The John Wesley Fellowship began in 1977, with Steve Harper and yours truly being two of the first John Wesley Fellows chosen. I have told the story of Ed Robb and AFTE this past Fall on the blog so I will not repeat it. Here are some of the senior fellows attending the meeting. […]
Conservative Christian organizers are getting together again, led by James Dobson of Focus on the Family fame. They are worried. They sense a lot of disaffection at the grassroots level amongst those who voted Republican two years ago. Here is a link to the article by David Kilpatrick—
They should indeed be worried. The war in Iraq is going poorly, and many Christians are fed up with it. In fact, many Americans in general are fed up with it, as it seems to be getting a lot of our troops killed and accomplishing nothing much. They can’t even seem to get the trial of Saddam Hussein over and done with, which in itself is ominous.
Interestingly, what no one was suggesting at the conservative Christian organizers meeting was that maybe, just maybe it was grossly inconsistent when it comes to being ‘pro-life’ to be campaigning so vigorously against abortion, while supporting the war in Iraq equally vigorously. Indeed, by some polls it appears Evangelical Christians are still some of the most staunch supporters of the war in Iraq. What’s up with that?
The worries about the midterm elections however pale in comparison to the worries about the 2008 Presidential election. Leave it to Jerry Falwell to suggest that Hilary Clinton’s candidacy in that election would raise more Evangelical opposition than Lucifer’s!!! Wow. Who knew we were preparing to have a female anti-Christ? But that busts the Dispensational paradigms so something must be wrong here.
Lost in the shuffle was the fact that in Massachusetts, the only state that currently allows same sex marriages to have legal recognition, Catholic adoption agencies have stopped offering children for adoption altogether, because they would have to offer them to all comers, including same sex couples. What have we come to?
Also lost in the shuffle was one Christian organizer who suggested that a Christian group should use deceptive practices to take a poll for this fall’s election in order to see which way the wind was blowing. This was quite properly condemned by others at the meeting, but it shows the level of anxiety about the upcoming election. It also shows how much Evangelicals are prepared to compromise their ethics to achieve certain political goals. What would Jesus say?
What was M.I.A. at this meeting was a recognition that war is just as destructive of life in general and Christian values in particular as abortion or same sex marriage. I suspect that until it dawns on these Christian organizers that they need to be articulating a more consistent and clear life ethic that not only affects personal Christian values but our larger witness to the whole world, that most non-Christians are not going to pay much attention to us. And demonizing Hilary Clinton or her husband isn’t going to help. That’s just Christians behaving badly. If this is the best moral leadership for the future that Evangelical figureheads can muster— then heaven help us.
Not that I am hearing anything dramatically different or better from the Democratic side of the ledger. As the article says, for Christians it seems increasingly to be a matter of choosing between the lesser of two evils.
Maybe we ought to consider doing something drastic– like starting our own Christian political party that isn’t beholden to any of the current powers that be, including the huge pac/lobbyist money that steers politics from behind the scenes. What a concept! Imagine Christians mostly being on the same page when it comes to what ‘family values’ are and what sort of direction we want to see our country go in. But alas this is almost as much of a fairy tale as some of the recent Dispensational pronouncements about the end of the world.