It may be more accurate to say that I'm not an American conservative. It's not because I'm not "conservative" in my positions, but because the basic idea of conservatism as seen in the name (i.e., conserving something in the past) has not worked and has not gotten us anywhere. Right now, conservatives would be happy to have
Of all people, Christians are to be looking forward, anticipating real and radical change as the kingship of Christ is exerted over the entire world. And, of all people, we should realize that conserving the past is, at best, a mixed proposition: everything in the past was tainted by original sin. Plus, what was in the past is why we are where we are now. What would we gain if we took a 50-year step backward? Or if we regained the
Christ's kingdom is a harvest field to grow and reap, not a museum to preserve until He finally shows up. We don't think this way about ourselves ("I just want to stay as good as I am right now") or about the church ("remember when our church was 30 people? I wished we could go back there") - why would we think this way about the nation?
To wit, R. L. Dabney:
“[Conservatism's] history has been that it demurs to each aggression of the progressive party, and aims to save its credit by a respectable amount of growling, but always acquiesces at last in the innovation. What was the resisted novelty of yesterday is today one of the accepted principles of conservatism; it is now conservative only in affecting to resist the next innovation, which will tomorrow be forced upon its timidity and will be succeeded by some third revolution, to be denounced and then adopted in its turn. American conservatism is merely the shadow that follows Radicalism as it moves forward to perdition. It remains behind it, but never retards it, and always advances near its leader. This pretended salt hath utterly lost its savor: wherewith shall it be salted? Its impotency is not hard to explain. It is worthless because it is the conservatism of expediency only, and not of sturdy principle. It tends to risk nothing serious for the sake of truth.”
Perhaps my issues with conservatism are merely semantic - but I think there may be some help here for the church as she moves to shirk off her "place in the American political system" and realizes that our Savior is the same as our nation's King. As we head toward voting season, wondering how Jesus would vote, maybe it would be best to stick with being Christians and make decisions and vote votes based on how the King of the church would have us interact with His nations.