Should Evangelicals "Fast" From Politics?
Dr. Ray PritchardDr. Ray Pritchard is the president of Keep Believing Ministries, in Internet-based ministry serving Christians in 225 countries. He is the author of 29 books, including Stealth Attack, Fire and Rain, Credo, The ABCs of Christmas, The Healing Power of Forgiveness, An Anchor for the Soul and Why Did This Happen to Me? Ray and Marlene, his wife of 43 years, have three sons-Josh, Mark and Nick, three daughters-in-law--Leah, Vanessa, and Sarah, and seven grandchildren. His hobbies include biking, surfing the Internet, and anything related to the Civil War.
- 2006 Dec 28
In light of the recent mid-term elections, should evangelicals take a two-year "fast" from being involved in politics?
David Kuo says yes and offers two main reasons: 1) It turns off the people we're trying to reach for Christ.
2) It doesn't work anyway. He concludes his column with these words:
We will have to wait until 2008 to see just how deep this evangelical spiritual re-examination goes, and how seductive politics will continue to be to committed Christians. Meanwhile, evangelicals aren’t flocking to the Democratic Party. If anything, they are becoming more truly conservative in their recognition of the negative spiritual consequences of political obsession and of the limitations of government power.
C. S. Lewis once warned that any Christian who uses his faith as a means to a political end would corrupt both his faith and the faith writ large. A lot of Christians are reading C. S. Lewis these days.
But Kuo's voice is not the only one that should be heard. Chuck Colson wrote this response that was published in the New York Times:
To the Editor:
David Kuo cites the idea that evangelical Christians take a two-year fast from politics (“Putting Faith Before Politics,” Op-Ed, Nov. 16).
Hmmm. What would have happened if Christians over the last two years had taken a leave of absence from politics? Here’s what would not have happened:
The Bush administration would not have taken on the issue of slavery in Sudan, AIDS in Africa or global sexual trafficking. We wouldn’t have seen Congress pass a ban on “partial birth” abortions or take on prison rape and prisoner rehabilitation, or highlight the horrors of persecution in North Korea.
And what about Christians in public office? Leaders like Sam Brownback and Frank Wolf, who have risked their lives to go to troubled spots of the world to protect human rights and human dignity, would have just stayed home.
Christians should be engaged in public life as instruments of justice and righteousness.
A two-year fast? No thanks.
Charles W. Colson
Lansdowne, Va., Nov. 22, 2006
The writer is the founder of Prison Fellowship.
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