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IN THEORY:Of lesser evils and greater goods

October 28, 2006

President George W. Bush's political advisors publicly embraced evangelical supporters while privately calling them "nuts" and using their votes to help win elections, according to a new book from David Kuo, the former No. 2 official in the administration's faith-based initiatives program. Kuo assails political advisor Karl Rove's political staff for using the faith-based initiatives idea for political gain. And the book criticizes Bush for failing to live up to the promise of the faith-based initiative, which aimed to use public funding to boost the role of religious organizations in delivering social services. What do you think of this news? Does it shake your faith in the initiative or politicians' administration of it?

The Apostle Paul wrote that some leaders "preach Christ out of selfish ambition, not sincerely … But what does it matter? The important thing is that in every way, whether from false motives or true, Christ is preached" (Philippians 1:17-18).

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There doesn't seem to be any doubt that President George W. Bush affirms Christ as his own Savior and most influential role model. He said as much on national TV, and he didn't seem to be too concerned about having himself thrown in with the rest of us evangelical "nuts."

It does feel like a big splash of cold water has been tossed on the faith community, but then politics is not our salvation, only God. We probably should expect disappointments like this, as there is most certainly sin in both political camps.

When evangelicals weigh the options come voting season, we look through the filter of divine revelation. If legislation can save the lives of innocents at the expense of society's choice of promiscuous abandon, it's a no-brainer.

If perversion is not only protected but promoted to the obvious detriment of society and shame to God, we're going to vote with those who oppose such interests; and if Christian expression is specifically un-tolerated for the sake of popular, favored-interest toleration, evangelicals will seek to support those who defend our religious presence, contributions and freedoms.

In a fallen world, sometimes there is only the choice between lesser evils. Occasionally we're surprised by greater goods. We can't know the hearts of those who say they are allies, we can only pray (and vote) for whoever is most apparently active on our side, whether from false motives or true.

THE REV. BRYAN GRIEM

Senior Pastor

MontroseCommunity

Church.org

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