Thursday, August 16, 2007

Christianity and "Liberalism"

I have been on vacation in Orange County for the past few weeks, and as is always the case when I leave the Northwest, I had the following conversation with someone (in this case, a PCA pastor's wife) who was asking me about Exile Presbyterian Church:

Her: "How is your church plant going?"
Me: "It's going really well."
Her: "It must be so hard to plant a church up there!"
Me: "Why is that?"
Her: "Well, it's just so liberal."

I responded that I don't think that religion and politics have much, if anything, to do with one another, so I don't see why an area's political climate should have any bearing on the difficulty or ease of church planting.

Now, if I were attempting to open a sports apparel store in Boston, and if my store sold New York Yankees paraphernalia exclusively, then she'd certainly have a point.

My point, then, is that the degree to which one thinks that Christianity is a hard(er) sell in blue states demonstrates the degree to which one understands Christianity to be a political blueprint for this age rather than a religion that concerns itself with the affairs of the one to come.

After all, though the Red Sox and Yankees are arch-rivals, they are both baseball teams. In fact, it's precisely because they are distinct species of the same genus that makes their rivalry possible. Think about it: No one would object to a Yankees-only clothing store on the basis that its potential clientele are left-handed, would they?

The question, therefore, is this: Are the Gospel of Jesus Christ and the Democratic (or Republican) Party two distinct sides of the same cultural coin, or do they represent two kingdoms altogether, one concerned with civil, and the other with eternal affairs?