While the conservative church may seem for the moment to be winning the political battle, it may be doing so at a terrible cost. According to Barna, a lot of people in the general population regard certain behaviors as "morally acceptable." These include gambling (61 percent), co-habitation (60 percent), sexual fantasies (59 percent), having an abortion (45 percent), adultery (42 percent), pornography (38 percent), profanity (36 percent), drunkenness (35 percent) and homosexual sex (30 percent).
While these behaviors were least acceptable among evangelical Christians, more than one of out 10 people in other faith groups, including non-evangelical Christians, found these behaviors to be morally acceptable.
How can government join together what too many in the church are putting asunder?
In the Book of Revelation, there is more than apocalyptic prophecy concerning the end of the age. There is also a critique by Jesus of the churches. Of one he charges, "You have left your first love," meaning Himself.
That is an indictment that can be handed down to many in the contemporary evangelical church. Focusing too much on politics, they are neglecting their "first love." Or as a writer once put it about the early church fathers: "Aiming for Heaven, they got earth 'thrown in.' Aiming for earth, they got neither."
It isn't that the born again should absent themselves from politics and government. It is that these temporal institutions cannot solve the nation's problems or the problems in too many of their own homes. As the president's mother has said, "Your success as a family, our success as a society, depends not on what happens in the White House, but on what happens inside your house."
In the ranking of government and family, where do evangelicals think God would place His priority?
Cal Thomas is co-author (with Bob Beckel) of the book, "Common Ground: How to Stop the Partisan War That is Destroying America".
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