Forgive my zeal…

I am not saying that we should not promote the goodness of the Gospel in general society.  I am not saying that Christians should not run for public office.  I am not saying we should not get involved in government.  Frankly, I don’t have a lot to say about it.  We live in a democracy where we are led to believe that the government is of the people, for the people, by the people (which is really a farce)…and so getting involved in government is an option that our biblical predecessors didn’t really have.

However, I don’t think that our situation today is much different than it was during the first century.  In a day when Israel was hungry for their vindication and to see God finally pull through for them, there sprung up a whole variety of responses.  The Pharisees believed that if Israel could only adhere to strict piety, only then would the kingdom of God be quickened.  The Zealots wanted to revolt against the Roman oppressors, overtake the government, and thus force in the kingdom of God.  The Essenes withdrew from society into monastic orders.  Sadducees were politically power hungry aristocrats.

And then there was Jesus.  The way Jesus planned to usher in the kingdom of God was by dying.

vnee made a good point that if we turned the other cheek, we might create a further chasm between those who believe in Jesus and those who don’t, because they would see us as essentially doormats.  That’s really sad, because our world is really that evil.  As negative as that sounds, however, I think vnee and I could both agree that it’s a lot better than being known as unloving flag-waving fundamentalist bigots…which is the case right now.  And also, if we came in ushering the kingdom of God with not only turning the other cheek, but all that other hard stuff that Jesus mentioned in his Sermon on the Mount, then we are painting a fuller picture to the world what the kingdom of God looks like.  If we could learn to love our enemies, keep true to our word, and stop worrying about “stuff”, I think we’re gonna be onto a radical way of living…something we would never have to stuff down people’s throats because they would be feeding themselves in a frenzy…could they get enough of this sort of kingdom? (ok, I’m being overly optimistic…Jesus was the perfect display of the kingdom and he got killed, but at least we know we’re walking in his steps.)

I’ve got tons more to say, but lemme get off of my soapbox…I’d enjoy some dialogue.

4 thoughts on “”

  1. I guess it isn’t much in the way of “dialogue,” but I primarily agree with you on this… as a people who worship God through Christ… how can we sometimes be so oblivious to what he actually said and did? We, the church as a whole, have reduced “it” to a formula that has no repercussive action in our life. You pray a prayer, you get baptized, you go to church, you follow the traditions…. and what do you have? A really white tomb. Perhaps this isn’t even a good synthesis of your post… please correct me if I’m wrong… which I may be.

  2. agreed, better to live in a manner pleasing to God than living for man, and just leave what happens after that to God.  the “stuff” will take care of itself. 
    i still feel that we needn’t take such a cynical view towards the “bigots” because of 2 reasons… 1) Jesus had the authority to redeem mankind.  Other organizations, no matter how pure in motive, cannot do that, but they can do their best in promoting what they feel is right.  2) i think it can help encourage other Christians in their walk knowing that the expression of faith isn’t solely a private matter.  i think it’s cool that there are christian radio stations, tv programming, expression of art, etc.  heck, if there were an IT christian consortium out there, i’d sure be interested.  🙂

  3. maybe the word bigot sticks out too much.  i was actually thinking that the flag-waving part was supposed to be more prominent.  a mixture of flag-waving and bigotry/fundamentalism, i think, is really a bad mixture.  (i agree, btw, that we have a very good reason to be “intolerant” of lotsa stuff, vnee, especially, as you said, Jesus really is the only way to God.  the moment we stop being “intolerant” about that, then we make a mockery of Jesus and cease to have good news.)
    and i’m not against promoting “Christian culture” in its many forms, but i just think that a lot of times, it is just a christianized version of what’s out there in the world.
    in sum, i’m really saying more about what the focal point of how the church should be political.  i think i sounded too “touchy-feely” and thus failed to get my point across.  when we turn the other cheek as a political act, it means something totally different than just being a passive person.  when we hold ourselves to a very high standard of integrity and purity as a political act, it is more powerful than simply being moralistic.  i’m not 100% against what the dominant American Church does in society, but i think we’re missing the point.  the point of the church is to display the reality of the kingdom of God to the world, not to legislate it onto the world.  we are not a domineering force, but salt and light unto the world. 
    joyfullynoisy (welcome!, btw), i think your synthesis was pretty on.  basically, if we focused less energy on getting the rest of the world to do what we’re supposed to be doing and focused more energy on being holier ourselves, i think we’re moving more in the right direction.  it’s common knowledge, divorce rates, suicide rates, drug use, all that stuff…it isn’t a whole let better for those in the church than for those outside the church.  sad news about those who have the good news 😦
    i see your point though, vnee, i’m being quite negative.  maybe i’ll try to reframe things more positively.  my negative framing of things is pretty unfair, especially since the Holy Spirit’s been hard at work for so many thousands of years!
    let’s keep picking away at this.  i’m still working through a lot of this and i think we all are.

  4. On the whole, I agree with you.  Just a thought to add to your statement:” If we could learn to love our enemies, keep true to our word, and stop worrying about “stuff”, I think we’re gonna be onto a radical way of living…something we would never have to stuff down people’s throats because they would be feeding themselves in a frenzy…could they get enough of this sort of kingdom?”You’re right.  If we reflect Christ’s light in our own lives with love, honesty, integrity, etc., the world is going to see that.  The Law says to not covet what your neighbor has.  In Christ, we are free in the Law.  The world, outside of Christ, is still held prisoner, and does not obey the Law.  Thus, they are still wanting what others have.  If they see us reflecting Christ, they will want what we have, and in hopefully pursuing that want, discover that it is not what we have, but what Christ has.  Does this make sense to you?  From what I have read of your blog I think you and I think on very similar terms.  Love to my brother in Christ!

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