Monday, January 21, 2008

Times: Rev Ian Paisley puts ‘Antichrist’ days behind him to join service led by a Catholic

Times: Rev Ian Paisley puts ‘Antichrist’ days behind him to join service led by a Catholic

I love the new face of Dr Ian Paisley. He is showing a quite delightful sense of political pragmatism.

When Christians talk about politics, they frequently talk all the time about principles. A lot of Christians seem to think that Bible-believing politicians must never, ever compromise. They think Bible-believing politicians should always speak their minds, no matter what the consequences. They think that Christian politicians should never make an alliance with the opposing side. I used to think like this. Dr Ian Paisley knows that such a strategy will not acheive anything.

The Evangelicals in the 19th century often failed to impact politics because they were unwilling to compromise. If Christians want to make an impact on the world of politics, they have to be willing to embrace both realism and pragmatism.

11 comments:

TK said...

I can't say I agree with that. Compromise is a very dangerous thing. It is one thing if both proposals are equally valid, but if it is a matter of right and wrong, then you have to put your foot somewhere.

Peter said...

Participating in politics as a new creation Christian assumes that there is some good left in the first man, even after the Son of God was crucified.

A Christian participating in politics has already opened the door to serious compromise with dead/unclean men. When the unclean vessel is put with the clean vessel, they the clean vessels gets dirty too. I guess that's what compromise is all about.

TK said...

Hey there Peter. I never thought I would run into a cousin of mine here. Oddly enough, I just got off the phone with your Uncle Dean. A couple of years ago I was talking to him about this same subject.

I was just recently reading a pamphlet "Can Consistent Christians Mingle in Politics?" It is a collection of writings by J.N.D, F.W. Grant, Byron Crosby and E.V.W. I didn't find it particularly convincing. Can you expound a bit on your thoughts.

Dyspraxic Fundamentalist said...

TK, sometimes it is difficult to apply the terms 'right' and 'wrong' in politics.

Dyspraxic Fundamentalist said...

Peter, does participating in medical research assume there is some good left in the first man?

Rose~ said...

Interesting thoughts, Matthew.

Dyspraxic Fundamentalist said...

Thanks, Rose.

What do you think about the view that Christians should abstain from politics?

Peter said...

Simply making rules doesn't work. The taylorite exclusives "don't vote," but spent over $1M on an ad campaign in New Zealand. Then again, Christians in politics never make a lot of sense because they are trying to fix something that can't be fixed. "The name of God is blasphemed among the Gentiles for your sakes."

Medical research, farming, and working in general are all what we do to overcome the effects of sin. I have to work to eat, because my first parents sinned. I have to work to keep innocent animals alive because they groan with the rest of creation due to the effects of sin.

Healing someone's body and meeting their physical needs can hardly be compared with trying to change the course of a condemned world through political change. It's like painting the deck of the titanic while it's going down. I suppose politics can move someone from a Romans 1 to a Romans 2 situation, or from a Romans 2 to a Romans 3 situation, but they are still all "the whole world...guilty before God" and reformed sinners have trouble accepting the fact that they still need to be saved.

Tk. I read over your blog and tried to figure out who you are. You must be a second cousin? I don't want to void your anominity as "tk" but would like to know who you are! Perhaps we can share some "comparative medicine" or thoughts from scripture.

Is there a way you can e-mail me without me posting my address on here?

Anyways, the point of my original comment was that I don't see any concern with evangelic politicians compromising, because the horse is already out of the barn as far as that goes. If they compromise, their beliefs are questionable and God is blasphemed. If they don't compromise, they appear hard headed and are bad politicians, and God gets blasphemed again!

Dyspraxic Fundamentalist said...

"Medical research, farming, and working in general are all what we do to overcome the effects of sin."

Do you not think Romans 13 suggests that government is a means by which the effects of sin are mitigated?

"Healing someone's body and meeting their physical needs can hardly be compared with trying to change the course of a condemned world through political change."

What makes you think that all Christians involved in politics are trying to change the course of the world?

I would suggest a number of other reasons why Christians might be involved in politics-

- Securing lower taxes.

- Acheiving efficent healthcare

- Ensuring effective policing of cities.

Do you consider these to be illegitimate goals?

Every Blessing in Christ

Matthew

Peter said...

Matthew,

In Romans 13, we are subject to the higher powers, not they are subject to us in the case of political rule.

There are always good reasons to compromise, but it is still compromise.

A study of Abraham and Lot is a good lesson for Christians in politics. Not on only did he not prevent the ultimate judgment of Sodom, but he lost his wife, and compromised his daughters.

That's what happens when you compromise with the world.

I know it's hard you and me being men and all. We tend to be driven to fix things around us rather than the little responsibilities we have. You can preach/live the gospel and hopefully see some of your coworker's etc in heaven if you want to "make a difference," (as Clinton would say.) When you get married and have children, you want to see your little ones come along too. The world stays behind unfortunately, regardless of whether gay marriage is legalized or not.

I don't see how having Christ as our object in heaven, sitting at the right hand of God until his enemies are made his footstool is at all compatible with a Christian life wasted in politics, particularly when it comes to moral issues. I'm not saying such Christians are willingly disobedient, but they would have to be very ignorant, and certainly not happy.

I only know of one relative of mine that was in politics as a professing Christian. He was a lawyer for Nixon, and he hung himself in his hotel room.

Heb 13:14, John 7:17, 1 Cor 3:13-15.

in Christ,
Peter

Dyspraxic Fundamentalist said...

'In Romans 13, we are subject to the higher powers, not they are subject to us in the case of political rule.'

Given that these higher powers are in God's service, it seems difficult to see why a believe might not potentially play a part among them.

'Not on only did he not prevent the ultimate judgment of Sodom, but he lost his wife, and compromised his daughters.'

I think we have to be very careful about coming to ethical or doctrinal conclusions on the basis of Ol Testament narrative. These things are written for our learning, but we must be cautitous in our conclusions on those lessons.

I would like to see some clarity as to why you think a life in medical research is not wasted, but a life in politics is.

Every Blessing in Christ

Matthew