodoxy, for the Bible, for Jesus Christ — and when a political party gets mixed into what we stand up for we have crossed the line called idolatry.
So far as I can see, that is what Greg Boyd is arguing for. If he is, God bless him deep and wide.



report abuse
 

Scot McKnight

posted July 31, 2006 at 6:17 pm


Julie,
On theology, the local church has its own way of doing things. I would say there should be more education on differences, but the local church and its leaders will not flex on “gospel” and “creedal” issues.
The DaVinci Code caught the churches napping; almost no one knew diddly about church and I appealed to churches where I spoke to begin a serious church history educational program.
That sort of thing will actually create the diversity the Church owns up to.



report abuse
 

nick

posted July 31, 2006 at 6:32 pm


scot said “The pastor stands up for the gospel, for orthodoxy, for the Bible, for Jesus Christ — and when a political party gets mixed into what we stand up for we have crossed the line called idolatry.”
a pastor (any christian) can stand up for Jesus and be mix in a political party’s to their message, and do no wrong. i don’t see why there’s anything wrong with claiming a belief that a particular party or gov. is more in tune with the Kingdom of God. if some churches want to support politicians or strongly support “one issue”, and they believe God is calling them to it, then who is to judge that they are not in the right. it could become idolatry, but you don’t know that it always does. we can mix the Gospel into any arena of life, as long as we are full of love, resembling Jesus. and this can, and should naturally, be done.



report abuse
 

nick

posted July 31, 2006 at 6:54 pm


My concern about overly politically minded Christians is that their social identity is determined more by their political party (and vision) than the local, body of Christ. What is shaping the sense of who I am? Political activism consumes time. So, in the discussion we need to ask how much of our energy is pulled away from the body of Christ. If the community is involved, great. If not, we need discernment.
—–COMMENT:
Andy wrote, “other Christians believe that many believers in Christ have allowed the gospel to be taken over or compromised by the politcal party they are working with. Here is the point Nick: Christians are allowing the gospel to suffer by 1) focusing on one issue; and 2)by accomodating or taking on the other beliefs of the medium they are using to accomplish their one issue.”
1) what if God is calling them to focus on one issue? how do you claim that this is generally wrong or unhealthy. sure our focus is Jesus, but i think it is a wild claim to say that many Christians are focusing more on an “issue” than Jesus Christ (a similar example might be how such some people claim that people within EC are excessively focused on “church”, rather than Jesus)
2) yes this is a danger of party politics for anyone. you don’t blindly buy into the party’s entire agenda (even if this was definable). but don’t throw out the baby with the bathwater. it is not difficult for a Christian to support a political party or candidate while making it clear that it is not a blanket approval. you don’t have to accomodate or “take on” any other beliefs than the ones you feel convicted by God about.
Andy also wrote, “taking back America for God” is not usually defined in the way that you have defined it. Historically and presently the phrase has been used to suggest that America was once a theocracy and should be (in one way or another) again.”
this is a subjective mischaracterization. i don’t think this is what they mean at all. i have never heard anyone call for a theocracy. i think what most mean by “taking America back for God” is that we want God to be pleased and honored by the entire culture and society, including law and policy, and for the citizens to be blessed by a “Kingdomized” society. there is a vast difference in these two goals.
i understand how not emphasizing growing into God’s image in the day to day, while focusing primarily on how one votes or stands political is extremely dangerous, and frankly insane. it would simply cease to be mere Christianity. yet we overeact if we somehow think this is already a widespread problem, and discourage the balanced and healthy integration our political lives with our spiritual lives. we are change agents in this world and must advance the Kingdom through all avenues with faith and confidence.



report abuse
 

Jim

posted July 31, 2006 at 7:14 pm


I tried to look throught all the posts to make sure I’m not repeating information, but you can download the 6 sermon series (and all his other sermons, conferences, etc. going back to 1993) at the Woodland Hills Church web site: http://www.whchurch.org/content/page_1.htm



report abuse
 

Scot McKnight

posted July 31, 2006 at 7:17 pm


Nick,
You’re now starting to sound like a politician stumping for a viewpoint. No one questions that pastors can speak for an issue that is held by a political party.
Nor is there an issue, so far as I can tell, of thinking one party is more Christian in platform than another — the issue is aligning with that party.
The issue, Nick, is what Chris says at #48 that others have also said: it is degree and it is orientation and it is identity.



report abuse
 

Nick

posted July 31, 2006 at 10:00 pm


I am sorry for maybe missing someone’s point, and reiterating. But I got frustrated by the vagueness so I wrote out some responses to quotes from Greg’s new book and/or his church’s website. This discussion is a good one, and has helped me clarify my own thoughts.
“In Greg’s new book, The Myth of a Christian Nation, he argues from Scripture and history, that whenever the church gets too close to any political or national ideology, it is disastrous for the church and harmful to society.”
Often disastrous (I agree there is a danger, but also that it’s being overblown), yet there are many examples from history and today of the church aligning itself with a political or national ideology for beneficial reform.
He contends that the American Evangelical Church has allowed itself to be co-opted by the political right (and some by the political left) and exposes how this is harming the church’s unique calling to build the kingdom of God.
“Instead of being co-opted, I believe it is rather that the Church has actively and carefully chosen to align itself with certain political parties or ideologies for reasons many believe are good and fruitful for all.
When the kingdom of God is manifested, it will wear the face of Jesus Christ. And that, says Greg, has never been true of any earthly government or power.”
No, never? How does one make that judgment call? No government or power or person can perfectly wear the face of Jesus, yet they all can and do to some degree. Wearing the face of Jesus Christ (Christ-likeness) is something to wholeheartedly strive towards, and is attainable by His grace) in every arena (including socio-political) of our personal lives, local churches, local communities, states, nations, regions, and the international community.
“Evangelical Christians who align themselves too closely with political causes or declare that they want to bring America “back to God” are actually doing harm—both to the body of Christ and society in general.”
How do we know this is generally true? I believe there can be harm done by an improper alignment in this regard, but this is surely not always, or I would argue even mostly the case, yet his statement makes no such qualifications. It is Boyd’s assessment of the whole situation. Can someone provide concrete examples that substantiate this claim.
“Jesus taught us to seek a “power-under” kingdom, where greatness is measured by supporting and “coming under” people through sacrifice and service. We have no human enemies because we are meant to embrace and love everyone. In The Myth of a Christian Nation, Greg challenges readers to return to the true love of Calvary and the message of the cross—setting the “power-over” politics of worldly government aside.”
Why does Boyd assume that worldly governments are inherently characterized by “power-over” politics? Political entities are made up of people, and so can like individuals be described by “coming under” people through sacrifice and service, and can love and embrace everyone. Just because we do not see this consistently being done by political powers, doesn’t mean it is not being done at all and that the full potential is not there.



report abuse
 

Nick

posted July 31, 2006 at 10:03 pm


“For some evangelicals, the kingdom of God is largely about, if not centered on, “taking America back for God,” voting for the Christian candidate, outlawing abortion, outlawing gay marriage, winning the culture war, defending political freedom at home and abroad, keeping the phrase “under God” in the Pledge of Allegiance, fighting for prayer in the public schools and at public events, and fighting to display the Ten Commandments in government buildings.”
Who are these “some evangelicals”? How can Boyd claim that they are largely about or centered on the political activism he describes, as opposed to largely about the Kingdom and centered on Christ? Again, I see this statement as a broad, unsubstantiated characterization of the reality.
“I do not argue that those political positions are either wrong or right. Nor do I argue that Christians shouldn’t be involved in politics. While people whose faith has been politicized may well interpret me along such lines, I assure you that this is not what I’m saying. The issue is far more fundamental than how we should vote or participate in government. Rather, I want to challenge the assumption that finding the right political path has anything to do with advancing the kingdom of God.”
I am glad Boyd agrees Christians are okay being involved in politics. However, this last sentence, a sort of concluding statement, makes Boyd’s message pretty clear. I think I speak for many of our conviction that finding the right political path has very much to do with advancing the Kingdom of God, for the political paths are avenues by which we participate in the political processes, which have great potential for making our world a place of where people are given freedom and taken care of, where ethnic and religious groups are reconciled, where communities are orderly, prosperous, and peaceful. In part through political processes, our world can be transformed into the Kingdom of God. I think this is a fundamental responsibility for all people, especially God’s people who intimately know the King of the Kings of the Earth.



report abuse
 

Jacob

posted July 31, 2006 at 10:07 pm


I’m really enjoying following this discussion.
Regarding Christians aligning themselves closely to a political party and it’s agenda – this has provided a great critique of the corrupting influence that political parties have on the church (both liberal and conservative). I think most of us can see the need to pray for pastors to preach prophetically without being compromised by political allegiances.
I’ve come to appreciate the fact that most parties stand for some gospel or biblical issues, even if it’s just to get a vote. Christians should applaud that which reflects the mind and heart of God, wherever it comes from… and condemn the political deception/corruption and compromises that seems to be so embedded in most successful politicians.



report abuse
 

Scot McKnight

posted July 31, 2006 at 10:08 pm


Nick,
Thanks for doing all this work for the readers of this blog so they can see Boyd in clearer profile.
On the first quotation: “ideology” is an important word. It does not mean “ideas” or “platform” but to a political party’s belief/idea system that is used to justify and maintain power. If that is what Boyd means, I would agree with him. Not sure on that one.
On the bring America back to God we are dealing with two issues: Constantinianism and/or Puritanism’s attempt to control some communities. That’s the issue for most of us.
Worldly governments are controlled by power; Jesus even said that and he wasn’t into political analysis.
On your last post, last point, I simply disagree. You sound postmillennial to me. Are you?



report abuse
 

Josh

posted July 31, 2006 at 10:21 pm


Nick -
You wrote:
“I think I speak for many of our conviction that finding the right political path has very much to do with advancing the Kingdom of God…”
I sure hope you don’t speak for many. Using politics to advance religion leads to people getting killed.
“In part through political processes, our world can be transformed into the Kingdom of God.”
That sounds like something the leader of Hamas or Hezbollah would say. It almost scares me that there are Christians who would line up with an idea remotely close to that.
I’m completely serious.



report abuse
 

paul

posted August 1, 2006 at 10:38 am


i too struggle with how do we as Christians talk about politics. i live in huge military area, that also tends to be very conservative…it’s tough. i disagree with the idea that Christians should not be involved in politics, but i also disagree with the way many Christians are involved in politics now.
Personally, i have been toying around with some thoughts on the issue…what if:
we could get a list of values that are important to us as Christians (such as justice, love compassion, righteousness, mercy, etc…). politics is one way we could engage the world to bring about these issues we care for.
i wish we could always center our political debates around these issues. for example, how will this foriegn policy be more just, loving (towards enemies and neighbors), merciful etc…
i think Christians from different political parties could engage in healthy debate and disagreement here…as long as there was good, logical reasoning for why this policy was more “merciful”, etc… Also, political platforms (from the Christian perspective) would always be about being more merciful, righteous, etc…and not just about votes and power and demonizing the enemy party.
we could always rethink/evaluate our decisions/platforms and respond accordingly. So, if we made a mistake before, we are quick to correct, for the sake of being more merciful, just, etc… This way, we don’t have to only vote Republican or Democrat, and stick with that party. We may vote for Republican, but pressure that party to then change itself in order to be more merciful, compassionate, etc…
i also think that this would stop us from allying ourselves too closely with one party. Instead of choosing the lesser of two evils (and sticking to it) we view a political party as simply one means of God using us in his kingdome vision. it is not the only way, but it is one way we can use the created structures to help our mission…
just some jumbled and non-coherant thoughts i had while reading this discussion



report abuse
 

Paul D.

posted August 1, 2006 at 1:28 pm


Interesting discussion.
Here’s another point of view, from Chuck Colson:
http://www.breakpoint.org/listingarticle.asp?ID=2745
It seems to me that, as the Church and as members of the Church, we need to be careful to avoid ideology and partisanship in addressing issues of public policy. Let us speak clearly and boldly a biblical witness to our society and government, seasoned with grace and love. As we move beyond the Bible in theories and application, let us hold our own point of view lightly and with grace toward those who differ.



report abuse
 

My $.02

posted August 1, 2006 at 2:10 pm


Thanks for generating this discussion.
For those of us who have been in ministry for years, it has been difficult to look people in the eye and try, try, try in word and deed to tell them that what we care most about is people_coming_to_Jesus_Christ. Many think that the next part of a new believer’s conversion is not baptism, but becoming a “X” political party member, and the unspoken finish to their conversion is “…and thank God you’re already an American.” It has been all we can do sometimes to keep the American flag out of the short-term missions trip to whatever country. Again, people somehow have their priorities out of whack and ministry staff people haven’t been innocent in reinforcing that view–don’t get me started on Christian radio talk-show hosts.
Just this last weekend we had dinner with Christian youth workers from Europe. They too want to devalue the terms “left and right” in conversations (as well as political parties). It only inflames the conversation in the wrong direction, while you lose NEW converts in a flash. Their team is concentrating more on discussions, conversations and civility as the focus for outreach. To me, that begins a dialog of a new order–one that redeems us both.



report abuse
 

jonathan henry

posted August 1, 2006 at 8:12 pm


Praise God for yr post &other similar ones I’ve read lately. It’s taken years to dawn on me – th vision of Christ &his cross as th model of suffering &sacrifice on which no earthly nation can be built. Judeo-Christian principles, yes, but Cross, no. No nation could survive it, other than th Nation we eagerly await. That city-state not made by hands of men (whether of Jefferson or Castro). May we be more concerned w/ our personal display of the spirit of Christ than w/ th appealing din of power &politics in th cosmos. Thanks again. Jon (1st-time guest)



report abuse
 

Johnny Brooks

posted August 2, 2006 at 2:42 am


I agree completely with your second point that we need to be independent in order to be prophetic. As a church we should be speaking to our community, and for us to be heard we cannot be sleeping with either party.



report abuse
 

Stanley Gocek

posted August 2, 2006 at 6:04 pm


Just as political parties rise and fall, churches that tie their FATE to politics will come and go. Those that ” CHOOSE ” to tie their FATE to GOD will LIVE FOREVER.



report abuse
 

Post a Comment

By submitting these comments, I agree to the beliefnet.com terms of service, rules of conduct and privacy policy (the "agreements"). I understand and agree that any content I post is licensed to beliefnet.com and may be used by beliefnet.com in accordance with the agreements.



Previous Posts

More Blogs To Enjoy!!!
Thank you for visiting Jesus Creed. This blog is no longer being updated. Please enjoy the archives. Here are some other blogs you may also enjoy: Red Letters with Tom Davis Recent prayer post on Prayables Most Recent Inspiration blog post Happy Reading!  

posted 11:15:58am Aug. 16, 2012 | read full post »

Our Common Prayerbook 30 - 3
Psalm 30 thanks God (vv. 1-3, 11-12) and exhorts others to thank God (vv. 4-5). Both emerge from the concrete reality of David's own experience. Here is what that experience looks like:Step one: David was set on high and was flourishing at the hand of God's bounty (v. 7a).Step two: David became too

posted 12:15:30pm Aug. 31, 2010 | read full post »

Theology After Darwin 1 (RJS)
One of the more important and more difficult pieces of the puzzle as we feel our way forward at the interface of science and faith is the theological implications of discoveries in modern science. A comment on my post Evolution in the Key of D: Deity or Deism noted: ...this reminds me of why I get a

posted 6:01:52am Aug. 31, 2010 | read full post »

Almost Christian 4
Who does well when it comes to passing on the faith to the youth? Studies show two groups do really well: conservative Protestants and Mormons; two groups that don't do well are mainline Protestants and Roman Catholics. Kenda Dean's new book is called Almost Christian: What the Faith of Ou

posted 12:01:53am Aug. 31, 2010 | read full post »

Let's Get Neanderthal!
The Cave Man Diet, or Paleo Diet, is getting attention. (Nothing is said about Culver's at all.) The big omission, I have to admit, is that those folks were hunters -- using spears or smacking some rabbit upside the conk or grabbing a fish or two with their hands ... but that's what makes this diet

posted 2:05:48pm Aug. 30, 2010 | read full post »




Report as Inappropriate

You are reporting this content because it violates the Terms of Service.

All reported content is logged for investigation.