War, Peace, and Evangelicals

August 07, 2007

The Associated Baptist Press has a three-part series on issues of war and peace. The first piece is entitled "Did evangelicals' support for Iraq invasion damage credibility?" Here are a couple of highlights from it:

"I think [conservative evangelicals] abdicated or relinquished their prophetic role from the beginning" of President Bush's administration, said Adam Taylor, senior political director for Sojourners/Call to Renewal, a progressive evangelical group that opposed the war from the start.

... But, with a sizable number of Americans now saying the war was a mistake for America, Sojourners' Taylor said the fact that some of the evangelical community's most prominent leaders seemed to endorse Bush's agenda wholeheartedly makes the war a mistake for evangelicalism itself.

"In terms of the credibility of the evangelical voice and community, certainly it's had an impact," he said.

Evangelicalism has "become something of an appendage of the Republican Party" to many non-evangelical Americans, Taylor said.

"Even if we may disagree on how those Christian values should be applied to public-policy issues, we think we could agree ... on the importance of maintaining your prophetic integrity. And having an uncritical view of the war really compromised that prophetic integrity."
Taylor makes some excellent points for us to consider. We must make sure that our partisan involvement does not impede our evangelical witness. The other articles in the series are also worth reading:

Baptists' opinions have shifted from predecessors
Churches keep peace by focusing on troops, not on war

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