By core definition, I am not liberal or conservative. I am Christservative, and every Christian should be. This is not a political affiliation; it's a public-policy affiliation.
Now, please understand that I am not trying to sound super-sanctimonious here. I am not saying this with my head cocked back, straining my voice through my nose, with my hands on my lapels. I am not trying to get you to say, "Oooh, that sounds sooo spirituaaal." I am dealing with something very practical here, regarding our involvement in the public square, as we live for Christ.
Before I get to what I mean by Christservative, let me be crystal clear about what I mean by Christian. If I have turned away from a self-centered life to a Christ-centered life - put self to death to live with and for Christ - trusting in Him to make and keep me right with God for eternal life in His eternal kingdom, having been born again by His Spirit now living in me as I live by His Word in the Scripture of the Bible, then I am a Christian (see Luke 9:23-26; John 3:1-21; 31-36; John 14:6-7; Titus 2:11-3:7). Going to church/being moral/being nice/being spiritual does/do not make me a Christian - nor you. Now you know what I mean when I say "Christian" in this post, and we can move on to what being Christservative is all about.
On the one hand, being Christian deals with my personal identity (a new creature in Christ as a spiritually re-born child of God) - who I am as a human being. On the other hand, being Christservative deals with my public identity - who I am as a social being - a member of a society whose life affects the lives of other members of that society.
Everyone has personal and public standards they live by - standards for the kind of person he or she is internally and externally. As a Christian, Christ is my personal standard for my personal relationships with God, my family, and my friends. As a Christservative, Christ is my public standard for my public relations with other people in our community, our county, our state, our nation, and our world, as the policies I prescribe and promote affect their lives.
Why can't I just say I'm a Christian and let that cover everything? There are two reasons. First, in the public arena the label "Christian" is up for grabs, with liberals and conservatives playing tug of war with the term, with little regard for what the term actually means in regard to Christ Himself (this is why I clarified what I mean by it according to Scripture). We have more than one public type of "Christian", with people on opposite poles of public policy looking across the gulf at one another, saying, "I'm a Christian, and I'm just as much of a Christian as you are!" Second, true Christians are disagreeing on public policy, either on policies themselves, or, on what policies can be compromised. True Christians are going to the same churches, worshiping the same Lord, while wanting to take their country and society in different directions. Some issues are debatable for us. I am talking about differing on issues that are not debatable (the sanctity of human life, the sanctity of marriage, and the sanctity of private ownership, to name the most important three). There are Christians who have not made the connection between their devotion to Christ and their opinions on social issues. They do not know the mind of Christ, as revealed in His Word, regarding the principles on which they base their public policy. They do not know what Jesus' public policies are.
"Jesus is Lord" does not just go on the walls of our living rooms or over the baptistries of our churches. Jesus claims authority where no mere man or woman can (Matthew 28:18). Based on His authority, He commissions us to bring others to the Father through Him in the Spirit, knowing and teaching everything He wants in His authority (Matthew 28:19-20). Now, at first glance, public policy may not be evident in the Great Commission, but the Great Commission is an arrow pointing to everything else in Scripture, where we find everything He has commanded us. In Scripture, breathed out by the Spirit of Christ as He moved men along in penning it (2 Timothy 3:16; 2 Peter 1:20-21), we clearly see public policy (Proverbs 24:10-12; 1 Kings 4:25; Micah 4:1-5; Matthew 19:1-12; 22:15-22; Mark 6:18; Romans 13:1-7 - just for a few examples).
While I believe in the two distinct institutions of the Church and government, with the identity of neither eclipsing the other - while I believe in the distinct and coming kingdom of God - I believe that the lordship of Jesus Christ is to be applied to the public arena of living, by the coercion of the will in some cases (e.g. preventing murder), and by the persuasion of the conscience in other cases (e.g. prescribing good will), under the life-and-liberty-preserving rule of law, as the Lord has revealed His good will for all of life, for His glory in the good of all people. That is what it means to be Christservative. Does my public policy serve Christ - His honor as my Lord and the Lord of all? The truth of what our Lord wants for public life and well-being is a core spiritual issue for all Christians.
The idea of being Christservative is not necessarily the idea of forming a Christian political party. Christservatives can be members of any party that will welcome and promote their public policies. However, if any political party deliberately adopts and promotes policies contrary to ours, then we must disassociate ourselves from that party. We must know from Christ what He expects us to not compromise, and stand firm, regardless of the consequences. Electability or popularity are not our concerns. This is about what is right and wrong, not what is most expedient for the current political climate. We do not shift with the shifting tides of public opinion.
We must also understand that public alliances are not necessarily formed around personal statements of faith. For example, I will publicly align myself with a pro-life atheist over a pro-abortion Christian every time. Just because the atheist is not Christservative does not mean his public policy isn't. If I can save the lives of babies with an atheist, then I will, while talking to Him about Christ, if he'll let me. I'll worship with the pro-abortion Christian while trying to lead him to see how he is not worshiping with his approval of killing babies. The pro-life atheist can have my public vote while the pro-abortion Christian can have my personal fellowship (to a point), not the other way around. If you are having a hard time with that, think about it this way: If I am on a battlefield of wounded soldiers, with an atheist whose willing to roll up his sleeves with me to try to save their lives and a Christian who thinks that we should just leave them to the will of God as to whether they live or die, I am going to get on my knees and get bloody with the atheist. Later on around the meal, I will talk to my Christian brother (so he is if he's really a Christian) about how wrong he is and why he needs to get out there with us.
For the Christian, being Christservative is about seeing and bringing every public policy in subjection to Christ. He is the One who raises nations up and brings nations down (Genesis 17:6 & 16; Isaiah 40:15-17, 23-24; Revelation 1:4-6; 12:5; 19:11-16). In whatever nation He has put us, we are to ask Him our personal parts in His public plans.
4/18/2013 12:15:45 pm
From an interested human, why must we strive for eternal life? Is one lifetime not enough?
Mortal Dreamer, that's a good question. I'm glad to see you are thinking rationally about our mortality, because too many people choose to ignore it, thinking and living like they will never die. As for answering your question on why we should strive to live forever after having lived once, let me point you to a few things the Lord Jesus has to say about this.
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The men of Issachar understood the times and knew what Israel
(1 Chronicles 12:32)