Last March, the conversation on Ur heated up when Greg Boyd posted excerpts from his book The Myth of a Christian Nation (Zondervan, 2006). Boyd believes the mission of the gospel is jeopardized when we confuse God's mission with our nation's mission. Wading into the turbulent political waters this time is Wes Haddaway, pastor of evangelism at Harmony Bible Church in Danville, Iowa. Haddaway sees an urgent need to create Christian communities that transcend the Blue State/Red State divide.
Two years ago our church was growing at the rate of about a hundred people per year and we were all very excited about what God was doing. As the pastor responsible for evangelism and assimilation, I had a unique perspective. One night after visiting a family that was new to our church, it occurred to me that no matter what walk of life a person came from to our church, there was one thing that I could be sure of; they had all watched the O'Reilly Factor on Fox News within the last week. They all voted for the same candidates and had conservative social views.
This bothered me because while I was very excited about what God was doing at our church, it was puzzling to me as to why God would do this. "Why would God build the church of people who all thought the same?" The fact is that there are a lot of people in our community that will never come to our church, and it isn't because of Jesus - it's because of us. Somehow we've mixed politics, ideology, and our vision for our country, with who we are as Christians. This is a barrier that causes many people who are not Christians to not even want to be around us.
How can we be a church that allows people to have their politics and ideology, but also welcomes people from other viewpoints to be ...