I have posted a couple of times on an interview with James Davison Hunter in Christianity Today. Hunter’s take on our political activity is critical, and I agree. Yet, he raised the hackles of Chuck Colson, another man I deeply admire. Colson’s critique was a bit too critical, in my view. He felt Hunter’s position meant Christians just withdraw from society.
Well, Hunter didn’t take kindly to that, either. His answer is explanatory. He articulates his position better, but he again hits Colson fairly hard.
Getting Christians to think more “Christianly” is an admirable task, as I say, but if the goal is world changing, it is guaranteed to fail.
What Hunter wants to point out is that all our political activity on the Left and the Right has caused this atmosphere of resentment. Hunter’s argument is that political activity is engagement, but it is ONE WAY to engage, not the only way to engage. He feels it is apoor way to engage.
This continues to be an interesting conversation for me. This book needs to get to the top of my “must buy” list.
My thoughts are more toward Hunter at this point. I am weary of the political swamp. Over the years I have done my share of political activity. I still hold strong political views. Yet, the point to which I engage as a Christian has become less important to me. This has not caused me to quit voting one way and vote another. This is a position I think the Emergent Church holds as a badge of honor. And it is distasteful to me. It is an attitude that almost says, “Hey! Look at me! I can vote Democrat, drink beer, and cuss. Isn’t that great?”
Well, no. It’s not. It’s reactionary. Kicking off all forms of a former generation isn’t about being “cool.” It’s thoughtless.
There is a need for faithful presence. The Church in America has lost its way. In my own denomination, we are becoming captive to pragmatism. In other denominations, it is a caving in to political winds or cultural shifts. We are losing our way as a distinct people. We don’t want to be unique anymore.
We need to regain our identity as the Bride of Christ. We belong to him, not the Republicans or the Democrats. We belong to him, not to the latest fad or trend.
We need to fall in love with our Savior all over again. To allow our hearts to be captivated by HIM. To realize he is the Bridegroom. His desire is for us as his Church. And that calls us to an intimacy this world will not understand. It will mean it just looks different at times. It is unique because our God is quite unique. But when my attention is ON HIM, nothing else matters. I am his. His desire is for me. Out of that relationship comes a faithful presence in this world.