Whiplash Politics and Reactive Christianity

Another fine column by David Brooks in The New York Times illustrates our extreme unhappiness with all things government. We just can’t be satisfied. Those who want limited government really aren’t happy. Those who want government involvement aren’t happy, either.

As Brooks points out, what HAS happened in the past ten years is government has become more pervasive, and that happened under BOTH political parties controlling the system. What we are getting as a result is an experiment very few people really want. The backlash may be incredibly severe.

Our current age of 24 hour “on” is going to give our culture serious whiplash issues. For instance, President Obama has been in office just over a year and a half and already there are rumblings of his demise in the mid-term elections and the question of his re-election. Eighteen months and we’re not happy.

Liberals aren’t happy because he hasn’t moved fast enough. Conservatives are unhappy because… well, because he’s a Democrat.

Republicans are licking their chops as they anticipate regaining control in at least one house of Congress.

It all hinges on dissatisfaction. It’s not about answers, really. It’s about dissatisfaction. Obama and the Democrats were elected based on the dissatisfaction with Bush. This mid-term election will hinge on people being dissatisfied with the direction the Democrats are going.

It’s not just that we’re unhappy. We’re unhappy in a hurry.

And this thought brings me to Christianity, American style. We are just a dissatisfied bunch. Evangelicals have a current backlash where a younger generation is fed up with evangelicals being tied to the Republican party. It’s a fair critique. But, the backlash has been wild and crazy.

The reaction has gone from just choosing not to vote Republican to tossing out all semblance of “church” and now we have churches that don’t look like churches doing theology poorly and Jesus is convoluted in our practice. We look for churches like we’re looking for a new style of clothing at the mall.

We’ve created a whiplash Christianity as well. It’s not that we’re just choosing not to be the Republican waterboy. No. We have to throw it all out and act like pagans in the process. It’s become almost an anti-church movement. We’ve lost the Body of Christ. You lose the Body of Christ, don’t pretend you actually know the HEAD. You don’t have the HEAD without the BODY.

Hopefully we’ll settle down and realize it’s just crazy to throw in with ANY political party lock, stock, and barrel. (That has a ways to go, but with the speed in which we do things now, it may not take long. It’s now vogue to make sure you vote DEMOCRAT. Crazy.)

Hopefully we’ll settle down and realize the CHURCH is vital. We find a body of believers and STICK with that body. We worship together. We DO LIFE together. The substance is CHRIST. And his substance is found best in his Body.

Let the political system suffer from whiplash. Let’s not play that game with Christ and his Church any more.

5 thoughts on “Whiplash Politics and Reactive Christianity

  1. Excellent! This needs to be spoken of many times to get it in our heads. Honestly! I am on fire now! In a most passionate way. My heart hurts like God’s would here.

  2. Politics has begun to hinder the work of the church and it’s broader mission. I have people in my church who will barely attend services, but will march, carry signs and yell for their candidate or at the opposition. They flood others with their email propoganda (much of which is filled with error and half-truths). Preachers are just as bad. They rally their people passionately around causes and personalities to the detriment of the work of the Kingdom. Do we really think that switching the people in the offices and passing a law or two will change this country? Our needs go much deeper. Have you noticed how impassioned the atheists have become? Un-baptizing people? In some ways I don’t blame them. Good post.

  3. Forgive me, one more thought. I believe some of our modern causes act as a substitute for ministry and personal growth. We feel righteous because we support this candidate or that initiative. We believe we are good and holy when we are against something. Our country needs a strong, Spirit led church to champion the Jesus lifestyle. I am for civic responsibility, but God’s people need to learn the limitations of government. The answer? “A glorious church, without spot or wrinkle, washed in the blood of the lamb.” Wow. Can’t believe I just posted that. 🙂 I’m all done now.

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