Christians and the freedom of conscience in politics. The Bible binds my conscience to care for the poor, but it does not tell me the best practical way to do it. Any particular strategy (high taxes and government services vs low taxes and private charity) may be good and wise...
...and may even be somewhat inferred from other things the Bible teaches, but they are not directly commanded and therefore we cannot insist that all Christians, as a matter of conscience, follow one or the other. The Bible binds my conscience to love the immigrant-but it doesnt
tell me how many legal immigrants to admit to the U.S. every year. It does not exactly prescribe immigration policy. The current political parties offer a potpourri of different positions on these and many other topics, most of which, as just noted-the Bible does not speak...3/5
...to directly. This means when it comes to taking political positions, voting, determining alliances and political involvement, the Christian has liberty of conscience. Christians cannot say to other Christians “no Christian can vote for…” or “every Christian must vote for…4/5
...unless you can find a Biblical command to that effect. 5/5

(From the Endnotes of the upcoming last article on Justice--coming out soon).
Some folks are missing the point of this thread. The Bible tells me that abortion is a sin and great evil, but it doesn’t tell me the best way to decrease or end abortion in this country, nor which policies are most effective.
For a longer treatment. nytimes.com/2018/09/29/opi…

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More from @timkellernyc

13 Sep
The Early Church Christian social project was a unique kind of human community that defied categories. It had at least five elements:

*Multi-racial and multi-ethnic
*Highly committed to caring for the poor and marginalized
*Non-retaliatory, marked by a commitment to forgiveness
*Strongly and practically against abortion and infanticide
*Revolutionary regarding the ethics of sex

Each of the five elements was there because Christians sought to submit to biblical authority. They are all commanded. They are just as category-defying and both offensive...2/4
...and attractive today. The first two views (ethnic diversity and caring for the poor) sound “liberal,” and the last two (abortion and sexual ethics) sound “conservative.” But the third element, of course, sounds like no particular party. 3/4
Read 4 tweets
3 Sep
Some thoughts on how we do internet interactions:

Archibald Alexander, first professor at Princeton Seminary: “Attribute to an antagonist no opinion he does not own, though it be a necessary consequence.” (quoted in David Calhoun, Princeton Seminary, vol I, p.92).
In other words, even if you believe that someone’s belief X could or will lead others who hold that position to belief Y, do not accuse them of holding to belief Y themselves if they disown it.
You may consider them inconsistent—and say so--but it is one thing to say that and another thing to tar them with belief Y by implying or insisting that they actually hold it when they do not.
Read 5 tweets
28 Aug
Dear Praying Friends, Kathy & I want to thank you for your many expressions of support, and for your faithfulness in praying for us. We have been acutely aware of those prayers, and God has heard them-As of yesterday, I have finished six rounds of chemo for pancreatic cancer 1/5
...and, while there are indeed some side effects, my doctor says I’m tolerating the treatment very well. I have not been seriously debilitated and I can still do some work and ministry. 2/5
Yesterday we also met with my oncologist to go over the scans taken on Monday to assess the effectiveness of the chemotherapy. The report is very encouraging. There has been shrinkage of the tumors and so we are continuing the chemo in order to diminish the cancer further. 3/5
Read 5 tweets
20 Aug
@worldviewconvos I don’t believe in zero-sum economics or redistributive economics. Those are secular abstractions that understand obligation only in secular terms. I believe, like John Calvin, that when you see your neighbor in need and you have more goods than they...1
@worldviewconvos ...you have some obligation to give to them because of your relationship to God and to others as fellow image-bearers. Calvin says “Each [Christian] will so consider himself…a debtor to his neighbors that… he ought in exercising kindness toward them to set no other limit...2
@worldviewconvos ...than the end of his resources.” (Institutes, II.8.7). Why? Calvin says: “Say [about the neighbor] that you owe nothing for any service of his; but God, as it were, has put him in his own place in order that you may recognize toward him the many and great benefits which God...3
Read 6 tweets
19 Dec 18
Re: how to treat historical figures who supported slavery (GWhitefield & his self-examination questions). 1st-dont overly lionize any figure from the past. Whitefield had terrible weaknesses but he also did many things that changed history & we should learn what we can from him.
A good book comes from Bruce Hindmarsh who explores GW’s spirituality
in The Spirit of Early Evangelicalism. Second, therefore be selective. If they are deadly wrong about one thing, does it mean they are wrong about everything & can never be quoted? No-Think David & the Psalms.
Third, remember the complications of context. Whitefield, a student at the time,
basically got the diary Qs from JWesley, who later taught slavery was a sin. Must we still not cite them because Whitefield, who years later supported slavery, used them? Again, No.
Read 5 tweets
15 Dec 18
George Whitefield’s Diary:
Questions used to evaluate himself every day (assigning a rating from 1 to 9)
Have I –
1.Been fervent [had warmth of feeling] in private prayer?
2. Used stated hours of prayer [morning, noon, and evening]?
3. Used [spontaneous prayer to God] every hour?
4. After or before every deliberate conversation or action, considered how it might tend to God’s glory?
5. After any pleasure, immediately given thanks [to God]?
6.Planned business for the day?
7.Been simple [avoided luxury and ostentation] and recollected [stayed aware of God’s presence] in everything?
8.Been zealous in undertaking and active in doing what good I could?
9.Been [humble], cheerful, affable in everything I said or did?
Read 5 tweets

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