I asked a young Christian man of NC if he agreed or disagreed with Dr Graham’s statement. This was his reply? (See below) Would love to hear how you feel about Dr Graham’s statement. When we pause in 2022 and remind ourselves Graham’s statement was 1981.
In principle, I agree. All extremist/hard right or left should be avoided. From the extremes are where you see conflict. Forgetting politics for a moment, look within denominations…… The Southern Baptists, UMC, Lutherans, etc. are currently tearing themselves apart over the divide of progressives versus fundamentalists. Which side is correct…..
Faith groups should not wed any political part of the spectrum. Whether fundamentalists or progressives, evangelical or mainline, catholic or protestant, you see politics using the denomination(s) that are tied to it as a shield to advance causes. Some of these causes are roughly aligned with the interest of the particular groups of faith, but usually have bits attached that ultimately bite the faithful in the posterior.
Who was the last politician not wave their Christian credentials like a cop with a badge at a crime scene? How much of this is manipulation versus actual faith is far above my pay grade. Politics is always about manipulation.
Given that Christians are also citizens, modern social conservativism has built its foundations on Christian thought, so where else is a fundamentalist to go but the right? On the left you have groups that superficially are putting forward programs that align with social action, but in practice just drive the population toward dependence on government. But politics are not one dimensional. If you wed to the folks that claim to share (some) of the same values, you get the whole of their beliefs. With big tent politics on both sides, you get some scary beliefs on both sides. Today on the right, you get extremists that are indefensible, even loony. Today on the left, you the cult-of-government (anti-Christian) and anarchists pushing for ever greater extremes. Which is scarier…..both.
Billy Graham was able to navigate politics by staying out, being the voice of faith not reason and compromise. The rest of us are less successful at achieving this. The best Christians can do is not to wed politics, but make clear where each denomination stands and make politics come to them. Unfortunately, this goes back to the first point regarding denominations tearing themselves apart. Where does the modern church stand?