“You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden. Nor do people light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a stand, and it gives light to all in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven.” –John 5:14-16 (ESV)
I was updating my Facebook profile recently and came to a question asking about my “political views.” Without much thought, I immediately typed in the word “conservative” and moved on. Later that day, however, I began thinking about how public perception of the “conservative” designation has changed over the years. It is quite amazing that a word once associated with religious affiliation and faith-based conviction is now tied to perceptions of hypocrisy, self-righteousness, hate, and bigotry.
In the wake of President Trump’s victory in 2016, it was not uncommon to see the words “conservative evangelical” in media headlines across our nation. And for many years, I would have boldly and unashamedly accepted that designation as an accurate descriptor of my beliefs. However, as I mentioned, things have drastically changed, which has prompted me to be weary of any label that distracts from or mischaracterizes the mission of the Christian Church.
Let me begin by saying that much like the word “evangelical,” I believe the word “conservative” has become a misnomer, and not merely because of its association with hate and bigotry, which the vast majority of all conservatives absolutely loathe. I believe the semantics alone are reason for concern, particularly when it comes to our mission as Christians. In his book, The Church at the End of the 20th Century, the great Dr. Francis Schaeffer wrote, “One of the greatest injustices we do to our young people is to ask them to be conservative. Christianity today is not conservative, but revolutionary.”
Friends – we are living in a day and age where Christianity is anything but conservative. In reality, it is both radical and revolutionary, which is consistent with the actions and experiences of the early church and Jesus’ own earthy ministry. Sure, there was a time in our nation when Christians conservatism was slightly more popular, but I think we can all agree that time has passed. As Dr. Schaeffer further expounds, “To be conservative today is to miss the whole point, for conservatism means standing in the flow of the status quo, and the status quo no longer belongs to us.”
I do not quote Senator Bernie Sanders often, but the truth is, “We need a revolution!” However, unlike Senator Sanders, I am not just talking about the need for political reform – I’m talking about the need for spiritual revival. As the Church, our calling was never to be a “Moral Majority” – but, rather, to be a faithful and missional minority. This is not to say that we should abandon our moral, biblical values. We must, however, recognize the fact that they are no longer in line with mainstream American culture, which means that if we want to preserve any remnant of God-honoring values in our culture, we must engage! In Dr. Schaefer’s words, we need to be revolutionaries!
Family Policy Alliance of New Mexico exists to revolutionize our state for God’s glory and our good, and with your continued prayers and support, I believe we can live to witness dramatic change in the “Land of Enchantment.” Until such time, thank you for joining us on our mission to make our vision a reality – a New Mexico where God is honored, religious freedom flourishes, families thrive, and life is cherished!
President and Executive Director