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Are Churches of Christ in the U.S. a red state movement?


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Are we a red state movement?
Three out of four members of Churches of Christ in the U.S. reside in a state that supported Republican Mitt Romney for president, an analysis by The Christian Chronicle found.
Of the 1,554,301 total Church of Christ adherents nationwide, 76 percent — or 1,182,142 — live in a red state, according to the analysis.
The Chronicle reviewed state-by-state adherent data contained in the 2012 edition of “Churches of Christ in the United States,” published by 21st Century Christian.
Almost half the red state Church of Christ adherents — 555,657, or 47 percent — call Texas or Tennessee home. Adherent figures include baptized members as well as non-baptized children and spouses associated with a congregation.
Other coverage:
Reader feedback: Have Christians become too identified with a political party?
Declining numbers in Churches of Christ, but signs of hope?
‘Nones’ on the rise: What does increase in adults with no religious affiliation mean for the church?
Are instrumental Christian Churches really experiencing ‘phenomenal’ growth?
 

  • Feedback
    Well, since we don’t believe in abortion or marriage of the same sex, guess I would have to say yes.
    Terry Hanger
    November, 8 2012

    If you do not like abortion do not have one. Most people are not homosexual. On the list of problems this country has these are very low on the scale of importance. The president has little authority to prohibit abortion. Christians need to stop trying to get government to enforce their moral convictions.
    John Jenkins
    November, 8 2012

    Politics aside. Since abortion is the murder of innocent life and same gender “marriage” is an abomination to God, people who seek the bible as their standard of living would not be true to those facts by believing otherwise. Or would there be justification in seeking to compromise the will of God found in the bible for the benefit of fulfilling personal pleasure? I live in one of those “blue” states above and find it rather appalling that the distinction of belief in the bible is assumed to be along political lines. God could simply be allowing this nation to walk through the gate it desires to walk through (see Matthew 7:13-14). Continue to pray for all people in the nation living in a “red” or “blue” to make a wise decision about the gate they choose.
    Kevin Shimp
    November, 8 2012

    It should not be either Red or Blue. But the creep of both main line evangelicalism and the Republican Party into the Churches of Christ are making it that way in some places. It is sad to see the distinctiveness of the Restoration Movement simply dissolving into the cultural Christianity of our nation.
    Josh Byrd
    November, 8 2012

    If you do not like abortions and/or do not approve of gay marriage check with Julius Caesar. Those activities have no affect on the church. But watch out. The church is much more successful during persecution. If you pray for the church beware what has worked in the past.
    John Jenkins
    November, 9 2012

    Amen to John Jenkins’ remarks.
    Jacqueline Williams
    November, 9 2012

    We serve a God who has accorded us choice for a reason. Attempts to transform others’ moral convictions via legislation are not tools of the Kingdom.
    More on this in the discussion of my article at New Wineskins: http://www.wineskins.org/filter.asp?SID=2&fi_key=374&co_key=2647
    It is very easy for us to allow Christ to be co-opted for political purposes… this doesn’t “Christianize” our government, it only compromises our influence for the Kingdom in our world.
    Scott Simpson
    November, 15 2012

    Wow. At least one candidate tried his best to paint the other as one who would take away a woman’s “right” to choose. And as far as the marriage issue, I believe all Christians should be fervently praying that this issue be defeated. I can certainly understand where Christians can disagree on some ecomnomic issues but as for these other two, I think the scriptures speak loud and clear.
    Mr. Spinks
    November, 15 2012

    According to our nation’s founding document, the protection of life is a government’s number one responsibility. So, those in office who fail to protect life have violated their oath and ought to be removed. According to scripture (Rom 1:32) those who give approval to sins such as homosexuality are just as guilty as those who practice these sins. A vote is a form of giving approval. So, those who vote for pro-death candidates are guilty of murder. Those who vote for pro-homosexual candidates are guilty of homosexual sin. If you do not like it, don’t blame me. I did not write Romans one or the declaration of independence. But they say what they say, and those who disagree with what they say are neither faithful Americans nor faithful Christians. The Chronicle staff should take a clear stand on these matters. Trying to play both sides is foolish. We were better off when the Chronicle was in other hands. Some of the earlier editors may not have won journalistic awards, but at least they knew the Bible, and were not afraid to point out how it applies in the voting booth.
    Thayer Salisbury
    November, 15 2012

    What type of moral convictions do you want the government to try and impose because it will impose some form of moral convictions? Are you more at home with moral convictions based upon a Judeo-Christian ethic or are you more at home with moral convictions which hold up abortions as morally neutral and homosexual marriage as virtuous and good as marriage between a man and a woman?
    You may say these issues are very low on the scale of national importance, but a good argument can be made that many of our big economic problems stem directly from the idea that the traditional family and the Judeo-Christian ethic simply are not that important. There may be more of a linkage than you think. A nation that has no problems with killing the innocent and celebrating the perverse may not be able to lift itself from the moral quicksand to do much of anything that you might consider important.
    Jim
    November, 15 2012

    With reference to the article title, the “blue” and “red” thing needs re-examination. Around the world, blue is the color for conservative parties, and red is the color for socialism. Through an oblivious process which was not always what it is now, U.S. media have gone to using these colors in a way which confuses the rest of the world. Or imagine–if anti-socialist crusader Dr George S. Benson were resurrected–informing him that even Arkansas, home of Harding University, had become a “red” state!
    Churches of Christ shun political involvement, if I may address the substance of the article. Very few of them even display the national flag in the assembly (in any of several countries where I have attended). I heard nothing from the pulpit and saw nothing in the foyer about this election. Outside the meeting place the members seem to have voted in the election about like their denominational neighbors in whatever part of the country.
    Yes, there were concerns about the positions (or non-positions) of the Democratic ticket as well as the concerns about the Mormonism on the Republican side; most of the same individuals were unconcerned with the Roman Catholicism of the Republican VP nominee. Along that line maybe we’re more tolerant than we were in 1960, but more likely is the observation that since 1973 ROE v. WADE has leveled the historical distinction between Catholics and Protestants and in lieu thereof galvanized traditionalists together from both of those historical camps on one side against progressives from both of them on the other.
    Among my church siblings I did not see widespread enthusiasm for either ticket. Maybe David Lipscomb’s doctrine of non-involvement in the civil state is not so dead as earlier thought.
    FWIW on the Lord’s Day after the election, several majority-white congregations, of which I am aware in the Deep South, prayed for our governmental leaders, including our President Barack Obama.
    David
    November, 15 2012

    What this election has shown is the hatred and division that still exist among those of us who profess to be Christians. Prejudice, is alive and well, and its sad to say, that its in the Lords Church. Many times sitting in the pews next to you, or giving you that reluctant handshake or greeting. Whatever happen to ” speaking the truth in love “. You can disagree with the President’s policies without attacking the man, his race, heritage, or character. I believer the scripture teaches us that we are the PRAY for those who lead and govern over us. Not to condemn them….I certainly don’t agree with all of President Obama’s policies and yes I did vote for him. Romney ran on lies, secrecy, and from all the information I’ve read, the Morman faith is still considered a Cult. We all prayed, more specifically I would venture to say most Black Congregations prayed for Obama, whereas most White Congregations prayed for Romney, or like I’ve heard it worded…..” Taking our country back ” I believe its GODS country. Not your’s or mine. So with that all said……Who’s prayer did God answer?
    Lamar
    November, 15 2012

    The Sunday before the election, our congregation prayed for the two presidential candidates and asked God to put the right one into leadership. Many in the church were later disappointed when they saw the election results. However, I appreciate our minister who reminded us the next Sunday that we prayed for the right man — and God answered our prayers. He encouraged us to accept God’s answer.
    Charles Stelding
    November, 15 2012

    Some want to rank sins. Then, abortion and homosexuals always seem to rank number 1 & 2.
    It does seem a little illogical that right-to-life advocates are mostly in favor of capital punishment and are not overly concerned about the extremely high infant-mortality rate in the U.S., caused primarily by lack of adequate prenatal care for low-income mothers.
    Scripture seems to indicate that enforcing morals by law has not been a winning strategy.
    Maybe, its time church folk relied less on politics to enforce laws designed to control morals by government edict and spend more time living the Jesus way to change hearts!
    Joe Bain
    November, 15 2012

    NT Xianity is apolitical. Though the Caesars were child killers, sexually deviant and slavers, they are never opposed politically in the pages of the NT. The gospel changed lives from the inside out not from the outside in. The gospel changed hearts before it changed minds. We do the Lord’s church a great disservice by openly discussing our political views in public forums such as this. The very question posed by the above article is divisive and Paul said “let there be no divisions among you.” When we preach the gospel of repentance and baptism in the Name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins resulting in the gift of the Holy Spirit, these social issues will be tackled by one changed heart at a time. We would all be edified by remembering what Paul said – “The faith that you have, keep between yourself and God.” – Romans 14.22a [ESV]
    Russ McCullough
    November, 15 2012

    I have never been comfortable with church assemblies or leaders pushing a particular political party. I know good Christians who vote Democrat because they believe it is the best way to seek justice and help for the poor and oppressed. Those who vote Republican believe the poor and oppressed should be cared for too–but they disagree on the best way to care for them (government programs vs private local charities and citizens).
    In regard to abortion there are a couple of ways to understand the issue. 1) Neither presidents nor congressmen/senators can do much about abortion. The Supreme Court took that decision over in Roe v Wade–even if it were overturned it would not outlaw abortion; it would only move it back to individual states to decide–even then it is not likely to be outlawed. 2) As an opponent of abortion I think we need to couch this in a justice issue. The unborn, as the most oppressed and vulnerable of our society have no rights, no protections, and certainly no voice. Those who believe in justice for the oppressed and vulnerable–those who cannot cry out for themselves should be interested in seeking to stand up for the unborn. Perhaps not so much in the political arena (where it is not likely to do any good) but in the practical arena by working with groups who provide practical assistance to women trying to decide whether or not to keep their baby. Not to protest or march on clinics–but to form and work in our own centers and provide alternatives and help.
    Darryl
    November, 16 2012

    I question whether the Scriptures teach us to pray for “the right leader” to be selected by God. It does tell us to pray for the leaders we have that we might lead a quiet and peaceful life. Most of the issues debated so vigoriously by the candidates, pale into insignificance when it comes to the issue of getting the gospel to a lost world!
    Don Fischer
    November, 16 2012

    The church is spiritual, our citizenship is in heaven, so should our living faith be. As we live in this world of Satan we vote for the best “America” we can have to raise our children in the Lord. Our God, when you faithfully read His word has endured; in a human example; heartbreak from almost the beginning. Man has almost always been defiled..Cain kills Abel…The Flood…The Tower of Babel…Sodom and Gomorrah, etc;…Homosexual behavior almost from the beginning of time…the NT lists it as a depraved mind in Romans. Abortion cannot be anything but murder….something a christian family would never think of doing. God has spelled out “Our Word-MARRIAGE”..one man-one woman for life, with only one exception….”Marriage defilement”. Adultery, I am convinced by my bible study is just as sinful as “Homosexual” The church of Christ today is guilty of overlooking “Adulterous Marriages”–The Bible is clear that to be forgiven we must repent…Most churches that I am aware of today think….Saying I repent of my Adulterous Marriage seems to clear the quilt. Jesus said to be rejoined to your wife o remain unmarried. The church elders must follow the full word to keep the church from being unequally yoked with unbelievers. A repentant adulterer will remove himself or herself from the adultery, if they are repentant….I say these things because as we live in Christ body the church, we boast in Christ Jesus and our Father will take care of us and He will also take care action on the ones we cannot reach before it’s to late to save them.
    Richard
    November, 16 2012

    Churches of Christ are in states that generally in the south, and the north consists mostly of Catholic and major European orthodox religions. This is just how our country migrated. People who were slaves, or very poor at best leaned on God more, and that is the Applachia part of the country. They sought out to obey God exactly as He has commanded. Richer states in many cases have religions where people are wealthier, prouder, and then they go to set up their own righteousness. Christ had not a place to lay his head. But lately many churches of all types are seeing growth from the Catholic Church, which is embroiled in a new sex scandal almost every day. I read somewhere that 1 in 10 Americans now claim that they used to be Catholic.
    Gary Hatmaker
    November, 19 2012

    The church of Christ was long in existence before there were “Red” states and “Blue states. Let’s not confuse faith in God, the relevancy and authority of Scripture, the morals that the Lord and His apostles have clearly presented with ever changing political issues. The kingdom of the Lord has its message from the King of kings and He told a ‘this world’ political leader that His kingdom is not of this world. I think we need to keep that in mind. Light and darkness will always be in conflict. Let’s, as saints, stand for light even though we, at times, fail to be as bright as we would desire or as our goal dictates. The spirit of the world will call Christians hypocrites anyway. But, will Jesus find faith now, and at His return?
    Aaron
    November, 21 2012

    This is not a Christian Government,The country has citizens of hundreds of religions, and the Government has to cater for ALL it’s citizens, While we desire the life of a Christian, we can pursuade peoples of other religious groups,depending on their interest, to become Christians but we cannot force them to believe God’s word. We have to MAKE disciples first,and ALL nations have come to us now instead of Us going to them, BUT this has nothing to do with governing a country. Every year different ethnic groups apply for citizenship in the United States of America, there is NO law which tells them that they have to embrace the Christian religion.People who choose their ways of living have the same rights as we have when we choose to follow Christ. One thing we do have over other religious groups, is the assurance of eternal life if we we live according to God’s word, the blessings of His protection over evil, and Help in our fight against the evil Darkness. One thing we can learn from this election is, that there are souls to rescue and souls to save, the thing is …Are we willing to sacrifice the time and effort to do the Job we applied for when we declared “All that God has told us to do, we will do????
    John Jansen
    December, 3 2012

    I hope brethren will get off the Evangelical political bandwagon and stand for Christ alone. Of course we’re entitled (even required) to participate in the political system. But I fear many are losing their souls in the way they do so, by fighting with the worlds weapons. Isn’t party spirit still a sin? We sell our birthright for a mess of pottage when we major in politics. Perhaps it’s not majoring in the minors, but it’s certainly not seeking first things (God’s kingdom and righteousness) first. And it’s lining up miles of stumbling blocks in front of blue-state souls who need Jesus! What are we here for???
    Joao
    December, 19 2012

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