Cultural War?

November 3, 2004

Last night I cruised the various Election desks (Fox, CBS, NBC…does ABC still carry news or is it just the Peter Jennings “is-my-tie-straight” hour still?), and stopped off at CBS as they interviewed the Chairman of the Ohio Democratic Party. This was still early in the evening, but it didn’t look good for them. The exit polls had given them a seven point victory, but the reality showed the President was winning.

It was pointed out to Dennis White that Evangelical Christians in Southern Ohio represented 25% of the total vote and they had voted nearly 92% for George Bush. He was asked to comment on this statistic. He lowered his head and sighed. Then he said, “Don’t they realize we are in a cultural war. The Democratic Party cannot and will not abandon the Pro-Choice stance. And they will never vote for us until we do. It looks like we can’t win in Ohio without them. But don’t they realize that there are other valid opinions in this country besides theirs?”

You can understand White’s frustration. But he and all Democrats need to look at recent history. Before 1972 and Roe v. Wade, Evangelical Christians did vote Democrat. Almost 40% of Evangelicals were conservative democrats and made up a very large minority of the party. But the abortion issue polarized their vote. When the Democratic Party made it part of their platform to support a woman’s right to an abortion, they forever sealed away the majority of the Evangelical vote to the Republicans. They can stand on principle and resign themselves to only winning occasionally, or they can wake up and at least go neutral. There are other issues that some voters would love to support them on. But my take, as a pastor, is that most bible-believing Christians will not even consider the Democratic party as long as the official position is to support Abortion.


One comment

  1. Although I’m not a resident of the USA, I have been following the US election campaign rather closely. I agree that there is a cultural war happening in America. This is very evident by the way reporters use the title “evangelicals” as though we are something to be curious of at best, and people to be cynical of at worst. And although the abortion issue has driven evangelicals to the Republicans in the US, or to the Conservatives here in Canada, I’m not certain of what our role is in government. I read in agreement the post about not voting based on only one issue, ie – abortion.
    I don’t see how it is possible for us as Christians to become too heavily involved in politics. (I am however, a political addict) For example, President Bush is a professing Christian, and I genuinely believe that he is. But as both a government leader and a Christian, he is in an ultimately impossible situation. On one hand, Romans 13 gives the power of “the sword” to the government, yet the thrust of Jesus’ ministry to believers is one of grace and forgiveness. Obviously, it would not work in a sinful world for the government to work on principles of grace, hence Romans 13. The government has a role to fill as an avenger of evil and as a maintainer of order. But how can a believer personally believe in turning the other cheek, yet corporately believe in war? In order to be consistent, we cannot separate our personal from our professional morals. If we are born again in Christ, we are an entirely new creation – not just a partially new creation! How can we practive both vengeance and grace?
    To bring this to a more personal level, how can we choose one candidate to vote for? Can an evangelical Christian vote for either candidate with a clear conscience? The pro-life candidate is also the candidate who uses force rather easily. The candidate who speaks of social and economic justice does not have a strong stance on marriage, or many other moral absolutes. C.S. Lewis wrote about the idea of a truly Christian society. He wrote that it couldn’t be classified as solely conservative or liberal. Socially, it would be what might be considered “conservative”. That is, there would be certain moral absolutes. People would live in submission to the Lord, thereby giving up some of the “freedom” society offers. Yet, this society would not be as over-commercialized as ours. In this sense it would be somewhat “liberal”. The marketplace would not be the final judge as to right and wrong, there would be more economic equality, and less building up of personal wealth. So, to vote for one candidate or party to advance some Biblical principles will invariably work against other Biblical ideals. Is it possible for a Christian to vote with a clear conscience? And if not, should we vote at all? After all, where does our hope come from? Can we even find salvation or spiritual revival from the political process? Or is God alone our source of hope and strength? Can we legislate a change of heart in the ungodly? Can the state insist on the repentance of sinners? Or is our Christian duty one of silent obedience and prayer for our leaders, regardless of party?

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