Where Do Conservative Christians Go From Here?

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Cal Thomas writes the best post-election column yet; addressing where conservative Christians can take ourselves in the coming years.

Where do conservative christians go from here?
By Cal Thomas
Thursday, November 16, 2006

If God is on the side of conservative Christians and conservative Christians are on the side of the Republican Party, shouldn't Republicans have done better in the recent election? It's difficult to keep a coalition together - Christian or not - if 12 percent of your base votes for Democrats.

But defeat offers conservative Christians a good opportunity to take stock. They should ask themselves whether their short list of "moral issues" and "family values" has any hope of being imposed on Washington, as culture continues to resist the approach many of them have taken. Could conservative Christians withstand another approach, one that reflects a more biblical strategy?

Jim Wallis thinks so. He's the editor of the left-of-center evangelical magazine, "Sojourners." On his "Hearts and Minds" blog on election night, Wallis headlined his essay "A Defeat for the Religious Right and Secular Left." Wallis wrote, "A significant number of candidates elected are social conservatives on issues of life and family, economic populists, and committed to a new direction in Iraq. This is the way forward: a grand new alliance between liberals and conservatives, Democrats and Republicans, one that can end partisan gridlock and involves working together for real solutions to pressing problems."

Wallis argues that election results showed him that "moderate and even some conservative Christians - especially evangelicals and Catholics - want a moral agenda that is broader than only abortion and same-sex marriage." Exit polls showed a shift of 6 percent to 16 percent fewer evangelicals and Catholics supporting Republican candidates than in the 2004 election.

One does not have to agree with all of Wallis' agenda - and I don't, especially on Iraq - to consider his arguments. Politics often dulls the senses to morality and "values." That's because of an unholy alliance between people of faith and politicians that often ends in compromise on the part of the faithful and the cynical harvesting of their votes with little offered in return. So, when someone like Rep. Don Sherwood (R-Pa.) is exposed for cheating on his wife and allegedly abusing his mistress, Cynthia Ore, he still gets an 85 percent approval rating from the Focus on the Family Action organization. The delicious irony here is that he might have earned a 100 percent rating had he voted for the Marriage Protection amendment, which he supported. Sherwood lost his seat to a Democrat.

One might reasonably argue that a very good way to protect marriage is to remain faithful to one's spouse, but in politics that sort of behavior won't raise money for the interest groups or votes for the Republicans. In this case, "family values" wasn't about Sherwood's personal example, but his record of keeping homosexuals from marrying. Wouldn't it do more for the family to strengthen heterosexual marriage before telling others how to live their lives? Why have we seen so many politicians (and some clergy) who talk about "family values" turn out to be the worst practitioners of them?

Jim Wallis also writes that voters recognized that while the economy may be good and the stock market sets records, "there are still too many being left out, especially working families. It is significant that in all six states where an initiative to raise the minimum wage was on the ballot, it passed, in most cases by overwhelming margins."

President Bush has indicated that he might agree with the incoming Democratic congressional majority to raise the minimum wage as an act of compromise and to demonstrate his willingness to work with Democrats.

Conservative Christians are fond of quoting God: "For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, declares the Lord" (Isaiah 55:8). Could it be that the way of politics is man's way and, thus, not God's way?

What is God's way? Isn't it helping the poor through transformation and assisting them to do for themselves? Isn't it feeding the hungry, clothing the naked, visiting those in prison and caring for widows and orphans? Would such behavior, rather than partisan politics, recommend their faith more highly to those who do not currently share it, or who do share it, but apply it differently?

With a change in focus, more people might want to hear why conservative Christians are faithful and, having heard, perhaps embrace that faithfulness. The culture might then reflect real "family values" from the bottom up, possibly even touching politicians in Washington.

Cal Thomas is America's most widely syndicated op-ed columnist and co-author of Blinded by Might.

http://www.townhall.com/Columnists/...ristians_go_from_here?page=full&comments=true
 

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Well one thing I have been pondering for a while now is how did I become a conservative? Or maybe my cautious value system? I was locked up at age 12 in a home for troubled kids and at the time it was the closest thing to prison for kids. So I wasn't a model kid locked up and I had a value system that reflected conservative views long before I understood such a thing. What I can't understand is how there is such a term or idealism as a democratic person that is for the government, yet will raise the taxes and go completely against there earlier claim of wanting government involvement? Damn that seems backwards. Then we add Christianity into the mix and say conservatives are these vile things and use God every other word? Excuse me WTF are you talking about that? Made as much sense as the Christian Liberal? Yeah that is a stretch of the word truth. What I'll claim for me is that neither liberal nor conservative side does well in all areas and my faith now has nothing to do with it with regards to politics. But my values do and when values in our current society are in question then I lean on my faith. I believe that if these so-called over the top liberals could read and understand and fully look at the Bible then it would be crystal clear that many of these things they favor are not ethically right nor morally either. But from here I guess I could crap in one hand and wish in the other? And I'd have about the same success we are about to have, because either way it's gonna be a mud sligging mess:)
 

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Christian conservatives need to widely EDUCATE the public the big difference between a Conservative Christian (maybe we need a new label for starters) and the insidious Liberal Social Progressive Democrat/Republicrat. We need to VOCALIZE why America is the light of the world....because it is based upon basic Christian values. Individual rights and individual responsibility need to be emphasized as opposed to "group rights" and "social responsibility" in order to stop the slide into socialism. Christianity has nothing to do with real socialism, even though socialism may seem like a "do gooder" philosophy.

A conservative Christian represents the original people who came to America. He wants freedom of religion, freedom of speech, the right to carry a gun to protect himself, as well as individual property rights, and the right to make a living by his own hand. He wants to be beholden to no man, but only to his God and to be King of his own castle. He believes in equality of opportunity. He is responsible for himself and his family and for living in harmony with his neighbors and for serving his country when needed. His American rights are bestowed originally from God and are expressed in the American Constitution. He is ultimately responsible only to God and therefore is a man of good character in both his personal and public life.

A Social Progressive has the current European mindset which has become ravaged by socialism. He wants the State to run things and to take care of him. He wants the State to be responsible for everyman instead of each man being responsible for himself. God comes to have no real say in his life because the State essentially replaces God's rules and makes new rules for him to follow. Values become relative. He is no longer bears true responsibility for his own life. He believes in the promised equality of outcome. The State picks up all responsibility and thus assumes the right to run the lives of everyman from cradle to grave. Although socialism has been a proven to be a failed ideology, he is seduced by the generous promises and thus is willing to give up his individual power and freedoms in order to attain this supposed nirvana on earth.

Christian Americans (that's most of us) need to take back our schools from the sick grip of liberal socialism which is poisoning our childrens' minds, cap off the sewer pipes coming into our lives via various forms of the media which also are poisoning our childrens' minds, support our churches to spread the Word, and elect better representatives from our local government on up. It's time for grassroots efforts to take our country back from those who would change our American democracy into a corrupt socialist state.
 

theHawk

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Where Do Conservative Christians Go From Here?
After the Dims win big in the next election, the conservative Christians can all move to Texas and we'll seceed from the union. We are the only state that can legally seceed if we wish.
 

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After the Dims win big in the next election, the conservative Christians can all move to Texas and we'll seceed from the union. We are the only state that can legally seceed if we wish.
This Ex-Texan ain't coming back, ya'll are way to liberal now used to be proud of my old home state but the last time I was out there I thought I was in California and everyone had a twang in there talk.......Sorry.
 

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Christian Americans (that's most of us) need to take back our schools from the sick grip of liberal socialism which is poisoning our childrens' minds, cap off the sewer pipes coming into our lives via various forms of the media which also are poisoning our childrens' minds, support our churches to spread the Word, and elect better representatives from our local government on up. It's time for grassroots efforts to take our country back from those who would change our American democracy into a corrupt socialist state.
If American Christians had the power to do any of this, it would not have become necessary for them to do any of this.

True Christians are rare in America. Sure, we have plenty of churches and plenty of preachers, but no one is a legitimate Christian merely on their own say-so. There is no single definition of Christian that all self-proclaimed Christians agree on. The same goes for Christian behavior.

Christians should get their own house in order before they even attempt to take back the country.
 

flaja

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After the Dims win big in the next election, the conservative Christians can all move to Texas and we'll seceed from the union. We are the only state that can legally seceed if we wish.
What gives Texas the right to legally secede from the nation? I know that when Texas was admitted to the Union, the first time, the law that admitted Texas gave the state the right to divide itself into multiple states (Houston saw the Civil War and secession coming and he wanted to be able to reserve part of Texas as a free state for himself), but I have never heard that Texas could legally leave the Union. Also, I am not aware that the law or act of Congress that re-admitted Texas after the rebellion included any of the provisions of the original admission law.
 

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What gives Texas the right to legally secede from the nation? I know that when Texas was admitted to the Union, the first time, the law that admitted Texas gave the state the right to divide itself into multiple states (Houston saw the Civil War and secession coming and he wanted to be able to reserve part of Texas as a free state for himself), but I have never heard that Texas could legally leave the Union. Also, I am not aware that the law or act of Congress that re-admitted Texas after the rebellion included any of the provisions of the original admission law.
Thats a good point, it may of been changed after the civil war. But they did enter the union with two stipulations - being able to seceed from the Union and able to fly the Texas flag on top of buildings alone without a Stars n Stripes above it.
To this day Texas is the only state that can fly their flag in such a manner.
 

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Christian conservatives need to widely EDUCATE the public the big difference between a Conservative Christian (maybe we need a new label for starters) and the insidious Liberal Social Progressive Democrat/Republicrat. We need to VOCALIZE why America is the light of the world....because it is based upon basic Christian values. Individual rights and individual responsibility need to be emphasized as opposed to "group rights" and "social responsibility" in order to stop the slide into socialism. Christianity has nothing to do with real socialism, even though socialism may seem like a "do gooder" philosophy.

A conservative Christian represents the original people who came to America. He wants freedom of religion, freedom of speech, the right to carry a gun to protect himself, as well as individual property rights, and the right to make a living by his own hand. He wants to be beholden to no man, but only to his God and to be King of his own castle. He believes in equality of opportunity. He is responsible for himself and his family and for living in harmony with his neighbors and for serving his country when needed. His American rights are bestowed originally from God and are expressed in the American Constitution. He is ultimately responsible only to God and therefore is a man of good character in both his personal and public life.

A Social Progressive has the current European mindset which has become ravaged by socialism. He wants the State to run things and to take care of him. He wants the State to be responsible for everyman instead of each man being responsible for himself. God comes to have no real say in his life because the State essentially replaces God's rules and makes new rules for him to follow. Values become relative. He is no longer bears true responsibility for his own life. He believes in the promised equality of outcome. The State picks up all responsibility and thus assumes the right to run the lives of everyman from cradle to grave. Although socialism has been a proven to be a failed ideology, he is seduced by the generous promises and thus is willing to give up his individual power and freedoms in order to attain this supposed nirvana on earth.

Christian Americans (that's most of us) need to take back our schools from the sick grip of liberal socialism which is poisoning our childrens' minds, cap off the sewer pipes coming into our lives via various forms of the media which also are poisoning our childrens' minds, support our churches to spread the Word, and elect better representatives from our local government on up. It's time for grassroots efforts to take our country back from those who would change our American democracy into a corrupt socialist state.
Conservative Christians did not lose the elections to Social Progressives. They lost the election because many policies of today's Republican leadership do not resemble actual conservatism and there is barely a hint of Christian values in the actions taken by our Republican White House. Talk is cheap, you can say God a dozen times in your speech, but that hardly matters if you support the slaughter of innocent Iraqis and American troops.

On top of that, the Christian right has been smeared by scandal. If Conservative Christians had carried themselves in a more conservative christian manner, congress would still be in Republican hands. Instead, they alienated the average American by adopting neoconservative values, violating laws, and engaging in illicit behavior.

It is disgusting to see so many men use religion as a ladder to success. I think a true believer would be far more humble than men like Bill Frist--promoting himself with political speeches inside of Churches. I was taught that a Church was the house of God, a place where Earthly matters are too insignificant to be breached. Oh well, Protestants are a strange bunch.
 

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If American Christians had the power to do any of this, it would not have become necessary for them to do any of this.

True Christians are rare in America. Sure, we have plenty of churches and plenty of preachers, but no one is a legitimate Christian merely on their own say-so. There is no single definition of Christian that all self-proclaimed Christians agree on. The same goes for Christian behavior.

Christians should get their own house in order before they even attempt to take back the country.
who the heck are you to tell others they arent true Christians? My bet is there are lots of true Christians out there.
 

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If American Christians had the power to do any of this, it would not have become necessary for them to do any of this.

True Christians are rare in America. Sure, we have plenty of churches and plenty of preachers, but no one is a legitimate Christian merely on their own say-so. There is no single definition of Christian that all self-proclaimed Christians agree on. The same goes for Christian behavior.

Christians should get their own house in order before they even attempt to take back the country.
Who the hell do you think you are? True Christians are rare? And what exactly do you, oh master of the universe, think is a true Christian and by what authority to you judge Christians?
 

ScreamingEagle

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Conservative Christians did not lose the elections to Social Progressives. They lost the election because many policies of today's Republican leadership do not resemble actual conservatism and there is barely a hint of Christian values in the actions taken by our Republican White House. Talk is cheap, you can say God a dozen times in your speech, but that hardly matters if you support the slaughter of innocent Iraqis and American troops..
I agree with you that the Dems did not "win" but that the Repubs "lost". "Barely a hint of Christian values in the White House"? Your anti-Bush bias is showing. Fighting Islamic extremists who are out to exterminate America and kill our innocent people (including women and children) is not exactly an un-Christian value. Or can you just forget or somehow excuse the 3,000 deaths they caused in our own country? Islamic extremists are not just an isolated few as you probably would like to think...if they were, why are they continually killing our soldiers in Iraq?

On top of that, the Christian right has been smeared by scandal. If Conservative Christians had carried themselves in a more conservative christian manner, congress would still be in Republican hands. Instead, they alienated the average American by adopting neoconservative values, violating laws, and engaging in illicit behavior. .
Christians adopted neoconservative values? Would you care to elaborate? Or does that just make your first paragraph redundant? Violating laws? Who exactly is the "Christian right" to you? And how have "they" engaged in illicit behavior? And please do not use Foley as an example of the "Christian right"...he more correctly represents a liberal with GOP trappings. And are you saying that Dems are not Christians?

It is disgusting to see so many men use religion as a ladder to success. I think a true believer would be far more humble than men like Bill Frist--promoting himself with political speeches inside of Churches. I was taught that a Church was the house of God, a place where Earthly matters are too insignificant to be breached. Oh well, Protestants are a strange bunch.
"So many men"? Who are you speaking of exactly? Since when is any politician truly "humble"? :D What's so wrong with a politician getting a little religion under his belt? And if Frist was a guest speaker inside some churches, that's his business, and in any case, what's the big problem with that? Democrats have been politicking inside black churches for years....are those Dem Protestants a "strange bunch" too? :poke:
 

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Thats a good point, it may of been changed after the civil war. But they did enter the union with two stipulations - being able to seceed from the Union and able to fly the Texas flag on top of buildings alone without a Stars n Stripes above it.
To this day Texas is the only state that can fly their flag in such a manner.
I am southern born and raised. My family has lived in the South since at least the time of the Revolution (and possibly since Jamestown in 1620). I have at least 3 direct ancestors who served in Robert E. Lee’s army. But, I am Union to the core and pay neither my ancestors, nor any other traitor homage. I have discussed the issue of secession on numerous other boards and no one has ever claimed that Texas has a right to secede based on how it was admitted to the Union. Could you give me a source where I can examine the text of the pertinent law?
 

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who the heck are you to tell others they arent true Christians? My bet is there are lots of true Christians out there.
Who in Hell are you to usurp God’s authority to judge whether or not you or anyone else is a legitimate Christian?

I have said on other boards what I just said here and there is always someone like you who claims I am wrong. But, it never fails that people like you refuse to tell us what a legitimate Christian is. Tell us exactly what someone must believe and not believe and what someone must do and not do to be a Christian.
 

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Who the hell do you think you are? True Christians are rare? And what exactly do you, oh master of the universe, think is a true Christian and by what authority to you judge Christians?

I see that you and Avatar are two peas in a pod.
 

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Who in Hell are you to usurp God’s authority to judge whether or not you or anyone else is a legitimate Christian?

I have said on other boards what I just said here and there is always someone like you who claims I am wrong. But, it never fails that people like you refuse to tell us what a legitimate Christian is. Tell us exactly what someone must believe and not believe and what someone must do and not do to be a Christian.
Here's your answer:

Webster’s Dictionary defines a Christian as “a person professing belief in Jesus as the Christ or in the religion based on the teaching of Jesus.” While this is a good starting point in understanding what a Christian is, like many secular definitions, it falls somewhat short of really communicating the biblical truth of what it means to be a Christian.

The word Christian is used three times in New Testament (Acts 11:26; Acts 26:28; 1 Peter 4:16). Followers of Jesus Christ were first called “Christians” in Antioch (Acts 11:26) because their behavior, activity, and speech were like Christ. It was originally used by the unsaved people of Antioch as a kind of contemptuous nickname used to make fun of the Christians. It literally means, “belonging to the party of Christ” or an “adherent or follower of Christ,” which is very similar to the way Webster’s Dictionary defines it.

Unfortunately over time, the word "Christian" has lost a great deal of it significance and is often used of someone who is religious or has high moral values instead of a true born again follower of Jesus Christ. Many people who don’t believe and trust in Jesus Christ consider themselves Christians simply because they go to church or they live in a "Christian" nation. But going to church, serving those less fortunate than you, or being a good person does not make you a Christian. As one evangelist once said, “Going to church doesn’t make one a Christian anymore than going to a garage makes one an automobile.” Being a member of a church, attending services regularly, and giving to the work of the church cannot make you a Christian.

The Bible teaches us that the good works we do cannot make us acceptable to God. Titus 3:5 tells us that it is “not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to His mercy He saved us, through the washing of regeneration and renewing of the Holy Spirit.” So, a Christian is someone who has been born-again by God (John 3:3; John 3:7; 1 Peter 1:23) and has put their faith and trust in Jesus Christ. Ephesians 2:8 tells us that it is “by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God.” A true Christian is someone who has repented of his or her sin and put faith and trust in Jesus Christ alone. Their trust is not in following a religion or a set of moral codes, or a list of do’s and don’ts.

A true Christian is a person who has put his or her faith and trust in the person of Jesus Christ and fact that He died on the cross as payment for sins and rose again on the third day to obtain victory over death and to give eternal life to all who believe in Him. John 1:12 tells us: “But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, to those who believe in His name.” A true Christian is indeed a child of God, a part of God’s true family, and one who has been given new life in Christ. The mark of a true Christian is love for others and obedience to God’s Word (1 John 2:4; 1 John 2:10).

http://www.gotquestions.org/what-is-a-Christian.html
 

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I am southern born and raised. My family has lived in the South since at least the time of the Revolution (and possibly since Jamestown in 1620). I have at least 3 direct ancestors who served in Robert E. Lee’s army. But, I am Union to the core and pay neither my ancestors, nor any other traitor homage. I have discussed the issue of secession on numerous other boards and no one has ever claimed that Texas has a right to secede based on how it was admitted to the Union. Could you give me a source where I can examine the text of the pertinent law?
You are correct, Texas does not have the right to secede. It is one of the common misconceptions people have about Texas. Usually they are perpetuated by people who live in Texas and love to have the mystery...

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Myths_and_Misperceptions_About_Texas

They do have a right to split up into as many as 5 states though...
 

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The Bible teaches us that the good works we do cannot make us acceptable to God.
Which Bible? NIV, NASB, NKJV, ASV, et cetera, et cetera?

God and only God is judge and jury of what is and is not legitimate Christianity. I would venture that most Americans who claim to be Christian have no clue what God's requirements are. And even if they do know God’s requirements, they seldom fulfill them.
 

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Which Bible? NIV, NASB, NKJV, ASV, et cetera, et cetera?

God and only God is judge and jury of what is and is not legitimate Christianity. I would venture that most Americans who claim to be Christian have no clue what God's requirements are. And even if they do know God’s requirements, they seldom fulfill them.
I agree with the 'God and only God' as the judge, but many believe in literal interpretation, thus feel free to condemn both individuals, groups, religious bodies, etc., who are you to pronounce the 'final word'? Which you seem wont to do?
 

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