(Note: I’m not a fan of either of these presidential candidates — nor any of them, for that matter. So I’m not interested in a political discussion. The political realm just happens to be where this example lies.)

In Monday night’s Democratic debate, Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama got testy with each other. There was one exchange though, that gave me a serious case of déjà vu:

Obama: I was helping unemployed workers on the streets of Chicago when you were a corporate lawyer sitting on the board at Wal-Mart.

Clinton: I was fighting against misguided Republican policies when you were practicing law and representing your contributor … in his slum landlord business in inner city Chicago.

See the difference? Obama claimed to be working with actual people. Conversely, for Clinton, the important thing was to be anti-Republican, (apparently, the highest calling that any human being can aspire to).

Then I got a flashback.

A bit over a year ago, I wrote an email to one of the group-written incarnations of Slice asking why my comments kept getting un-approved, despite the fact that they were civil and not particularly strident. I contrasted my comments to stuff like:

RICK WARREN IS NOT A CHRISTIAN!

– and –

Houston will be a desert before I accept a liar, a slanderer, a self-promoting name-dropper, and a blasphemer of the Holy Spirit as a brother in Christ. (regarding Warren)

I marveled that such anti-Biblical skubala was permitted on a site on which comments were carefully screened.

Put down your coffee before you read the next sentence. I don’t want to be responsible for the spit-take all over your computer screen.

The response that I received was that comments at Slice were not carefully screened. Rather, the only comments that were disallowed were apologists for the emerging church and Rick Warren, and comments that were truly malicious.

Since my actual point was totally ignored (the anti-Biblical nature of some comments), I re-iterated it again. The response that I got this time stated that even guessing who is saved is unbiblical.

I responded that I was glad that this was her stance, pointed out that this was not the stance of all the writers at Slice, and then asked the following:

Does this mean that you place a higher priority on being anti-emergent and anti-Warren than on being pro-Biblical?

“Surprisingly”, I didn’t receive a response to that note.

Sure, being pro-Biblical will inherently mean that we’ll be “anti” some stuff. But the latter follows the former. Talk about getting the cart before the dead horse that you’ve been beating.

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This entry was posted on Tuesday, January 22nd, 2008 at 8:27 am and is filed under Church and Society, Commenting, ODM Policies, Politics, What Can You Say?. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Both comments and pings are currently closed.
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3 Comments(+Add)

1   Paul C    http://www.themidnightcry.com
January 22nd, 2008 at 1:52 pm

Actually I thought the better analogy would be that of the role of John Edwards in the debate. While Hillary (ODMs) and Obama (sites like this) were sniping at each other, he stepped in and said:

“Between all the allegations for Hillary serving on the Wal-Mart board, and Sen. Obama working for a slumlord, I was proud to represent the grown-up wing of the Democratic Party last night,” Edwards told supporters during a rally Tuesday in Conway, South Carolina.

“All those kind of personal attacks going on, it doesn’t do a thing to get somebody health care that doesn’t have health care, it doesn’t do a thing to get kids the kind of education that they need. We have work to do in this country.”

Fill in health care with whatever you like…

The point is that if Jesus were to return today, he would most probably (like He did 2000 yrs ago) stand “outside the camp” so to speak of the various religious groups and wings of present-day Christianity. Countless hours are spent all over the blogosphere in attacks on both sides. But I would wager that there are simple people who love God and serve Christ in their corner of the world unaffected by all of this.

I would venture that the reason many people have recently withdrawn from the debate is because of the fruitlessness of it all.

Like Edwards mentioned (and no, I don’t support him either), while other this is happening lots is being missed.

2   Neil    
January 22nd, 2008 at 4:41 pm

Paul,

These are some of the very issues I. and some others here, wrestle with. Part of the solution was the implementation of our “In Tone and Character” section under “How We Seek to be Different.”

But you’re right, it is easy to allow it s suck up a lot of time.

Neil

3   Brendt    http://csaproductions.com/blog/
January 23rd, 2008 at 7:04 am

Paul, well said.

Who’d have ever thought there’d be a positive spiritual lesson to learn from Edwards? Talk about truth in unexpected places. ;-)