EVEN though I am commenting on an article in The Australian I hope you will consider publishing my letter as it is a really hot theme for our day.
As an open-minded “evangelical Christian”, I have a lot of sympathy with the complaint by Ross Fitzgerald (The Australian, 28/12/09) that religion is making too much inroad into Australian politics and society.
Let me try and explain my understanding of the phrase “evangelical Christian”.
I believe in Jesus Christ, not only as the Son of God, but, note, The Word of God (not the Bible – we judge the Bible by Jesus, not Jesus by the Bible).
However, the Bible does contain the Word of God, as does life’s experiences.
I believe in personal salvation where we accept the reality of evil, and that Christ died for our sins, and God raised him from the dead, as a guarantee of life after death to all who believe.
I believe that God is a relationship to be enjoyed, not an endless argument that only concentrates on the head, and ignores the heart.
However, like the late Ted Noffs, I am a rebel within the Church.
I strongly resent the hidden but accepted view of many of the names mentioned in the article by Ross Fitzgerald, that, as an evangelical, I should automatically support right-wing politics.
The big mistake they make is that they believe they can somehow force their morality on everyone else, and influencing politics is the way to do it.
However, their morality views are so narrow, and they have not caught up with the movement in America, where Christian leaders like Jim Wallis and Rick Warren have broadened the agenda, hence the election of Barack Obama – at least Kevin Rudd has a good grasp of what Wallis and Warren are all about – the “social Gospel”.
I reject right-wing politics, as an evangelical Christian, because I believe it encourages greed, selfishness and the gross imbalance of the economic system we live under.
This does not mean those on the left are any better – the history of Communist governments shows otherwise. Somewhere, there in the middle, as Mal-colm Turnbull was showing us, is a way forward that will lead us closer to what could be called “God’s good Government” (Jesus called it the Kingdom of God).
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