Larkin Spivey Finding Faith In War

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Wall Street Journal Article

On March 4, 2011, the Wall Street Journal published an article titled, “Americans Don’t Want a ‘Truce’ on Social Issues,” by Richard Land, President of the Southern Baptist Convention’s Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission. In a very thought-provoking piece, Mr. Land reminded the Republican Party that social-issue voters have been strong supporters of the Party and still look for progress on issues such as abortion and traditional marriage. I found myself agreeing with Mr. Land’s sentiments while disagreeing with his agenda. I don’t know if the following will be published, but I sent a ‘Letter to the Editor’ on March 5.

A ‘Truce’ on Social Issues?

As a politically conservative citizen and voter I find myself agreeing with much in Richard Land’s article (March 4). I am one of those Americans he refers to with “a deep longing . . . for a restoration of a morality that emphasizes personal obligations and responsibilities over rights and privileges.” As a Christian, however, I am also deeply troubled that this call comes from an official within a major denomination of the Christian church. Jesus commissioned his followers to “Go into all the world and preach the good news to all creation.” (Mark 16:15) Christians are best at accomplishing this mission when they act on the personal and community level to share the Gospel and demonstrate the joy, purpose, and peace that permeate their own lives and churches. They are less effective, and in fact turn many away from Christ, when they are perceived as trying to coerce others in matters of conscience or morality, especially through the pursuit of a national political agenda. Christians today should remember the lessons of our Founding Fathers. As individual citizens, we have an obligation to participate in the political process and work for a better society. As church members and disciples of Christ, however, we are on dangerous ground when we seek power through the political process, no matter how worthy the cause.
Author of God in the Trenches, Miracles of the American Revolution, and Battlefields & Blessings: Stories of Faith and Courage from World War IIMyrtle Beach, SC