Church punishments for public policy

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Sstavix
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Church punishments for public policy

Postby Sstavix » Fri Feb 23, 2018 1:35 pm

I thought there was a related thread about this somewhere, but I can't find it now. Which tells me that it is probably pretty old, and rather than become a thread necro, I'd start a new one.

Democrat Senator Dick Durbin will no longer receive Communion at his Catholic church - they're cutting him off. The reason why is because he failed to support a bill that would have banned abortions after 20 weeks. You can read more about it right here, if you'd like.

Frankly, I think more churches need to take steps like this. If a politician supports things or issues which run contrary to a church's stance, then that church should take the appropriate punitive measures, including excommunication. If we are going to become a moral society again, we need to have the church as our backbone - and that means churches need to step up and be strong moral examples, even if that isn't the popular approach. They should hold politicians and celebrities to task for their sins, just like they should with the average worshiper. (Of course, they should hold their own church leaders to an even higher standard, but that's a different topic.....)

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Re: Church punishments for public policy

Postby ArcticFox » Fri Feb 23, 2018 8:23 pm

I'm sort of divided on this. I feel the same way, but there's a problem...

One of the arguments used to oppose the election of John F. Kennedy to the Presidency was that he would become the first Catholic president. The concern was that the U.S. would be governed from Rome, and not Washington. The same arguments were brought up about Mitt Romney and his Mormon religion. Remember how the counter-argument was that the candidate's religion is irrelevant?

Well, is it irrelevant or not?

Durbin's votes don't represent just the Catholics in his state, or even just the Pro-Life voters. He represents the constituency that elected him... and since he's an elected Democrat senator, that means he was elected to represent he views of those voters. Such a politician shouldn't be in a position to have to weigh the intent of his constituents against *ANY* outside influence, whether it's another government, a corporation...

...or a Church.

Now, you can argue that if he wants to avoid a conflict of interest then he shouldn't run as a Democrat in the first place, and I would definitely agree with that... Because in the final analysis, he ran as a Democrat which means he ran with the intent to represent the views of those who support abortion, and THAT, in my opinion, was his sin.
"He who takes offense when no offense is intended is a fool, and he who takes offense when offense is intended is a greater fool."
—Brigham Young

"Don't take refuge in the false security of consensus."
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J.K. Riki
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Re: Church punishments for public policy

Postby J.K. Riki » Mon Feb 26, 2018 12:02 am

Interesting!

After giving it some thought, I'd say this falls into the category of Matthew 18:15-17.

15 “If your brother sins against you, go and tell him his fault, between you and him alone. If he listens to you, you have gained your brother. 16 But if he does not listen, take one or two others along with you, that every charge may be established by the evidence of two or three witnesses. 17 If he refuses to listen to them, tell it to the church. And if he refuses to listen even to the church, let him be to you as a Gentile and a tax collector.

I'm hopeful that his closest brothers followed this. That they went to him first alone, and then with one or two others, and then with his church. And I consistently hope that those things work, because when it comes to verse 17, I don't much LIKE verse 17. I don't want anyone to be cast out, or turned away, or treated as a proverbial tax collector. Of course, it isn't up to me. (And I'm grateful for that, because to be honest, more times I act like the disciples in Luke 9:54...)

In terms of handling the "Christian as a man, but not as a politician" or "representing your constituency" I think there is a beautiful and perfect solution for this: Act like a Christian in private and in public. Don't be two people, be one. Be the one you're supposed to be. Run on the platform of your values. If you don't get elected, that's not really your call, yeah? Your call is YOU. We are consistently called to personal responsibility, time and again. Sure, help the world, but always start with making sure YOU are doing what's right. And if you DO get elected, great. You never have to lie to your constituents. You ran on "I will act this way" and you act that way! And that may seem idealistic or even naive, but frankly I think "that's naive" is often used as an excuse not to do it. Shouldn't we, as Christians, be idealistic? We can be in the world, and understand how it works, but the moment we become of the world it all starts to fall to pieces.

My thoughts, anyway. If someone were to disagree, I doubt I'd fault them. If I myself disagreed years from now, looking back, it wouldn't surprise me. But that's where I'm at right now.

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Re: Church punishments for public policy

Postby ccgr » Mon Feb 26, 2018 1:25 am

Should churches punish politicians caught cheating on their wives too? I don't know how many would qualify for communion then ;)

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Re: Church punishments for public policy

Postby J.K. Riki » Mon Feb 26, 2018 2:52 pm

Should churches punish politicians caught cheating on their wives too? I don't know how many would qualify for communion then ;)
Only if they didn't repent and change, right? I mean, that's the story of the "who is without sin cast the first stone." A key lesson of that story is "now go and sin no more" which Jesus says to the adulteress at the end. So if the politician made a mistake and honestly repented, sure, allow them to return to the table. If they continue in sin, they haven't repented. They don't believe they were/are wrong, and we have to know we're wrong if we are to accept we need a savior.

But if it was more of a joke towards the political realm these days, then har har. :)


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