Casting Stones

These are the words of someone who fought the battle over abortion for years but has seen very little fruit from his efforts:

“I thought in my enthusiasm,” he told me with a smile, “that somehow we could band together and change things politically and everything will be fine.” But the closing of Dr. Tiller’s clinic was fleeting. Electing Christian politicians never seemed to change much.

It has made him retrospect about other battles:

In more recent battles, Carlson has hung back. On the Sunday before the referendum on a state constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriage, Carlson reminded his congregation that homosexuality was hardly the only form of sex the Bible condemned. Any extramarital sex is a sin, he told his congregation, so they should not point fingers.
“We wouldn’t want to exclude some group because we thought their sin was worse than ours,” Carlson told me with a laugh.

But not all:

Carlson is a registered Republican, though he now considers himself an independent. He volunteered that he now leans left on some social-welfare issues and the environment. He considers himself among the “green evangelicals” who see a biblical mandate for government action to stop global warming.

One of the things I finds fascinating about the excellent (and quite long) article in the magazine section of the NY Times is that those Evangelicals who criticize the Christian right for aligning themselves with Republicans appear to be quick to align themselves with Democrat politicians. Aren’t they doing the same exact thing? Isn’t this pastor following into the same trap that he fell into with the Republicans? Didn’t he learn from his own error?
Why does the church feel the need to push politicians to solve the problems of the world? Why doesn’t the church realize that it has the power to help those in need? Why doesn’t the church try to change minds instead of instituting policy? We can do something about abortion as this church has discovered:

These days, Westlink has found less confrontational ways to oppose abortion, mainly by helping to pay for a medical center called Choices. Housed in a cozy-looking white-shingled cottage next to Dr. Tiller’s bunkerlike abortion facility, Choices discourages women from ending pregnancies by offering 3-D ultrasound scans and adoption advice.
Carlson’s protégé and successor, Todd Carter, 42, said: “I don’t believe the problem of abortion will be solved by overturning Roe v. Wade. It won’t. To me, it is a Gospel issue.”

Though I do realize the importance of a pro-life president and the need to over turn Roe v. Wade, I do agree with Todd Carter that it is a gospel issue.
The church needs to realize that we can do more than we are doing. We can do something about the poor and the under insured if we decide not to sit back and allow the government to be more Christlike than us.

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