O God, stamp eternity on my eyeballs…
Is this Theological Escapism?
June 26, 2012Posted by on
The Minnesota Star Tribune wrote an article about John Piper’s and Leith Anderson’s recent non-stance on Minnesota’s Marriage amendment. You can read it here. I sent the article link out to a few local folks in Arkansas.
Here is what i wrote in the email sent out:
I think Piper should have gone all the way and put his sermon to context/application and brought in the marriage amendment. Not sure why he wouldn’t. Is silence on this point compromise, ultimately? This fear in the pulpit, concerning political stuff, must end. The puritans fired meaningful and God-directed salvos at politicians in their day.
Here is the response from a local pastor:
My two cents.
We’ve faced this issue many times at FamilyLife. Our stand has been to speak clearly and boldly about what the Bible teaches regarding marriage, but to stay away from any specific direction about how those biblical standards are best addressed in governmental policy. So we would say clearly “God’s design for marriage is for one man and one woman to be united in a covenant relationship for a lifetime (Dr. Piper says that same thing clearly in the book he has written on marriage).
But, we would not endorse a piece of legislation, a political candidate or a public policy position.
So, we would say “Marriage according to the Bible is always one man and one woman in a lifetime covenant relationship. Keep that in mind as you prayerfully consider how and for whom you will vote.”
That keeps the prophet focused on declaring the truth of God’s word, but does not put him in the position of suggesting that God is in favor of a constitutional amendment or a particular bill or a particular office holder.
Here is another response from a Missouri pastor:
No…he did not tell the entire truth. In my humble opinion he should have said there is no way you can call yourself a Christian if you refuse to vote NO on this issue. Close my church……take away my "tax exempt status…..do whatever you gotta do…..but we are voting no.
That’s what I would do….but hey….no one has ever asked me how to grow a church…..!
Here is a snapshot of what Pat Necerato’s said at Go, Stand, Speak:
This November, the people of Minnesota will be asked to decide whether the state Constitution should define marriage as being between one man and one woman. This amendment, if passed, would limit the freedom to marry for gay and lesbian couples in Minnesota. My question to you is…why would a Pastor of one of the largest congregation’s in that state refrain from telling his flock to vote against this legislation?
Answer: It’s not his job. Or so he says.
Here’s a quote from well known Pastor, John Piper on why he did not urge his Minneapolis church congregation to vote "no" against this bill. Piper said to reporters, “Don’t press the organization of the church or her pastors into political activism.” Piper said during his sermon, posted on Bethlehem Baptist Church’s website. “Expect from your shepherds not that they would rally you behind political candidates or legislative mandates, but they would point you over and over again to God and to his word.”
Now, giving Pastor Piper the benefit of the doubt, he did speak out against homosexuality and did endorse biblical marriage in his sermon BUT he slammed on
the brakes when it came time to tell his people to take action against this ungodly vote…
With all due respect to any pastor reading this and John Piper, this is completely inconsistent with biblical and historical Christianity. And not to mention, a complete
embarrassment to the witness of the Christian church as a whole. I must say very frankly (and not with the intention of insulting anyone in particular), the theological escapism/retreatism that has overpowered the pulpits in this country (and beyond) has made the Western Church look like nothing more than a self-help, get saved from hell, take me off to heaven, it’s not my job, shrink clinic. The false notions of "Jesus didn’t get involved in social issues" and "His kingdom is
not of this world" has left the church sitting on the sideline. Instead of discipling nations we’ve become nothing more than a clanging symbol. (See our "resource"
section at gostandspeak.com for more info on the meaning of the scriptures above and how they often get misconstrued.)
Loving our neighbor, being salt and light, being a voice for the voiceless, exposing the deeds of darkness, being a light on the hill and discipling nations takes more
than promoting personal piety or a devoted personal life…it means "speaking out" and "doing" for Christ…in every facet of life.
Don’t me wrong, we hear some preaching against sin.
But why do we sometimes hear "abortion is wrong," but then hardly ever hear the words "go out to the clinic and protest"?
Why do we sometimes hear, "homosexuality is wrong" but the words "vote against this bill" or "protest at the statehouse" are nowhere to be heard?
[Read more here]
Here is another article by GodFather Politics for your consideration.
Amen to Pat Necerato…The church is to be that decisive point precisely where the devil is crossing the path of the gospel. They are to make disciples of all nations and TEACH them how to live day-by-day and to establish in the culture the life blood of Jesus Christ. "Behold your God!"
Richard C. Hagen