The internet is chock full of “valuable” advice. It’s a good thing, too. How else would I know that for the past half-century, I’ve been showering all wrong? And apparently, many of the activities I enjoy are included in the list of atrocious faux pas that baby boomers are guilty of. (Not that this is surprising—after all, I am a baby boomer). If I didn’t have the internet, how would I know how to scramble eggs, how to vote, or how to decorate my home?
I saw the headline and had to click on the article:
American Christianity is corrupt? We’ve abandoned the gospel? This is alarming! I read further…
The Boston Declaration, condemning the abuse of the Christian faith by many conservatives today, was just written, signed and released by over 300 hundred Christian theologians attending the American Academy of Religion and the Society of Biblical Literature, an annual meeting of nearly 10,000 professionals in religion. … [T]he presenters were clear that white American Evangelicalism is in a crisis, a crisis of its own making. It has abandoned the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
Is outrage a Christian value? Maybe it depends on what we’re outraged about. In the current political climate, it seems the entire nation is outraged—or at least a very vocal portion. I’ve seen post after post urging us to “stay outraged” until things go our way. But is outrage a good thing? When is outrage appropriate?
It depends on what we mean by outrage. So that we’re all on the same page, let’s see how the dictionary defines it:
- An act of wanton cruelty or violence; any gross violation of law or decency.
- Anything that strongly offends, insults, or affronts the feelings.
- A powerful feeling of resentment or anger aroused by something perceived as an injury, insult, or injustice.
Synonyms include: indignation, fury, anger, rage, disapproval, wrath, and resentment.
Last Sunday Pete and I helped people register to vote. We always vote in elections, and we enjoyed encouraging others to register as well. Our church had several tables set up around the hallways and café area, and our small group volunteered to provide the manpower. We had a short training talk, and then headed out with our clipboards, forms, and big smiles.
Most of the people we talked to were already registered. Others had recently moved and needed to “re-up.” It took all of five minutes to fill out the form, sign their name, and become eligible to vote in the upcoming election.
What surprised us, however, were the approximately 5% of people who refused to register or vote. As I pondered their various reasons for not voting, I began to wonder. Should Christians vote? Is it important? Does God care one way or the other? I did some research online and found that, like many issues, this one is a bit controversial. Here’s my opinion. I’d be interested to hear what you think, as well.
Religion and politics are the two topics a genteel person is not supposed to discuss with company. I assume that’s because we usually have strong opinions on both of these topics and a civilized discussion can rapidly disintegrate into an all-out war, with normally well-mannered guests popping up from behind the sofas to lob verbal grenades at one another.
However, an article on CNN’s website caught my attention—and it deals with both religion and politics:
According to a poll released [last week] by the Public [Religion] Research Institute and Religion News Service, most Americans (56%) say it is somewhat or very important for a presidential candidate to have strong religious beliefs.
I have to agree. I want my president to have the fear of God deep down in his or her soul! However, the news report goes on to say: