The Missing Cross of the Christian Right?

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It is no secret that Conservative Christians sometimes blur the line between their faith and politics. At times you might think Jesus had changed the good news from believing in him to voting Republican. David Rogers recently shared some good thoughts about this topic in his post The Worst of “the Christian Right”.

Rogers basically points out the wrong-headed call for Christians to put political strategies over biblical mandates. He also asks the essential question, “Where is the cross of Jesus here?”

Is the cross of Christ often missing in the politics of the Christian right? Consider the quote below where a theologian lays out particular values and asks if he is describing a Bible-believing Christian. While he is not attempting to describe the Christian right, consider the values he points out as they might relate to the Christian right. Think about those values in light the cross before reading the source in the footnote.

How would you characterize someone who believes in the literal, verbal inspiration of Scripture, who holds that Jesus is God’s virgin-born Messiah, that Jesus healed the sick, raised the dead, bodily ascended into heaven, and will one day return to do battle with the antichrist and in the end truly reign on earth?This person knows that Satan is alive and well on planet Earth, that angels and demons are real forces to be reckoned with, and that after death everyone on earth will go to one of two places—the burning fires of hell or the beautiful palaces of heaven. This individual does not believe in evolution, but believes that God created the world in six literal days. This person happens to be a teetotaler, is strongly pro-life, and is committed to traditional family values. Women are highly regarded in the religious community to which this person belongs, but they do not function as preachers and leaders there. This person is also deeply patriotic, regards pacifism as a weakness, deplores the separation of church and state, and believes that government (ideally) should enforce God’s will in every area of society.

Do you recognize this person as a strict, conservative, Bible-believing Christian?1

Thoughts?

Here I blog…

Mark

  1. George, Timothy (2009-05-26). Is the Father of Jesus the God of Muhammad?: Understanding the Differences between Christianity and Islam (pp. 19-20). Zondervan. Kindle Edition
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The above article was posted on March 14, 2014 by Mark Lamprecht.
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{ 3 comments… read them below or add one }

1 justinsteckbauer March 14, 2014 at 9:21 am

The cross can be missing from any church or organization, whether it’s conservative theologically or liberal theologically, or republican leaning or democrat leaning.. The person described does in some ways appear to be the average Christian overall, until we get to the part about “six literal days” and not believing in evolution, and into “traditional family values.” Women are highly valued but not leaders, so that particular group would not be egalitarian. patriotism for the kingdom of God is a good thing, but patriotism toward one’s country ought to come secondary to allegiance to the kingdom of God. pacifism, well, that’s what we’re taught to be a christians, love your neighbor, turn the other cheek. and not just in principle or on the page, but in fact, and actually. In James we learn about the law of liberty, so no, I don’t believe the bible would support enforcement of it’s beliefs. we all have choice.

This is an interesting topic though, I’ve been wanting on my blog to take a look at what are the tenents of the average strict conservative american christian, and what a Biblical christian detached from american culture and politics would look like in comparison. Might be an interesting way to see what we’re doing wrong.

2 David Rogers March 14, 2014 at 10:01 am

So I suppose you are eventually going to tell us if the person Dr. George is describing is a specific individual he has in mind. I notice the description says nothing about the cross. When reading the other items in the “list of qualifications,” you might easily assume belief in the cross is a given for this person. But maybe not. I’m curious to know. The list is also given in such a way as to appear to give equal weight to gospel essentials and non-essentials, and throws in a few things–the last two in the list, to be specific–that I think are just flat-out wrong.

3 Mark Lamprecht March 14, 2014 at 10:36 am

Justin and David, thanks for commenting. The quote is one of the opening paragraphs in chapter one titled, “What is Islam?” He is making the point that some might take the description to be that of a Conservative Christian though it may just as well describe a “devout, conscientious Muslim.”

Dr. George’s presentation just made me think and I am not advocating that those are the qualifications in order to fit into the Christian right. I was just making an observation or two.

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