It’s stupid to even entertain the question. But every time I see it posed, it isn’t for getting people to focus on issues instead of remaining blind devotees to political parties. Intentional or not, it often serves as a way to distract people from important issues that do deserve our attention. “How can we come together as a nation instead of remaining so divided?” The unspoken fallacy occurs when it is stated that Jesus was neither a democrat or a republican. Are we really suppose to believe he wouldn’t have had a view on abortion, embryonic stem cell research, or gay marriage? When the highest moral value of a culture is unity at the expense of principle, there is no real unity and we can wonder if principles ever existed in the first place.
So when people in the pews hear their church leaders espouse this same ideal, that we should be cautious about political partisanship (generously stated), I’m not convinced the people are sophisticated enough to know that they aren’t being (or shouldn’t be) told to abandon positions on issues that are thought out and held up against the light of scripture. I know that many in the church are ill-equipped to think theologically about their personal lives, let alone matters that face our entire culture. So I have to wonder if this lack of distinction between public issues and politics in general even matters if the church is unable to think theologically, if its members are just starting to develop a Christian worldview.
Could the above reflections have any relationship to the fact that of the millions of evangelicals in the U.S., less than of us 200,000 have signed on to the Manhattan Declaration? And many of the signers are likely Roman Catholic.