I don’t write much about politics anymore. It’s not that I don’t think it’s important. Politics is very important. It’s just not where I’m at in my life. I discovered that others do write about it much better than I do. I’ve also realized that politics don’t change hearts; it’s the other way around.
However, occasionally I read something so idiotic it drives me to comment. The issue that has pushed me back into the political fray this time is a discussion in the Kentucky Senate race.
The Democratic nominee Jack Conway ran a television ad essentially questioning whether his opponent, Rand Paul, was legitimately a Christian. (You can see the ad and read some more background here.) The basic idea behind the attack is that, while in college at Baylor, Paul was a member of a secret society that pulled a prank by pretending to kidnap a girl and make her bow down to worship “Aqua Buddha.” Yes, it is as weird as it sounds.
Now all of that is a strange college story, but where the problem lies is with this woman, who has now come forward anonymously, Conway, liberal commentators and the media having no idea how to understand this very odd, religious event from Paul’s younger days with his current Christian confession.
The woman at the center of this story told a Washington Post reporter: “I have a hard time seeing how someone who espouses beliefs that he used to would turn around and become a conservative Christian.” Prominent liberal bloggers picked up on this and ran with it. [language warning on the link] Do they have a point? How could someone spend their college years telling people to worship Aqua Buddha, even if it was as the woman described it a “hazing prank,” and then later on be a conservative Christian?
Let’s take everything at complete face value – Paul was part of a secret society at Baylor that mocked Christianity, the Bible, Jesus, etc. and even forced a fellow student to bow down and worship an imaginary god. Now he claims to be a conservative Christian. Is this woman, and by extension the media, liberal bloggers and Conway, trying to argue that you cannot have those things in your past and be a Christian in the present? Do they have no idea what the Christian concept of conversion means?
I mean, noooo, there has never been a person that was hostile to the Christian faith earlier in their life and then became a devout, passionate Christian later. Nope that has never happened. It’s not like there are Muslims, Buddhists, Hindus, Jews, atheists, etc. who reject their former religion and follow Christ from that point forward. Obviously, there is nothing in the Bible that sounds at all like this:
Do you not know that the unjust will not inherit God’s kingdom? Do not be deceived: no sexually immoral people, idolaters, adulterers, male prostitutes, homosexuals, thieves, greedy people, drunkards, revilers, or swindlers will inherit God’s kingdom. Some of you were like this; but you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God. [emphasis mine]
Could Conway please explain to me how Christianity spread after the death and resurrection of Jesus? There was not a large group of Christians already existing, who expanded the religion simply by having children and teaching them. No, one of the men that apparently he didn’t know existed, the Apostle Paul, and others took the Gospel to those who had never heard. Some rejected it. Other decided to leave their former life behind and follow Christ
Politics is a rough and tumble place. I got that. No problem. If Paul’s opponents want to make a big deal out of this alleged event in his college days, go for it. See how well that plays with the voters. But don’t try to insinuate that somehow Rand Paul cannot be a Christian because of his past behavior. There are countless Christians through out Church history which testify to the exact opposite claim.
If anyone deserves to have their faith questioned, it would be Jack Conway for apparently having no idea what conversion, a central doctrine of Christianity, means.