I guess I’ll chime in on this issue as well, that is what our society at large is currently ensconced in—i.e. the presidential campaigns. The following will be a ragtag reflection on my part, in other words don’t hope to find anything too profound here; in fact it will probably just be more stream of consciousness than anything.
First off has anybody else noticed that many evangelical Christians are voting for the infamous Obama? How does this work? I thought Barak was pro-choice? Isn’t the Christian worldview explicitly pro-life? I would be really really interested in hearing an argument or justification for Christians voting for Obama. In other words, if you are a Christian and you are voting for Obama I would like to see how you cohere the incompatible values (re.: to the issue of abortion) that Obama holds contra Christ centered Christian values. If you are a Christian, and you are voting for Obama, how do you avoid being complicit with Barak in the taking of innocent life?
As far as McCain, I really don’t have a lot of hope with him either. But my conscience allows me to vote for him because he is pro-life. I really don’t think he will work to reverse the culture of death we currently inhabit, in fact if anything he seems to be a closet Christian.
Personally, this whole issue, i.e. the inter-relationship between the sacred and the secular is very difficult to work through. I think Karl Barth’s framing of this issue is the most helpful, but it is still pragmatically speaking, not so nice and neat in reality. The tension that I feel comes in when I see what God has diagnosed as the real problem for humanity, and the political diagnosis. They are different. One is based on the reality of a depraved heart, and thus the structural evil we see in our own country as well as in the world. The other is based on pragmatics and externalism. In other words, the political approach will never ever ever ever address the real problem, the problem of depraved, deceived, desperate hearts. That is why I really have no hope in McCain or Obama. They are both products of the political approach I mentioned above, and they are part of a political machine that is shaped by a kingdom that loves the darkness.
There is no doubt that God has ordained the powers that be, and ultimately this is my hope; that God raises up and puts down the kings of the world. He sovereignly and apocalyptically is working in historic time accomplishing his purposes. Now this almost sounds like a copout, right? in fact, I don’t think it is. God’s purposes and ways always supersede what we think is best. Thus when I see the inadequacies of the governments of this world it pushes me into the Lord. We walk by faith not by sight, at least that’s what I thought Christians did? That does not mean we should be politically inactive or uninformed, au contraire! Rather it means that we should be subversively working toward establishing a kingdom which cannot be shaken; and in so far as this kingdom breaks into the kingdom of man (the governments of this world) we will be who we should be—prophets—making the kingdom’s of this world THE KINGDOM of our KING!
The implication: our primary duty is not to be obssessed with what this world is, but with what the “real” world is concerned with. Remember this:
“. . . Our Father in heaven, hallowed be Your name. Your kingdom come. Your will be done on earth as it is in heaven. . . . For Yours is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever. Amen.” ~ Matthew 6:9b, 13c
Christians of all people should be eschatalogically minded, realizing that the kingdom is “NOW” (and not yet); instead what I see, often times, is Christians becoming more impassioned by political season and the gospel of commodities than we are by the true gospel. Certainly the true gospel has a whole set of values (i.e. in fact is presupposed by the sanctity of life “God’s Life” that is) implicit to it—but as soon as we forget that the gospel is a person we are able to marshal the gospel into an abstraction that serves us instead of a Life we are to serve.
That’s enough for now. One more cloak and dagger statement, I think Evangelical’s Pietism has caught up with them (whether pro-life or death)—ironically, the Evangelical has become the “Liberal.”