You’ve heard the complaint: Conservatives are only concerned about God and guns. As President Obama phrased, it, “guns and religion.” It may be in a way true. Conservatism is about protecting things of value. Conservatism protects liberty, including religious liberty. Conservatism protects the power to defend one’s self, family, and property. Conservatism is about personal liberty and freedom. Those things proceed from the principles set forth by Russell Kirk several decades ago as the things which drive the modern conservative movement.
But the question is: Is Christianity conservative or is conservatism a part of Christian thinking? There is a difference and it’s an important one. Are these things different entities which share some compatible traits — are they neighborhood children who play well together? Or is one the child of the other — is conservatism the child of Christianity? I’ve read and heard a lot of evangelicals who go with the latter, and that’s a problem.
Certainly Christianity and the current flavors of Marxism (postmodern theology, liberation theology, feminist theology, and progressivism) are incompatible. Oh, sure, they put on a good show. But theology has been sacrificed for political affinity. The new goal has little or nothing to do with the the redemption of mankind and creation and more to do with a new social gospel.
This ain’t your grandfather’s liberalism. The old progressive do-gooders would help people, would lift them up, would give them “a hand up, not a hand-out.” That’s not the case today. Today’s progressivism always results in a transfer of power, either political or moral to the highest levels of government. Health care and the definition of marriage are the most visible ones today.
But conservatism, that’s tougher. Classic conservatism was tied directly to theology. Think of it as the original progressive movement. It was linked to creating a better world and thus was tied closely to postmillennial theology. But at the same time it was different. It was a socio-politcal movement. It was not and never has been a theological movement or expression. A modern iteration of a protestant/evangelical political theology (or perhaps “theological politic” is a better term) didn’t come to fruition until Abraham Kuyper.
In a similar fashion Russell Kirk wrote of a politic and not of a theology. He appealed to theology but only as a necessary component for a sound politic.
David French can see what is happening. And he knows that the solution is the Great Commission. I would posit that as correct but incomplete. American (Western) Christianity has give up everything to the state. The most notable thing was education. We wonder why our children, even from evangelical homes and attending evangelical colleges, are going “postmodern” and adopting this new social gospel. It’s because they’ve been trained all their lives to a Marxist way of thinking. Even if is nuanced to a great degree so that the overt problems are not part of the conversation, it remains that the framework for thinking is in place. They think in a way consistent with the Marxists’ goals. That’s enough for their movement.
Take education back. Home schooling is only a start. Do more in Sunday School than color and cut out cute pictures. Form a consortium of churches to set up something meaningful.
And if you think those simple, basic suggestions are too much work then you have already surrendered. Winning requires one hundred percent commitment. Anything less is nothing more than a willingness to lose. Not to lose a battle. Not even to lose a nation, for the U.S. is really immaterial in the grand scheme of things. But to lose our part in the Kingdom of God.