Acting Purple in a Red and Blue Political Culture

These are my notes from Michael Brundeen’s session, “Being Purple in a Red or Blue World” at the 2011 MoRanch Men’s Conference near Hunt, Texas.

We live in a culture that quickly labels people

We in the United States are also very political

Politics is about power and money, and who gets what

Increasingly in our country, our messiah is the government
– the government becomes an idol of our own doing in this sense

As Christians we understand governments are necessary because we are sinful people and need to be governed
– our first allegiance, however, is to Jesus Christ
– if Jesus is Lord, no one else is (including Uncle Sam)

I have a problem with our schools telling our kids (as students) from day one that the government will take care of them

Caesar is government

Religion, politics and sex have over time become topics that civil society wanted to avoid

Romans 13

we are obligated to be more than spectators
– at a minimum that means we should all obey the laws, be informed voters and pay taxes
– if we are not informed we throw things to the wind, and when we do that evil wins

Your good works may involve running for office

You need to understand that power corrupts
– you need to strengthen yourself to withstand that influence

Jesus Christ gets your principal and primary allegiance, if

I am concerned that the government wants my faith to be kept away, and when we speak as Christians we are threatened with taxation

When I ask you to describe yourself, how quickly does the word Christian come off your lips
– many people are far more likely to say conservative, Texan, American, liberal, etc before Christian

Rather than working on problems in a community sense, we more often work on issues from a coercive, power standpoint (like seatbelt laws)

Comment from participant about Barry Goldwater’s friendship and respect for Hubert Humphrey
– the lack of that

We are less likely today to NOT act when we have a contentious issue
– more often we look for a 51%

1 Peter 2:9

“But you are not like that, for you are a chosen people. You are royal priests, a holy nation, God’s very own possession. As a result, you can show others the goodness of God, for he called you out of the darkness into his wonderful light.”

Washington DC today is it’s own kind of Babylon
– there are two kinds of Babylon today: DC and Las Vegas

We need to be careful about the way our political ideas can become our personal identities

Privatized faith can be irresponsible

Politicized faith is definitionally unfaithful
– we should be Christians first

Allowing something else to come under the gospel and replace it is irresponsible

We must learn to be effective and consistent in our Christian witness to society without taking on the methods of contemporary politics
– contemporary politics involves demonizing your opponent

Love of neighbor obligates you to respect the opinions of others
– you don’t have to accept and agree with those opinions, but you do have to respect those opinions and those people

We should NOT be primarily goal focused on autonomy, pragmatism and convenience
– what works is what’s right

We have to be careful in our social witness falling into traps

Smallest indivisible unit for the Christian is two, not one

Autonomy has to have limits
– Paul called us to sacrificial love

How to innoculate ourselves?

Who are you listening to?

The way to have eyes to see is to spend time with the Lord
– our media will shape us

The system tends to grow in a way that perpetuates itself, so when people get into that situation they can lose sight of who they are, where they came from, and who they represent as elected officials

– Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

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