On issues like abortion and homosexuality, the liberal establishment tries to gag Christians by preemptive ruling those issues off-limits. How dare you even raise the issue! They try to silence dissent by declaring their pet issues out-of-bounds in political discourse.
Of course, this makes it difficult to even get a fair hearing. A prolife politician (e.g. Richard Mourdock), church-planter (e.g. Tim Keller), or apologist (e.g. Scott Klusendorf) has to spend of a lot of time first taking out the garbage just to make room for rational debate. In the public sphere, they have to deal with an audience that’s often ignorant, hostile, and bigoted. It takes a lot of time just to peel away all the layers of prejudice.
Someone in this situation has to cultivate a constituency from the ground up. Spend time disarming knee-jerk reactions. Spend time deprogramming the godless cultural-conditioning which many people receive in college. Spend time educating them on history, theology, and ethics.
That’s a necessary, but time-consuming process. As such, someone in this situation has to be very politic about his tactics and rhetoric.
By contrast, it shouldn’t be necessary in intramural Christian discussion to engage in these elaborate softening-up exercises. The church is not the world. We set the bar higher. There ought be far less tolerance for the attitude we encounter in the liberal media or academia.
Of course, a pastor still needs to make a case. But he’s not starting from scratch. Christian presuppositions will be a given.
Recently, Joe Carter and Justin Taylor both posted on the Richard Mourdock kerfuffle. Predictably, two commenters (“Lou G” & “JR”) rushed in to oppose their consistent prolife position. And they claim to be professing Christians. They are to the church what Log Cabin Republicans are to the GOP.
Not coincidentally, JR is using the code language of the 2-kingdoms paradigm, promoted by some WSC professors. This illustrates the pernicious, corrupting influence of the 2-kingdoms paradigm. Instead of defending the unborn, or defending defenders of the unborn, they attack defenders of the unborn.
JROctober 26, 2012 at 3:14 pmSo, to restate my position, as posted in TGC blog, this difficult issue ought to remain in the arena of Christian conscience. 1 – I do not see a command in scripture that requires it and 2 – a legal requirement for a woman to make this decision goes beyond what is ethically right to impose on another.JROctober 26, 2012 at 12:56 PM…it's no wonder that even fair-minded and moderately conservative people regard our blanket application of Biblical principles to very difficult issues such as this as irrational and possibly laughable.My assertion is that this decision is a matter of Christian conscience and is not governed by a specific commandment in the scriptures. Thanks.JROctober 26, 2012 at 7:12 PMIf we are going to bind consciences and hold people legally accountable, we have to make sure that we are not simply applying a principle, as we choose to practice it.JROctober 26, 2012 at 7:38 pmThe thing that we cannot get away from is the fact that the extreme position that doesn’t allow for exceptions requires us to make matters of conscience a legally binding requirement.Here’s a key point:
At the end of the day, only the Christian worldview would compell someone to act in the way we are trying to mandate for all people. Very different from natural law issues, which are obvious to all regardless of whether they have a Christian basis or not. (Of course, that sort of two kingdom thinking, which I know some people here don’t really buy into.)