Christianity Today published an article exploring the idea that Southern Baptists and Republicans share a much too close relationship. In fact, the title “For Southern Baptists and GOP, Breaking Up is Hard to Do,” sets the stage for various Southern Baptist leaders to express concern over the Protestant denomination’s chummy ties to the Grand Old Party.
In a comment made in 2008, then Southern Baptist Convention President Frank Page said,
“I have cautioned Baptists about being lockstep with any Party.”
More recently, leaders of Baptist21, an organization of younger Southern Baptist pastors with reformed leanings wrote,
“There continue to be perceptions in our culture that the SBC is in bed with the Republican Party,”
Is that such a bad thing? At least the Republican Party shows a bit of respect for God.
Several years ago, a friend and I discussed the Democrat Party. My buddy expressed frustration that many in his family continued to vote for Democrats. In attempting to sway his relatives he kindly explained,
“This Democrat party isn’t your Grandmother’s Democrat Party.”
A few decades ago, little difference existed between the parties in regards to moral issues. Even if both sides of the aisle failed to see eye to eye on issues of domestic and foreign policy, Republicans and Democrats honored God and Country.
Today, an ever widening rift exists between the two.
In 2012, people attending the Democratic National Convention booed to keep the mere mention of God and Israel out of the party’s platform. After the Supreme Court ruling on gay marriage, the President “painted” the colors of the rainbow on the White House with special lighting. This public display slapped both God and traditional marriage adherents in the face. Most recently, a pro-life organization posted videos of Planned Parenthood executives haggling over the prices of “fetal tissue” harvested from aborted babies. This atrocity should infuriate both parties. Instead, both Nancy Pelosi and Hillary Clinton, claim these video makers are launching a “concerted attack” on those championing women’s rights.
Do I claim Republicans always tow the straight and narrow? Absolutely not! However, at least most Republicans embrace life and traditional marriage, and for Christians these two moral issues should be attractive. In fact, if Christians support a candidate who supports abortion on demand and gay marriage, aren’t they being complicit in those abominations as well?
I’m not suggesting Pastors slap “Support Ted Cruz” bumper stickers on every members’ car. I understand the necessity of Pastors refraining from endorsing candidates from the pulpit. But the issues…the issues are another story.
During the last election cycle, a church member called asking me if I’d decided upon a Presidential Candidate. I explained I couldn’t recommend a specific candidate, but I shared that I based my decisions on the social issues. The economy means little if we abhor and ignore the moral standards of God.
Maybe Southern Baptists shouldn’t be in bed with the Republican Party, but maybe they should at least share the same house. After all, morals matter.