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October 18, 2006

Comments

Steve, that's a great point. It's nearly impossible for people who don't believe in God to understand that Christians aren't pushing their own moral standards on other people but just communicating God's. What does God have to do with anything, they might think. All they see is you trying to tell them what to do.

In New York, I always buy a prepaid subway card--unlimited rides for a month. People sometimes come up and ask me to swipe them through the turnstile. After all, it doesn't cost me anything and saves them two bucks. If I tell them that I won't because it's against the law, I'm not creating and imposing my own law on them. What the law says is just a fact. They're feeling judged by the law, which will judge them--if they ever get caught! There is an implicit sort of personal judging, though, in that I'm abiding by the law and they (correctly) infer that I think they should too.

If people feel judged by a moral standard now when we just communicate it, it means that they're really judging themselves. That's good because it means that they'll later be judged by God, and better to find out now than later--it should drive them to the cross. If we keep the focus on the objective reality of God as righteous lawgiver and the love and righteousness of God shown in the gospel, hopefully we can take the focus off ourselves.

""Did I really do anything more than clarify my understanding of the truth about morality?"

Yes, as a matter of fact you did, you attempted to limit my freedom by legislating your moral principles without demonstrating a compelling state interest.

Alan, thanks for illustrating the point. Could you specify how the writer "attempted to limit your freedom"?

Conviction and Conscious come to mind when understanding what is right and wrong...Although I do believe that is where our Lord does His work in each one of us. The truth does not always feel right by our standards as mere humans...We would all like to do what feels true to us...Believers this is not God's ways...His way are true and right and that is why we bow our knees to Him knowing all along only His ways lead to true FREEDOM...So there you go-that is what is at stake our interest in doing what is right in God's eyes--now that is compelling...

Alan, you'll notice that the context of Steve's conversation seems to be a one-on-one discussion with someone regarding a moral principle, not a legislative issue.

Be careful: your record's skipping.

Robert, I get the impression that Christian conservatives and Christianists see objections to their beliefs as being directed at their principles per se while most of the problems come with your willingness to use the power of the state to enforce those principles.

For example, on one of this blog's favorite topics - gay marriage - I'm sure most gays don't care what you want to believe personally, it is your willingness to sponsor legislation on the topic. In like vein, those of us with no dog in that fight, have serious problems with your sides tendency to elevate second and third tier (or no tier) issues to litmus test levels and hence wind up voting for some real bad actors.

Alan, I get the impression that liberals and radicals see objections to their beliefs as being directed at their principles per se while most of the problems come with your willingness to use the power of the state to enforce those principles.

See how it works both ways? That's the political process, my friend. We have principles and ideals and yes, we believe they are better than alternatives. Certain of those principles we seek legislation on. So what? They wouldn't pass if others did not feel the same. Maybe the country *actually IS* more conservative socially than you want it to be. I appreciate the fact that you put up counter examples and other view points. But right now your point of view is simply the minority. If/ when your people gain power in November, you'll do the same thing.

And while I understand why you believe that these are 2nd or 3rd tier issues, these are some of the issues that are out there right now. And it could certainly, and more coherantly, be argued that same-sex couples actually made a 3rd tier (or no tier) issue front and center because it was important to them. Now, social conservatives are reacting to it. What would you have had sc's do? Even if you disagree with our position, wouldn't it be wrong for us not to advocate for our point of view since the other side would do the same? Or should those with opinions that you personally deem as "lower tier" just shut up and be quiet?

And stop using this "Christianist" label. It's wrong and insulting. There is not a single reputable evangelical out there who wants to turn this into a "Christian Nation". I know of no Christian who is looking to remove the religious rights/ rites of others and make everyone go to church on Sundays.

And stop using this "Christianist" label. It's wrong and insulting. There is not a single reputable evangelical out there who wants to turn this into a "Christian Nation". I know of no Christian who is looking to remove the religious rights/ rites of others and make everyone go to church on Sundays.

I actually would contend that many Christians in this country, feel, not only that their principles are under attack, but also that they are personally under attack or would be personally attacked when they stand for their principles. Reading the Christian press you can find many incidents where someone is challenging Christianity in the public square. For example a high school senior's right to express Christian faith in speeches to assemblies. Christians have been intimidated at work or even lost their jobs for speaking of the biblical view of homosexuality.

If you look at the international situation there is tremendous persecution of Christians in other countries.

Many Christians now are objecting to the use of the power of the courts to override long established law concerning marriage, as was done with abortion. It is homosexual activists that are trying to sponsor legislation to change existing marriage law.

Alan has this backwards in my opinion.

I also am reserving the right to determine my own first, second and third tier issues as I feel that Christ would have me do. The standard is not what I want but those values given us from God through the Scriptures.

Alan, why do you suddenly bring up the issue of legislation? With all due respect, that's now what this blog posting is about. It's about addressing moral issues; the question of legislation is another matter altogether.

I noticed that you complained about Christians elevating "second and third tier (or no tier)issues." Wouldn't the issue of legislation belong in that category?

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