The American Christian Industrial Complex

In the past two weeks we’ve witnessed yet another key influencer in the evangelical movement “give up” and move on. This one is Joshua Harris of I Kissed Dating Goodby fame (or infamy, as you will). There are two key discussions worth your listen.

Continue reading “The American Christian Industrial Complex”

Spiritual formation in the public life

“Evangelicals have often been presented with a false choice about our role in public life. We either completely withdraw from trying to influence things, or we initiate ‘takeover’ programs. There is an alternative pattern, thought, one that I believe is mandated by Scripture: in the present time, where the fullness of Christ’s kingdom is not yet with us, we are called to do what we can in the political realm, given the opportunities and abilities that God has provided for us in the places where the Lord calls us to be faithful.” — Richard Mouw, Restless Faith: Holding Evangelical Beliefs in a World of Contested Labels

The current evangelical game of “gotcha”

Later they sent some of the Pharisees and Herodians to Jesus to catch him in his words. (Mark 12:13, NIV)

We are creating new games of “gotcha” in the evangelical world on almost a weekly basis now. Statements issued by one group are carefully scrutinized by another. Actions of one group are carefully scrutinized for motive by another.

The religious leaders in Jesus’ day were good at this. And for good reason.

You can tweet this. (LOL. I really hate that cue!)

When we don’t have true authority all we can do is try and ‘trap’ the opponent.

 

 

Faith in the Public Square

A friend on Facebook who is on the faculty at Biola University had an article in their university’s magazine on the election.

An excerpt:

If the two-party system remains intact after this election, and evangelicals become more disenfranchised in terms of not really fitting into one or the other party, does that mean evangelicals will simply have to accept being a more muted political force going forward?

I think the church as a whole, not just here in the United States, but across the globe, is at a place where we have to make a decision about what our role in this world is. To American evangelicals, I would say this: I think our role is to stand in prophetic resistance to whatever system we’re faced with. I think every time we try to turn the church into a power broker, the destruction and change comes to the church and not to that which we are trying to influence. So I think our role is to stand in prophetic resistance. It’s not a standing against, because Jesus didn’t do that. Jesus didn’t say to topple the Roman government. Jesus didn’t say to start a revolution. In fact, he said, “Give to Caesar what’s Caesar’s,” and he submitted himself to those authorities, even when it was unjust, to his own detriment, and he suffered an execution that was in and of itself incredibly political.

I think Christians have had such a privileged place in American culture that we’ve lost sight of the fact that this is not our place. America is not the New Jerusalem, but we do have a role to play. And our role may put us outside of power but in a position where the greater message that we have is heard. Christians should vote. They should participate in the process. They should run for office and seek places of influence. But if the goal is power, it will dampen the greater message every single time.

The rest of the article is HERE.

These are times to be thoughtful. Not fearful.