Love him or hate him, Christian conservatives have a lot of reasons to be thankful for Ron Paul. When I first came up with the idea for this article, I thought I might write about how remarkable it has been that an old guy in his late 70’s could connect so well with the younger generations, then I started to think about how that has played into our cultural significance and I realized that Christians have a lot to be thankful for with the Congressman, and there is so much more that they can learn from him.
First of all, what we can learn from Ron Paul about reaching the next generation.
This whole train of thought came out of three things. First of all, Ron Paul has actually surprised me, and everyone in media for that matter, with a seriously successful run for the presidential nomination. Secondly, my boss and many other older Christians I spend my time with seem to be baffled by Ron Paul being taken seriously (Yes, they all watch Fox News and listen to Rush Limbaugh). The third thing hit me after reading UnChristian, which I reviewed last week. This all culminated in a thought, “What is Ron Paul doing right that is winning over a generation that has completely abandoned the Church?”
The answer to that question is very complex, but a simple way to explain it is this: Ron Paul is speaks with authority and has risen above the messing debating over preferences and prejudices, he has been consistent without hypocrisy, and he is actually teaching his followers how to think and not simply opening a can of political rhetoric. This doesn’t mean that everything he believes is right, but it does say a lot about how he has been able to connect to the majority of young voters.
Young adults today have a lot of questions. They want straight answers that are unbiased. Who better to give them those answers than Christians. The only problem is, most Christians that I know can’t give a definitive answer for some of the most basic doctrines in Scripture, but they are more than willing to tell you their opinion. My generation has learned that wisdom is invaluable, but opinions costs two cents. The world is a lot smaller due to the Internet and smart phones, and if you don’t give us a definitive reason to believe you, your word is no better than any other person with a YouTube page.
One of the heaviest attacks levied against Christians is their hypocrisy. Let’s face it, Christians are much better at talking than walking. The problem is that where they are talking is not where they should be walking. Years back I was with a preacher who was bashing any new forms of music other than hymns for worship services. Years later, he’s got a band on the platform. If we aren’t building our platform on truth, we will eventually look back on our lives and realize how foolish we must have looked to outsiders.
What the next generations of Christians want and need is to be taught the truths of Scripture. When the Word of God is purely and vibrantly taught, you will find a lively bunch of young believers. If the preaching is boring, dry, inauthentic, and judgmental, chances are you won’t have many young adults in the crowd.
Secondly, Christian conservatives have a lot to be thankful for with Ron Paul’s ability to promote conservative values to a liberal audience.
I don’t want to overlook the values of my Christian liberal friends, but I am speaking directly to the Christian conservatives who want to make moral issues the primary focus of their campaigning. I can’t think of any liberals who would support Rick Santorum, who has been claimed by many Church leaders as the social conservative of choice. Yet, I can name a lot of democrats, and people who previously voted for Obama, who are in the Ron Paul camp.
One of the amazing things about Ron Paul is his ability to influence people from both liberal and conservative persuasions. Pro-lifer’s have much to thank Ron Paul for because his Pro-life views are not immediately shot down by pro-choice liberals. He is accepted because he is consistent. I understand that most conservatives tend to think anyone to the left of them is liberal, but how far has that gotten us since Roe V. Wade?
Who knows what the future may hold? I for one, think that Ron Paul’s perspective lends itself to a lot of possibilities. Everything that the social conservatives care about could be influenced for the better if his plans were implemented: prayer in public schools, the right to life, Christian liberty, and the moral standard. As far as the other candidates and their positions go, I just see the divide being widened, people’s prejudices being cemented, and fuel being given to anti-Christian humanists.
But these are just my thoughts – my soapbox. I’d love to hear your thoughts. What can we learn from Ron Paul or any of the other candidates, good or bad? What do we have to be thankful or worried about in the future election?