Friday, April 20, 2012
I think organized religion is in crisis. Now, that doesn't sound so shocking - we hear that frequently. But the threat isn't coming from atheists, secularists, humanists, or liberals. It's coming from the inside, making it all the more destructive. People are becoming what I term Cultural Christians, under the leadership of many churches and preachers. They've substituted a brand of patriotic, political conversatism for a living, breathing relationship with God and the Word. I see it frequently in the online forums for Christian mothers I frequent, and from my Christian friends on Facebook. People assume that if you are a Christian you must be in full support of the Republican Party. If you are not, many openly and disgustedly question the sincerity of your faith. It's commonplace to see and hear "How can any Christian support..." or "I've never known any true Christian to support...". I recently ran across (not literally, via the web) a sign supporting a state amendment that says "Vote How God Votes - Yes to Amendment 1". How anyone can have the temerity to say without equivocation and humility that they know God's mind on a matter so wordly and temporal is beyond me. Especially when we are talking of something as complex as politics. I also hear frequently the assertion that America is or, at the very least, should be a Christian theocracy and that somehow God's perfected design for this world is American-style freemarket capitalism, and that differing ideologies are inherently evil. Just yesterday I came across an old 1960s speech by Paul Harvey that several of my Christian compatriots were swooning over in which he equated ambition with godliness. Ambition! Not hard work or integrity or responsibility, he actually used the word ambition. This then turned into a religious-tinged diatribe against socialism and all I could think was no, no, no, buying into political tribalism is downright Darwinian and anything but what God wants for us. It is cheap Christianity - that which demands little of us, because all we have to do is listen to our chosen "leaders", vote a particular way, and throw a little money into the mix for good measure, and we're patted on the head and told that we're "approved" Christians, somehow earning God's special privilege as Americans. Jesus said, "My kingdom is not of this world. If it were, my servants would fight to prevent my arrest by the Jews. But now my kingdom is from another place." John 18:36. As a God Girl, I think we need to be very, very cautious about wading into the political and culture wars and always keep our eye on the prize - that this world is not our home. Too many times we want to know what God can do FOR us, rather than how we can bleed for him and for others, to the glory of his name.
Posted by The Merry Band of Fife at 10:58 AM