Recently, I received an e-mail from the American Family Association harshly criticizing Rosie O Donnell for her comments on ABC’s The View in which she said that extreme Christians on the religious right are just as much to be feared as the Islamic jihadists. My first reaction was strong offense. How could Rosie equate peace loving Christians with bomb throwing jihadists? At the outset, the idea seems completely ridiculous, and it is-to a degree. No, I do not know of any Christian in America, even fundamentalist Christian (with the exception of the cross-burning white supremacists who claim to be Christian, but who takes them seriously?)who believes that killing innocent civilians is an appropriate means of social change. So, in that sense, O Donnel’s fears are largely unfounded.
There is, however, a theological movement in America known as Theonomic Reconstructionism that seeks to establish the Law of Moses as the supreme law of the land. I can see why Rosie might fear this, since in the Law of Moses, homosexuality is a crime punishable by death (by means of stoning if we apply the strict interpretation)! Thankfully, this view is a very small minority within American evangelicalism. And for good reason. If Jesus were a reconstructionist, instead of saying “He who is without sin among you, let Him cast the first stone”, He would have personally presided over the stoning of the adulterous woman in John chapter 8. The fact is, neither Jesus nor His disciples advocated starting a political kingdom to impose theocratic rule over the nations, and neither should we. Rather, we should let the Scriptures guide our consciences (especially New Testament Scripture), and then as the gospel spreads throughout society, the collective conscience of the Christian community informs the collective conscience of the nation. Notice I said “inform” not “impose”. This is a far cry from theocracy. A Christian conscience informed by the New Testament is just plain good old fashioned common sense.