Tim Keller–The Signs of Political Idolatry

One of the signs that an object is functioning as an idol is that fear becomes one of the chief characteristics of life. When we center our lives on the idol, we become dependent on it. If our counterfeit god is threatened in any way, our response is complete panic. We do not say, ”˜What a shame, how difficult,’ but rather ”˜This is the end! There’s no hope!’

This may be a reason why so many people now respond to U.S. political trends in such an extreme way. When either party wins an election, a certain percentage of the losing side talks openly about leaving the country. They become agitated and fearful for the future. They have put the kind of hope in their political leaders and policies that once was reserved for God and the work of the gospel. When their political leaders are out of power, they experience a death. They believe that if their policies and people are not in power, everything will fall apart. They refuse to admit how much agreement they actually have with the other party, and instead focus on the points of disagreement. The points of contention overshadow everything else, and a poisonous environment is created.

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Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, Ethics / Moral Theology, Pastoral Theology, Philosophy, Politics in General, Religion & Culture, Theology, US Presidential Election 2012

One comment on “Tim Keller–The Signs of Political Idolatry

  1. AnglicanFirst says:

    I am an an Independent and not a member of any political party and I disagree with Tim Keller.

    There are serious new doctrinal and new ideological issues separating the Democratic and Republican parties.

    Forty years ago, one party could win an election and the other party did not feel disenfranchised. The House majority leader and the House minority leader sat down and shared meals with each other.

    Today, victory means ‘victor takes all.’

    There is no meeting in the middle. There is no reconcilaition.

    And this is not due to political idolatry on the part of the Republicans as much as it is a resistance to unnecessary and unConstitutional behavior and change on the part of the Democratic leadership as perceived by the Republicans.

    I am not saying that the Republicans don’t have their own house to put in order, but it does seem that they believe that the Democrats are trying to impose permanent and radical change on the country on the basis of a majority of several percentage points.

    Which means that in the eyes of the Republicans, who stand for a Constitutional republic, that the Democrats are imposing simplistic populous majority rule on the country.