Monday, July 02, 2007

New Evangelical Political Litmus Test!

I am not against political involvement by evangelicals as such, but from time to time I wonder if certain segments of the evangelical world have their focus on the right targets. On a basic level, I believe the Christian faith necessarily has political consequences. But when explicitly Christian organizations exist only for lobbying purposes, I get a little uncomfortable.

The new head of the National Association of Evangelicals is moving in a direction probably deemed as mild heresy by the former president, Ted Haggard. (Ironically, during Haggard’s tenure as president of the NAE, their offices moved from D.C. to the campus of New Life Church.) Cizik’s policy matter de jur is global warming. It is so important to Cizik that:

Not content to merely repeat his mantra about global warming being "a moral and spiritual issue," he dropped a major political bombshell.

"The National Association of Evangelicals," he declared, "has every intention of making [global-warming legislation] a litmus test for evangelical support."

Not surprisingly several evangelical organizations have requested that the NAE reign in Cizik and his politicking. If this sounds too much like something that happens between political parties, don’t be too shocked. This is how the NAE, and its liberal doppelganger the NCC (National Council of Churches) have been set up. The article notes:

To counter the NCC’s influence, the NAE established its Washington office in the 1970s, and in the 1980s expanded its lobbying role. Cizik became vice president for government affairs in 1997. Groups belonging to the NCC were barred from joining the NAE.

The Kingdom of God here on earth is often a many-splendored thing!


The Gyrovague said...

I am truly amazed at the NAE, but unfortunately Ted Haggard started to make it easier for this type of thing to florish. Ted several years ago said that he was convinced Global warming was a problem Evangelicals need to take part in after he went on a vacation and saw the reefs deteriorating.

I am pulling up my ties with the NAE, at least for now. I do not want to be associated with the NAE and its controvesial message, I want to be tied up with the message of Jesus and hang around with this rag tag group of counter culture believers that call themselves Christians!!

Daria said...

Hiya, Phil. = ) So...what, precisely, was the context of Cizik's thing about this being a litmus test for evangelical support? I can only imagine he was saying it in the context of political candidates who are trying to get evangelical voters' support should not just throw us bones about being "anti-abortion," but that they also need to include something like actually working to stop (or properly prepare for and deal with) global warming, as this will definitely affect all the living, born or unborn.
Or, was he talking about evangelical voters, themselves, and saying he would like to see these voters stop voting for someone based solely on their alleged opposition to legalized abortion, and realize that the range of political decisions affect matters of *life* versus suffering and death for multiple thousands of people?

I hear you about feeling weird about a "Christian" lobby group! I also hear Cizik about his frustration on these matters and how things have been recently with evangelical political behavior in the U.S.

But then, you know this already, eh? ;-)