A Weblog Dedicated to the Discussion of the Christian Faith and 21st Century Life

A Weblog Dedicated to the Discussion of the Christian Faith and 21st Century Life
I do not seek to understand that I may believe, but I believe in order to understand. For this also I believe, –that unless I believed, I should not understand.-- St. Anselm of Canterbury (1033-1109)

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

When It Comes to the Big Issues of Our Day, Christians Demonstrate Their Irrelevance

Once again nation state politics, this time in Wisconsin, has demonstrated that many Christians find their identity as Democrats and Republicans, as progressives and conservatives, more significant than their identification as people who are "in Christ." I have watched and listened to Christians on the left and on the right these past few days chime in on the situation in Wisconsin and I simply cannot distinguish the position of either side from any old atheist. On the left, there are Christians who are unashamedly supporting public unions ("public" is a misnomer; they are state unions) posting pictures of fists and shouting solidarity. On the right, Christians are supporting Governor Scott Walker and encouraging contra-protests in favor of the Governor and against the state unions, bringing in the Tea Party to balance out the shouting and anger, making the shouting and the anger that much louder.

But in the midst of all of this what seems to be missing is an alternative witness, a Christian voice that reminds people on both sides of the need for reconciliation... on the necessity of compromise on both sides, of emphasizing the selfish sickness that infects all human souls that has created the fiscal mess in which we find ourselves-- a mess that all of us have contributed to-- Republicans and Democrats, politicians and business folk, state and private labor unions and corporate management, and the everyday common Joe and Jane. What is missing are the searing, soul-searching questions that Christians should be good at asking of all interests involved. What is missing is a reminder to everyone that when we point a finger at someone else, three are pointing back at us. What is missing is the denunciation of protest signs with pictures of Hitler and a portrait of Governor Walker in cross hairs (definitive proof that both sides engage in incendiary demagoguery). What is missing is the condemnation of unsavory forces (on both sides) trying to dig up dirt on the main players on the other side in order to undermine their position. What is missing-- what we are left with instead-- are Christians who have chosen up sides demonizing the other side and posting Facebook statuses asking others to post the same status if they support workers' rights or-- on the other side--the endeavor of the state government's attempt at fiscal responsibility-- both sides reflecting a not-so-prophetic attempt at prophetic social media-- a kind of not-so-serious silliness that Amos and Hosea would find baffling.

What is missing in the midst of all the hoopla is a Christian witness that may offer a different way from what we are witnessing. What is missing is a reminder to all sides that only through sacrifice can reconciliation actually be achieved.

Why is this third way missing? Because when it comes to the big issues of our day, Christians have once again demonstrated that left and right, conservative and liberal, Democrat and Republican are more definitive for their identity than being in Christ,

When in comes to the big issues of our day, Christians continue to demonstrate their irrelevance.


Anonymous said...

Amen. Very well said

Chad Holtz said...

I couldn't agree more.

betty newman said...

And, I suspect the actions won't be any more civil at General Conference either. Sad.

Sharp said...

You and Don Miller woke up on the same side of the bed this morning.