The fact that the Democratic Party is awash in Presidential candidates provides a rare opportunity for Christian mission and apologetics to take center stage in public debate. How so? Because the anticipated campaign issues fall in the heart of Christendom. Indeed, the central issues of this campaign are blatantly religious. It would be a shame to miss such an opportunity for public dialog about real religious issues.
Mitt Romney will be defending his Mormonism. He thinks that it won’t be an issue if he can properly educate voters. This will provide an unusual opportunity to discuss the uniqueness of Christianity against the backdrop of misunderstanding, misinterpretation and misrepresentation. Romney will undoubtedly appeal to an understanding that puts Mormonism into the Christian Evangelical camp. We need to be preparing articles, books, blogs and warming up the presses in preparation for public engagement of the issue regarding the definition of Christian orthodoxy.
Mormonism is clearly outside of the bounds of common Christian orthodoxy, yet Christians will need to clearly understand the issues and get ready to defend the faith in the public forum. Failure here will provide a giant leap forward by the Mormon (and other unorthodox) churches. Mormonism, which has never embraced Jesus Christ in the first place is not the bride of Christ. Mormonism is the false bride of a substitute savior – a polygamist.
What is the Mormon position on homosexuality? I don’t know, but I suspect that it is conservative. Romney went on record in support of sodomy a few years ago, but has more recently changed his mind. That’s good, but it doesn’t bode well for the integrity of his decision making skills – and the Presidency is a decision intensive job.
Obama’s run will provide an opportunity for a similar discussion, though from a different perspective. Obama will provide grist for a discussion that will be of particular interest to those who care about or are effected by the apostate United Church of Christ (UCC), of which Obama is a member. The issue here is similar in that a clear definition of common, historic Christian orthodoxy will be required to separate the sheep from the goats, the truth from the lies. Here, however, the focus will be not be heresy per se as it is with Mormonism, but rather apostasy.
Obama will get the support of the homosexual lobby, big money and creative media people will follow. The UCC represents the leading edge of the homo-genization of America in the guise of cultural diversity. I would hate to have the defense against the Obama-nation of America focus exclusively on homosexuality because it is not the primary concern. It’s a symptom, not a cause – though it does greatly aid and abet the symptoms of faithlessness. Unfortunately, it is a red flag issue (and an easy target) that will be undoubtedly be used by all parties to obscure the deeper religious and political concerns because the American public does not want to face the deeper religious and political concerns that are coming down, as Paul Simon once crooned, “like a history train.”
The UCC is a bird of a different feather. It has always had more in common with the Greek academy than with the wisdom of Christ – at least following the Revolutionary War (if I may tap the Congregational root). The UCC has a long history of Christian and social involvement – some good, some not so good, as with most denominations. It has never been certain as to whether the Revolutionary War was to be directed primarily against Great Briton or the Puritans who led America to greatness. It now seems to have chosen the latter to be the greater enemy.
However, the issue in our day is that the UCC has turned her corporate back to the Groom – covenantally, morally, theologically, politically and emphatically. The UCC is the most radical of the liberal churches, at least among those who still call themselves Christian. It differs only slightly from the Unitarian Universalist Association (UUA), which at least has the moral integrity to identify itself as “Post Christian” – which means not Christian any more (as if it ever was!).
The UCC has been in bed with the UUA for a long time, but it doesn’t have the will to sue Jesus Christ for divorce, nor the courage to marry into polygamy (enter into formal covenant with the UUA). It prefers its current state of covenantal adultery in the name of Jesus Christ – a very dangerous game to play. Judgment against adultery has always been more severe than judgment against fornication. Both pale in comparison with judgment against sodomy.
No doubt, it would soothe our misaligned religious sensitivities if we (I) could frame the discussion in less negative and confrontive ways. But, alas, the core issue in the upcoming debates and of the campaign more generally will be the conflict between traditional, historic Christianity and various aberrations thereof. The task for orthodox Christianity is to point out the incongruities, aberrations and conflicts that lie in the various assertions of Christian unity and identity – not because it provides some odd pleasure to rejoice in the sins of the fallen, but because faithfulness to Scripture demands it. Grace demands it as the first fruit of Christian hope, and truth demands it as the first cost of Christian faithfulness. To fail at this level will contribute to the problem, not to the resolution.
Not to mention Hilary, who is a force to be reckoned with – a pro-death, radical feminist, socialist, homo-genist force. ‘Nuf said.
This election season is indeed an opportunity for Christian outreach in the public square. Gird up your loins!