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2008 Presidential Election, Kingdom of God, Missio Dei, Missional, Republicans

>Why I Am No Longer A Republican

>VOID: Property of Republican PartyI have been a lifelong Republican…until now. Let me get right to the point. I am too partisan, too focused on winning, and too consumed with the perspectives of the present-world-system. I am a very competitive, firstborn child which has served me well in ten years of sales but not so much when it comes to politics. What I mean by that is I want the Republicans to win. The GOP is my team. When it comes to politics the GOP is “us” and everyone else is “them.” If you are a Republican you might be thinking “what’s wrong with that?” That is understandable if you are thinking as a Republican who is trying to win an election. But as a family member of the people of God who’s highest loyalty, devotion, and commitment is to the Kingdom of God, it is not so good.

When I want the GOP to win I focus on what is wrong with the Democrats, not Republicans. I mean, there’s so much to disagree with when it comes to the other side why would I waste my time focusing on the things that we’ve got wrong, right? Not only that but I don’t want to do anything that might hurt our chances of winning. And this is why I am no longer a Republican.

Christianity provides a radical critique to the present systems and power structures of the world. The life and work of the Kingdom is “in the world but not of the world.” It transcends our political parties and the outcomes of our elections. Contrary to the old-school dispensationalists, the kingdom is not wholly future, it has been inaugurated although not yet consummated. Contrary to the old-school covenentalists, the kingdom is not wholly spiritual. Dispensationalists were right to speak of an earthly kingdom. The Kingdom is not here fully but it was inaugurated with the life, death, resurrection, and crowning of the Christ (evidenced in his sending of the Spirit). The Davidic King is reigning at the right hand of the Father. As one noted author on the subject has written, “Before the eschatological appearing of God’s Kingdom at the end of the age, God’s Kingdom has become dynamically active among men in Jesus’ person and mission.” I look forward to devoting more time in future posts to the nature of the Kingdom and Kingdom-living particularly as it relates to socio-political matters. But for the purposes of this post it is enough to say that my Republican perspective has all too often weighed down my Kingdom perspective.

Does it really matter if I consider myself a Republican or not? Won’t I continue to vote the same way anyway? Becoming Independent may not change how I vote very much but I only vote once every two years and there are 729 other days in between. Viewing all political parties as “other” when it comes to the Kingdom allows me to better apply that radical critique of Christianity more fairly across the board. It allows me to applaud and support that which is good in the socio-political realm no matter which letter is next to the name.

That being said, I wholeheartedly disagree with the Christian Left’s notion that Barack Obama and the Democrat Party best represent Kingdom values. I have seen so many evangelicals reject the Religious Right only to lurch to the Radical Left. The same ones who yelled “hypocrite” when conservative Christians supported the pro-choice Rudy Giuliani are the ones who have decided that it is a pro-life move to vote for Barack Obama. Those who have rejected the religious apocalypticism of the premillenialists are now embracing a secular apocalypticism in the form of global-warming hysteria. I may be shifting but I’m not pendulum-swinging.

Right now all the Kingdom values talk in socio-political matters seems to be dominated by the Christian Left which is something I strongly reject. The Kingdom is not characterized by Big Brother, totalitarianism, utopianism, statism, socialism or any other -ism of the Left. I agree with Thomas Mann when he said that “tolerance becomes a crime when applied to evil.” The people of God critique the present worldly systems as Christians not Marxists. The people of God seek to live out the ethics of the Kingdom directly as the Church rather than delegating that responsibility to the discretion of big government. Forgive me if I don’t trade in my GOP membership card for one with Sojourners, the Matthew 25 Network, or Evangelicals for Social Action. God may not be a Republican but he’s not a Democrat either. And “God’s Politics” is not socialism dressed in Christian rhetoric no matter how irenically it is presented.

So there you have it. I am no longer a Republican because it distracts me from seeking the things that are above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God (Colossians 3:1). I am no longer a Republican because, as I said, my Republican perspective has all too often weighed down my Kingdom perspective. I don’t dismiss or even minimize the importance of this election but no matter who wins the presidential election I am going to be on mission with Christ for the sake of his Kingdom.

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Discussion

8 thoughts on “>Why I Am No Longer A Republican

  1. >Thanks for the kind words here on and in response to the other post!

    Posted by Jeff Wright | October 29, 2008, 10:46 pm
  2. >Again, Jeff, I’m really impressed.

    Posted by sarai | October 29, 2008, 2:47 pm
  3. >Those who have rejected the religious apocalypticism of the premillenialists are now embracing a secular apocalypticism in the form of global-warming hysteria.Wrong. We are convinced by facts.The same people who said there were WMDs in Iraq are the same people who say that Global Warming is a crock. Not a very good track record in determining reality, these people.Besides, if you actually read what climate scientists say about the subject, it is not apocalyptic at all. It’s just really, really bad news.Global Warming has the potential to kill maybe up 75% of the human race. The human race will survive – no doubt about that. But there will be pain. This is not a secular apocalypse – it is merely a realisation that something very bad is going to happen.Go back 500-600 years in Europe. If you went around saying “The Black death will wipe out 75% of our population” some people might think you were being too apocalyptic. The reality is that the black death did kill off a majority of Europeans but it was not the end of the world.When it comes to a cancer diagnosis, I trust in the diagnostic abilities of specialist doctors.When it comes to global warming, I trust in the diagnosis of climate scientists, who are in a consensus about it happening.

    Posted by One Salient Oversight | October 28, 2008, 1:02 am
  4. >I love the poll, BTW. I’ll be curious to see how the results end up. Whenever anyone’s up for a conversation on the Sermon on the Mount, I was one of the votes for that one. 🙂

    Posted by Nathan P. Gilmour | October 27, 2008, 11:55 am
  5. >”(PS: Is it just me or do posts I leave comments on keep disappearing?)”On the post related to the “B” woman I let the retraction about her falsehood be seen for an additional day in order to give anyone who read the original account an opportunity to see the retraction. The post served no good purpose in general and I removed it. What happened to the other one I do not know.

    Posted by Jeff Wright | October 27, 2008, 11:38 am
  6. >Very well said. Something that John Roberts said during the Senate confirmation hearing struck me. He likened the job of a judge to that of a baseball umpire. As an umpire, you do not take sides. You make calls on what is right and wrong to the best of your ability in order to ensure the fairness and impartiality of the game.Even though Roberts didn’t mean it that way, I thought his illustration closely matched how Christians should behave in the political arena.The referees are a small group of men quietly but resolutely make calls in line with what they believe is right. A call goes in favor of the home team, much to the delight of the crowd, and the next moment, another call goes against them, infuriating the same crowd.Granted that this analogy fails at some point since most of our “calls” aren’t legally binding, but the picture of promoting righteousness and justice without taking sides seems much more line with how we should behave in the political arena.But in the past 30 years or so, we have been completely decked out in GOP uniforms and pompoms, rubbing shoulders with the owners and executives of the GOP franchise in the luxury box, demonizing and excoriating the judges when their calls go against our team.And what do we have to show for after all that?(PS: Is it just me or do posts I leave comments on keep disappearing?)

    Posted by David Cho | October 27, 2008, 5:19 am
  7. >Alright, so when are you going to stop being a Redskins fan? I don’t want you focusing on winning too much or thinking bad things about Cowboys fans. j/k 😉

    Posted by J.Wizzle | October 27, 2008, 4:08 am
  8. >Well Said!

    Posted by Chris Barnes | October 27, 2008, 2:43 am

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