The Difference between Christianity and Politics

Adam Nagourney reports for the New York Times that the same-sex “marriage” issue has become a hindrance to the Republican Party. More and more voters are simply disinterested in fighting over this issue. Nagourney writes:

“In the latest New York Times/CBS News poll, released on Monday, 31 percent of respondents over the age of 40 said they supported gay marriage. By contrast, 57 percent under age 40 said they supported it, a 26-point difference. Among the older respondents, 35 percent said they opposed any legal recognition of same-sex couples, be it marriage or civil unions. Among the younger crowd, just 19 percent held that view.

“Steve Schmidt, who was the senior strategist to Senator John McCain of Arizona during his presidential campaign, said in a speech and an interview that Republicans were in danger of losing these younger voters unless the party comes to appreciate how issues like gay marriage resonate, or do not resonate, with them.”

Think carefully about this last remark from Steve Schmidt. Essentially, he is saying that because the electorate is changing the Republican message on marriage needs to change as well.

Herein is one of the chief differences between faithful, biblical Christianity and democratic politics. On the one hand, political parties survive by changing their messages in order to accommodate the shifting mores and opinions of the culture. On the other hand, Christianity survives and flourishes by conserving its message and by never accommodating to cultural mores and opinions that are opposed to it. Christians have an allegiance to Jesus that trumps every other allegiance, and that means that our commitment to Jesus’ unchanging message must not be compromised for any reason. To miss that is to miss Christianity altogether.

In practical terms, that means that as the culture grows more and more accepting of same-sex “marriage,” faithful Christians will necessarily be pushed more and more to the cultural margins. But this shouldn’t frighten or surprise anyone. Christ’s followers have often found themselves in such a position, and Jesus told his disciples that we should expect it to be so (John 15:18-27). It’s just one more reminder that “here we do not have a lasting city, but we are seeking the city which is to come” (Hebrew 13:14).

3 Responses to The Difference between Christianity and Politics

  1. Tim G April 30, 2009 at 1:00 am #

    Great job and very timely!

    Excellent!

  2. Brandon Cox April 30, 2009 at 7:41 am #

    I love and appreciate your insights. It feels to me more and more like we’re living in Rome. I think we as Christians will have to begin thinking about how we live under a government that is ignorant of our values rather than a government that is fighting our battles for us. Just a thought.

  3. Jenny Clark April 30, 2009 at 11:32 am #

    Great read and excellent comments! Christians appear to increasingly view issues like abortion and same sex marriage as political issues vs. Gospel issues, and we must remember as you said that our allegiance to Christ trumps all other allegiances.

    Ps – when are you going to get the various “add” functions so we can get these straight to our facebooks etc.?

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