Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Brian McLaren Endorses Obama - Should this be the role of a religious leader?

Well known Christian author Brian McLaren endorses Barak Obama for president in this youtube video. Should this be the role of a religious leader?

The long history of Christendom shows the dangers of the church being too closely aligned with the state. Inevitably, the church begins to use power to accomplish its purpose, rather than transformation. And corruption seems to quickly follow. Furthermore, many non-Christians see Christians as being too involved in politics.

On the other hand, should Christians pretend like the politial process has no bearing on our faith? What about Rick Warren's interviews with Obama and McCain? Was this a good or bad thing?


Anonymous said...

The black church has tradtionally in this country have been very political. As for Rick Warren I think it was handled very well he made no recomendation of how people should vote.

We as Christians cannot avoid becoming involved as indivduals in the political process. It is part of being a good citizen.

Thanks for asking the question and starting discussion.

Anonymous said...

I saw last night that Paris Hilton is doing an endorsement for Obama. They showed footage of her sitting in a lounge chair by a pool in a barely-there swimsuit doing her commercial. Does McLaren's endorsement mean that Brian McLaren and Paris Hilton are 'aligned'? Why does that seem weird?

Kevin M said...

There are too many compromises today's politicians have to make in governance. Especially in the upper levels of government. To be a chrisitian, in my view, is a calling to move above party politics. A teacher of a group of christians aligning with one party and going so far as to endorse one, in my humble opinion, is taking things too far. To me endorsement means shutting out the opposing viewpoints. Whether you are a supporter of McCain or Obama both men have good points on various issues. I can't see how as a chrisitian we can shut out the good views of one party in favor of another. Neither party has a lock on christian values.

My endorsement goes to one government which isn't even a democracy. It's a Monarchy.

Anonymous said...

James, I believe voting is, in our day, rendering to our Caesar what is Caesar's. And, to be informed is essential to casting a wise vote.

That said, because congregations are rarely, if ever, 100% aligned behind any candidate, I think preachers make a big mistake by endorsing candidates. Whoever they endorse, they are likely to create hard feelings among the supporters of the other candidate, and even those who haven't decided yet.

In fact, as you suggest, too much "formal" religious involvement in politics hasn't been good for church or state.

I think people should educate themselves, then vote for the candidate they believe is most aligned with their most important values. But, leave the religious power structures out of the process of endorsing or condemning.

Them's my $0.02.

Hope things are going well - call you later today.


Garth said...

I wonder who my minister is going to endorse? :o)

Seriously though, isn't there a parable about a shrewd manager?

"Therefore if you have not been faithful in the use of unrighteous wealth, who will entrust the true riches to you?"

Someone in the Christian community should probably earn favor with Senator Obama and Senator McCain.

egamma said...

Endorsing a candidate never a good idea for a preacher--it endangers the nonprofit status of the church.

That said, McLaren is apparently an author and not a preacher. As a private citizen, he's entitled to his own opinion.

How can we be a light in the darkness if we hide under a bowl?