What does that have to do with anything?
I first asked that question while reading a Talk To Action story about fundamentalists efforts in the United Methodist Church. A suspiciously well-written and controversial resolution was offered at a conference that originated from the Institute on Religion and Democracy. The mission statement of the IRD reveals the following intention:
The Institute on Religion and Democracy is an ecumenical alliance of U.S. Christians working to reform their churches’ social witness, in accord with biblical and historic Christian teachings, thereby contributing to the renewal of democratic society at home and abroad....
...The IRD believes that the Christian tradition has great resources for the building of a just society. Among the basic teachings with profound political implications are these: God alone is sovereign and worthy of worship. All persons are created in the image of God. Endowed with inalienable rights, persons have the responsibility to love their neighbors. A church that faithfully proclaims and demonstrates these teachings will do much to sustain and spread democracy.
Um... I'm a patriotic American, but where exactly in the Bible are we called to spread democracy? I can point you to what we are called to do, but the word democracy isn't even in my Bible. This mission statement's misguided theology is revealing in its cherrypicking of biblical teachings and for subsequent justification for mixing in Enlightenment ideals.
The entire statement is worth reading as it focuses on even more extra-Biblical judgements bordering on national idolatory, which will be examined at a later date.
The sample resolution demands the UMC to pull out of the National Council of Churches for no less than fifteen reasons. The very first is thus:
WHEREAS the NCC regularly takes controversial positions on divisive political issues (such as opposing the war in Iraq, opposing Republican efforts to reform Social Security, and supporting judicial filibusters) while purporting to represent its member denominations;
I'm sorry, but what does the reformation of Social Security have to do with denominational life and our Christian faith? What does that have to do with anything?
The other question was asked while reading a Baptist Press article about the Texas CBF meeting. The below quote is this article's culprit:
Currie also spoke for the Baptist Joint Committee for Religious Liberty (formerly Public Affairs), an advocacy group located in Washington, D.C., that consistency has taken positions different from social conservatives. Among other things, the BJC has opposed school vouchers, the posting of Ten Commandments displays on public property, public prayer and certain abstinence programs.
What in the blooming world does opposition to school vouchers have to do with anything, and again, why is it the first reason listed? Growing up in the South and given its history, I have an idea of why that may be, but again, that's a topic to explore another day.
Please let me know if I'm wrong in asking the following question: Does the Bible condemn opposition to school vouchers and other Republican initiatives, including disagreeing with the Iraq war and opposing judicial filibusters?
Am I the only one who's wary of connecting any particular party's ideal to God's holy Church? Am I the only one that understands that God gave us His Church, not a government, to follow His Great Commission? Am I the only one who is completely confused that these folks oppose governmental social programs because it's the Church's responsibility, yet advocate that the government is responsible for legislating morality? And further, am I the only one who understands that Jesus changed the course of history forever, and did it without ever casting a vote?
Watch out for these wolves in sheep's clothing - they take advantage of our faith and pervert biblical teachings to serve their culturally and humanistic biases.