Seven Things for Christians to Not Sip at the Tea Party

I think it goes without saying that biblical Christians will vote in November in a way that favors basic pro-life issues, supports a return to some form of fiscal sanity, and rejects all attempts at legislative gender-bending. So much goes without saying. So I am not so much concerned about how our folks vote, for voting out the rapscallions can be edifying on a personal level, and instructive for the kids to boot. I am talking rather about how conservative Christians might get themselves invited to a rally, and then be tempted to get swept up into all the throw-the-bums-out excitement, losing track of some things that would be better not to lose track of. So . . .

1. Keep your head. We are living in a time when politicommotions are running high, and the pushback against socialist lunacy is likely to be rowdy and vigorous . . . but angry mobs do not constitute permission from God to stop obeying Him for the duration of the rally. If you are called to fight, then gird up the loins of your mind (1 Pet. 1:13).

2. Conservative forms of postmodern relativism are no better than the other kinds. History happened the way it did, and advocacy history for our side, celebrating whatever makes us feel better about ourselves, is no better than having the light bulb invented by a Zulu chieftain during Black History Month, and by Edison the rest of the year. I mean, co-opting Abraham Lincoln and Martin Luther King Jr. as champions of conservatism is enough provocation to make St. Francis kick three or four puppies. If some conservative rally a century from now has a big banner of Obama at it, then perhaps it wouldn’t be too far off to suggest that somehow, somewhere, somebody slipped a cog.

3. Do not make the mistake of thinking that anything that makes the socialists, liberals, progressives, and commies froth at the mouth must be biblical. What they are advancing is evil, sure enough, but that doesn’t mean that anyone who fights them must be good. Evil forces fight other evil forces, evil forces fight confused forces, and evil forces fight good forces. So you could be fighting evil, and still have the odds of you being a good guy be two to one against.

4. Always act, and never react. Action needs to proceed from a biblically based framework of political principles, and not from faux outrage over the fact that your gored ox is not covered by Medicaid.

5. Don’t support any political movement in such a way that eliminates your ability to protest the inevitable compromises that will follow in the train of electoral victory, such compromises being undertaken and advanced by Republicans ten minutes after the election. Ten dollars says that after the election, which will be a good night for Republicans, a few leading Republicans will come out almost immediately and say that they don’t actually want to dismantle Obamacare piece by piece, in order to throw it into the Chesapeake piece by piece. The only way to effectively counter to this will be by throwing congressmen into the Chesapeake, as a way to help them get the tar and feathers off.

6. Take note of the fact that pastors, theologians and writers alive today, who actually embody the principles held by the Founders, will usually not be allowed anywhere near the microphones, at least not while the television crews are still there. I have a cartoon from The New Yorker hanging on my bulletin board, where a school teacher in a flower power dress is saying to the kids, “‘Give me liberty or give me death.’ Now what kind of person would say that?”

7. Above all, beware the idolatry of a Christless civil religion. The American civil religion has the kind of pantheon that can fit lots of statues around the base of that dome, and Christians must not bow down to any of them. We are Christians and the worship of a generic Deity is prohibited to us. There is no way to the Father except through the name of Jesus. But there are manifestations of the American civil religion that are seductive to evangelicals. And so we must be told, again and again, little children, keep yourselves from idols (1 John 5:21).