THREAD: I recently wrote about how churches should not destroy unity or fellowship over political differences. The replies show that many American Evangelicals have no coherent understanding of how to relate the Bible to politics. Here's the original tweet:
Here are two Biblical MORAL norms: 1) It is a sin to worship idols or any God other than the true God & 2) do not murder. If you ask evangelicals if we should be forbidden by law to worship any other God than the God of the Bible—they’d say ‘no.’
We allow that terrible sin to be legal. But if you ask them if Americans should be forbidden by law to abort a baby, they'd say ‘yes.’ Now why make the first sin legal and NEVER talk about it and the second sin illegal and a main moral/political talking point?
At the very least, it shows a lack of knowing how to apply the Bible to politics. Since we can't simply say, "If the Bible says its sin it should be illegal"-how do we choose which morals to politically champion? Please don't say, "I just want to see the 10
...commandments made law in society." That's too simplistic and we don't do this already. The Bible tells us that idolatry, abortion, and ignoring the the poor are all grievous sins. But it doesn’t tell us exactly HOW we are to apply these norms to a pluralistic democracy.
We are to help the poor, but the Bible doesn't tell us which political strategy (high taxes and government services vs low taxes and private charity) to use. The Bible binds my conscience to love the immigrant-but it doesn't tell me HOW many legal immigrants to admit to the U.S.
...every year. I know abortion is a sin, but the Bible doesn’t tell me the best political policy to decrease or end abortion in this country, nor which political or legal policies are most effective to that end. The current political parties will say that their policy most
aligns morally with the Bible, but we are allowed to debate that and so our churches should not have disunity over debatable political differences! It is also why I have never publically or privately told Christians who they should vote for. I have also never told anyone they
should vote Democrat or Republican. Depending on the policy we can find more or less alignment with Biblical morals. I believe all Christians should be active in politics, but it is unwise to identify Christianity with any particular party. For more see:…
Sigh. People are focusing on the example (abortion is physical harm) and not the principle. You can do the same object lesson about gay marriage...why codify that moral in law and not others?

• • •

Missing some Tweet in this thread? You can try to force a refresh

Keep Current with Timothy Keller (1950-2023)

Timothy Keller (1950-2023) Profile picture

Stay in touch and get notified when new unrolls are available from this author!

Read all threads

This Thread may be Removed Anytime!


Twitter may remove this content at anytime! Save it as PDF for later use!

Try unrolling a thread yourself!

how to unroll video
  1. Follow @ThreadReaderApp to mention us!

  2. From a Twitter thread mention us with a keyword "unroll"
@threadreaderapp unroll

Practice here first or read more on our help page!

More from @timkellernyc

Apr 4
Last on Pandemic. In NYC early 2020 9.2% of every person who got Covid died, and 32% of all hospitalized with COVID died. The hospitals were overwhelmed. In Elmhurst body bags were in the street. NYCrs were not offended that year by restrictions and calls for vaccination.
In 2020 I had retired and didn't control the churches. COVID restrictions are not clear biblical mandates but rather prudential decisions to be made by a community using wisdom. NYC was an epicenter of sickness more than the rest of the nation.
We were all just trying to survive which is why there were not many divisions in NYC churches on COVID policies in 2020.
Read 4 tweets
Mar 15
THE DOCTRINE OF JUSTIFICATION 1) Are we justified—accepted by God—through the merit of our obedience to him (Legalism). No. 2) Are we justified freely by faith such that it doesn’t matter if we disobey him or not (Antinomianism). No. 3) Is the reality something in the middle,
..a combination, so we are justified through a combination of faith and obedience. (Semi- Pelagianism)? No. 4) We are justified by faith in
Christ’s obedience and work, apart from trust in any obedience of our own, but true saving faith always, necessarily produces a life of...
grateful, eager obedience. We are saved by faith alone
(not good works) but not by a faith that remains alone.
So many times in the Bible, we see the truth is not in the main alternative beliefs in the world, nor in a middle of the road compromise between them, but in a
Read 4 tweets
Feb 27
What do we do with the criticism we get on Twitter? A long thread:

1. The first response to criticism should never be instinctive rejection but to listen to see if we can learn from it. (Prov 12:15, 15:31-32) That’s what I try to do if and when I see it. /1
2. Far more often, however, internet criticism is not something we can learn from because it is either a) completely untrue or b) it is a genuine difference of opinion but expressed in the most vicious and cruel way, or c) it is strongly biased rather than fair-minded. /2
An example of the first kind of untrue criticism is- “Tim Keller segregated the unvaccinated from the vaccinated at Redeemer.” I left Redeemer June 30, 2017 so this is just untrue. Also, 4 of 5 Redeemer congregations meet in rented facilities, and their landlords set policies /3
Read 14 tweets
Feb 24
Thread: On Mocking. Most mocking the basic idea of ‘diagonalization’ or ‘fourth way’ have not read the book or taken the time to engage. Mocking only plays to the prejudices of the crowd and reveals the lack of seriousness of the critique.
It's true, some ideas and people deserve to be scoffed at or mocked. It is not a sin to do so—even God
sometimes mocks (Ps 2:4). But to mock regularly, as a pattern of life, is to ‘sit in the seat’ of
mockers (Ps 1:1). By playing to the prejudices of the crowd, by belittling /2
...and demonizing the opposition one does not have to do the hard work of coming up with actual counter arguments. It tries to win with eye-rolls, dismissive sighs, clever jokes, and arched eyebrows. Contrast this posture with Jesus. Even when making his strongest critique of /3
Read 5 tweets
Feb 16
Thread: Secular Progressives market their view of sex and gender as an objective and universal truth that all people must adopt. They will not admit that it is instead an ideological construal based on a highly western and individualistic account of human nature. /1
While I listen respectfully to my Hindu neighbors about their beliefs, I do not need to embrace those beliefs in order to love, befriend, and respect them personally, and they don’t require that either, nor does our culture. /2
So while I listen respectfully to my gay neighbors about their beliefs, I do not need to embrace their views of human nature, moral values, authentic selfhood, and sexual ethics to love, befriend, and respect them personally either. Why does our secular culture say we have to? /3
Read 4 tweets
Feb 13
Thread: I agree western culture is moving from a ‘positive’ view of Christianity to a ‘neutral’ to a ‘negative world’ stance against Christianity. This is not a new thought. The first thinker I know who addressed this was Abraham Kuyper over 100 years ago. /1
Lesslie Newbigin also wrote extensively about this change. The idea is-we are moving from a “Christendom” culture (positive world) to a liberal but still Christ-haunted culture (neutral world) to a very secular, hostile one (negative world). /2
But it is a significant mistake to think that this shift happens all through western culture at the same time. Europe has been in the ‘negative’ world for generations. Different parts of N. America have gone through it at different times. In the mid-to-late 1980s I moved from /3
Read 9 tweets

Did Thread Reader help you today?

Support us! We are indie developers!

This site is made by just two indie developers on a laptop doing marketing, support and development! Read more about the story.

Become a Premium Member ($3/month or $30/year) and get exclusive features!

Become Premium

Don't want to be a Premium member but still want to support us?

Make a small donation by buying us coffee ($5) or help with server cost ($10)

Donate via Paypal

Or Donate anonymously using crypto!


0xfe58350B80634f60Fa6Dc149a72b4DFbc17D341E copy


3ATGMxNzCUFzxpMCHL5sWSt4DVtS8UqXpi copy

Thank you for your support!

Follow Us on Twitter!