Sunday, November 13, 2016

More thoughts of this "Evangelical" Christian in the aftermath of 11/8

First, a few links:
  • I have thought fleetingly of dropping the term "Evangelical" as my own self-description as a Christian. Just because, especially since 81% of us just voted for Trump, the term has come to have associations that actually impede the progress of the Gospel. To put it another way, because of these associations, the term becomes a barrier between me and others when I may have an opportunity to share my own testimony. But here is one who says no, despite everything, he's sticking with the term.
  • Then there's this author, who says, "If only Jesus were the stumbling block and scandal to the Evangel, not White Evangelicals’ political uniformity."
My take: As a Christian, I'm going to lean toward mercy, and that must be reflected in my voting as in everything else. As Hauerwas says, "the Gospel is not information, it is a way of life." In other words, there should be no separation, no conflict, between faith and doing. And that includes voting. We like to rail against legalists in our theological conversations, but when it comes to the real world we are often the stiff-backed legalists. Like secular Pharisees we keep on supporting new and more stringent laws and see no reason not to fill our jails with yet more people, always under the guise of love-of-country. Since when, though, does patriotism trump mercy in the Christian conscience. In the name of patriotism some of us now want to throw people in jail for burning the flag. 

But as I was saying, I'm going to lean toward mercy. I tell you, something greater than the legal code is here. Something greater than ICE is here. Something greater than Republican lock-step is here. Something greater than fear of being associated with the liberals is on the scene. Something greater than border walls and KEEP OUT signs. Something greater not only than Make America Great Again hats, but greater even than America. Greater than identity politics. The love of God, when it once enters our hearts, makes us strangers and aliens ourselves. Our stake in this country is not as rooted as our stake in the Kingdom. In the Kingdom we are rooted, in this world we are wayfaring strangers. And it is because we are strangers that we welcome the stranger. 

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