Friday, October 16, 2009

The Cult of
Social and Political Conservatism

It is a cult. There, I’ve said it. And by the word “cult” I mean something that is unchristian, and in fact, antichrist. You may be wondering if I speak of Mormonism, or the Jehovah’s Witnesses, or the Moonies, or a host of other well known cults. No, those are indeed cults however I do not refer to those here. This is the cult of “Political and Social Conservatism”. This masquerades as part of the Christian faith, but it is a counterfeit and in fact misrepresents entirely the message of Jesus and His gospel. It is antichrist at its core.

It has become accepted and even fashionable to roam about the community and preach a different gospel that spews certain moral and conservative issues. These believers would never consider themselves as part of a cult, but they are deceived and even though they may be born again believers in Christ, they are now engaged in cultish behavior that undermines the gospel they would profess. They join hands with unbelievers in their endeavors, they preach a set of moral rules, and worse than everything they suggest that God is a capitalist and has a spiritual and vested interest in the finances of America. All of this is a cult, pure and simple.

Many “orthodox” believers have objected to the way labels have infiltrated the church. They recoiled at churches that called themselves “centers”. The resist “seeker” monikers and reject labels such as post modern, followers of Jesus, red letter Christians, and almost all other more recent titles. They are even re-evaluating the name “evangelical”. And yet these same “I am orthodox – call me a Christian” will proudly and forcefully wear the label “conservative” as it pertains to social and political issues. Shall we examine what our Master’s Word lays out for His followers?

As disciples of Jesus Christ we are not called to be known by our views concerning morality, and surely never should we allow ourselves to be known because of our capitalistic views about money and taxes. The gospel is not one of many of our messages, it is our one and only divine message. We have not been commissioned to traverse the political landscape and spread the gospel of moral values and capitalist principles. When a believer leaves the gospel of redemption and begins preaching and voicing something else, he is in a cult.

The motives may be righteous, albeit with an unmistakable air of self righteousness, but they are in a cult nonetheless. I call on my brothers and sisters to come out from among them and be separate; separated unto the gospel of Jesus Christ and His redemption. We cannot afford to get caught up in many different moral causes; we must be faithful to one cause alone. All these different causes may by moral, and some of these causes are righteous and address an issue in which God disapproves, but they still are diversions from our calling. Jesus said we could do and accomplish nothing without Him, and the moral majorities and the conservative movements have compromised the gospel and made Jesus an aside and not the central figure to which everyone must give an account.

It is difficult, and almost impossible, to see a believer who has joined with unbelievers in moral causes to speak truth to them. Believers who have abortion as their passion and who join with conservative Roman Catholics and Jews have misrepresented the gospel. Those believers in other faiths who are “pro-life” are deceived into thinking they are in right standing before God because they espouse the same moral convictions as their evangelical comrades. This is dangerous behavior for us as believers, and the truth is that we should not be joining with any unbelievers in spiritual and moral endeavors.

Sad was the day when evangelicals became a voting block and had a few issues that defined us. We became known as the “religious right”, another label for that same cult. How tragic and how blasphemous it is to see believers make moral and conservative issues their message at the expense of the cross of our Blessed Lord and Savior. This needs to change.

What else happened when believers became conservatives? They began to speak and act like the fallen world. They began to listen to and approve of the caustic and self righteous rhetoric of the multi-millionaires called “talk show hosts”. They began to watch them on television and listen to them in their cars, and since they agree with their “philosophy”, they supported them and even repeated them in mixed company. In short, they journeyed deeper into that cult. And now the world began to believe that Christians were like Limbaugh or Hannity or like O’Reily and all the rest.

The world began to understand that followers of Jesus were Republicans and conservatives and they used the same harsh rhetoric against the “liberals” as the liberals used against them. They began to see that Christianity was one, large battle against liberalism. The world soon understood that Christians were right wingers and were virulent about taxes and spending policies. They heard believers speak about gay people in the most unflattering and ungracious words; many times harsh and satirical words that were meant to demean and not words of redemption and love. The world now has an understanding about Christianity that is far different than the New Testament defines, to say nothing of the life of Christ.

And the world saw that when some liberal like Ted Kennedy died, the Christians were less than compassionate, and in some cases used his death as an opportunity to throw dirt on his grave. The unbelievers heard, and continue hearing, verbal assaults on the President. They realized that a Christian had to abide by a set of conservative fiscal policies, and that anyone who was “pro-choice” was fair game for the most debasing language, void of any respect or compassion. The unbelievers understood that if a person was not a Christian, or not an evangelical, he was a target of attack rather than a target of love and redemption. They saw evangelicals as a cult, and in many ways they are correct.

Politics is a dirty business that strips the most ardent believer of his uncompromised followship of the Lord Jesus. The system is designed for wrangling and battle, not over Jesus, but over issues. It reduces the most committed believer to a pawn of morality and capitalism, and it forces him to laud himself and his accomplishments and downplay his opponents attributes and many times his integrity. It forces him to join with all sorts of unbelievers and stand with them on a wide range of issues. Politics constrains a believer to make the name of Jesus and His gospel an aside and become just one of many. Politics directs believers into a life of conformity and compromise. Politics is humanistic battlefield where Jesus is misrepresented at best, and denied at worst. Politics is a cult.

How many times have I in times past, or even in times present, watched some television program where the left and the right debate and argue, and in the midst of watching this spectacle I realized I was beginning to strongly dislike one or the other on the panel? I began to become emotionally affected to take sides and in so doing I began to have strong feelings against some of those who were participating. That is completely against what my Savoir has commanded of me. Unless you do not own a television most of you have experienced the exact same thing. It is wrong; profoundly wrong.

Until the church of Jesus Christ escapes the trappings of this cult she will continue to be powerless and only a shade of gray in a world of darkness. We must again take up our cross and follow in His steps. This journey is not well worn in these last days, and many will see this as radical and out of the mainstream, and they would be absolutely correct. I suggest we pray for every person whether “liberal” or “conservative”, and I suggest we view them all, not from a political vantage point, but looking down about 6 feet from the vantage point of a Roman cross. I suggest we come out from among them, not to be smug and elitist, but to let the light of Jesus Christ shine in the midst of a crooked and perverse nation.

American sinners do not need rules and issues, they need a company of believers that are so gracious, so loving, so humble, and so filled with the Spirit of Christ that they are drawn to us without having to leap the fences of conservative social and political issues. We as followers of Jesus have been operating in a cult far too long, let us quickly repent and return to the one and only true cult, the gospel preaching church of the living God!


Anonymous said...

Indeed. "Cult" is exactly what it is.

Anonymous said...

Are you against your blog entries being linked to and pasted in other public settings, such as forum for political conservatives? If so, please let me know.

Rick Frueh said...

All my posts are free to be copied or linked to, friend or foe.

(hopefully friend)