While it is not a new phenomenon, this year’s presidential election provides a picture-perfect example of how Christians are putting faith to shame with political activism. Just when I thought it could not possibly get any worse, this week I witnessed firsthand how people of my faith are taking scripture out of context to emphasize why a vote for Mitt Romney is an absolute must if we would like to preserve morality in America.
For example, renowned Christian apologist Frank Turek recently released a video explaining "Why Christians should be involved in politics." The logic presented by Turek was faulty on several grounds.
Turek begins by highlighting the contrast between the condition of the church in North Korea as opposed to that in South Korea. He emphasizes that in South Korea, Christianity is thriving because religious liberties are protected, and Christians there are active in the political process. In North Korea, he argues, religious liberties are not protected, and thus the gospel is unable to thrive.
The pathetic nature of Turek’s argument is abundantly clear for anyone who has knowledge of early church history, when noble saints of the faith gave up their very life proving to the world that the faith that they lived for was also worth dying for. While the church in its infancy experienced much turmoil, it also thrived, due to the boldness of the early believers who truly sold themselves out to the message of the gospel. Although it is admittedly horrifying to think of that as a possibility in today’s world, how can we be so sure that such a scenario is not part of God’s master plan to awaken His people to true faith and in such woo them away from the harlot of American churchianity so that they may return to their first love?
As if Turek’s arguments centering around Korea were not enough for me to lose respect for him, his twisting of scripture to justify his own endorsement of Romney certainly did just that. Turek argues that Christians should vote for Romney solely on the issues of abortion and the sanctity of marriage. To support his assertion, he quotes Matthew 23 where Jesus spoke about how the Pharisees paid their tithes, but neglected the weightiest matters of the law like mercy and justice. In such, it seemed as if he were implying that those who dare vote for President Obama were like the Pharisees in the New Testament.
To make myself clear, I am not by any means arguing that faith and politics should never intertwine. They inevitably do regardless of one’s political persuasion or faith-based worldview. (Sorry for those of you who claim to be free-thinkers, but your worldview requires faith as well even though you do not like for it to be called that.) I also am not holding anyone in contempt for voting for Romney. My sister and her husband have already cast their vote for the Republican ticket, and I perfectly understand their justification in doing so.
What I am most perturbed by in this matter is how people of my faith like Turek are duped every four years into anointing whoever is nominated by the Republican party as the standard-bearer who will cater to Christian values. While it may have made at least some bit of sense to do such with George W. Bush who claimed to be born-again and had a track record of standing for some “Christian values,” it makes no sense whatsoever to do so with Romney who has demonstrated not even a trace of consistency in his views over the past couple of decades.
Still yet, that is not what bothers me most of all. Rather, what bothers me most of all is that those who call themselves Christians seem to be consumed with the same attitude that led the Pharisees to reject Christ in his first advent. It is the attitude that led them to look for a revolutionary conquering king who would overthrow the government rather than coming for the purpose of introducing a peace that is beyond the scope of this world’s comprehension. The chants of such an attitude were loud and clear throughout the gospels when Jesus did not meet their expectations. “Crucify Him! Crucify Him!”