Sunday, May 20, 2012

Don't Label Me

This is my first political blog.  The apprehension in me is not due to uncertainty of conviction but rather the certainty of being wrongly categorized and caricatured as something I am not.  Why do we insist upon labels rather than personhood?  It's one of the sad insufficiencies of humanity.  In spite of this, it's time to move some questions to the forefront and live with the resulting labels that might accompany my convictions.

The questions are simple in the asking but complex in the answering.  Namely, how am I expressing my biblical worldview in the public square?  Is it possible to speak graciously yet boldly the precepts of Scripture without losing opportunity to present God's reconciliatory love to all people?  How can I be relational with those on the opposite side of the issue from me?    

In the past I have experienced paralysis of action not as a result of asking these questions but due to an inability to answer them.  Consequently, I opted for a kind of public neutrality that stemmed from my desire and Calling to maintain relational viability with all people.  More specifically, I did not want to unnecessarily create barriers to those who believed differently than myself.  To do this, I concluded, would hinder me from any interaction and potential for ultimate influence.

But over time this posture has the potential of resulting in an undesirable outcome.  If not careful, this actually leads to the erosion of biblical values in our society rather than an embracing of them.  Silence in the public square leads to a moral drift that significantly outpaces relationships.  To avoid this we must acknowledge the difference between being "merely political" and being a vocal advocate for the presence of biblical principles in our society.  For example, I do not condone the explicit endorsement of a political candidate from the pulpit.  However, I do not want to be silent on issues that are profoundly biblical yet happen to also be at the center of political debate.  Biblical values precede our political reality. To be silent would be to violate the soul.

My desire is not to be Republican or Democratic or Independent or Tea Party.  It is not to be conservative or liberal or moderate.  It is not to be socialistic or capitalistic though I am sure all these labels will get thrown around in subsequent posts.  Rather it is to be biblical.  I want to unite content that is rooted in the authority of Scripture with a delivery tone that is gracious.  I invite you to join me.

More to come...

Ex nihilo,

R.J. Rhoden