Sunday, October 21, 2012


I recently spent an evening reviewing The Teavangelicals by David Brady (Zondervan, Grand Rapids, 2012). I wanted a better understanding of this political phenomenon. Is it a healthy correction to unbalanced thinking, as some suggest, or is it an abberation to be avoided?

I quickly discovered the author, David Brady, is a converted Jew in the thralls of his new discoveries of a newly found faith as an evangelical Christian. Assuming that “Tea” Party was a reference to the Boston Tea Party, I quickly discovered it means

Already ___
an acrostic spelling TEA.

Brady offers five principles by which he proposes to identify the Tea Party:

1. Reclaim our Judaio-Christian heritage, which he linked to limited constitutional government. We have a Judaio-Christian heritage in this country. This has been well documented. It cannot be said, however, that we have “lost” our heritage because we maintain a more secularized government today (civil (neutral) government as opposed to a theocratic (church-state) government). I wonder: would he allow the Bible to be our Constitution? How would that work for non-Christians?

David Brady, like John Calvin, would prefer that we re-establish church-state relations rather than maintain our current separation “of” (not from) church and state. Under John Calvin, Michael Servetus was burned at the stake as a non-trinitarian and under David Brady the state would be allowed to make decisions for individual citizens that should be left to the citizen (E.G.: abortion and homosexuality).

2. Smaller government. Most of us agree that only as much government as is necessary to fulfill the needed tasks should be put into place. However, I find little in Scripture and the teachings of Jesus to support larger or smaller government. Jesus did say to give Caesar that which was his and give to God that which is His, which is about as basic as one can get.

3. Fiscal responsibility seems to be in order for all times. Honesty and integrity are matters of faith and without them we have no character. While I support fiscal responsibility as a matter of political responsibility, I find no set principles in the Bible that would establish fiscal responsibility as a political position.

4. Oppose tax increases. I once hated taxes, but like traffic laws, taxes are necessary. The current opposition to taxes is based on the biases of certain people and has little or nothing to do with bible-based faith. Do I mind being taxed to help provide a safety net for those needing it? NO! The system needs reforming, but by all of us sharing together we are able to do things most of us could not do otherwise.

Do I mind being taxed for something in which I do not believe? Yes I do mind, and you say your tax money should not be spent for abortions with which you disagree. I say I should not be taxed just so our government can spend more on military causes than the next 17-20 nations of the world spend in total.

5. Restore free market. Where in Scripture do you find your basis for establishment of a free market or any other kind of market? Free market allows for entrepreneurial ship and calls for private ownership, but nowhere does Scripture negate the cooperativeness needed to bring a diverse culture together.

On the other hand, a strong case could be made against several facets of the current libertarian “free market” politics, which are atheistic at the core. David Brady would strongly criticize a government that restrains “free market” through regulations that demand clean air to breathe and pure water to drink. The last 30 years has seen many such regulations stripped away in the cause of “free market” in both industry and economics, all of which reminds me of the biblical story of the farmer who repetitiously tore down his barns so he could continue building bigger and better, without restraint.

I gladly welcome David Brady to the Christian faith, but I have no intention of allowing him to pervert my faith, or to make of orthodox Christianity something it is not, just to fit the structure of his political likes and dislikes. Rather than shaping the Christian Faith around his biases, I would prefer that he restructure his political likes and dislikes around a solid biblical orthodoxy. That would do much more than is currently being done for our country and it would honor our Common Lord.

From Warner’s World, I am

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