Posted by GDG
Gregory A. Boyd, of open-theist fame, was profiled Sunday in the New York Times for bucking against the conservative politics of most evangelical Christians.
I tried to find one choice excerpt which could substitute for the whole, but there really isn’t one. So you should go read the whole article. Honestly, I think Boyd makes some important points, and ones that aren’t straw-men. For instance, I know first-hand of churches which have had Fourth of July services complete with pictures of F-14s and Jesus looking up adoringly at the American flag. That stuff really happens, and I think Boyd is right to point out the foolishness and error of all that.
But I also don’t think that’s what the New York Times finds so endearing about him, either. What makes him newsworthy is that Boyd and others (like Brian McLaren, who’s also quoted in the article) are taking issues like abortion and marriage, slapping the label “Republican” on them, and then saying that Christians shouldn’t speak to those things because Christians shouldn’t talk about politics.
Let me say as clearly as I can that the pulpit should never, ever be turned into a rostrum for political stump speeches. That’s shameful. The pulpit is meant for the exposition of Scripture, plain and simple. But if I’m expositing, for instance, Psalm 139, it’s not “conservative politics” for me to preach about the evil of abortion. If I’m expositing Genesis 1 and 2, it’s not “Republican” for me to preach about the institution of marriage. It’s simply faithful exposition.
Life and Marriage have been swept up into our national politics in the last thirty years. Both of them are undeniably “political issues” now. But long before they became that, they were issues about which God spoke to us in Scripture, and that doesn’t change just because the nation has developed an interest in them. It’s true that the church should never become just a wing of any political party. But the church has to speak where Scripture speaks, and Scripture most definitely speaks about abortion and marriage. Whether one political party or another decides to agree with us is beside the point.
BTW, Boyd has a new book out on these issues: "The Myth of a Christian Nation: How the Quest for Political Power Is Destroying the Church." Anybody know of any good reviews? Gg