Dave Welch writes at WorldNetDaily:
I would like to take a point of personal privilege (to use parliamentary terms) and address the pastors of Houston, of Texas and of the nation on what happened last Saturday in our runoff election for mayor and several city council positions. . . . I will let the victor speak for herself on the nature of the outcome:
"This election has changed the world for the gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgendered community. . . . just as it is about transforming the lives of all Houstonians for the better."
So stated Annise Parker, lesbian mayor-elect of Houston, Texas, after 54 percent of the 16 percent of voters who cared enough to show up declared that her private moral life and radical agenda to redefine family was irrelevant. Eighty-four percent didn't care enough.
Here's part of the problem, as Welch sees it: "Liberals have mastered the art of building a farm team and winning by starting at the bottom and running to the top. Conservatives notoriously have the 'King Complex' that municipal districts, school boards and city councils are below us, and start at the top without either experience or political capital."
Do we see a "King Complex" among Christians? That this may be the case, to some degree, seems evident if we simply replace the word King with the word Celebrity.
If I were the Devil, I could think of few better strategies than to get Christians to put just about all of their eggs into a few celebrity baskets. A few big names, a few big organizations, with lots of well-meaning people sending in their checks because:
* Big Name so and so has access to the White House -- But maybe that explains why we heard little to nothing about the growth of un-Constitutional government, spending, etc., from the "spiritual" giant of the hour, during that President's administration. You see, that kind of Biblical critique on behalf of limited government might cut down on White House access and hurt a PR fundraising machine that really needs "I was talking with the President the other day . . ." Sometimes, it seems, "speaking truth to power" works best when directed toward targets of great fundraising opportunity.
* Big Name so and so is a great worldview thinker/writer -- But then, it turns out, he, she, or the machine is rather dependent upon ghostwriters, researchers, radio script writers, column writers -- "authoring" work that becomes "his" after the "name" inserts a few well-placed phrases into the text or simply asserts ownership of other people's ideas (You're On Staff!). In such a system it is often imperative to keep staff harried and busy -- and well-paid, if at all possible -- lest they begin to think about the deceptiveness of what they're doing and consider how the Lordship of Christ might apply even to methods of ministry.
* Big Name says, "It's not about me" -- This is the He's-So-Smart-and-Humble Factor, which as Karl Rove and Vince Flynn in one of his Mitch Rapp novels note means it precisely is about the person in question. The energy, the PR, the image, the fundraising, the website, the biography, the praise from others, etc., etc., in some organizations seem absolutely to be "all about" the Big Name. A name sometimes created through ghosted columns and books, etc., creating alliances aka fiefdoms to mutually support and guard eachothers' backs, and so on. But behind the scenes running over people who truly speak against a secularism that all too often has co-opted much of the good that many well-meaning regular people hope to accomplish.
These are just a few observations based on our experience before and during our time here in the Washington, D.C., area.
My hope: Help protect those who follow -- many of whom care deeply about worldview and political engagement -- from being fed into a religious machine. And maybe to save you 10 or 20 years of energy poured into an activism of questionable strategic and spiritual value, if verifiable Scripture is your guide and if you appreciate the centrality of applying the liberating Lordship of Christ across the whole of life, including political life and including one's methods of ministry in the midst of cultural engagement.
This seems key: Just as politics is downstream from culture, culture in general is downstream from Chrisitan culture in particular. And to the degree that Christian culture or ministry might be darkened by "aping the world" (as Francis Schaeffer so emphasized), to that degree we perhaps should not be surprised at the darkness around us. Perhaps we -- you and I and our methods of ministry -- are part of the darkness.
But if that is true, there is hope. We know where to begin in the humanity of truly loving our neighbor. We begin by looking in the mirror. If we can deal honestly with that, then maybe the culture and the politics will begin to line up as well.
That may seem like a long way to fix Houston, but it's the shortest route I know of.
Francis Schaeffer: A Student's Appreciation of a Distinctive Approach
Francis Schaeffer: "The Central Problem of Our Age"