Nope, not writing about politics today. OK, well, sort of. The labels "conservative Christian voters" and "evangelical Christian voters" and all that got me thinking today. I hear them all the time, because we do follow politics with some interest around here. And at least this year, they kind of grate on me, because though I call myself a Christian and I've gone to church with self-identifying evangelicals my entire life, I end up feeling that I have nothing in common with the labeled groups and so many of the associated stereotypes. And I don't really understand their voting patterns.
As for the other piece of the label, the "conservative" bit, I'm coming to appreciate others with that outlook more. Though I tend to be more curious and progressive these days, I'm realizing that we absolutely need people who say "Wait, do we really need to change that?" or "Wait, do we really need to get involved in that?" Whether it's political, economic, religious, or whatever. To my broadly stereotyping mind, conservatives (not necessarily political ones) say - let's mainly stick with how things are or were. Libertarians let everything flex. Liberals chase broader or newer ideas and maybe get in others' business in the process.
So what if a "conservative Christian" was just one that said "let's be more conservative in our definitions of God and Christianity and stick with the themes that God has let us in on."
God says His ways are not our ways and His thoughts are higher than our thoughts. Can I stick with that instead of fitting God into this specific salvation prayer or that exact 1/20/40/60/80 year life opportunity to get it all done? I must be getting it wrong the instant I think I have Him all figured out.
God says that He loves the whole world, and by grace we are saved. Can I stick to that and not have a crystal clear definition of if that person or people group is saved, or worthy, or loved? I must be getting it wrong the second I think I have anyone's eternal destiny all figured out, including my own.
I make no claim to studying the related theology, and very well might be getting it wrong myself, but this is a kind of conservative Christianity I'm drawn by these days.
What do you think?