Saturday, October 25, 2008

Life is Too Short, The Gospel Too Important...

I sadly realize that much of the political arguing going on at The Constructive Curmudgeon is distracting me from more important Kingdom endeavors (Matthew 6:33). My wife asked recently, "Do you ever convince anyone of anything?" I wonder, at least about politics. Life is too short and the gospel too important to waste time carping back and forth in ways that do not persuade or increase knowledge.

I am passionately pro-life, anti-Obama, anti-Statist, and much more related to politics. But this forum doesn't seem to be doing much good in these areas. Therefore, I am cutting back and cutting out. This doesn't mean less work in these areas, but a change of focus...unless you can persuade me otherwise.

15 comments:

BJ the Tornado said...

THANK YOU and AMEN!

BJ the Tornado said...

Right on... again.

And here's a good piece from John Piper reminding us of this very point you raise: The Gospel is far too important.

http://www.desiringgod.org/ResourceLibrary/TasteAndSee/ByDate/2008/3347_Let_Christians_Vote_As_Though_They_Were_Not_Voting/

david said...

Honestly I'm edified hearing your thoughts on just about any subject ;)

Jeff Burton said...

If will indulge me, professor, I will relate a personal anecdote. My grandfather became a Christian quite late in life. He told me, as a Great Depression survivor, how he had always reflexively voted Democratic because of Roosevelt. But when he began to follow Christ, he was troubled by many of that party's policy positions, especially regarding abortion. He ended life as a staunch supporter of Reagan. So in his case, the gospel changed his politics.

That said, it was through people like you that his conscience was pricked. I believe that you will not argue someone out of deeply-held political convictions but "How will they hear unless..."?

A different thought - sometimes a witness is required even in the presence of stony hearts. How many people did Jeremiah convince?

Gem said...

I don't think that winning or losing the argument or the election are God's priority. Its how we conduct ourselves in the process. Personally, I'm a single issue voter. I vote the most pro-life candidate and I've heard the arguments from my 16 yod which she gets from her high school social studies teacher about the war killing innocent people and the lack of health care killing innocent people, but- a baby in the womb is the most vulnerable with no voice and I see the mother as a victim too: the victim of a culture which encouraged her to do something which deeply violates her own feminine identity- its very disrespectful of femininity! I sent my 16yod daughter links to a bunch of your posts. She's a national merit semifinalist looking at Princeton (and highly malleable by her schoolteachers) so I especially liked your linking to quotes from the Princeton prof. I liked the poem "Please Remember" from the baby's POV too.

As for how you conduct yourself in the process, in this post you role model listening to and respecting your wife. That's priceless! I hope my daughter chooses a husband like that! May your tribe increase :)

Clint K. said...

Glad to hear it Dr. Groothuis. I have still been keeping up with the blog, but when I see the topic is politics, I generally just skim it. I appreciate the political insights here, but I think it would have been a lot more powerful if you had 3 good posts on the subject. "Less is more" is the old saying. Anyway, I look forward to more thoughtful posts on how we are to live this Christian life.

Lily said...

Please, Dr. Groothuis, do not stop these politcial posts, especially not on the abortion issue. You have no idea how many times I have come back to your blog as I debate this deadly serious issue with my Christian friends who persist in their loyalty to Obama. Even if you never persuade anyone to change his or her vote, you are equipping many to better articulate and defend their positions.

Heath Countryman said...

Maybe you would be better served saying why McCain/Palin would be a good choice and not spend so much time saying why Obama is a bad choice.

I think people are more apt to change their minds when they can see a clear alternative.

PrinceOfFools said...

This too is my struggle. On the one hand I look at the life work of William Wilberforce and conclude that it is good to challenge the reasoning of the Pro-choice movement and proponents of redistribution based economics which fuels human envy and dampens individual responsibility and productivity. On the other I have to concede that the pro-life capitalist will most certainly go to hell but for the redeeming blood of Christ. Contending for the cause of redemption and joy through Christ is best but protecting a valuable unborn baby is still good. The question is, I think, can the latter be done without coming at the expense of presenting the truth to those that desperately need to hear about the former?

-Kevin

PS - Loved the message at SGs today. Thanks again.

Adam Omelianchuk said...

Rebecca, is right. I am passionate about the race too (I call myself a McCain republican) but at the end of the day God establishes the authorities for whatever reason (Rom 13) and we are to pray for them (1 Tim 2:1-3). If Obama wins he will be a prayed for president in my book.

Tom said...

Doug,

I'm not sure that the goal should be to change people's minds. Just help them see issues more clearly and cut through the b.s. that infects the talking points of both the left and the right. It seems to me that you've fallen a bit too much into the mainstream right-wing media fray, and that your posts tend to be less analytical than would be good and more in keeping with march step with the orders of the GOP.

Still, you could be a reasoned, spinless conservative blog--and that would be good for both those who agree and those of us who disagree with your perspective.

Just my two cents.

Denny said...

Hello Dr. Groothuis,
Thanks for your blog. Just couple quick comments to this post. First, on general I am not sure if anyone is ever convinced of anything contrary to what he believe by reading a blog. Perhaps it is the nature of the medium but most tend to read blogs that agree with their viewpoint and visit those they disagree with just to flame the poster. Second, I think your blog, and a few other, presents a coherent Christian worldview as it relates to politics, ethics, etc. While it is not as important as presenting and discussing the gospel itself, but I think it is something sorely needed in the current culture.

Claudia said...

Please continue your political posts. They are also Christian posts. We are called upon to live in this world. We need to see clearly what is presented to us to make choices based on the Gospel.

I often carry your informations to other bloggers who would not visit a Christian blog. They are despairing to convince friends to vote McCain/Palin for the good of their country. Your solid pro-life arguments were very appreciated.
Thank you for your efforts and perseverance. My prayers are with all of you.

Yossman said...

I'm glad the political uproar will be silenced soon and glad to know that you will turn to your usual topics. I have however benefited greatly from the information on Obama and his stance on abortion.

I write regularly for a Christian website that critically engages culture and christianity. Last week I wrote a post on Obama's abortion extremism and was able to back-up my piece with the info from your blog as well as from the links that you provided.

Abortion is worth a single-issue approach to politics.

Zach Harris said...

Dr. G,
I appreciate the fact that you are struggling (or at least have struggled) over this issue. If you thought that finding the right balance was easy, it would probably indicate that you were out of balance.
Two thoughts:
1) The Great Commission isn't to make professed converts, but to make disciples. Fulfilling the Great Commission requires teaching people to obey ALL that Jesus commanded.
2) On the other hand, probably the main reason that many "Christians" (even self ascribed "born-again evangelicals") aren't living as disciples of Christ is because they never believed in the actual Biblical gospel in the first place. Perhaps the essential gospel they believed was that Jesus was a means to receiving God's wonderful plan for their life, which on some level they assumed to be centered around a good job, a relatively trouble free life, and healing from cancer when needed.

Keep on persevering in God's strength on all issues that matter, always keeping centered on the glory of Christ and the cross.