Can a Christian Be a Republican?
July 11, 2003
My previous article called "Can a Christian Be a Democrat" certainly drew a wide range of comments. But turnabout is fair play, right?
Is it possible to be a Christian and a Republican? Just like in my previous article, I already know the answer to this question. But letís take a closer look at the Republican Party for just a moment.
The Republican Party is the Grand Old Party. It is the self-proclaimed political party where God, morality and family values exist. Because of groups like the Christian Coalition, the Moral Majority and Focus on the Family, the Republican Party has become synonymous with Christian values. Or has it?
Back in 1994, the ďreligious rightĒ were instrumental in winning back the House of Representatives with the Contract With America. Pat Robertson, Jerry Falwell and James Dobson were leading the charge for Christians to vote Republican and many conservative evangelicals did just that. But what has happened since that historic election?
The Republican Party has virtually turned its back on the people who got them where they are politically. Sure, there are a few individual lawmakers who make public policy decisions based on their faith, but they are getting fewer and fewer all the time. Thatís why I hated to see J.C. Watts leave Congress.
But letís get back to Falwell and Robertson for just a moment. Both of them were highly critical of Bill Clinton when he was president. In fact, Jerry Falwell sold a tape that explained all of these activities that the ex-president was engaged in when he was the governor of Arkansas. The tape was later found to be false, but Falwell kept selling it anyway. Could it be that he was more concerned with promoting and supporting the Republican Party than he was about protecting his faith in God as a Christian?
Or how about Pat Robertson. Yeah, him. The same man who started the graduate school that I attended, but thatís where the connection between he and I ends. In fact, he had nothing to do with the development of the curriculum taught at Regent University. He was too busy criticizing Clinton and making money off the same tape Falwell was selling. Again, could it be that he was more concerned with promoting and supporting the Republican Party than he was about protecting his faith in God as a Christian?
President George W. Bush has been criticized by Democrats and Republicans for expressing his faith in God. Some believe he isnít being sincere while others are encouraged to see a man in such a high political position espousing his Christian beliefs. But he has come under fire from Democrats and Republicans alike in recent days for admitting to falsifying information about Iraq to justify going to war with that country. Is that what a Christian would do? It certainly wouldnít seem so.
Back up to 1994 again and youíll recall what Republican members of Congress were saying about the Contract With America, which detailed many initiatives that would have dealt with the moral issues facing this country. They told conservative Christians to wait and see what happens. The lawmakers were confident that issues such as abortion, the radical gay agenda, failing schools, the family, etc. would be dealt with AFTER the financial aspects of the Contract With America were completed. In fact, many of those Christian Republican Congressmen warned conservative Christians not to say anything about the moral issues because that would jeopardize the entire Contract With America.
So conservative Christian Republicans waited and waited and waited. Silently and without so much as a peep. Meanwhile, the Christian right began to grow restless and organizations such as the Christian Coalition began losing power. By 1998, the Christian Coalition had lost its leader, Ralph Reed, and its base, which dwindled considerably from the millions to just a few hundred thousand in a short amount of time. The religious right, which had risen to prominence so fast, was now just an afterthought. The Republican Party failed to make good on their promises and the Christians who trusted them at the time as well as the nation are still paying the consequences for that today.
Getting back to President George W. Bush for just a moment, he has been a strong conservative fiscally by passing two pass cuts in three years. But he has done nothing about moral issues. He has not lived up to the example that Ronald Reagan set in the 1980ís. He is trying to be everything to everybody and he will end up being nothing to nobody if he is not careful. If people didnít know which political party Bush belonged to and all they had to see was what he has done, would they know he is a Republican? Would they know he is a Christian? I donít think they would know the correct answer to either question.
Bipartisanship and reaching across the aisle to make amends with an enemy who wants nothing more than to destroy you is not the way to get your agenda passed. It never works. The Democrats have gotten more of what they want in the Bush presidency than they ever did in the Clinton presidency.
President Bushís Chief of Staff has said that abortion is not a priority for the Bush administration. And yet many Christians believe abortion violates Godís law. If Bush is a believer who puts his faith in God before his politics, then wouldnít he stand for what is right regardless of the consequences? And why hasnít he done anything about Clintonís ďDonít Ask, Donít TellĒ policy about homosexuals in the military? He has even appointed several gay activists to serve in his administration. How does the President who calls himself a Christian and a Republican reconcile these things in his mind?
Honestly, Bush has not been strong on the moral issues at all. If the Republican Party is supposed to stand as the Party for God, morality and family values, then the leader of that party has failed miserably. Bush is a good man who I believe is indeed a born-again Christian. People should pray for him as he leads the United States.
But the Republican Party is not the answer. Neither are the Democrats. As I mentioned before, Democrats abhore anything to do with God unless it suits them politically. But how is the Republican Party any different? Is there anything the GOP can do to alter the course of moral behavior our country is going down? The answer is an emphatic ďNO.Ē The Republican Party is an option that some Christians have chosen to attempt to deal with the problems that plagued society. But it will never be able to do anything about the issues that are most important to Christians.
Conservatism says to keep the peace and donít make waves. Donít be confrontational or cause the enemy to become angry. Enjoy the status quo.
But Christianity goes right to the Word of God and confronts the sinner with what Jesus Christ did on the cross. Christianity is worth dying for to all those who believe it is the Truth.
Salvation is the only motive of Christianity. Christians want nothing more than to introduce people to the hope and forgiveness found in Jesus Christ. Salvation through Jesus changes peopleís lives for the better every time.
There is no political party that can offer the solutions to the problems this world faces. That will only happen by the grace of God when his people will place their trust in Him completely and share His love with others.
Whether those Christians choose to be a Democrat or a Republican does not matter in the end!