James Hunter argues in his book that the Christian left and the Christian right are different sides of the same coin. On Mr. Allan R. Bevere’s blog, he states in his understanding of this book that “both the religious right and the left seek political power in order to fundamentally transform America according their understanding of biblical values while ending up being nothing more than faith-based extensions of the Republican and Democratic Parties.”
Al Mohler is the current president of the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary. Mr. Mohler is quoted in a recent Christianity Today article explaining that moral “battles require not so much reformation in Washington as renewal in the church.”
Over my lifetime, it seems that the Christian right has overextended its involvement in American politics. Recently, there seems to be a reaction to this by Christians who do not want to be identified with this brand of Christianity. Some Christians now identify with the Christian left (i.e. Sojourners) Another example of this is the Hipster movement.
Mr. Mohler is right that the church is in need of renewal. The intense focus on politics and elections needs to stop. I think we’re finally in the process of realizing that, in large part, we’ve become faith-based extensions of political ideologies. Mr. Mohler might suggest that the church’s renewal should be focused on reclaiming reformational theology of the Calvinistic stripe. I’m sort of like George MacDonald who burst into tears at hearing of the Calvinist perspective of predestination. So, I would rather suggest that the renewal that may take place and may now actually be occurring within the church is one that redefines our relationship with politics where the church is decreasingly identified with either party in American politics. The renewal will not only be characterized by its relationship with politics but more largely with the church’s intellectual and physical response to the world’s angst. The Church will not go Left or Right but will go forward into a new paradigm.
I’m an amateur so I cannot offer much yet as to what this might look like. Hopefully over time I may be able to offer some insights based on some of the things I have read or perceived. I invite anyone to prayerfully imagine with me where we might be going.