Question of the Month: We want to hear from you.

Is it an oxymoron to be theologically conservative and vote liberal/progressive? 

In answering this question, consider the following questions:

  • Can you think one way and justifiably act in a manner contrary to your thinking?
  • Does your thinking or emotions inform your actions?

As iron sharpens iron, let us hear your thoughts and in the process “exercise our mind” to think critically from a Biblical perspective.  God bless…

17 comments
Kathy Barnette
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17 Comments

  • Lynn Cornell
    July 22, 2012, 5:07 pm

    Hi Kathy, what a complex question,
    When it comes down to it, Ragan conservatives, independent conservatives, and theological conservatives all vote Republican. Theological conservatives, another term for Evangelical Christians, have lost their distinctive voice within the party. Christians have been blended into the Republican agenda, only courted for their numbers every election cycle. If theological conservatives are biblically based then why are they compromising biblical principles? Is God only concerned about the gay and abortion issue? Is this how we define a Christian candidate? What about racism, Republican’s especially, greed and what that has done to this country, morality, and more importantly the lack of courage to stand for the whole counsel of God?

    These days Evangelicals are looking foolish to the world. Franklin Graham on MSMBC’s Morning Joe’s, called into question President Obama’s faith, while affirming Rick Santorum and Newt Gingrich’s faith, really, Newt’s? Mitt Romney gave the 2012 commencement address at Liberty University. What’s interesting is the common view both shared at one time about black people. Pastor Robert Jeffress, who just months earlier denounced Mormonism as a cult, threw his support for Romney. Jeffress said that Romney’s values are closer to his than Obama’s. Really? Just because Romney is against gay rights and abortion he has more in common with Mitt than the President? Obama has consistently professed his faith in Jesus Christ and that He had died for his sins, which by most Christian churches meets the criteria for being a Christian. Mitt, on the other hand, believes that Christians, their faith, and creeds are an abomination and that Mormons are here to restore the true faith and church. How can Christians support that?

    Politics is an evil corrupt world. No matter which candidate, conservative or liberal, they will compromise their values. Conservatives and Liberals are opposite ends of the same stick, whose agendas don’t serve God’s will. There are many examples in the Bible of godly men who have maintained their godly voice in ungodly governments, Daniel, Mordeacai, and Joseph of Arimathea to name a few. We should follow their examples and not be manipulated by anyone’s party just for our votes. We should use our voice to effect change, not just for political causes, but for the cause of Christ. Much, much more could be said on this subject. God bless.

    REPLY
    • Kathy Barnette@Lynn Cornell
      July 22, 2012, 6:44 pm

      Hi Lynn, thank you so much for responding. What I think is interesting as I survey all responses is the number of times the words “liberal” and “conservative” are linked to either Democrats or Republicans, respectively.

      Perhaps it’s a case of Tourettes Thinking (my own word) that is associated with repetitive, involuntary vocalizations. In other words, we just can’t help ourselves.

      Conservative Theology or Liberal Theology does not have its roots in politics. I am not FIRST a Republican and then I vote conservative. Nor are we FIRST a DEMOCRAT and then vote liberal.

      Instead, as C.S. Lewis coined it “when man becomes aware of God as God and itself as Self, a terrible alternative is now open to him. Who will sit at the center of his life? Will God sit at the center or will man usurp God and place Self at the center?”

      It is not a position of Democrats versus Republicans or blacks versus white, or one prominent leader versus another. We are ALL fallen, with flesh-like tendencies. So, no man or woman is perfect. And still, we stand here today with freedoms and opportunities that many in the world still do not have. How am I to steward the wonderful gift of being an American, of having liberties that many others do not enjoy, cannot, and in some cases will never?

      I think the answer lies in THINKING Biblically first. Who ever is sitting at the center of my (your) life, will control how I (you) interpret the Word of God. And as Jesus said, “as a man thinketh, so is he”. Meanings, others will clearly see who is at the center of my life by the actions and words I produce each day – God or Self.

      REPLY
  • Rev. (retired) William F. Wall
    July 20, 2012, 1:20 pm

    Dear Kathy –
    The Lord bless you! A biblical worldview is apolitical, the consequence of which is that sometimes it might agree with so-called political “Liberals,” and sometimes it might agree with so-called political “Conservatives.” Some issues are very clear; some are not so. For example, the Bible is clearly against abortion (Ps. 139:13-16; Jer. 1:4,5; Luke 1:41) and just as clearly against homosexuality (Rom. 1:26,27; 1 Cor. 6:9,10; 1 Tim. 1:8-11), and no true Christian can support either activity. On the other hand, the Word of God calls us to minister to those in physical need [as well, of course, to those in spiritual need] (Isa. 58:6,7,10; Matt. 25:34-40; Prov. 19:17; etc.). There is also the element of self-responsibility (Prov. 6:6-11; 2 Thess. 3:10-12; 2 Cor. 5:10). Finally, we should be good citizens of the country in which the Lord has placed us and that includes voting. In an obviously imperfect, fallen world, we must choose which candidate better fits (because none but the Lord Jesus will perfectly fit) our biblical worldview.
    Bill Wall

    REPLY
    • Amen to that! You are perfectly correct in that a biblical worldview is apolitical. Meaning, it does not associate with a political party. The Word of God, our Lord and Savior, extends so far beyond our finite world and all that is in it. And, yet, as you eluded to, you and I are here, in the present, in flesh and blood, and we have some responsibilities. Our primary responsibility is to live every aspect of our lives in such a manner that honors God. Every choice should honor God or reflect our thoughts towards Him. We are not perfect. We are not speaking about perfection. Instead, the motivation of our hearts should constantly lean towards heaven and not towards “what I think”, “what I want”, “how I feel”, “well, my opinion is”. Thank you for adding such profound insight. God bless you too, my brother in the Lord…

      REPLY
  • Genny Hertel
    July 20, 2012, 7:38 am

    Wow, I am excited in the way the Lord is using you. I feel in my heart I need to and want to hold some home meetings in regards to the election. You hit the nail on the head..what we say and how we live must line up with scripture. Scripture is our guide, anything less is just hogwash. God Bless the ministry of Truth eEchange

    REPLY
    • Kathy Barnette@Genny Hertel
      July 20, 2012, 2:25 pm

      Thanks Genny. God bless you and your tremendous efforts to physically support those on the front line of God’s will. Allow me to encourage you to continue to seek God’s will for a home meeting. If He says yes, then do not hesitate to move under His guidance. This upcoming election, I believe is pivotal, in the direction of America. I also believe it extends far beyond President Obama and Mitt Romney and to the heart of every American – will we seek the face of God again or go our own way. This consumes my prayers these days. God bless, my friend.

      REPLY
  • Rev. Tim
    July 18, 2012, 10:02 am

    Thanks Kathy for asking – this happens to be a designation that I use on my Facebook info page for a Political affiliation. For me, Theologically Conservative means just that. I hold to the historical conservative views of biblical thought first (Namely the inspiration and inerrancy of scripture (among other things)). I try to find biblically based solutions to political problems.

    I use this term because I refuse to allow my conservative declaration to become politicized. I believe the Gospel communicates both Liberal (Free for all) and Conservative (Empowering) thought. When one holds political allegiance to one particular camp, they often become polarized, alienated and compromised in their actions and beliefs be it Liberal or Conservative. The Gospel unites as we embrace both the liberal and conservative components.

    I believe that if Christians approached more problems biblically, they would find more common ground than when they approach problems from within a political camp, which tends to polarize and alienate.

    So yes, a conservatively biblically minded person can find himself or herself supporting both liberal and conservative agenda items while often times the same can’t be said for constraints placed on a conservative politically minded person.

    Rev. Tim

    REPLY
    • Kathy Barnette@Rev. Tim
      July 18, 2012, 12:05 pm

      Thank you Rev. Tim. What wonderful insights. You bring out an excellent point. What do we mean by the words “Liberal” and “Conservative”? Do we mean “Democrats”, “Republicans”, and “Tea Party”? I absolutely agree that biblical thinking expands far beyond political party affiliations. It also expands beyond my opinions, my thoughts, and my feelings. I love what Dr. Winfred Neely, Moody Bible Institute Professor of Pastoral Study and Missionary to West Africa, who was also a panel member at our last Truth Exchange discussion on Islam, said “my hermeneutics informs every decision I make or how I interpret the Word of God informs every area of my life”…including how we vote.

      As you’ve eluded to, biblical thinking is just that “thinking Biblically”. Meaning, the Word of God should be the lens through which I see and do all things. There’s a distinction I would like to make between acting biblically and living biblically. The Pharisees, for example, acted biblically. Every deed was based on the laws or written Word of God. They would even create more laborious rules on top of God’s Word, just to make sure they were ACTING biblically. Living biblically, however, goes to the intent of our heart. Living biblically routinely runs every act, deed, thought, and word through the grid of “why am I doing this”? Is it to please God or to win approval for myself? There’s a BIG difference between acting and living biblical.

      With that lets define what do we mean by the word Liberal? Again, do we mean Democrats, or do we mean “free for all”, or something else entirely. As already stated, I and by association Truth Exchange IS NOT a political party, nor are we Democrat or Republican…we are Bible based followers of Christ. As such, here the definition of Liberal means specifically those thoughts or ideas that runs contrary to the Word of God. For example, if God says to hate something a liberal minded person would love it. If God says to love something, a liberal minded person would hate it. In context of our political leaders, if God says homosexuality is a deviant behavior, a liberal minded leader would say it is normal, whereas a biblically conservative mind would say it is deviant.

      Again, great insights. Thank you for your words of wisdom. What say you?

      REPLY
      • JBB@Kathy Barnette
        July 19, 2012, 6:05 pm

        Kathy, why do we have to associate liberal and conservative thinking with a political party. Doesn’t that do more to politicize our Christianity? In other words, by applying political labels to liberal or conservative beliefs, we could be doing more harm by painting a whole group of people (political party) who don’t all agree with that thinking.

        It’s a dangerous precedent to select our political leaders solely on their political beliefs. Their job is to lead our country or state as best as they can. We have pastors for our religious leaders. By applying this litmus test to politicians, we run the danger of choosing someone who agrees with our religious beliefs but is a poor leader or overlook other glaring deficiencies in their character, like lying.

        REPLY
        • Kathy Barnette@JBB
          July 25, 2012, 7:26 pm

          (Note: This is a message from Minister Tessa Lewis. I believe her response speaks to your post.)

          Hi Kathy,
          As Christian who believe and practice the principles of God we are to be the examples of Christ displaying His character to the world. This includes ever aspect of our lives, how is it that we can think according to the word of God and vote according to the world instructions? After all, isn’t God our leader? Are we putting Proverbs 3:5 into practice? (KJV) Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths.

          Action speaks louder than our words. Our actions should line up with our thoughts. The bible says in 1 Thessalonians 5:22 Abstain from every form of evil (NKJV) Then my questions is, Why are we contradicting ourselves by acting according the world looking through a liberal glass? That says do what you want to do, act how you want to act, say what you want to say, believe those thing that are contrary to the word of God and etc .It is dangerous when we are in opposition of God’s word. It diminishes His character when we say we are of Him, but our fruits of action are of the world. Therefore, we shall choose leaders from a biblical perspective and we will have no poor leaders, nor will we over look the glaring deficiencies in their character, like lying.

          REPLY
  • JBennett
    July 17, 2012, 4:25 pm

    I do not think we can think one way and be justified in acting contrary to that. Aren’t we told to have the mind of Christ? How then could we righteously act in opposition to Christ? Can we love the things God loves and support the things God hates? God loves justice. God has said if you don’t work, you don’t eat. We need to think with our Christ-centered minds, rather than emotionally reacting to what this world thinks is just. This world is off course. We follow the world at our peril. We need to stand up and graciously be salt and light…we need to preserve God’s standards and show the way of Christ to others in a way that is truly beneficial to them. That’s not always the easy way. Love is not always easy and pleasant. God loves us often by stretching us and challenging us. Hand-outs may sound generous but what is the deep down need? This world operates on what appears to be right but appearances can be deceiving. We must critically search the Word for God’s ways.

    REPLY
    • Kathy Barnette@JBennett
      July 17, 2012, 4:53 pm

      Thank you for your comments. They are greatly appreciated. I was thinking the other day of an old adage that says “two things you don’t talk about: politics and religion”. I thought, “if we don’t talk about anything else, we must begin to talk ‘out loud’ about politics and religion”. There is a competition for the minds of people. Minds are being persuaded one way or another. If we, who claim to know the Truth, say nothing because we don’t want to offend, or we want to be liked, or we allow ourselves to be bullied into silence, can we legitimately complain about the world going to “hell in a hand basket”? I think not. We, if no one else, should be Standing and Speaking Truth. But, before we Stand and Speak, we first need to get Informed. This is what we are doing right now, right here…getting informed, sharpening our arsenal – sharpening our understanding of Truth and the ability to speak it with strong convictions. Again, thanks for sharing. Feel free to keep it going.

      REPLY

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