An oft-repeated but, in my view, ultimately misguided self-critique by Christians, is that we are better known for what we are against than what we are for. I fully agree with the spirit of the comment. As Chuck Colson liked to say, Christians should not just resist the bad stuff but always propose a better way.
Today, however, that statement is too often used as a way of saying Christians should be more positive, as if Christians should be known for what we are for, and not known for what we are against. But Christians just can’t choose between those approaches. To put it bluntly, Christian faithfulness in a culture like ours demands that we be against many things even as we embrace the hope of the invading Kingdom of God. Otherwise, we will only offer the world a sort of moral confusion.
Case in point: Just before Christmas, Christianity Today editor Mark Galli suggested that, given the conclusion of the impeachment hearings in the U.S. House, Christians should support the removal of President Trump from office, either by impeachment or in the next election.
So much has been said and written about Galli’s piece already, I’ll only focus on his two main and most problematic points: First, that supporting the removal of Trump from office is a mark of Christian faithfulness, and second, to not support his removal would harm the reputation of Christ and Christians. In other words, Christians should be against the president.
It’s always a weighty thing to bind the conscience of other Christians, and it should only be done with clarity and discernment. This piece, unfortunately, displayed neither.
Moral clarity today demands we be both for personal integrity in our leaders as well as for the conscience protections of citizens. It demands that we stand against the taking of innocent, preborn life and, at the same time, for civility and strong character. Moral clarity in our time requires being against the mistreatment of people on Twitter and, even more so, against the sexual experimentation on children by radical ideologues.
This is the moral complexity of the world we live in. It’s for us what Dietrich Bonhoeffer called “the tempest of the living.” So we must be very careful before we demand all Christians adhere to our conscience, especially if by doing so, their consciences are made complicit in not sufficiently standing against the grave evils of our day.
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SOURCE: Christian Post, John Stonestreet