Leeann Tweeden is the former host of a Fox Sports Network show, but she also talks politics with the likes of Sean Hannety. Her latest gig? Posing nude for Playboy. According to Leeann, “I’m secure in who I am now. I’ve always been a goody-two-shoes girl, but I’m making a choice to shake things up.” Tweeden describes herself as “fiscally conservative and socially liberal.”
This illustrates one of the problems many evangelical Christians have in dealing with politics. The struggle is that we share some of the same goals with non-Christian conservatives, and we want to support people who share our goals. The problem is that even in the places where we share the same goals, we don’t share the same motivations. And, in places where we differ, we don’t share the same goals or motivations.
For instance, Ms. Tweeden considers herself a fiscal conservative. Most evangelical Christians probably also consider themselves fiscal conservatives. For non-Christian conservatives, the motivation is merely to maintain order in society so that personal prosperity can be maximized. As for Christians, we also want order in society, but not for selfish reasons. Of course we enjoy the opportunity to maximize personal prosperity, but not for selfish reasons. God desires order to make it easier to accomplish his purposes, and Christians share that motivation.
But what about social values? Leeann considers herself a social liberal. What does this mean? It means that she is not interested in living out biblical moral values. In addition to the opportunity for personal prosperity, she also wishes to maximize personal pleasure on her terms.
Political conservatism does not equal Christian, and the reason has less to do with the goals as with the motivations. As Christians, we cannot sacrifice our desire to put God first for political expediency.
Sadly, no political candidate is ever going to perfectly express our Christian values and motivations. But we can advocate for our values and motivations as we seek to select the politicians who come closest to our Christian ideals. And these ideals must be placed above individual candidates.
God’s ultimate purpose is that everyone know him in a personal relationship. There are political policies which either make that easier or harder. And to the best of our ability we need to support the candidates who will create policies which make that task easier. But we must never confuse the person for the values and motivations. God’s purposes must always be the bottom line.